January 29, 2016

New Year Resolutions 2016

Oh helloOoo~!
I know we're already in the 5th week of the year but I haven't had time to sit down and think this through before now.
In today's post I will follow suit from the past three years and once again make a post about my goals for the new year. But first, let's see if I/last year lived up to my expectations:

My goals for 2015 were to...
................................. 1.  Finish 2-3 cosplay costumes
................................. 2.  Attend at least 3 cosplay conventions and a cosplay photoshoot
................................. 3.  Get an A in one of my exams
................................. 4.  Do my best in school! 
................................. 5.  Learn basics of the Korean language
................................. 6.  Travel to 2-3 foreign countries
................................. 7.  Get a job
................................. 8.  Learn how to cook
................................. 9.  See a moose in real life
............................... 10.  Be better at saying no and overall take better care of myself 

The only points that I can clearly say that I managed to live up to are #2, #6 and #7.
In 2015 I attended J-Popcon, SVS con, and GEEKcore. During SVS I was supposed to have a joined a Tokyo Ghoul photoshoot but didn't get to do this because of my malfunctioning cosplay. I did end up having a spontaneous solo shoot during GEEKcore though so it's all good.

Although I 'only' got to go to Sweden and Korea, those were two trips that I wouldn't be without if it meant that I could have gone to more places. Visiting Philip and his family (and dog, Millie!) in Sweden is a pleasure every time and going to Korea, specifically Seoul, has been a dream of mine since I was 16.

Additionally, I finally succeeded in landing myself not one but two jobs!
The first job was as a freelancer where I, for a couple of months, worked as a transcriber on an app meant to help people learn languages. The other job was at MentorDanmark where I'm still working today. My job there is to function as a personal mentor for kids from grade 0 to young students around my own age and help them within my chosen subjects - mine are Math and English. There are several reasons why I really like this job: I get to meet a lot of people, I feel like I can actually make a change in someone's life, I can work with what I do best, and I can work just 2 hours at a time.

As for number 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10, I could have done better.
While I did make two different cosplays, I was unhappywith how they turned out due to lack of time, money, and skills. My Eto (Tokyo Ghoul) fell apart as I was wearing it and my Elsa (Frozen) was enough for people to recognize me but it was so far from what I had expected it to be like. Elsa is definitely not done and I'd like to reconstruct (if not remake) Eto completely. We'll see when that'll be.

I think I did my best in school but it's really hard to say. What is the best one can do anyways? Was I supposed to study for the remaining time of the day after school had finished? I didn't do that. But I turned in all of my assignments on time and was overall happy with the feedback. Let's save the outcome of my exams for another day (^_^;

About learning Korean basics... When I wrote down these resolutions, I had never imagined that I'd actually end up being a full time Korea student. I'd say I have 50% of my basics down - I can hold a conversation and understand quite a bit. Buuuuuuuut the language part of my education is split in two and I have only finished the first half so far. My teacher says that by the time we finish the second part, we should know all the basics.

I have definitely gotten better at saying no and telling people off when I don't want to deal with them but this is still something I could improve on.

The remaining 3 - number 3, 8, and 9 - were the only ones that I didn't fulfill.
#3 because I suck at exams. I got so nervous during the oral ones and apparently we had some really harsh censors for the written exams and basically everyone dropped at least one grade. I heard that the people taking the highest level of math exam left the room because the problems were too hard and that there was nothing left that they could do.

At this point I'm not exactly sure where the line goes for being able or unable to cook. Also, I don't know if this should be categorized with the unsatisfactory-but-fulfilled-resolutions above. I mean I can cook potatoes without setting myself or my surroundings on fire but I'd have to look up the recipe and Google a bunch of cooking terms if someone asked me to make roast pork.

#9 was clearly my favorite mission for 2015. And no, I didn't mean to see a moose in zoo like some people proposed I could do (Do they even have those in zoos?). I wanted to see a live moose but wasn't able to go to Sweden during summer and there were none to find when I was there during winter.

Looking back I think I did sort of good when it came to living up to the expectations I'd made. I definitely could have done better at some of them but at least I tried and half succeeded at most of them.
As I wrote in my post for last year, I wanted 2015 to be a year in which I would become more independent and creative. This year you could say that I want to own less while being worth more.
That sounds a bit... weird, doesn't it? Here, let me elaborate on that.

Especially the second half of last year and even now, just a few weeks into the new year, family has been something that has taken up a lot of space in my daily affairs. My closest family has been struck with diseases (my grandma was diagnosed with cancer and while I was in Korea, I was informed that the doctor had found a blood clot in my dad's leg) and I moved to the other end of the country, thus making it harder to see my family as often. Last year I truly learned the importance of appreciating something or someone while you have them and I want 2016 to be a year in which I do just that. I want 2016 to be a year in which I become a person that people will look up to and be proud of. And I want 2016 to be a year in which I'll find more peace with myself no matter how cliche the sounds. So... let's have a look at my resolutions:

In 2016 I want to:
................................. 1.  Travel to 2-3 countries (as always)
................................. 2.  Own less materialistic items (when moving I realized how much stuff I have that I don't use)
................................. 3.  Go to the doctor, dentist, optician etc. and have everything checked (there's no harm in making sure that you're okay)
................................. 4.  Take measures to be more content with my looks (fixing teeth, doing better make-up, save my hair, adjust weight etc.)
................................. 5.  Strengthen ties with and see my family more often
................................. 6.  Find a new hobby (dancing, singing, playing an instrument, or taekwondo)
................................. 7.  Do something I fear (because facing your fears is something that can really help you grow as a person)
................................. 8.  Become a donor (this thought has been stuck with me ever since I watched Angel Beats)
................................. 9.  Attend 3 cons
............................... 10.  Be a part of the cosplay show

How about you?
What would you like to accomplish this year?

January 3, 2016

Update for December

I spent my first weekend of the month back in Esbjerg with my family. One of the days I dedicated to looking through everything in my room and write down what and what not to bring to Roskilde when my parents were going to come over next time and help us move in.
Esbjerg was beautiful as always.
I also spent some time with Maria (I was actually with her while taking the above pictures) and saw the apartment that she and her mom moved into after her parents got divorced.

The following week a Korean food stand here in Denmark, Kopan, that I had really wanted to go to ever since I heard of it like two year ago, was having a Black Friday inspired sale and since Chris and I didn't have any plan that day, we decided to go. Johanne 씨, Clara 씨, Martin, and Iohan from my class were there too as well as a lot of other people + a camera man from a Korean TV program since they were doing sort of a documentary on how the owner of Kopen sought to bring happiness to the Danes through food.
Our whole experience ended up quite interesting.
I went up to order a hoddeok (호떡) with honey inside for myself and some fried chicken for Chris and was told that it would take up to 50 min. to make the chicken. We weren't in a hurry so it was all good. Chris's older sister was nearby so while we were just waiting there anyways, he met up with her while I stayed back and chatted with Johanne 씨 and Clara 씨 until they had to leave - I got my food in the meantime.

When Chris came back it had been more than an hour so we went over to the side and waited for them to serve some of the other costumers. Our plan was to ask for the food when they were free. Before we could do that though, the girl who had taken my order saw us and said something to the owner before he left the stand to walk over to us. He apologized and said that they had been so busy that they had forgotten about the chicken and now they thought it was too burned to be good.
He also said that they had sold out of everything but their fishcake but that we, if we wanted to, could have some of that for free AND that we could come back the following Friday or Saturday and have the chicken for free, which we accepted. I got some of the fishcake too even though we had only ordered the chicken for Chris and when I wanted to pay for my food, they said that it had been long since I'd eaten it and that I still had had to wait for Chris's food so I got mine for free as well. Wauw.

On December 11th we had our third and last written exam. It was a bit harder than last time but that was mostly my own fault. With everything that had been going on with Chris and his family, I hadn't had the time nor quiet to practice enough. Karin told us that the translation and conjugation of words was required to pass but that it wasn't enough by itself. One part almost killed me but I did what I had to and passed that one as well. Phew. Now that way out of the way and all I had to worry about was my oral exam some days later.
In the evening we had a Christmas dinner for all the Asian Studies students. We were allowed to bring guests so I brought Chris, who was totally up for the idea of dressing up.
We listened to Christmas music, had some good food, and played 'pakkeleg' (a game in which you take turn to try to get a six with a dice and every time you do, you must steal a gift from one of the others. When time is up you get to keep what's in front of you). There were so many people when we arrived that Chris and I didn't get to sit beside each other. I didn't mind but was a little worried about Chris being all alone among my classmates. He was sitting beside Dan and Martin and they were almost crying from laughter at some point so I doubt that he had any troubles with that. I had fun in the girls' end.

Then we moved, which I wrote a whole post about HERE!
Everything about us moving has been explained there let's elegantly skip to December 16th when we had our last exam. For our exam we had to pick one out of four papers, turn it, and find a known text that we had to read out loud. This is because, apparently, it's happened before that some students have survived first semester without being able to read the Hangeul (한글 = The Korean alphabet). But as something extra from this year and on, we also had to have a short conversation. We went by alphabetical order and I was the very first out of all of us. I made some really stupid mistakes because I was so nervous but when my teachers pointed them out, I knew that I was wrong - and I passed! I think my whole class did. And when we were all done, my teachers called us back in and gave us cake and mandarins. We stayed and chatted for a while. Today was our last day before our Christmas break.

The two women to the left are my teachers Hyeon Ju and Karin.

Here you have some of the 스티브 씨s: Sofie 씨, Melanie 씨, Maria 씨, Tulsheenam 씨, Sophie-Amalie 씨, Johanne 씨, and Clara 씨.
And the yummy (and not as burned as last time) cake that Karin had brought and the mandarin from Hyeon Ju.
When our teachers left, Celine 씨, Sofie 씨, Johanne 씨, Isabella 씨, Mathilde 씨, and I went to Teastyle for bubble tea. I couldn't stay long though because I had to go back to Roskilde and continue moving.

After having moved in, my parents and I drove back to Esbjerg and I got to spend a day skyping with Emilie since we didn't have time to meet either before or after Christmas.
One day after I had been out shopping for the last Christmas presents in horrible weather, I went to trade presents with Maria and we enjoyed a cup or two of hot chocolate.

Then it was Christmas! Every day my grandparents drive up to Århus where my grandma has her radiation and chemo treatments and when they're finally back it's already evening. It's exhausting for both of them so this year my parents decided to celebrate Christmas at home and then invite them over.

During the day I attended the Christmas mass with my grandparents and sister. Not that I wanted to but my grandma wanted me to attend.
When we got back home I had about half an hour to do my make-up and hair before things went down.
My grandparents arrived and my siblings both wanted a picture of them and my grandparents in front of the three so I thought I'd have one as well. Too bad that the three was so small that you could barely see it.

After dinner it was time to dance around the tree. The one they bought this time was a lot smaller than last Christmas - but as big a mystery to my cats as the other tree we had.

They really couldn't handle all these new things under the three and they really freaked out when we started singing and dancing around the three. Or tried to. Because while my sister and I were all hyped, my brother was lazy and just wanted to sit down. Grandpa stopped and stuck his head out of the door facing the garden and began singing. And my dad kept commenting on my mom, who couldn't read and walk at the same time.
After dancing we distributed the presents and took turns opening one each.

The last days of the year were super busy!
On the 25th I hung out with Jasmin. What I love about our friendship is that I can be as ugly and lazy as I want to when I go to visit her, and I can expect the same from her. Jasmin greeted me by the door in her new charming onesie that she got for Christmas. The only reason I had changed out of pyjamas was because my dad and I were going to pick up Chris at the train station in the evening.

The next day it was my grandpa's 76th birthday. My grandparents usually invite all of us over on that day but since they were going back to Århus later in the day, they invited just my family and my two cousins over for  brunch.
In the afternoon we went to Jasmin's place because MaJaLou was going to film our not-at-all-Christmas'y Christmas special and Chris was going to be our guest star. We ended up with two different videos featuring him and he will also be the one editing both of them. At least one of them should come out here in January.
Here's a bunch of selcas taken after filming because we're adorable little fluffs.
In the evening we went to my cousin's place for a cousin party - and Chris and my cousin's boyfriend Martin were there as well.

The day after,The Ladies were having our Christmas dinner at Monika's place starting from 2pm (Chris stayed at home with my family). We had really great lasagna made by Monika and her boyfriend, Christian. We played 'pakkeleg', danced, and fooled around until evening.
Karoline and Monika~ 
And Maria and I 
From 8.30pm was the annual Christmas ball for old students at our old gymnasium. We didn't know that many people there though. There was no one from our class back in first grade and the ones that were there from me and Monika's last class weren't really people that we used to talk to.
Maria and I went to talk to one of her friends really quick and take a picture before the party really started.
We tried dancing (really ugly as always) but got tired early and walked around a little to see if we knew people. This is where we met one of Maria's friends, who invited us to a party on New Years. I'll get back to that later.
About 11pm we decided that we'd had enough and split up. Karoline's dad gave us all a lift back to Monika's apartment so we could pick up some of Maria's things that she left there. Then from there, Maria and I walked back to her new apartment where I was picked up by my dad.
We have this thing about walking in the evenings while singing and listening to k-pop.

On the 28th, Christian went back to his dad's place because he was going to meet up with some friends from osu! for New Year's. My family, grandparents, and I were invited to my dad's cousin's place to have dinner. And also the day after did we eat out - my parents had this gift card for hotels and inns that had to be used before this year .

I spent the 30th looking at plane tickets and hostel because Celine 씨 and I had been talking about going to Seoul during our Christmas break. I asked Celine 씨 if she was still up for it and when she got back home from work, we talked things through and booked our trip. I explained more about it HERE.

On the day of New Year's Eve I went to Maria's and ate with her, her mom, and her sister. For starter we had nachos but I ended up eating so much of it that I could barely eat more when we got to the main dish T__T
When Maria's mom and sister left around 8.30pm to go to Maria's aunt's house, Maria and I turned up the k-pop music. We danced and sang as if there was no tomorrow and came up with some crazy ideas for potential MaJaLou videos as well.

Wuuuuh selca while waiting~

And here Maria is with a hat that her sister had made.

Following tradition we watched the Queen's New Year's speech after dinner and later The 90th Birthday.

As time was nearing midnight, we found our jackets and shoes. When there was one minute left we hopped unto Maria's couch and watched the clock at Rådhuspladsen count down. At the first ring we jumped off the couch and into the new year, cheered over a sip of champagne, took a bite of the kransekage (a cake commonly eaten at New Year's Eve), and ran down to watch the fireworks.
For once I was actually able to record in the dark and catch the fireworks. I love my new camera ☆

That was how 2015 ended for me.
I hope you had fun as well ヾ(๑ ╹ ◡ ╹ ๑)ノ

Let's make great memories in 2016 as well!

January 2, 2016

Update for November

||| Major update incoming! |||

It's been way too long since my last update and a lot of things have happened since then.
Keep in mind that it was posted on November 7th so I'll be going pretty far back.

I met my mentée and had a talk with her mom about when we'd be meeting. We've had a couple of lessons together and I feel like we're connecting well - however, since I moved and now live 'far' away, we might have to split unless her parents are willing to drive her to my school once a week so we can have our lessons there. Everything is still really unsure (especially now that we're on break) so I can't say more than this.

On the day that all my classmates were out, I participated in the anti-terror exercise. We were given fake identities (my name was Paul and I was 70 years old) and told what had happened to us as well as our symptoms. My persona was shot in the abdomen twice and was going to die within 25 minutes no matter how much help I received. It was a long day but also a very interesting experience. I know that the police and other people involved did what they could but many of us ended up 'dying' because some things went wrong. The police thanked us for our help and one of the leaders held a last speech for us before they let us go. He finished with: "Were we good enough? No. Do we have the knowledge and tools needed in case of a terrorist attack? No. But this exercise made us realize what we need to work on so we thank you all for helping us".
Only 4 days later, the attacks in Paris occurred and it suddenly hit me how important exercises like this actually was (I knew it was important but it was emphasized). 

I've met up a few times with the mother of a girl that I had religion class with back in the gymnasium. The mother is attending one of the design schools and was looking for 4 girls who would act as models, wearing her creations when she's going to show it off at her final exam on January 26th. That is also the reason why I won't be staying in Korea for more than 11 days.

On the 12th we had our second exam and it felt so much easier than the first one - maybe because we knew what we would be facing. This time I had my phone in front of me so I could keep a watch on the time and our teacher, Karin, would occasionally say things like: "Wow, there's 20 whole minutes left" and "You still have 7 happy minutes left." I love my teachers. Really.

This time I wasn't as worried about passing or not but of course I was happy when I did.
(These pictures are not to brag but more of a proud memory for me to look back at)
That day when I came home, Christian told me that we had gotten an apartment.

The day after we attended a celebration at the university for the new bachelors from Korean Studies. My teacher, Karin, had arranged it and I'd say it was a great success.

First the bachelors presented their projects and we were shown how that could be done in many different ways. At that point I was way too focused on exams and my essay to even consider thinking about when it'll be our turn to write ours.
 Afterwards we had Korean buffet (and soju (소주)) and oooohmygosh it was so good. I can't wait to go back to Korea and live like that again!

Our film club held our last movie nights and now my and Maria's (my classmate) time is up. It was interesting being a part of it but I'm not sad that we will have to leave the team. We can still attend the movie nights and it will give me a little more time on my hands.

My parents came over on the 20th and stayed the weekend at my aunt an uncle's place. They and my aunt and uncle helped us read through the rental contract and taught us some important things about taxes and other financial things. My aunt knew that if you lived far away from your school (which we would be once we'd moved), you could have your transportation covered by the state and suddenly we had just a tiny bit more money to ourselves.
On Saturday they had announced a snowstorm. When living in Denmark, you know that that's not very likely so when the snow started falling and I was getting all excited, my family was quick to tell me that it probably wouldn't stay.
...but the snow kept falling while the the snowflakes grew bigger and bigger and soon everything had turned white.
In the evening my dad drove us 'home' and while it only took us maybe 5-10 min. extra to get to Værløse from Knardrup, it took my dad and brother 1½ hour to get back (it usually only takes 15 min.) because there was so much snow. Trees had fallen due to the weight of the snow and cars were stuck e.ve.ry.where.
This is what it looked like when we came 'home'.
It kept on snowing all night and the next day we woke up to 40 cm of it.
And you know how the snow builds up on the sides when they push the snow away from the road? I had to almost jump over it to get to my caravan. At some point my entire leg got stuck when I tried to climb over the snow and it reached all the way up to my butt.

The following weekend I went to Sweden (I'll make another post on that) and the night I came back, a storm hit Denmark. Several trains and busses were cancelled due to this and the one I was supposed to take had been rescheduled for later. After 4½-5 hours in a bus I was rather worn out so thankfully Chris met up with me at the train station. The bridge between Denmark and Sweden was closed only half an hour after we had crossed it and on the way over, another Danish girl kept asking her brother if we were going to fall off and drown. Such optimism. But I understand. The bus was wobbling so bad due to the heavy winds.

Then December came around and to avoid this post getting too long, I'm going to split it here.
Stay tuned!