1 - i started june in Oslo, writing a letter about Korea to a friend in Sweden. oh, so international ;)
2 - soccer championship summers are my favorites and i love how we Dutchies are extremely into this orange madness
3 - i took a first train to Brussels to defend my thesis and later that day i took a plane and left Belgium as well
4 - because this is my home for the summer! a pretty cute room in a mint-colored house in Oslo. after four years not living in Norway i am super happy to be back, although it's hard sometimes too. but i think things will work out (and if they don't, i tried).
Breda / Oslo. last monday was a day like this one, when i moved to France for a bit. i woke up in the Netherlands, close to the city of Breda (where i discovered this cute place where they serve drinks on Hay trays and you get cherries instead of cookies), took one of the first trains to Brussels and defended my master thesis. i drank beer to celebrate and ate Exki on the airport before flying to Oslo and moving into a room that isn't mine but will be mine for a bit now. the house is green, the windows are huge and the tree right next to my window is one of the prettiest i've seen.
life is a bit scary at the moment though, not knowing what i will do and for how long i will stay (and if i even passed my thesis or have to rewrite it later this summer?!?!?!!!). but the streets are pretty and the people nice and there's Asian elder couples dancing in front of the palace and balconies dressed up in orange, so i can't complain. i don't think i can complain at all.
my 5 weeks of traveling finally turned into a little 5 moving minutes of barbecue, cherry blossom, cute kids, bingsu and obviously this kpop-song that suddenly was stuck in my head without being aware of the fact i heard it before (and definitely without understanding it) is the soundtrack. i hope you like it. i hope i can go back soon.
... or well, not really. yesterday, my parents and i spent the day at a safari park called Beekse Bergen, which was the only sort of amusement park in the Netherlands i hadn't been to as a child. now that my mom won tickets, we simply had to and it was so lovely! the animals can walk around freely (for as much as that's possible in a park), you can choose whether you'd like to go on a walking, car, bus or boat safari (or all of them!) and there are so many great details it made my heart beat a bit faster. i mean, passports for the animals? ("he's a cuddler and really too sweet") animal print busses? Afrikaans? ❤
Seoul. i ended my five weeks of traveling in the city where it all started, where i made the best of memories and (blah blah blah) left a piece of my heart. it were the best of days, staying at the loveliest guesthouse (where i stayed two weeks in total!), slowly exploring the biggest city i've been to so far and leaving it with a feeling of actually knowing this place a bit now. i hope i will be able to go back one day and if you ever go there, make sure to:
- visit both traditional (Bukchon, Samcheondong) and modern (Hongdae, Gangnam) places
- spend enough time in Hongdae, exploring the cute cafés and shops, listening to the street musicians and eating street foods
- sing noraebang (karaoke) in a room filled with disco lights and musical instruments
- walk along the pretty Cheonggyeocheon stream
- visit the LEEUM Samsung Museum of Art (and spend most of your time at the Modern Korean Art area ❤)
- visit in april, to catch both the cherry blossom season and the super pretty paper decorations for Buddha's birthday
- try as much as funny coffee houses as you can, like the sheep café, Banana Tree and many more.
oh, Seoul - i miss you so much right now.
- visiting the little island of Cheung Chau, which is so colorful and cute and only a 30-minute boat ride from Central. visiting an island is a must do, because did you know less than 25 % actually is that skyscraper-Hong Kong we know from the pictures? the rest of it is forest, sea and island! (also: when at Victoria Peak, don't forget to take a look the other way as well)
- eating egg waffle
- taking a double-decker tram (and sitting on the upper level, duh)
- staying at the most impressive hostel, Mei Ho House. they have the best breakfast and an own post office (!) and stamp (!)
- enjoying the big buildings and the skyline, over and over again.
so i left Korea for a couple of days.
Hong Kong, one of these places i didn't really think i'd ever visit. Wie is de Mol? did get me more excited about my visit though and i like to have been there now, but Hong Kong and i didn't become best friends. it's the complete opposite of Seoul in many ways: the buildings are higher, the streets are less clean, there seem to be tourist traps on every corner and the people don't smile that much, but speak way better English. and there's street signs! it definitely is an exciting place, but not my city.