Living in a Shoe box (Korean Apartments)


Korea has a population of around 50 million people and a land mass of around 100,000 square meters. therefore Koreans are the king and queens of stacking stuff. They stack their houses, their dishes, everything. Everywhere in Korea you’ll see tall apartment buildings. Even in smaller cities, 4 story apartment buildings are very common. In addition these apartments are around 25 square meters. Huge upmarket apartments are more in the range of 60-80 square meters. So how do we survive living in an apartment the size of a “shoe box”

Most Koreans don’t spend a lot of time in their apartments. They don’t invite people to their homes either. Korea has an amazing night culture and whenever you walk around you will see families, couples or friends in coffee shops and restaurants. There are always people on the streets during warmer months. Social gatherings happen outside the home, therefore you do not need a huge apartment or house to entertain your friends like you do in western countries.

In conclusion living in a shoe box is not as bad as I thought, at first I thought I might get annoyed with my husband because its just the two of us in this small apartment but I enjoyed the closeness we shared. In the Winter months we stayed in bed together and watched movies until late. When it became warmer, we started playing PC games against each other. When Spring came along we spent increasingly more time outside. Walking around our city and exploring areas we didn’t know. By the time winter came along again it was fun spending time with my husband indoors.


Spring has arrived

As I walked home from work tonight I couldn’t help but stop and admire the Cherry blossoms at night.



End of month dilemma

Its one week before pay day. I don’t want to spend any more money this month, so food wise I have to  make do with what I’ve got.

  • 2 Kg baby potatoes
  • 3 kg chicken breasts and a small packet of salmon.
  • 1 packet of mushrooms
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 packet of penne pasta
  • Baby tomatoes.
  • Wheat flour, chicken stock, eggs and various spices, oils and butter .

Meal 1

Chicken pie (serves 2)20160405_132820

I cooked the 2 chicken breasts and 5 small potatoes. Sautéed the mushrooms and onion in some garlic. Added half a block of chicken stock and mixed it into the mushroom mix

I then Peeled the potatoes, cut up the chicken and potatoes into smaller pieces and added everything together. I added some thyme and black pepper

I then made the crust with flour, butter, salt, eggs and water. I poured it on top of the Chicken mixture and baked it in the oven until the crust was golden brown.

Meal 2

I was a little lazy, I was planning on making potato quiche but I ate the eggs for breakfast

I made baked potato, fried mushrooms (sautéed with garlic) and salmon.

Meal 3

Pasta (serves 2)20160407_124925

I made half a packet of pasta the usual way but added some chicken stock to the water. I then fried half an onion and the yellow pepper. I made a white sauce and added everything together. I then topped it off with some fresh tomatoes because it looked kind of dull.




Geeky Fridays

I am a real geek at heart. I love reading books, playing computer games, reading comics and watching movies. In winter months in Korea the only thing you can do is stay indoors. Therefore I have rekindled my love for computer games.

SO… this is what I’ve been spending my free time on. This Video contains 2 minutes of game play.

The game is very realistic. If you get shot once in the head, you die. If you get 2 body shots, depending on the amount of armour you have, you die. There is no health-bars for any player so you cant see whether you’ve hit someone or not. If you see them going down, they might have decided to lie down or they might have died. You just have to take your chances.

Furthermore it is slow paced as you have to play strategically. Running in shooting and screaming will only get you killed.If you were a fan of Counter Strike, you will love Insurgency. But beware, it is slightly different

  1. You cannot upgrade your guns. Everyone starts out with the same stock guns.
  2. You don’t always know if you’ve killed the other player. They don’t have health bars
  3. You don’t know how much health you have. You too, don’t have a health bar.
  4. The game is objective based. You have to get capture or defend the objective.
  5. You can choose to play “modern warfare” (Insurgent forces vs Terrorists) or “Day if Infamy”, where you can be either a Nazi soldier or American soldier.
  6. You can play PVP or against the bots. Either way you play with on-line players on your team.

You can buy it on Steam for around $16.

5 Rules for Hiking in Korea.

We recently went for a hike up one of our mountains and this is what I’ve learned from the experience.

  1. Do NOT, I repeat Do NOT follow the elderly up the mountain. They are much fitter than you can ever imagine.Don’t think just because they are old that they will take the easiest route, they won’t. They take the longest and most demanding route up the mountain.20160402_121417(0)
  2. Follow the families with the kids. They take the easiest route and come back down.20160402_131202
  3. Do not follow the road less travelled by. It is less travelled for a reason. The reason being that you WILL get lost and end up hiking for 2 hours instead of you intended 1.20160402_122012 - Copy (3)
  4. Don’t follow the easiest route. Do not think that if a path looks easy that it is. A path may look like its going down hill but more often than not it will go back uphill20160402_131115
  5. Don’t be afraid to turn back. When you get lost, don’t be scared to turn back, even if the hill is really steep. If you get lost try to get back up the mountain. Most of Korea’s hiking trails are more like a big hill than a mountain. You’ll get out of there eventually.20160402_122503 - Copy (3)

Now that you know the rules. Let me tell you about our mountain in Seosan. Once you get to the top there is a picnic area where you can sit and relax with your hiking buddies you can also go up the watch tower and have a view of the whole of Seosan. There is also an old Korean style building and statues that you can look at while you hike. 100_3814 - Copy (1)Once you go down the mountain there is a coffee shop and a Pizzeria where you can end you expedition.