Friday, April 19, 2013


     Itaewon has always been a food hub bursting with ethnic eats, cafes, drinking holes, and NEW restaurants.
     The other night I met up with my favorite, Pol for a catch-up date! We stumbled upon a restaurant that JUST opened called "Hummus." My eyes lingered, my heart jumped, and my attention was grabbed.
     How could I avoid anything that has any relation with hummus?  
photo taken by VeganBeats
      The place was very roomy, lots of seats, and their menus were on clipboards. Pol and I glanced over the menu and decided to get a hummus plate. We expected to get an actual plate...what we got was a small cut of hummus, a palm sized piece of pita bread, and three thin celery sticks, three thin carrot sticks, and three small green beans. What gives? Top it off, this "plate" was pricey, too pricey. The menu had hummus everything but is all was very expensive, a salad cost 23,000 원!!!
    The hummus itself though was alright, it was beany and not doused in olive oil (thankfully) but it wasn't great. It needed more spices, garlic, and all around flavor.  
photo taken by VeganBeats
      Considering this is hummus, that's great...I'm glad to see this glorious dip getting attention. But this place is far too expensive and the portions are meager. I don't think I will visit this place or eat here again, unless I have a gift-card or a freebie. I would love for hummus to be shared with everyone who's never eaten it, but in terms of Hummus the restaurant, I can't imagine being content when you get a small portion in exchange for more than 10,000원.
    We were disappointed and decided not to eat there for dinner. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this place unless you want to spend a lot of money and remain hungry. Make your own or buy hummus~

Itaewon station (line 6), walk straight out of exit three for about seven minutes or so,
Hummus is located beneath Thai Orchid.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Speachless (Boston)

     There's been a lot of focus and attention directed at the safety and potential danger "living" and thriving in Korea. I know there's been a lot of news circulating the risks of an attack by North Korea and in result of that, I've been getting more than a fair share of concerned e-mails, messages, phone calls, etc. All of the senders and callers being from outside of Korea. People here, in Seoul have paid very little to no attention to the threats expressed. Everyone continued on with their daily lives; went to work, drank with friends, went to school...I got nervous. But purely from the concerns of international loved ones. The frantic emails I received fed a very anxious and obsessed part of me, my nails have suffered. I started to draw up plans of escape, chattering away like a drugged-up chipmunk, poking at my partner's nerves, tearing up at the very idea of losing friends, loved ones, my life. I was unwillingly consuming the fear that was being given to me. I was having a hard time looking away from it; it was if I was immobile and stuck in a looping video.
    Given panicking and actually conceiving the idea of losing so much and so many here, I've neglected a lot. This blog, art, peace, calm...I don't think my loved ones realized or recognize that their concern provided a generally greater danger to my many ways. I am here, I am in this life here, Koreans are around me, I  am contacting the embassies often, my friends are in the army here...surely if an attack or threat was pending, there's be some noise. Reason wasn't being made...and the high-pitched squeals of concern got me annoyingly panicky. I was, in my opinion, being force-fed US news, and international story coverage. The fear inspired by ignorance (and maybe boredom) struck great distress in those not here, not close to N.Korea, not physically aware and invested in what is actually occurring in the lives here. Granted, this can all be quickly dubbed as ignorance on my part...I'm not omniscient, but I am able to step back and now, now observe issues that are pressing with the population here.
    I'm present again, grounded, grateful, and significantly less distraught...I'm painting, drawing, and designing; substituting living with fear with general presence. 

    I wrote this all a day or two ago, feeling better gathered and collected, relaxed. That is until earlier yesterday morning I discovered that my city, Boston is now in healing and pain. The Boston Marathon is something we're so proud of, so excited for, so grateful for. It's a celebration and adventure that lives on many "life lists." I know that I myself would someday love to take part in the marathon. People from all over the world collect together in Beantown to test their bodies, achieve their goals and dreams, raise awareness, prove themselves, live their spirit, be present, test, love, and live.
    I didn't discover what had happened until I "liked" my friends status about how his heart was with Boston. I liked it due to Boston pride, a genuine love for my city. Seconds later, I saw so many more "Boston love" statuses being shared..."what's going on?" I googled Boston and the pages and pictures of crying faces, blood covered streets, twisted pained faced, lost limbs flooded my eyes and saturated my brain.
     My heart stopped, my chest heavy, my eyes pressured. My city? This marathon? This event? Boston...this city that holds onto so many memories and adventures, so many memories, try outs, jobs; the place where Jaxs, Vicki and I went when we ditched the High school homecoming, where I met with Ian to check out photography, where I saw so many shows, where I drove through every time I went to Vermont, where I went to a parade to every year with my city.
    Then I saw the loads of support, the love, the Bostonians rushing into the shrapnel, smoke, and blood to help those in agony, in shock. I saw people being wheeled out, rushed to hospitals, people running to donate blood, posts of homes being opened up to strangers...Support.
    I then saw angered people on facebook posting completely insensitive and inappropriate statuses where blame and hatred was spewed. Pointing their fingers at Muslims, Jordanians, Saudi's, North Koreans, etc. I grew further saddened and disappointed. That is not what Boston is about, what we are...that abhor is not what America needs to be and should be. The quick backlash and hatred directed at those that are unknown, different, foreign ..the reality is that the awful monsters that committed such violence and hatred and disruption of joy and peace could be American, could be the "American norm." The hatred and negativity is apparent, and their is anger, but now...most importantly is there must be love and support. For those affected, those that lost their lives, those that had lives lost, those that are troubled, scared, damaged, in critical condition, for Boston and for the people that took part in this marathon.
    I do believe that those responsible will be found and held accountable. I believe Boston will continue to be the city I am so in love with and proud of. I believe that people will come together and do what's right and just. I have a lot of hope and love for what happened, and a lot of sadness. The barbaric and horrific actions taken by so many, the bombers, the accusers, the bias, racist, sexist, and hateful~ you are out numbered by the good, the loving, the caring, compassionate, and the positive.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Master Cleanse Experience

     I broke my ten day cleanse...I'm feeling honestly rather shit about it too. I did eight full days and just started onto nine until my body literally couldn't do it. I was weak, tired, and nutritionally very off. But, I did greatly enjoy this cleanse, I felt cleaner, lighter, brighter, more aware, clear-minded, and throughout the experience~ I really dug deeper in myself and did a lot of self-reflection.'s the "wrap up."

Day one:
    This first day wasn't hard, I was amped, eager, and the day passed by without any issues. I began the morning with laxative tea and psyllum husks (the salt water flush scared me a bit...a slight sodium fear I've got here). Just a heads up, I had no cayenne so I used gochu pepper powder AND agave. I did scroll far too many blogs boasting of beautiful foods and dreaming up what I wanted to whip up as soon as I succeeded in this mission. I found myself talking far too much about food and definitely annoying my partner. Oops~ To deal and silence the food talk, I made a Korean meal for him and that got loads of my parts smiling. I swear, I genuinely enjoy cooking, making, and providing healthy tasty food much more than ingesting it. I drank my lemon drink and he ate soup...great day! At night, I made myself fresh ginger tea with the lemon rinds and then some laxative tea!

Day two:
     The  morning began with bowel movement and laxative tea. I honestly and maybe embarrassingly will admit that while using the bathroom, I was knocking back my tea. Anyways, this day was the beginning of a new job so I had to plan ahead and make a massive bottle of the lemonade and truck it around. I was a bit concerned about whether or not I would have enough and if I was messing things up due to the lemons not staying fresh.
     I found myself more aware of my surroundings and feeling SO good walking in the sun. I kept closing my eyes and smiling as I bounced to the train appreciation!!! When I got to work, I met a classroom full of punks. I got into teacher mode and then snack time happened....vegan tteokbokki. I had to spoon it out and I had no desire to slip a bit of the sauce into my mouth. I listened to the kids squishing their rice cakes and I drank lemonade.
     After work, I walked to my next job...still bouncing in the sun. I took a super long walk and felt the wind dance through my hair and the sunlight restore my Vitamin D battery. I got to my tutoring gig early and made myself some warm lemon tea and read a book. I was full FULL of energy and eager to share class time. I had more than enough lemonade left and finished it just as I walked back into my apartment. Made another lemonade, laxative tea, and ginger tea and drank everything. And then whined about food to my partner...such a doll I yam....

Day three:
     I had work training today...I got my bathroom time in, made me lemonade for the day and took an hour long walk just to get more sunlight in! I felt really good. Lighter, clearer, achey though. My joints were not feeling very strong but the walking was helping! I got to training and wrapped it up in a fix then walked to Haebongchon...for some reason that I can't quite recall. It was a nice forty minute slow walk and I just was enamored by everything around me. My legs felt so good stretching out and my hair felt alive...just dancing around freely. Ah,...I met up with a buddy to catch up and art-explore! I ran out of my lemonade and had to make one with organic honey (shock!!!) It was delicous and I was SO full. I eventually wandered to the Foreign Food Market and got a massive jug of agave and real cayenne pepper and wandered back home...where again I made ginger tea and laxative tea...snooze.

Day four:
    I started the morning with a bowel movement and knocked back another lax tea right after along with the drink. I was struggling with getting the required eight glasses of this in me, and with water and teas. My tummy was stressing with all of this liquid. I felt really energetic, brighter, happier! I had really achy joints and some pain in my stomach, along with bloating. I could feel my shoulders loosen up and as if some weight was off of me (mentally that is.) I spent the day outside, smiling at the sun, and drawing a lot while inside. I am clearer, more focused...comfortable.

Day five:
   Today was my first day of work and I trucked a giant two liter bottle full of lemonade to school. I felt engaged with the students, more present, and again; clearer. I wasn't hungry or craving food but I was wanting to lay out in the sun in the grass. After work I was planning on walking to Haebongchon (Abby's last girl's night) but decided to try out the bus system. I ended up taking the bus on the wrong side of the road and took a much longer route. Instead of being short or impatient, I was clam...pleasant. Breathing. I eventually got to my destination and found myself so weak and very out of it. I was having a very hard time focusing and staying awake and engaged. I was weak. I drank all my lemonade and made some laxative tea and was fine. I chugged along with my ladies until the end of the night and grabbed a cab home. As weak and tired as I was, my body was able to persevere! I got home, crashed into bed and fell very quickly asleep. Tomorrow was going to be a more demanding night!

Day six: 
    This was a no work, carefree, snuggling, relaxing day. I slept in and enjoyed the peace of my warm bed. I had a bowel movement and was just not hungry enough to want more lemonade. I put it off for a few hours debating whether or not to consume it or not. I knew I needed energy and need to take in something with caloric content, but I just wasn't feeling it. I was also getting a bit dark about myself, the self-hate I possess is a big reason why I wanted to start this cleanse. I wanted (and still) so badly to love myself, respect me, who I am, what I physically am...I want to stop hating myself. I was feeling bloated, large, thick...just very unhappy. I didn't want to eat anything. But...this was Abby's last night in town and the ladies were gathering. I needed to have fuel...I could not crash on this. I was definitely weak, achy, pained, but I honored my goals and kicked it to the girls and had a great night. I kept myself awake with hot teas, laughter, tears, and genuine happiness that I was surrounded by the ladies I adore so much, my sisters. As weak and tired as I was, and felt...I kept out until the early hours and then blundered into a cab back home. I entered an empty house, a tired soul, and the heat of my bed embracing me.

Day seven:
    Another good-bye party was to occur but I was mentally stressed. My partner and I have been arguing and I've been so under-nourished. This played even more into not wanting to ingest anything. I only managed to have a glass of lemonade and instantly felt horrible about myself. I tried on nearly twenty different options for clothes, falling into a fit of tears each time. I was so achy, crampy, and mentally exhausted. I spent most of the day in the house crying...then I gathered myself and joined my friends. Slapped on a smile, some of it genuine because I do love these people. But parts of me craved sleep and complete disappearance. We started off in Gangnam, I drank caffeine-free teas, then we rolled to Sincheon. I was completely out of it, my legs were shaking, my eyes were so heavy, and brimming with tears. I felt like shit, and being better focused-I was in it. I grabbed a cab home, crying every so often, then when I did get home, my credit card couldn't work. The taxi driver was yelling at me in broken English and I felt a surge of weight and pressure. My heart was thumping so loudly and I just wanted to scream. I was experiencing so many different things, so many emotions and...just hatred, self-pity, self-disgust. I gave him US dollars and walked up the five flights of stairs home, opened the apartment door and blacked out. I got up off the floor, dizzy and unsure of what just happened, picked myself up and removed my shoes, bag, changed my clothes, and walked towards the bed where again I found myself on the floor, inches from the bed. I pulled out a liter of lemonade, drank it, grabbed four almonds and threw them into my throat. Then I threw up and pulled myself into bed. Exhausted.

Day eight:
    I kept this day silent and emotionally distressed. I spent most of the entire day inside looking out my big window just thinking and reflecting and self-hating. It wasn't the highest of days for sure. When the sun started to set I went for a long walk. I just blanked out and stepped forward. I can't really trace where I wandered, I know it was for two hours and most of the thoughts going on in my mind were
     "Why am I here? Why isn't this cleanse working? Why do I still hate myself? I hate my _____. I want to just stop everything." A LOT of darkness, sadness, emptiness. I drank one lemonade, two laxative teas, water...and cried or sweated most of it out. When I got home...the house was still empty. I could hear the pang in my stomach screaming with my sensible "healthy" part to get some nutrition. Get some sustenance and then my mood, my place will improve. I didn't listen to it, and wobbled around, drinking hot teas and more lemonade...and staying in this space.
     My partner got home, argument settled and fixed...I wanted...needed food. I could hear everything in me saying I needed it. The emotional, mental, and physical demands had done their part...I needed something. My partner was supportive, I needed to listen to this body of mine.

Day nine:
    It officially was day nine, my body was needing partner and I went to the only place open, a CU. I bought an apple, a mushy apple and it didn't matter. As soon as I bit into it, a peace vibrated through my entire being. My bones and muscles screamed and cheered. I closed my eyes, savored the textures and juices...I just kissed day nine.

     This cleanse...regardless of the ending and negative stuff, was wonderful. (What's really left when you take out the negative right?) I didn't do the cleanse right, I didn't get the minimal amount into my system and I was a bit active throughout the entire process. I wish I had wrapped up day ten but...I will and aim to do this cleanse again. And correctly.

     A few days after, I signed up for a gym and finally got to weigh myself and stretch these hungry muscles of mine.