Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Important Telephone Numbers in Korea You Must Know!

How to use-
- Regular or public phone: Dial the phone number without any prefix
- Mobile: Dial 02 then the phone number

Crime Report: 112
Fire Report (Rescue): 119
Spy Report (Domestic): 113
Spy Report (International): 111
Cyber Terrorism: 118
Smuggling Report: 125
Drug Trafficking Report: 127

Information Service Telephone Numbers
[1330- Travel Phone Emergency Interpretation Service]
To assist foreign expatriates and tourists in Korea during an emergency situation, the Korean Tourism Organization has teamed up with the 119 emergency call center to run the "1330 Travel Phone Emergency Interpretation Service." This service is available 24/7 in English, Japanese, and Chinese. Calls take place in the form of a 3-way phone conference between the caller, the 1330 Travel Phone, and the 119 emergency call center. With this service, tourists and foreigner residents in Korea can request help during emergency situations, without worrying about the language barrier, for faster response times from appropriate emergence support agencies.

[1345 Immigration Contact Center]
Dial 1345 for more information regarding the immigration process
  • The Immigration Contact Center is a multilingual information center that offers civil affairs consultation and information guidance via phone and the Internet for foreigners living in Korea under the Law on Treatment of Foreigners in Korea.
  • The Immigration Contact Center consists of Hi Korea (a portal site for helping foreigners with online information in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese), electronic civil affairs service, and 1345 telephone counseling service in 18 languages.

Multilingual information for foreigners living in Korea and civil affairs consultation for Korea Immigration Service are listed below:
  • Visa related services, such as studying in Korea, employment, foreigner invitation
  • Immigration services, such as re-entry permission
  • Issuance of identification card related services, such as foreigner registration, overseas Koreans' report of domestic residence
  • Sojourn permission services, such as extension of sojourn period, status change
  • Nationality related services, such as naturalization test, acquisition of nationality, invalidation of nationality,
  • Acknowledgment of refugee and refugee support related services
  • Foreigner related crime reports, such as smuggling, illegal employment, visa overstaying
  • Immigrant's social integration related services, such as education, marriage immigrants' society
  • Introduction to foreign support systems for marriage immigrants and labor and related organizations
  • Introduction to usage of Hi Korea web site for those who want electronic civil affairs and scheduling appointments

User information
  • Available time: 09:00~18:00 on weekdays; not available on weekends/holidays
  • Dial 1345 anywhere, regardless of local or cellular phone.
    * Dial 82-1345 to access from overseas
  • ARS Information Service
    Press 1- find location of immigration office, jurisdiction, and service hours
    Press 2- inquiring about the result of a pending visa application
    Press 0- connect directly to a counselor

[102+9 -One-call service for inquiries on life and tourism in Seoul]
The 120 Dasan Call Center provides foreigners in Seoul with a variety of information services about life, transportation, and tourism services.

120 foreign language service
  • Dial (02) 120, press 9, then select 1 for English, 2 for Chinese, 3 for Japanese, 4 for Vietnamese, or 5 for Mongolian
  • Call Center Hours: 9:00~22:00, all year round
  • Service areas: interpretation, information about everyday life in Seoul, public transportation, reservations (hotels, concerts, movies, taxi)

Help is just a phone call away when you
  • need an interpreter in a taxi
  • need information about restaurants in specific areas in Seoul
  • want information regarding various bus routes
  • want to convert a foreign driver license into a Korean license
  • want to know when the last subway leaves
  • need to report lost items left on public transportation
  • need an interpreter when shopping
  • want to file a complaint about something
  • need an interpreter at your hotel
  • want to order a pizza over the phone

[1339 Seoul Emergency Medical Information Center]
Seoul Emergency Medical Information Center provides Seoul and Jeju with first-aid, disease, and hospital information 24/7. The Center has greatly expanded the range of service foreigners since 2008.

Specialized towards foreign languages, English, Japanese, and Chinese speaking medical staff members provide medical counseling and offer information on clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and emergency rooms available for foreigners, including free clinics for foreign workers. EMIC staff members are responsible for the establishment and updating of a central database for these services.

Seoul Emergency Medical Information Center strives to serve all residents or tourists who are in life-threatening situations with specialized and high-qualified medical services, regardless of nationality, age, gender, or financial situation.

Usage: dial 1339 (no fees are charged, beyond the cost of the phone call)

Foreign and domestic airline reservation numbers and Web sites

Embassies & Consulates
Foreign Embassies & Consulates in Korea- includes phone numbers and addresses

Expatriate Organizations
Foreigner's Community Service (FOCUS)- (02) 798-7529, 797-8212

Government Offices
Immigration Offices
Cheju- (064) 22-3494
Incheon- (032) 882-0544
Gimhae Airport- (051) 972-1610~3
Gimpo Airport- (02) 664-7614
Seoul- (02) 650-6239
Pusan- (051) 463-7161~5

Social/Cultural Groups
Hendrik Hamel (Netherlands Club Korea)- (02) 333-9303
Interculture Korea- (02) 511-0440
International Cultural Exchange Association- (02) 201-2361
Royal Asiatic Society- (02) 763-9483
Assn. for Foreign Workers human Rights- (051) 802-3438
Korea-Australia Cultural Exchange Assn.- (051) 627-8866
KOTESOL- (019) 551-1246
Pusan Hash House Harriers- (051) 742-9600
Pusan International Woman's Assn.- (051) 747-3594

Tour & Travel
Bus information (Seoul)- (02) 418-5000
Kimpo Airport flight information- (02) 660-2456
Tourist Complaint Center- (02) 735-0101
Tourist Information Centers:
- Jeju Island: (064) 38-0326
- Gyeongju: (0561) 772-9289
- Busan: (051) 973-1100
- Seoul: (02) 757-0086
- Daegu: (053) 429-3134
- USO- (02) 7914-7003 (Seoul), (051) 801-3000 (Busan)

Youth Hostels
Korea Youth Hostel Association- (02) 725-3031
Youth Hostels in Korea

Local telephone number service: 114
Telephone number service in a different area: (area code) + 114
Weather Report: 131
Standard Time information: 116
National Traffic Information: 1333
Domestic Telegram: 115
International Telegram: 00795
Legal Aid Consultation: 132
Collect Call: 101


Monday, July 29, 2013

Gamcheon Village

We also visited Gamcheon Village which used to be a slum but then it was revamped to an art village.The first-time visitor quickly notices the pretty pastel houses and curious sculptures placed at intervals throughout the town -- but the quaint facades and works of modern art signal merely the tip of the fascinating story behind a little known hillside labyrinth in Busan known as Gamcheon village.

Unlike other area villages that sprang up in ad hoc fashion, Gamcheon's multi-tiered communal layout was meticulously planned."By building the houses in tiers so that no house blocks any house behind it, the architectural layout of the village adheres to the Taegeukdo teaching of allowing others to prosper," says Kim Kye-young, a local representative of the Taegeukdo religion.
Gamcheon's art-themed makeover began in 2009, when it hosted a public art project and invited art students and artists to "decorate" the village.While the villagers had for decades painted their own homes in pastel hues, artists added dozens of colorful touches throughout town, attaching nicknames such as "Korea's Machu Picchu" (bizarre choice) and "Korea's Santorini" (closer).
While the view is best from a high vantage point called "Sky Garden," where the village information center is located (only Korean brochures and guides are available), the real delight lies in getting lost in the village's maze of alleyways.Each alley leads to a different surprise, from bird sculptures on roofs to Murakami-like playful installations in abandoned houses.
The quirkiest surprise is "The Little Prince," from the French novel of the same name, sitting atop a fence, staring forlornly out at the Busan Harbor alongside his fox.
Read more HERE


Cafe by Olly Denton
Cafe, a photo by Olly Denton on Flickr.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Japanese Commuters Free Woman Trapped in Train

Dozens of Japanese commuters worked together to help a woman who fell between the platform and the train during rush hour in Tokyo.

The unidentified woman, in her 30s, slipped into the gap at Minami-Urawa station, north of Tokyo, on Monday morning, as she got off the train.

Station officials asked commuters to help tilt the carriage so that the trapped woman could be freed.

The woman was pulled from the gap and had no major injuries.

A photographer from Japan's Yomiuri newspaper captured the image of the passengers in action, who applauded when the woman was freed.

The train carriage was able to tilt because of its suspension system, the paper reported.

The train was sent on its way after a delay of just eight minutes, the paper said.

Gyeonggido DMZ World Peace Concert' (August 3rd.)

The 'Gyeonggido DMZ World Peace Concert' will be held at Nuri Peace Park on August 3 at 6:30 PM KST. Entrance is FREE. You just have to be there.

Girl's Day. K-Hunter, Beat, LUV etc. will also perform. Director  of the program is Kim Jang Hoon.

A North Korean pianist will perform at the concert too. His face will not be shown.

How to Get There, CLLICK HERE!

You Tube, HERE

Pakistan's New Cartoon: Burka Avenger


The adventures of the Burka Avenger and three young kids is set in the imaginary city of Halwapur.
The adventures of the Burka Avenger and three young kids is set in the imaginary city of Halwapur.

"Don't mess with the lady in black"- says the tagline for the newest superhero series. Armed with pens and books, Burka Avenger is a Pakistani crime fighter who has just joined Wonder Woman and Catwoman in the female superhero league.

The series which is slated to be broadcast in Urdu is conceived by Pakistani pop star Haroon. Seemingly the cartoon show is being used to emphasize the importance of educating girls in a context where there’s been a lot of backlash.
Associated Press describes the unique cartoon superhero as "a mild-mannered teacher with secret martial arts skills who uses a flowing black burka to hide her identity." So who are her enemies? Bad guys out to shut down the girls’ school where she works, a familiar battle for some Pakistanis. Jiya who disguises as Burka Avenger is the master of Takht Kabaddi uses books and pens in conjunction with a variety of karate moves.
In the series premiere, a corrupt politician enlists an evil magician named Baba Bandook, whose views are very much like those of the Taliban, to close a girls’ school so that he can keep the money a charity pays to run it. “What business do women have with education?” Bandook says. “They should stay at home, washing, scrubbing and cleaning, toiling in the kitchen.” A child steps forward and declares: “The girls of today are the mothers of tomorrow. If the mothers are not educated, then future generations will also remain illiterate.” That’s when the Burka Avenger sweeps in to fight off the bad guys.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Boryeong Mud Festival (July 19-28, 2013)

The 16th annual Boryeong Mud Festival, which kicked off this past weekend and will run until July 28, hopes to beat its record of 3 million participants last year.
Organizers say this year's mud bath is expected to attract 300,000 foreign tourists, up 22,000 from last year. Korean media have reported that trains to Boryeong are already packed with dirt-ready foreigners.
Call it the world's biggest mud fight or its largest group cosmetic treatment -- either way, millions of visitors are making their way to Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province this week for South Korea's most popular festival.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Words of the Day (Korean Vocabulary)

차별 대우
                discriminative treatment, inequality of treatment, treat with discrimination

White (Peopel)

백인, 화이트,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bus Stop near Namsan Library!

Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장)

I took a wrong bus from Gangnam Station and instead of Boetigogae, I ended up in Namdaemun!

It's the hub of inexpensive clothing, housewares, fabrics, jewelry, accessories, toys, food, flowers, stationery and appliances. At any time of the day, it is very crowded and most of it's visitors are tourists. Usually, things are sold in bulk. I saw a very nice hairband and the shop keeper asked me how many? Do you need hundred or two hundred? I said: one - and then they will hush you away!

In the picture above, it is the door, accessory mall, near gate no: 8 . There are several malls full of all types of broaches and other kinds of stuff....women were making them on site.

This woman was making bracelets...

Hair clips used in hair buns - they are gorgeous!

These bags were being sold for 5USD only!

Tourists information staff was dozing off............I wanted to ask her about the bus stop but then, I left seeing this!

Lunch time in Namdaemun - all shopkeepers were busy eating!

Children's goods are plenty - one such store!

This is halal - since the filling was glass-noodles and mix vegetables!

Very tasty!

It is hard to not shop there!
A good place to visit if you are in Seoul!

For some more pictures , click this blog , they have done a great job!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Flower into this huge water melon - in our neighborhood!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rains, Clouds and Molds at Home

It is lush green here in Korea however, it is not as pleasant as in the photos when one has to deal with the weather.

It rains 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Rain boots, rubber slippers/shoes, rain coats as well as umbrellas have taken over. If you do NOT have an air conditioned house then get ready for the molds in pretty much everything. Try to open a box or a cabinet and surprise...mold!

All my leather good have molds  - from wallets to shoes and bags. In the past 10 days not a single day have we had a break from rain but finally yesterday, we had a partly cloudy day and sun came out for a little over an hour and I spent the entire day doing laundry.....

What would you do, if your belongings and rooms have issues of mold??
I'd suggest dehumidifier, aircon or else simply leave doors and windows open for ventilation.
Check your stuff up before it's too late. Wash and properly dry your clothes before putting them in the closet. This is my first experience. As I'm writing this, it's raining!
You can also buy charcoal and put it in your rooms since it absorbs moisture.
This year we had horrible summer - dozakh (hell) and now a nonstop rainy season.

I feel like I'm a fish!!!

Aik Alif, Noori & Saieen Zahoor, Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 2

Chal Diyay, Zeb & Haniya and Javed Bashir, Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 2

Korea Tops in Educations Among OECD Countries


Korea has the highest percentage of young people with high school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to a survey published last month.

Ninety-eight percent of Koreans aged 25-34 graduated from high school as of 2011 while 64 percent graduated from college or graduate school.The figures were the highest among the world’s 42 leading economies.

It was the fifth straight year South Korea topped the list in terms of high school education and the fourth consecutive year it ranked No. 1 in college education.

But the achievement comes with some costs.

Annual tuitions at Korean universities in 2011 averaged $5,395, the fourth highest among 25 countries, following Ireland at $6,450, Chile’s $5,885 and the United States’ $5,402.

The survey found that tuitions at private universities were the fourth-highest, trailing behind the U.S., Slovenia and Australia.

Under Korea’s fiercely competitive education system, Koreans have become used to paying for supplementary education from private cram schools, or hagwon.

The survey showed that Korea spent 7.6 percent of its gross domestic product on education as of 2010, the third-highest following Denmark at 8 percent and Iceland at 7.7 percent. But it was top of the list in terms of private spending on public education (as opposed to government spending), which accounted for 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product, three times higher than the OECD average of 0.9 percent. 2010 marked the 13th consecutive year that Korea topped that list.

There has been growing public concern over high college tuitions, prompting the government to spend more on scholarships and restrict yearly increases in tuition rate to 4.7 percent, down from a previous restriction of 5 percent in 2012.