Summer Is Turning To Fall

And that means new post about my studies! Like I mentioned before, I studied Korean language for my whole summer vacation. I took level 2 in Korea University's language center. I think that compared to level 1 this was much more difficult, but it might be because previously I've always been kind of studying same stuff over and over again, and now I finally learned new grammar and vocabulary everyday after a long time. I had new teachers this time and they were very lovely, like all of the language center's teachers seem to be. I can't praise their teachers enough. I don't know how they have been able to find all these amazing people to work for them. In level 2 teachers use a bit more advanced Korean while they teach, so I needed to try to focus very carefully to listen what they spoke. Compared to level 1 my classmates were much more motivated. Not that many late comers, not that many people skipping classes all the time, and not that many students trying to sleep or use their phones, so that was a very positive surprise for me. Only complain I have is that in level 2 teachers didn't really focus on our pronunciation. In level 1 it was one of the main focus, but now we got personal feedback of our pronunciation basically only if we asked. I felt that I wasn't doing very well this semester and stressed a lot that what if I can't pass the level, but thankfully I did okay in my exams. I got pretty good results of all my other exams, but the results of my speaking/conversation exams were lower than what I got from other areas. I was really surprised that I did actually better in my listening exams now than in level 1 getting full points of both of my exams! Level 2 was similar with level 1 in that sense that they are conversation based classes and require students to participate a lot. So if you want to practice especially your conversational skills, I highly recommend trying studies in Korea University. You can read about my experience of level 1 in here. As much as I love Korea University and all my amazing teachers, I think this was my last time studying there. I need to achieve TOPIK level 4 in specific time frame and that examination focuses on writing instead of speaking, so even though I would highly need all the speaking practice Korea University could offer me, I think I must change my focus on writing essays in Korean. I hope that my speaking skills will follow afterwards!

Korea University

Now I'm back in my own university again and almost half through this semester already. Only one week left to our midterms! This semester I'm taking 6 courses, worth of 17 credits. I'm taking three law classes this time. Those are my first online course FTA and Law, and International Organization and Law from my major, and International Contract Law from my minor. My major classes don't feel too bad yet since we haven't had any readings, but I need to write a report for both. That contract law class is pretty demanding, but the professor is one the best I've ever had so I kind of enjoy that class in a bizarre self-torturing way. We already had our midterm exam for that class and I must say that it was pretty heavy two hours for me... No idea how I did in it. Hoping for the best... Then I'm taking Introduction to Development Economics (even though I swore that I wouldn't study economics anymore :D), Intercultural Communication as an elective from the Department of English Literature and Culture, and Korean Language 2. I kind of love to read the book for my communication class! I've found it to be very interesting. Development economics has been still more about the development side of the topic, but I guess it will get more difficult when we start to study more about the economic side of it. So thankul that I have my husband to help me with the math! My Korean language class is very easy, but I like this class much more than the class I took last semester. We have same teacher than last semester, but the class size is smaller, the class is better organized, and we use mainly just Korean in the class. So far this semester has felt much lighter than my few previous semesters. I kind of feel that I can actually handle this amount of studying, but I might change my mind now when I'll start to prepare for my midterms... Always stressing about my grades and GPA, so I try to do my best for every class.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

How We Live In Korea

I thought it would be nice to talk a little about in what kind of place we live now and what are the differences of renting an apartment in Korea versus renting an apartment in Finland. We are living now in 30m² one room officetel apartment. Like the name officetel suggests some of the apartments of this building are used as offices. Usually this type of housing offers other services too. In this building we have 24h convenience store and Korean restaurant, pharmacy, dentist, and our realtor's office. We have also three (super slow...) elevators and 24h guard who we can contact from our apartment in case of an emergency and who will take our post packages if we aren't home. Our apartment is in the corner of the building so we have windows on two walls and only only one wall shared with a neighbour. Luckily the aparment next door is used as office space so no one is there in the night time and there hasn't been any disturbing noises from any of our neighbours.

View from our rooftop. That's pollution, not clouds.

There's Namsan Tower.

The area where we live has very good public transportation. It's very easy to go everywhere from here either by subway or bus and my school is pretty close too. As a bad side we need to listen constant noise of traffic because there is an express road going right next to this building, only few floors under our apartment. People seem to drive there in the middle of the night too... In my first night I thought that I made a very bad mistake to choose this apartment because I love silence, but now I barely notice the sounds of traffic anymore. It has one good side too since under ther road we have nice walking route where we can go for walks with our puppy. It was actually one of the reasons why I wanted to move to this apartment. We have few market areas nearby (including traditional medicine market which strong smell makes me feel really sick always when I walk past it) so this area is not very hip and cool, but instead filled with very old and poor people. While stepping outside of the subway it might seem that all of the Seoul's elderly have decided to visit the same station. Because of that most of the services around here are targeted for older people, so not much nice restaurants or other cool places to visit around here. Luckily we have one very pretty and nice tiny coffee shop next to our house where we can grab delicious huge iced lattes and caramel macchiatos with just 3,500 won (around 2,6 euros). I really try to limit myself not to visit there everyday. Anyways I love live in this bit calmer Northern Seoul and wouldn't want to move anywhere too far from here.

I found a dog bed for Haru that is almost exactly the same color than our sofa!

I like the lightning and windows of this apartment a lot. But not those office curtains...

Then few words about the differences of living in Korea and living in Finland. In Seoul deposits for apartments are huge, usually starting from 5 million won (around 3 970euros). The bigger the deposit you pay, the smaller your rent will be. In Finland deposit is usually the amount of two months rent, but can also be less or more. In Korea you might need to pay monthly building maintenance fee too (called 관리비), when in Finland that's something that the apartment's owner will take care of. In Finland I've used to pay rent in advance, but here I paid my first rent after living in this apartment for a month. Most of the apartments in bigger buildings don't use keys but have electronic system with number codes to get in. Korean stoves work usually with gas when in Finland they work always with electricity, but I've seen that nowadays in new buildings they might have chosen to use induction stoves instead. Korean apartments don't usually have ovens at all (in Finland almost always), but have instead laundry machine under the stove. If the apartment has balcony, laundry machine might be put there instead of the kitchen. In Finland laundry machines are usually located to the bathroom and it is something that you need to purchase by yourself. Apartments in Finland don't usually have air conditioners because summers are so short and mild, but in Korea it's a must! In Korea heating is usually build under the floor, in Finland electric or water radiators on the walls are the most common system of heating. And if you want to use warm water in Korea apartments have usually their own boilers you need to remember to turn on to heat the water, in Finland warm water will come out always without any extra steps. Recycling in Korea is mandatory and you need to buy specific plastic bags for your trash. In some buildings you will just leave your trash on the street next to your building, but in our building we have a specific place for trash and need to buy bags only for trash that can't be recycled. In Finland people recycle a lot too, but it's not mandatory.

Space is very limited... Bought few new pretty plates.

My most often used make up in our bathroom. Love this shelf infront of the mirror.

I've also adopted some Korean ways after living with Koreans for years. Buying a rice cooker was a must for us. After you have tried it once you don't want to live without one anymore. I can live without a microwave but not without a rice cooker. And of course we have lots of kimchi and usually some other typical Korean side dishes in our fridge too. I also must have some roasted and salted sea weed with my rice. So good! In Finland people use big towels to dry themselves after shower and might use the same towel multiple times after letting it dry, but in Korea people use usually those hand towel sized towels and wash them after every use. I chose only small towels for this apartment aftert getting used to this Korean way. Korean tap water should be drinkable, but I don't know anyone who would drink it just like that, so we buy our drinking water in bottles. Thankfully water is pretty cheap here! And because you can get everything delivered to your home our front door has a collection of magnetic delivery menus, which I think is a very typical element for a Korean home. :D

First Month With A Puppy

Time flies! It's been a month already since Haru joined our little family. She has grown a lot and when comparing her now to the pictures taken a month ago I don't know where my fluffy baby puppy has disappeared! When she was almost 11 weeks her weight was 680 grams, two weeks later 900 grams. This girl likes to eat, or at least liked before we decided to start to feed her very healthy (and expensive) food that is made mostly of salmon. Not her favourite, but I hope she will get used to it. She bites us a bit less than before, has learned her new name, and knows how to sit and go down, but doesn't want to understand the word "no". She has so much energy and is always ready to play. She prefers to play with us, but plays well with her toys on her own too. Living with a very tiny, fast, and playful puppy requires us to be extremely careful or she might get hurt accidentally. Night time she sleeps quietly in her own bed or under our bed. She likes to follow what we do, but isn't extremely clingy so she behaves very well while being alone.

We found wonderful animal medical center for her where we go to vaccinate her and to prepare her to travel with us, but it's not in our area so we use subway to go there. Haru travels in her carrier very well and is curious about everything she sees, but while she is there we can't give her any attention or she wants to come out. Her carrier is always open in our home, so she often sleeps in it. My husband was sure that she wouldn't go even near to her carrier after our first vet visit because she cried a lot while getting her shots, but seems it was harder mentally for us than for her since she still goes to her carrier willingly. Next set of vaccinations was much easier and she didn't cry at all! Her vet speaks perfect English and is very gentle with her, so we are glad that we found a kind vet like him. Because she hasn't still got all of her shots she isn't allowed to go out and does her business on pee pads. She has used them very well since the moment she came and has had only few accidents elsewhere. No mess all over the apartment! Only a bit annoying thing is that she tries to pee on everything soft, including our bed. She doesn't pee on her own bed or on her carrier, but I think that she thinks about our bed as a playground and doesn't understand that our blanket is not a pee bad for her. I hope that this problem gets solved when we can start to take her out to do her business. And before she grows big enough to jump to our bed by herself... Anyways I can't wait to let her to explore the world outside this tiny apartment!

Overall our first month together has been filled with happiness and we are so in love with her. I think my husband had some doubts about getting a cihuahua (he wants border collie...), but now he is totally a very proud and caring puppy daddy! Haru is our baby now and it would be weird to imagine life without her anymore. We want to protect her and help her to grow nicely behaving grown up. She might not always be the easiest puppy, but she is very happy, loving and clever. I knew based on just few videos of her that she would be the perfect puppy for us and I was definitely right about that! Couldn't be any happier about our decision to take her.

So so tired...

July & August -17 Through My Phone

Since it's already September I decided to write about July and August in a one post. Actually I didn't do much these Summer months because I spend every weekday in Korea University studying Korean, so I didn't take much pictures either... Even though I feel I didn't do much, many things changed and these month were pretty busy for me. I moved to my own apartment and we were in a long distance marriage for one month. Thankfully, my husband's working situation got changed again and now we are sharing this new apartment together. I think that one month separated felt much longer than just a month! And then we got our Haru and she has kept us pretty busy because she is very active little puppy.

1. I was forced to go out in a rainy weekend to do a homework for my Korean class. This picture is from Dongdaemun.
2. I really don't take pictures of myself anymore... But this was my look for a musical. My first musical alone!
3-4. So the musical I went to see was Hamlet and I went to watch it because VIXX's Ken was in it. I wanted to cheer myself up because my husband had just moved so I booked a seat really close to the stage. I haven't seen anything like this musical before! It mixed many different styles of music from rock to tap dancing and Ken did amazing job acting as a crazy Hamlet. He was also half naked part of the musical, so can't really complain.

1. Movie date. We wen't to see the new Spider Man movie. Even though we both like Tom Holland as the new Spider Man, this movie was very boring, childish and disappointing. 
2. Like I told earlier, I just studied Korean most of my Summer. It was difficult... I made this list to try to make myself to memorize all the words for wearing something. Depending of what you are wearing, like clothes, shoes, belt, or contact lenses, you need to use different words for it. And of course different words also for taking them off! I'm really bad at memorizing vocabulary so this was painful and I've already forgot it again.
3. This was what I saw every Friday while waiting my husband to come back to Seoul. Routes to bus terminals became very familiar to me. Glad it is over now!
4. This Summer's limited edition flavour for everything has been melon. Usually these season limited products aren't that good, but this actually tasted totally like a real melon bread!

1-2. Moved to my own apartment! First picture is the view from my apartment and second picture shows how it looked the first days I spent here. New bed arrived just few days after my move.
3. First time meeting Mimi after my move. I've missed her so much! And she had missed me too, because she was very clingy and made noises if I stopped to pet her even for a second. Now she has got used to it already that we aren't there with her everyday, but I keep missing her a lot.
4. Banana tiramisu drink from a grocery store. Was okay! Tried salted latte too, but I liked this a bit better.

1. These cuties used to greet me on my way to Korean class. They were very friendly, but I felt bad for them because they were outside in the +30C heat in a very tiny cage like this...
2. We went to Ikea, got some furnitures for our apartment and Swedish chocolate! It was very expensive, but I miss Finnish and Swedish chocolate so much I couldn't resist. Korean chocolate sucks.
3. New library in COEX. I've seen so much pictures of it I couldn't resist to take some by myself when we passed by.
4. Still playing Pokémon Go. I can reach a gym from my apartment so managed to catch this. It's my only legendary because I haven't went to other raids and seems there's never other people participating on the raids of our gym.

1-2. Seoul's first Comic Con. Was disappointing, but they sold some nice goodies there. I bought Hufflepuff version of the 20th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I think it has also been almost 20 years since I read it the last time, and now I want to read the other books again too.
3-4. This is how everyday Seoul looks like in the areas where people actually live. This was also on my way to Korean class. I moved so close to Korea University I used to walk there. 

1-2. We got our Haru! She used to be so so tiny, cute and fluffy! It was love at first sight.
3. Really tried to read for my Korean finals... Hubby was an angel and went to buy me a big coffee. Studying is so much better with a cup of coffee.
4. Lunch with my cute hubby. It's been a while since Shake Shack landed to Korea, but because they have always so long lines it hasn't felt worth to wait to eat there. Now they have new restaurant closer to us so decided to give it a try.

1-2. Had a nice brunch time meeting with my friend and enjoyed these delicious vegan treats. I had strawberry ade with ginger bread flavoured pumpkin cake and it was so good! We must go again.
3. Finished the level 2 of Korean class succesfully. It was difficult, but I made it. I love Korea University's language center and their awesome teachers, but I think this was my last time taking the intensive course... 
4. After finishing my Korean course I had one week of vacation time and then returned to my own Uni... Actually I spend some of my vacation days there too teaching Finnish to one of the professor of our university.

Review: eSpoir Ultra HD Nude Liquid Powder Cushion (Porcelain)

Long time no make up reviews! That's because I haven't really bought anything new and just tried to use the old products I have. Other reason is that I felt that it was too difficult to take decent pictures in our old apartment. I'm still trying to buy only products I actually need, but our new apartment has much better lighting so I hope I can offer better pictures in the future! Here's a review of the cushion foundation I've been using this summer.

 "Liquid Powder - like cushion foundation enabling perfect nude skin expression powder from developed formula with fine UHD powder which changes into soft powder the moment it touches your skin." - eSpoir

I saw the foundation of this line to be used in one of eSpoir's make up videos and it caught my attention, so when I found out that there's also a cushion made of the same product I needed to try it. I liked eSpoir's Pro Tailor Cushion EX a lot, so I had very high hopes for this one. I got the lightest shade, porcelain, and it has yellow undertone. The shade porcelain of Ultra HD Nude Liquid Powder Cushion is darker than the porcelain of Pro Tailor Cushion. This cushion comes in 5 different shades. It has SPF50+ PA+++ and 15grams of product in it.

The cushion case is nude beige, like the name suggests, and pretty sturdy. The puff is pretty hard and I personally don't like the texture of it. It doesn't bend very well for precise application. Scent of this product is very mild, milder than in any cushion I've had before, which I really like. Like I told before, I had very high hopes for this product, but unfortunately it dissappointed me badly. When I tried this cushion for the first times, I was suprised by the finish because it looked pretty dewy. Then suddenly after I had used it for a week or two it changed to powdery! I like powdery finish, but this product is very difficult to apply evenly. If you want to add one more layer to add coverage, the puff leaves horrible lines and patches and kind of ruins the first layer, so you need to work it carefully on your skin to achieve even result. Coverage is medium. It's not necessary to use powder to set this foundation since the finish itself is very powdery.

This cushion is also drying. I have dehydrated combination skin that gets easily oily throughout the day, but this cushion has really dried my skin even in humid summer season. I would recommend this product only for oily skin without any dry patches since this foundation tends to higlight dry areas of the skin. Only good thing about this cushion besides the mild scent is that it's very long lasting! Even though the summers are very hot and sweaty in Korea, this stays on my face the whole day like it was when I applied it. But even though it's long lasting, I wouldn't re-purchase this product. Applying it has been too frustrating and it doesn't really do any good for my skin. If you are looking for a cushion with powdery finish I would recommend Mamonde's Cover Powder Cushion instead.

Price: 35,000 KRW, comes with a re-fill
Re-fill costs 15,000 KRW

Welcome Haru!

Time to reveal the third change I've been talking about, we got a new puppy! Last Saturday tiny chihuahua puppy joined our family. Her breeders named her "Bomi", but we decided to start to call her Haru (하루). She was around 10 weeks old when we got her, but still the tiniest puppy I've ever hold. I love pretty much all dogs, big and small, mixed and purebred, but this time I decided to take a chihuahua because small dogs are easier in a big city with limited space like Seoul. Dogs are allowed to travel here in buses and trains, but they must be in a closed bag. We don't have a car so we need to use public transportation when we want to go to parks, so the dog must fit in to a light carrier. She will also be small enough to travel with us in a plane cabin if we will spend longer periods in my home country.

In South Korea puppies are often bought from pet stores, and pet stores get their puppies usually from puppy mills. I've read horror stories how pet store puppies have suddenly died and puppy has been refunded in a form of new puppy even three times until the person finally got a puppy that seemed to be healthy enough to live, so buying a puppy from a store wasn't really an option for me. So far I haven't visited any pet stores that sells puppies, but based on pictures I've seen those puppies look very young with their huge eyes, so I'm not sure if they have a chance to stay with their moms long enough... There must be responsible pet stores too, but our Haru came from a small chihuahua kennel I contacted personally. She has a sister who had moved to new home before her (we plan to meet up later!), we had a change to meet her mommy, and her breeders seem to really care about their dogs and the breed, and they want to keep hearing from us. We also needed to sign a contract when we bought her, which I think is a really good thing. If someone of you is planning to take a chihuahua in Korea, you are welcome to ask me more about them.

Haru is my first chihuahua and we are happily surprised how brave and friendly she is. We chose her because she seemed to be so happy and jolly in all the videos and pictures we saw, but in reality she is even better. Since the moment she arrived she has behaved like she would have been with us always. Already in her first day with us she played, ate and slept normally. She didn't cry at all even in her first night! She has already been alone short times in the house and hasn't been bothered by it at all. Her favourite thing in the world is playing and she has so much energy! She also wants to test her sharp little teeth on everything (like tiny puppies often do) but human flesh must be her favourite. ;D She also likes to give kisses and cuddles (when she is tired...). Because serious diseases like parvo are a real threat here she isn't allowed to go outside before she has got all necessary vaccinations.

Some have already wondered what happened to the old toy poodle I've been sharing pictures of... She is doing fine, but we decided it's best for her to stay with my husband's parents. She is already very old, getting a bit silly and losing her eye sight, so we think it's better for her to live in a bigger apartment where she has been used to live and not to force big changes on her life. She is my best friend and I love her like my own, so I miss her every single day and feel so sorry that I can't be keeping company to her, but she also enjoys the company of my husband's parents so she will be fine. We try to visit her often and give her lots and lots of love! We might let her to meet Haru later, but if she dislikes her I'm not going to force her to spend time with a wild puppy.

June -17 Through My Phone

I'm back with pictures from June. I told in my previous post that I had some big changes happening in my life and I decided to tell few words about those. First, me and my husband are a long distance marriage couple now. My husband got great working opportunity from the other side of Korea and since it's not that easy to find a good job in Korea nowadays, it was the best decision for us that he went for this opportunity. Unfortunately, I can't leave Seoul before I finish my university studies, so that forces us to live separately for a while. Thankfully Korean universities have long breaks two times a year, and my husband got a job where most of his weekends will be free, so we can still meet pretty often. We are forced now to live in different cities, but the love between us hasn't faded even a bit and our relationship is going as strong as always. Second, I have my own apartment now! After living more than two years with my in-laws I finally got my own apartment. I wish I could live daily life with my husband, that would be ideal, but I'm still pretty excited to take care of myself by myself again. I love my in-laws and appreciate their love and everything they have done for me these years, but as a Finn I have this really strong need of my own independency. My moving didn't happen without problems, but now I have had my own officetel for a week. Before my move, I lived three weeks with my in-laws without my husband, and that was surprisingly easy. I've been forced to talk Korean on my own with them and that's of course been good for me. Now I even have short daily calls with my mother in law fully in Korean, even though talking Korean on phone is difficult! There's also third change coming hopefully soon, but I'll tell about it when it actually happens. I might write more about my apartment and how living in a Korean officetel differs from living in a Finnish rental apartment after I get rest of my furnitures! Then to the pictures...

1. Went to see Wonder Woman and liked it a lot! I think it was really entertaining and I loved how naive, yet badass, she was. I don't usually care about DC movies so this must have been my favourite.
2. Studying for my finals in a cafe. Feels like it was forever ago! Someone had left a message about their friend to my table. Free translation would be something like "Sohee is a pig who eats a lot".
3-4. Mimi! I love her so much. I think pretty much all dogs are amazing but she is one of the greatest dogs I've ever met. She is smart but doesn't give a fuck about most of the things, she is cuddly, and she can really express her feelings, like you will know if she is pissed or unhappy about something! Big personality in small (but a bit fat) package. I haven't met a dog like her before. In the second picture she is sulking about something and just kept staring to veranda before I called her name. And then continued to stare into emptiness...

1. And then I had my finals. I needed to write some essay type answers to huge A3 sized paper writing in this tiny tiny side table... Not very comfortable and I think I rushed a bit too much with this exam because I needed to hurry to my Korean class.
2. New season of the Orange is the New Black! That meant some breaks from studying...
3-4. Look at that clear sky! No pollution! Had amazing weather for few days before super hot humid summer weather arrived.

1. Then I returned back to Korea University to study the second level of Korean. It's difficult...
2. On my way to Korean class. I'm studying now in a different building on the other side of the campus than last semester.
3. We bough sandals for me! I haven't had sandals since I was in elementary school. I think my feet look so horrible that I have wanted to hide them no matter how much I would be sweating in my sneakers. But these are pretty, and hide most of my ugly feet. Felt somehow so Korean to buy Birkenstocks...
4. Had vegan lunch with my new dear friend in Plant Cafe.

1. Got my grades! Not perfect, but better than last semester. I can't describe how surprised and happy I was to get an A of intermediate microeconomics because I struggled with that course so much and had lost all hope and joy. :D
2. I wanted short summer hair cut. Unfortunately that amazing hair dresser who cut my hair perfectly last time when I wanted a cut wasn't working that day so I took a risk and let someone new to cut my hair... Big mistake! She cut my hair so badly I hated it, went to buy hair cutting scissors, and cut my hair again by myself. It's still not perfect, but so much better than what it was! And from now on I will let only that one guy to cut my hair because he does so careful and great job compared to others in that same hair salon.
3-4. My hubby left to Jinju :( He needs to dress a bit more formally to work and I think he looks so good always when he comes back to Seoul in his work clothes. Seoul's bus terminals are getting very familiar to me because I want to go to wait him there when he comes and to go to say goodbyes when he leaves.

After Two Years In Korea

I'm so late with this post because I actually had my second anniversary with Korea (and second wedding anniversary too) already few months ago, but I still want to tell a bit how my second year in Korea was.

After a year I had established my own routines so I think that daily life had become easier and very predictable. I had adjusted to my university really well so going around and starting new semester wasn't stressful anymore. In almost every class I've went I have had some familiar faces and that's of course nice. Most of my time in Korea has been spent by studying, and I think I've figured out what kind of student I am, in what kind of subjects I'm good at, and I know how I should study. My third semester was a disappointment for me because my GPA dropped quite a bit. I thought I tried to study hard, but some courses were just too demanding for me and for some I lost my motivation totally. I just got my Spring semester's grades and my GPA raised back where it used to be. And I really worked for it! I'm most proud and most surprised that I was able to get an A of intermediate microeconomic theory. I don't know even basic math so I really struggled with this course. I decided that it would be my last course of economics because it felt so impossible and I felt like a total loser. I failed one quiz and my midterm result wasn't too good either... But I kept studying and apparently made some progress! I could never have received this grade without my husband. He was my math teacher and needed to show me in detail all equations I needed to make. I'm so thankful that he was so patient with me and always willing to help.

In my second year I started to see and realize things I don't like about Korea. Before that I also, of course, knew that Korea has its bad sides but they didn't had hit me too hard. Then I took a course about Korean politics in university and that was such an eye-opener to me. When I came to Korea I didn't know much about Korean politics or history. I just thought that Korea must be really progressive democracy because they had female president and that South had had a war with North. I was shocked while learning about Korean political history and what a struggle it has been to achieve democracy. Actually, I felt totally disgusted and finally understood why my husband had been criticizing his country so much. Then previous president's scandal happened and I learned that even though I thought that it's cool to have a female president the reality behind her presidency was dirty. I learned that foreigners shouldn't participate on protests or be politically vocal. I felt some anxiety because all these horrible political things kept bothering me in my mind. For the first time I started to feel uncomfortable to stay in Korea and truly appreciate the freedom of speech I had in Finland. But things calm down. Now we have new president with hopefully bright future, and I don't think about these things daily anymore, but the image I had of Korea has been crushed totally.

I think that our marriage grew stronger. I never try to hide the fact that marriage isn't always easy, we do fight sometimes. But I think that this year we learned to fight better. With this I mean that our fights are more constructive. We try to learn from our mistakes and try to understand each other better. We are still learning about each other everyday and the better we know how the other one works and reacts, the easier it is to be together and avoid conflicts. We have also realized that we have totally different types of personalities and we think and react differently on almost everything. That's why we clash sometimes and that's why we need to try to be extra understanding and considerate. But we also love each other more everyday! Even though we are very different, we get along so well. Our everyday life is very enjoyable without doing anything special and filled with love and happines to live this life together. Our marriage requires work like all relationships do and gets just better all the time! I have never regretted our fast decision to get married and I couldn't be luckier to have found a person like him to spend the rest of my life with. :)

Overall Korea is still pretty cool place to live in. I don't have much time to go or do anything special because I have my studies, but I know that if I want to there will always be something to do. I think my language skills have started to get a bit better too now while studying in intensive courses. I can have simple basic conversations with my in-laws and friends from Korean class in Korean. I've also made some friends and have plans to meet some online friends I haven't had chance to meet before. Even though I have struggles sometimes especially with the language I can survive here and I'm pretty settled down to life in Korea. I miss my family, the easiness to deal with some things (even with your own language), and some foods (mostly sweets) about Finland. Last week was one of the emotionally hardest weeks I've experienced in here, just awful in everyway, and I was so ready to book a plane ticket back to my own family to escape Korea for a while. I REALLY want to visit Finland as soon as possible and a little break from this country would be very needed, but I'm not ready to move away from here yet. My home is Korea now.

 Here you can read how I felt after living in Korea for a year.