Follow-low-low

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When YouTube recommends a music video 50 minutes after it’s release and you instantly like it and have it on repeat… means that it has to eventually end up on the blog. 😅😂😅

Last night, my mum asked me what I was doing so quietly in my room. I replied that I was listening to music (it is how I unwind after a long day of work) and told her about the latest song that I’ve been hooked onto. She then asked me the name of the song and the group, and then typed it into YouTube. Me being the shy person (yes, there is this side to me), was a bit hesitant to show it, as K-Pop receives a lot of judgement from those who are not into it, but my mum ended up liking the beat! Out of all the K-Pop songs that are out there, I’m sure that there is at least one that non-listeners would like, and this is coming from me who was a rock and heavy-metal fan throughout all of high school but then wanted something more upbeat to listen to later in life.

If there is one thing you need to know, I don’t tend to share music with people in person unless asked, but here on my blog, I am the opposite. Perhaps, it’s because I see this as my personal space… although the online world is never really personal. Everything is out in the public. So here it is….

The moon and sun reference. Time and space. The Turkish sound and the outfits made to look traditional with the scarves being used as belts in some scenes… I like it. MONSTA X is a group whose songs I have listened to but only know the names one or two members. The member with the silver-ish hair caught my attention the most in this MV. His look at 2:55 reminds me of the character from Final Fantasy VI named Locke Cole.

The scene where one of the members is standing at the centre of time and his shadow is like the dial. That was well done and creative! The imagery in the MV is nice overall. Moreover, the scene in which there are snakes and one of the members in red against the red backdrop who bites into the fruit and whose eyes then turn snake-like felt like a Biblical reference to the Garden of Eden and how the snake/devil tempted Adam and Eve to follow into biting the forbidden fruit. That scene in the music video felt a bit dark… as if the devil is asking the listeners and viewers to follow him. One thing is for sure, I don’t easily follow. 😜

At the moment, I’m sleepy, but I’ll make sure to update this post soon with further thoughts, IA.

—Moonlight

Work, Work, Work

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NOTE: This post was meant to be published last Thursday, but I was unable to get around to it because I fell asleep. I put sleep as a priority over my posts. =P This was when the post was last updated. I was worried for a moment that I would have to change the title of the post as I did not want anyone misunderstanding and thinking I copied someone’s latest caption on their Instagram post, but hey, guess it’s just another example of synchronicity.

*****

The tile of this post is called “Work, Work, Work” not because there is a famous song by Rihanna called Work, which contains the lyrics “work, work, work, work, work, work,” but because there are three K-Pop music videos related to work that have caught my attention. These are examples of music videos in the world of K-Pop that are not all about love, but work… the latter of which I can relate to (side note: the second music video depicts work but the lyrics may be more about love).

Watching the music video for Workaholic by BOL4 reminds me that I have to wake up early tomorrow and brace the rain and crowded Sydney buses and trains to get to work. 😝 I’m also one of those individuals who is rushing and checking their watch every now and then, even though checking the watch doesn’t really help to slow down time. 😂

One of the reasons why I don’t blog as much is because my life has become busy due to work. The only difference between my life and the one portrayed by the artist in the music video is that I work with much nicer people alhamdulillah. There is always someone there to lend an ear when one is stressed or a team that can share the workload when there are multiple projects taking place. My manager even let me go on holiday for around a month because she knew that I had been working non-stop, even extra days during the shutdown period, and was doing two jobs for a few months while the company was looking for somebody to fill in the other role.

Watching the last scene… Don’t we all want to sleep a little bit more when the alarm goes off? 😝 I set two alarms – one on my phone and the other on my Sony “Dream Machine” AM/FM clock radio ICF-C205 model that I’ve had since 2008, which was when I went to undergrad. uni. I keep hitting snooze on mine until I’m somewhat ready to wake up. A similar music video to BOL4‘s Workaholic is Tuesday is better than Monday by Giant Pink ft. Yeri of Red Velvet. I like Giant Pink‘s husky voice. It flows well with Yeri‘s more light and sweet voice.

One thing from this music video that I can relate to the most is the printer breaking down. 😂 Other than that, I thought showcasing how the 7 days of the week look like in the office all on one screen was neat. Another music video, which is 1+1=0 by SURAN ft DEAN, also has a work-related theme. The title itself is an entire pun containing the number 1, which in Korean, sounds like “work”. Meaning work+work = no life as clearly depicted in the music video itself.

Ahhh, the feeling of crashing into bed after getting back home from work. Luckily, my parents have permanently moved back to Sydney since last November and we are living under one roof after 11 years. It’s not as “lonely” anymore and I don’t have to worry too much about what I’m having for dinner. We sometimes make it a thing to just sit and talk in the lounge after a dinner until I go back into my room and browse through my phone.

However, like most Desi parents, my parents want me to find someone and settle down, which is easier said than done, and I’ve started to feel a bit odd going to visit people that my parents know where I’m the older one and everyone is either very young (a kid) or they’re married. To be honest, I only go because of family and the food. Haha! *hides* When you reach my age, the only place you can find someone here in Sydney is either at work or on dating apps. At work, there is nobody, and dating apps. have so far been disappointing because I’m not into text messaging. For someone like me, I find it very forced and awkward.

It really seems more like a numbers game. The more dates you go on, the higher the chance you’ll find someone you click with… but this also means spending time and effort. It all seems too hard for me when I’m exhausted. Not to mention, guys these days just aren’t the same from our dad’s time. I’ve literally had a taxi driver who thought I would be ideal for his son, who is a doctor, if we didn’t have a different religion from one another. Even an uncle told my mum that if he had a son, he would have considered marrying him off with me. They both said that they feel sorry for the girls of today, because there are so many smart, beautiful, and accomplished girls, but guys are just not like gentlemen anymore. The ones who are like gentlemen already seem to be taken. Anyhow, I’d rather stay single until the right person comes along, IA.

Now that I have shared these three music videos with a theme related to work, it is time for me to go to sleep and begin another work day.

—Moonlight

Understanding Poetry

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This video was one that I was going to share back in 2014, but when I was thinking of sharing it, news came out that Robin Williams had passed away and then I never got around to posting it. 2014 wasn’t a good year in general, so here I am, 5 years later, sharing it.

There are a few interesting things that I haven’t shared about my life but my literature teacher in 11th grade used to work on the sets of Hollywood and even had her name appear in the credits of a few movies. As a hobby, she used to blog and take photos of her life in KSA.

In one of the classes, my teacher showed us the above clip from Dead Poets Society, a movie that I still haven’t seen. When the scene of the boy who uses a ruler to neatly rip the page of his book appeared, my teacher came up from behind me and whispered, “That’s you.” 😂 I still laugh about it ’til this day. I am one of those people who doesn’t like seeing pages or books bent or torn in any way, which is why I have always been reluctant to share some of the books I own due to the fear that others won’t take care of them the same way as I do. *hides*

Surprisingly, there are other people like me out there, some who are probably more protective of their books than I am. For instance, sometime around last year, I was on the bus heading to work, and I noticed a man sitting next to me who kept his book in a sealable plastic to protect it. Now, that is something I don’t do but thought was a good idea when I saw it. Hahaha!

As for the movie, Dead Poets Society, maybe I should finally watch it. I like poetry and I like reading out poems too. The movie is meant to be a classic… but first, I’ve got to finish my K-dramas. 😜

P.S. It was Friday, the 13th and a night of the full moon two days ago. Everyone at work was mentioning it as it is a rare event and the next occurrence will not happen until 2049. I went to sleep early that night because I was too tired, and the clouds were covering the moon, as usual whenever there is an interesting occurrence in the night sky in Sydney. 😅

—Moonlight

“Umpah Umpah”

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When an album is titled The ReVe Festival: Day 1, it means that there has to be an album for Day 2 or more, and fans weren’t wrong. I wasn’t sure of what to expect for The ReVe Festival: Day 2 album, but once I heard the teaser for the title track Umpah Umpah, I was looking forward to the MV.

The MV was released on August 19th, and on that day I was wide awake at 1 A.M. Rather than going to sleep early for work, I decided that I might as well watch the countdown or live preview of Umpah Umpah with fans on YouTube. Unlike Zimzalabim, I was hooked on the first listen. Umpah Umpah‘s catchy beat and happy-go-lucky vibe gives me serious nostalgia of the 90’s. There is something about the sound (something unforgettable) that reminds me of childhood days of watching cartoons/anime and playing video games or even being in a classroom with cut-out shapes of the sun, moon, stars, lightning and clouds, or for those who were in Australia… 90’s Play School, The Wiggles, and maybe a little bit of Round the Twist (I shouldn’t be giving any ideas away or S.M. Entertainment might make a concept out of this for their next Red Velvet Halloween song =P)? One of the background sounds in the chorus is similar to something I’ve heard before too, but I can’t exactly pinpoint where. Maybe an old-school video game like Mario Kart 64?

To be honest, when I first heard the line, “Umpah Umpah”, it did sound like Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory movie / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. One of my favourite movies/books with Pure Imagination still giving me goosebumps. According to @5REDVELVET:

‘Umpah umpah’ is a word used in Korea when they first learn swimming and try to hold their breath underwater. They practice regular breathing by saying ‘um’ as they inhale and ‘pah’ as they exhale. The lyrics have a swimming theme and they’re helping the person breathe.

Love how the lyrics and the choreography all make sense after reading what the word “umpah umpah” means. Since there are a couple of K-Pop songs with titles that are a play on words, I feel that the title of this song has double meaning. It also sounds like oom-pah or umpapa, the “rhythmical sound of a deep brass instrument in a band.” The MV itself is colourful and has a story, and the girls look gorgeous, as always! Beautiful Irene, Joy, Seulgi, Wendy and Yeri. S.M. Entertainment artists’ visuals and grooming are no joke.

Umpah Umpah is the perfect K-Pop summer song and I wish it was released before I left for South Korea so that I could have heard this song instead of Zimzalabim being played at the stores there. In the MV, one can also see that at the start, Red Velvet are leaving a big city to a quiet retreat, or a holiday destination, only to be met with a day full of rain. This portrays my trip very well when my group and I left from a big city such as Seoul to the beautiful Jeju Island. Our last day at Jeju was spent on Udo Island and it rained, but we were lucky enough to see what we wanted to see just before Typhoon Davis hit the island. After Jeju Island, we traveled to Busan. On one of our days in Busan, we couldn’t do much because the typhoon had made its way there. The rain fell hard and it was as if someone had turned the shower on full. Not wanting to waste the day in our AirBnB, we decided to head out and embrace the rain. After all, we paid for the trip and wanted to make the most of it. However, we didn’t stay out for too long as we got drenched even while carrying our umbrellas. The typhoon made us change our plans for the day, so I felt that I couldn’t see everything that I wanted to see in Busan, but guess that means another trip, IA.

Knowing that we would be traveling during the rainy season, my friends and I were checking the weather app. every single day and were happy to see when the forecast displayed sunshine and then sad to see if it was rain. We were lucky that, for most of our trip in Seoul, we didn’t encounter any rain. It was only when we had to leave, did we witness the true nature of summer in South Korea. The last week, in general, was filled with constant sweat from the humidity and rain that caused our hair to look like a mess.

Despite Umpah Umpah being a catchy song, in my opinion, none of the b-side tracks for The ReVe Festival: Day 2 album were catchy like ones in The Reve Festival: Day 1 album, and I feel that the b-side tracks in the Day 1 album fit the festival theme more. However, the title track for the Day 2 album is much better than Zimzalabim! My group of friends, who watched Red Velvet‘s Zimzalabim stage performances on TV while we were getting ready in the mornings on our trip, all shared the same opinion that it wasn’t as good as Red Velvet‘s previous songs. They also felt that the stage outfits could have been better. This is the opinion of both guys and girls. I didn’t mind the outfits as much as they seemed to fit the experimental take on the song.

Red Velvet Umpah Umpah Outfits

Designer Paris Starn‘s outfits copied for Red Velvet‘s Umpah Umpah promotions

Now, speaking of outfits, S.M. Entertainment was recently accused of plagiarising a fashion designer’s ideas for the Umpah Umpah MV. I’m not even surprised. =P The funny thing is that the company does it very subtly and will target the people that not many people know about on social media so that they can easily get away with it. S.M. Entertainment, however, should be careful, because if they target someone with connections, that person can easily pull the cards on them. The company can only get away with it for so long before their image is at stake.

I understand the designer’s disappointment… what could have been an amazing collaboration fell through. It’s not that hard to give somebody credit. A simple, “Hey! We’re inspired by your idea and we would love to collab. with you!” can go a long way. This is what the young generation on social media are doing. This is what innovative companies are doing with influencers and any person that could potentially help in marketing them, including customers. For an entertainment company that seems to be the best at marketing among the Big 3 in South Korea, I feel that when it comes to the ethical side of things, they have quite a long way to go. The things that they engage in, it’s like your boss getting credit for your ideas or a co-worker stealing them and getting all the recognition for it, and any person working in the corporate world will know that it is never a good feeling. Also, imagine working hard, putting in the time and effort trying to make ends meet, only to see someone else profit off of your ideas, especially a company that is already big and has money multiplying.

Having said that, it looks like the Red Velvet are still following their colour concept, which is each member portraying the colour that they have been assigned. This portrayal is done through either their outfits, accessories, or even nail polish. For example, Irene‘s colour is pink, Joy‘s is green, Seulgi‘s is yellow, Wendy‘s is blue and Yeri‘s is purple. In the Umpah Umpah MV, it is seen in the copied outfits that each member is wearing. This colour concept is what I call the Care Bears concept, as it was in my dream related to K-Pop long before S.M. Entertainment implemented it. I would have actually taken the concept a lot further or done more with it, such as having an image, or even having an MV for each symbol that a Care Bear represents. For example, Umpah Umpah looks like it could relate to Grumpy Bear‘s cloud and rain symbol and Ice Cream Cake could relate to Birthday Bear‘s cupcake and candle symbol. Regardless, I do have my suspicions about the colour concept for Red Velvet and NCT‘s Dream Within a Dream poem recitation, but let’s just say that one of the reasons I made my blog private a few years back was so that the company would stop lurking around, potentially trying to take ideas from fans to market their artists without any due credit.

As for ideas, I did want to share one here. How awesome would it be if a dance group in Sydney did a dance cover of Umpah Umpah at Bondi Beach on a bright sunny day while the Festival of the Winds, which is happening next weekend, is taking place? This is what the Festival of the Winds looks like. If anyone does decide to do this, please thank me and give me credit… =P

Going back to song titles being a play on words, I already have an idea for a song title, and it’s called, “Halla Halla Bong Bong”. xD It is dedicated to the Jeju orange/citrus fruit called Hallabong, a flavour that I fell in love with on my trip. The fruit is actually named after Mt. Hallasan in Jeju Island. If I were to think of the MV for “Halla Halla Bong Bong”, it would be shot on Jeju Island. Halla Halla also sounds like “holla,” which is short for “holler,” meaning, “a loud shout or cry,” while “bong” means, “a musical noise made especially by a large clock.” Then there is also the name “Hala”, which means, “the aura of light around the moon.” The colour scheme for the MV can be orange as Red Velvet doesn’t have a member that represents the colour orange.

Now, if any entertainment takes this idea, especially S.M. Entertainment, I-WILL-DESTROY-YOU, or better, hire me and give me the money that I deserve for such ideas! =P Friends, please remember what I just said here so there is proof that I came up with this “Halla Halla Bong Bong” idea first! Thank you! =P On a more serious note, when I visit a place, I have to try what the local food and cuisine is like, and Jeju is widely known for hallabong, so I ended up having hallabong juice, which was incredibly refreshing for the summer heat! I even brought some hallabong dark chocolates to Sydney, and my parents and colleagues tried them and said that they were really good! I should have brought more.

Also, there has been a post that I’ve been working on and off on for a few months, and I was planning to post it this weekend, with the aim being yesterday since it was a cloudy and rainy day and I wasn’t going anywhere, but then the “news” came out and I’m thinking that the post is no longer going to be relevant anymore. I’m having second thoughts about it. It would have been nice to share my views… Hmm. I’m sorry lchan! If I post it, it will be just for you! I don’t want to ruin this post with the “news” because Red Velvet don’t deserve it, but if I hold off then it will take me ages to say it.

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Sweet Coffee

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Came back from my almost month-long trip to South Korea on Saturday morning and I’m already at work feeling the post-travel blues. Time flew by so fast. I have taken many photos but have hardly uploaded any because looking at them makes me miss the feeling of being there and the feeling of freedom. In the meantime, I’m sharing a song that I listened to at an aesthetic cafe with a view of the ocean and a beach vibe on Jeju Island. I liked the song but never heard of it before. I made sure to note down a few of the lyrics so that I could search for it later on. I did not have Shazam downloaded on my new phone so I had to find the song through the old-fashioned way.

It’s surprising that this song isn’t as popular as it should be! I wonder how the people at the cafe found out about it. Good taste in music! Anyhow, when it comes to coffee and tea, usually tea is my preference, but the coffee in South Korea is nice and sweet. Never thought I would be having mango or blueberry lattes or beautiful-looking affogato with ice cream and waffles. Yum!

It is also strange to think that I was only in Seoul last Friday, or 4 days ago, enjoying the summer season and now I’m here in Sydney facing winter. Everyone told me that the weather in Sydney has been great these past few weeks, and it did feel pleasant when I arrived on Saturday, but now it’s raining and chilly again. Looks like I brought the rain from Seoul to Sydney. xD Also, while I was having iced coffee there, I’m having warm coffee here, but it’s not as sweet.

Moreover, last Thursday, I was at Yeouido, a place in Seoul that looks like a business district with lots of office workers. Seeing that was mental preparation for me coming back, or a reminder that I was going to be like the people there on Monday morning after the trip. xD The district that I work in looks just like Yeouido with everyone in suits or corporate attire walking around. To think that I was wearing colorful clothes on the trip and now I’m back to wearing business attire for most of the year… It’s like living two completely different lives.

Really missing the cafes, the sunny outdoors and the happening night life with neon lights. Need a new adventure!

—Moonlight

Sunny Side Up!

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Listening to the teaser and happy that the full song is finally released. This is one of my favourites after Somethin Kinda Crazy, which came from Red Velvet‘s first mini-album Ice Cream Cake. Sunny Side Up is an instant like. Well, what can you expect from a duo that produced this song and that go by the name of Moonshine? 😂 They produced Peek-A-Boo too, which was another bop.

I listened to Red Velvet‘s new album ReVe Festival: Day 1, and apart from Sunny Side Up being my favourite, I like Parade and Bing Bing too and more so than their title track, Zimzalabim (the visuals in their title track’s MV, however, are nice and quirky). Some parts of Bing Bing also sound like a Bollywood song and the teaser for Milkshake caught my attention but when listening to the other songs, it fell lower on my list even though Moonshine produced it.

Overall, definitely liking the carnival and festival vibe of Red Velvet‘s new album. I generally love festivals that have a lot happening and it reminds me of the Royal Easter Show that we have in Sydney with all the rides, games, performances, food, bubbles, goodie bags, a parade and hot air balloon, etc.

Moreover, Red Velvet‘s concept of having a colour for each member, which they are still holding onto, is forever going to remind me of the Care Bears concept for a K-Pop group that I dreamt of and spoke about before Red Velvet even debuted. 😝

On a side note, I’m heading to South Korea next week and will be away for less than a month, IA. Will be out from the rainy cold winter and into the hot and humid rainy summer. Give me some pleasant sunshine please! Still need to post about the FF7 Remake!

—Moonlight

Eid Mubarak and a Global PlayList Web Movie

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Belated Eid Mubarak! I hope you all enjoyed Eid with your family and friends. My long weekend has come to an end and my relatives who were staying over since Thursday have left as well. I had a long long weekend instead of a long weekend, because I took Friday off to celebrate Eid, which is a celebration at the end of Ramadan for those who have fasted for one whole month. Can’t believe how fast Ramadan passed by this year, though!

YouTube also kept recommending me videos of non-Muslim Korean vloggers who were fasting and I followed their journey to see how their experience was. I’m so amazed by their dedication and willingness to understand what fasting and Islam are about. One of the vloggers even went to the mosque in Itaewon, Seoul for Eid prayers. Seeing that made me happy because it shows how open some young Koreans have become towards understanding other cultures and faiths. *thumbs up*

The last weekend and this long long weekend have both been very busy. On Friday, my family invited relatives to have dinner at my place. On Saturday, we all went out for shopping at Bondi Junction and had dinner in Auburn. On Sunday, we went far out into the suburbs of Sydney and hung around Kellyville and then met up with our other relatives for dinner at their place.

Sydney is so huge that sometimes getting from one point to another feels like an entire day trip. Did you know that Sydney has around 658 suburbs? I had no idea until I saw a news article stating that there was a local who decided to be a tourist in his own city and visit all 658 suburbs. Now, that’s something I would like to do too. =P I live close to the city and going far out into the suburbs is quite rare for me unless it’s meeting up with friends or family friends who reside there.

Sometimes, traveling to the suburbs is a nice break from the city life, but it can get boring after a while too. When I used to live in the suburbs, it was back in the 90’s and when kids used to play outside. You could see a lot of outdoor activity. Now that hardly happens as most people are glued to technology and stay indoors. I think I prefer living close to the city where there is a lot happening and where there are many places to see or eat at. One thing’s for sure, though… you don’t get to see a lot of stars in the city like you do in the suburbs when it’s night time. That is what I miss a lot.

So, the night before, I was awake quite late and at 3 A.M., the PlayList Global YouTube channel had a notification about the following web movie. I told myself that I would only watch half of it and then continue watching the rest the next morning, but then I ended up watching the whole web movie because it kept me intrigued.

The title is very click-bait and *spoiler alert* the lead male is actually the future husband of the lead female. It appears that the future husband is dying and wants to change fate/destiny by going back in time to make sure that his wife falls in love with another guy instead of him so that she doesn’t have to go through the pain of losing him. The question that viewers are left asking is, “Does it really work?” The drama seems to have the theme or message that no matter how hard you try to change fate or destiny, what’s meant to be will always be. It focuses on soulmates who will meet regardless of what happens.

However, when the lead male tries to change the past, you can see that the photos of him and the female lead in their future home disappear. So are we to assume that him changing the past really did have an effect? It’s confusing, but I’m hoping it’s the theme of star-crossed lovers playing out, as the female lead still meets the male lead despite being told by the male lead’s future self to not seek him out.

After having watched the web movie, I wondered, “Why can’t my future husband show up like this?” xD As someone who recently passed their 20’s and has been single all their life, it would be nice to have some sort of sign (that’s if the guy even exists). I’m pretty sure that by this age, someone who is single like me, would be curious to know what their future holds. I know that there are those that turn to horoscopes and tarot card readings, but for me, those things are seen as merely entertainment and not reality. In fact, we’re generally meant to stay away from those things.

For example, on YouTube, there are people who do tarot card readings for one’s star sign and there was one that was recommended to me by random in April and May. The titles for those said something along the lines of, “Aquarius! April 1-15 Someone is thinking of you and wants you back!” and “Aquarius! May 15-31! A past lover will return.” Well, guess what? April and May have passed and all I can hear are the sound of crickets. Not to mention, I’ve been single all my life, how will a past lover return? xD What a bunch of baloney!

Even one of my friends from one of the groups I used to hang out with at my undergrad. university in the U.A.E. predicted my future wrong. She stated, “I feel that you will be the first out of our group who will get married.” Flash forward 8 years later, they’re all married and I’m the only one from the group that is still single. =P Not only that, as of last month, I’m the only one in one of my groups of friends in Australia who is still single (and one of my friends who started dating last year found someone because I told her about an app. When I offer advice, but don’t follow it myself xD). There are more stories to share, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. Let’s just say, when you wish for things that others didn’t bother about, but they end up being granted your wish and you don’t. Yes, the universe does love to play pranks like that. =p But you know what, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be at that time.

Having said, maybe my soulmate is in Seoul? xD Talk about puns, and as cheesy as it sounds, I’ve always wanted to say, “Off to Seoul to find my Seoulmate!”, but I do know that when it will come around to going to Seoul, IA, as a traveler, I’ll be more interested in sightseeing and eating the food there. =P

A note to add, PlayList Global has some great web dramas. The first one I watched was Love Playlist – Season 1 and then A-Teen – Season 1. A-Teen was the best out of the two. If you’re looking for something that consists of a slice-of-life theme, then I recommend PlayList Global‘s web dramas.

—Moonlight