Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

Good morning, 2017

2016 has come to an end, and I’m sitting here wondering why I only managed to write 8 posts in an entire year while my life is undoubtedly much more interesting now than it was back in the Netherlands.

A lot of it comes down to time, and perhaps more importantly energy, I suppose.
I started attending the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies early in this year, after having an incredibly difficult uphill battle to even make it into the department I wanted (or needed) to join in the first few months. When I finally made it in, I quickly realized how hard going to university is in Korea, especially compared to the Netherlands.
Honestly, I had quite a lot of time in the first semester and I mostly filled that with dating and wasting the little money I had. In that sense, I suppose I’ve grown up quite a lot in 2016, which is kind of a weird thing to realize at 29 years old.


In the second semester I stopped throwing away money and started working to cover my living expenses a bit, while at the same time dealing with the increasing workload taking four courses at HUFS brought with it. Not a week went by in which I didn’t have one or two presentations and some form of paper to submit, and by now my academic output in this semester alone puts everything I wrote in the four years I studied law in the Netherlands to shame. Well…quantity-wise, I mean. This semester there were so many assignments from so many professors who all treated us as if theirs was the only course we were taking that I spent many a night just churning out page after page in the hopes of just finishing something, anything, on time to turn it in. So although I’m not really proud of most of what I’ve produced this past semester, I am proud that I got through it without any major problems and without losing faith in my own abilities and with results that were worth the effort.

So…yeah..that’s probably why I didn’t post a lot during this year. It wasn’t that I really didn’t have any time, it was just that I used that free time to relax and try to forget about all the bullshit a bit. I built a new computer which has barely touched any games and got a giant TV that has been used almost every day since it arrived to watch movies, shows and anime to calm my mind at night. I also took full (though, in retrospect, perhaps not full enough) advantage of living in Seoul by visiting lots of Starcraft events this year, to the point where the guys working at the Gangnam Nexon Arena actually recognized me, knew the team I liked and told me “long time no see” after I came to see a match after mid-term period ended. Although it was a shame that Gary (my Canadian friend who got me into professional Starcraft in the first place) couldn’t usually join, Starcraft and especially Proleague really made my year a lot more fun. Although Blizzard and KeSPA joined forced to effectively snub out the entire Starcraft 2 scene in Korea starting 2017, I am grateful for at least getting to experience what it’s like to really love a sport and care about the people and teams that play it.

I’m also grateful, of course, for all those wonderful people I’ve met previously in Daegu and the new friends I got to know at my university. Even though I’ve never been especially good at making friends, and it’s been increasingly hard to hang out with everyone due to their (and my) schedules, I would have probably gone mad without them and I dread the day they (or I) will have to leave. My old friends from Daegu are what make Korea the Korea that I love, and my classmates have always been there to help me adjust to the weirdness of Korean university life, give me advice, or hang out and talk about less heavy things during the less stressful times.

As I am writing this post, I’m going through my photos from the past year, and feel a bit sad to see that I didn’t really do a lot. If there’s one ‘resolution’ that I’d like to strive for in 2017 it would be to enjoy life, and Korea, a bit more.
There was of course one period in which I enjoyed this amazing country to its fullest though, and that was when my parents and brother came to visit. I hadn’t seen them since I left the Netherlands in August 2014, so seeing them ‘in real life’ as my mom always calls it was nothing short of amazing. Thinking back of that time, it still feels a bit like a dream. A dream that I should really finish putting on this blog sometime soon but…I’m worried ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

All in all, 2016 was pretty rough, but I never once regretted coming here and giving it my all.
Let’s hope that 2017 will bring more unforgettable days with friends, amazing events that can only be seen in Korea and, because this is Korea after all, more A+es with less work.


Gelukkig Nieuwjaar iedereen!
새해 복 많이 받으세요!


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This entry was posted on 1 January 2017 by in Diary, Korea and tagged , , , , , , , .

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Forgotten Tomes


  • 26,491 Minds Expanded


Korean food comes in many shapes and sizes, but one of the most famous and well liked among tourists must be the humble #Bibimbap.
Usually not much more than a bowl of rice into which you mix (bibida in Korean) various vegetables, topped off with some spicy gochujang, bibimbap is a staple food that can be found almost anywhere and at very reasonable prices.

There's also quite a few traditionally styled restaurants such as the one in the picture that serve a bit more 'up-scale' versions that resemble the food royalty used to eat many centuries ago.
#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul_Korea #SeoulKorea #Namsan #MongmyeokSanbang #Restaurant #KoreanRestaurant #Gochujang #Traditional #Food #Foodstagram #Koreanfood #Hanok
#서울 #남산 #목멱산방 #비빔밥 #고추장 #밥 #먹스타그램 #푸드그램 #전통 #한옥 #맛집 #남산맛집 You couldn't tell from this picture, but spring has suddenly been unleashed in Korea! We went from actual snow not much more than a week ago to 6° and now 22° today.

Originally, Koreans were always very proud of their '사계절' - 4 seasons. In the past few years though, fall and spring have been reduced to mere weeks as golden brown leaves freeze off the trees in 'fall' and cherry blossoms bloom in tropic temperatures in 'spring'.
#Korea #SouthKorea #Goyang #Spring #Seasons #4seasons #fall #landscape #traintracks #tracks
#4계절 #계절 #봄 #가을 #고양 #선로 대한민국 만세!
Today is a holiday in Korea; the remembrance of the March 1st movement, which marked the beginning of the Korean people standing up to their Japanese oppressors in the early 20th century.

Unfortunately, instead of celebrating this important day in Korea's history, some people use it as an excuse to push their pro-박근혜 agenda. Former president Park Geun-Hye has been incarcerated for months now while on trial on 18 charges, including bribery, coercion, abuse of power and the leakage of government secrets during her ill-fated presidency. In spite of the overwhelming evidence against her, there are still some (almost exclusively senior) citizens who believe she should be reinstated as the legal president of Korea.

In spite of the fact that I don't agree with their politics, seeing everyone singing and waving the 태극기 together did make me feel good, although being one of the only foreigners in a crowd of riled up Koreans also reminded me that I'll never truly be part of their society.
#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul_Korea #March #Demonstration #Rally #Parade #Politics #Flag #Gwanghwamun #Taegukgi #Japan #Occupation #Independence #gyeongbokgung
#Optocht #ZuidKorea #Demonstratie
#서울 #삼일 #삼일절 #광화문 #태극기 #대한민국 #만세 #대한민국만세 #삼일운동 #3월1일 #경복궁 More pictures from the Line store in Itaewon. I love it when a brand sets up something as elaborate as this; I can't stop myself from wanting to take pictures. 
These are also the first post-LASEK pictures I'm in! It is extremely strange to see myself in pictures without glasses, and I still feel kind of 'naked' when I go out without them, but it's already something I know I'll never regret!
#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul_Korea #Itaewon #Line #LineMessenger #LineStore #LineKorea #LineFriends #LineFriendsStore #LineFriendsItaewon #Store #Cute #Bear #Plush #Dollhouse #Emoticon #Emoji
#서울 #이태원 #라인 #라인프렌즈 #라인프렌즈스토어 #라인프렌즈샵 #라인프렌즈이태원 #외국인 #네덜란드 One of the many things I love about Korea is that it has way more 'themed stores' than my own country. For some reason, some companies or brands such as Ghibli, Gundam, Kakao or, as in these pictures, Line, decide to spend millions creating beautiful flagship locations that feel like a mix of an exhibition space and a regular store.

This was the first time I visited the Line store in Itaewon since I'm not very interested in either Line nor Itaewon, but it was definitely a really cute sight to behold.
#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Seoul_Korea #Line #Kakao #LineFriends #LineStore #Store #Shop #Shops #Stores #Brand #Messenger #LineMessenger #Itaewon #LineFriendsItaewon
#서울 #이태원 #라인 #라인프렌즈 #카카오 #가게 #스토어 #라인스토어 #브랜드 A Gangnam view from the offices of my eye clinic, which is incidentally the reason I haven't posted anything in a while; I've been "busy" recovering from LASEK!

If you're interested in the process of getting vision correction surgery in Korea, check out my latest blog post. There's a link in my bio, or you can Google 'Anonymous of Holland'.
#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Seoul_Korea #Gangnam #Sinnonhyeon #BGNEyeClinic #BGN #Eyeclinic #LASEK #LASIK #SMILE #Laservisioncorrection #Visioncorrection #Cityscape #City #Skyline #Simcity #visit_korea #ig_korea
#밝은눈안과 #강남 #신논현 #서울 #대한민국 #라섹 #라식 #스마일 #도시 #도시경관
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