Healer, more like STEALER (of hearts)

I’ve been catching up with the Wednesday-Thursday dramas these past few days but I keep returning to the ending scene of episode 14 of Healer. I think I must have watched it at least 5 or 6 times now. It’s perfect. When she cradles him in her arms and it’s not supposed to be sexy or suggestive, just – comforting. And when she wipes away his tears and his lips quiver… YOU CAN’T FAKE THAT SHIT OK. YOU JUST CAN’T. There are probably a ton of other dramas out there that have better writing, better directing, better acting but Healer just has this pull that I can’t explain. It’s to the point where when I’m not watching it, I’m thinking about it or re-watching bits of it or looking out for news and previews. But obviously it’s something many others feel since the comments about the show on Dramabeans always pass the thousands which, if you think about it, is just INSANE. The online fan fervour is kind of rabid, and even surpasses You From Another Star, which is so amazing to me since this doesn’t reflect at all in its domestic ratings. Just, what is it about Healer?! Magic, I tell you. I’m too lazy to make sense of all my feelings for this show so just watch the FMV and maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s… Healer

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.32.33 PM

SQUEE. I said in my previous post that I marathoned 6 episodes of Healer last week, so I was a little wary that the next two episodes could dim whatever feelings I had for it. I’m glad I was totally wrong. I never watched City Hunter but I’ve heard that the vibe of the two shows are similar. Don’t really care for Lee Min Ho, so I don’t think I’ll ever watch City Hunter but yes, about Healer… I’m OBSESSED. To put it lightly. It’s got everything you could possibly want in a drama – action, romance, comedy, an intriguing plot and a cast of characters you care about.

It’s hard to summarise the main plot in a nutshell because there’s just so much going on but I have to say that so far, the writers are doing a good job of feeding us little bits and pieces along the way so we feel as though we’re one step closer to getting the full picture each time.

A decades-old incident involving a group of friends who ran an illegal broadcasting station brings together three different people — a mysterious errand guy with the codename “Healer” who happens to possess top-notch fighting skills, a reporter from a second-rate tabloid news website, and a famous journalist at a major broadcast station. On the journey to discover the truth and resolve the mystery from the past, they will have to deal with the conflict of truth versus faith and also a love triangle between them. (Source)

There. There’ve been various plot summaries online but I think the one above from Wikipedia best captures the gist of the story. I really like the way the story weaves together the past and the present so you see how all the characters are linked to each other. It feels intentional, and you get the sense that how they’re all in one another’s lives now is not exactly by coincidence. I love that. Dramas always rely too heavily on coincidence as a tool to move the plot forward that it makes me roll my eyes sometimes (looking at you, Pinocchio).

But what has me giddy the most is our main couple. I’ve never seen Ji Chang Wook in anything and thought Park Min Young was serviceable in Sungkyunkwan Scandal but together, these two are perfect. It’s not even that they’re exploding in chemistry, but their characters… they just work together. You understand why they fit each other so well, why each of them needs the other. It doesn’t hurt that Jung Woo a.k.a Healer is super awesome at his job but when he goes undercover as a reporter where Park Min Young’s character, Young Shin, works at, he adopts this meek, awkward persona called Bong Soo that’s hilarious to watch. Also, hey, classic Superman romance. I love how Young Shin treats Bong Soo like one of the girls, and as someone she can unload on, totally unaware that he’s actually the guy she has a crush on. I love their dynamic so much.

I have to admit though that a big, big part (well, at least for superficial ol’ me) of why Healer is so good is because of Ji Chang Wook. He’s got these biiiiig expressive eyes (god, those eyes) that convey so much emotion in each scene, and he’s always wearing these cosy-looking oversized sweaters that make me want to cry. Also, come on, he’s playing such an awesome character *heart eyes emoji* At times, he looks a bit like TVXQ‘s Changmin and other times, I see a little Lee Min Ho in him. And depending on hairstyle, he can also resemble ex-U-KISSDongho and Kai Ko. One thing’s for sure – pictures don’t do him justice. He’s one of those you have to see in action to really understand what’s so great about them. He has a certain presence that makes him so damn watchable.

He was on an episode of Running Man (next on my to-watch list) and heard that his real-life personality seems to be a little shy and awkward, which just makes me all the more smitten. Apparently, he’s also good at sports and he can sing well. Which is just unfair. I really dread the day filming for Healer ends and he enlists in the army. He’s already mentioned that that’s what he’ll be doing and it utterly sucks because I want to see more of him. Nooo, don’t take him away from us!!! The ratings for Healer have still been firmly stuck in the single digits which is mind-boggling, but just goes to show that ratings aren’t everything. *proceeds to insert a series of Ji Chang Wook photos here just because I can*

ibmWYgZaKHJI6w

wpid-f11201733_2

wpid-f11201734

ji-chang-wook

jichangwookgentleman7

ji-chang-wook-2

Anyway, I just got back from a week-long cruise to Port Klang and Phuket so that’s why I finally have wifi to catch up on all the new drama episodes I’ve missed during the week. While I was onboard, I finished the Korean version of Liar Game which for some reason, I’ve been putting off for weeks even though I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes (probably because I got carried away with Misaeng and Pinocchio). As expected, it was simultaneously mind-blowingly good and confusing as hell. There was never a dull moment and it was kept at a concise 12 episodes, which I was very thankful for.

The game rules got a little confusing sometimes (ok, a lot of the times) and it also leaves you with a lot of question marks at the end. Yet, the show manages to wrap up in a way that keeps viewers satisfied, but also wanting a little more. It’s clear they’re setting it up for a Season 2 and it’s so exciting!!! I love that you end up doubting every single character’s true intentions throughout the show, anxious that they could jump ship at any given second. It’s full of twists and turns and a villian that is so baaaaaad, he’s almost good. Slow claps for Shin Sung Rok, I really can’t imagine anyone else honing in as good a performance (How did anybody take him seriously as the good guy in Trot Lovers?).

tumblr_nfno3vmwoG1qbb8n2o4_500

Also, yes Ha Woo Jin is intelligent and sexy but Choi Sung Joon is a freaking adorable puppy that had me cooing everytime he was onscreen. I always were fond of puppies. My heart dropped when I’d thought he’d plunged to his elevator death, and then leaped again when he was wheeled out of his hospital ward in the last episode. Thank goodness.

2014 was said to be a bit of a bad year when it came to dramas but there were a few that stood out for me. My favourites after Misaeng, Pinocchio and Liar Game would probably be You From Another Star (Cheon Song Yi, MY HERO) and High School King of Savvy. The latter two would have made it to the top if it weren’t for their awful endings where it’s obvious that the writers wanted so badly to give viewers a happy ending (all wrapped up with a nice big bow on top) that they decided to throw logic into the wind. Seriously, a wormhole?! I’ll never get over that disappointment. And don’t even get me started on High School King‘s ridiculous ending. I would have taken a time skip anytime. Yeah, it’s overused to death but it made the most sense here. But noooo. “No, don’t go to Germany to further your studies so that you can increase your chances of getting a good job. Who cares if you’re 18 and still in high school and jobless with no future in sight? I have a job, I can take care of the both of us. Here’s a better idea: Let’s get married. Right now!” Wow. Yes. Brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that?!

A charmed evening

Well, it’s almost three so it’s technically already boxing day, but nevertheless, Merry Christmas to all!! My family and I celebrated Christmas time last year in Chiang Mai and it’s actually been awhile since we spent it in Singapore. This year’s celebration was more subdued compared with previous years for some reason, but I’m not complaining. I spent Christmas eve having dinner with the fam and Christmas day at my grandmother’s, followed by a lovely homecooked meal of lamb shank and mash potatoes (see picture) at home. Simple, but enough.

 photo 3_zpsfb8a7026.jpg

A few days back, I made the impulsive decision to buy a bunch of charms from Sophie and Toffee and they arrived just in time for Christmas, which was a lovely surprise! I really expected them to arrive much later, what with the busy holiday period and all, but my package only took like 2-3 days to get here since the day I placed my order. So, highly recommend! I bought about $15 worth of assorted charms, including various Mickey donut ones, a heart cupcake, My Little Pony, among others.

 photo 1_zps0b9ddbe3.jpg

My favourites are the Mickey and Minnie ones that came in a set, they’re so big and glossy! For now, I don’t really know what I’ll do with these charms since almost all of them don’t come with any screw eyepins to put a chain through or anything. Still, looking at them fills me up with such joy!!! I always were a sucker for cute things….

 photo 2_zps5b65fd13.jpg

And so, Christmas passed like any other day for me… I spent it eating, talking and in between it all, even found time to catch up on dramas. Look at me effectively multi-tasking! I watched all 6 released episodes of Healer (Verdict: So good! So exciting! Also, Ji Chang Wook!) and once that was done, I finally finished Misaeng (YES? YES!). First of all, Siwan is an absolute revelation. I’ve never seen him in anything except the two eps of Expect to Date alongside BoA, so I’m really seeing him in this new light. Of course, it has to be said that the acting is spot-on from all sides (soooo well-casted) but Siwan is especially perfect with his delicate features and a stature that makes him almost…frail-looking, completely embodying Jang Geu Rae from head to toe in both body and spirit. Slow claps.

Whenever I watch a movie or a drama, I’m the type to get so emotionally invested that these characters’ lives’ start to feel like my own… Whenever they get beaten down by life, it’s as though it’s happening to me, so I always leave each episode of Misaeng feeling so, so drained, but with that little twinge of hopefulness that the drama somehow always manages to lace in. This drama is so ordinary, but yet… so extraordinary. There are really no words to describe how incredible and special Misaeng is to me (and I’m sure, many others too), and even though I don’t think I could stand a rewatch, I will never forget all the feelings it made me feel. Easily one of my Top 3 dramas.

I hope everyone’s had a lovely Christmas! And even if like mine, it passed like any other day, if you consider it a day well-spent doing things that make you happy, then that’s all that matters! Christmas doesn’t have to be large, noisy gatherings filled with an obscene amount of food; if you spent it by yourself or with a few of your loved ones, hey, that’s okay too. It’s all about how you look at it (I mean, look at me getting all giddy over a couple of charms that have exactly zero use). Happy Christmas.

DIY Deity, a.k.a ME

I haven’t been blogging for the past 8 months, and I’d apologise, but I don’t really see any reason to. I’ve always written for myself, and whenever the mood strikes, and with exchange leaving me far too busy enjoying life (a rarity), blogging was the furthest thing from my mind, naturally. I think I might do a couple of throwback posts just to have a dumping ground for the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken overseas, but till then, I probably won’t be blogging as regularly as I used to do.

Since my return in late July, I’ve mostly been busy with school and assignments as well as settling internship matters. And now that it’s the holidays, I’ve taken up DIY projects, busying myself making cards and care packages for the people I care about. I recently got inspiration from a craft website that Rachel introduced to me called Oh Happy Day, and it’s absolutely brimming with ideas, I love it! It’s got great suggestions for designing your own envelopes, gift cards and other party ideas that are perfect, especially for this gift-giving season. I ended up creating watermelon care packages filled with sweet goodies for friends I’ll meet this December, and painting watermelon cards for those overseas. I think I’ve made about 30 of these in total and if I never pick up another paintbrush, that would be too soon.

2

3

4

On a somewhat related note, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve suddenly realised just how fulfilling it can be to make your own creations, but I made dinner today! When it comes to cooking… I almost never do it, and when I do randomly get bitten by the cooking bug, it’s usually at 2 or 3 in the morning when everyone’s asleep. What I normally do is google “easy recipes + whatever ingredients I have in my fridge” and then see what pops up, and then I’ll just adapt the recipe according to what I’ve got. Today, I was on my own for dinner and I really wanted to do something with the kimchi my mum had bought and so… I decided to make kimchi pasta! After a quick google, this was the closest thing to what I wanted to do.

11

It was super easy to make, and turned out so much better than I thought it would! I actually didn’t follow the recipe all that closely. I boiled my spaghetti separately and while that cooked, in another pan, I added some butter, kimchi and milk and let it cook on low. I wish I could give you the exact measurements, but I was cooking for 1 portion and went purely by instinct. I added just a little pinch of chicken stock and pepper, adding more milk, butter and kimchi along the way as I saw fit. I added some pepper too when I needed to offset a bit of the saltiness. And when my spaghetti was about done, I sprinkled some pizza cheese in to thicken the sauce and then finally, mixed in my spaghetti. I topped it with two slices of smoked duck just because I had it in the fridge, but sausages or bacon would probably do the job too (though that would definitely be better cooked together with the sauce)! I undercooked my spaghetti because my sauce was already starting to boil so I’ll definitely do this again perfectly – this time, probably a bigger portion to share with the family!

Ingredients:

  • Kimchi
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Chicken stock
  • Spaghetti
  • Dash of pepper
  • Pizza topping cheese
  • Smoked duck

I hope this inspires somebody to get a little crafty this holiday season. Also, hope everyone’s having an enjoyable time this December so far! I can’t believe we’re only 11 days away from 2015. I’ll be celebrating my birthday as well as ringing in the new year overseas because I’ll be on a cruise with my family, yay!

Building blocks of Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을)

I suck at doing tutorial type of posts because my sense of direction is the worst so I’ll just include some vague directions in this and let the pictures do the talking. Two or three Fridays ago, I finally explored one of Busan‘s most well-known tourist attractions (though admittedly, I haven’t heard of it before I even stepped foot here) and the day didn’t disappoint! To get to Gamcheon Culture Village, we alighted at Toseong station Exit 6 and took Bus 2 which brought us all the way up (here’s some better directions that someone else wrote up).

 photo DSC_0009_zpsb3f022dd.jpg

 photo P4040587_zps2627d085.jpg

At a certain spot, the three sculptures of people coincide with the village scenery so it looks as though they are “becoming one” with Gamcheon

Gamcheon-dong began with very poor living conditions after the Korean War. The area formed with a unique stair format spanning from Oknyeo-bong to Cheonma-san and the housing complexes are built in a way that they don’t block the adjacent housings. Because of this, people often come and reminisce about the past days here since it’s an area where the original traditions of the Korean culture are preserved. The first thing you’d want to do is purchase a map at the tourist information centre for 2000krw before you enter the village and then you can have a full view of the place and see which route you’d like to take. The only reason I bought the map was because there are these stamps you have to collect at certain “stations” and at two of them, we get to collect a postcard of our choice for free!

 photo DSC_0014_zps29dff98b.jpg

 photo DSC_0024_zpsf47b6f15.jpg

 photo DSC_0019_zpsfba32a13.jpg

We explored Gamcheon-dong in a group of 12 and spent a relaxing two hours or so just winding through rather narrow corridors and popping in randomly into empty houses. It was so interesting! A lot of the walls were painted in bright colours and some of the rooms were also completely covered in graffiti (of course we couldn’t help but add to it). Besides the housing complexes, there were many quirky art installations in rooms and on walls that made everything so fascinating to me.

 photo DSC_0051_zps6df3254f.jpg

 photo DSC_0033_zpse99561fe.jpg

 photo DSC_0038_zpsae5a168e.jpg

 photo DSC_0021_zps0426a374.jpg

 photo DSC_0077_zpsaa7ad52b.jpg

 photo DSC_0052_zpsb05bd2c7.jpg

 photo DSC_0044_zps65a91111.jpg

Eternity by Kim Jeong Ju

 photo DSC_0046_zps60f86792.jpg

Tree of Hope by Choi Jang Rak

 photo P4046028_zps7fe92156.jpg

 photo DSC_0062_zps3a497fd4.jpg

 photo DSC_0063_zpsa2bf9811.jpg

We passed by rows of daisies which made me inexplicably happy because I love daisies!!!!!! We also passed by a beautiful cherry blossom tree and while that was a common sight during Spring, this one was particularly luscious. Ying Wei and Leo immediately climbed up and demanded we all take photos – and so we did.

 photo DSC_0064_zps37bcb76f.jpg

 photo DSC_0067_zpsfdca63a0.jpg

 photo DSC_0070_zpsbf6d3399.jpg

Camera 360 Camera 360

GC2

20140404_172205

After spending more than 15 minutes taking every possible kind of photo you can possibly take with a cherry blossom tree, we finally moved on. There was so much to see!

 photo P4040608_zps7de9a6fd.jpg

 photo DSC_0079_zps45348953.jpg

 photo DSC_0116_zpsbb5c69d0.jpg

People, and birds by Jeon Young Jin

 photo DSC_0091_zps6ab96799.jpg

Little Prince and Desert Fox by Na In Ju

 photo DSC_0089_zpsed90098f.jpg

The Little Prince and Dessert Fox above was one of my favourites of the day! Apparently, the two descended from the stars and stopped by Gamcheon-dong and sat on the banisters to look down on the village (yeah, okay…). Naturally, we all took turns to take the middle spot between the two to join them as they wistfully look out into the open. Hah. Later, when we passed by a wall that reminded me of a scene taken right of Anne of Green Gables, of course I urged Chong Xin to pose in front of it and pretended he was walking down the path. …And then the rest of us all took turns being silly and trying to see who can most realistically look like they were actually part of the scene. I don’t know, I think I did a pretty good job…

 photo DSC_0093_zps2e30ad3d.jpg

 photo DSC_0100_zps391450a0.jpg

 photo DSC_0075_zps77079239.jpg

 photo DSC_0111_zps22803deb.jpg

Fish in alleys by Jin Young Seob

 photo P4040657_zps3f263dec.jpg

We ended the day with a noodle dinner where I spent half the time panicking over the sales release of Block B tickets (I managed to procure completely crappy seats thanks to my sucky phone connection) though the night ended on a high when we moved on to this place in the PNU area that I have a love-hate relationship with. The staff is seriously rude and mean for absolutely no reason, but the place serves the Best Drink Ever, which…I will get to in another post ㅋㅋㅋ I’ll also hopefully be able to post up my Jinhae and Jeju entries before I fly off to Japan next Wednesday! Till next time~!