First ever couch-surfing trip and solo-tripping to Seoul, South Korea for a mission and time-out after coming back to the homeland has been accomplished. Without any frost bite. Almost...

Word must be crazy that I was by Han-gang at 9-10PM with the winds after a huge dinner from DMC... just for the night lights, really. It was my last night.

I came back, and I saw my mum probably received this calendar from the travel agency, and I was looking at it.

Friends know I have an 'ultimate dream job' is to go out and talk to people. But not just people. They're the Korean and Japanese people that everyone right now is currently fawning over. So as expected their questions upon my return was "so who did you see"

I said, "None".

I tried but in their own land it simply didn't work - it wasn't the country's USP so it would be highly neglected. Visiting on other places especially in the West, they'd be begging for some serious exposure. Time to morphin migrate I guess.

That aside, I felt that I've been slapped because the deeper story within how this trip has tweaked my high levels of skepticism and have significantly reduced it..

The trip gave the needed feels and good angst coming out... and how pure luck and magic of life's unseen algorithms (like The Secret? but we never know) I just need the world to prove to me that I may be optimistic about the bleak future of the earth we're directing ourselves to. Thanks to this trip I reflected what I have accumulated from friends and memories of such to say "Hey, it would be nice after all not to die alone!" - slap!

On the other hand... these quotes from the calendar are all true - slap! as seen below.

And this quote was especially befitting with the 7-day getaway out to unplug unfinished issues from where I came from:

Can you hear the slap! ?


I won't lament skepticism about the world's bleak future with current signs and sighs. However power has been given back with new inspiration, perspiration, expectation and new knowledge with each step I route myself to venture out in the city.

Love has returned, as I witnessed something I've never seen in my life for me to believe that such thing does exist. But in order to be able to find it, how simple and hidden can this be? This is still a journey in progress.

While this idea of being a skeptic is magnanimously lifted to some point

Traveling for me, has sowed its seed inside me and grew to be fed with oxygen. Like the air we breathe, we need to step out and do it - I have to do it to fill in this oxygen tank.

Seems like meeting new people that sends the same positive vibes or energy gives me much more strength - an extrovert at its finest?

This couple has lifted my skepticism by an immense amount
Don't count on me after 2 weeks - I'll be hibernating for a month close doors in my room without speaking to anyone because business and leisure trip took quite the energy to speak both ends - speak professionally and to speak with friends after it all ends but it means double energy speaking.

With the success of me couchsurfing (but this includes a LOT of random luck, really, it's been a very interesting trip), I was let for more, more, mooooooore.

Couchsurfing allows us to learn and live from locals, and immediately have friends to tell you about the society. That itself is such a thrill for me and I can testify how perfect, its tagline is:

You have friends all over the world - you just haven't met them yet

(A little Buble here?)

I'm dying to go out now and meet. Rinse, repeat, and do it all over again with the right people, friends, and memories to be made despite all of these havoc - ISIS, global warming, carbon footprints, rainforest depletions, any other plane crashes, natural disasters, anything - going on....

Let's just try and continue to enjoy what's left, live in the life you have, while also trying to find the best solution to all of this.

Live it. I'm going to work my ass off and get some moolah in exchange for another trip out and bounce positive vibes around the globe and fill in my oxygen tank or else I can't live.It's a lust I think I'd have to cave in.

"You are here! We found it!" that tricky Eat Your Kimchi cafe but we found it thanks to my usual map-reading prowess. In Seoul.
Till the next journey.
(see the archive)



Wanderlusting in 10 words or less...
Open skyscanner.com and book to a place you've never been


No. 3

Hello. A "designer's studio" feature. Korean version below. See how much I've suffered?

Which was more important, the home first or the admittance to school?
While yes, the importance of being admitted to the primary institution of choice is absolutely the greatest thing, I decided to rank it No. 4 because, all in all, the humble abode will house you no matter what when you are tired from the city's lights and frights of deadline rush.

To have lived in zone 1, having a London address, a London postcode is something not everyone can have. I was immensely lucky to immediately have found a place that caters everything and for me to move in without problems.

So yes, that is the no. 3.

Old, for Old Street, the zone between central and East London; the tech roundabout, London's answer to Silicon Valley; Google Campus; and of course, my home area for my year in London.

Where it all started:

I arrived in Heathrow with one suitcase, one handcarry, 21 clothing article, 3 pairs of shoes, and a mix of poundsterling and euros and I used it to this cab which no one told me about...

It's been one year, intensely crazy, I bid farewell to the political world of academia forever as a student but to return as a lecturer...

Who knew Old Street would be such a gem? What's a real, real, real pity is the fact that I didn't explore the area when I was living in the area. Everyone can shoot me now that I realised how Shoreditch market/ Old Spitalfields was just 15 mins. away from me? That I discovered somewhere in my second semester in London. Say, February?

Mhmm. I've moved out to the northern area of London in zone 3 for the next two months until 26 Nov, my flight from Gatwick. It'll be my first time to try on Garuda Indonesia, stopover Amsterdam, and to arrive back in CGK within 15.5 hours. Let's give it until 17 shall we.

But before everything else, the wonderful one year in my home that I dub as the lost Grand Budapest Hotel (our lobby is entirely powder pink!).

Then, let me introduce my 'London workshop' for the year. A designer will always be a designer. laughs I had editorial design withdrawal symptoms because my assignments were all words-based. If only, I could paint a picture with 5000 words, that would be nice.

"The Grand Lobby"

"...at the enormous Dining Room"

Peering through that rare London sunlight
"Doing mundane things, like World Cup at home's comfort"

"Monsieur Gustave H.'s room full of love letters"
(which actually, are my 'junk' of flyers, posters, and everything else)

The original beginning, Sept-Nov 2013

Guests around the year... and to see how long my tresses have grown for the year to denote change:

OK London, time to see you properly now! At the time of writing, I have crossed of "for the first time" bucket list: Tate, Sloan Square, Saatchi, Hampstead, Stratford Westfield, North Greenwich, and the V&A at night, stunning.

(At the time of writing, TRIED) To Do: More museums, Observatory, Wimbledon, Wembley Park, Queen's Park, do the Independent bookstore map, and other cities and Wales, highly recommended by Luke.


No. 46

 46. Only know Yoshitomo Nara to visit London the day before - Contact PR rep for interview - Nab a schedule - Attend his sold-out artist talk

This bucket list number is totally new, unexpected, and mission accomplished on the day itself (technically it was worked out from the day before, waiting for a response).

Who said that the artist's audience cannot be as manic and eccentric the artist and to what they are presenting? I digress the idea. Herein, proven. Ha.

I will admit I've activated press power in order to snake through the event's sold out - in two hours about 600 waiting list names have been in - and to get a reserved seat, while everyone else was on the floor. I didn't get to use it for No. 32 - no outlet for it :(

But, but, but, it's Nara. (see right)

And for this new exhibition, I am ever more obsessed the way he paints his character's eyes. With the fact that he has shared with us the process, his layering technique with ever more beautiful colors are just beyond words.

So yes, I would like to own a piece of him one day (not just postcards). And no, he doesn't sign signatures. Moreover, during the long queue for the artist talk (see it here) there were that weird odds from the universe to place me behind an Indonesian girl talking to her mum-now-I-know-she's-her-aunt in Indonesian (so I know) and casually asked her if this was the right queue. Was I to queue or to skip them all through and go to the desk's guest list? To my spectacular amazement she said that she had no idea how because she was invited, because her aunt is the artist's friend. Let me translate that to you in English: Her aunt is a friend of Nara. One simple reason that happens is because her aunt is an artist herself, confirmed by the girl who I now know as Robyn, studying at Imperial. Sweetness.

Did I tell you I'll be visiting Tochigi next year? This comes in very handy

While I didn't nab an interview schedule, I was pleased to have asked him 3 questions during his talk. That will be saved for a Dear exclusive exhibition coverage for the London special I'm now trying very hard to collate within one month.

See and reblog my favourite artworks from this exhibition here.

  Statistically, 1 out of 100 of your friends will stand out as the weird one. I'm that one weird friend of yours - here goes!

 Finally, about the dress.
Megumi-san couldn't contain herself when I posed.
I said, "it is politically-correct layered dress and the attitude I'm suppose to give - it's all a fake"

This was the quickest OOTD decision with careful thought ever and the subliminal message I fold through is the best yet. I could drop in a 2K essay on theories of dress, but in a nutshell, this is what today's dress meant: I layered a metallic pastel dress, a color scheme the artist uses so ever often. Above it is a shirt, peeking collar on top. Where usually one wears inside a dress, I wore it out. Shows the abrupt layering and forceful show of being a slackety-slack girl.  I wore 'yakuza-like' mermaid stockings, which I DID NOT DRAW MYSELF BUT designed from a lovely friend in Hong Kong, RI by Carrie. Go buy. It was particularly white and the mermaid has geisha-pertaining make-up, which is somewhat the geisha's way of powdering herself complete.

While my question to Nara, or rather a stating point that his works are mukokuseki, it's hard not to delve that he's still a Japanese artist, hence the get-up that has that 'Asian kawaiiness' to it you can't help but dote or pacify... But to package it, a cream top with bold black slogan that states 'FAKE'.So, no. I bite, just like Nara's characters. We're angsty young beings.

Cutesy, kawaii, slackety, we're really just going against the world, really, and it's all just fake.

The shoes? Of course it meant something. Having similar resemblance to roses stuck in a bush, I'm only being a fake and getting the world's slaps by walking on thorns.

We are living in a bitter world or sweet world, and it's a reality that it's bittersweet. It's only how you make it, really. :)

Thank you Megumi-san for accompanying this nut head today! Www~

The full artist talk lowdown, snippets of the artist's holiday, more speeches and drawings and everything from His Heart will be on www.dearzine.com *promo, promo, I'm trying to revive it while I'm at it*

Plug-in promotion in 10 words or less...
Bored of art exhibitions? Enjoy it your way (see above)