Rays of Splendour


1 Comment

Wk 15/104

Week 15 in Seoul was spent checking out two places where I’ve never been before. They are the National Museum of Korea and Hyehwa.

National Museum of Korea

It’s a huge three-story museum which houses various forms of national treasure. The focus of the museum is to display exhibits and trace the history of the Korean peninsular from the prehistoric times right until the Korean War which resulted in the split between North and South Korea.

20160610_125242_hdr.jpg

20160610_125332_hdr.jpg

It was indeed interesting to know more about the different clans – like the Shilla, Baekjae, Balhae, etc – that used to be in power in Korea before all of it was unified under the Joseon Dynasty. There was also a portion of the exhibits that covers the modern history like the annexation of Korea to Japan.

Seeing all these exhibits that date back to tens of years BC that the archaeologists managed to unearth is a humbling experience. To see an exhibit that a person thousands of years ago used and then you reflect on all the time that had passed before we came along reminds me that my existence is truly insignificant when considered within the spectrum of human existence.

If I were to consider my place among the billions of people that have existed within the thousands of years before I came along, I am really nothing. Further, the things I grapple with now like missing my loved ones or trying to complete my assignments are really nothing when juxtaposed to the realities some of the people had to face like war or being in the lower caste in society.

And know what is scarier? It is the thought that not only are you insignificant in this life but also, that you could be nothing to your Creator when you eventually meet Him. That thought is enough to get me to assess myself and whether I have done enough to place Allah swt at the centre of my life.

Seems like I got more out of this museum visit than I had anticipated.

Hyehwa

Hyehwa is a small shopping belt just outside Sungkyungkwan University. Not only that, the area seems to be an enclave for many independent concept stores as well as performance/theater halls which showcases their in-house made films or drama productions. Also, since the area is more inclined towards the artistic side, even the products and decor of the stores there reflect that.

20160608_164540_hdr.jpg

20160608_164902_hdr.jpg

20160608_163718_hdr.jpg

20160608_164332_hdr.jpg

20160608_164228_hdr.jpg

20160608_163959_hdr.jpg

Okay, that’s all for Week 15’s!

 


Leave a comment

Wks 13 – 14/104

Entry’s going to be largely a photo update because I’m currently pretty exhausted. I’ve been so depleted of energy these past few days that I immediately dozed off as soon as I close my eyes. It doesn’t matter where I am. I could be on the bus or subway, in class, seated on my study table and even standing as I waited in queue. I close my eyes and next thing I know I found my body being jolted awake. If I’m standing, it’s cos I felt like I’m about to fall hence why I will be awakened from the few seconds of dozing off into lala-land.

Regardless, I’m hoping to regain my energy soon! So in the meantime, the update for Weeks 13 and 14 is going to be largely photo-based though I think, me-being-me, I’d end up writing something anyway.

Exploring Garosugil, Sinsa

Although the area is designated for high-end shopping, I found that I actually kinda like this part of Seoul. I like it largely because the place has an artsy vibe about it which makes it unique. I’m a huge fan of places with unique characteristics about it.

The main highlight of my trip there was the Karl Lagerfeld pop-up store. I absolutely love the designs from this brand and no surprises why that is so! The whole concept behind the brand – the colours and designs – are something I usually look out for whenever I buy designer items. While I do appreciate the designs of brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton, at the same time, they’re also brands whose items I never truly liked enough to buy and have never bought any as personality-wise, they just don’t suit me. But brands like Kate Spade and Karl Lagerfeld with their lively colours and quirky designs? Yep, I go crazy over them!

20160603_130348_hdr.jpg

20160603_130816_hdr.jpg

20160603_130621_hdr.jpg

Islamic centre, Al-Falah, at Yeongdeungpo

I’ve been looking for this Islamic Centre everytime I’m in Yeongdeugpo but I’ve never been able to locate it until last week. It’s a centre run by a group of Indonesian Muslims. They have a designated prayer hall with separate areas for males and females, as well as run a few Islamic classes over the week.

20160601_160224_hdr.jpg

20160601_160034_hdr.jpg

Exploring the area around Seoul National University (SNU) Station

The Korean lady who learns English from me brought me to explore the area outside SNU station. Although it’s near ny apartment, I have never bothered to explore the area for the only times I’m ever there would be to take the subway.

So I was pretty delighted when she took me to one of the themed-cafes there as well as showed me the other things I can find in the area. There’s an organic bakery, a dessert shop which also conducts baking classes (they also teach people how to make macarons!) and a flower shop which has been decorated with a modern concept. Pretty nice shops there, definitely.

20160527_163951_hdr.jpg

20160527_145135_hdr.jpg

20160527_144531_hdr.jpg

20160527_164411_hdr.jpg

20160527_164053_hdr.jpg

20160527_165231_hdr.jpg

Spring bazaar organised by Malaysia Embassy

Only one reason for going here: to eat Malaysian food! I spent most of the time eating so I had not really taken that many photos but here are some that I took.

20160528_134218_hdr.jpg

20160528_131917_hdr.jpg

20160528_131741_hdr.jpg

Allright. That’s all the updates I have for Weeks 13 and 14 which I wrote and published in… Week 15!

I’ve been here for 15 weeks, alhamdulilah. That’s almost 4 months.

In my whole life, I’ve never imagined nor foresee myself to be in a position where I’ll be away from my family for 4 months. Frankly, these 4 months have not been easy for me on the emotional front. Just when I thought I’m fine with being away from my family and loved ones, there will be moments when I’m suddenly hit with a terrible sense of missing them deeply which would make me feel momentarily down. So yeah, if I could sum up the past 15 weeks in one phrase, I’d say it has been a period of emotional ups and downs.

Not for the first time, I’m made to realize that home is where your loved ones are.

I realized that for me, ‘home’ is not just a physical concept. I could be anywhere on earth but for me to feel like I’m home would be if my loved ones are by my side. That’s where home is.


Leave a comment

Too many things

It’s been almost two weeks since I last blogged about the Seoul weekly highlights and the blog is missing Week 13’s and 14’s! InsyaAllah, those entries are currently in the draft mode and I’ll publish them soon.

Thing is, I feel like I have been busy occupying myself with things these two weeks.

For instance on the school front and since the semester is about to wrap up, I found myself having to clear several deadlines. That’s fine and I kind of enjoy doing the things I have been doing. I’m worried about this one exam that I have to sit for in the last week of school though. I’ve not sat for an exam since forever. 10 years to be exact! I don’t even know if I’m up for it.

Other than that, the rest of the time is filled with random outings around Seoul either by myself or with my friends when they are available.

In between, I’ve been busy trying to settle some other stuff like looking for avenues to post ads for people who may want to lease out my apartment, helping my friend manage her Facebook public profile, connecting with people back at the workplace to settle a work arrangement for when I’m back, trying to complete setting up a website for an avenue my friends have been urging me to explore and then settling some designs with my Korean designer friend for the said avenue.

So in between, time just flew.

I was so surprised to look at my calendar today to find that I only have two weeks left before flying off to Singapore for my summer vacation! Ironically since I have things to settle here, I realized that perhaps, I should’ve booked a flight at a later date. Nevertheless, the tickets have been booked so insyaAllah, I’ll be on that flight back to Singapore two weeks from now. Pray for my safety! I’m always nervous before a flight. 😦

Meantime, I have a naggy suspicion that my luggage has exceeded it’s 20kg limit and that I have to courier some items home before I leave. That means… Even more errands to run right?

And I have not even looked for boxes to place all my stuff as I have to pack all my belongings and vacate the apartment before I go back to Singapore for my holiday.

Too many things to do all of a sudden!

In between all that, I have also tried to make it a point to connect with my loved ones at least once everyday. It takes more effort especially when I have other things that are occupying my time but alhamdulillah, I have been able to communicate with them everyday which is very, very important for me. I firmly believe that at the end of the day, no matter how busy I am, I have to ensure that I get my priorities right. These priorities, namely God and my loved ones, form the non-negotiable parts of my life so yep, I commit a portion of the time daily for them no matter how constraining the time can be.

And Ramadan will be upon us in a few hours. That’s something I’m so excited about and I pray so, so, so much that He allows me to experience this coming Ramadan, insyaAllah amin.