Bebop Guesthouse

What’s playing in my head: “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” by Girl’s Generation.

What’s running through my mind: My wish

And what’s my wish? To get my butt to South Korea!

South Korea has been hard at work, waving their magic wand marked “Soft Power” around the Southeast Asian region. And I must say it’s working on me. I’m hooked on K-pop and K-dramas. I’m always craving for kimchi, kimbap and bulgogi. I’m contemplating enrolling for a Korean language class. I got worried and upset when North Korea bombed one of the islands in South Korea. One of the topics I’m exploring for independent study for graduate school is about South Korea. AND (and I mean AND!), I’m planning to go there soon!

Except for some visa issues (I’ll only be able to get my butt to Korea IF the Korean Embassy grants me a visa), everything’s been set: tentative travel dates, things to see and do, budget, and (ta-daaan!) possible lodging.

Here’s the hostel me and my friend are eying:

It’s called Bebop Guesthouse 2, also known as Tango Guesthouse. It’s said to be a homey hostel at the heart of the artsy Hongdae area–totally my kind of place! What’s more, it’s very environment friendly. Use of canvas bags instead of plastic bags for shopping is highly encouraged. You can fill up your water bottle with water from the hostel so you won’t have to buy tons of bottled water. Trash is segregated so biodegradables are separated from non-biodegradables.

And to top it all off, the owners are 20-something Korean backpackers who love to read and who appreciate art!

So I really hope the Korean Embassy grants me a visa. Wield your soft power on me all you want. It’s okay, it’s totally okay!

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Reusable Water Bottle: A summer must-have

The summers of our childhood are gone. If before, all we needed were a fan and a big bowl of halo-halo with lots of shaved ice and a scoop or two of ube ice cream on top to keep us cool, these days not even an air conditioner’s coldest setting can beat the heat.  When we go out, the sun stings our skin and we get instantly thirsty. That’s why I’ve taken to bringing a water bottle when I know I’m going to be out and about for quite some time. Climate change is here and adaptation is the order of the day. So get a water bottle and fill it up with fresh water when you go outside. You don’t necessarily have to buy one, though. I noticed that it has become fashionable for companies to give water bottles as corporate giveaways. When you receive one, use it instead of buying another one. Not only will you save money, you will also get to practice restraint in a consumerist world. In Gandhi’s words, Live simply so that others may simply live.

On reusable spoons and forks, et. al.

I shall now speak blog or forever hold my peace.

I believe we should not only chuck styrofoam and plastic spoons, forks and plates in favor of reusable ones, we should also begin to bring our own “baonan” (reusable  food container) to our school, workplace, or WHEREVER.

And it’s not just because of all the non-biodegradable trash and the accompanying disposal problems. Equally important is the issue of health and sanitation. There is a tendency for some people to NOT clean utensils thoroughly just because they won’t be the ones using it. And if that kind of person happened to be the one who washed the fork you’re using, say, in a restaurant, then that means you’re also ingesting all the germs from the person who previously used it along with the sumptuous green salad you’re having.

Besides, how sure are you that the plastic fork you’re using directly from the package is squeaky clean, germ-free and fit to use for eating? You never know what happens inside a factory…

I just thought of this while eating at our school cafeteria one afternoon, and noticed an icky speck of some unidentified food particle stuck on the fork I was about to get from the dispenser.