Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Love Art

I love art of all kinds. Most of the time I can see the vision the artist is going for. Sometimes, of course, it is more difficult. Singapore and Korea are both full of art; statues, fountains, paintings, buildings and parks are beautiful in both.

I will share some of the art that we came across while in Korea over the next few days.
Part of the charm of both places are the art along the side of the common highways, roads and beaches:

In the pa
rks, there are beautiful pieces of art to walk around and browse through. This one reminded me that humans and nature are a fragile balance in the world:

This is
one I looked at for a good while, it has the image of a man with a woman in his shadow:

er one that caught my eye was this unusual piece of art; on the outside was the face, and when I looked at the inside, there was another face. All four ends had the same faces, with the same interior faces.

I l
ove this one - with an Indian heritage, it reminded me of home even though I was in Korea:

Art reflects many parts of our lives; sometimes a clear reflection, and sometimes it reflects shattered or confusing parts of our lives:

It can remind us of battles, struggles and pain others have gone through:

We see tattered remains left after wars:

And it can remind us of the great times in our lives:

Sometimes art is as simple as a picture saying a thousand words:

Sometimes it is contemplation of where we are headed:

Sometimes the art is natural, others it is man made, and often it is a mixture of both:

Art is a thought process - in me it works wonderfully. This was one of my favorite pieces:

Art reminds me to stop and think for a moment about life - a precious balance in God's world.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hakdong Pebble Beach, Koje Island, Korea

We went to several beaches while in Korea. They were all very different and unique. This particular one was Hakdong Pebble Beach. It is known for its relaxing sound of the water washing over the pebbles and rocks - and the sound is beautiful. I can imagine sitting on the beach on a quiet summer evening listening to its relaxing waves. I took a clip of it so I could forever remember the sound.

May you have a blessed and relaxed day :-)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Looking for a Singapore Photography Buddy :-)

I am trying to learn more photography skills and would like a photography buddy here in Singapore. If you know of anyone interested, please have them contact me to chat about it.

I have a Nikon D90, but I am sure if we are both in to photography, we can learn from each other. I love taking pictures - but I don't like doing it alone.

Any takers? Do you know of anyone? Please send them my way.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Officially Culture Shock ;-)

Thanks to one of my blog readers for the following link:


The shock (of moving to a foreign country) often consists of distinct phases, though not everyone passes through these phases and not everyone is in the new culture long enough to pass through all three:

  • Honeymoon Phase - During this period the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light, wonderful and new. For example, in moving to a new country, an individual might love the new foods, the pace of the life, the people's habits, the buildings and so on.
  • Negotiation Phase - After some time (usually weeks), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. One may long for food the way it is prepared in one's native country, may find the pace of life too fast or slow, may find the people's habits annoying, disgusting, and irritating etc. This phase is often marked by mood swings caused by minor issues or without apparent reason. Depression is not uncommon.
  • Adjustment Phase - Again, after some time (usually 6 - 12 months), one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines. One knows what to expect in most situations and the host country no longer feels all that new. One becomes concerned with basic living again, and things become more "normal".
  • Reverse Culture Shock (a.k.a. Re-entry Shock) - Returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above, which an affected person often finds more surprising and difficult to deal with as the original culture shock.

I think I would be classified in the Adjustment Phase, with occasional Negotiation Phase issues... lol... I don't find the culture here disgusting by any means. I do enjoy most aspects of the area, and I have gotten accustomed as to what to expect in most situations and it is mostly normal to me now. Even though I would prefer to be in the states, I do think overall, my adjustments have been much easier than I thought they would. I am comfortable going between the different countries (US, Singapore and Korea) and enjoy parts of all of them. I also think if we had our 'stuff' here it would make a huge difference - though I know it is not possible to bring it for future business reasons. This was supposed to be short term and he is still on US payroll - and there are a lot of complicated things that just do not make it possible to bring any of our belongings except the basic necessities.

...again from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_shock:

There are three basic outcomes of the Adjustment Phase:

  • Some people find it impossible to accept the foreign culture and integrate. They isolate themselves from the host country's environment, which they come to perceive as hostile, withdraw into a ghetto and see return to their own culture as the only way out. These Rejectors also have the greatest problems re-integrating back home after return. Approx. 60% of expatriates behave in this way.
  • Some people integrate fully and take on all parts of the host culture while losing their original identity. They normally remain in the host country forever. Approx. 10% of expatriates belong to this group of Adopters.
  • Some people manage to adapt the aspects of the host culture they see as positive, while keeping some of their own and creating their unique blend. They have no major problems returning home or relocating elsewhere. Approx. 30% of expatriates are these so-called Cosmopolitans.

In this phase, I don't seem to fall nicely into any of these categories; however, I do see the only comfort for me is to return to my home. I don't withdraw from the culture; we have embraced more here than most of the expatriates I know - and we continue to do so. I have not lost my original identity, and I enjoy the people here in Singapore and getting to know the different cultures. I have adapted rather nicely as near as I can tell, with occasional outbursts such as yesterday. My husband says he has been pleasantly surprised as to the ease of my adjustments.

I guess I would have to put myself into a new phase calling it the Chameleon Phase. I seem to change accordingly to what is going on around me. I accept the foreign cultures and integrate comfortably. I see nothing here as hostile, just far away from home. I don't reject the host country. I am the 'alien' here and I embrace what it has to offer - and I know I am the one that needs to adjust to this country's expectations - not them to me. That is the ‘chameleon’ in me - I seemingly change on the outside, but the inside is the old me with a new awareness.

In no way do I reject this country, its ideals or its people; nor do I find I would live here (or anywhere else but the USA) forever. I guess if I were forced to put myself in any of the wiki phases, it would be in the Cosmopolitan Phase, however; I would not say there are no major problems, because the homesickness to me is major and relocating over and over is not an option I would like to consider. I do see the positive that this life offered me and my experiences of growing from it. I will never take for granted what I had at home again. It is a blessing to be offered this opportunity, but it will even more of a blessing to go home when that time arrives. I will miss what we have here, just as I miss what we have there. I can see that will be another adjustment entirely. Whew! I guess all of this is better than the alternatives – I do like waking each day with anticipation of what is coming.

Thank you for sending this. I do surround myself as much as possible with my US friends, but I don't expect them to cater to me, nor do I barge in and beg to be with them. It is difficult for me to step out and ask to be a part of someone's day. I do spend a lot of the time in the condo during the weekdays as I am not a shopper nor have I ever have been. I could go to the parks which I would enjoy and honestly I cannot figure out why I cannot boot myself into going out - maybe that I feel frivolous to have taxi ride for no real reason? I am not sure.

I think I need to look for some volunteer work. I have always done that in the states, so maybe that is something I should look in to. How do I even begin to do that?

I appreciate the link to this article. I know now it is normal feelings that I am going through. Thanks everyone for the hugs. I know we will all make it through this and be richer because we are growing from the experiences. Each has their own struggles in life and yesterday was one of mine.

Today was indeed a better day. I was able to relax and enjoy breakfast at McDonald’s then a leisurely walk to get a few groceries. Again, I am looking forward to the new week and my pouty face is gone again.

Back to normal posts tomorrow – if my blogger and computer hold out :-)

Expat Life

I miss it all :-(

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Springtime in Korea :-)

Hello Spring! I am having some computer issues right now, but my son is working them out. I did not post yesterday because I could not get blogger to work... then I could not get facebook to work... then I could not get IE to work. It kept going downhill from there and everytime I decided to try blogger again, blogger was just making me mad. Funny, it is my computer - not blogger at all. I am sorry blogger :-(

I am just taking it easy today as he is working on my computer - from California even - how cool is that? Thank goodness for remote sons ;-)

These are a few more pictures I took in Korea. I love spring and miss all the definite seasons. It was a joy to have cool weather for our visit. We are now back in Singapore - hot/hot/hot and hot. All the time - hot. I never have to wonder here what the weather will be; the forecast is always hot with a chance of rain - 365 days a year!

Meet my squeaker friend. I had a dog that loved doggy toys, but she did not like the sqeaker that came in them. She would gnaw on the squeaker until it came out and she was happy then playing with her quiet toy - but it was mighty squeaky until she got the noise maker out.. This little bird sounded just like Lady 'playing' with her toy - and I loved listening to it. I tried to get Steve to bring one home (the bird) but he said "NO!" can you believe it?

Now, what kind of bird is the fuzzy headed guy/gal? Do you know?

The flowers were amazing! The Japanese Magnolias and Cherry blossoms just starting to bloom.

And my at the Magpies! There sure are a lot of them in Korea! This little guy was curious and just chattered away at me taking his picture.

I am off to walk to the store and do a few errands. Blogger may or may not work - here is hoping. I will be back as soon as my computer is over being sick. Wish me luck!

In the meantime I need to find clothes here - I have no idea where to even start to look. I have lost too much weight now - if I don't find clothes soon I might just have to come back to the states and look :-D My Dr said it is coming off a bit too fast, that I needed to start eating a bit more and not lose so much in a month. Fun. I have *never* been told THAT! lol...

Be back soon! Good luck son! What would I do without you?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Outdoor Fish Drying (?) Market

Is everyone getting bored with me? Seldom people comment, so I am not sure if you are all bored stiff - or if it is not worth commenting on. Indeed I am writing more for my memory for later scrapbooking, but it would sure be nice to hear from lurkers. I do appreciate those of you that do comment - and those that don't but look. Please occasionally say 'I am out here' if you don't mind - that way it will encourage me to keep on blogging so I don't trash it. I am sure later when I can scrapbook my fun, it will be nice to have the journaling done. Being so far away from home gets lonely and even though I enjoy doing this, I feel like I am doing this for my own entertainment and sometimes it feels like it is not worth the effort. It would be nice to have an occasional "hi there!" Ha, like I have anything ELSE to do, right?

I said while I was in Okpo that the mingling of so many different smells nauseated me. I showed some of the things in the market area downtown. Now let me show you a bit of the outside shopping that goes on around the island of Geoje-do.

Pay no attention to the fly swatter this lady is using ;-)
Do you stuff this like a double stuffed potato?

mmmm... smashed, dried squid... ok, not!

They sell it here like beef jerky - just imagine... squid jerky. Yeah... nice smell...

However, this little girls eye's lit up when mom bought one and handed her a piece. How can you not love that smile? Squid jerky though? I would seriously have to tickle her for the smile.

Again, short blog. Pictures say more than words. Smell speaks louder than pictures OR words.
Don't forget, you don't have to register to make a comment - you can comment anonymously and add your name in the body of the comment, k? Hope to hear from you :-)

Singapore Memory Project