Air quality is horrible

A week of horrible air quality here in Seoul.








It's ironic.  Now that it's getting colder, I'm really missing all the "tropical" stuff.  My mouth waters at the thought of eating a mouthful of juicy mango and papaya...the warm sunshine and open sky...   I guess the grass is greener on the other side!

from Phuket, Thailand


Korean superiority complex

You know what annoys me about Koreans?  They think they're above all the other asian race/countries.

You can see this ignorance easily in "naver" comments/forums/discussions, commenting on a Korean celebrity, like SNSD's "suyoung" or a new upcoming star on how she looks "south east asian!" ("Dong-nam-ah") as if it's an insult.  They poke and make fun of even their own celebrities when they look dark skinned, bigger eyes/lips..etc.. they label you as, "dong-nam-ah". 

It's so disgusting and sad.  I know this is not just in the internet, but deep down ingrained in a lot of Koreans.  They were born into thinking that they ARE indeed the superior Asian race.

Personally, I am half Filipino and Korean.  I lived in Korea in the 1990-95.   It was a rough, but memorable time.  For the bad stuff, I got discriminated for having a different skin color/face.  To share one incident, I had stones thrown at me when I was walking down a street (I was in grade school).  It wasn't easy.  So I know and went through this whole issue. 

Things haven't changed much since then unfortunately.

I saw and felt this energy when I was just in Cambodia and Vietnam recently.  The loudest and most snobbish group of tourists were ---- Koreans (with their flawless makeup, sunglasses, outfit.. - like do you really need to look like that in angkor wat?).  They couldn't be any louder!  Grouped in 20+ folks, they didn't even look like they wanted to be there - speaking with their loud Korean(language) and obnoxious demeanor as if they owned the place.  I never felt so disgusted and embarrassed for them.  The sad thing is, they wouldn't even know how nasty they are.

Koreans heavily focus on looks - the cleaner, the whiter the better.  Frankly, they don't care what you are deep inside.  You're dark skinned - you're a "dong-nam-ah" and of lower level than them - they label you that immediately.  I'm not saying that ALL Koreans think this way - but it's very real and true about Korean mentality - somehow they are better than Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia...etc. 

As for beauty and Korean women, they are looking like Frankenstein nowadays, I couldn't tell who is who on TV or in the streets.  Korea doesn't value natural beauty.  When actually some of the more beautiful women I've seen are from Vietnam.  They have some delicate features that mixes around Asia. And to me that's beautiful!  A standard "look" doesn't beat a mix of this and that - every beauty is different.  I think it's so robotic to label as one standard as beautiful.

It's a shame how Koreans see these so called "south east asian countries" as "'lower class".  I don't think any scale of GDP or whatever, marks a country any better than the other. 

I just had to spill my beans here about this on going "we are Korean, we're better" attitude.  I really despise it.  I hope one day, some day, Koreans will learn a thing about inner beauty.

Just because someone is dark skinned - you don't label them as, "dong-nam-ah" and put them down with your nasty energy.  For those that do that are only reflecting what they feel about themselves.

photo credit: TheMalt via photopin cc


Le Meridien Hotel - Siem Reap, Cambodia

We finally made it to Cambodia! 

There's so much to say about the trip, but we'll have to first off thank Le Meridien hotel for making the trip so much more comfortable.  The staff are super awesome, super super awesome!  The food is also awesome!  We never ate so many meals in a hotel - it was that good!

way to start the day!

they had some of the best noodles at the hotel

proper decor - that's unlimited coffee :)

pretty lotus in the hotel property

more about angkor wat soon!

Momo Cat Hotel - real honest review

The hardest part about living abroad with pets is where and who and what to do with them when you're away.

We used MOMO CAT HOTEL for the third time now.  And sadly I'm kind of turning away from it.

upside down capture of their room bc of the "cam setting"

 I realized that my furry babies are best at home.  We had them for about 11 days at the cat hotel at one time - and they came back "different" - and stressed.  It took couple days to get them back to their normal cuddly selves.  And as a crazy cat mommy, I don't like seeing them like that.

Yes, the perks of seeing them through live cam is great.  Having a cute room is great.  But after all that - in between the unseen - the cats are unhappy.  My babies were super stressed after all.  No cute room or fancy air filter is replacing what they really need - love and attention.  All that fancy is really for humans really - to amuse us.

comfort of home

Perhaps Jack and Mason are spoiled (we do treat them like our kids & they get much attention since we work at home)., but we gave the cat hotel 3 tries.  The third time was not a charm for us.
I would rather have them at home than having them looked after in a so called "cat hotel".  It's not all that fancy and great as it sounds - especially for the cats.  Our vet tells us that cat hotels are really stressful for them.

all we need is love

Yes, he picked them and dropped them off on time.  He did the job, fed them and cleaned after them.  The daily cat diary logs with photos helped - but I knew he wasn't putting enough "love and play time".   He didn't accommodate to Jack and Mason's personality (high energy breed to begin with, cuddly, attached, love needy).

Our cats are super needy and I was hoping that that the cat sitter would get it - somehow figure out that they need more than just being fed and cleaned after.   He didn't give enough TLC(tender loving care) as I was hoping.  Maybe he didn't want to be "close to them/attached" - and I respected that the first few visits - but after having our babies "thrown off"(angry/moody/stressed/sick) again for the 3rd time - I thought it was enough trying.  He didn't fit in to what I wanted a "cat nanny" to be.  

Sadly, even after the third time there, they haven't adjusted, the cats or the cat sitter.  And frankly, the "cat hotel guy" - the third time - disappointed me.

The second time he came to pick them up, he smelled like "heavy cig smoke". 

And the third time - he forgot their food and toy(their favorite toy!!!).   To me, this puts me off.  How can you forget something I packed for them and not bring it back!  It's not the cost of the food or toy, it's the fact that he nonchalantly mentioned it like it didn't matter to us or to him.  No sorry about it either.  Just a, "I forgot it".  I was struck dumb by his "not a big deal" attitude about it.

Just because we can afford a "cat hotel" doesn't mean those things don't matter to us!  And I want their favorite toy back!   I was looking online today to order the same toy and no one carries it now :(

 Not professional at all.  His rather "solemn" demeanor is also..ehh.. not very thrilling.   In a service business, I think it's important to put on a "good happy face" - at least fake it damn it.  At least put on a tone and face, "I'm happy to service you and your cats".  I haven't gotten that feeling even after the third time.

I'm put off with MOMO CAT HOTEL.  I'm really eager to find a better solution than having them off with a stranger.. (they've also gotten sick couple times after coming back - most likely due to "stress" thus having lower immunity to fight off other "cat germs" in the hotel).

I haven't left a "review" in his homepage(naver blog) - registering at Naver sucks for foreigners (what's up with all the information they need!!).  So I am putting a rather "sad review" here.  I won't be doing business with them again.

The best solution - having a friend look after them!  (and what our vet tells us too.)

***Needy cuddly cats get really sad when you put them in a cat hotel.  Please consider your fur babies personality when you're considering one.   Our cats are exposed to us 24/7 and we are always home to give them undivided attention (I even play hide and seek with them!).   For our babies, the "cat hotel" didn't work.  Lesson learned.

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