What I love about Houston (already)

A relocation got us to here.  It was never intended - especially not down here in the South, especially in Texas, especially, here in Houston.

Who knows where life will take you?

We didn't know a lick about Houston.  No families here in TX.  No ties really.

But we decided, why not!  Why not go South!  I was tired of the cold cold winters in Korea.  Houston is hot and humid - yes yes!  Why not!

And here we are.  So far, the winters here are the Spring seasons in Korea, only much longer, clearer, lush, greener, and lasts longer than 2 weeks.

As an "earth" type (Capricorn) - I love the lushness of Houston.  The climate is great for the beautiful trees and greenery here.  My husband, a "fire" type (Leo) - was hesitant about being in a hot climate, because he says he's a "winter person."   That's no longer.  He loves not being cold now!  He brags to his friends in the arctic North of how warm and wonderful winters are here.

But you say, wait till Summer, just wait!  Sure, the summers here will be humid and hot.  But in Korea, we sweated at home (bc using AC was a luxury and expensive and culturally just a bit "too much of a good thing")  - I'm used to sweating in the summers.

US has cheaper electricity costs and better AC system - so I think I will just be fine in the summer time.  I'll think of it as a sauna season and I love saunas.  Hey, free saunas! 

Let's not even get started with the food here. 

I've never been to a place where you can get pretty much any ethnic food you want within 30 minutes drive.  I have my favorite  places lined out already.  We love our variety in food choices.  And Houston has it.  I couldn't get this up in the North unless you lived in NYC... but too expensive and snobby there.  Houston is all about keeping it real.   Good food without the frills.  Authentic without being weird about it.

I've never been heard so many maams and sirs in my life.  I really like it here.

Laugh at me for being naive, but I already call this place home.  It's embracing me like no other.  Like mother earth, Gaia.  I feel loved here.

photo credit: OneEighteen Found Valentines via photopin (license)


New hobby: coupons & gardening

not our home

We seem to make a stop over or two to Home Depot, or Lowes, or the local nurseries on the weekends - of course, only with a coupon or to scout on any sales.  

I love these coupons.  I forget they existed.  In Korea, couponing was a rare thing for us - since also we hesitated to buy things at the end of our stay there.  The constant moving really turned us off from buying stuff.  

But now that we are here to stay (I love Houston!) and that we can easily move a 6 ft tree in our truck - nothing is impossible!  Last week, we got a peach and nectarine tree (6 ft~) for only $19.99 each and that came with a "buy $60 and get $10 off coupon".  I'm in like my own little heaven here.  Gardening & savings all in one.

As much I want to restrain myself from buying anymore, I have to coax myself  into indulging in my new hobby of creating my backyard as a fruit tree/forest oasis...

But for now, the yard looks like a patch of dug up areas where I am burying my food scraps to get the soil fertile and aerated.  We have heavy/muddy soil.  

I'm sure the lawn keepers are really curious why we get our lawn cut by them - but do everything else ourselves.  I think they might understand that gardening is not a chore, but an inspiring and relaxing hobby - turning nothings into beauties.  I think they'd totally understand.

photo credit: square foot hydroponics http://www.sqfoothydro.com hydroponic growing systems via photopin (license)


Life after 10 years in Korea

I'm so happy to be back in the states.  Living in Korea for  a decade has taught me so many things.  I am more appreciative even of the simple things here, such as the ease of breathing fresh crisp air... to eating a simple good sandwich.

Of course, it's hard to compare the two countries and life styles because Korea and USA are way too different -  the fast city life and culture in Seoul to the slow easy life in the suburbs.  Because of my experience of living in Korea, life is the states is soooooooo much better.  I am soaking up the slow life in the 'burbs - enjoying the view out the yard in front and back. 

Things that are different now:
  • I love the weather (rain or shine, cold  or sunny)
  • I breathe fresh air everyday 
  • I create my own vase of fresh flowers once a week with rose, kangaroo paw flower, and pincushion flowers from our garden
  • I drive my own car and run errands without walking no longer.
  • I shop for groceries on foot now instead of ordering them online.
  • I  no longer check the air pollution level when going out
  • I have a general appreciation of the suburb life - slow, slow good life
  • I am much much slower
  • I am at ease
  • I am less stressed

Things that are the same after 10 years in Korea:
  • I prefer warmth over being cold: I wear a sweater even in 70s weather
  • I need to eat rice at least once week! 
  • I also need a hot meal at least once a week (cold salads and sandwiches can only go so far).
  • I have the same rice cooker from Korea! (from Hmart)

Things that I do not miss from Korea(Seoul):
  • air pollution
  • gray sky
  • crowds
  • fast fast fast culture
  • traffic
  • being next to N.Korea and China 
  • climbing prices (necessities to luxuries)

Things that I miss from Korea:
  • clean efficient subways 
  • Bong-Pi-Yang restaurant (good Korean food)
  • mouth scalding hot soups
  • cute cafes
  • good coffee shops in every block
  • "Seoul Milk"

 As you can see there's no comparison.  Aside from the air pollution, instability, and fast paced culture in Seoul, life in Korea wasn't that bad.  But would I go back to living there again?  No.  Even if you paid me 10 million dollars.  I'll probably just spend the money to get away from Korea. 

Ironic how that is... because half of Americans or so are unhappy with the new president/politics or what not, but when you come from an unstable country like Korea (of today), you appreciate what you didn't have.

I also think that because my wants are different now that I am in my 30s(married) as supposed to being in my 20s(single) - my priorities are  much more different.   I surely didn't care about much of the stuff that I care for now. 

So there's that.

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