Want to get to know that country more? Ask for a vlog!

Sometimes it can be difficult to get to know Japan or Korea more without actually being there. I mean there’s only so much you can learn through reading online! Even some online bloggers can only show so much of the city they’re in. The purpose of the video may not be to show you the city and even if it is it may be sped up or muted with background music or just a quick flick around a shopping centre nearby or something.

My Korean friend E eventually asked ‘Hey! Can you video your city for me!’ So E and I decided to send each other a vlog of our town/city! I’ve gone round Leeds as I went out with my friend today anyway and I took some footage of us walking round the city centre and in and out of some places we went to find somewhere to eat, we strolled around Trinity and around the side streets whilst I talked through where we were going. I actually had to separate my footage because Leeds was too big to vlog the whole thing from a camera with about 10 minutes of recording left in it but it was enough to capture ALOT. E is sending me some footage of his hometown, which isn’t in Seoul and is in fact quite a small area. I think it’s important to capture life outside of the capital of a country as well. It helps to paint the whole picture. (:

So why not ask your friend to vlog a little bit and send it your way? Of course don’t make friends with someone just for this reason, but if you have a friend who can ask for a couple of minutes. It’s not always necessary to talk, E is too shy to speak English as people will most likely stare since it’s only a small town. But it’s easy for me to, in fact nobody gave a damn in Leeds, people just walked straight past!

SO BOOM! Just a little suggestion. And if I don’t blog tomorrow I hope eveyrone has a FABULOUS New Year and I hope it all goes amazing for you! Mwah! (:

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Tips to start afresh in the New Year: Love Asia! But don’t get too carried away.

A second tip post on how to not lose yourself in an obsession. Any obsession really, but my thoughts lean towards an obsession with Asia. *This post does not apply to everyone reading it. Many of you may not go through a phase of obsession at all, but some might and maybe are so here are my thoughts on how to get out of that rut*

Okay, so for those who are in this bubble of obsession over Asia read on my dears read on. ♥

You may not even realise you’re in this bubble, but you are (unless you’re really not and you’re reading this out of interest). The best thing right now, and this is probably going to turn into some online therapy session, is to admit it. Adddmiiittt itttt! ADMIT IT. You’ve promised yourself you’re never going to marry a Westerner, only a gorgeous tall kpop haired sexy sexy sexy Korean that looks like Lee Min Ho (or K Will in my case). You’ve asked your hairdresser to give you razored ends which does NOT suit your hair type at all (ahem not me at all) and a fringe that is impossible to style in because it  li-ter-ally defies gravity. And what about those times when, on occasion, you’ve excused yourself from a group outing in favour of being a couch potato with those episodes of Boys Over Flowers or Bleach. Tut tut m’dears.

Any obsession can be a little bit bad in a way. There’s no such thing as loving something too much but it can make you go a bit craycray sometimes. So I’ll tell you how I got out of this bubble and hopefully we can all love things in a nice hippie way and not go nuts!

So when I first got into Japanese anime and manga I went maybe a little bit over the top. But I’m sure we all do. It’s enough when you’re spending your whole summer inside watching anime! But when it gets to normal school days again…arhhhh. ‘Pftt one more episode I swear….kay one more…..two more then THAT’S IT…..fuck it.’

I think I probably dropped a whole grade because I spent my time watching anime rather than revising during years 9 and 10. *sigh* Don’t let this be you! At least have a bit of self-discipline! I made up for lost revision time and got my arse back in gear during years 11 and 12 so I’m getting there now. The trick is….not to get there in the first place.

Sometimes loving Asia can influence you physically, your appearance. It definitely did for me. Not really clothes wise and there’s nothing wrong with what you wear anyway, what you dress yourself in isn’t an issue here. But it was more my hair. I’ve naturally got dark brown curly hair, used to be ringlety when I was young but it’s more loose bouncy curls now, definitely not the type of hair that’s easily manipulated. I attempted numerous times to gain Mami Sazaki’s full fringe, I asked for Bubzbeauty’s razored ends and I drew an outline of K-On! Azusa’s bangs and gave it to my hairdresser …all on separate occasions of course not altogether! But I just loved how cute the Asian hairstyles were. It took me some time to realise that a thick, full fringe did not make the most of my features, razored ends did not suit my hair type and asking for an anime character’s hairstyle was not realistic. My hair is now cut into a short bob, yes influenced by Ella Chen’s style (that I blogged about here) but it’s tailored to me. I have blunt ends because it suits my hair, I’m growing my fringe out because it suits my face shape and the style allows me to wear my hair naturally curly as well as straight. I get the best of both worlds and it was even influenced by Asian culture!

Finally, sometimes loving a certain KPOP band too much can result in injuries. And not just to yourself either.  Sasaeng fans. That’s all I’m saying. Don’t become one. Or whatever western equivalent there is.

So if you feel like you’re getting a bit too obsessed, promise yourself you’ll watch those episodes AFTER you’ve done your homework. Look at that gorgeous Asian hair you so wish you had and then look at your own and think ‘I wonder what it’d look like at it’s best…’ and by all means be inspired by that hairstyle but tweak it just a little bit. Don’t neglect your friends for your lurve for Asia too much, get satisfaction from both! And don’t try and be something you’re not, work on who you are and try and be the best ‘you’ you can be. Sure, we’d all like to be like our idols, sometimes we really want to BE them but there’s always good and bad in everyone’s lives so EMBRACE yourself and be your own best friend.

AHOHOHOHOHHOOHOHHOOHOHOH! A little too serious here now. Need something funny. I know. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J9X9VvYQXU

AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAAHHAAHAH!


To start afresh in the New Year: Tips for when talking to a foreigner + (teensy)UPDATE

One thing I’ve come across a lot when talking to  foreigner who doesn’t know much English or only knows basic English or…in fact any non-native English person that doesn’t have THAT much contact with us native Englishmen/women is the confusion about certain phrases we may subconsciously come out with.

Simple phrases that we use in everyday lingo such as ‘How come?’, ‘What’s up?’ and ‘OH ffs…’ are just weird to them. ‘How come?’ means ‘Why?’ in a casual manner and it most likely derives from the phrase ‘How did that come about?’

We know what it means, we’ve always known what it means, it’s just a phrase we come out with when we’re in conversation however, non-natives, especially those outside of Europe, will most likely not understand what ‘How come?’ means. The words ‘how’ and ‘come’ are two different things, and, well, let’s think about it. Putting these two words together with their original definitions does not logically equal the question ‘why?’

Phrases like this can make speaking to some foreigners slightly difficult so sometimes it’s best to be aware of why they may not understand you. I’m not however saying phrases such as ‘How come?’ and ‘What’s up?’ and the sarcastic phrase ‘Well NOOOOO….’ should be avoided. We should still speak normally, it’s how they learn. They ask what we mean, we explain, they gain extra vocab. It’s good practice. All we should do is be aware of what we’re saying!

On another quick note, as you can see I’ve gone through a lil’ blog refurbishment. I’d been meaning to create a personalised background for a couple of months now and finally drew moi! The actual layout of my blog has changed as well just because I can’t change the colour of the text or title text on my blog as I have to pay (meh) and because it was white it wouldn’t show up with my preferred background. I will switch back to my old layout probably is I ever pay or find a way around it but for now it’s this lovely layout! (: Hope it’s not  too different!


Christmas red and Crimbo pressies for dad and sis! UPDATE

So I’m feeling more festive now that my dad has decided to put up the Christmas decorations – balloons and trimmings and soon the tree! I’ve changed my blog’s background to a more Christmassy red – I think I’ll do this every Christmas season. HOHOHO!

*Edit: I ended up changing it to a darker red because the fricken text wouldn’t show up well on the original shade errhh*

On another note! I’ve ordered some pressies for my dad and sister, which of course I found searching Japanese gifts on Amazon, and might I say I WANT THEM.

So for my dad I bought a Hanayama puzzle – it’s the Armour (Adam&Eve) one! Hanayama puzzles are Japanese puzzles – little metal ones that range from 1-6 in difficulty level. I love puzzles and so does my dad so I thought this would be PERFECT for him as he appreciates Japanese culture too. The only problem was choosing a puzzle, there’s TONS but since I had a limited amount of money I went with a cheaper one. OOH.

So then for my sister, I bought some tights/stockings which, in Japanese style, have a black colour from the bottom to  half way up the thigh, but THEN they have an Eiffel tower on the thigh! OFT! Eiffel tower tights!! I felt this was appropriate, my sister loves Japan and she also takes French. Perfik! Only downside was hers takes longer to be delivered!

By the way I have NO idea what to get my mum. She loves gardening, it’s her hobby and work so she’s like ‘OH just get me something for the garden or something I need’ but I’ve no clue what to get her. Errrrrhhh, I’ll figure something out!! She’s hard to buy for!

See you soon people! (:


6♥Princess by Takashi Murakami for Shu Uemura

princess shu uemura

I’M HERE!!! 

So I was casually chilling with some youtube vids when I came across another advert, this one had me watching from beginning to end. I was initially captured by the unmistakable sound of Vocaloid music which suddenly started playing, then the anime music video that came along with it. At the top it said ‘6♥Princess by Takashi Murakami for Shu Uemura’ and at first I was like ‘Oooh! I like this!!!!!!’ then I was like ‘I don’t get what it’s advertising but I luuurve it!’ and then I was like ‘…what is it advertising though?’

Basically what I saw was an advertisement for a Shu Uemura range. The animation was by Takashi Muakami and the song was ‘Pink or Black’ by Hatsune Miku. They teamed up to produce this advert for the ‘6♥Princess’ range of Shu Uemura! And it’s awesome.

Firstly, listen to this song, in fact watch the advert! 

So it took me a bit of thinking and googling to figure this whole thing out because I initially thought the music was composed by Takashi Murakami and the song was called 6♥Princess. I had no idea what the relevance was to Shu Uemura but after a few minutes I’d got it down.

So for those who aren’t aware, Shu Uemura was a Japanese make-up artist and the founder of the Shu Uemura cosmetics line (obviously). Shu Uemura has released a new ‘range’ which is illustrating the ‘pink’ and ‘black’ sides of a girl (hence the pink or black song). So the innocent vs sexy sort of thing which I think is really cute!

Takashi Murakami is an artist, not a music composer as I assumed, so he provided the sweet animation and Hatsune Miku sings ‘Pink or Black’ – together they produced an advert for the new range. 6♥Princess is supposedly the name for the animation by Takashi Muakami – ‘Princess’ referring to the pink princess and the black princess of the two looks you can achieve from the makeup range.

I showed my sister this concept and she just thought it was so sweet, I personally really like it too! There’s more info about the range and the background behind it on the Shu Uemura website.

About the song itself, well, it’s on my iPod constantly! What I really like as well was the fact that it’s sung in English to appeal to a global market rather than simply just Japanese customers. It’s funny because I didn’t realize at first due to the cute Engrish but made the connection when I saw the subtitles. It kind of works as a cute singalong advert! In relation to the anime, it’s gorge. I love the constant comparisons between the pink and black princesses even when they’re dressed in simple school uniforms. It’s really easy to understand the concept behind the advert even if the English is a tad off, but I think it just prompts you to pay even more attention to the advert. If the English was perfect in writing and vocally we wouldn’t watch the video. I have to say I also love the use of the piano throughout especially at the beginning. (:

Well, I’m off to listen to it again! Oft and watch it, nyaha! Enjoy! I reaaaalllyyy want to try this makeup range now! ♥ (I’m going to type this heart all the time now baha!)