Recent Realities Vol. 3

Recent Realities (Original image from

Before I go on, I want to thank everyone for their supportive comments on my previous post about my cerebral palsy. I really wasn’t sure what sort of comments I’d receive, but I appreciated every single one of them. Thank you for reading and commenting on one heck of a difficult entry!

Moving on — it’s time for a new Recent Realities post. The last month or so kept me busy. I could say the past few weeks have been exciting in an understated way. I upgraded something, tried out an experiment, and had some delicious food. Amidst all that, I’d been slowly getting used to my new workplace and the commute. With it being a month, I feel that I can say something about it now . . . along with all the happenings in my life, haha!

Tesla the Phone

Tesla the iPhone

After owning a Samsung Galaxy S3 (named Sapphire) for the past 3.5 years, I decided to upgrade to a new phone. Sapphire still works all right, but I’ve been having a lot of issues; it would crash and freeze on a regular basis, and that just proved to be nothing but a hinderance. After some thoughts of switching to a Samsung Galaxy S7 or an iPhone 6s, I chose the iPhone SE for two reasons: 1) with that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosion going on, my trust in Samsung went way down and 2) the iPhone SE is much cheaper than an iPhone 6s. Regarding the second reason, I nearly fell out of my seat when I found out it’d cost me almost $90 USD a month for 3.5gb of LTE data transfer and unlimited domestic texts and calls with an iPhone 6s. With an iPhone SE, the cost is about $70 USD instead for the same amount of data transfer, texts, and calls. That’s about $10 USD more than what I pay for my previous S3 plan, so I could live with that. Therefore, I chose an iPhone SE in silver with 64gb of space.

I named my new iPhone “Tesla” after Nikola Tesla, one of my favourite inventors/engineers in history. I am so far liking Tesla. I’ve only had the phone for about a week. Switching from an Android to iOS wasn’t difficult, but I do have several annoyances. I find that the touchscreen doesn’t cooperate well with me, and having that “#” symbol on the second page of the symbols keys instead of the first page is driving me nuts! Regardless, I am loving the camera on this thing. The smaller screen took a bit for me to adapt, but I’m glad I went for a smaller phone instead of getting a larger one.

Work and Commute

After that first difficult week, I’ve adapted to my new workplace. I have so much tasks that I am always kept busy. I find that doing administrative tasks suit me, especially the ones that involve repetition like data entry. I’ve learned how to take payments on carbon paper and how to operate a credit card machine. I’m also doing the staff timecards with an ancient software that involves a floppy disk (don’t ask). I’ve also had to clean and re-organised my work area. In fact, it was so filthy that I went and bought Clorox wipes to sanitise my own desk! All in all, I’ve managed to impress my bosses with my work ethics, so I think things are going well work-wise.

Commuting-wise, I am not doing so hot in that department. A normal day for me involves waking up by 6:00am at the latest and catching the 7:00am bus. On a good day, I’ll get to my destination by 8:10am. I work 9:00am to 6:00pm with an hour lunch, and then I have to wait two hours to catch the 8:00pm bus. This means I do not get home until 9:30-10:00pm. Needless to say, I’ve been quite exhausted by this schedule, even with all the times I sleep on the bus! So this led me to try an experiment . . .

Airbnb Experiment

I found a place on Airbnb near my workplace, about 15 minutes away by foot. This place gives a private room while sharing the bathroom and common areas with the host. I gave it a try this week, staying Monday to Friday. This arrangement proved to be a lot more ideal for my physical state. I was less tired and I found myself really enjoying the fact I didn’t have to commute everyday. However, despite me only being away for 4.5 days, I became terribly homesick. I missed my parents, my auntie, my bedroom, my comfortable bed, my desktop PC, and my beloved city, Seoul. It’s weird. I can go away on trips and not feel homesick, but this time it felt completely different. My emotional and mental health took quite a beating this week. Take it from me, mates — there’s no place like home!

Food Adventures

Despite my unexpected homesickness, I took the time to explore the area I stayed in and try out some new restaurants. Couple of my experiences were pretty bad (including a pineapple fried rice that didn’t come in a pineapple like it was pictured in the menu!), but there were a couple of good food experiences!

Chicken Teriyaki with Tonkatsu and Miso Soup

I had this awesome chicken teriyaki and tonkatsu set with miso soup the day after that horrible pineapple fried rice experience. This place surprised me quite a bit. They give you quite a bit for the price. The chicken had a good flavour to it. The miso soup tasted more like Korean soybean paste, but I ended up liking it. If I ever crave teriyaki, I know where to get my fix!


After that fantastic teriyaki, I tried this chicken fried rice at a different place that just tasted sweet and bizarre. Until then, I’d been spending $8-13 USD on my meal, so I was desperate for some good ol’ cheap Korean diner food. For some reason or another, those cheap diners were all hidden and tucked away in this area. I finally found it after wandering around the marketplace area, and I managed to find three diners right next to each other. I went to one and had a bibimbap for about $4.25 USD — way cheaper than what I’d been spending! Honestly, this bibimbap wasn’t anything special, but after eating those those expensive, subpar meals, this bibimbap was pure heaven!

Skillet Toffee Fudge Brown

Last, but not least, I discovered this skillet toffee fudge brownie at Chili’s, and this is my new favourite dessert ever. That toffee in the concoction really hit the spot! I am not a huge fan of Chili’s, as I tried their sliders and was not impressed, but I’ll definitely return for this indulgence!


  1. I have the smaller iPhone too and I like that it’s not too big, haha. And I feel you on the commuting. It takes me the same amount of time to get to work because traffic is the worst here.

    The food also looks really good! I think one of the great things about Korea is that you can find cheap food that’s good. I’m also really jealous of the street vendor foods!

    • Yeah, Korea has some cheap food! You need to come over here so we can try all those street food, girl! :D

  2. The last photo had me craving for brownie a la mode!

    Also, no questions but…FLOPPY DISK?! Haha.

    • Yeah, I am still WTFing over that floppy, haha! XD;; It’s mind-boggling those are still being used!

  3. I’ve never tried air bnb but I am planning on doing so in the future since they are usually less expensive than hotels (obviously lmao). I’m a little shy when it comes to meeting strangers, too, so I think that’ll be a nice opportunaty to get more open-minded and “extroverted” I guess.

    Also, you get used to the iPhone. I had a HTC before getting an iPhone myself and I never regretted it. Honestly, I think I’ll never buy a non-apple phone again haha. Just take some time to adjust ^^

    Hope you have a nice weekend! ~

    • Airbnb is definitely cheaper in some ways! I hope your experiences will go well when you try it! :D It definitely takes an open mind to stay in stranger’s homes!

  4. I had a Samsung S3 for around 2.5 years(?) before upgrading to an S6 last year. My S3 was so sluggish to the point I had to wait 7 seconds (or something ridiculous like that :P) after tapping on an app. Unfortunately, I regret the purchase of my S6 because it’s already breaking after a year. I had some problems with the screen, the camera breaking (TWICE) – I think the amount of money I spent repairing it could’ve bought me a better phone (i.e. the iPhone) I’m looking into getting an iPhone soon, it’s just a lot more reliable in my opinion.

    I’m sorry that you’ve been tired commuting – it sounds like such a busy schedule! I’m glad that Airbnb eased the tiredness, but like you said there definitely is no place like home! I hope you can find a way round this. But I’m really happy that work is going well :D (You go GIRL!)

    Have a relaxing weekend Tara! <3

    • 7 seconds? That’s a long wait! Ack! I don’t think I’ve had that problem. I like my Samsung phones, but Apples aren’t bad, too XD;; I’m just glad I don’t need iTunes.

      The Airbnb was only temporary. I’ve no plans on using it often. I love my home too much!

      I hope you had a relaxing weekend, too!

  5. Aww Tara, sounds like you had a sorta rough week. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing about your CP. It encouraged some people to donate more than I thought for my Steptember team – they were a heck of a lot more generous than I thought. We reached the summit of the virtual mountain last week, with one of my team members hitting a crazy 27,000 steps one day after walking around photographing around the city. I walked a lot more last week and worked harder at the gym (they count as steps too), upping my steps. I walked to a train station further away, I took long walks during lunchtime, and walked around the office every hour. I am so glad to be contributing awareness for CP, as well as supporting a friend. <3

    I went for the 6S after I had the 5c, and at the time the SE was not available. I was not used to the 6S’s large screen immediately, but had the SE been available at the time, or if I still had my 5c, I would have chosen to upgrade to that. It sounds like you went for a smaller screen though! Even though I was not sure about the large size of the 6S at first, I now don’t think I could use a phone with a smaller screen. xD I am glad you are liking the camera on the phone, though – iPhones are known for their great cameras ;)

    I love that you named your phone Tesla. :D As you probably know, I love naming my devices after scientists too – my laptop is Shackleton (geologist Nicholas Shackleton) and my new iPhone 7 has been named Herschel after Caroline Herschel, an astronomer. :D

    It’s both interesting, and a good idea, that you tried an Airbnb rental to see how you would cope instead of dealing with the long commute to and from work. I guess you are still taking some time getting used to that long commute – I know some people have managed three-hour commutes when they work or go to university here. Then again, as I have probably mentioned to you, it’s sort of normal to travel such long distance in Sydney. I hope you find something that works for you, whether that be staying in an Airbnb sometimes, trying to make the most of the long commute, or just embracing what it is. We’re all different and it can be hard to make a big change especially when it takes you more time than you’re used to. I look forward to reading more about how you’re dealing with it though – you have our full support! :)

    YUM YUM FOOD though. I guess a plus is being able to explore the area around your work and hopefully find some more good places to eat. 8D

    • I’m glad you’ve received more donations than expected! And you and your team are certainly doing a lot of walking! I give you guys massive kudos! :D

      Yeah, I can see why people wouldn’t want to go back to a smaller screen after adjusting to a larger one. It’s been a bit of an adjustment for me, but it’s not too bad. It helps that I have small hands XD;

      I hope I find something that works for me, because this commute will be a killer in the long run. It’s been a major pain to adjust to, for sure!

  6. I’m glad to see that you switched to the iPhone side! The only issue I have with iPhones is that the battery life starts going down after 3 years. Then again, that’s a problem with other phones too (I see Androids having a decreased battery life sooner). Good to see that there was the SE option to choose from! I completely forgot about that phone :’). The name is very fitting (even though I see Tesla cars everywhere in LA). Hope you’ll fully adjust to the iPhone’s feature as time goes by. Every iPhone I’ve upgraded to comes with a better camera every time!

    Oh man, it sounds like your new work is keeping you busy! Gah, my OCD self would’ve done the same if my desk was full of dust and filth. Waaaah, your commute pretty much eats up the rest of your day! Maybe living closer to work is the way to go- hope renting out a place doesn’t offset the money you’re making.

    Oooohooo the food looks delicious! Are the pictures taken with your new iPhone? :) You’re making me hungry now. AHHhhhh bibimbap is delicious *u*~~~

    • I am not staying at the Airbnb permanently XD Like I just stayed for four nights, and I don’t have any more reservations made. I think I’ll just stick to commuting since I like my home too much, and cohabiting with strangers aren’t really my thing.

      And yes, those food photos were taken with Tesla! :D

  7. Congratulations on getting a new phone. I have to do that soon. Unlike you I want something with a bigger screen. I currently own an Samsung Galaxy S4 and I am planning on switching to an LG or maybe HTC. They are so cute. My father says to go with the LG. I would personally stick with samsung, because I am used to samsung phones since when I was little. Actually, besides a Blackberry, all my phones were Samsung (never realized it). The reason I probably won’t is the fact that you pay a lot for the brand (bonth samsung and iphones), there are a lot of good phones out there and some of them a lot cheaper. But yeah, I have to start phone hunting.

    Oh, I used to get homesick when I left my hometown for university, but I am not anymore. I guess I got used with living on my own. It’s a good thing that you spend your week-ends with your family. It sucks that you have to commute that much. If only it would have been closer to your home.

    Every single time I see Korean food I am like (I want thattt). I can’t find ONE authentic restaurant in Romania. We have Asian food but it tastes almost like out food, so my guess is that is not what’s supposed to be. Maybe one day I will have the chance to taste authentic Korean food.

    • Aw, I hope you’ll get more Korean restaurants in Romania :) Korean food are delicious!

      And I am not fond of LG at all. I had an LG phone and used the LG Telecom as my phone service once, and I wasn’t pleased by them at all. I have to say I may stick to iPhones from now on. Android phones just really decrease in quality after a while!

  8. Yay, welcome to the iphone club! Although after this recent iOS10 update, I’m starting to think that the iphone golden years are over…

    I’m glad you were able to find an AirBnB close to your workplace to cut down on the commute. It can be a major adjustment if you’re used to having friends and family around daily to suddenly having nobody around. I find that if I keep myself busy with hobbies after work in my hotel, then I’m pretty happy. (Now if only I can use that time to work on my blog…) So basically weeknights become my personal time while weekends are all for socializing. That balance works out pretty well for my introvert self. Also, during the week, sometimes my coworker and I would go run at the local park after work. So maybe if any of your coworkers want to grab dinner or join an exercise class with you after work?

    • I hope their golden years aren’t over now that I switched over LOL

      The Airbnb worked, but I find it really difficult cohabiting with strangers :/ Sure, they become friends eventually, but this is not something I can do often. I’d rather just stick to the evil commute and sleep in the comforts of my own bed!

      If I ever do move down here, though, I’ll definitely try to do more of what you’re doing :) I definitely had my hobbies to keep me occupied during my brief stay, but I just wasn’t comfortable enough to really enjoy it. Oh well. Now I know better!

  9. I was actually thinking about my phone, as my brother’s contract (I’m on a family plan w/ him and dad) will be expiring this December. My HTC One M8 is pretty much “dying,” as the internal battery has been draining really fast (even though I don’t use its apps that often) and that it has been charging really slow, sometimes it won’t even charge at all.

    In my family, I’m the odd one out, being the sole family member who has been using Android phones (and in the past, Blackberry) and nothing Apple-related, and I think I will be sticking to using Android phones. One of my goals is to learn how to develop cross-platform mobile apps, but solely focused more towards Androids. Right now I’m just pondering if I should stick to HTC phones or aim for something new/better (?).

    If I were going to look for a job that has a longer commute than what I would usually take, I’d probably look for the one closer to where my sister or my brother lives, so I’d know where to do my room and board at. Congrats on your new job though! :)

    • Android phones are all we used in my family until I went the Apple route XD I think I’m just fed up with Android phones at the moment, but I may return to them in the future. Who knows!

      I didn’t have much of a choice with my boarding options down there. Plus, I am really limited to my job options (as well as location) here, so I just took what I could get.

  10. I like that you named your phone Tesla! Nikola Tesla is also one of my favorite inventors :) Even though the iPhone 7 is out, I’m thinking about getting the iPhone 6S next. I like my headphone jack too much, and I’m in need of an upgrade!

    Whoaaa, floppy disk? I still have some, but I haven’t used them in so long, haha. I’m glad you’re getting the hang of the new work place, though the commute sounds rough. That’d be tiring to leave so early and get back so late. Using an Airbnb sounds like a good idea. That’s great that the place was so close to your work, but it is tough to also be away from home most of the week! I hope you figure out what works best for you!

    • Yeah, I am not sure about the jackless iPhone XD;; But maybe that’ll be a fad that will catch on.

      I will never get over that floppy disk, haha! Everyone I mentioned to are all shocked by it XD;

      I think I’ll just commute. I just gotta suck it up for a while and hope I get used to it!

  11. I think I missed the update when the SE was released because I only realized it was on the market a few weeks ago, HAHA. Probably because it was a spring release? I have the 6S+ and that was last autumn before the recent release of the 7. Welcome to the iPhone world! ^_^ I am a Samsung fan – I have a Galaxy Tab – but I’ve always liked that Apple has more apps to play with. :P

    I feel ya girl, I used to tell myself I didn’t want to move into the city because my commute was less than an hour away, but sometimes waiting for the train makes it close to 2 hours! It’s exhausting! Does the Airbnb get expensive? I do know people who do have to travel for part of the week due to work but their companies pay for it!

    • Yeah, I didn’t even know about the SE until I started looking into my phone options! I’ll always love Samsung, but that explosion issue needs to be fixed!

      As for the Airbnb, nope, my org won’t pay for the commute or the accommodations :/ I’ve done it just for that week, and I’ve no plans to do it again any time soon. I’m not ready to live away from home! X_X;;;

  12. I can’t believe your commute to and from work is so long. I feel so sorry for you :( Mine is about an hour each way and even that really annoys me.
    How much distance is yours?
    Could you afford to move out and live closer to work?

    • I can’t afford it right now, and since I still live with my parents, it doesn’t make much sense to pay extra for rent right now.

      My commute takes about 1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic. However, that’s not including the time it takes me to get to and from the bus terminal to my flat.

  13. Hope the new phone works well! I have been using an iPhone for so long I am used to the platform now haha. I am glad you didn’t get a Samsung one, in case anything might have become wrong with it!

    It’s great that you have been working hard and impressing your bosses. Less so that the commute is so long and you have been tired. It was really good to try the experiment and I can understand being homesick. Maybe you could do it for a few days.

    • I love my Samsung Galaxy S3, but it reached the point of being a nuisance than a helpful device! The iPhone’s working out for me so far :)

      I didn’t do the AirBnB again yet. I love my own home too much XD;

Comments are no longer accepted on this post. However, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding this post.