Recent Realities Vol. 7

Recent Realities (Original image from

It has been a while since my last Recent Realities post. I’ve blogged about my major happenings, but now I am here to share with the other events in my life. Read on to see my food highlights, reunion with a childhood friend, moment with a hilarious sign, experience with a new event, and future travel plans. I’ve been quite busy!

Fantastic Food

Cali Kitchen's Burger and Fries

One of my favourite restaurants is closing down its location and is going to re-open up as a gastropub. I’ve been a regular at this restaurant since August 2015, so I was saddened to see this version coming to an end. I had one last meal there in March, and it was the meal that started it all for me with them — their single burger, fries, and chipotle ketchup. I supported their Kickstarter for their new place. I can’t wait until they open!

Hanna Bakes Seoul's Strawberry Cake

I love strawberries, so I had to try this cake made by Hanna Bakes Seoul in in Fat Cat. This cake was full of yum! Hanna’s desserts are to die for!

Noxa Oriental's Pad Thai

That night, when I left work to start my two-week leave, I stopped by Noxa Oriental to have some wine and their pad Thai. It was a lovely way to start my vacation in April!

Mesiya's Croquette Set

I had this croquette meal set at Mesiya. After I returned from Japan, I decided to go to this Japanese soul food restaurant in my neighbourhood. This was a very fulfilling meal, but it sure did make me miss Japan!

Seeing Senpai

Reuniting with Christina Strain!

After not seeing her since 1999, I reunited with the infamous Christina Strain! We lived in the same neighbourhood and rode the same bus to our school complex. Being a few years older, she was like something of a senpai/sunbae (older mentor). Fast forward in 2014 when I discovered she created a few amazing webcomics I followed, and we reunited online. Earlier this month, we reunited in person! It was great meeting her again despite the eighteen-year gap! We met up and had dinner. I even got to meet her awesome husband. I am really grateful for this reunion!

Merry Misspelling

Misspelling of Quesidilla

I met Christina at a cafe . . . and this sign was outside the cafe. Let’s just say I had a very, very good laugh at this spelling error. Though, to be fair, I used to pronounce “quesadilla” as “kwesidilla”, keeping the double Ls as it is. It took me a while to pronounce it correctly and to remember that the double Ls in Spanish turns into a Y. Mates, Spanish is not my language.

Comic Circumstances

Comic World Seoul Gearous' Booth at Comic World Seoul Comic World Seoul Stash Small Yurio Pillow

In April, I saw Gearous, tweeting about coming to Japan and Korea. I messaged her privately, and she told me she would be attending Comic World Seoul on May 13-14! Ecstatic, I requested a Korean friend to pre-order the tickets for a friend and myself, and I looked forward to attending my first Comic World. It was a great experience with a very frustrating beginning. We had stood in the wrong line for twenty minutes to find out we had to go to a different line for pre-ordered tickets. When we got in that line, we discovered that those who bought the pre-ordered tickets weren’t allowed to enter until 2:00pm! That meant more waiting. When we were finally able to get our tickets, they wouldn’t just accept my name and confirmation number because I (really, my Korean friend) needed to log into Naver. Bah! I didn’t want to bother my friend, so I snapped and said it made zero sense to do that when I have all the other info. They eventually looked up the number and confirmed my identity and gave me the tickets.

Thankfully things turned better. Once inside, we went on a mad hunt for Gearous’ booth! We went through the whole room and came back out to look for a map of the booths. Inside once more, we found it near the entrance. How we missed it, I have no clue! Anyway, Gearous was so sweet! She sold her fan book, I bought a copy, and she signed it. My goal accomplished, we looked around at a more leisurely pace, and I bought a few more Yuri!!! On Ice fan merchandises and some Harry Potter influenced arts. I am glad to finally experience Comic World Seoul after living here all this time, haha!

Prompting Pauline

Jeju Air

After much consideration (and headaches), I decided to not combine Fukuoka and Matsue for my next big Japan trip, that it was much easier to separate them into two trips. I only want to visit Fukuoka, one of the major cities in Kyushu region, for Karatsu, a small town the creators based Hasetsu off in Yuri!!! On Ice. Curious, I looked up the airfare to Fukuoka over Memorial Day weekend, and I discovered it was so cheap on Jeju Air — $157 USD round-trip! I hesitated and considered going later. But then I saw Pauline’s tweet about her own YOLO decision to go somewhere, and that pretty much convinced me to just go to Fukuoka and Karatsu. This is but another solo travel adventure for me. I will be gone for two nights, and I found a one-room apartment to stay in Fukuoka!

I also planned a few more trips, thanks to Pauline. I booked an Airbnb to Busan for the Fourth of July weekend, where I’ll travel there on the KTX (the bullet train). That’s the one major city in South Korea I’ve yet to visit! For this trip, I will go with a friend if her schedule allows it. If not, I’ll go by myself for a short in-country weekend trip. Another trip plan — I am sending my mum and her sister to Jeju-do. Mum mentioned about wanting to there for years, and she did have plans on travelling there a year or two ago, but it didn’t fall through. I looked up the price to Jeju-do on Jeju Air, and it was so cheap for two people. Hence me buying the tickets and booking them a hotel. See, Pauline, you started a travel avalanche for me, haha! Oh, I am so excited :D


  1. I think it’s really cute that your last meal was the first one that got you hooked in the first place. Thats awesome! I’m sad for you that its closing down but a gastropub sounds great! Who knows, it might be your next regular!

    Eeek, I bet it was exciting to see Cristina again after all these years! I’m glad you were able to reunite and connect again. She seems pretty cool!

    Comic World seems super awesome! I’ve never been to anything like that before even though they’ve hosted a few in Sheffield. Mainly because I never have anyone to go with most of the time so xD Ugh, how frustrating that beginning was. I dislike waiting when theres a lot of people too ugh. I admire your assertiveness, I would just wait T_T

    I’m so glad that I inspired you to go ahead and book your trip. It’s funny how I’ve been talking a lot about travelling and seeing the world recently when this time last year I wouldnt have even stepped foot on a train away from Sheffield! And now I’m motivating you to arrange a trip! WOOP. SO HYPED. I’m excited to see your photos and blog post about it. Fukoka sounds amazing, I am so excited for your further exploration of Asia! :) I can’t wait to start planning my Asia trip, I’m going to re-visit your posts for sure!

  2. I didn’t know who Christina Strain was but wow Runaways! I love that comic! That’s really cool that she is one of the artists that works on the series.

    Also strawberries are so yummy. They’re my favorite fruit! haha

    That sucks about having difficulties trying to get into the venue for the Comic event but that’s super cool that you managed to get some artwork for Yuri on Ice.

    And wow look at all your travel plans! I’m so jealous! A trip to Busan and Fukuoka sounds like it would be really fun. I really, really want to visit Korea but the tickets are so expensive and I would want to go with my sister but she is only available during the summer, so that probably means the soonest I would go is not until a whole year! But now I’m sort of veering off topic LOL. I can’t wait to hear about how your trips go! I like reading the social media updates, haha.

  3. It’s good to stay busy! It’s always sad to see a favorite eatery go away. Hope the gastropub is good enough for you to become a regular! The strawberry cake looks delicious! I never had a cake with actual strawberries before. I love how the Japanese food came in a bunch of little dishes! I need more of this in my life XD.

    Glad you had a great time with Christina! 18 years is a pretty big gap and I’m glad you kept in touch with her! Haha, Spanish is not my language either. I cannot roll my R’s and end up mispronouncing a lot of words *-*. Comic world sounds like a perfect place for you to enjoy your time in!

    It’s so cool to hear everyone going on vacations! Someday, I will make that YOLO decision as well. You’re definitely getting in that life balance XD. It is sweet of you to book a trip for your mom and her sister to go travel! Hope you’ll have fun going out to Fukuoka!

  4. Yay, you’re going to Fukuoka and Busan! (I visited Busan in March!) Hope you have a grand time for both of your trips. :D

  5. Sorry to hear your favourite restaurant is closing down – it looks like they did some amazing food! I love the sound of chipotle ketchup, yummy! Hopefully their new place is just as good – I personally love gastropubs :D

    Every time you post a food photo I get so hungry! I can wait to visit Seoul – it seems to have some FABULOUS restaurants. My tummy is rumbling just looking at these photos.

    And that’s so cool you got to reunite with Christina. There’s nothing like catching up with old friends – I always find that even though it may have been years since you last saw them, it always seems like nothing has changed either.

    Hahahaha, I remember you posting that sign on Twitter and I actually laughed my butt off. Bless them for trying.

    Comic World Seoul looks like so much fun. This is making me excited for London’s Comic Con this weekend. EEEEK! I am especially loving the Yuri On Ice merch. <3

    !!TRAIN TO BUSAN!! Sorry, okay, I'm sure there'll be no zombies XD Ignore me. I hope you have amazing trips – it's so exciting going way, and I'm glad the travel bug has hit you as well. I cannot wait to read all about your adventures!

  6. That’s so awesome that you got to reunite with your childhood friend Tara! I bet it was super fun to catch up.

    It’s a shame when a favorite restaurant closes down :( but I’m glad that they’ll try and reopen a new place.

    That’s so awesome that you got to go to a convention! I’ve wanted to go to one for so long and I thought about trying to purchase tickets to AwesomeCon in D.C. but decided that it can wait until next year. In the meantime, I’ll see about tagging along with one of my friends to any anime conventions.

    Have fun planning your future vacations!

  7. Seems like you had a lot going on. The food looks delicious. You really inspire me to go out more often and enjoy a meal.

    It’s nice when you reunite wit old friends. Every time I reunited with someone from my past, I was so happy and thankful.

    Pauline is an inspiration for us all. I am very thankful for her sharing her stories and how ways of living her life. She inspired me o want to get a better lifestyle and thanks t her my life turned a lot better.

    Maybe someday I will have the courage to go on a trip on my own. I hope you will have the time of your lie on your trips. I can’t wait to see blogposts about them. Take care <3

  8. All the food looks amazing, especially those fries. It’s a shame they’re closing, but a gastro pub sounds great! Hopefully they’ll be just as good when they return.

    That cake looks fantastic too. I love strawberries, but rarely end up having them in dessert form. Probably because I always go for chocolate cake!

    It’s always great meeting up with old friends. Glad you got the chance to see each other again, that must have been so much fun!

    Comic World sounds great. I love the photos you took and I want all the Yuri on Ice! merchandise. That cushion is so cute! It’s a shame they were so unorganised to begin with though, but at least you managed to get it all sorted!

    Have fun planning some holidays! Can’t wait to hear about them!

  9. I thought that cake was a deep dish pizza, HAHA.

    That’s so cool you were able to reconnect with someone after 18 years! Especially over common interests as adults. I feel like childhood friends are friends because you’re there, while adults have to seek out friends based on a specific thing.

    Kwesadia? HAHAHAHAHA that’s amazing. I can totally understand why Asian speakers would spell it like that, it makes sense. But isn’t it pronounced Kay-se-di-ya? I’m not too sure myself.

    Also, I’m super jealous right now that you can just YOLO your way to Japan. I would do same if I were that close. Right now since I’m in California there are so many places I can just YOLO to, but none are solo-friendly when I can’t drive (yet). Just a bit more than a month until I can probably get my license! I would still like the option to travel out of the country for so cheap though!

  10. Wow, that’s great that you and Christina were able to finally see each other in person again after 18 years! Aw the quesadilla misspelling is endearing to see. Lol. Although growing up in California, I have no excuse to mess that one up. XD

    And your food pictures are so so yummy looking. I like how each one has a story behind it.

    And I feel like I need to take advantage of my work situation and fly to new places for the weekend!

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