The Daejeon International Wine and Food Festival

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My friend Eric and I headed to Daejeon for the International Wine and Food Festival after waking up at the crack of dawn to grab a train at 7. I wasn’t exactly sure what it entailed, but wine-tasting and international food??? I was so there.

Our first stop was the Daejeon Art Museum (a 2,000 won cost) and the Arboretum. The museum had 3 major exhibits, and were just okay. The Arboretum on the other hand was simply amazing! So so soooo beautiful with its roses and pond, herbs and sunflowers.

Daejeon Arboretum

We headed inside with our 3,000 won entrance fee that included a beautiful wine glass (I got to keep it! ^_^) I was impressed with the whole setup. There was a small gallery at the entrance with some wine themed art, and musicians playing. Then there were just booths from eeeeeverywhere around the world. 2Eric and I chatted with the booth workers, some were Koreans who worked for the companies overseas, and some were from the embassy themselves. There was even a wine glass washing area so you could have a squeaky clean glass for the next sample. I usually like red wine, but white wine worked really well for an afternoon of wine tasting. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed: wine

We spent about an hour walking around and taste testing, and that’s when I realized it would probably be a good idea to go grab some grub. We headed for the back exit, and as we rounded the corner we saw rows and rows of open wine bottles, labeled “samples”. o_O So of course we needed to try a few (-_^)

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The International Food area was a bunch of restaurants selling their cuisine, all outdoors and wonderful on a sunny beautiful day. It was a bit pricey, but still worth eating. We had pad Thai, and spring rolls and an Australian burger. We bought brie cheese and crackers and went back inside for more wine. It was truly a perfect day ^_^ 
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A Photo Shoot by Dezignsbyma


Dezignsbyma

Back in August, I went to visit my friend Antwon, who had started his own company called Dezignsbyma. He got into photography when he moved to Korea. Similarly, I picked up my first DSLR because I was moving to the other side of the world. Though clearly, he has used his talents much more efficiently than I have haha.

I was a bit nervous of playing model, which my friends found funny considering I am on stage at times acting and do these Youtube vids. But again, modeling is NOT the same as acting lol. As I told them, when acting you are playing a character who could be far different then you (case in point I recently took the role of Fezzik in “Princess Bride..true story). So by the end of it, I just had to “act” like I was a model so that I could get over my nerves lol. Thankfully Antwon was patient, and the session went really well.

Click on his logo to check out his amazing photography. His studio is right here in Daegu, close to the heart of downtown.

Reviewing some of the pictures

Reviewing some of the pictures

I nervously laughed through the whole process ^_^

I nervously laughed through the whole process ^_^

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by Dezignsbyma - Photo 1by Dezignsbyma - Photo 3

by Dezignsbyma - Photo 4

The 6th annual Salsa Festival in Busan

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For one night, Laura, Esther and I headed to Busan for the 6th Annual Salsa Festival. I didn’t realize just how big salsa was until I went. Yeah, there are a few groups here in Daegu, that focus on teaching salsa to a t and then dancing the night away. I guess being at the beach and seeing such a large group of people made me see just how interested Koreans were. According to Busan Haps,

Koreans liked the dance so much that in the early 2000s, they started holding salsa congresses, big, weekend-long events that involve social dancing, performances and dance workshops. […] By 2008, salsa was so popular in Korea that multiple congresses would be held around the same time. This was a big change from the almost non-existent salsa scene in the whole of Asia just ten years prior.

When I got there it was a bit intimidating to see. Koreans, as is in their educational nature, are extremely hardcore when it comes to their studies. Salsa is no exception. You can see in their moves that they’ve practiced a LOT, it becomes a solid choreographed series of moves. So you can imagine as a Latina, I feel a bit embarrassed that I don’t know all the moves, or that they aren’t sharp enough. Though I grew up with this kind of music, salsa and merengue were the natural things played at birthday parties and barbecues, it was something that I never got really good at until I came to Korea. Go figure, right? The foreigner group (aka my friends) who taught it to me, though we practiced each Saturday night… it felt like we did it for the sheer fun of it. We were a bunch of ragamuffins getting together to have some fun. In other words, we don’t practice the ballroom salsa you see in a lot of the Korean groups. For me, my background is “street” salsa, what your uncle Carlos was doing and trying to teach the kids. My friends, who attend salsa parties more often than I do have told me how Koreans have been so surprised when my friends tell them they don’t take official lessons. That they’ve practiced from just doing it at parties.

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The night was amazing! Laura, Esther and I felt like we came, we danced, we conquered. We knew it was a successful night when we felt like we were showering in sweat. Seriously, it was so disgustingly awesome! Korean men, especially the ajossis, are just so good at dancing! The oldest man there somehow moved me in a way that I ended up doing a little kick mid-air like a happy-go-lucky leprechaun! Only thing that bugged me was feeling all paparazzied out, I know I know..I sound paranoid. But there is a difference between onlookers who are curious and taking pictures, and then there are the creepy voyeurs that you know are there to get off on filming and taking pics of a bunch of girls. Anyways, we just had to ignore them and enjoy our night anyways.

We ended the night with some chicken and beer, and then strolled around until we found a love motel. We had this amazing poem written on the outside of the motel in front of ours. Oh Korea, and your little charms ^_^

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Outside our motel for the night

 

And the sky burned

It was the strangest sunset.
Daegu South Korea Sunset 1

A rainbow cut faintly through the sky…
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and I felt like I was in a dream.
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This world was so vivid and strong, like a painting that had been set aflame. Daegu South Korea Sunset 4

It felt like it was a message to me alone. Daegu South Korea Sunset 5

To get up, to wake up and just live. Daegu South Korea Sunset 6