Flashback Moment

A page of photographic memory and more…

First stop, France


I am one of those who like to document my travel experience and retold that stories through writing. (*hands up) So after ISfIT (last February), my most excitement is non other than being on Airfrance! Yes, it was one of that happy moment  because it has the Air + France! I’m going to France, at last!

We left Oslo very early in the morning saying goodbye to our ISfITers who I’m sure are all gonna explore Europe, just like us. What really upset me was when I missed the beautiful Oslo city lights view due to the exhausted trip on the bus from Trondheim. I kept complaining to my friend why he didn’t wake me up to see it or at least not showing me those wonderful pictures.

By the way, life on Airfrance was not as excited as the Areofloat ( or maybe because I was expecting too much from it?). After enjoying the never-ending food service from Areofloat, my point of flying have changed to the obsession of food service and unconsciously judging each airline by their foods. Then, when it comes to France, what I got was just a very small croissant for breakfast, I was in-a-complete depression mode (My DREAM airline gave me only ONE SMALL croissant!) and the flight attendant did not smile that often either (Is it a cultural thing?). However, around noon, all the grumpy feeling disappeared when I could catch a glimpse of Tour Eiffel emerged from the foggy clouds.

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Charle de gaulle  airport is a bit far from Paris, so we can only see the tower as small as a key chain, but that was enough to made my mood flew in the air of excitement already.

We needed to transfer to  another plane to Nice. I was so surprised to see that the airport here was not as modern and well organized like Incheon. I’m not really sure which one is larger, but we had to get out and took a bus for 15-20mins to get to the next flight and the system seems complicated at first. Again, I was overly excited when I spotted Ladurée shop inside the waiting lunge. Seriously, I was not a macaroon fan but many people bragged about it, so I planned to give it a bite once I got to France. In Korea, they also have macaroon which was just so-so. I circled around the shop several times before decided to pop in. Buying things in Euro is a lot easier than Krone as the value was not much different than USD. But one small macaroon for 1.75euro hesitated me a little bit (as a budget traveller heehee). I managed to grab several different flavors and to my surprised it did taste very very good. From that moment on, I am Ladurée macaroons super fan! ^^

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Nice amazed me with the airport right from the shore, it was scary though when the plane tried to land while it lower itself almost hitting the sea below (well nothing scarier than the thought of a plane crashed in the ocean for the one who can not swim, right?) Ok let’s not talk of the scary experience. In my whole life, I’ve only been to three beaches, the most pretty tropical one in my beloved Cambodia (^^ *tapping myself proudly), the fake one in Singapore, and the muddy one in Korea. Fortunately, in Nice though I couldn’t manage to swim,  the dark blue color ocean with the ray of sunset gave me the most romantic feeling I’ve never felt before. Along with the vintage French villages, the smell of expresso and the odd looking not-sure-if-it-palm tree-or-coconut-tree along the way made me pinned this seaside another must-visit in my bucket list. Oh yeah, and the carnival which supposed to be held that time of year even light up this little city. I love every thing about Nice even if sometimes it feels familiar like back home, Cambodia, which was once under the French colony.

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My friend’s relative hosted us and showed us around this beautiful city and even made us the most delicious Khmer food. Lucky for us, in France there are many big Khmer communities which made everything here a lot easier than Korea, by everything, you can imagine I was not talking of anything other than FOODs. They have everything ranging from Jasmine rice to all type of Khmer ingredients and his relative is the famous chef in town, so my friend and I who were bored up with bread and cheese in Norway, were eating like that was the time of life or death.

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In Nice, even if I am not biologically related to this lovely host family, I was treated like a long-lost-daughter. I did not even dare to think that I am so blessed to meet many nice people in this time of need. My host family in Norway was overwhelming with generosity and care already and now in Nice as well? They are so so nice to me that made me felt guilty of not being sure when I will be able to return this kindness. However, I am glad that there is one important thing I learned from this trip. That is to treat people the same way you want to be treated. And I couldn’t be happier without everything I experienced and the amazing people I befriended with along this journey.

Up next, Geneva-Switzerland

Recruiting CITYNET Young Professionals 2013


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The CITYNET Young Professionals is a student-led organization funded by CITYNET and Seoul Metropolitan Government. This program offers opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to network and participate in various tasks in the field of international development. Participants are expected to demonstrate professionalism and take appropriate initiative in assigned responsibilities and activities. The program further hopes to provide a platform for students to learn and study about the concept of green growth, multiculturalism and ODA policies in Seoul, Korea. Foreign students studying/residing in Korea, as well as Korean students, are highly encouraged to apply and join our program.HOW TO APPLY
– Please download application form from
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0nr7wC2RPL7bmFzZ0lVejZUVUk/edit?usp=sharing
– Fill out the form and send to citynetyp@gmail.com

Violin & Dance


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I had no idea what was the title of the song, but the violin alone made the song even more perfect. Whenever I listen to this, I can fantasize about the moonlight, the slow dance, candle light, gardens… the very perfect combination! ^^

Or if the above mentioned fantasy is not your cup of tea, then the single ballet dance might be a second choice, huh?

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There were time when you fall in love again and again and you cannot help it. For me, it must be these fishes. I really wanna get these for my room so badly. It looks absolutely perfect!!

“let’s be friends with Cambodia” Event


Finally, our “another” miracle happened!

As you all well aware, CSA-K has been working so hard for a secret project several months back, which I tempted not to spoil the fun for so long, however now I’m so glad to eventually be able to update it here.^^

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First and foremost, this middle of June are the exam weeks for most students in Korea. By exam, I mean, students are stock up some  status update with hash tag of these familiar words: over dose of coffee, no sleep, library, reading room, or 파마brain..etc. Thus to have an event at this time for us was very huge challenge.

There were many times we wanted to give up, but thank to Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) that always there to give us direction as a big event sponsor and a supporter at the same time.  However, the challenge did not end there yet. Once in a while we ended up dissatisfaction and lack of motivation, the whole event organization is very time consuming and with the adequate human resource we facing, nothing could move on time.

One day, there was great news! SMG called up on us, and said they will organize a big event at Kwanghwamun and suggested we shall take part in it. That was a big relief. We are supposed to just be part of the whole big event, which mean we only need to add our Cambodian ingredient to already boiled water. As quickly as we can, we redrafted our plan, gathered our volunteer members, outreached to possible helpers, and spread the news. Then we received more and more positive responses from our wonderful people!

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Left to right (Hour Leng, SMG representative, and Oum Vantharith, CSA-K President)

Together with the help from Khmer communities including Cambodian Buddhist Center (KBC), and Cambodian Laborer Community in Uijeongbu(CLCU), and of course, many amazing Cambodian students in Korea, another wonderful memory was made right in the center of  Seoul.

The event highlighted exhibition of Cambodian tourist sites, books, souvenirs, and the unique taste of Cambodian food and dessert in which visitors could try for free. On stage, traditional performance, fashion show, and folk songs were also introduced. In the end, it was wrapped up with laugher and smile by a big circle of Cambodian dance “Rom Vong” together with a huge participation from national and international visitors.

IMG_0808@Kwanghwamun, Seoul, South Korea

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Once you wear Khmer traditional pants..you’ll end up like this..
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Khmer Traditional Dance “Robam Neang Macha”
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The graceful Khmer greetingsIMG_4171

Our MCs and a handsome Korean visitor who volunteer to answer some quizIMG_4296

Our new international friends enjoying Cambodian dance!^^

Thanks to  “Let’s be friend with Cambodia”  event, we were so glad to be able to spread our wonderful culture and made many new friends, more than this, thanks for made us feeling home.

IMG_4462For more photo of the event click here or visit our Facebook page.

Thank you! 시험 잘 보세요^^

Journey to the West


(Found this piece on my travel diary, grab a map and let’s go with me!)

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Life on Aeroflot

Strangely, snow welcomed us again in Seoul, three day in a row, it kept snowing non-stop, thus, I needed to tug my heavy luggage along the snow (sorry Lavorn, I will put double, no, I mean triple care for your luggage na nop) . As usual, I need to take taxi and a 1 hour bus ride to reach the airport. Quite early than ever, I idled with facebook, and my job hunting. Phew!!

First Time Moscow

Around 6pm, we arrived Moscow, which was around 10pm in Seoul. From above (as you can be seen on the pic), it was so foggy, well of course as it’s winter here, thus, we could see the view of Moscow was covered in white, most of it are the trees, which to me seems like a forest.  But amazingly it looked so beautiful as those are the tree for Christmas, I was completely felt the jingle bells.

Our airport is a bit away from the main city and not that big at all. We headed off to the transit section with other people. Thanks to my friend, he carried all the heavy stuffs (See? how great it is to be a lady?^^). The funny thing is the ticket checker and most blond hair looking people have the most charming beautiful hairstyle (my heart just melt) and most of them are slender and tall. So I was kind of feel like being thrown to the 90s American movie I watched back home.

We looked for Terminal E gate D38 to go to Oslo, though we had 3 hours of waiting, my friend so worried that we can’t find the gate, so he urged us to look for it first, while I was all the way being a journalist, snapped picture here and there let’s say, for the documentary sake.

I still having that one weird feeling regarding  most people here are always look at you till you catch eye contact with them, it was since I was back in Seoul (waiting for boarding). Maybe because we are Asian, eye contact is not common, but here is a total different. I noticed they like to look (or the scarier way to say it, STARE), especially guys. Though, I wanna be nice and knowing I should smile at them when I notice they were looking at me like the good-girls-rules book mentioned, I still not yet get used to it.

After one hours of waiting, my dried-body thirst for water, it’s not an illness, it’s just common thing in winter that your body dried super fast. Even if I smartly (*winked) brought a nice warm water bottle and seemed an absolute well-prepared, it did not work well that time of the year. While Russian airport here also doesn’t have the free wi-fi (which I swear, I miss the convenient life in Seoul and that broke my heart a little) , so I decided maybe we should check out the coffee shop near by, the price might be similar to Korea. But it was a big Oh NO!! I was wrong. We didn’t bring the Russian money, so the seller will convert the price for us, which 120sth cost me 6$ just bottle of juice, which this same thing cost only around 1,000 in Seoul. I dropped jaw and put it back to the fridge quickly ( yeah, embarrassingly as well). Not because it’s expensive I didn’t buy but because it’s overpriced for this kind of drink. In my defend, I would spend 6$ for a coffee or just an espresso, but no, never with you, Juice!

Now we’ve been so tired and only wait for our flight but it’s strange that not so many people around, are we lost? Or we confused the gate? Double, triple, a thousand check, yes, it’s here, but the gate still not open, it’s like an abundant gate. It made me miss Korea even more, thanks to Korean Ajumma, I think Korean government makes life easier because they have ajumma and ajossi, but here, even the smaller trolley also not available. Everyone have to pull their heavy small luggages around, which for us, it’s so hard to shop and move. Well, it’s just a Russia things, I guess.

Transfer to Oslo

We were so anxious because one hour delay may effect our bus schedule that suppose to leave at 10pm and there is no other way to contact the isfit organizers regarding this issue. Not just us but also many other people try to rush at the gate expecting to be late. Then, there was one old lady who look like a middle-age Khmer mom who holding the ticket and trying to ask to get in but she doesn’t know the language. My friend looked at me and signaled me that maybe she is Cambodian? Maybe we could help her? Then for a little hesitation I sneaked in to look at her passport and found out she is from Thailand. The funny thing was that I really wanted to help her and before that, I’ve been practiced  lots of Thai words (nah, more like alphabets) but still it’s not good enough even for the basic conversation. I’m so frustrated and I wish I could learn the language earlier so that I can deal with the situation better. Luckily, there was an old foreign gentlemen who trying to use sign language to explain her that the plane is delayed.

Ok, so then we got in the gate, but still we need to wait so long in the bus to get everyone in and we concluded that there must be some plane delayed before here, so who ever get into the bus late must be the one who caused all this disaster to us. Surprisingly, the last three people who got in was speaking in a kind of language that we can understand, that’s Khmer! We jaw dropped. Khmer people in Russia?? on the same airplane?? OMG that’s amazing. Before we jumped into the conversation with them, we tried to guess maybe they are students in Norway, how about we ask to stay in Oslo for one night? (hahaha) But the fact is they were most likely to be the Isfiters as well. The more irritating moments was when the bus took all ages to reach to other plane that was located somewhere so so far! >.< Finally we got to know other 3 Cambodians, they were also going with us and they’re quite friendly as well, but yeah younger too.

Then the plane arrived Olso at 9:45 just 15mins before the bus schedule, we were thinking of letting someone to get out and stop the bus but the process took sometimes so we asked our juniors to catch us up at the pick up luggage lunge. All the way out we met lots of foreigners who suppose to be Isfit as well.  A very tall guy from Russia for example.

Arrive Oslo

Once I step out of airport  there were those exciting crews. It’s the smiling Isfit organizers and the rest of isfiters who were busy chatting all around each other. The mood was wonderful and I know it’s gonna be awesome! So the first thing is I need to look for Rady, for quite a long minutes of waiting he came out of the bathroom, (as usual). Then Vanny ran to us to say hi, as he’s been touring around Europe for a while before coming here. Things not going well at all, because those three juniors we met, didn’t come out.  There must be something really wrong in there. I could not do anything but to wait and eagerly looking around for them. We guessed all the possible reasons and worried at the same time to later found out they could not get the luggages just yet. However it’s a big relief that we all could got on the bus safe and sound and heading our way to the wonderful week with ISfIT. I totally can’t wait for that!

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For more reading on my brief ISfIT experience is here!

N.B: Areoflot has the best food ever!

Upcoming Miracle


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This week, Cambodia Students Association in Korea (CSA-K) members have teamed up to work for something AWESOME again. I’m not gonna reveal what it is, so you gotta stay tuned for the next update. So tricky, right? Yeah, I know!

Then, what will this post be about? hmm…how about reading my impressions on something beside the “official discussion”?

I’m super excited that we got another big project to handle again this time. It reminds me of the early day when CSA-K was just a small group of people working informally with the aim of strengthening networks of Khmer students in South Korea. However, surprisingly, last year we had done so many amazing activities that lead us to expand and  reach 1000+ likes on our facebook fan page today. Behind these smiling faces on the above photo, there are more beautiful hearts Cambodians who are willing and voluntarily spent their times and efforts to make CSA-K projects successfully achieved its goals and ultimately fulfilled its visions. I am so thrilled and excited at the same time that another big miracle gonna happen again.

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Just Another Page


It was one of those shivering autumn nights that I opened my diary to write down how I spent a clumsy first day as a graduate student at GSIS. In the blink of an eye, I can’t believe I am now about to finish the last page.

I could never have expected I would come this far with so much pride and confidence to pursue my dreams, especially after the heart attack I nearly suffered following my first mid-term exam. However, thanks to this, I learned how to step outside my comfort zone, put my head down and study hard like my fellow classmates. As a result, the first semester was worth all the blood, sweat and tears.

Then spring came, and I became a Seonbae. My life at Sogang blossomed like the flowers in Yeouido. Student life is not only about studying; here at GSIS, we are like a small family, sharing ideas, friendship, and happiness. Though professors are often strict and scary, we students could always feel their love and support. They did their best to show us new paths and help us realize our talents.

The season changed and my third semester at GSIS looked even brighter than the yellow autumn leaves. More greetings in the corridor of J building and everywhere else on campus, as I befriended more GSIS family members. The opening party, MT, IT party, field trip, that once was lonely and intimidating was now filled with laugher and great memories. The head-off-home-after-class routines were replaced by chit chatting hour after hour in our little multi-media lab and hallway.

Sitting down and recalling those images of my almost two years with GSIS, I can’t hold back the smile. Thanks to my international and inspiring GSIS family, I was able to swim across the sea of hardships and can now look back and proudly smile at the person I am today. Although my mission here will come to an end in a few months and I’m going to miss this place a lot, I’m also excited and eager to see what I will fill in my next page. I hope all of you too have found more reasons to smile and are proud of yourselves and the memories at Sogang GSIS.

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GSIS, Fall 2012, MT to Nami Island

N.B: flawless grammar mistake credit to my bestest mentor ^^

A Love Letter to My 코이카 80기


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The whole language training just ended today. Frankly speaking, I sort of missing them already. They had showered me with lots and lots of love, fun, and laugher. That I can’t help but to sometimes laughed alone when I was on my way home from work (that some ajumma on the subway gave me that-girl-is-crazy-look, now and then).

(Left to right)

Joo Yoo Mi Na: Smart, lovely, and helpful, not to mention she looks as beautiful as a Japanese girl.

I’m so thankful that you are one of my students; as a technician, photographer, and teacher assistant, you’ve been the greatest help. I know you want to be perfect in your exam today, though there still small mistakes, but to me you’re already the best. And “kom barom” I’ll never forget your name at all because you always tried to minus my point on my korean language mistake.

Ha Jae Rip: Gentleman, hard-working, and kind, he never forget to say “knhom srolanh kru Molyna”.

I know it must had been so tough to deal with those drawing-like alphabets once all your time are with physical training. I know you had been working so hard to deal with it, but I always worried about you. I wish I could have more time to tutor you personally so you can catch up with the other. However, you did surprise me with the exam result today. Great job, my tall and handsome 재립선생님!

Park Mi Young: Oh, My “kanha” Mi Young! smart, creative, fun. You own the best personality.

I still remember how you grabbed whole of my hand and  only let me go when you pronounce that word right and I was crazily laughing with this the whole hours. Also when you were in a complete role-play mode persuaded me to give you discount with the flirty-winky eyes, that I was shocked, burst out laughing. Thanks for your contribution to make learning language easier to everyone.

Park Eun Sun: Caring, loving, and beautiful. Photography, music, movie, dance-lover.

I always feel loved and cared in every way when I am with you, I know you’re gonna be the best kindergarten teacher for the little Cambodian children. They need you. And don’t forget our promise that you gonna be sitting on the beach waiting for me when I got back to Cambodia. I really can’t wait to seeing you again.

Kim Sunny : Naughty, arty, and bright. The only student who made me head bang to the desk a lot of time.

You lights up the class like the definition of your name “Sunny”. Who else found the best way to remember the Khmer alphabets than my beautiful Sunny? “ឈឈឈឈឈឈ!!!” and”គិលានុបដ្ឋាយិហ៊ុន?” . Thanks for making the class a lot more fun, sleepy, and lively at all the same time. However, Sunny! you’re 문제있어요. ^^

I really love each and everyone of you deeply and completely. You’re like the different color that when it comes together it made everything wonderful. You made my life wonderful than I would never expect for.

Int’l Student Festival in Trondheim (ISfIT2013)


First and foremost, It’s gonna be the longest post I’ve ever update here, so be ready with some  coke and popcorn before I take you to the journey with ISfIT2013! ^^

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Brrrrrr…it was really cold, Norway in February didn’t treat us well at all, even we were all on the night bus heading to Trondheim, we still can tell that if the bus accidentally stop an hour somewhere, we gonna freeze to death, but thankfully it was not. Thus about 7am, we reached the Studenter Samfundet building, which this name (yes, this name) later tatooed itself in all participants’ heart as it stored too much great memories that we will never ever forget ( after Isfit, of course).

SAM_0785Trondheim is the most beautiful city, especially when each wooden house light with the yellow bulb instead of white, covered under soft snow with the trees nearby, you can not help but to feel that Christmas last there for the whole winter, not just a day. Plus, the skyline is perfect for sunrise and sunset, and magnificent starry night that one should not miss to have a midnight picnic with your other half. The people here tend to be strangely handsome and pretty which is thanks to their Norwegian accents and their amazing bread, cheese, and salmons. So if you happen to go to Norway, 1st tip is to be sure to pay attention on how much you eat or you will gain weight, but, if you can not resist those yummy foods, you can still keep your beautiful shape if you just know how to ski up the mountain like the Norwegians.

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Since Isfit brought about 450 participants with 154 nationalities together not only to meet up and share ideas but also creating bonds and initiated the new globalized network, it was also  shocked to the Norwegian residents in this small city of Trondheim at first for a sudden population growth. However, for 10 whole days program, everything went on more than the perfect word could describe.

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Workshop 11 “Trade as Aid”, the 1st group pic in Day 1, so pure and innocent!!

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Then, this is how we really look!! (Day 8)

This is why Isfit last for 10 days. Who say 3? 5? or 7? is the best numbers? No, not with Isfit. It’s just that, some people take such a long time to prevail their truth self or to discover their own self (in case they dont know themselves yet). Each day we have those after-workshop programs that cover various interesting themes which changing time to time (such as: comedy, concert, plenary session, origami, dancing, performance, party…etc) to culturalize and energize those too many diverse nationalities in the hope that we can share and learn from each other more even outside the academic status. And Isfit really did achieve this hope.

Because my best memory would be those few days before the end of the program that most of us rather take the 2:30am night bus, reached home at 4am, got up at 8am, attend the workshop at 9am with sleepless face, some even coughing, caught a cold, but still stay up late to again 2:30am. Neither the program force us to staythis late, nor we love to dance everyday this late, the reason is simple, because we soon will separate, time is not enough for us, that not to mention 154 countries in the world were all here, if after Isfit, when will we meet them again? it might take months or years to be  able to have a chance to cross the boundary of each continent to meet each other, though, we still have Facebook and Skype, but the feeling is not the same. Thus, the memories are too strong to just let go and sleep away.

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Trade Auction Activities

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Ski Day WS11 team

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Just a random break time of WS11

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This is how we hang out

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Some Kitty Kitty

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Some game nights
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The last show