jamieliew.com http://www.jamieliew.com Sat, 05 May 2018 06:25:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 http://www.jamieliew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-logo2-32x32.png jamieliew.com http://www.jamieliew.com 32 32 my fulfilling student life http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/05/my-fulfilling-student-life/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/05/my-fulfilling-student-life/#respond Sat, 05 May 2018 06:25:12 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7234 hello everyone.

today, I would like to talk about my fulfilling student life. as much as older people tell you “enjoy your student life” and that they say that they wanna go back to that “free” life, I can’t entirely agree. I think it is much more important to have a fulfilling student life. and that, is not by just enjoying, but by creating all these memories that when you look back you’d tell yourself “so much happened, and they were all great memories or an experience to learn from” rather than “I just smoked, clubbed and repeat.” which I never got to understand anyways. but the fulfilling student life I had was in my opinion, the greatest thing happened.

in Korea, people tend to do a lot of club activities and be in groups rather than work alone. being a foreigner, it was never easy to fit into the locals but if you are just true to others, trust me, great friends will come. people around me would know that I am far from being a “chill” person despite how I may portray myself on social media. I am always very anxious, I’m a perfectionist, and I want everything to go as planned. but I do notice that that was/is also my biggest flaw. and I am trying very hard to overcome that.

but did that make me regret? nope, I definitely don’t regret my student life. why?

because I took every opportunity there is.

be it part time jobs, events, outings, I seldom said no. the only thing I gave up was probably things that where I just had no choice for, like not joining clubs because I had to focus on my studies/part time jobs or hanging out regularly also due to the same reason. the thing was, I took every opportunity I had to go out, make memories, join competitions, do things I love.. and now when I look back I tell myself “wow!” I really did a lot.

part time jobs —

I am a strong believer of being independent. which way is better to learn than work when you’re a student. you’ll master the art of time management and also learn skills that might be (very) useful for your future. these days, people can’t go to an interview without having anything done. I know it’s dumb how you need work experience prior to your first job, but the work experience from silly part time jobs may actually put you in a much more beneficial spot compared to others who didn’t. of course, it doesn’t mold you to be the best employee, but it does set you apart when you go in for interviews. I think one thing I probably regretted really was that I didn’t read enough and actually remember things I study by heart.

but really, you name it, I’ve done it. (well, nothing shady of course). from being a waitress, teacher, guide, writer, translator, interpreter, assistant, sales, model, photographer (yes! I was paid to take pictures before), foodie, blogger (uh..), talent, marketer, artist, designer… (takes a deep breath) I can’t even remember all of them. I did everything to get a taste of how it feels like to be in shoes of different people to understand the gain and pain of their job nature, and most of all, to understand how different people behave. I was always a fan of behavioral science. I loved studying about cultures and understanding people of different nature, how ones job can actually shape a person so that I can act appropriately facing different people. Because for me, making others happy is what makes me happy.

the best thing of all from doing that crazy amount of part time jobs is that, you don’t rely too much on your parents. you may think “what?! that’s stupid! I LOVE using my parents card!” but I was happy even though I had no money to go to fancy places, buy fancy clothes nor travel a lot. but I earned enough to sustain myself and give myself a treat now and then. I think what mattered to me the most was my self integrity. I have (some) horrible relatives to begin with, I have that type of relatives that take every opportunity to bad mouth you so that they feel better about themselves. so being financially independent was really an accomplishment for me as I myself know that I am not a spoilt brat like what they think. there were many times where I didn’t know what kind of person I really am and having self reassurance was important, and I guess.. being financially independent from my parents were one of them. but I mean, doesn’t it feel good to buy things with your own money than to have nice branded goods bought by you but not paid with your own money?

studying —

now this is important. people say that non-nerds become CEOs and nerds end up working for them. I say, that it is just a lifestyle you pick. I know a lot of nerds who holds a high position in a company and many non-nerd who hadn’t even found their path in life. the thing is this, you study, your chances of getting a stable job is higher (of course no job’s really truly stable, but it helps). but if you don’t, yes, you probably have other talents, but they are often riskier and why do they become CEOs sometimes? because of the high risk they take of course! my parents had always taught me that you can succeed in anything you do, as long as you are very good in it.

so what I want you to take away from my experience is that, if you were like me, someone who was just unsure about what to do, take the chance when you’re a student and explore everything. I thought I was going to be a designer, but I noticed I cannot do that as a job. so no problem, I changed majors. I thought maybe accounting or economics would be great. took them, although I did well in those subjects, they bore me to death. then I found marketing, which I liked at first but just think that it is learning the art of becoming a true con-artist. then there’s finance, where I only got to explore during my senior year and although I wasn’t very good in it, fell deeply in love with. I liked the challenges it poses and how numbers can have so much impact and meaning to it.


yeap, remember to study the local way. used to wake up at 4, get there by 4:30-5AM (esp to get a seat!) and get home at 6-7PM. 14 hour of library. good times.

I also took up a lot of weird classes like.. French, Japanese, Chinese, yoga, Confucianism (?!), DNA manipulation (?!!!!) and loved them all. I think it’s really the experience and how it broadens up your knowledge. even if they may not be related to what your dream job is, but for me, they absolutely made me feel like I am much more interesting than people who are smart in one thing. although I may still feel dumb as I am a jack of all trades and a king of none, but I do enjoy learning about seemingly useless things that may shape you to become the unique person you are.

another important thing to note for those studying abroad is that face your disadvantages. I know life is unfair but you chose to be in the unfair system so try to make the best out of your situation. don’t be afraid. I know that it is impossible to learn how to run when you can’t even walk right, but I try very hard to live by the motto “just do it” like Nike lol. but be prepared for a lot of failures.. and in the end, it’ll all work. things are normally not as bad as what I felt it would be and I also believe that hard work will be paid off. who knew that I could get higher grades than the local “high”? well, just believe in yourself. even if you don’t get great grades, you did your best and it will show. give yourself a pat in the back and credit for doing something others won’t do.

competitions, outings and events —

similar to studying, you need to just believe in yourself. join whichever competitions that interests you even if you think chances are slim. because what’s the worst outcome other than by just being rejected? if there’s a university competition, join it. because always remember, whether you get a prize or not, it’ll still be a good memory. and for outings and events, just try your best to participate in as many as you can. they can be a group outing doing a certain thing like cycling, taking pictures, eating chicken, picnic, social events, talks.. for me, I just went to every single one of them to meet new people, to learn something new, or simply just to waste time. I tend to prefer doing a whole lot of different things to bring a variety of experience in my life.

I remembered once where I was so into the Memoirs of Geisha movie that I ran back and forth to get this amazing picture where I used it to enter a local traditional clothing competition where I won 4th place!


IMG_3699 copy

ever since I owned my own DSLR, I also had a great interest in taking pictures. although it’s just a side hobby, I made time to meet new people to go take pictures but as much as I like to take pictures, I like being taken too xD. most of my professionally looking pictures are actually taken by my close friends/blooming photographers and some of them are from my own camera too!

2015-04-09 08.31.22 3_1

saying yes to opportunities —

I can’t cycle prior to going to Japan. there was a handful of people whom are like me who can’t cycle and they opted to go to university by taking the expensive train (because of different lines. really stupid system in Japan.) than to get to school much faster by cycling and also saving a whole ton of money. for me, I took that chance to force myself to cycle. the second time cycling to school, I sprained my ankle so bad that it looked like an elephant leg.


but I never gave up. actually, cycling with a sprained ankle was much more comfortable than walking! I tried and tried and tried. I fell off the bike at least 3 times but who cares when cycling’s actually the best thing that ever happened to me in Japan. a friend of mine live by the saying “learn a new language, live another life” and I can totally relate. but I felt like cycling is similar. it’s like swimming, if you can swim in the ocean, you’ll see a whole new world. in my case, because I cycled, I got to explore all the places less visited in Japan and saw so many beautiful sights (I saw mt Fuji everyday just because I cycled!)


other than that, when I was given the opportunity to write for a magazine with a short timeline, I did. even though I had exams coming up. and frankly, it’s quite cool to have your words (,pictures) and thoughts published for thousands of people to read.

meeting a heck lot of people —

I felt like I personally learn the most from others. deep and inspirational conversations comes from people who are real and good. and to find those people, you will need to meet a whole lot of people to begin with. I feel like the most important thing is not to be sexist, racist, ageist or any of that sort when meeting new people. may it be a teacher, an exchange student or someone much younger, I felt like I can learn something new from everyone. that’s all I have to say :).


here are some pictures from the great memories I had made:


learning how to cycle, and stealing limelight in group activities haha just kidding because I sprained my ankle I was allowed to cycle while everyone else walked.


faced my fear– I learned how to skate from a good looking Swede classmate (Y)


watched a sumo training with our professors.


visited a few offices in Tokyo to see how they work


sneaked a picture in the no-picture zone. but ain’t this the most beautiful library?


had a flower as big as my face on my head. (Korean joke because having a flower on your hair kind of signifies a crazy girl)


explored new restaurants once in a while!


oh my this milk prosciutto risotto is just the best risotto I’ve ever had!!!


appearing in Korean TV with my horrible full name stated.


woke up to these around where I lived in Japan. really, if you want to study overseas, make a business plan and show it to your parents that you can do it, especially without using much of their resources lol.

that’s it from me. so go out there, be active and take your opportunities!

http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/05/my-fulfilling-student-life/feed/ 0
[Tokyo] Marukin Ramen http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/03/tokyo-marukin-ramen/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/03/tokyo-marukin-ramen/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2018 11:16:09 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7226 DSC02647 copy

hello all! hope you guys love ramen just like I do. in Japan, ramen is deemed to be a man’s food and me liking it made my friends call me a.. ramen-girl because it’s so odd to have a girl as a ramen fan. I used to eat ramen so often that I could eat it everyday! well, because it’s cheap and it’s just so slurpingly good!

DSC02653 copy

while many people thinks that Ichiran and Ippudo’s the best, the thing that foreigners don’t know is that.. there is a ramen for everyone, and I highly urge everyone to try out different ramens to find their perfect fit!

DSC02641 copy

this post, I would like to recommend this ramen shop which I always felt came out straight from an anime, Marukin Ramen. it’s a humble chain which can be found all over Tokyo and they also have stores in US!

DSC02643 copy

the shop’s very Japanesey and the staffs were all very attentive too!

DSC02645 copy

okay, here comes what I like most about this ramen shop. I don’t know about you but I am a huge fan of mentaiko. but the thing is, I like ramen too. I had mentaiko tsukemen and to be honest, I am not exactly a fan of it. I felt like mentaiko is still supposed to be a side dish, where this ramen bar offers! and so many other small dishes like gyoza, cyashu rice, MENTAIKO rice etc.

DSC02639 copy

of course, I had gyoza. basic, but yummy. you get me right? sometimes it’s the simple things that satisfies you!

DSC02635 copy

may I present to you the most delicious rice bowl on earth!!! I mean, look at that mentaiko. for those who have no idea what mentaiko is, it is actually fish’s roe (spicy) that’s actually originated from Korea. in Japan, they first had it adopted in Hakata (Fukuoka), where most ramen shops originated from which is why some Hakata ramen shops (like Ichiran and Ippudo, they are all from Fukuoka!) like this have mentaiko served! mentaiko has quite a short shelf life and therefore it’s always yummier when I have it in Japan. like many other types of “kimchi”, there are many ways of making mentaiko and to be honest, good ones are mostly really expensive like around 1000yen for one. this bowl was only 350yen and there’s such a huge mentaiko! such a steal. I honestly wanted to have another bowl..

DSC02616 copy

and here comes the ramen! we had the spicy ramen and tonkotsu ramen. the ramen here highly caters to the Japanese tasebuds as they were not too harsh in flavours but just right. I personally don’t enjoy ramen with broth that’s too strong but have a right amount of spiciness (actually very spicy) for me. I think this place just got my spicy ramen right. but I felt like this place really delivers the true Japanese ramen culture as they have all that different rice bowls, gyoza and ambiance.

DSC02629 copy


http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/03/tokyo-marukin-ramen/feed/ 2
[HK: Wan Chai] Classified — best place for brunch. http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/01/hk-wan-chai-classified-best-place-for-brunch/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/01/hk-wan-chai-classified-best-place-for-brunch/#comments Sun, 07 Jan 2018 14:54:22 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7219 DSC06409 copycopy

nothing’s better for an expat working in hectic HK other than Saturday brunches. I just felt like brunch is the only time where I can slow down at this very fast-paced city. there are quite a number of places offering brunch in HK but they are normally over-crowded, not brunch-like and over-priced. but classified, a chic european styled chain here, is really my style.

DSC06353 copycopy

love the very chilled ambiance here.

DSC06363 copy copy

this is not their in-house newsletter, but it is actually the menu haha.

DSC06375 copy (2)

our view.

DSC06359 copycopy


DSC06354 copycopy

my date (almost) every Saturday, Min <3.

DSC06384 copy

and Min enjoys taking ugly pictures of me haha.

DSC06398 copycopy

avocados, greens and tomatoes on toast? simply purrrrrrfect <3. especially with dashes of tabasco! 70HKD.

DSC06404 copycopy

I know it’s too early, but they have great Sangria here =D. 55HKD.

DSC06405 copycopy

tomato and chilli flakes pizza at 72HKD. mmmm. yum. the crust was super crunchy and it was just so yummy. but please don’t eat it when it’s cold because it’ll become like a brick lol.

DSC06408 copycopy

this was our all-time-favourite. pancakes with greek yoghurt and caramelized oranges. 70HKD. mm.. so fluffy and dense. we actually over ordered. so please order one less dish if you’re not a big eater haha.

DSC06412 copycopy

our perfect Saturday ^_^.

DSC06422 copy copy

I also found Classified’s menu online for your reference :D.

http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/01/hk-wan-chai-classified-best-place-for-brunch/feed/ 1
Living Expenses in HK http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/12/living-expenses-in-hk/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/12/living-expenses-in-hk/#comments Sat, 30 Dec 2017 04:51:55 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7214 hello all!

it’s been a long time. time flies and I’ve already lived in HK for over 2 months. it’s crazy how fast time goes by when you’re busy at your desk. I thought I would have a lot more time to blog because I get off at 6pm sharp everyday haha but my brain’s pretty much paralysed at the end of every day. but it’s going to be better. I hope. haha.

for today, I thought it would be interesting for me to share about the (crazy) living expenses in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

if you’re a long-time reader, you probably would’ve known that I am very (very very very) frugal. but as frugal as I can be, this city definitely isn’t cheap. at all. and  living expenses here is like 4 times of what I spent back in Seoul, which isn’t the cheapest city out there. the average salary here is 16,000HKD which is around 2,000USD. starting salaries are obviously different across industries but it can go as low as 9,000HKD and as high as 60,000HKD (highest I’ve ever heard. not sure how true. and where else other than Goldman haha.) for fresh grads in the financial industry. honestly, it may sound a lot to some people but very little to some as well, especially when HK is considered one of the most expensive cities out there. but let’s do a little breakdown on what’s “normal” from my observations so far.

rent (1BR/studio) – 13,000HKD
rent (shared) -8,000HKD
rent (2BR apartment that looks decent) – 25,000HKD and above

cheap Chinese meal – 60HKD
western food – 250HKD
hot pot (HK people’s fav) – 300HKD
cocktail at a bar – 130HKD
shaved ice dessert – 80-100HKD
Korean meal – 200HKD
sushi – 150-200HKD
milk (1L)- 22HKD
drinks (non alcoholic) – 20-60HKD
onigiri – 15HKD
tea set – 500HKD (and above) for two
banana – 7HKD for one
water bottle – 7HKD
yoghurt drink – 9HKD

so basically, you’d expect around 200HKD for a decent meal.

MTR/Bus – 5-20HKD
Cab – around 40HKD for a short 10min journey, 400HKD from airport to central. (similar to Korea. fairly affordable.)

medical – not sure. will update you when I know lol
specialists – 900HKD per 15min.

gel manicure – 200HKD onwards. around 150HKD for dirt cheap ones at dodgy looking places.\

haircut – 150HKD and above
perm – 500HKD and above

gym – 700HKD

movies – 110HKD

utilities – 500HKD

phone bills – 200HKD (unlimited data)

did I miss anything? or are you interested in knowing the prices of something else? just let me know!

on average, I spend around 6,000-7,000HKD on everything excluding rent and bills per month. you have to take my thriftiness into consideration. I really do not spend that much. I only eat better food maybe once a week. but I have to admit I shop quite a fair bit. living expenses here seems okay sometimes especially when it comes to shopping, but rent is definitely the killer here. food is quite expensive too but there are cheaper options and also if you cook at home, it’s going to be much more affordable. I would say that the starting salaries here may sound decent if its like above 20k but it is really just enough to get by with little savings.

hope this would help those who plan to move here have a general idea of what to expect and also for those who are not planning to live here, have some kind of general knowledge haha.

http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/12/living-expenses-in-hk/feed/ 1
[Taipei] Addiction Aquatic Development http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/taipei-addiction-aquatic-development/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/taipei-addiction-aquatic-development/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 01:14:45 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7203 DSC03179 copy

one of the highlights of my trip to Taiwan was this — AAD. or in other words, Addiction Aquatic Development because it is a pretty version of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo (and as clean) despite the much smaller scale. So, what is AAD? a fish market? a supermarket? or restaurants..? well.. why not all?!

DSC03124 copy

so this place is like a seafood heaven. if you love seafood, then don’t forget to visit AAD. To get there, simple a cab from the nearest station (google is your best friend) and the meter will probably not even jump. I took a cab from my hotel because it wasn’t that far and to be honest, Taiwan’s cab fare isn’t all that bad. the location above is the first thing I saw as I stepped into AAD. it’s a huge dining area — open air — and it looked pretty romantic especially because it was chilly.

DSC03126 copy

so what you can do there is to wait for a waitress/waiter to escort you around the market and select the types of seafood you want.

DSC03127 copy

and there are so much to choose from — all fresh.

DSC03129 copy

like living fresh for most.

DSC03130 copy

over at the other side, you’ll find this oyster bar with a wide selection of wine for pairing.

DSC03132 copy

the pathway to the market! and you’ll see even more vendors on the left and a streak of tables for you to dine standing up.

DSC03133 copy

DSC03135 copy

the market is divided into a few sections and the first is this, the live-stock section. where you’d find a whole farm of seafood.

DSC03136 copy

and like I said, it’s like a fancier Tsukiji.

DSC03137 copy

even cooked crab!

DSC03138 copy

different types of crabs. so take your pick!

DSC03142 copy

I arrived when the market was about to close lol but nevertheless, look at how affordable this uni is!

DSC03143 copy

676 TWD! that’s like around 22 USD.

DSC03145 copy

the livestock game is real here.

DSC03148 copy

then towards the second section of the market — the MARKET. like super market type. which was my favourite area.

DSC03149 copy

here’s a map of the entire AAD.

DSC03151 copy

why I like this market? because you can buy anything and dine outside right away!

DSC03153 copy

and holy cow everything looked great.

DSC03154 copy

also a wide selection of imported alcoholic beverages.

DSC03155 copy

and cheese, oh holy cheese.

DSC03158 copy

or maybe you’re in the mood for sushi? the way they display their sushi is very similar to that of Tokyo, which I love.

DSC03160 copy

and if you don’t fancy buying supermarket food and eating it outside, why not have the chefs prepare them for you on the spot?

DSC03161 copy

while there may be some seats, most of them are standing-up bars.

DSC03163 copy

if you think that there’s only seafood, then you’re wrong because… you can even have your fresh parma ham sliced din front of you!

DSC03165 copy

to be honest I don’t know who buys this amount of sashimi. I think they are great when you eat one or two slices.. but they tend to make you sick if you eat more than that..

DSC03166 copy

the oysters were sold at ridiculously affordable prices too!

DSC03167 copy

I literally marveled around this area because there are so many fruit’s I miss and also have never seen. especially in Korea.

DSC03170 copy

PAPAYA! did I mention that one of my favourite fruit’s papaya? although I only like it as a juice.

DSC03171 copy

they just make stand-up dining so much more fancier don’t they?

DSC03172 copy

fresh-fresh-FRESH sushi for only 150TWD. you kidding me?!

DSC03173 copy

ain’t these the shortest okra you’ve ever seen?

after marveling around, we proceeded to the 3rd section of course.

DSC03181 copy

we decided to dine in one of the sushi bars.

DSC03183 copy

otoro and chutoro. while I wouldn’t say that it’s the best sushi I’ve ever had. it wasn’t bad at all really!

DSC03185 copy

especially the sushi platter, it was actually pretty good! I forgot the exact price but I think it was around 10USD.

DSC03188 copy

and my personal recommendation — monkfish liver or “ankimo.” SOOOOO good.

DSC03189 copy

came here with the derp and my Taiwanese friend!

DSC03191 copy

DSC03192 copy

lobster anyone?

DSC03193 copy

if you were to take out, here’s where you can grab your cutlery. just by the exit. I wasn’t satisfied without a dessert so..

DSC03196 copy

I got myself a cheesecake. it was very good. I loved it. period.

DSC03197 copy

It was so dense, moist and yummy.

DSC03198 copy

I actually quite like the idea of having my dinner standing up. feels like all the fats won’t go to my thigh finally.

DSC03200 copy

the boys weren’t full so we head out for second round. there’s shabu-shabu too but they decided that they want yaki-tori. I assume that they use salt from crystals..?

IMG_2456 copy

this place was pretty special as they have a warmer for your food after they are delivered to you. there were rocks inside the bowl and the rocks are supposed to keep your food warm!

IMG_2436 copy

I’ll definitely go back to AAD if I were to go to Taiwan but this time, I’ll remember to go there earlier!


http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/taipei-addiction-aquatic-development/feed/ 0