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Living (in an Apartment) in a Foreign Country

Place: Desk at my apartment in Rome, Italy
Time: 14:22 PM ( 2:22 PM)
Mood: Homesick, regretful, sad…
Note: It seems that the only locals that truly welcome a foreigner are the mosquitos. They truly love my blood…
A week has passed in Rome.
Feels like it has been so much longer than that.

As I turned on the boiler/heater before taking my shower (you have to heat up the water and wait quite a while), I began to just think about back home.
I had been avoiding thinking about home, family – and I had been trying to have minimal contact with family in order to prevent my homesickness. I did not want to hold back my family nor have them worry about me.

I did not want to cry…
…..
The water was still cold even after 15 minutes

Eff it, I will just take the shower. 
It will be healthy for me anyways and perhaps numb some of the pain.

People seem to always want to get out of their parents’ home and live on their own and yes that is fine; however, I do not think that they really realize how precious their time is being a dependent.
I have not had such an urge since I like living with my family and already felt like I have the home to myself as I am usually home alone when I am there.

Then there are those that cannot stand their dorm rooms because of this and that and that is fine and all, but once again they do not realize how easy they have it
(and this time I include myself in that crowd).

Almost all of the living necessities are provided.
You do not have to worry about setting up and paying the bills,
buying groceries, appliances, and kitchenware,
buying toilet paper, trash bags, detergent (well dorms yes, but hear me out),
cleaning the windows, walls, trashcans,
and so much more.
…Wanting to become independent is definitely a good thing and part of growing up and I am all up for it which is why I came abroad.

However, I definitely did not expect this feeling of being thrown somewhere.
I thought that living in an apartment rather than a dorm room or homestay would be awesome since I would have my own kitchen and the freedom to do what I want.
But then there are the cons and there is that one fact.

I am in a foreign country where I do not speak the language and where the currency is different.

Everything is more expensive here.
I have to buy my own toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, etc.
I have to figure out what some foods are here and how to even purchase them.
The way groceries are bought is different here.

I cannot be too loud during a certain time period.
I cannot have guests over for too long.
All because the rules are different here.
You also do not know when your next food or drink will come at times.
Not everything can be found in one place like Target, Costco, or Walmart.
You do not know what some stores are or where to get things.

One thing that I had decided was that I was not going to be like some of the others here:
complaining to my family and demanding care packages.
I am not going to expect any or request for any because I know how expensive it is.
I will find what I need and will get them myself.
It is not because I am stubborn or just want to rely on my self.
I just do not want to worry my family or have them concern over me.
I came here to become more independent after all.
And I know where this money came from.
I will spend it well, not recklessly.

I realized that Americans are so spoiled in everyday life.
We really are.

I could see vividly the image of my mother coming home lugging bags and bags of food and mainly fruit because she knows how much I love fruit. And I would complain that she bought too much once again when she only wanted to satisfy me especially before I left.

Aw crap I am tearing up. STOP IT SARAH STAY STRONG.
You do not want your flat mates to see…oh crap there goes one tear.

But now it is like, damn, why did I complain?
It was such a privilege and she did it all out of love.
She does everything out of love.
And I learned all that and knew and know that even during my stay in the dorm room.
But now that everything is becoming even more like the “real”, independent life

Aw frickin A, I cannot stop crying…crap.

I am noticing even more the little details that I should be thankful for.
I never thought that I am a super spoiled child although I know that I am in comparison to those who are starving. But I seriously am so blessed.
I really did take things for granted that I thought I did not.
I am just like everyone else that I did not want to become like.
I am a hypocrite.

I am spoiled.

complaing, being dissatisfied, getting angry at my mother when she does so much for me.
She always says that I will only know when I grow older, only know when it is too late, when she is gone from this earth

I guess I am glad that I know now before she passes. which I def do not want to think about.
She is turing 60 soon…
I always see her as this energetic, bubbly, young woman

I always see her as my friend.
But I really do need to realize that she is right.
I need to treat her better because I do have goals for my family that I wish to achieve.
I should have cooked for her, like legit.
I should not have focused so much on “being healthy”, losing weight, being in my own depressed world, watching korean variety shows.
When she actually wanted to go out for a walk, I should have.

I can not stop sobbing now, but I need to write this all out.

I know that it will get better.
I just hope that I will not take her for granted again.
I told myself I would not after realizing crap during freshman year of college…
I failed.

Being in a foreign country is hard.
Not knowing anybody in that country is hard.
Living alone is hard.
Being in a foreign country while living alone and knowing few people is

Well…fill in the blank.
……..
Although as of now, it seems that the only solution once again is to just keep me constantly busy so that I am too exhausted to even think about family.
But that will wear and tear down my body and mind all over again…
But I know it will get better.
***
Love you mom…

Question: So, can anybody relate? any advice?
Snoh
Proverbs 12:25 – “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
Snohwhite Study Abroad Blog
Minji Noh’s Music
Shields of Strength
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Forgetful and Busy, but I Care… (Social Cleanse?)

It’s just great to keep in touch with people that you care about. Obviously, even if there are others that you care about, sometimes it’s hard if it’s always you that’s hitting them up. So sometimes you just sort of stop that life of always being the one that initiates and wait to see who comes to you first. That’s how you know then..because they can either

1. sense that something’s wrong

2. miss you (me)

It’s got to be effort on both parts after all. And like they say, sometimes it’s not worth keeping/holding those that don’t put in at least some effort to stay in touch with you as well.

I went through a “social cleanse” around 2 months ago where I just deactivated Facebook and just kind of shut out from being the one always initiating to see who really cared after all, because just like everybody else out there, I was feeling and thinking “Am I the only one that cares?”

But then again, there are always also those friendships where you don’t even have to think those thoughts, because no matter how long it has been, once you hang out – it’s just epic.

I know in my heart who are important to me and it’s not a small list obviously. I just hope that they also realize that they are all equally important to me as well and that I love them all whether or not I see them a lot, talk to them a lot, take pictures together, or give gifts, etc. Because I will randomly do acts of kindness just when I feel like it. I will forget some facts about people because

1. I’m forgetful

2. I’m scatter brained

3. It’s hard to remember everything about everyone…

But I try. And I really do love them all, so I hope that it’s not misunderstood whether or not I like one above the other or what not.

See this is how scattered I am. I don’t even know why I started talking about that or how it even came up. But anyways…Time to go to the gym.

A dopo~ Arrivederci! Here are some pics that I have yet to upload. Obviously, there are a lot others with other friends and pics that I haven’t taken even while hanging out, but I hope to post some so that I remember these moments.

Boiling crab with these squeezes that are like sisters to me.

Boiling crab with these squeezes that are like sisters to me.

Met up with these two lovelies after about a year!

Met up with these two lovelies after about a year!

Just doing a "funny" face

Just doing a “funny” face

Eyyy Connie

Eyyy Connie

Eyyy Tammyy

Eyyy Tammyy

Hung out with Anh today as well and will be hitting up Christie, Caitlin, Sarah Stewart, and Patricia~

 

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Fudgy Flourless Vegan Microwave Brownie

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I’ve tried various microwave muffin/bread/cookie/brownie recipes whenever I have a craving for something sweet that isn’t fruit. This is one of the few recipes that have actually satisfied me: Fudgy Flour-less Vegan Microwave Brownie Recipe

It’s chocolate-y, fudgy-y, molten, soft, and yet chewy~

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The Importance of Imagination

Place: Dining Table eating Kimbab

Time: 5:00 PM

Mood: Pensive

I never thought the day would come … the day that I realize that suddenly I am not as imaginative as I was before.

I was playing with my niece and nephew as usual (more like my nephew was chilling actually). As we were playing in her “play pen” and as she took out her animal toys one by one while repeating what they were to me with her …. wonderful pronunciation, I suddenly remembered the days that I used to play with the simplest things as erasers with faces drawn on them to legos, little plastic teddy bears that I so originally called Beary, to boxes that I decorated and cut out to form houses since I did not have a doll house. I would spend hours playing with them by giving them a history, a character, a voice … these hours included alone in my home on the shelves in my closet to the inside of my school desk with my friends.

I remember when I could easily give voices to anything alive or not and amuse my friends with my impersonations (which I still sometimes do).

I remember that I could be amused even by giving my hands a voice while I took a bath as I did not have a rubber ducky.

I used to crawl around on all fours and pretend to be a cat or a dog or even one time Smeagol from the Lord of the Rings.

Adding on to crawling around, I would pretend that I was Snohtail (a name I gave myself as I pretended to be a cat from the Warriors) and I would crawl around with my stuffed animals and another friend of mine as we pretended that different sections of our neighborhood were different territories for various cat clans. Adding on to that, I could tell stories to myself of the bravery of various warriors and such as I took walks around alone in my own thoughts.

I remember all this and then feel sad that I cannot do it anymore or at least to the same level to where I am amused…

But I want my niece and nephew to have that kind of imagination and to really enjoy their childhood. And so, I gave it a shot. I began to give random animals a different voice: one with a British accent, one with an Irish one, one  with a high voice, and one with a low one. I plopped them around the toy boat and she began giggling and laughing with that beautiful smile of hers.

I took the two bagels and put them to my eyes and looked through each bagel hole (eye holes) and then held them to her face to show her what she could do with them. She looked through them too like they were glasses and began laughing once again. I put them to my face again and then to my nephew’s and she giggled saying his name “Caleb! Caleb!”

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And then she took the manatee and began to do what I had done just a few moments before: have it “swim” around while singing a theme song in the background and then plop it into the boat…

I just suddenly had this thought of not wanting my niece to become brainwashed by the technology these days. I didn’t want her to solely rely on the television and iPad games for entertainment. I want her to continue to read and to play with the countless amount of toys that she is blessed with.

This is why no matter how fussy she is, I make sure to not resort to giving her the iPad or turning on the television.

Imagination is something that is so important that keeps something alive in us. It keeps us young…it is our inner child, our inner creativity crying to come out and show something to the world…to us. It keeps our minds working and keeps a part of us happy.

Without imagination, we become almost…mechanical like robots … we lose our individuality, our creativity …

I pray that I will continue to be able to keep my imagination alive even if it is not as strong as before.

I pray that my niece and nephew and the future generations will be able to not succumb to technology, but be able to enjoy the traditional toys and such as well and that they will be able to communicate and still play with one another not through the means of games or electronics, but through things such as the playground, dolls, books, and more…

Snoh

Proverbs 4:23 – “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”

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New Recipe: Creamy Avocado (& Tomato) Noodles

Place: In the Kitchen

Time: 11:45 AM

Mood: Content – Feeling clean

Link to the recipe: Creamy Avocado (& Tomato) Noodles

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a recipe … in fact it’s been a while since I’ve had spiralized noodles. But I figured, since this one worked and it was so easy and simple to make with ingredients that are commonly held in the home, I should put it down. I’ve cooked and baked a lot the past year (some pics on instagram and others on my facebook). It’s only too bad that I didn’t jot down how to make them or what not. But since I started this blog because of my fascination with consuming raw vegan foods, I should put this one up.photo 1 (1)Now, I’m not going to lie, I added chicken breast into this as well since I had to eat that, but this was a good way to cleanse after eating so much bread lately … Had a blueberry smoothie afterward which is so simple to make and delicious as well~

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 –Snoh

My sister’s music: Minji Noh

Click: Shields of Strength

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Missed Memories & Regrets Redemption

Place: Dining Table

Time: 10:20 AM

Mood: Mixed emotions of sadness, joy, gratitude, pain, regret …

These both didn’t happen on the same day, but it’s nice to keep record of it…

photo 4 (5) photo 5 (4)

We have been spending time together lately mainly at home – usually doing our own things. However, we decided to go out to do some chores and Dad suggested we grab lunch together.

Usually whenever a blood, main family member suggests going out to eat or watch a movie, my main instinct/reaction/thought is that we shouldn’t because it’s a waste of money (when we can make healthier and potentially yummier things at home). However, I then realized, that that is how I have been thinking and living all this time and therefore missed out on chances of spending quality time with family and making memories…especially with dad who I see only a few times in the year.

I still wanted to just get something cheap and healthy-ish and was like “Let’s just get Subway.” But then, it seemed that dad wanted to treat me to something better and that he wanted us to go out to get something new…I felt sad suddenly. Some pain deep within stirred again.

I remember that over the past year, I suddenly began to get these almost resentful thoughts towards him because it felt that he hadn’t been there for most of my life…it really hit when I became 20 this past May…

It isn’t even like he’s been a bad father or anything either, but I just remember that as a kid I would see other children with their dads or that there would be Parents Day or Back-to-School Night, and my mom would come…alone….

I hated that. Hated having to see her alone and even now she’s basically like alone.

And then I remember all the good things that he has done and still does. He really is the best dad in the world with his flaws and all…same with mama Noh. But I digress…

So we decided to have Hawaiian BBQ to try something new and we both shared each other’s dishes and it was just chill and nice.

Even now, we eat together and laugh (definitely eat bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar) We exercise together, make food together, watch variety shows together…not everything is done together all of the time and we are both pretty quiet when together, but it’s still nice.

I was having trouble over the past month(s) here during the summer when I began to get depressed and alone and after he came back, I felt so much happier, lighter … I don’t know how to explain or describe it.

Lately, it seems like family is getting better as well as it seems that he his opening up more to both me and mom. I felt truly like a family once again after a long time recently.

It’s so hard to type down all that I am thinking and it wasn’t even my plan to start talking about this, but I guess it naturally happened…

On that note…going to eat bread with my dad now…

-Snoh

 

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Sister’s Recital, Aspirations, & Nightmare

photo 1I posted a little ode of some sort to my sister, Minji Noh, on my Instagram, so I won’t repeat it here because I’m not feeling as emotional as I was before.

But I will repeat,going to my sister’s performances never gets old… (Feel free to check out some of her works at http://www.minjinoh.com)

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I’ve been obsessed with headbands and now my Hermes scarves 🙂

I saw a meme on Instagram basically comparing selfies and how you look in tagged photos and it is so true! But I digress…

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (3)I hope that I will be able to discover that ONE TRUE PASSION when I go abroad to Rome, Italy. I do have many hobbies and interests, but that one passion that I work hard to strive toward I have yet…I do have a dream that I have had since I was a child though.

I did want to become a singer and an actress at one point, but afterward it has stayed the same: to own a chain of hotels with a restaurant and a bakery and to help out in the bakery and restaurant as well since I enjoy the two. I  still am unsure as of how to get there and have been trying such as contacting and applying, but I basically raise it up to the Lord to know what is best for me.

-Snoh

P.S. I had a nightmare today basically where my friend died….it was horrible I was climbing a mountain with friends. We were all on an adventure/journey for something and for a while I was always constantly making sure that we were all together as I like to do (making sure nobody strayed or got kidnapped). Then, as I figured we were alright, I began to go faster as the adrenaline started pumping. When I got to the top, I was in a sort of castle hallway and was looking out of the arched stone “window” that was glass-less. I peeked out and then saw that my friend was getting taken away by somebody else into the water down below. And then she disappeared!! I felt such terror and saw another of my friend also was climbing up the wall desperately trying to get away from someone…I quickly reached down and helped him up (John) and then started screaming “ANH!” (the one who was taken underwater) and scrambled/hurled myself out the window, rolled down the hill while getting bruised, and dived into the water trying desperately to find her or at least the killer. I couldn’t find either one…

I then saw my mom and John’s mom chilling on the grassy shore chatting, and I asked them if they had seen anyone, but they hadn’t. So, John and I started to swim and search desperately for any sign of Anh, dead or alive. We couldn’t find her at all…I just remember getting up on the bank crying, refusing to give up. John kept consoling me and then I don’t know if this was my imagination (towards me waking up) or if it was actually part of the dream. I don’t know if it was my way of trying to put a happy ending to it, but she was alright. She later found us laughing in a sort of resentful way for getting ahead of her and had played a joke on us….I don’t even know. All I know is that it was so scary and that I have been having nightmares lately. This is one that I remember…