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해님 달님

*this is a scheduled post

While reviewing for the essay writing portion of TOPIK Intermediate, I came across this 전래 동화 called 해님과 달님. It’s been a while since I last read/watch/listen to a children’s book in Korean.

You can also find it at Junior Naver.

떡 하나 주면 안 잡아먹지~

[소설 Translation] My Name Is Kim Sam Soon Prologue

DISCLAIMER: I’m still not good in Korean. Please take my translations with a grain of salt (might as well take the whole salt shaker with you). I am just translating directly with no proof-reading. If you found errors in the translations (in case you have a copy of the novel) and/or my English I’d appreciate if you can give corrections by leaving a comment below. I’m just doing this for fangirling purposes and I find reading and attempting to translate the novel as another opportunity for me to learn Korean in a fun way. Also blogging the translations might push me to finally finish reading the novel within the year. 

——-

The life of a Korean old maid

It’s easier to get hit by an atomic bomb than to find a man at the age of 30.
[Fanny Fink*]

“Mom! This is my lifelong wish! I definitely certainly absolutely MUST do this within the year!”

“Hmph! Fat chance! Just drop it, you brat!”

That was Sam Soon’s mom initial reaction as she heard, yet again, her youngest daughter’s objective for the year.

“And why EXACTLY can’t I?” asked Sam Soon with furrowed brows to her mother who had, once again, ruthlessly got in the way of her rosy dream.

“This is the thousandth time I’m telling you this, you brat! Do I have to remind you who gave you your name? Your grandfather did! So how can you change it as you please?”

“This is also the thousandth time I’m telling you this, Mom! You too should actually take responsibility. Was I born as your third daughter just because I wanted to? Why am I the only one given such a tacky and old-fashioned name?! Kim Sam Soon? What on earth is Kim Sam Soon?!!!”

“You… you..! Watch your mouth!”

Of all days, Sam Soon is showing quite a strong attitude today. Her mother glared at her and raised the rice spatula she has been holding – looking all ready to hit her as soon as she blurt out just one more wrong word. Usually Sam Soon would back-off with that kind of threat. But today was different. Of course, just to be on the safe side, she sees to it to take a step back for every step her mother made towards her. But she kept her head high and continued saying what she wanted to say.

“Is that so, Mom? If I was named Sam Soon then my sisters should’ve been named Il Soon and Yi Soon too, right? But why is it that eldest sister is named Il Yeon, second sister is Yi Young yet me, the youngest… ( – deleted sentence -) Why am I the only one named Sam Soon?”

Her mother was a bit startled with Sam Soon’s latest and incontestable argument. Seeing her mother soften a bit, Sam Soon gained more courage and spoke in a slightly higher tone.

“Right, Mom? Hurry up and get married within the year, you said? Huh! What to do? Every man I met struggles not to burst out laughing upon hearing my name. Why are you being like this to me and me alone? Am I adopted? Is that so? Is that so?!”

For 29 years, she carried the name Kim Sam Soon and suffered all the burden that comes along with it. Every time she introduces herself and says, “My name is Kim Sam Soon,” for sure 6 out of 10 people will burst out laughing. The other 4? Well, they were able to successfully suppress it.

Since she’s been suffering for almost 30 years now, Sam Soon just let it pass for the most part of the year. However there will be at least a month in every year where she hated her name the most. And it happens to be that month right now. She has a haunting feeling that the root cause of all the misfortunes and difficulties she’s been going through is none other than her unlucky and hideous name.

Suddenly, Sam Soon remembered the last phone call she received just last Christmas from a guy she used to love. The beginning of the string of misfortunes.

[Merry Christmas. Let’s break up.]

For someone who bakes cakes, Christmas is the busiest season of the year. Sam Soon was only able to endure the heavy works on her shoulders that season with the thoughts of seeing her boyfriend again the soonest. That call was something she least expected. At first Sam Soon wanted to believe that she’s just having hallucinations from exhaustion. Or, if not, maybe he’s just joking.

“Is that some kind of a joke?”

Yes, must be a joke. But still does he really have to ask this kind of strange things at Christmas? She was in the middle of this train of thought when she heard a heavy sigh on the other line. The guy on the other line continued talking.

(I have never been more serious as I am now.)

And that was how her 28th Christmas became her worst Christmas ever. ( – deleted sentece – )And that’s how, up to this date, she is a lonely 29-year-old single. She thought, “To hell with this corny name!”  If only her name is at least along the likes of, say, Kim Hee Jin, then these ill-fated things wouldn’t have happen, she thought.

While in the middle of her mutterings, Sam Soon entered the room she is sharing with her second eldest sister.  Her sister was watching a foreign movie and there on the screen was a really gloomy-looking woman. The woman said, “It’s easier to get hit by an atomic bomb than to find a man at the age of 30.”

At that exact moment, that unknown woman’s words pierced Sam Soon’s heart. And she also felt a pang of panic. Of course, no one can really tell, but the chances will be slimmer when she turns thirty.

So on that night, she made an oath in front of her sister.

“Sis, I made a oath in the name of heaven.”

“And what is it?”

“I solemnly swear that within the year I will definitely apply and have a successful name change and I will meet and date a guy a million times more fabulous than that jerk who cheated on me!”

Her sister giggled upon hearing her oath.

“Ah? Reeaaally now, my dear little sister?” her sister said in a sarcastic tone.

“And also, if I end up dating a good-for-nothing-jerk again, I’m a Dutchman,” Sam Soon said in a determined voice. “Got it, sis? You stand as my witness, okay?” she continues. “So, the moment you see signs that I’m about to get tricked again by a good-for-nothing guy you must whack my head and bring me back to my senses, okay?”

“You are you saying that this time you’ll never fall for just looks and will date a really fine guy?”

Sam Soon nodded without batting an eyelid.

“Of course!”

♡      ♥      ♡      ♥

To escape the cursed singlehood, Sam Soon went to a matchmaking agency. The agent was reading Sam Soon’s bio-data and creased his forehead when he reached the section about body measurements.

Name: Kim Sam Soon
Birth date: July 25, 1975.
Zodiac Sign: Leo.
Blood Type: B
Family:
Father: Kim Bok Man. Self-employed
Mother: Park Bong Sook
2 older sisters
Occupation: Patissier (pastry chef)
Specialty: Making delicious cakes
Hobby: Eating those delicious cakes
Body measurements: ……

“Height 159cm. Weight 63kg. Hmm… hmm… this is a bit… …. No properties… savings is somehow…. Father is self-employed.”

Her body measurements has always been like a top secret and it has never been exposed like this to any guy. Now this agent mercilessly analyzed it just like how a butcher sorts out rotten from fresh meat. He looked up and Sam Soon met his eyes wiith furrowed brows.

After they exchanged piercing stares with each other, the agent eventually surrendered and looked again at Sam Soon’s documents and in a casual tone asked, “If you were born in 1975, how old are you then?”

Does he have to ask something so obvious and can easily be calculated? Nonetheless it leaves Sam Soon no other choice but to answered right away.

“Well, 29,” she said in a low tone.

“Hmm, age 29, occupation patissier, annual income… okay, body measurements…. uhm, uhm… ehem, ehem.”

 The agent keeps coughing as he scanned through Sam Soon’s personal details – age, height, weight and finances – making Sam Soon all the more uncomfortable.

“As you know it, in this not go great economic situation, female university students who can’t get jobs are flooding the marriage market. For every 100 female members, there are barely 60 male members. It’s highly competitive than college admissions.”

“So, is he saying that if those spring chicks can’t get married easily, it would be way more difficult for me?” Sam Soon muttered to herself.

“Fortunately you have a secured job and that’s a strong point. However, frankly speaking, your age, educational background, body frame, etc, etc puts off your chances in meeting a pair. That’s why…”

“That’s why what?’ Sam Soon thought. “Although I gained 12kgs while nursing a broken heart for 2 months, I’m not that ugly looking, and, as you’ve said, I have a stable job. So, what’s the problem?” Sam Soon continued her trail of thought.

But what the agent said next felt like a bucket of cold water poured over her strong self-confidence.

“How about being a special member until we find you a pair?”

The agent’s voice was one notch politer. He suddenly gives off an aura of a salesman who is hard-selling his products. She is 29 years old. And she haven’t heard of anything “special” that doesn’t come with a “special” price tag. But as was told by the agent earlier, she’s not that bad anyway. Sam Soon, also in a more polite tone, asked.

“If it’s a ‘special membership’, how much will the membership fee then?”

Well, even if the fee will be expensive, if this is the way for her to meet a nice guy then Sam Soon thought she shall take this challenge. But that thought only lasted until the middle-aged agent’s next words.

“It will be 7,900,000 won.”

“What did you say?”

Sam Soon’s eyes grew even wider and her mouth fell open. It’s as if the agent said that tomorrow’s the end of the world. The agent casually repeated what he just said.

“7,900,000 won.”

“7,900,000 won? Not 790,000 won? If meeting one guys is at 10,000 won… it’s 790 times more? Are you perhaps gonna introduce me to Bae Yong Joon, Jang Dong Gun and Won Bin?” Sam Soon shivered.

The agent gave Sam Soon a lousy smile and said, “Although we don’t handle celebrities here, in this time of adversity and the stiff competition to the altar…….”

Sam Soon suddenly stood up even before the agent finished talking. As she started walking towards the exit, she suddenly turned around, sat down, and snatched away her bio data from the agent’s desk. All the information about a woman named Kim Sam Soon is written on that information sheet. That place is not to be trusted with that kind of document.

Sam Soon tear the document apart and shoved it inside her bag. And in a chilly tone, she angrily snapped at the agent.

“Even if I starve to death I will never have that kind of money! Even if you ask anyone out on the streets they’ll say there are no deadlines in marriage. And 7,900,000 won can already cover the entire cost of a wedding ceremony!”

With no intentions of yielding, the agent snapped back at her.

“What you said may be true but, Ms. Kim Sam Soon, with your age, your body, and your face, baiting a guy off the streets will not be an easy feat either. Ah, not to mention that rustic name of yours! Ah, have you seen that German movie “Fanny Fink?”

Oh, how much she wants to strangle this ahjussi who keeps mocking her. But she shut her mouth and waited for what he was about to say about the movie that he suddenly brought up. After a few beats, the agent said, “It’s easier for women in their 30s to get hit by an atomic bomb than to date a guy. The honestly of that line was very impressive for someone like me who works in the marriage industry (?).”

It feels like the agent stabbed her chest with a kitchen knife. She imagined herself force-feeding him with a cake peppered with poison. Realizing it was impossible to do so, Sam Soon left the marriage agency office and banged the door shut. She’s just 29. Still single. Still a promising age. She can’t commit murder.

——–

Footnotes:

*Fanny Fink the main character in a 1994 German Movie Keiner liebt mich (Nobody Loves Me)

Korean Learner Comments:

IMG_4230

Three days. It took me three days to translate 15 pages. Well, not 3 full days. If translated into hours maybe 15 hours? It’s a good start. I hope to improve my speed in reading and translation soon. It was very difficult, yes. But I enjoyed it so much! It’s the first time I read something and understood it almost 100%. Almost. There were a couple of sentences that I just can’t understand no matter what I do. I used the dictionary a lot as I read and translate. I’ve highlighted new words and marked confusing sentences. I input new words to my new anki deck.

The drama watcher me is more comfortable with conversational Korean. Thus the sentences in the books inside quotation marks were the easiest parts for me. The rest of the narration and descriptions are still very difficult. It’s also difficult to translate. Even if I understood a sentence already, sometimes it just doesn’t translate well to English. That, plus the fact that I’m not an expert in English either. There were many times I can easily translate some sentences into my native language, but not in English.

I enjoyed reading because I am not finally exposed to the “written Korean”. The style, most especially the unending embedding of modifiers, is still new to me and it takes time before I can fully absorb a sentence. After 15 pages, I can feel getting used to it YET I don’t think I can ever produce something like that if I’ll write. I hope now that I am starting to read more, I’ll be able to go out of my “conversational writing style” someday.

Words. Too many new words. And a number of them were pair words (uhm, how do you call them?) – words that can’t stand alone and can/must only be used with another word. I’ve used the 국어 dictionary a lot because there were many words that are not in the Eng-Korean dictionary. There were even words that are not in the 국어 dictionary that I have to google. Some were even have to be explained to me by The Korean Crush.

NOTES:

어림 반 푼 어치 없는 소리! – Not a chance!
인정사정없다 – ruthless, without mercy
모친 – mother
부친 – father
마른하늘의 날벼락
부들거리다 – 자꾸 몸이 부르르 떨리다. 또는 자꾸 몸을 크게 부르르 떨다
한이 없다
멋지구리하게 – 멋지게
나만 어디서 주워왔어?

Fangirl Comments:

Ekkk!!! Finally! Finally finally finally! After sitting in my bookshelf for 6 years, finally I get to read AND understand one section (one out of 22)! These scenes were not in the drama as they were. Her arguments with her mom about how tacky her name was were scattered on many “dinner scenes” in the drama. The scene in the marriage agency was just Sam Soon’s dream (well, was it?) in the drama. And as what novelist Ji Soo Hyeon said, Sam Soon seems more feisty in the drama. But both are lovable. In the drama her annual income is zero because she got fired after skipping work on Christmas because she had to stalk her cheating boyfriend – which was used as a strong opening scene of the drama. I love the funny tone of the novel. And I must comment writer Kim Do Wo and Director Kim Yoon Chul for carrying it all the way to the drama. Can’t wait to read the next chapter, but it may take time… loads of time.

All About My Name Is Kim Sam Soon Novelist Ji Soo Hyun

DISCLAIMER: My translation of the article may not be accurate.

If it’s not yet obvious, I’m a big My Name Is Kim Sam Soon fan. Before I become a Kim Sun Ah fan, I was first a Sam Soon fan.That drama caught me off guard, made me laugh and cry at unexpected moments. Made me look at life differently. Made me shake off all my insecurities. Made me enjoy life more. In my book, it’s the best drama every written.

My Name Is Kim Sam Soon is originally a novel, written by a female novelist Ji Soo Hyun, published in 2004  – a year before the drama aired. The novel was later adapted for television and was penned by drama writer Kim Do Wo.

When I first learned the My Name Is Kim Sam Soon was originally a novel, I can’t help but be interested in the book so I had a friend buy me a copy even if my Korean then is not even enough to introduce myself properly. All I did since then is open the book once in a while, read some pages (without understanding it), close it, put it back on the shelf, and hope that someday I’ll be able to read it. Like REALLY read it.

I’m curious to find out what were the changes made in the drama version. What parts were removed. What parts were retained. How faithful the adaptation was? And, honestly speaking, I’m most curious to know which will I like better.

I’m also curious about the novelist, as much as I am curious with Kim Do Wo (and other Korean drama writers). I’ve always wondered what kind of person they both are to come up with such stories and characters. Are they married. Do they have kids. Are they romantic. Are they similar to the character/s they write? Or are they the exact opposite?

Anyway, yesterday I came across a short article – an interview with writer Ji Soo Hyun. If I’m not mistaken it was part of the “Curious about My Name Is Kim Sam Soon” series of Woman Donga and was written in 2005 (in the middle of the drama’s broadcast). The article satisfied my curiosity over the ‘mysterious’ novelist. Now she is not just a name to me.

————————

My Name Is Kim Sam Soon novelist Ji Soo Hyun

Self-portrait of Novelist Ji Soo Hyun

Self-portrait of Novelist Ji Soo Hyun

As the drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon gains popularity, a lot of people became more and more curious about the writer behind the original novel, Ms. Ji Soo Hyun. She dislikes the idea of showing herself to the public, thus she refused a photoshoot and we proceeded with an email interview instead.

Age: 32
Blood type: B
Hobby: Eating delicious cakes
Ideal type: Someone like Hyun Bin – arrogant but with a warm heart

That’s the profile of the writer who wrote the novel from which the sky-high popular MBC drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon was adapted from. She said she is very similar to Sam Soon because she actually modeled the character to herself. She was born prematurely (7 months) and she has always been clumsy since she was a child, tripping here, falling there. And whenever that happens, she repeatedly hear her mother sigh “Aigoo! This little Sam Soon!” And even Kim Sun Ah’s (as Kim Sam Soon?) mistakes or errors in the drama, she all have experienced them.

“Since I was a kid, there were times I’ve thought of becoming a patissier because I love cakes. But I don’t have great baking skills like Sam Soon. The cakes I baked were uneven and the cookies I made were too hard you can’t even chew it.

“Just like in dramas, I’ve also experienced lots of bad lucks and bad timings. I have met a fender bender WHILE I was having a driving lesson. I went to the district office to pay my dues on the deadline just in time when the doors are being closed and locked. I even have to be rescued in Halla Mountain (alodia: this I’m not 100% sure).

“When Sam Soon is upset she bake cakes early in the morning. When I’m upset I scribble at dawn,” she said.

She took Industrial Design in college. In 2000 she quit her job, moved to Yongin Gyeonggi-do and started writing. At that time, her health was not so good. She had plenty of free time at home and one day she came across a website where you can upload your written novels. So she started posting stories she imagined since she was a kid.

Last year, her internet novel that gathered a lot of attention, “Noona and I or She and I?” was adapted to television in KBS Snow WhiteAnd just last March, her “Our 4321 days” was adapted as KBCS 18 vs 29. Other than those two mentioned, currently, television and movie production companies have purchased rights and contracts of most of her novels for TV or screen adaptation.

“Sam Soon is a character that was patterned after myself.”

“The reason why a lot of women my age, cherish the drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon so much, is that they feel that they can see themselves in Sam Soon. ‘Must go to blind dates no matter how boring it is.’ ‘Must save money for the future.’ ‘Must diet.’ They sympathize with Sam Soon who find all these things easier said than done. They also cheer for Sam Soon who works hard despite unfavorable circumstances.

The lead male characters who appeared in the novel reflect Ji Soo Hyun’s ideal types. “Whenever I write I think that to be able to reach the readers, they too must be able to feel the feeling of being in love. Creating handsome characters with good personality would be effective but it is not always the case. Men who cherish women sincerely – I make an effort to create those kind of male characters whom women would want to fall in love with,” she said.

Ji Soo Hyun doesn’t fret as to what and how many parts they exclude or edit out from her novels when they are being adapted to other mediums. She said, “I have already expressed myself the way I want it on my novel. It’s a pleasure to have my work to be adapted into a drama. It’s fun to imagine when you read a novel. And it’s even more fun to see it with your own eyes in a drama.”

“AsI watch the drama, I can see that both the writer and the director exerted efforts in being faithful with the original novel. Sam Soon is more vigorous and full of energy in the drama than in the novel, but that’s plainly her – Sam Soon. Jin Hun, I think, was almost exactly the character in the novel – not just being younger, but being simple-hearted while acting pervertly; and having a painful past. Hee Jin, Jin Hun’s ex-girlfriend, appeared way earlier than she did in the novel but I’m also curious as to how her original small role will develop into a bigger one in the drama.”

“The novel and the drama were two different fruits from the same tree,” said Ji Soo Hyun. I may be the one who provided the basic foundation, but I completely give my trust and believe the director, writer and all the drama staff,” she said.

SOURCE: 여성동아

——————————–

Sadly this article (and a whole lot more out there) was not translated because most people are just curious about the drama then. Times like this I really love learning Korean! I wouldn’t have learned about this awesome writer if I don’t know Korean. XD

I am currently downloading 18 vs 29 because it looks like I’m gonna like it. I guess more than Writer Kim Do Wo (My Name Is Kim Sam Soon screenplay writer), I’ll be stalking Writer Ji Soo Hyun more. I’m more encouraged to finish reading My Name Is Kim Sam Soon novel now that I know more about the novelist. 🙂

[소설] I Do I Do: Chapter 1.1

DISCLAIMER: I’m still not good in Korean. Please take my translations with a grain of salt (might as well take the whole salt shaker with you). I’m just doing this for fun and found reading and attempting to translate the novel as another opportunity for me to learn Korean in a fun way.

Mary jane. A lovely shoes with rounded front and a strap. It’s easy to match it with any outfit but if it is worn with a very feminine one-piece dress, it’s like being a princess from a fairy tale. A magical secret moment when a cute and innocent girl changes into a lovely lady. A shoes that hides a secret sexiness.

 

SHOWCASE 1: The place where my mary janes took me.


First day of kindergarten.

Dad bought her only daughter a pair of red shoes. The same kind of mary janes that Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland wore.

Ji Ahn steps her little foot into the red enamel shoes that sparkles like a ruby. And for the first time Ji Ahn heard the sound of her soul the moment she fastens the thin strap with a click.

“Right, this is it!”

The round front of the shoes covers the toes and everything turns into one – yes, that kind of ‘matching’ feeling.

Every clacking step Ji Ahn took, she heard the sound of magic unfolding. Every clacking sound Ji Ahn makes on each of her step is the sound of magic –  the clacking sound of happiness.

It seems like Ji Ahn can go anywhere just like Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz, just like Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and just like Cinderella who’ve met her prince charming. It seems like it became possible to go anywhere Ji Ahn wants just like magic.

“Shoes, shoes! Take me to the place where magical shoes that are as pretty and as wonderful as you sleeps!”

A place full of shoes that are lovelier than Dorothy’s and more dazzling than Cinderella’s!

Then, if she can grab that happiness by a hand she’ll be happy, won’t she?

Now, if only she can fill her hands with beautiful magical shoes……..

[소설] I Do I Do: Cover

DISCLAIMER: I’m still not good in Korean. Please take my translations with a grain of salt (might as well take the whole salt shaker with you). I’m just doing this for fun and found reading and attempting to translate the novel as another opportunity for me to learn Korean in a fun way.

Inserts:

It’s funny that you will give up on life just because of THAT?
A straight forward cheer to those who have dreams!
The role model of today’s generation – romantic-comedy queen Kim Sun Ah!
Winner of KOCCA’s story-writing contest

So what if you took the wrong path? So what if you have to step back a little?
The safe route is not necessarily the best one!

Front Cover:

She is a natural born shoe-holic. Since childhood, for no apparent reasons, she just happen to like shoes.

(She) thinks Manilyn Monroe’s life is really cool – having a scandal with Kennedy and dying a mysterious death while still in the flower of her youth. (note: the text was cut off on some parts)

Strongly denying it, but honestly I really don’t know. Maybe I’m liking that ‘kid’?

Eliza said, “The world is full of things that you never could have imagined happening. But the things that you thought couldn’t happen, when it happens, it is really cool. Because the things you never thought could happen, is happening.”

Although your classy outfits is shouting Gangnam, your exuding ‘hometown manners’ reveals that you are Chungbuk’s ‘little princess’.

Haven’t been on a date for 10 years. A city workaholic worn out and stressed 365 days a year.

If she were to choose a color to represent herself, she’d probably choose primary colors over pastels. It must absolutely be clear whether something is hot or cool; something like ‘somewhat roundish’ and ‘lukewarm’ doesn’t amuse her.

Inside Front Cover

Do you know what “line” is? A millimeter can make a difference in the quality!

Kim Jong Hak Production Planning
First place winner for ‘Korean Story Contest’ in a KOCCA sponsored Mythopoeia Project 2010
MBC drama

Jo Jeong Hwa (screenplay)

Born in Seoul and majored in Scriptwriting for Film and Theater at Sangmyeong University. He debuted as a junior writer for MBC sitcom Non-stop, and after that wrote scenarios for movies (No Comment Family, Man Who Went to Mars) and dramas (Rays of Sunshine, Stranger Than Paradise) and has then been active on both the silver screen and television.

Park Yi Jeong (novel)

He joined writing contests with the motto of leaving various deeply moving works. He wrote with a wide spectrum. From general fiction, romance, fantasy as well as action, thriller, comics and cartoons, to game stories.
He worked with many experts on different genres gaining him a deep understanding and a strong foundation and was sought by OSMU (One Source Multi Use).
He has also fictionalized movies including Haunters, Petty Romance, Blind and Sunny.

Inside Insert

Eliza said, “The world is full of things that you never could have imagined happening. But the things that you thought couldn’t happen, when it happens, it is really cool. Because the things you never thought could happen, is happening.”

<excerpt from Anne of Green Gables>

Back Cover

“Why does it have to be shoes? Why do I have to be at the bottom?”

“Do you know that good shoes takes you to good places? At first I only thought that pretty shoes brings you good luck. But it’s not the case. Shoes actually can let the magic unfold. The braver I become, the better I feel. So I will be taken to a place where my heart leads me. And that place is the best place that could be.”

I, Hwang Ji An, is a natural born shoe-holic. Since I was a kid, for no apparent reason, I’ve always liked shoes. Even when I have to wear a sweatsuit without make-up, I must wear only the prettiest and most luxurious pair of sneakers.
Tremendous efforts and a deep passion I gained even worldwide recognition for my talents and skills. And in my age, of late thirties, I received the best treatment in the industry being a top designer and gaining a director position in my the company that I work for. And at this rate I think that as long as I continue running forward, there’s no doubt that I can become a CEO and be able to launch a brand under my own name. However, one day I stumbled upon a path that I have never even imagined. Is this the collapse of my dream? Or is this the start of a new life? First I have to try. But because of pride, or perhaps embarrassment I am hesitant.

Inside Back Cover

Director Hwang Ji Ahn’s “Life Coaching” for those who are dreaming a dream.

1. Design your goal.
Hwang Ji Ahn’s coaching tip: You have to sketch your life.

All designs starts from a sketch. Same with your life.  Sensible women design their own life and must know how to combine colors too. Whether life is a first-class luxurious brand, or an imitation on a display rack on the streets depends on your own choice. It’s not somebody else’s, it is your life. There’s always something that is solely your own that you can’t sacrifice or share with somebody else. To me it’s shoes and fashion. Before I even reached puberty, I have already started designing my own life. Dreams, future, desires? I like all of them. The moment you start sketching your life, life becomes beautiful. Keep that in mind. A masterpiece is not born, they are made.

2. Design your tomorrow.
Hwang Ji Ahn’s coaching tip: Once the draft of your sketch is done, start putting the details.

Have no regrets after a day passes by. There’s still another chance for you tomorrow. And that chance has been prepared for you. First of all start from choosing the shoes and the outfit you’ll wear tomorrow. It’ll be the beginning of a change on busy mornings. And you will see improvements on yourself little by little. Before you know it you’ll become the object of envy of others. Refined, fashionable, glamorous, luxurious, lovely, sexy, classy, powerful… Solely through fashion, you’ll be able to possess all of these. The tomorrow that you can design can be as diverse as this. Keep this in mind. When you design your tomorrow, you design your success.

3. Design your confidence.
Hwang Ji Ahn’s coaching tip: Coco Channel said, “I am fashion”

Your own ability. Style is an aura. Successful people are……..

[소설] I Do I Do (intro)

I finally got my I Do I Do novel! Thanks to eggmoonrice!!! She got it for last June 3rd, got it last June 12th and brought to to me last Sunday (17th).

I was in a bad mood because of embassy-related stress so I didn’t bother reading it right away. But now that I’m feeling fairly o-k, my excitement in reading it is slowly coming back. 🙂

At first I was even contemplating whether I’ll read it or wait until the drama’s over to avoid possible spoilers (I hate spoilers), but I realized 1.) this is just book 1, so I am still spared from the ‘ending’ spoiler (from browsing it looks like the story in the book is just right until the last episode that aired last week) and 2.) do I really believe that I will finish reading the entire novel BEFORE the drama ends?

I tried reading the covers and intros and summaries last night. It was still difficult for me. But when I tried reading the start of the novel I was able to understand a big portion of it. And it makes me happy. This is the first time I’m going to read a novel in Korean. I attempted My Name Is Kim Sam Soon before but I still haven’t gotten past the first few pages. I was thinking of starting to seriously read it this summer when I Do I Do came. I’m more interested with I Do I Do for now, so My Name Is Kim Sam Soon would have to wait a bit.

Again, we have book 1. I was a bit disappointed that it’s on paperback (unlike my hardbound Kim Sam Soon. But the cover’s pretty (not to mention the insert with Kim Sun Ah photo. I love the color theme because it’s pink. But the base is white in a matte finish (urgh! I can’t just toss it away on my bag and I must remember not to hold it with dirty hands!).

It’s 335 pages but the fonts are big (way bigger than my Kim Sam Soon novel). I has 9 chapters, or ‘showcase’ as what they used on the book. And each ‘showcase’ is further divided into smaller sections (yey!).

It’s written by Park Yi Jeong (박이정) but the screenplay writer, Jo Jeong Hwa (조정화) is also credited on the book.

Aside from Kim Sun Ah’s photo (that I’ve already removed), there’s also her autograph. I hope it’s enough motivation for me to keep reading (though I’d say I’m sooo interested and curious about the story and in fact, loving it, so I think that should be a good enough motivation for me).

I use a pencil to mark or underline some words on the book. But I use post-its to write notes and definitions. And I have a small notepad to jot down words and grammar explanations. I use naver dictionary to check words out when I’m online and a paper dictionary when I’m not.

I will try reading and translating one section a day if it’s not too long. Or maybe at least a couple of paragraphs a day. Just please note, I am an amateur to this and my Korean is still far from good. Thus my translations will never be accurate. I just want to do this for myself (because if not, I will probably be too lazy to just read). I am also doing this to learn through the novel. But feel free to read it if you want/curious about the novel. And if you speak Korean and you happen to have a copy of the book too and found some errors, I’ll appreciate corrections. 🙂

I Do I Do novel excerpts – spoilers anyone?

These are book excerpts from online bookstores. May or may not be spoilers for the drama. Nonetheless, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

Table of Contents (excerpts)

Chapter 1 The place where my mary janes took me
Chapter 2 Glory for shoes only
Chapter 3 The inappropriate carrot
Chapter 4 Buying was easy
Chapter 5 The next stage of menopause

Inside the book

It was the first day of kindergarten. Dad bought her only daughter a pair of red shoes. The same kind of mary janes that Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland wore. Ji Ahn steps her little foot into the red enamel shoes that sparkles like a ruby. And for the first time Ji Ahn heard the sound of her soul the moment she fastens the thin strap with a click. Every clacking step Ji Ahn took, she heard the sound of magic unfolding. Every clacking sound Ji Ahn makes on each of her step is the sound of magic –  the clacking sound of happiness. – page 9

All designs starts from a sketch. Same with your life. A life drawn using the colors of a rainbow on a white paper. Of course, if it’s a woman with sense, she must know how to design and color her own life. Whether my life is a first-class luxurios brand, or an imitation on a display rack on the streets depends on my own choice. It’s not somebody else’s, it is your life. There’s always something that is solely your own that you can’t sacrifice or share with somebody else. To me it’s shoes and fashion. – page 47

A  top designer – a great job that a lot of people are envious of. On a top position – a Director. Plus living in a classy house. Driving an equally classy car. A 10-floor shoe closet brimming with shoes she likes – to the point of having to send a number of pairs on bazaars. There was no reason to get bored (?). There was no reason to feel lonely (?). It’s not the trauma of a failed marriage.  It’s not also a man-phobia. Ji Ahn simply doesn’t need marriage. Falling in love; getting married; washing husband’s clothes; cooking; giving birth; raising kids – it just doesn’t attract her. She didn’t want any of these. Reading trends, leading, creating – those are the things she likes. It’s not Joseon era anymore. One doesn’t marry a man her parents selected, give birth to kids, and live life obediently. That’s just rustic! – page 102

FYI: Novel is 304 pages

SOURCE: Kyobobook

I’m glad I read (and translated) the excerpts. It feels like I’m getting to know Ji Ahn more and more. Not that I need to get to know Ji Ahn more. Kim Sun Ah is doing an excellent job in bringing Ji Ahn to life. But it just feels so different (and so 신기하다 too) reading the novel. Now, if novels are only these short… *sigh*

NEW WORDS:
영광 – honor, glory
부적절하다 – to be inappropriate
갱년기 – menopause
단계 – stage, phase, step
유치원 – kindergarten
켤레 – pair
가느다랗다 – to be very thin/slender
발등 – top of the foot
당기다 – to pull, draw, tug, yank, jerk
달칵 – with a click
난생처음 – first time in one’s life
영혼 – soul, spirit
울림 – echo
펼쳐지다 – to spread, to unfold
또각 – tap, clack
한 발짝씩 – one step(by step)
마찬가지 – the same
스스로 – oneself
일류 – first class
명품
좌판 – dislay/stand
희생당하다 – to sacrifice
나누다 – to divide
직장 – job
수석 – top
오직 – only, solely
평 – floor
실패하다 – to fail
남성- man, male
혐오증 – phobia
단순하다 – simply
이끌다 – to lead
정하다 – to decide, to determine
순종하다 – to be obedient
촌스럽게!