Reading manhwa – Sarasah -spoilers-

You probably do not remember a very old post of mine where I was telling you I read comics – this one here. More precisely comics created in East Asia or related to that region.

This time I want to talk about a South Korean comic, Sarasah by Ryu Ryang. It’s actually the 2nd volume of the series because we couldn’t find the first one.

This is a 10 year old manhwa – it was first published in South Korea in 2007 and the English translation [the version I own] dates back to 2009. This comic is targeted towards teenagers – and more specifically teenager girls. You can read more about it here.

Despite me not having the first volume, the back cover has a little presentation of what the story is all about, making it easier to understand or figure out what we missed on. Reads: left to right, unlike manga (from Japan).

Warning! spoilers ahead!

The main girl character, Ji-Hae, likes a boy at school, but he somehow doesn’t want to know anything about her. She then somehow travels back in time and finds herself in the ancient Korean kingdom known as Silla. This is where and when most of the action takes place. 

There’s no coincidence for it either: it is at this point in time when Ji-Hae and Seung-Hyu (her love interest) met for the first time (in their past lives) and their interactions led him to not ever like her (no matter how many life times they spend together).

The story is pretty difficult to explain, however I wouldn’t like her either if I were him. She seems a bit too clingy and stuck up on him, and much like a stalker. What guy or girl likes this kind of person? The behavior is only acceptable when displayed in moderation after all and generally only after the 2 form a stable couple.

There is a guy who seems to like Ji-Hae, and that is Bub-Min. He tries to help her get closer to her love interest, but it’s mostly because he’s pretty much sure she won’t succeed. As a result he helps her enroll in the military though she has to pretend she’s guy. 

What I liked:

  • the time travel theme – there are several comics and shows that involve some time travel of sorts. People generally seem to have a little obsession with this theme, and as a result many works have been created. Some are of course better than others.
  • the art – South Korean comic artists are generally pretty skilled at creating eye catching characters. Well, if you like manly looking men or guys, then this comic is not for you. However we need to remember that for the longest time in history, the kingdoms that formed what we know today as China and both Koreas, valued their long hair on both men and women. For a person to cut or shave their head was a very big form of punishment, an insult and was disgracing to the parents. Only monks and nuns were expected to have a shaved head.

  • pretty easy to read – most comics are easy to read, after all. One targeted towards teenagers is even more easy to read.

What I disliked:

  • the main girl character – I mentioned above why I disliked her. Nothing more to comment on that.
  • the talking cat – there is a talking cat character in the story, and he is Ji-Hae’s pet. He acts entitled and arrogant, but it’s mostly to teach her some manners or a life lesson (or so I believe).

Rating and recommendations: I rate it 4 stars out 5, and I recommend to those interested in manga, anime, history, East Asian culture, or even time travel.


© 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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Shadowscapes Tarot – The Fool

Ah! the Fool! First card of the deck. And full of symbols. I feel this deck has more symbols than others, and some cards too are ‘heavier’ in meaning than others.

We see a young girl almost throwing herself off of a beautifully decorated column [or is it a column?] A fox looks at her, almost wondering is she’s going to go through with it or not. Some birds fly around her and a few hold onto some red ribbons, as if trying to stop her.

Looking close at her face, I almost feel as if she thinks “whatever happens surely will be better than my current state.” I wonder if she really considered all the dangers, or if she really is prepared to face all the consequences?

Some insight from the official page:

It begins with a whispered voice. Serpentine, the song threads through her days and her thoughts, beckoning. Come…come…come…. “Where?” she asks, curious, but there is no response.

She ignores the summons, until one day that siren song unexpectedly explodes and fills her to the brim. Its pulse is undeniable. “Where?” she asks again, and this time the steady beat of her heart is the response.

[…]

Meaning: The Fool is a symbol for new beginnings and adventures, pleasure, passion, thoughtless and rash. Like the Fool, you may stand upon the precipice gazing out into the unknown; and there is either an oblivious foolishness to the terrible plunge you may experience, or else a wild spirit of adventure and great faith and knowledge in that which can and will bear you up and guide through the times to come. There are unlimited possibilities opening up for the seeker.

Some insight from the now closed tarotforum forum:

By silvercrow: “she knows she will be protected. The birds will carry her, the hands will catch her. The fox, her guide, will guide her in the right direction. Below her is love, butterflies, flowers and light, but there’s also bees which can sting and sharp rocks which can hurt as well as darkness and shadows.

By r0sered1ster:the stone monkeys she stands upon, one with a heart, one with a rose and one with a butterfly. Signifying the courage, beauty and transformation she will encounter on her way

By snyc: “So the red ribbons held by the birds that surround and hold The Fool make me think of the sensory ties that hold The Fool back, which are so easily broken if only The Fool has the courage. (These ribbons are also shown in The World, but in The World they have been broken and are wrapped around her arms.) Finally, I view the statue that The Fool stands on as representing memories of the past, visions of the future, feelings, and desires.”

I view The Sun as embodying purpose, and since the right foot is often the foot that takes the first step, now I think that it means the call of purpose is what drives The Fool to take the leap, to take the first step off the cliff…

By kloeyy: “It really gives me a new perspective on the blind faith and the stirred emotion to feel compelled to step forward or leap into the unknown.”

Some more ideas from psychic-revelation.com:

In terms of finances, the Fool is an extremely positive card. You can expect increase, and furthermore, you will find it in yourself to know that no matter what happens financially, that you will be all right and will “come out on top.” Trust yourself, work hard, and you will do better than you expect.

Some ideas from destinysspiritualjourney blog:

The first thing to be noted about The Fool, is that it is the ‘zero’ card of the major arcana. The Major Arcana, represents important major life influences and is also sometimes seen by readers as a journey, through each and every card in this arcana. I always imagine The Fool as the first card in the tarot deck, some view The Fool as neither first nor last, but as the character wondering through the major arcana. The Fool is the one who experiences the trials of all the cards.

Why is the Fool the one experiencing the trials of the cards? Because humans are Fools without no life experience. Humans are designed to make mistakes in order to become wiser or better people.

On this blog, I am the Fool, sharing my experiences through life – more or less. I was born a fool and I will die a Fool, and there is no shame in that.


© 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved. The green texts belong to their respective creators, reproduced here for learning purposes.

The Great Gatsby -impressions and maybe spoilers-

Today’s post will be rather short and sweet. And will also lack pictures.

I believe it was last year or 2 years ago that we watched The Great Gatsby movie. It was some time after its release, but the hype was still there among its fans. After watching it, I decided to read the book as well – since they say the book is better than the movie.

I liked the movie quite a bit. I liked it because of the fashions and the opulence of the yesteryears. I also like how in the past people cared more about their image and reputation.

The book however – the book! Don’t get the wrong idea: I disliked the book! The author needed more lessons on how to write! Thankfully it is an easy read, but if you suffer from OCD, you’ll most likely feel the way I did towards the book.

If you ask me, all the copies of this short novel can be burned on a big fire.

I can understand how many people feel they can relate to the main character especially since the events are narrated in a first person manner, helping the reader “get lost in the book.” BUT… not me.

I got irritated because the time in this book has no laws – or works by different laws, like I mentioned in my previous book review. The author uses some phrases that make me think several weeks have passed, only to later reveal that only some 2 or 3 days passed. WHY? HOW?

When writing, you can’t do this. This method is much more fitting in a movie where the passing of time can be represented in more ways or is not always relevant.

There’s an accident happening towards the end of the story. The way the events around it are described in the book  … makes one think the novel was written or taking place at the end of the 20th century not at its beginning. The movie represented the scenes in a much better way.

RATINGS: no stars for the book [can I give -10 stars though?] and 1.5 stars for the movie, maybe even 2 stars because of Leonardo DiCaprio. He seems to be making all the movies a bit better. If you want to read it, better pick any other book. Even the first Twilight book is better than this one.


This post was a mostly a rant because I simply can’t understand why others praised this novel so much. I don’t get it. If you read it and liked it, please tell me why: I want to see your point of view, I really do.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

How To Read The Tarot

I know you were expecting a presentation of one of the cards or one of the symbols. That’s brewing for next week [hopefully].

This week, I will help you “learn how to read the tarot” cards. The process is rather long, but it can help you see other aspects of a situation, or new ways of doing the same thing.

DISCLAIMER: The links provided are the ones I use the most in my journey to ‘learn’ how read my deck. Other websites do exist, and other forums are even open and active. I just got used to this one and the site itself is 21 years old – this should count for something.

Recycled picture yay!

I will have to tell you from the start that not everyone can do it, and most definitely not with all the decks. Or perhaps they just didn’t discover the right one yet?

[boring backstory]Many years back I had an oracle deck, and the meanings of each card was pretty straight-forward: whatever you saw on the card was the meaning. I didn’t need to elaborate novels around the spread. When I first decided to have a look into the tarot, I felt lost and I didn’t understand anything, and there were many hidden messages to be discovered. I thought I could never do it.

I still wanted to own at least one deck – and I hoped for a pretty one – and then, earlier this year it happened, if you remember my online shopping haul post.

Luckily I got this deck now older, when I understand more things, when I have generally more experience. This helped me a lot with learning how to read this deck. I first went on the official website, and then I found this forum where they were discussing each card. However, if you have more decks, or if you feel like the interpretation given by others doesn’t click with you, there’s another method!

ONE OF THE STEPS

Take each card and analyze it: see what message it has for you, based on the image. It’s perfectly fine to create keywords you associate with each card. Do try to write the meanings in an easy to flip through notebook. Though, depending on how much you write, a ‘regular’ size agenda or notebook should do.

Pic used in the same shopping haul post.

ANOTHER STEP

Do simple readings with just 1 card or maximum 3 cards. These readings can be for yourself – daily or weekly- or for other people. Do try to remember the “standard” meaning of the card, and see how does it apply to the situation.

At the beginning of October I started to pull out a card in the morning, and I’d only look at it in the evening. I want to ‘test’ the accuracy of the reading by how well did the message apply in my life that day. Yesterday’s card was “the Hermit” and it applied really well – I basically was the Hermit yesterday.

ADDITIONAL STEP

Buy a tarot reading guide, or find one online. I started, but not finished this “21 ways of reading a tarot card.” Apparently this is a book by Mary K Greer [and I honestly have no idea who she is]. Her method seems very good for those cards that you have a more difficult time understanding.

I believe her method also includes a notebook, so do make sure you have one handy. Since the guide takes you through 21 stages, I can’t possibly imagine anyone going through the process 22 times [just for the Major Arcana] and even less for the whole deck. Luckily, you can apply the method to an oracle deck as well.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

We finally managed to visit this museum and document our visit through pictures. I didn’t walk so much in ages! My feet are killing me – I’m writing this right after the visit, at a café where we stopped to get some rest. If I don’t get distracted, I’ll post the second part of the blog, next week. Why a second part? Please read on to find out!

We reached the museum by foot from the subway station – it’s some 2 -3 bus stops away? At the entrance there were at least 4 tourist buses, and this meant the place was rather packed with people. The admission fee is 15 lei for adults, 4 lei for students, 200 or 300 lei if you want a guide [fee depends on the language you need the guide to speak], and there were a few other rates but I can’t remember who or what were those for.

As far as I can tell, this is the main entrance. There is also a gift shop on the right, right across from the ticket booth. I really liked some of the stuff there, though I must say some seemed a bit overpriced. Not that I’m familiar with prices for this kind of products.

Sadly many houses were closed, so we couldn’t see them on the inside. Well, A. [my partner] couldn’t enter the houses anyways, though she tried – because of a hay allergy she has. There are also a few rules to follow, such as no smoking anywhere in the museum [though it’s in the open] and no taking pics inside the houses. I would assume it’s because the flash of the camera can ruin the colors of the decors.

Visitors are not allowed inside the house, with very few exceptions. So I entered a couple of houses, but only in the small entrance/hallway of the house, and not inside the proper rooms where the occupants used to live. You can only imagine why: on rainy days bringing in the mud would eventually ruin the floors, while also just stepping inside some of the houses would also cause damage.

I must add that many houses had either a wooden floor either floor made of dried out mud – a building material I noticed in the walls of the houses as well. This was a convenient building material in the 18th century, a place in time most these houses belonged to. I believe this is what kept them so cool and pleasant – there were 27 degrees Celsius [80.6 F?] outside.

If you wanted to go even cheaper, you’d make a half buried house, like the one below. I guess the insulation was better? I do wonder just how cold it was in winter, though? I couldn’t go inside, but I must say the entrance looked creepy and claustrophobic.

There were also many vendors selling handmade things: clothes, home decors, jewelry, dolls, and other stuff. Pretty much what you could find in the gift shop, you could also find at this vendors, and then probably some extra. The prices were equally high, but we bought some cookies – but I only have a picture of one of them.

One of the vendors in front of this buried house was selling traditional alcohol, in special looking bottles. He had several shapes and sizes. While there was nothing wrong with opening the bottle up and drink, many were just for decorative purposes. Clearly, not for houses with pets or kids that can knock them over. The bottle below costs about 10 USD.

Speaking of drinks, there was one vendor selling a very strange summer drink. And what I mean by this s that it was refreshing, but very sweet as well. The drink’s name is “braga” and it is made of cereals – read more about it here and here. I bought a glass, see below. My partner said her mother used to drink it a lot, and liked it a lot as well. My partner doesn’t share the opinion. The drink is good, but like the articles point out, it looks really rustic and must be consumed really fast.

Another vendor was selling copper ware.  I will consider buying some pieces for our future home, after we have it. These copper pieces had a different color on the inside than on the outside, so I’m not sure this is how copper items are. In any case they look beautiful, don’t you think?

Lastly, I shouldn’t forget to mention the last vendor selling beauty products. We received each a sample of a scrub mask. I can’t tell if it was good, but we might visit their shop outside the museum to get a product or two.

Like mentioned before, the museum has many types of houses, a couple of churches, wind and water mills. Most houses had fences, gates, and their original annexes. These annexes include old-fashioned ovens for baking the bread, dog houses, tool sheds, houses for the livestock. Now, on with the pictures of some of the houses.

This yard and house are a unit. This house was not opened to the public, but it had an overall quiet feeling.

I forgot if all these structures above were part of the same household or not.

This was pretty much another household. I would assume its former inhabitants were more rich since the house was build on 2 levels and they also had this carriage. On the left of the “garage” there was an enclosed space – a tool storage unit, I believe.

This house was also pretty big, and the rooms were like a train’s carriages, as you could easily see in the first picture. This was a rare sight though as most the other houses had separate rooms and no way to go from one into the other.

I believe the caption says it all at this point. People were shorter in the past. The doors and gates are short, but the rooms are plenty tall on the inside.

Judging by the time stamp, this extra construction was on the same land as the house.

WOW, What an adventure! Both the visit and writing this – or better said, editing the pictures.

There ‘s a part 2 coming up soon, with the animals we saw at the museum! And in the park surrounding it. I just hope it will be soon enough.  [I hope there aren’t too many mistakes and errors in this entry.]


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

I read too: reviewing Angels by Marian Keyes

Today is the day I post my reviews, and previously, I only wrote about movies. But I also read … granted, slowly and rarely, but I do it.

The last book I read is called Angels and is written by Marian Keyes.  … And let me tell you from the start that this  title couldn’t me more misleading. Click-bait much? I’m so unhappy with this book, I don’t even know what to start with.

Spoilers ahead? Yeah.. spoilers.

The story is told from Maggie’s point of view, making her the main character. She and her husband Garv live in Ireland, and despite being married for some time now, she’s not as happy as she’s like to be. One evening she discovers by accident that Garv has an affair, and blinded with jealousy she flies to Los Angeles. There, she stays with one of her childhood friends who tries to become a Hollywood script writer.

Somehow things happen, and Maggie ends up sleeping with most of her friend’s friends, regardless of their gender. She even ends up thinking that she meant something for one of them, only to realize later this was not the case.

Towards the end of the story, she even meets her high school sweetheart who left her without saying good-bye. Because years have past, and she had no closure, she couldn’t really forget about him. Once they talk, she realizes just how lucky she was not to marry him, but Garv

.

Her husband also flies to LA to try and win his wife back. And he does … but mostly because Maggie saw she was far better off with him than with her first lover. We can easily say there’s a happy ending for everyone involved, yay. 

What I liked:

The happy ending – I never really cared about how a story ends as long as it was a good read or watch. However lately I like happy endings. Or at least an ending where we know exactly what happens to the characters.

Pretty light read – the book is 20 cm long, 13 cm wide and 3 cm thick, with soft covers – something less than 500 pages. For a decently thick book, this novel makes an OK read for summer or even colder autumn days when you want to stay curled under a blanket with a hot drink and relax.

It touches the subject of abortion, and how a pregnancy can change a person’s life for ever, regardless of keeping the baby, deciding to have an abortion, or having the baby and putting it up for adoption. It doesn’t go too much into details but I think it’s relevant and eye opening enough.

I liked how Maggie remembers all the nice things Garv did for her throughout the years. Perhaps he really loves her – despite the little cheating on attempt. Cheating is bad, there’s no excuse for it, but maybe could be forgiven if the partners really try to rebuilt their relationship..? I don’t know. All I know is that the trust once broken, is really hard to get it back. Those who cheat on their partners don’t really know it, and having it shown in a book can open the eyes of some. (I think.)

What I disliked:

Sigh. The writing is not the best. The author didn’t pay enough attention to details. In this universe, time is a mysterious thing – just like in The Great Gatsby book (I will write about it maybe next time, I’m not sure). The whole story takes place in a little over a month, with the epilogue some 6 months later. At certain moment, they let the reader believe that about a week has passed, only to reveal that it’s been only a couple of days! HOW???

Another writing mistake, was the description of the drive along the long LA avenue. We’re presented a scene seen from above – something that Maggie couldn’t have seen because she was in a car – forgot if she was driving or was being driven.

Speaking of driving, it seems the author doesn’t really know that driving on the left and on the right are quite different. Maggie drives in LA, and though she’s not used to it manages to get to places. What worries me more than the character getting lost is that if the police had stopped her, I think she would have been in quite a lot of problem. I know that at least when a person used to drive on the right, is required to have an international driving license when going to a country where driving happens on the other hand. I doubt Maggie had it.

The fact that Maggie had so many one night stands because she was emotionally confused. The happy ending of the story makes it seem that “it’s OK to sleep around while married if you’re distressed, if you end up with the person that makes you feel happiest.” It is not OK, especially because she thought her husband did it – points to double standards which are not OK.

Misleading title. I thought the book is with supernatural beings. I’m not even sure what the title referred to.. The City Of Angels? Who was even an angel is this story? IF you ask me, none was an angel or innocent – maybe just Maggie’s friend, Emily.

Rating: I give this novel 1.5 stars out of 5. You’re not missing out on anything if you don’t read it. If you do/did read this novel – will you share your impressions?

Taking a short break

Hey dear readers [is there anyone reading this, though?]

I sadly have to inform you that this week there will be no posts. 😦
I have some tasks to work on, and I ran out of time to prepare anything at all for the blog.

I may post something on Sunday, but don’t hold your breath.

Have a great week!