Monday, 24 February 2014

A Dabble in Drama: City Hunter

Image courtesy of

So I have been watching a lot of drama shows lately...
For those who don't know I ABSOLUTELY LOVE watching Asian drama! Usually there's an add capped on to the end of a drama I'm watching, or a poster picture that catches my eye and I can go from drama to drama. However, every so often I find myself in a bit of a slump not knowing what to watch next. This is what it was like for me when it came to the end of the season for Bel Ami and Prime Minister & I. Sometimes, (I have to stress it's not always like this), it's like having a gap in your life that needs to be filled. I know that sounds sad but I don't feel bad as I like to watch them when they come out before I go to bed, (or after work), as a way to relax.
When faced with this dilemma and nothing seems to draw me in, I like to look back on drama's I started and never finished or ones that I planned to watch and never got to as well as one's that seem to be pretty popular.

Enter City Hunter center stage. This drama absolutely b l e w . m y .  m i n d .

I've known about City Hunter since they [Japan] handed the project over for Korea to film, it's a few years old and definately falls into the planned to watch just never got around to it category.

City Hunter is based on the popular Japanese manga of the same title by Tsukasa Hojo. I hadn't read the manga before watching the drama and have since started reading a few chapters as I was curious to see how similar the stories were. Most of the manga based drama's I have seen have been pretty close to the stories or at least keep the integrity of the characters. It might be too early to make a judgement yet but from what I have read so far it seems that the drama is just loosely based on the characters from the manga. I also think that in this particular situation it's a win win scenario as the drama has a pretty kick ass story line.

The drama follows the protagonist Lee Yun Seong as he attempts to carry out the 'cruelest revenge' ever as plotted by his adoptive father. What I loved about this was that from the first episode to the last this drama delivers and is consistent with it's action packed scenes. The choreography is really appeasing to watch and is shot in a way that just makes it look damn cool.

There is of course a romantic aspect to the story but I really enjoyed how this didn't dominate the overall theme of revenge, corruption and good vs evil. 

A lot of the 'actiony' dramas I have watched always start off strong and then somewhere through the course of the story the romance aspect overpowers and it's like all of the purpose and strength that was delivered in the first episodes becomes muddled and lost along the way, and so that's why I really appreciated the integrity the writers had for City Hunter.

I do have to say that I found Lee Min Ho, (who plays Lee Yun Seong), particularly attractive in this drama, enough to make me officially a fan. I've seen his previous dramas' including the latest The Heirs or Inheritors, (which FYI is also awesome), but there was just something about his character and style in City Hunter which I found really cool and... there's no denying it, he's hot in this drama.

What makes this so good for me though is that it takes me back to the moments in my life where I watched my first asian dramas'. The feeling of newness, excitement, anticipation and just all round love of a good story, is something that I find can be absolutely soothing to the soul and a cleansing antidote to a bad day/week/month. Now this doesn't mean that I only find great drama's when I'm sad, it just means that I enjoy being able to relive those feelings and emotions from a time in my life where everything was new and exciting, happy and carefree, and it takes a good story to get me there.

I know this is a bit different to things I normally post, but I'm hoping this year to blog about more of the things that I really love and hope to be able to share more about my experiences with asian drama in the future.

I'm currently on the look out for more interesting shows to watch and would love to know if you have any suggestions? I love learning about cultures and languages so it doesn't matter what country it is from, leave a comment with your suggestions.

Till next time!

Maisy xxx

Monday, 3 February 2014

Happy CNY!!!

Kung Hei Fat Choy / Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year Everybody!

Yes I know it is a bit late but traditionally Chinese New Year celebrations would last for 15 days so I'm just going to believe that I chose to leave it mid celebration and was fulfilling my filial duties over the first few days. Buhaha excuses I know, but did you see my New Years post? Exactly.

2014 ushers in the Year of the Horse. (I was going to post a link to a site that you can use to find out what Chinese zodiac sign you are however it appears to be a little bit broken at the moment. I might just re-post it in another post.)

Chinese New Year for me usually entails family, lots and lots of food, the annual trip to China Town, kung fu demonstrations and the dreaded pre-new year 'spring clean'.

This year was no different to that formula. I've learnt that if I want to avoid the slave labour of washing grimy windows and the next week of coughing up dust, to make the perfect timely arrival. Just before Dinner time hahaha! Of course even when arriving at the specified time for dinner nothing is really actually ready.

This year's pre-new year meal was Steamboat. For those who don't know I guess it's kind of like the Japanese Shabu-shabu or a Korean hot pot except the flavours are different. My family generally tend to use an assortment of beef, chicken, barramundi, prawns, beansprouts, cabbage and whatever Chinese vegetable is in season. Noodles are optional and so is broth (water however is not optional, steam boat wouldn't work without it), although the cook for the night kept adding some strange spicy prawn broth, despite the protests of the rest of the table.

New Years dinner was a table filled with steamed and stir fried buk choy, tofu pork, watercress fried with chilli and steam boat for those who wanted seconds. (I have to chuckle at that one.)

Our visit to Chinatown always always means having Yum Cha at the King of Kings restaurant, my mums favourite. I love eating the steamed BBQ pork buns, and a lemon shaped pork dumplings, which I can never remember the name of. My family is also a really big fan of the mango pancakes that they do there as well. It's kind of like a dumpling X burrito X wrap like desert consisting of crepe, whipped cream and mango pieces. I opted out of the mango pancake this year as the vast amount of cream, whilst very delicious, can sometimes leave you feeling quite sick.

Dinner is always an interesting affair as you never know what you'll end up getting. I remember some years we would just get bread for dinner and would eat it while watching the various live New Years shows. This year we had Malaysian for dinner, as most of the other places were either booked out, had a 2 hour waiting period, only offered banquets (they are EXPENSIVE) or were Vietnamese - which my mum didn't want to eat. You see even though you might be asked for your dining location preference, whether friend or family, if the head of the family does not want to go there your opinion is basically not needed. It's probably for this reason why the question "What do you feel like for dinner?" and "Where would you like to go to eat?" are so laughable and yet frustrating questions to be asked for the children in my family, as you know there's no point answering.

Photos to come later! I didn't bring my camera with me this trip but I did bring my Instax Mini, (my new toy - so much fun!). As I don't have a scanner I'll take some photos of them when I end up going back home.

My family is not very traditional when it comes to these things so I'd love to know: 

What do you do for your Chinese New Year celebrations?

Have you even heard of Chinese New Year before?

Maisy xxx