Tag Archives: Friends

Memories of Israel – Tel Aviv

7 May

If you haven’t been to Israel before, I hope these posts of “Memories of Israel” spark your interest.  I have intentionally kept them wording-light and photo-rich, so please email me if you would like more details…


Just one month ago, I was standing at a Tel Aviv intersection, trying to decide if I wanted to turn left, and head to the beach or turn right, for some lazy coffee and city strolling. Of course, I ended up doing both because that is what vacation is all about.

But Israel is much more than a vacation destination for me.  It is my second home and the other half of my personality.  I’m not sure I can ever explain the relationship I have with this Country and City, but I’d love to take you for a photographic ride and show you what Tel Aviv means to me…



{Reunions of the Heart}

– Mazal  Tov to the newly engaged cuties! –

– Mazal  Tov to the newly parents! –


By the way, the salad in the top right photo changed my life.  It was the salad I was eating when I learned that my work visa was accepted in Korea!

{Friends that are Family who I Love  = Friemiloves}

{And Him…My Sweetest Bestest Brotherling}

What’s not to love?


This Week I Liked…TOKYO!

21 Aug

This week I met my San Franciscan loves, J & P, in Tokyo- one of the coolest cities in the world.  We started off our Japanese adventure with Tokyo-tapas and a champagne toast- Kanpie! 乾杯!

C’est moi pretending to be lighthearted and carefree, while actually being trampled by the crowd in Shinjuku.  (Shinjuku is one of the major commercial centers in Tokyo & is also the location where Lost in Translation was filmed.)

J & P captured in a candid moment of violent romance.

J’s favorite lunch in a perfectly hidden Naka Meguro restaurant- rice bowl with ahi tuna, avocado and flavorful mayo.  I can only describe it as a happy dance for my taste-buds.

Beautifully decorated yarn store in the alleyways of Omotesando.

After a 2+ hour wait, J & I finally squeeze into a famous (& tiny) sushi bar in the Tsukiji Fish Market.  Food just doesn’t get better than this.

Enjoyed peeping into the colorful internal organs of these fake creatures.

Kirin beer, my new drink of choice.

G meets us in Tokyo and we all go out to my favorite pub district, Golden Gai (discovered during our last visit with E & J!  OUR BAR!).

I have many more stories from my trip to Japan, so prepare yourself for Tokyo Part II tomorrow!

What I Eat – A Taste of Life in Korea

25 Jul

Hi. My name is Ayelet.  And I’m a fruit-aholic.

I am mad for summer fruits.

Nectarines, peaches, watermelons- OH MY -I just can’t get enough.  Problem is, I really should just get enough because buying fruit in Korea is like buying a Chanel bag-  it’s always good, but never worth the exorbitant price.  Hello, $10 for 4 apricots!

But guess who buys those darn apricots regardless?!  I have a problem.

Okay, okay, I know I am a spoiled California girl who loves to buy her fresh organic produce from local farmers’ markets at a fair price (cliché, yet so true)… I should really stop complaining.

And to be perfectly honest, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to food in Seoul.  There is ample fresh produce (although, I’m not sure that I can identify 1/2 of the vegetables at the supermarket) and a tremendous array of delicious restaurants in Korea, which is quite surprising for a country that prides itself on fermenting any and everything.

Now, seriously, would you know what this was if it showed up in your supermarket?

 Oh and how the Koreans love their fermented cabbage, otherwise known as Kimchi.  I had never tasted kimchi before living in Seoul, but it definitely tastes like it looks: some good, some bad, some ugly.

But we can dive into the glory of Kimchi in another post… now I want to tell you guys what I really eat in Korea.

The past few weeks, in particular, have been a fooding frenzy, causing me to buckle my belt 1 notch in the wrong direction.  I’ve really eaten a lot… and instead of going to the gym, I’ve decided to just picture-blog away the shame/pride of all that I’ve consumed.

(1) Drool-worthy panino from La Bocca restaurant. Fresh mozzarella in Seoul? I almost cried.

(2) Sushi at California restaurant in Gangnam.  Frankly, I liked the name of the place more than the rolls.

(3) M & I took a picture at a restaurant that we couldn’t dine at because of a 2 hour line winding out the door!

(4) That bright orange snack is Tteokbokki, a popular street food that G & I sometimes comfort ourselves with.

(5) A group of friends at our favorite Korean BBQ place.  It’s a once-a-week delight.

*K invited all of the Samsung GSG’s better halves (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) to a chocolate party at her house. I had to seriously stop myself from sticking my head straight into the chocolate fountain.  (You can’t even imagine how hard it is to find good chocolate in Seoul! And K found & bought 2 kilos of it!)

*Noryangjin Fish Market – absolutely the BEST place for sashimi, scallops and abalone.  I always eat my heart out here.

*G & I went to this divey Korean restaurant to follow the Korean tradition of eating Samgyetang, a ginseng chicken soup, on 3 specific summer days.  These 3 days are pre-assigned & pre-determined by Koreans as the hottest days of the year, and the soup is eaten on these days to infuse you with enough nutrients to survive the hot summers.

Counter to prognostication, it was mild and rainy on the day we went for our Samgyetang.

*This photo collage is framed by Kash’s baked ziti, that had me going for seconds…and thirds…and fourths

*I also wanted to show you the individually wrapped Starbucks bananas.  Because it’s Korea.

*The center shot is of M’s blueberry goodness.  This week I also got my dessert on with M’s amazing apple crisp and perfect m&m brownies.  She is the best, and the worst!

So you see, loving mother and foodie friends, I am not starving in Seoul.  In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that after writing about food for WAY too many hours, I’ve really built up an appetite.  Don’t judge.

Bon Appétit!

Summer Love

17 Jul

Did  you hear?  Two of the loveliest people in the world are getting married!

I woke up this morning to a sliver of sunlight poking through the ever-cloudy sky, and thought to myself, “This is going to be a great day.”  Little did I know how unbelievably great it was going to be…

After eating a pack of saltines to calm my stomach, which was still burning from last night’s tequila (Why did anyone think that was a good idea?!), I sat down at my computer to read the news (and by news, I mean facebook).  A few minutes into news-feeding myself, I get a call from P & J on Skype video, which I answer quite casually, paying no heed to the fact that I was still in (ugly) PJs with saltine crumbs all over & my hair looked like it had just taken a whirl in the dryer on a roller coaster in outer-space (just a little visual for you).  It’s just P & J, that’s how we roll.

WELL, P & J were definitely not in PJs, in fact, they had two champagne glasses and HUGE smiles on their faces when they told me that they were engaged!!! And then, I lost it.  Totally lost it.  Did a Tasmanian devil dance (you know, when you run around in a circle in super-sonic speed), jumped around the apartment, and then sat back down and cried.  That’s how I show my love on Skype.  And I love.

Speaking of love, guess who was the little matchmaking yenta that introduced P to J?  G, of course!  The boy loves a good shidduch. Doesn’t he get some points for that?

Happy Engagement Day!

At Last!

16 Jul

¡Por Fin! My very first post on my spankin’ new blog.

After six months of living in Korea, I finally feel settled in, settled down and ready to share my experiences, inspirations and  MANY awkward moments on this amazing journey (sometimes amazingly frustrating, but usually pretty amazing).

This weekend is already off to a great start, minus the fact that G is currently romping around Tokyo, doing HASHEM-knows-what with his step-brother, M.

(Does my jealousy translate into print?!)

Rather than joining the boys on a testosterone-drenched weekend, I decided to stay back in Seoul to monitor the rain and answer the question on every expat’s mind- CAN IT REALLY RAIN FOR A MONTH NON-STOP?!?!

So far the answer is, yes.

In fact, it’s raining so hard that store clerks are trained to cover a customer’s paper shopping bag with a plastic cover (center pic below)…not to mention the fact that every single pastry I buy gets individually wrapped in its very own plastic shelter.  (I can hear you Berkelians cringing.)

So, what do you do when it’s hot, humid, and typhooning?  Simple, you go see  the new 🙂 and final 😦 Harry Potter film with your marvelously magical friends.   Luckily, my magical friends in Seoul decided to get together pre-movie and watch the Deathly Hallows part 1 while eating deli sandwiches (a very rare and delicious treat in Korea) as well as all the movie theater-esque candy we could get our hands on (Junk-food isn’t as caloric when you are watching a movie, right?).  Needless to say, both movies were absolutely brilliant…but I’m just so sad it’s over.

To end this Saturday on a high-note, I’m off to Apgujeong to bid-adieu to a friend who is leaving Seoul and moving to the most beautiful city in the world, San Francisco.  Cheers!