Roman Payne

To wander is to be alive.

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Broken Harbour

perth
The smell of the sea swept over the wall and in through the empty window-hole,
wide and wild with a million intoxicating secrets.
I don’t trust that smell.

It hooks us somewhere deeper than reason or civilization,
in the fragments of our cells that rocked in oceans before we had minds,
and it pulls till we follow mindlessly as rutting animals….

It lures us to leap off high cliffs,
fling ourselves on towering waves,
leaves behind everyone we love and face into thousands of miles of open water for the sake of what might be on the far shore.

February 2015 – Perth, Australia.

Dreamy Camera Cafe – 꿈꾸는사진기

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Yes, you are right!
I was, inside, the classic Rolleiflex twin-lens camera!

Dreamy Camera Cafe was my last stop of “cafes hopping” in South Korea during this solo trip.
As per my first post, I will share cafes which attracted me the most during this journey
And thank God that He always reserves the best for last!
dreaming-camera-cafe-is-shaped-like-a-vintage-rolleiflex-designboom-01
I’ve planned to come to this lovely place on the first day I touched down Korea
But unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances
I was only able to fit in my schedule to the last day, for the last stop
I couldn’t kept thinking that if I would have the chance to come earlier,
I WOULD HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN THIS LOVELY PLACE !!!
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To be honest, South Korea has too many interesting cafes
But Dreamy Camera Cafe is thus far my most favourite one!
One thing about Korea is that I love to discover their outskirts and allowed myself to excuse from the crowd
Dreamy Camera Cafe was located further from the city which took me 4 hours ride in total for both the journey to and from (however it depends on where you’re living)
The whole concept of this cafe apart from the ‘camera’ as everyone could apprehend,
what I love the most is the feeling of ‘home‘.
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First, I was welcomed by this lovely doggie,
who subsequently I found out from the internet that her name is Bodri!
When you saw a doggie running towards you the moment you alight from a car, you know that you’re home!
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I’ve tried to conduct some research on my way back and realised that this cafe built by a former pilot and avid camera collector. The owener, Park Sung-hwan dreamed of becoming a military pilot ever since he was a boy in elementary school. When he informed his family of this ambition, they told him that serving in the armed forces wasn’t worth pursuing. Park persevered, joining the army in 2000 and eventually becoming a helicopter pilot. But now he has another, more unusual passion; the Dreamy Camera Cafe that he runs with his wife Kwak Myung-hee, herself a retired army pilot. (Extracted online, click “here” for full article)
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I had a chance to speak to the lady boss (I would assume so, as she was the only one in the premise who served me), whom subsequently I found out from the internet that she was an army pilot!
(How awesome! I should have gave her a salute.)
Lady boss speaks very well English and was so helpful to take some lovely pictures of mine.
If you’re concerned about language barriers (like me!), fear not!
They have English menu and English speaking boss!
I’ve been told that the lovely house beside the Rolleiflex camera is her house!
There was a second I hardly imagine how would it like to live in such an enchanting place compare to the hectic Singapore tall buildings that I am living in!
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Apologies for not able to elaborate more about the food
As I had a very heavy brunch before headed to this cafe.
However, I’ve ordered their pink lemonade (oh yea, why was it pink? I don’t know)
It tasted light and refreshing, totally to my liking~
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As I started my travel journey these few years, I’ve brewed a hobby of writing postcard
Friends started to look forward receiving postcards from me whenever I travel
Dreamy Camera Cafe was too sweet to prepare some postcard for selling and they would happily absorb the stamp fee and post it out for you
I’ve spent a little time to write the postcards and delivered one for myself too!

Towards the end of my solo trip this round
I’ve been travelling around to collect the colours in life.
In this journey of nursing a broken heart and broken soul, I understand that life could still be meaningful only if you see it with a grateful heart
I love story that build on dream and hope
That’s the two things which motivate life.

“My wife and I wanted to build a place where anyone could share their stories and help out those who are struggling to discover or achieve their dreams. The idea for a camera-themed cafe came later.”

My heart was captured by this phrase as I read
This is the main reason that I love about this cafe
Beyond that interesting outlook of the cafes, it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye
– it is the dream that secretly hiding in you.

Direction:
Take subway to the nearest station: Yongmun Station, and from there, catch a taxi and show the driver the name of the cafe. This cafe is very famous that almost all drivers would instantly know that place. Driver will give you his name card and you are welcome to call him during your return journey.
Taxi fare to and from is approximately KRW 21,000 (c.SGD 27.00)

Address:
341-13, Jung-won-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Yangpyeong

Website:
click me“(in Korean)

May 2015 – Seoul, South Korea.

MAJO & SADY – 마조앤새디카페

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Too cute …. too cute.
First thing in my mind, was cute, and cute.

Today I am gonna share one of the cutest cafe I’ve been in Korea
Majo & Sady was not in my itinerary
There was one day I had a free slot during the day time, while searching the web looking for some interesting cafes, “Majo & Sady” seems to be the most ‘hit’ website in the google
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A bit hesitated at first, ‘cuteness’ does not count in my itinerary
I was suppose to hunt down some interesting cafes with fascinating story behind the theme
But Majo & Sady was a lucky guess and now I am happy to share with my ‘unexpected’ treasure
If you like something cute but not into Hello Kitty at all (like me!)
This place may bring you some childhood that you’re longing for

When I started to conduct some research on this cafe
I just realised that Majo & Sady are characters in an online comic series by Cheol Yeon Jung, which revolves around the interesting daily life of Majo, a house-husband who takes care of the household chores, and his working wife, Sady, the bread-winner.
(interesting, aye?!)
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Majo is the brown bear in glasses, Sady is the white rabbit.
They have one son and two cats.
It is rumored that the name Majo comes from masochism and Sady comes from sadism.
(OMG this is so real life!)
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Let me share with you a little bit of this place
It is a three storey cafe located near Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station
By the time I was there, it wasn’t many people at all, less than 10 I guess
But the place is massive, and you can have all choices of seats you want
(Oh, how I love places with no crowd!)
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You will be welcomed by this couple
I can’t help but to raise the tip of my lips when I saw them
What an adorable couple!
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I’ve ordered their brunch set and I love the creamy soup and the salad!
They have given the sour cream and honey to go with the hot cake
The portion is a little too big for me!
I can’t remember how much it cost for the whole meal
But I am pretty sure that it was not more than SGD 20.
Talking about having brunch in Singapore, this price is absolutely reasonable.
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To close this, I actually had a revelation during this visit – I am not alone!
You will be too occupied by soft toys who sitting around you, “dying” to have a meal with you.
I saw a lonely cat (or rabbit?!) staring outside the window, waiting for someone!
My heart pricked a little for a second
Yea, everyone seems to waiting for everyone
Faithfully …. quietly …
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Direction:
From Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, Exit 3, you can see the cafe across the road diagonally to your right. It’s best to take the crossing that’s a little to the left of the exit, as there isn’t one in front of the cafe.

Address:
172 Gwanghee2-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울시 중구 광희동2가 172

Website:
“click me”
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May 2015 – Seoul, South Korea.

Yoon’s Color Drama Gallery – 윤스칼라

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Today I am gonna start with my very first post of the cafes in Korea.
Yoon’s Color Drama Gallery was my first stop.
It has been formerly known as Four Seasons House and located at Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.
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When I did my research online, I was expecting to pay some admission fees (to be known for KRW5,000)
However, I reached that place with a little surprise.
It has seems to be transformed into a cafe rather than a ‘gallery’ and no admission fees required.
It wasn’t as expected as what I thought it would be.
No, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad, just that I was expecting some sort of more colourful place with the ‘drama’ feeling as it sounds
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Approached me was a friendly lady who speaks a little English
Communication wasn’t that bad as she managed to recommend me with some food and beverages which she thoughts I would love
I wasn’t taken any food since morning until I reached that place in the afternoon around 3pm
I’ve ordered a pizza (and I have to double confirm with her that I am solo and I do not wish to have a big portion)
Amazingly I love that pizza which she recommended! However, I couldn’t finish it but I’ve tried my very best to finished with two pieces left
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The pizza come along with the ‘dip-it-you-can’ honey syrup with almond shred in it
It tasted heavenly to combine with the pizza
Well, guilty as charged, I really didn’t know what kind of pizza was that
But I tasted fruit inside the pizza (probably tasted like a pineapple)
It went so well with the melted cheese!
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Food aside, if you love anything vintage like me, you would probably love this place!
As you can see from the pictures that I’ve taken, it is so much into my taste.
It has seats and tables indoor as well as outdoor
The beautiful weather in May could very much allowed you to sitting outside with a pasture view and colourful flowers
I simply love the ambiance.

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*I’ve taken the direction map online

Direction:
Take subway line 6 to Sangsu Station, go out exit #2, and walk for about 3 min towards Hongik Univ.
Please refer to the map.

Address:
12, Wausan-ro 14-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 와우산로14길 12 (상수동)
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May 2015 – Seoul, South Korea.

Solo Trip – South Korea

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Hello bloggers!
This place has been neglected for quite some times
And yes, I just back from my first ever solo trip (without work I meant) from South Korea !!

To plan for a solo trip was always, always, one of my dreams
And I’ve planned it to be done before I turn ‘sweet’ 30! (guilty)
I’ve made it !!

This trip was truly a spontaneous one
I woke up in a morning and decided to go to somewhere all by my own
And the next moment without I reliased it, I’ve bought an air ticket to somewhere whom everyone does not share my language!
(a moment of fear excitement emerged)
But what more important is that,
I seriously think I should slow down a little bit in life
To spend some ME time in somewhere no one knows me
And this one week, I’ve totally enjoy every moment with myself, and God.
When there’s no one to speak to, God is the only one who’re always there!
(Note 1: When you’re talking to yourself, don’t murmur your lips)

For the next few post, I’m gonna share some of the cafes that I love in Korea
Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention to turn this into a travel blog
But, some of the cafes really worth a little space in my blog!
One of the mission that I gave myself in this trip, is to hunt down cafes that I love

Korea famous in all sort of things (not only cosmetic, skincare, and plastic!)
They are so diversity that you have to adjust yourself to fit in different nature
The moment you thought “this should be all”, the next moment you found something new again!
I can’t keep up but to think that a week is truly too short to discover this incredible nation!

There was one day I was sitting in a park
Trying to listen to people around me talking something I don’t understand
People there tends to be loud more resounding, and they don’t meant to hide words that everyone could hear
Sometimes I really curious about what sort of conversation that they are so happy to share with the crowd around them.
(Note 2: Learn some basic language before the trip and you might discover interesting gossips)

Few times I headed to the outskirts, looking out for the luxury that I can never have in Singapore
– silent and space.
Talking about Korea, it is too big! Too big to contain people.
There were a few places which suppose to be famous (at least on the internet), turn out that I may be the only few people occupied that place.
This is simply what I love!
When you decided to be alone and silent, you don’t want to go somewhere full with people! img1431709558613
Life is exhausted in Singapore
You could hardly find a place that you can have a quiet place
Everywhere you go, there’s people, and crowd!
This is also one of the reasons I love to travel
Travel to somewhere less crowded and no one would speaks to me
(Note 3: Solo trip is the best time to clear you ears)

What is so fascinated about solo trip is that you can plan your itinerary without discussing with your travel mate!
I enjoyed every moment of randomness during my week of time
Of course, many occasions I’ve lost my way, ended up I’ve detour for a longer way to get to the destination
Times where I spent so long to hunt for the cafes that I want to go
And also times that I suddenly felt nothing to do
I’ve learned something throughout this trip
– never too busy to search for the ‘one’ that you’ve destined to be,
and turn out that you’ve lost so much fun and joy to discover those better one along the road
Many times I got upset because I’ve spent so much time, or, I didn’t even reach the destination that I want at all!
When I started to grumble about how long I’ve spent to reach my destination,
I realised that I did not pay attention to those interesting things during my searching journey to my destination.
This is also one of the reminder that I gave myself in this trip!
(Note 4: Nothing call ‘focus on your goal’ during a solo trip) img1431747969538
I’ve stopped by Hong Kong before I headed back to Singapore
And felt so warm when I finally could understand what people say!
The moment when I touched down Singapore,
I told myself, when there’s first time, there’s always a second time!
A solo trip could never be the last one for me and I am so gonna plan for my next trip!

Please stay tune for the cafes in my next few post.
I hope that my little information would bring you to those places which I love.
(Note 5: Master your selfie-stick-skill so that you can take beautiful picture of your own without dropping your phone and cracked the screen like mine!) woman-solo-traveller

May 2015 – Seoul, South Korea.