I have developed a bit of an interest in cooking. Even though eating out in korea is much cheaper than in europe, it's not cheap enough that I could afford making a habit of eating out regularly. In central seoul you could could get a meal for as low as 5 bucks, but it would probably mostly be fastfood-like korean chains that "cook" everything from frozen ingredients. For an acceptable meal in central seoul you'd probably find yourself paying 6-9 dollars.
2 years ago I pretty much started making food for myself for the first time in my life. I had not a single clue about anything that has to do with cooking, because for the duration of my entire life food just appeared for me at home, and I never had any interest in the process that brought that food to the plate in front of me. I started out with no guidance and no advice, and for a pretty long time I'd pretty much just cook some rice with the rice cooker and throw in some pan-fried frozen food. Took me a while to realise how terrible that was, to stay away from frozen foods completely and start buying fresh meats. And then it took me ever longer to realise I should start cooking with vegetables, and create dishes that are more than just <some kind of meat> + pasta/rice.
I'm at the peak of my interest in cooking at the moment, so far. I'm watching a lot of cooking shows. I'm having a lot of fun watching Gordon Ramsay's shows. I still don't have the broadest repertoire in cooking, but there are a few dishes I can do pretty decently by now and it's very enjoyable to eat them when they turn out well.
another thing I've been spending a decent chunk of time at recently is martial arts. signed up to a gym/dojo place, that was recommended to me from a former instructor in israel. the master is insanely skilled. learning a lot, and getting a good work-out, i suppose.
besides that i'm taking great pleasure in constantly learning more Korean. It might not count as a hobby because I don't actively spend too much time on it. I go to a free 2 hour class every saturday taught by students from a local women's university. it's great fun and it's a great way to meet people as a foreigner in an asian country.
one hobby that i wished i could take at several points through the years is chess. i played chess in elementary school but dropped it when i moved countries. never played it seriously since then. i had a few short periods of trying to play online, but i don't enjoy chess itself enough to play strangers on the internet regularly. i do enjoy the situation of playing someone face to face.
in other news, I'm returning to europe to pursue studies next month after a 2 year sojourn in korea. feels a bit awkward saying this like an announcement, because i really haven't shared much of my life with you new regs. i feel like sam is the only one still here to whom this would be relevant at all.
i enjoy ending all my posts on bitter notes