Yuri Birthday 2017: Horsewoman Barista Yul

“Coffee fuels my soul. That’s what keeps me going.”
Celeste Koh
“Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.”
“A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”


5th December seems to be an extra special day. Not only do my sister’s and my junior college friend’s birthdays fall on this day, it is Yuri’s birthday too! Triple special. Hehe.

There was a 2-month break between Yuri’s birthday and the last one before hers in SNSD, Hyoyeon’s (FOR HYOYEON: HYOYEON THE MYSTIC QUEEN). I think it was during one night somewhen in October, while I was lying on the bed about to go to sleep, my mind started to think about ideas for Yuri’s birthday. It kinda felt as if I was actually discussing these ideas with Yuri herself. I was proposing my ideas to her and asked if she was okay about it. I knew Yuri likes to drink coffee and horse riding is one of her favourite outdoor activities. So my mind played around with combining these two hobbies of hers into a drawing. I had an idea about having a cup of coffee with hot steam streaming out from it and forming into an image of her riding a horse. I thought it would be perfect to also incorporate elements of her horoscope sign, Sagittarius. As you might have known, the symbol of Sagittarius is a half human half horse holding a bow and arrow.

The symbol of Sagittarius horoscope sign

The next day, I noted this last night inspiration down on my notebook: coffee cup with steam forming an image of Yuri riding a horse shooting an arrow. And I decided that I would only start working on this drawing only at a suitable time nearer to her birthday.

So it was only until about 1-2 weeks before her birthday, I finally allocated time to do this for her.

My reference photo for Yuri’s face

The process was rather smooth. I managed to complete it within 2-3 days at night time after work. Eventually I decided to ditch the idea of adding a bow and arrow for her because I was afraid doing so might ruin the effect of the drawing by adding something superfluous. There is a Chinese saying called 画蛇添足. It’s like drawing a snake and adding feet to it. This was why I decided to keep my drawing simpler and not overdo it. 😁

Personally, I love to drink coffee too. I would drink a cup of coffee for breakfast almost every morning. Skipping coffee for a day would make me feel as if something is missing in my life. I like to say “A coffee a day keeps the doctor away.” There is something about coffee that keeps me going I guess, although unlike most other people, coffee doesn’t really have the effect of keeping me awake. I could still go to sleep well even after drinking coffee. Kekeke.

Just recently, I also shared a compilation of coffee photos between me and Taenggu too!

I often see Yuri sharing videos of herself brewing coffee like a barista early in the morning on her instastory. It makes me feel inspired to take up a barista course if there is any chance in the future too! ☕️☕️☕️

When it comes to horse riding, it is natural for me to think of Yuri. She has shared several photos and videos of herself during her horse riding sessions on her instagram before. The following are just a couple of them. I thought how cool it was of her to be riding her horse like a pro! 🐴

View this post on Instagram

작년 겨울.

A post shared by ʏᴜʀɪ ᴋᴡᴏɴ (@yulyulk) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ʏᴜʀɪ ᴋᴡᴏɴ (@yulyulk) on

I recently just had my first ever experience of riding a horse too when I visited the grasslands in Inner Mongolia early last month.

There was a little episode that happened during my one-hour long horse ride around the grassland with 2 local guides and 5 other tourists including my brother. Before the ride, when one of the guides was about to help me get on a brown horse he had chosen for me, a black horse next to it came over and was about to attack it. The guide had to move the brown horse aside before I could get on top of it safely. My horse seemed excited to start on this journey with me.

Something within me seemed to tell me that I was meant to ride, or rather, run around in this vast grassland in freedom and with no restrictions.

During our journey, all the horses were supposed to walk slowly in a straight line, but this black horse (not sure if it was the same one) kept walking dangerously close to mine, as if it was trying to cut my lane and shift my horse out of the line.

The black horse next to me seemed to be enemies with my brown horse

Both of them were growling under their breaths as if they were silently quarrelling with each other. At one point of time, the black horse suddenly charged towards my horse which set it galloping to a far distance away from the group. I didn’t know how to control it; I could only hold on tight. I was scared. What if my horse just kept running non-stop into the wild and I didn’t know the way back? What if my phone dropped off my jacket and smashed? (Haha, even at these rural grasslands, my thoughts were still tied down by modern days’ concerns, instead of letting all these troubles go freely 😝) Luckily, one of the guides quickly came over to stop it for me and get me back into the line again.

I thought of Yuri and under my breath, I asked, “유리아, 어떻게… how do I control my horse? I don’t know how…” I tried whispering to my horse too because I believed it could hear me. I asked it if it was feeling okay and told it that it was doing well, things like that. Hahaha.

Something within me said, “The journey is still far ahead. I will walk through this with you. (前面的路还很长,我会陪你走下去。)”

About 40 minutes into the ride, I observed my horse’s head getting lower and lower, its steps heavier and slower. I asked Yuri again, “유리아, 어떻게… is my horse okay? What’s wrong with my horse? Is it tired? Am I holding my rope too tight? Should I let it loose a little?…” At the same time, I felt so bad for my horse. Was I too heavy for it to carry? When I began to see the sight of our meng gu baos (the place where we stayed at) again, I told my horse, “We are reaching soon!” and I could feel it getting energised again.

No matter how slow my horse was, it really did walk through this entire long journey with me and brought me to the destination as promised. As I got off my horse, before I could thank it or without waiting for me to say anything, it walked away lightheartedly. Then, I witnessed one of the most beautiful moments in my life – at the end of the journey, the black horse (again, not sure if it was the same one… keke) rested its head on top of another black horse’s head for a brief moment as if to seek comfort from its mate after a tiring journey. 😍 It was a pity that I didn’t manage to capture this sweet couple moment on my phone at that time.

Because of this, I had a sweet, pleasant virgin horse-riding experience to remember from my trip. This interesting horse fighting and galloping experience that made me feel like I was someone so special like a queen. 😌🐴💜

I believe everything has a soul, not just living things like ourselves, plants and animals, but even non-living things like a wall, a soft toy and a cup of coffee. Depends on how you perceive it, I believe a soul can take the shape of all kinds of things. If you ask me if Yuri has ever existed in my life other than her physical existence as a member of the famous Korean girl group, Girls’ Generation, she might have jolly well existed in my coffee I just had earlier this morning too! 😆 Hope she likes my drawing and thank you for existing in my life! HAPPY BIRTHDAY 👩🏻🐴☕️❤️

Leave a Reply