When we first saw them building this coffee shop we were so excited because it meant there was finally somewhere local to go! If we want to go to a cafe we have to travel by bus for 20 minutes to Jinju. Not something we can do all the time.

There are technically two other cafes in this area, but one of them is dodgy and overpriced, and built next to a rubbish dump! It’s not really a coffee shop and doesn’t have that atmosphere. You have to go up stairs to the second level and apparently the owner does “face reading” (fortune telling by looking at someone’s face) as well. There is another cafe that is small but decent, however it’s still not the Korean coffee shop vibe that we like in cities.

So of course we had to explain what dabang coffee shops are. They are everywhere! No thought to design or atmosphere, it’s usually just old tables and chairs in rundown buildings. Not all, but a lot of them have varying levels of prostitution. They deliver coffee and only hire women, so the deal is that men who order coffee can also pay for something extra. The line of what is prostitution in Korea is so blurry. Things vary from women being paid to talk to men while serving them to of course all the way through to selling their bodies. Some dabangs have rooms upstairs for that. That’s why it’s mostly old men at these places. Prostitution in Korea is everywhere but everyone turns a blind eye. So you can see why we don’t ever go to those types of coffee places.

Those that watched the drama Modern Farmer might remember a scene where the woman opens a Ediya coffee shop in town. Ediya being a big proper coffee shop brand, but two men come in and one grabs her, insinuating that he wanted more from her. Completely disgusting and unacceptable behaviour in a real coffee shop (or anywhere in my personal opinion), but not completely unrealistic if you know what it’s like in countryside areas.

This new real coffee shop is such a good thing here! There is such a community vibe to it and it’s been wonderful to see that many older women have somewhere to go and talk. The prices are half what city prices are but it has free wifi and all the stuff you expect from city cafes in Korea (wonder if I can get them to add chai latte to the menu though).

Something that is sad about living in the Korean countryside is that a lot of places are dying. Our village certainly is. Young people have all moved away. But Wonji, the town next to us is actually growing. It’s a beautiful location, apartment prices are cheap, so young families are moving there to live. This coffee shop opening is a symbol of life coming back to this area.

Living in the countryside definitely makes me appreciate the small things in life.

Also, the coffee shop is run by someone in the Gwon family, so a distant relative of ours. Hugh complained that he wanted a discount but I think if the coffee shop gives out discounts for all Gwons they would have to give discounts to pretty much everyone here… many many Gwons in this area.

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Forgetful 5


He likes to think I’m such a baby and so helpless so it’s funny to turn it back on him.

Also it’s not just about being forgetful, it’s because once I’ve got my shoes on, I can’t go back inside! I’m not Korean and haven’t mastered the getting shoes on in 2 seconds thing. It’s such a hassle having to take my shoes off again, go back inside and get whatever I forgot and then put my shoes back on.

In Sydney we had a no shoes inside rule as well, but we’d ignore it if we had to run and get something quickly. I’ll get in big trouble if my inlaws see me do that though.

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Vlog: SBS PopAsia and Dinner 4

We still have a few vlogs from when we were in Australia. We’ve been a bit slow editing them, but here is when we went to SBS PopAsia for an interview and then had dinner with Han and Sophie and Alice.

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Kpop in our house 8


My mother in law only knows about Kpop because of me. So what she knows may be a little bit YG biased.

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Nicholalala Webtoon episode: How we met 2

New Nicholalala Webtoon episode up on Line Webtoon!

How we met


This episode is a new one that has not been on the Challenge League. If you think you know the story of how we met, THINK AGAIN!

If you like this webtoon and want me to continue, it really helps me out if you like, share, comment. You can also give me a rating if you haven’t already. You guys have kept me in the Popular Section in the top 10 of Slice of Life category, so thank you so much!

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Flies 9


As I’ve mentioned before, Hugh’s sister is back from her working holiday in Australia. It’s normal for women to live with their parents until they get married in Korea. Hugh’s sister gets married in a few months so he only has a little bit more time to torment her at home, but he is making the most of it.

All the bugs are back now that it’s getting warmer. I hate it! They are just so annoying. I swear that Korean flies and spiders and bugs are just way more annoying than Australian ones.

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Kpop, Kdramas and REALITY 9

Korea is an awesome place, but how some people in the international Kpop and Kdrama communities talk about Korea can more harm than good. Of course Korean tourism plays a part as well. We’ve heard of people coming to Korea and expecting to meet a rich handsome guy exactly like in a drama and when that doesn’t happen, they go back to their own country angry and disappointed and hating Korea. We get a lot of emails and messages, and many of them are worrying to us because of the high pedestal some people place Korea on. I know that many of you have a very balanced view of Korea, so you might be surprised that there are people with such extreme ideas about Korea, but we are seeing it more and more. In particular, I think people from countries where they may lack a sufficient education are particularly at risk, as they lack the skills to research and understand on their own. It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor that is presented internationally about Korea, which can lead to disappointment in the long run.

For international Kpop fans, they may be surprised to hear how little people actually listen to Kpop. There are the huge groups that people know about, but mostly Kpop is for teenage girls, and even then those girls will have one favourite group, not several. It’s odd to many Koreans when they see international Kpop fans liking so many groups at the same time. It may be hard for some fans to hear but your favourite Kpop group may attract very little attention in Korea. That’s why some Kpop stars go onto TV shows, because it’s a much bigger platform for them to attract attention that may trickle down to the Kpop group they are in. That’s not to say that there is no Kpop in Korea, you’ll hear it all the time, being played in stores and you’ll see the bigger groups in advertising and of course you may have the chance to go to a concert, but Korea is not magical Kpop land.

We talked about many other things in this video but had to cut a lot. One thing we had to cut but will talk about later is how the international community talks about Korean military service and the problems with that.

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All Nighter 5

All Nighter

Korean society really caters to people staying out all night. There are many restaurants that are open all night and things to do well into the early hours of the morning, like noraebang (karaoke). Because we live in the countryside we either have to make sure we get the last bus at 11pm from Jinju or stay out all night. There is the option of getting a taxi, but it’s about $20 and that just seems like too much in Korea (though the same trip in Australia would be about $60!).

Hugh is not as young as he once was though, and all nighters can catch up on him, though he does a lot better than I do. I’m amazed when he comes home at 8am and then has to help his parents on the farm right away.

Lots of people have huge nights and go straight to work in the morning in Korea as well, though of course there may be consequences… like Hugh’s friend who is a hairdresser and was still drunk in the morning when she went to work and managed to cut her own fingers. Don’t think I’ll get her to cut my hair.

Due to my health problems and constant battling with fatigue, it is a part of Korea that I find difficult to keep up with. When you go out with friends for dinner, it’s not like in Australia where you have dinner and drinks and then can be home by 10pm! Instead, in Korea, you don’t just go to one restaurant, it’s normal to go to 3 or 4 and to stay out really late. I sometimes have to avoid social situations simply because I know I will be wrecked for days if I spend that much time out.

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Nicholalala Webtoon episode: Sock 6

It’s Tuesday! That means new episode of Nicholalala!

Sock Monster


Some of you probably saw this one on the Challenge League part of the site first. I’m trying to intersperse the older episodes with new episodes and next week will be a new new episode.

It really helps me out if you like, share or comment. You can also give me a rating here. You guys have kept me in the top 10 of the Slice of Life category which is awesome! Thank you!

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I’m Fine Thank you AND YOU? 3

This week’s Commenting on Comments:

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Shave 16


Sometimes I don’t notice things…

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Are you in love with a Kpop star? 13

This video is probably not for a lot of our audience. But I hope some people find it helpful. I just wanted to create a resource and safe place to talk about this. It’s easy to dismiss teenage love and admiration and it’s often the butt of jokes. I wanted to use my own experiences to give some advice and help those that feel that their Kpop obsession is getting a bit out of control.

There was a lot I had to cut from the video because it was so long. It’s still really long though (Hugh complained when editing). I also wanted to talk about the problem with some entertainment companies that promote their stars in a way that sends a message of availability to young fans. That’s a big problem in Kpop and it fuels this obsessiveness. There are a lot of high profile stars who definitely have girlfriends but it’s kept hidden.

I also wanted to let young girls know that although all the guys they know in real life are probably idiots they don’t want to date… it won’t always be like that. Those idiots grow up and mature – they get better looking as well! I would have hated my husband if I had met him at 16. Anyway you’ll get older, you’ll meet cool guys, nice guys, sweet guys, handsome guys and you’ll find that you have less space in your life for an obsession with a celebrity. In fact, the normal guys you’ll meet in real life will probably end up being a way better boyfriend than a Kpop star can be. Kpop stars don’t live a normal life, especially when they started training at such a young age, and they miss out on a lot of normal experiences that can stunt them emotionally (sorry to any Kpop stars reading this!) Any relationship with a celebrity is going to be riddled with extra complications and in hindsight you are going to be glad that your teenage dreams didn’t come true, because life can get so much better than you know.

Finally, if you feel like your obsession is more than just an obsession and is combined with depression as well, please seek help.

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My brother bucket drumming (and Alice) 3

While we were in Sydney last month I stopped by Pitt Street Mall with Sophie and Alice to see my brother busking.

You can see the interview I did with him here:

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Back in the 80’s 2

In this week’s Commenting on Comments we talk about South Korea in the 80’s and how to apply BB cream???

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Typhoon 9


There’s been some typhoon-y weather lately but no damage around here. This comic idea is actually from Sara from SeoulSarang, who imagined Hugh saying “Typhoon is coming” in a Game of Thrones way. I decided the logical conclusion was to go put a rain jacket on.

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