Shoes 15

shoesoff

So in Korea, Japan… and probably most of Asia… NO SHOES INSIDE! Even though many Australian families may choose to not wear shoes inside it’s not a cultural norm here. It’s completely acceptable to wear shoes inside here. Because of this when I’m in Korea or Japan I have such a hard time. I’m so slow! Korean and Japanese people can take their shoes off so fast and and slip them back on in 1 second. I’m always left behind fumbling with my shoes. It’s actually something that stresses me out a bit because I know I end up looking like an idiot. Sometimes when trying to get shoes back on quickly while standing up and I’ve fallen over…

I know part of the problem is that many of my shoes are difficult to get on and off- because they were bought in Australia- whereas Koreans are usually wearing shoes that are easier to remove. And simply because I’m not used to doing it. I wasn’t born in a country where this is normal.

Hopefully I’ll get used to the constant taking off shoes. When we find an apartment in Sydney it’s probably going to be set up in a more Korean style so shoes will have to come off. At the moment I’m at the parent’s house in my hometown while my husband is job and apartment hunting in Sydney.

Also, just trying out another style of drawing which is why this comic looks different to others.

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Konglish: Mind Control 13

 

There are a lot of Konglish words used by Koreans. I haven’t even heard them all so I’m constantly discovering new ones. It’s not like my husband or another Korean can just list them all for me because they don’t usually know themselves that it is Konglish or English. There are different types too- ones that are English words mashed together or shortened, and some that are just an English word used in a different way. Some are easy to work out: Like ‘Hand Phone’ for cell or mobile phone. Except it’s said like hand-der-pone.

Anyway, I first saw this one – Mind Control – on G-Dragon. It’s one of his newer tattoos. For a native English speaker when we see ‘mind control’ we are thinking of something like brainwashing right? Either in the realistic sense of brain washing and manipulating the population like in dictatorships and communist regimes, or we are thinking about the more science fiction definition of controlling people’s minds.

So what do Koreans mean when they say ‘mind control’? From what I can gather when they use it they mean they are trying to control their thoughts (so you can see why they use these words) and concentrate, calm themselves down or perhaps just what we might call ‘collecting their thoughts’. I’ve heard it a few times since seeing G-Dragon’s tattoo and it always seems to be used in that sense.

My husband assures me that some Koreans understand the original English meaning. Usually gamers, because this type of power is in a lot of computer games. I assumed G-Dragon meant the Konglish meaning for his tattoo. That he simply wants to concentrate and be in control of his mind. BUT, what if he means the original English meaning? What if he wants to do mind control? To control his fans?!

I drew him with his latest hair style which he changed yesterday? The day before? Anyway he is in Paris doing fashiony stuff and that’s what he looks like at the moment.

One could argue that with his charisma he hardly needs the supernatural power of mind control anyway.

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Snorkeling 4

When we were on our honeymoon in Vanuatu, we took the opportunity to go out on a boat and go snorkeling.

Every time we get on a boat he asks if we can wear life jackets and where the life jackets are. This time he actually wanted to wear a life jacket while we went snorkeling. Luckily for him, the tour operators give everyone a floatie once they get into the water. We call these types of floaties ‘noodles’. I realised I didn’t really need one, so my husband was happy to take mine and to bob around with 2 noodles.

He is going to kill me for making him look fat there…. but seriously that’s what he looked like. It was an amazing experience though.

Swimming is a cultural difference that pops up a lot. The majority of Australians can swim. When Koreans ask me, “Can you swim?” I feel like they are asking me something like “Can you walk?” It’s such a normal skill to have here that it shocks me that so many Koreans can’t swim. My husband can swim, he is just not confident (hence the constant asking for life jackets), but he was actually in the Korean Navy! He did his national service in the Navy and managed to have no trouble getting through with poor swimming skills.

In conclusion: go snorkeling in Vanuatu. It is amazing! Especially if you live in Australia or New Zealand- it’s only a few hours away.

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My Big Bang Experience 10

We were in Korea for a month last year in the summer. While I knew I wanted to try and see Big Bang if possible, we had some important things to do: like announcing our engagement, meeting the family etc.

So we spent a lot of time in a quite rural area of South Korea. It was during this time that Daesung had the car accident. There was a mini concert scheduled in Seoul but they weren’t sure if it would go ahead. The day before we realised it was still on and my husband miraculously got 2 tickets. He had promised me that I could go see Big Bang if the chance arose while we were in Korea. He didn’t break his promise. He also didn’t tell me how much he paid for these tickets either. We had to get a friend in Seoul to pick up the tickets for us and then the next morning we caught a bus to Seoul. This took a few hours and then we had to go across Seoul to get the tickets from my friend and then go back to where the concert was being held. I barely had time to even comprehend that I would be able to really see Big Bang in the flesh!

By the time we got to the venue it was almost full, but it was a very small venue and I think there a limit of 400 people. We weren’t anywhere near the stage but we could see well enough. It was just a mini concert for the promotion of a phone so we knew it wouldn’t be very long, but I told my husband even if they only did 1 song I would be happy.

When Big Bang came out I was so amazed to be able to really see them I was pretty much in shock. My face was like this:

So yeah I probably looked like an idiot. Of course Daesung couldn’t be there, so I’m yet to see him but I was so impressed with the others. Even during a stressful and a traumatic time they gave a really good performance. During a short question time you could tell they were quite worried but they are professionals and we did see some smiles. They didn’t preform many songs – I can’t remember exactly – but maybe only 5. I was still so happy though. G-Dragon as just so beautiful, TOP was so handsome… I think most other fans there had seen them before, but as it was my first time I was overwhelmed.

Here is a photo from it:

As soon as it was finished they were rushed out of the venue and into cars. So here I am after Big Bang left:

The outside of the venue:

And some random guy standing in the window! He was probably from the LG company.

So when it was all over we stepped out into the rain. We had something to eat and then caught the bus back down south again. We got back to my husband’s family home quite late but his parents were still up. His mother told him he should have proposed to me at a Big Bang concert! haha. Oh well, too late.

So that is my brief Big Bang experience. My other Big Bang related experience is about the YG building HERE but that didn’t involve actually seeing Big Bang.

So the big question for Australian fans is: Will they come to Australia? We are running out of time.

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Asian Squatting 29

squatting

I remember the first few times I saw Koreans doing this I thought it was a bit strange. This was years ago but I remember standing with a group of Koreans and someone dropping down quickly into a squat and continuing the conversation like nothing had happened. Because the Western style of squatting is different and not as comfortable, we can’t stay like that for very long, I was surprised at how long Koreans could stay in that position.

Because I grew up in a very white area I had almost no contact with any Asians and the Asians I did meet were very westernized. I actually remember the first time I ever saw someone sitting like this was when I was probably about 14 and we were on a family holiday. In a little coastal town I saw a Japanese man squatting on a large concrete post by the river. He was fishing and I remember wondering how he could sit like that for so long.

I’ve obviously since realised that Asian people who squat like this are doing it in a different way. While almost every Asian person can do this, many Western people can not. This is partly due to genetics (Asian people apparently have shorter legs in comparison to their bodies) and lifestyle (Asian people have been squatting like this since children). Of course there are Western people who can squat like this but not the majority. When I try do this I literally can not put my feet flat on the ground. It’s impossible for me. Very soon my legs begin to hurt and I’ll lose my balance and topple over. I wish I could though.

 

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What does this mean? 13

So one day I was watching some Eat Your Kimchi. This video in particular.

I didn’t quite understand what Simon was talking about because maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. Anyway I went to go ask my husband.

Not surprising that the Korean one is a bit more ambiguous and the Western one is…um… not very ambiguous! Bring back memories of the playground?

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Vegetarian 4

vegetarian

How do you turn a levelheaded, kind and considerate Korean man into a whiny brat?

Tell him we aren’t having any meat for dinner.

Korean guys really love meat. However, I’m quite happy to go without meat and have gone through periods of vegetarianism. It is a constant battle though and I’m lucky if I can impose one meat free dinner on him per week.

Also, if you are wondering- yes I do all the cooking. But, he does all the cleaning so that works out well. (Except for the vegetarian argument).

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