There are so many spiders right now! Korea is different to Australia because of the seasons. Australia’s climate is mild so I feel like the numbers of spiders don’t dramatically change through the year. In Korea, when it’s summer there is a spider BOOM. There were thousands on the bridge. I’m guessing it’s this mad rush for them now because they all disappear in winter.
What has been interesting is that I have developed more of an aversion to spiders. I’m not scared of them, I’m just annoyed at their numbers. Mr Gwon’s phobia of them has lessoned a lot. He says Korean spiders aren’t as scary as Australian ones. If you are scared of spiders you simply can’t live where we are right now. He has had to just deal with it. Personally I would rather have 1 huge spider in the corner of the room, rather than millions of little spiders EVERYWHERE.
The main crops are strawberries and kiwi fruits, but those aren’t in season right now. These are all vegetables that we grow for ourselves, so most of what we eat is from the farm. Though one time Mr Gwon told me everything on the table was from our farm, but I held up part of an octopus and asked where the octopus plants were… We still need to buy things like meat.
Also, potatoes are really easy to grow. My mother in law always laughs in disdain when on TV there will be people selling and promoting “organic potatoes”. They are always organic because you don’t need to do anything with them here! They just pop out of the ground. Don’t believe anyone trying to sell you organic potatoes at a higher price.
Today’s comic is about Daniel and his girlfriend Chloé.
I didn’t really have a comic idea today… well I did but they were all about the heat and humidity and I thought people might get a bit sick of me complaining about that. I was chatting to Sophie and Chloé earlier, and Chloé mentioned this incident and suggested I make a comic of this. There are less cute English mistakes made by Hugh these days, but Daniel is still at a stage where he makes some. Chloé said when he said “eye brushes” it made her think of a dust pan and brush on his face… which is creepy! Maybe I need to do a comic later of one of Chloé’s Korean mistakes so Daniel can get even?
I’m finding the Korean summer worse than the Australian summer because of the humidity. Also it’s not easy to go swimming here, so there isn’t any really good ways to cool off. There is a lot less air conditioning as well. Especially out in the countryside.
At least the state of my hair has been amusing to Mr Gwon.
Hugh and Daniel talk about other couples that are also Korean guys and Western girls.
This question is a bit hard to answer. Our perspective is affected by what we see through the blog. We get lots and lots of emails and comments from other couples like us. So we are personally seeing a lot but compared to the general population it’s still a small amount. It does seem that in the past 5 years there has been a kind of surge in marriages between Koreans and foreigners though. Much more than before. There are other couples like us because more people are going to Korea to work and study and more Koreans are going to other countries. Both Hugh and Daniel went to Australia and started dating Australian girls.
From what I see, most couples like us are somewhat recently married. We get emails from people who married a long time ago occasionally, but they usually mention that they were always very different to everyone around them. We meet many people through the blog, but even without the blog there are many are connections forming. For example, Sophie and Chloe knew each other growing up, and just happened to both end up with Korean men. From my hometown, a predominately white area in the countryside, there are 2 other women who also married Korean men.
As well as people travelling a lot more and meeting people they wouldn’t normally ever get to meet, the interest in Kpop and Kdramas have opened a lot of doors, especially in regards to how Korean men are perceived. If you look at the history of Asian men in movies and western media, it’s a pretty sad story. Asian men are rarely cast as leads, unless it’s an action movie, and never cast as the lead male in romance movies. They get stuck in roles of villains or bumbling side kicks. What Kpop and Kdramas has done is changed many women’s perception of Asian men and shown that they are sexy and masculine and so much more than what western media says. I know some people worry about Korean men being fetishized, but you gotta cut teenage girls some slack. Any one who goes into a relationship with a Korean guy just because he is Korean will find that the relationship does not last very long. The guy will work it out pretty quickly, give him some credit! If someone starts dating a guy because their views were opened up by Kpop, if it turns into a long term and loving relationship, well it’s no one’s business but their own. It’s mean to make judgements about someone else’s relationship, (though people still seem to do it all the time).
Another aspect that comes up a lot is what actually constitutes a Korean guy when we talk about international couples? If my husband had grown up in Australia as a Korean Australian would I have made this blog? Probably not. How many cultural differences would we have? It’s hard to say and would depend so much on what his home life had been. It’s such a blurry line. There are people who identify as Korean but it was their parents or grandparents that were born in Korea, not them. It also means they grew up in western culture so there aren’t as big cultural differences when dating. But I’ve heard from people married to Korean Americans that even though their husband grew up in the US, there are still cultural things he does that Mr Gwon also does. Then there are others have almost no identity with Korean culture. We are always emphasising the culture and cultural differences on this blog. We aren’t interested in just physical aspects. We also shy away from identifying ourselves as an “Asian male/White female” couple and don’t really like those types of tags. It’s not about our looks and within the terms “Asian” and “White” there are a vast amount of differences and cultures. When we share our lives with people we want to talk about our relationship and our cultures and what life is like for us.
That’s why the people we end up being friends with are very similar to us. Usually they are Korean men who grew up in Korea with Australian women. We also have a wider circle of friends who are mostly Korean men with Western women.