So I went to the BIGBANG concert with Chloe. (TOP of BIGBANG collects furniture, which others find laughable but we find amazing).
Furniture and love of furniture as western women is a cultural difference that does sometimes come up when you have a Korean partner. Korean houses traditionally lack a lot of furniture and they use the space in different ways, whereas Australia has an obsession with renovations and furniture (in comparison). You should see the way Hugh’s eyes will roll if my mum and I drag him into a furniture shop in Australia. He can never understand my passion for lovely sofas or beds and to this day we still don’t have a sofa or bed in this house… But when we get our own apartment I will get my way and have furniture!
So the elusive TOP of BIGBANG (the most famous Kpop group) is known to collect unique furniture. Apparently the other members laughed at his collection at first but now realise how cool it is. TOP is also starting to post furniture pics on his new Instagram account as well.
So yes, we really did yell those things out to him. Not that he would have been able to hear, but we want to support him in his love of furniture! His furniture collection makes him even more attractive.
Chloe also drew a comic about wishing she had brought a sign like this to the concert.
Check out her other art here. And her tumblr. Please DO NOT take these comics and reupload to tumblr with no reference to us. We are both on tumblr, you should be REBLOGGING from our official tumblrs.
Reverse culture shock is such an interesting thing. People who have never had the experience of living in another country and then going back to their own country probably can’t understand the full extent of how shocking it can be. I had no idea how strange it would be. In some ways it can be more shocking than going to another country. You are prepared for cultural differences in another country but in your own country you expect to fit in, and then when you realise how much you’ve changed it brings up conflicted feelings about identity. As the saying (and book title) goes “You can’t go home again” because something has altered your perception and the home that you once knew doesn’t exist anymore.
Things I struggled with in Australia were the greetings and not knowing what to do. I felt anxiety that I had never felt before. I was uncomfortable meeting new people and how to interact with them. The extremes of customer service also bought on another level of anxiety because I just didn’t know what to expect because it could be either extreme or just somewhere in the middle.
In Korea I know foreigners can have trouble with the way people can push and bump in crowded cities and view that as rude, but I’ve realised in Korea it’s not personal, it’s done with blank faces and it’s just people trying to get through their day in a crowded city. In Australia, it’s so personal! You bump into someone and you don’t know what you may get. The person can smile and say, “No worries” or you can be given a look as if you’ve just murdered their whole family because they are so offended that you accidentally bumped into them.
In Korea there is more of an acceptance of mothers and babies in public places. There are many older women that are happy to help out mothers and easily chat with them or even hold your baby while you do something. It’s also normal to bring babies everywhere, especially restaurants, and be out late with them. Because I was with Sophie and Alice while in Sydney and we were out doing things in Sydney, I witnessed the way that she was treated because she is a mother. It was disturbing to me how much she was dismissed and treated as if she was taking up precious space because she had a child with her. Also because we sometimes switched who had Alice or the pram, it would have sometimes appeared that I was the mother and I felt those looks and disapproval directed to me. At one point I had hold of the (pretty small and lightweight pram/stroller) and was trying to get a hold of Alice who starting to run just out of my reach in a shopping centre. A business woman in her 50’s or 60’s had to side step around the pram as I frantically tried to grab a 2 year old, and she did so with the nastiest look on her face and a very audible sigh and eye roll. Oh I’m sorry that you had to go sideways ONE STEP that took ONE SECOND. I was incredibly shocked at how easily people showed their displeasure to strangers. I can see how a more community orientated society has a lot of benefits for mothers in Korea. You also see many of the grandparents looking after the children in Korea too and it’s normal to be out in public with young children. I also see a lot less public tantrums from children in Korea too.
Some great things about Australia, in particular Sydney, was the multiculturalism and the access to lots of different food! Ironically it’s easier to get authentic Asian food (other than Korean) in Australia than it is in Korea. While it’s definitely getting better in Korea, it’s still normal for foreign food to be made by Koreans and be extremely adjusted for Korean tastes. In Sydney, in Thai town, we had $4 boat noodle soup with Han and Sophie because it was a Thai place that catered to Thai people, whereas in Korea it’s less authentic and more expensive. Being more multicultural allows for there to be more authentic cuisine and a huge variation of food. But on the other hand, restaurant prices on a whole in Australia were more expensive than normal Korean food restaurants in Korea.
Another thing I didn’t mention was how much skin people show! Seeing low cut tops and cleavage was quite shocking to me in Australia. In Korea it’s okay to show the legs, but not the chest, back and shoulders. While in Korea it can be annoying to not be able to wear skimpy tops in summer, I really have changed how I think about what are appropriate clothes.
Of course both countries have pros and cons, but sometimes you don’t really realise what they are for your own country until you live in another country.
As always, these are just our opinions and our experiences.
This is also a new episode that hasn’t been shown on the Challenge League before, so it’s new for everyone! I’m often warned by my mother-in-law to get the laundry off the line before it gets dark, not only because of dew but because of some vague folklore threat of something bad happening.
(Sorry guys, I missed yesterday’s comic because we were in Seoul for BIGBANG concert and some meetings and wasn’t able to prepare it earlier because of computer problems).
Yes… this is actually my brother! So you might have seen him in that video that went viral, which as we mentioned in the video, isn’t online anymore unfortunately. But you can go check out his YouTube Channel here.
We filmed this early in morning and didn’t have proper lights, so I apologise for the quality.
Here is a commercial he is in:
Since it was a long interview we did have to cut some bits. Some more things related to the saga of the guy who profited off the viral video, he also tried to claim ownership of the bucket drumming in this commercial! Unbelievable right? All he did was upload a video of my brother (as did many other people) and yet he believes he owns everything my brother creates. While having a viral video sure gave my brother a big boost, it’s unfortunate that it also created these problems.
If you have some more questions for my brother, you can leave them here and next time I see him we can do a follow up video!
So that happened… I had problems with my laptop yesterday that took a long time to fix and it’s really frustrating when you don’t have the money to buy a new laptop yet. It’s okay now I think, but I got really behind in all my work and then Hugh reminded me about the comic for the next day and asked what I was going to draw. I snarkily said, “You butt” and decided to go with that!
This is definitely something that doesn’t bother me while I’m in Korea, but if we were living in Australia in our own place I’d have all the paper in the “right places”. Since my parents usually have Koreans boarding with them my mother has made a rule of no toilet paper in the kitchen. While it’s natural for Koreans to have it with them while cooking, it’s too odd for Australians to be using it as much a multipurpose thing.
We do have kitchen towel in the kitchen at my inlaws house here, but I think I use it more than anyone. I use it when cooking and as a serviette/napkin while everyone else is using the toilet paper. Having meals in Korea is vastly different to what I grew up with as well because the style of eating is so different. I would definitely fold the napkins into nice shapes and place them on the plates for nice dinners or when we had guests in Australia.
What Hugh said about sometimes using newspaper for toilet paper as a child was surprising for me. It is interesting to see how different our childhoods were.
I’m pretty terrible with dates and hardly remember anything, I even looked at the date yesterday and didn’t remember it was our anniversary. We do have 3 wedding anniversaries though (registry, Australian and Korean) so if we do miss one, there are others to celebrate. I also have a very understanding husband who doesn’t expect much but likes spoiling me, so we still had a nice dinner together. And part of my present was BIGBANG concert tix!
(Quick give me ideas for what I can do for our Korean wedding anniversary!!!!!)