So “off the hook” is an idiom he hadn’t heard before.
A cultural difference between Australia and Korea we notice a lot, is that there is more of a culture of ‘Do it yourself’ home improvement in Australia. It’s a normal thing for families to be gardening and doing house improvement stuff on weekends. That is more unusual in Korea. The Korean guys that stay in the house next door are always surprised to see how much my parents do and how many skills they have for home improvement. While professional Korean construction is some of the best in the world, the average Korean doesn’t do home improvement stuff like here. Australia has an industry catering to it (not to mention so many TV shows about it) and it’s not unusual to take a trip to huge D.I.Y stores like Bunnings on the weekend.
Since we are back home with my parents for a month it’s expected my husband helps my father with the new project (putting a granny flat in). My husband’s sister’s boyfriend who is staying here has been helping my dad a lot and is learning how to do things, but my husband is still pretty clueless. Those on Facecbook and Instagram would have seen a photo yesterday.
Koreans shush using “Shhh!” as well but also use “Shhh” for toilet training kids… which is why my husband gets a feeling of needing to pee whenever I do it. But seriously… 2am is not the time to be making a lot of noise in the kitchen.
So he can be really lazy putting lids back on kimchi properly and doesn’t care about there being a strong kimchi smell, but suddenly he doesn’t like there being a strong cheese smell! The couple we are living with bought some fancy cheeses (if you guys are reading this, don’t worry! I don’t mind the cheese smell and it’s funny to see him react to it) and he complains every time he opens the fridge.
Anyone who has lived with Koreans probably knows that eye-watering kimchi smell every time they open the fridge. I don’t mind a bit of a smell but sometimes it can be too much. Is that why there are special kimchi fridges in Korea?
The reason is comic is up late is because I’ve had some problems with my tablet (Bamboo manga pen and touch) and the program I use Opencanvas. A driver was updated I think and since then I can’t scroll using the tablet, it zooms instead. It’s not a massive problem but it’s annoying and makes drawing harder… and it shouldn’t happen! With another program there doesn’t seem to be a problem but with opencanvas and opencanvas lite it’s doing it. I’m not sure if it’s the program or the tablet or both causing it. My tablet is getting old. We tried for hours searching for a solution but couldn’t find much and nothing worked. If you know how to fix this please tell me!
So I only just learnt that Koreans give toilet paper or laundry detergent as housewarming gifts. Apparently this tradition started when Korea was still a poor country and these items were too expensive as well as there being some symbolism to it.
Are you looking forward to receiving lots of toilet paper Han and Sophie??
Koreans seem to have this open dialogue about people’s looks that I’m not that used to. As a society they tend to be image focused and people’s attractiveness comes up a lot in normal conversations. I think my husband has unnerved some Australian guys more than once by leaning in and saying, “You are very handsome” to them. That is completely normal for Korean guys though.
So pretty much every time I’m hanging out with a group of Korean guys, particularly if we have first met, they’ll ask me to choose who I think is the most attractive. It makes me so uncomfortable! They’ll keep asking me to do it though, so usually I will finally choose. My choice often surprises them because I have different taste in guys than Korean girls usually. At that point I hope it’s all over but then they want me to choose the next best guy and so on. I flat out refuse at that point because someone has to be last right? I don’t want to hurt any feelings.
I’m not sure if they get me to do this because I’m a married woman and it’s safe to do without any misunderstanding or if since I met my husband I’ve just been around Korean men a lot more. I knew Korean guys before I met my husband but I hadn’t had this situation happen that much. Now I always expect it but I’m no better at dealing with the situation. (Just asked my husband and he seems to think it happens a lot to me because I’m a married woman).
The funny thing is my husband knows me so well that he can easily predict which guy I think is most handsome.
We made this video because I randomly filmed something that showed the different experiences my husband has in Australia. As we said in the video this wouldn’t happen this way in Korea due to the big age differences between. We always say that neither country is right or wrong, it’s just different. So in Korea you can really only be close friends with someone who is the same age as you.
I’ve seen the problems arise when Koreans aren’t respectful enough to those older than them a lot in Australia. Possibly it happens more than in Korea because it can be difficult for Koreans who come out on working holiday visas. If they are around Australians a lot they may adopt a more Australian way and then accidentally offend a lot of other Koreans. You also get Koreans interacting in Australia who would have never met in Korea, from different regions in Korea, but here in Australia they may be working together or living together and there are some clashes.
As an Australian it is difficult for me to understand why it’s such a big deal sometimes. If someone has no malicious intent surely they can joke around a bit? The word ‘larrikin’ is often used to describe some elements of Australian culture, but it just doesn’t transfer well to Korean culture. Many times I’ve seen Korean people in Australia get very upset because someone Korean and younger than them didn’t use the correct level of speech with them, asked something too directly, made a joke that they thought was too disrespectful. For me as an Australian, if the person who was ‘disrespectful’ is overall a good person, I don’t worry about it much, but for many Koreans it’s something they can get very upset about and there have been huge problems arising from these mistakes.
Those who watch some Korean TV shows may have seen some incidents like that. The YG reality show ‘WIN Who is Next’ had an incident in one of the episodes. YG boss appointed someone whose age was in the middle as the group leader and this guy then spoke very directly to one of the older guys. That guy didn’t take it well at all and stormed out of the room. You may think that’s just made more dramatic for TV but it’s something that happens. People can find it very offensive. My husband, understanding how Australian culture is different, doesn’t ever get really upset about it and especially because he knows my brother is poking fun because he likes him, but it’s something I will have to be careful of in Korea.
5 points to anyone who recognises who my brother is…. some Sydney-siders might have seen him around.
When you think it’s going to be a romantic moment like in a Korean drama and then it ends up like this…
But actually it’s a running joke because I get called “lucky pig” by his family because pigs are lucky in Korean culture. He is completely aware of the negative meaning in Western culture though so I’m sure he does stuff like this to annoy me.