It was my birthday yesterday! One of my presents was a new straightener/styler but because it’s monsoon season I can’t really do much at the moment. The humidity is so bad in Korea at the moment and my poor white girl hair can’t handle it. It frizzes immediately. So instead I used it on Hugh’s hair and gave him wonderful Kpop hair.
We had a whirlwind trip to Seoul. SBS PopAsia were in town secretly filming stuff so we caught up with them. Hugh went a day before me because I still had some work to do.
Here are the pics that we posted on social media:
Hugh caught up with the JJCC boys:
We met Sam Hammington (Aussie comedian famous in Korea) at his awesome cafe.
All the guys that do stuff on SBS PopAsia: Hugh with Andy (Host) and Prince Mak and Peter who both do radio shows.
SBS PopAsia are based in Australia and are the best digital radio station for Asian pop internationally (and of course if you live in Australia there is the TV show). You can download the app! They call me once a week to chat about Kpop and Korea. You may remember the vlog where we visited them in Australia.
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.
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.
So much watching people eat on Korean TV.
We’ve been in Seoul for another project and got home last night. Will be trying to catch up on videos and comics over the weekend. (Fingers crossed, still dealing with some health issues).
by Nic • Culture, In Korea, Korean Dramas, Korean People • Tags: korea toilet paper, koreans and toilet paper, my korean husband, toilet paper on table in korea, why do koreans use toilet paper like this?
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.
Wearing a hanbok can be a lot like wearing a wedding dress. Anyone who has been a bride or bridesmaid might remember the awkward help the bride pee moments! There are just so many layers, especially in winter when I’m wearing long underwear under it too. It doesn’t help that Korean bathrooms usually have wet floors as well. It can be a bit difficult to manage.
As I was quite sick on Lunar New Year, I needed extra help getting my hanbok on. Usually I can do most of it myself and just need help with the outer skirt and top, but this time I needed my husband to help with everything.
I do like wearing my hanbok, but it’s not the easiest thing to get around in. I spent a lot of Lunar New Year sitting and waiting for relatives to visit, and some objects disappeared under my skirts. When you try a hanbok on at tourist places they are usually not this big and are just the outer skirt and top/jacket, but if you own a hanbok it usually involves special socks and pantaloons, a big puffy petticoat, and an under blouse before you even put on the pretty colourful skirt and top.
I wasn’t allowed to take it off either, those that follow me on Instagram would have seen my photo of my view laying on the floor while waiting in my hanbok. Although, for all the ways a hanbok can limit you, they are very special.
We haven’t put anymore videos up with week because I’ve been sick and we have been busy with Lunar New Year, but we’ll have some up soon.
We answer a question about drinking water in Korea:
There is also a new vlog up! It explains what is happening with the EBS filming:
There are a few reasons why we are living with Hugh’s parents. One reason is that they are getting older and Hugh probably won’t ever have this type of time with them again, so making the most of it. Another reason is that it is of course cheaper for us to live with them. Hugh could go get a job and work hard and we could have a nice apartment and car, but he wouldn’t be able to do any blogging or edit videos or have much time for me. So we are making those sacrifices so we can get the website and business ideas off the ground, as well as cherishing our time together. We would pretty much have to stop YouTube if he was to get a normal Korean job.
Mostly it’s fine living with his parents. They let us do our own thing, but of course it is hard to have privacy. Not only that, but his parents are an older generation and in the countryside. They never show any affection for each other in front of others, so Hugh can be self conscious about even a quick peck if his parents are around – which is most of the time!
What is your country known for? And do people always ask the same questions? While Belgium is known for waffles, Koreans can tend to get particularly stuck on this fact because “Belgium Waffles” or a brand claiming to be, are available in convenience stores and that’s all people associate with Belgium.
I saw a clip of JYP asking an Australian contestant on one of those audition shows how the kangaroos are in Australia or something. *Groan*.
And we have a new vlog up!
If you read all the comics and blog posts, you already probably know about this. We made a video about it though!
We tried to keep it light-hearted so we are really sorry if we offend anyone. There are also many other things we could have talked about but just didn’t have time for. For example, what gene are children likely to get when one parent is Korean? Do pheromones in sweat cause some Koreans to be more attracted to someone who is very genetically different to them? Just because you have the more sweat glands and bacteria/sticky ear wax gene doesn’t automatically mean you smell bad- body odour varies a lot from person to person. Don’t be too paranoid, just be conscious of it.
Just last night we asked a Korean friend why they thought foreigners tended to smell more than Koreans and they said because Koreans go to the public baths and scrub their bodies there but foreigners don’t. Hehe.. a lot of misinformation around.
Hopefully people realise that was a very sarcastic video… haha. The funny thing is, all those shots of me messing around while waiting for a car to go by are real. No cars came for quite a while so I really was occupying myself while waiting for a car.
We wanted to show how boring it can be out here – even though we love it and get to experience things that city people don’t. I was also mimicking the way foreigners are sometimes used in advertising in Korea. I hope you enjoyed the awkwardness!
We show some actual stuff to do in the countryside in the newest vlog here:
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