In Korea

Commenting on Comments – Chuseok 4

Yesterday was a really big day but we still tried to film our Commenting on Comments and edit it. We managed to do that but then exporting took too long and it was already 2am, so we had to sleep and wait until today. So sorry this video is a bit late!

We show you a little bit of Chuseok, talk about Korean towels and ahjummas in the mountains, open a package and Hugh’s cousins bust in with some fireworks.

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Seoul Vlog 13

We vlog about using the Seoul subway and visiting Hyunwoo from Talk to Me in Korean and seeing adorable baby Joon! Hyunwoo took Hugh to Project S School so Hugh could try some Martial Arts Tricking. He did really well for his first time! If anyone in our area (Jinju area) does this, let us know!

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Cricket Team 12

Cricket Team

He is very vocal about his dislike of cricket. Though… he does have an Australian Cricket singlet… his excuse is that it was cheap.

I’m sure others living in another country have had this feeling before. On days where you are missing home a little bit and there is something that is in your country and even though you never particularly liked it, something makes you start to feel patriotic.

I’m not particularly patriotic and there are lots of things I dislike about Australia but the longer I am in Korea, the more Australian I feel. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. (Obviously cricket wasn’t “invented” in Australia but it’s ingrained in our culture and seen as an important sport in Australia).

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Humidity 26

Humidity

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.

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Cheonggyecheon 9

Cheonggyecheon

Is he beautiful?

We went with friends and my brother and sister to Cheonggyecheon last night.

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One Step Outside 7

One Step Outside

My least favourite time of the year…. well ask me again in the dead of winter and I’ll re-evaluate that.

People who manage to look perfect at this time of year are wizards. When I got my hair cut and coloured in Seoul, the hairdresser said at this time of year all his foreigner clients are complaining about frizzy hair because of the humidity.

We are heading down to Busan today because my brother and sister are flying in this afternoon. Yay! As we mentioned in a video, we are super busy as we’ll be travelling around and also working on final things for the book. I can’t guarantee a comic every day for this next week. Sorry guys!

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Centipede 23

Centipede

We see house centipedes quite often. Mr Gwon hates them so much. I’ve dealt with way more insects in Korea than I have ever had to in Australia. In Australia I would carefully take spiders and moths outside but in Korea my patience had gone and I just kill whatever comes in our bedroom. There are just too many and I’m done with being nice. Australia is nothing compared to what we deal with in the Korean countryside.

I deal with things like this and my husband deals with any frogs that come inside.

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Picnic in Mountains 6

Some thoughts about differences between Australia and Korea:

Our friends didn’t spent very long looking for the ideal picnic place. Wherever seems to be fine most of the time. Our picnic was technically on a man made weir… so on concrete rather than up on the rocks, and right near the road. There were nice places further up but going any further didn’t seem to be an option. Australians are really spoilt for space and I think that affects our desire for finding the best picnic places. Koreans don’t seem to mind as much. Plenty of times I’ve seen Koreans just plonk down wherever to have a picnic, side of roads, gravel packing lots – places Australians would never have a picnic. The scenery doesn’t seem to be the most important thing. Many Australians have probably had the experience of going for a picnic in a national park somewhere and trying to find the ideal place, “If we just hike for 20 minutes, scale this cliff face, wade through this river, there is the PERFECT picnic place I swear!”

Koreans won’t go swimming usually! I mentioned in the video that it would be inappropriate to wear a swimming costume (cossie in Australian slang) anywhere other than the beach or a pool. For Australians, and I think most westerners, people are likely to strip down to swimming costumes pretty quickly once they reach the ideal spot (some people even going skinny dipping). The only other person who went swimming besides from my husband and I was that one older guy, and he didn’t get in for long. The biggest reason Koreans often have for not swimming is that it’s too cold. I noticed this in Korea and with the Koreans who board with my parents in Australia. As an Australian, I’m not really that worried about cold water and I know within 5 minutes I won’t feel the cold much. Koreans just don’t have the same swimming culture and experience to know that. I’m sure those in colder European countries who swim a lot know how refreshing cold water can be! I think a big part of the Australian experience is going swimming, working up an appetite and then eating.

Koreans do food really well! I know lots of Australians do food well, but we can be pretty happy with just a bunch of sandwiches. For this picnic there was a bunch of different meat and vegetables and eating is constant grazing the whole time. When one type of meat is done, another goes on, there was rice and kimchi and side dishes then it moved on to ramen, then fruit. So much is centred amount just eating food. I don’t know how much of that is because of this particular group or people or region.

No one went properly exploring. People wandered around a bit but I was the only one who went quite far up the river. I know if I was with a bunch of Aussies they would be likely to trek up the river to see what was up there. I have lots of memories of camping and picnics when I was younger and someone going off exploring and coming back saying, “There is a waterfall up there!” or “Come check out this rock pool” and then everyone goes to have a look. Koreans love the outdoors and hiking, but it’s a much more structured activity. They get all dressed in the brand hiking clothes with the equipment and everything.

It was a really nice day and I’m really glad I got to swim a bit. I wonder what the Korean side of this would be. “The Aussie girl was really weird and went swimming twice and didn’t care about eating all the food and then just disappeared completely at one point.”

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Out of the World Cup 19

Out of the world cup

What a sad.

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Expert 13

expert

Doesn’t take much for him to think himself an expert! Even though I’m the one with way more skin care experience.

Sometime later I will make a video about differences in seeing a dermatologist in Australia and seeing one in Korea. Korea has a big skincare industry which is way more accessible and cheaper than Australia, but you still have to make sure you find a good clinic.

I think most of my skincare problems at the moment are stress related. It’s a busy month! Which is why this is just a quick comic today.

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Quick Delivery 12

Quick delivery

So we got the box of paints that we ordered just over 12 hours later…. impressive. We’ve mentioned before that Korea has a “bally bally” culture, which means “quickly quickly”. This is great for consumers, but I do sometimes worry about how much effort is put in to get things sent so quickly. Korea is a lot smaller than Australia though, so it does make it easier to send things. So many things are available for quick delivery. Home shopping is much bigger here as well. My mother-in-law orders a lot of things she sees on TV.

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World Cup 27

world cup

I’m realising how big the World Cup is in Korea. I naively thought that my husband would just watch games with Korea or games with Australia playing. I now realise that he tries to watch every single game he possibly can… and gets no sleep because of it. If he can’t watch it on TV or his laptop, he is watching from his phone. That’s why we haven’t filmed a Mr Gwon Time for this week yet.

So when I go out on the roof at 3am, it’s usually pretty quiet and peaceful. Not at the moment!

Are you enjoying the World Cup? Who are you supporting?

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Farm Work in Korea 2

On the weekend I noticed a lot of farm work was being done. There were a lot more people in the fields and I soon discovered that in order for the onion crops to be harvested family, friends and other workers are called in to help. We rode our bikes around and filmed some of the onion harvesting and some other farm work being done. We didn’t want to shove the camera in people’s faces so we mostly filmed at a distance.

Things that have also changed since our last countryside video: the concrete channels besides the fields have been cleaned out and now flow with water, wheat has been harvested and rice is now being planted in those fields, strawberry plants are left to die, potatoes are in season and being harvested, chilli plants are being grown, and kiwifruits are getting bigger but not full size yet.

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Weird English 39

 

Weird English

I actually really like it when clothing has very cute English or Konglish and it does make some sense. But when it’s pretty much gibberish it annoys me. Mr Gwon informs me every single time, “Nobody cares.” It’s seen as cool to have English on clothes and it doesn’t have to make sense which is why there ends up being some complete gibberish. People aren’t native English speakers here so don’t care that it makes no sense.

I do get annoyed at the swear words everywhere though. Oh I’m so old and crotchety! But seriously Korea, stop putting the F-word on everything, especially on clothing for younger girls.

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Exploring 26

Exploring

I’m a terrible singer, so just remember that as you read this comic…

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