In Korea

Korea has changed so much 1

We visited this museum a few years ago but wanted to show my mum while she is visited because it’s so interesting to get a glimpse into Korea’s recent past, especially while in modern Seoul.

Korea’s modern history of development is actually pretty amazing. It is one of the only countries in the world to go from a war-torn, poverty stricken country, to a developed, technologically driven, modern country in such a short amount of time. South Korea had to receive foreign aid after the Korean war, it was poorer than North Korea at one point, but is now a country that gives aid to countries in need. It’s a pretty big deal that they were able to change and develop so quickly. This is one of the reasons why looking back into recent history is so fascinating. Hugh’s childhood differs a lot to mine. My mother is visiting and came with us and we talked about how Hugh’s childhood is actually more similar to hers in the 1960’s in Australia, than mine in the 1980’s/1990’s in Australia (because Korea was behind in so many developments compared to Australia). Many of the things from the 1960’s and 1970’s were still like that, especially in the rural areas, during a lot of Hugh’s childhood, so he could reminisce while in the museum. When people are interested in South Korea now, they see the Kpop and the Kdramas and the glamour and technology, but not that long ago things were very different. While this museum focuses mostly on how people lived, there are displays about Korea’s traumatic history last century: of course Japanese occupation and the Korean war. It’s worth the trip up to Paju to see this museum. Tourist brochures explain how to get there and their website is here.

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Farm Work 4

Farm Work

Hugh says:

“Nichola usually doesn’t work on the farm, because she does work inside. I told her to have a rest but she just didn’t, so it’s her own fault! haha. But everyone was quite happy with what she did. She just talks to herself a lot and she thinks her muscles have feelings…”

(I do enjoy doing stuff outside but I have to spend a lot of time inside usually. Even though my body hurt afterwards, it felt good. Those leg muscles don’t know what hit them though!)

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This Side 1

This Side

I’ve read that when someone returns to their home, where their parents still live, they tend to act more like their teenage self and revert back to that type of behaviour. That definitely plays a part in how Hugh can act at home. He will argue with this parents, be stubborn and annoying, and torment his sister. He directs some of that sisterly torment at me too, and it’s seriously like dealing with a 16 year old sometimes. That’s not to say he is always like this, because usually he is a mature, level-headed, compassionate man, but he has his teenage times.. luckily we aren’t living here long term and will be moving to Seoul.

Hugh had already seen my sulky and moody teenage times at home in Australia so he was fully aware of that before he married me. But because we moved to Korea after 2 years of marriage, this was more of a surprise for me. In international relationships you always have that change in a partner when moving to another country. Many women married to Korean men find that after moving to Korea long term, that their carefree husband has turned into a stressed workaholic because of Korean work culture. There needs to be understanding on both sides. That’s why marriage is about deciding every day to love someone, even when they can be at their most annoying.

And I bet Hugh gets his revenge on me in a ‘My Australian Wife’ comic!

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Korean Culture: Flowers and Photos 0

I’ve shown this in a comic recently here, but we also made a video about this flower culture in Korea.

The flood plain next to our village is bare all through winter, but in preparation for spring, canola seeds are planted. They come up really quickly as the weather gets warmer and then suddenly there are yellow flowers everywhere! We usually go there at the end of the day when there are less people. So for this video we filmed while there weren’t many people and as the sun was setting.

There are lots of nice things about Korean couple culture and dressing in matching clothes and taking nice photos together is something I think is lovely.

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5 THINGS WE MISS ABOUT AUSTRALIA 0

What are some things we miss about Australia?

This video is a collab with The Drunken Bear YouTube channel, so check out their video here:

We love collaborating with other couples, especially Aussie/Korean couples. Rachel and Nick will appear in another video coming out soon too!

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Weird things we do in Australia because of Korea 5

We filmed this last year with Sara (SeoulSarang) and have only just been able to edit it because we have SO many videos to edit. Slowly working through so many videos. This was a really fun chat! I really enjoy hanging out with other Aussies, especially after I haven’t seen any for a while. I think both of our Australian accents became stronger in this video (there are English captions on the video for those that need help understanding the accent).

This was very much just a casual conversation without much preparation, so it’s just our thoughts and feelings at this time. Opinions can change! Don’t take the video too seriously.

What ‘weird’ things have you done in your own country after living in another country?

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Amber and Toy in Disguise in Hongdae 0

This was filmed at the end of November during the Eat Your Kimchi closing studio party. We were sad to say goodbye to the studio, but it was a great party! A lot of the costumes and weird stuff were there for anyone to use so Amber, from the very popular girl group f(x) and Toy, a rapper you may have seen on Show Me The Money 3, decided to dress up and go for a bit of a walk around Hongdae. Joel, often seen on the Korean Englishman’s channel, was also there! It was spur of the moment idea to film it, and we didn’t plan on using the footage, but later realised we could make it into a video. So here it is!

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KOREAN SLANG CHALLENGE 0

When our good friend Sara (SeoulSarang) was in Korea a few months back, Hugh challenged her to guess the meanings of these new Korean slang words.

Have you heard any of them before?

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SURPRISE COW 1

Just a quick video we filmed a few months ago in the Korean countryside. These bulls were being exercised while we happened to be walking through our village. We didn’t expect to see them on the road like this.

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KOREAN PET NAMES 2

We talk about Korean pet names! We cover the most basic ones (and some new funny ones) but there are more talked about on this blog here.

What are the most common pet names in your country?

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Sunrise on Jirisan 0

Hugh vlogged hiking up Jiri Mountain to see the sunrise!

The reason why I didn’t go was because of all my health problems, my body wouldn’t handle hiking all the way up there. Hugh and his friends stayed with his friend who is a ranger on the mountain, but usually people stay in that one big cabin and sleep on the floor right next to each other. It’s quite cramped! Hiking is an activity that middle aged people love in Korea, so usually it’s all ahjummas and ahjussis hiking up mountains in Korea.

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WE VISIT NAVER WEBTOONS AND LINE 0

This was a really interesting day because we got to visit Naver and Line. For those that aren’t aware, Naver is the Korean equivalent of Google, not only a search portal but other things like webtoons (webcomics). Naver Webtoons are all in Korean, but LINE Webtoon is the English site for Naver webtoons and that’s where I am a featured artist with my webtoon Nicholalala.

It was really cool to see inside of Naver and the floor for both the Korean and English webtoons. The spaces available to the public are super nice, so check them out if you are in that area (Green Factory, Bundang).

Thank you to David and Jenny for showing us around!

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Cutest Pension and Ganghwado Mudflats 1

This video was not planned, we just happened to go to this pension with friends who were getting wedding photos taken. We discovered this pension was so nice and really adorable so we decided to make a video. Pension, which is the Konglish name for this type of accommodation vary wildly in Korea, so this was definitely more of an upmarket one. It is also a ‘healing’ pension, which means that it’s not the type of place for big groups of people to go and be loud and BBQ. It’s for couples or families to have some quiet time, enjoy the countryside and relax and maybe do some crafts.

인천광역시 강화군 길상면 해안남로474번길 19 가족펜션
지번 인천광역시 강화군 길상면 선두리 1055-17
전화번호 032-937-3525

19, Haeannam-ro 474beon-gil, Gilsang-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon, Korea

 

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I Seoul U 19

I Seoul u

You might have heard about Seoul’s new slogan “I.Seoul.u” and you’ve probably seen the ridicule of it. For good reason! It’s pretty bad… what is that even supposed to mean?

Foreigners living in Korea are often frustrated with the terrible English in professional settings. English that could easily be fixed but isn’t. It can be puzzling when so many young people speak English well and there is this desire to speak English, why isn’t more care taken with English? From what we can tell is that the people usually in positions of power are older and more arrogant. We’ve heard stories of people working in companies where they are overruled by bosses who have less English skills than them.

We’ve also heard from insiders that this was the situation with this slogan too. Without naming anyone, someone in power was already set on the “I.Seoul.u” slogan before it even went to a vote, and so those connected with this were not surprised that it was the one chosen because someone at the top made sure it was. Also reports have come out from foreigners at the dinner where there was a “vote” that they were told it had already been chosen. I think we can assume that no English speaker voted freely on this slogan.

It’s such a shame. Other countries have good slogans that actually make sense, but Korea has such a reputation for inane, ridiculous and confusing slogans. It’s really not the right way to attract tourists.

The only benefit has been that at least people are talking about it, but I’m not sure if it’s prompting anyone to visit Korea. Korean tourism advertising constantly has problems and those in charge obviously don’t have the knowledge of what foreigners might actually be looking for. And can someone please tell me why there are buses in Seoul that say “Visit Seoul!” on the side of them? If someone is reading that… they are already in Seoul…

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Chuseok Food 6

Chuseok Food

Like in most other countries, the preparation of holiday food is done by women in Korean culture. Even in Australia there tends to be more traditional roles in a lot of families on holidays but it’s more obviously defined in Korea. With my mother-in-law and sister-in-law I helped prepare all the fried food for Chuseok. Koreans don’t mind eating fried food cold so it’s food that is supposed to last for a while. Because so much has to be prepared, it takes hours and hours and my body does not enjoy sitting on the floor for that long. So I had to roll my eyes at Hugh exclaiming his difficulty of not being able to choose what to eat.

Since we have an intercultural relationship I expressed some of my Australianess and told him that if he is not helping with the cooking and is just lazing around, he should clean up outside and make the front of the house look nice for Chuseok, which he did.

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