In Korea

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 16

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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Chuseok in Korea 4

Chuseok is an important holiday in Korea. Everyone is expected to go back to their ancestral home towns (or wherever their family is) which means millions of people have to travel at once. The traffic is horrendous and the public transportation is completely booked out. Luckily for us, we are already where we need to be! One advantage of living in the countryside.

In this video we show a few snapshots over two days. We prepare food for the ancestral memorial service in the morning (that food gets eaten by everyone later) and have many relatives visit.  Since it’s a ‘harvest festival’ holiday we wanted to show the countryside changing around us now that it’s Autumn. Hanbok (traditional clothing) is not necessary anymore, but is nice to wear which is why I put mine on in the evening.

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Traditional Wedding – 전통혼례 가마 5

Traditional korean wedding

I made this comic quite a while ago but it was never posted because it was supposed to go in the book (for the Korean market). Since we are now changing the format of the book a lot (one of the reasons why it’s taking so long) I can post it on here.

Traditional weddings are rarely done these days in Korea unfortunately, but I’m glad we had one. We were carried in ‘gamas’ by our friends, which gave Hugh’s friends the chance to complain about how heavy he is!

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This video shows the farm getting ready for strawberry season (November to May). While other produce is dying off as the weather gets cooler, the strawberry plants are getting ready to produce super sweet strawberries.

Strawberries in Korea are very sweet but my parents-in-law’s strawberries are particularly sweet because they put a lot of effort into making sure they are extra sweet. Some other farms choose quantity over quality so their strawberries are not as sweet: be careful! The strawberries from our farm end up in department stores in Gangnam, but of course the middle man takes a big cut. The strawberries go to market first before department stores. It would be great if there was a way to sell directly and get a bigger profit but it’s not really that possible, because strawberries expire quickly and it’s a whole other business, on top of working on the farm, to do that. We may be selling some directly to some cafes and restaurants who order a lot, but the majority go to be auctioned off and then sent to department stores. The boxes usually have my father-in-law’s name on them too. Sancheong (our region) strawberries are now known to be the best in Korea, sometimes cafes have signs boasting that they have desserts with Sancheong strawberries.

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Pigs 10


We had just come back from Seoul when he said this. I was so disappointed that there wasn’t little piggys on the farm. But it’s funny because I start to make mistakes too. After being in Korea for so long, in English I do have problems with some sounds that should be natural for me but are difficult for Koreans. I find it harder to differentiate between B and V now. F and P is still okay for me, but for Hugh, even speaking English every day, it still trips him up.


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Picnic Set 3


If I’d taken a second to look closer I would have recognised what it was, but I wasn’t paying very much attention. Chuseok, which is one of the big holidays in Korea, is coming soon, so places like E-mart have these types of things prominently displayed.

An important part of the Chuseok holiday is going to where ancestor burial mounds are and paying respects and tidying up the graves. There is a ceremony with some food and drink, so this type of set makes it easier and nicer. It’s plastic and portable and easy enough to lug up a hill or mountain. While we have the proper set for the ceremony done in the morning inside the home, I’ve only seen paper cups used up where the burial mounds are. Obviously someone has realised there is a market for a portable set that is easy to carry.

When we post photos online of the food set up in the morning on holidays like this, people are always curious… what happens to all the food?! We eat it! That’s one of the interesting things about this tradition. The food is put out symbolically for the ancestors (about four generations back) but then we eat it all over the holiday. It’s important to remember family members who have passed on. I find it quite moving, especially when we pay respects to Hugh’s grandfather who loved him dearly but died when Hugh was still young.


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Costco in Korea 3

Yesterday Hugh went to the Costco in Busan. It was the first time he’d been to a Costco so he made a video.


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Geoje Island 거제도 5

I was still recovering from surgery here so not up to doing much filming. This year, health problems and busy schedules have really prevented us from filming everything we want to but it has lead to Hugh’s decision that he is going to film a lot more for you guys. That will give me more time for the comics and webtoons, while still having lots of videos on this channel. Although he is a social butterfly in real life (and never stops talking haha) he has always been much shyer on camera. Hopefully he will become more confident now, so please encourage him!

Geojedo ‘Theme Museum’ was kinda brilliant in its weirdness. There was Greek mythology on the outside, lots of Korean modern history objects inside, and then suddenly random stuff from movies…. but older movies from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I have a feeling it’s a museum where museum objects go to retire… they just take everything!

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Kakao Friends Store 4

The only messages I get with my normal phone text messaging is lots of spam and text messages from the bank. I don’t even check my inbox properly. In Korea everything is done with KakaoTalk, not only for talking friends but even business contacts. The KakaoTalk characters are very popular and there’s lots of super cute merchandise with them.

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Trend in Korea 9

Trend in Korea

Haha… I thought there was room for some lighthearted fun at the expense of some of these sites… I still follow them and check what they report on, but I love making fun of ridiculous clickbait titles and articles.

So watch out… the next “trend in Korea” they report on, it might have been created by me!

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Hair Model 6

Hair Model

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.

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Pics from Seoul 1

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:

Hugh and Prince MakHugh and Eddy

We met Sam Hammington (Aussie comedian famous in Korea) at his awesome cafe.

With Sam Hammington

Carrot Cake at Sugar Daddy

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.

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Kpop, Kdramas and REALITY 9

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.

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