So while I was thinking that those boys shouldn’t be drinking like that (must have forgotten I was in Korea! haha) Hugh had only thought about bribing them so they wouldn’t call him ahjussi. He doesn’t like to be faced with the reality of his age and how the younger generation now view him. I understand it, I hate being called ahjumma…. but he’s going a lot further to still feel young!
We wanted to correct any misconceptions that all guys in Korea are walking around wearing Kpop makeup all the time. As we said in the video, a lot of the time people may not even be aware if a guy is wearing some makeup. The times it’s obvious is when it’s badly applied, or it’s the wrong shade. That happens with girls as well, you’ll see girls with these super pale faces that don’t match their neck.
We are both of the opinion that it’s a good thing for guys to be able to wear makeup if they want to. I’m glad to see society changing here and making it more acceptable and that it’s a fast growing market.
While Hugh wears BB cream for filming, he never wears eye makeup but has been accused of wearing eyeliner or mascara several times! He just has long dark eyelashes that makes it look like that sometimes.
We also wanted to show some opinions that are not Seoul centered. I think often when people are talking about “Korean guys” it can be mostly be talking about young guys in Seoul, because they are in Seoul and that’s what they see. Since we live in the countryside we want to show more of Korea and that Seoul does not equal all of Korea, as well as talking about different generations.
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.
by Nic • Culture, Korean People, Relationships • Tags: korean husband, korean inlaws, korean parents, korean parents-in-law, korean wife, marrying korean, my korean husband, will a korean's parents accept me?, will korean parents accept a foreigner
We get asked a lot about how Hugh’s parents reacted to him bringing home an Australian girlfriend. We also get asked whether Korean parents are likely to accept a foreigner son or daughter in law and what can be done to make things go smoothly. We talk about the stereotype of Korean parents refusing to accept foreigners, hypothetical situations versus reality and some warning signs.
As with any video, there are many things we can’t cover. For example, we didn’t talk about incidences of Korean parents completely refusing to accept a foreigner (of course that can happen but we just don’t know anyone who has had that experience personally). We also didn’t comment on Korean American situations or Koreans who grew up in countries other than Korea. The stigma of single mothers is another serious topic and how that will affect acceptance from Korean parents is another topic that we weren’t able to cover this 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.
Just a very quick comic today!
For those that can’t read Korean, the funny thing is that the first syllable of Mr Gwon’s Korean name and the blood sausage dish are the same, so not only does he want to call himself something that he likes to eat, but it already sounds really similar.
Lots of our Korean friends have changed their names, it seems to be more common here than it is in Australia. What about in your country? Do many people legally change their name?
by Nic • In Korea, Korean Countryside, Korean People • Tags: korean food, korean mountains, korean nature, korean picnic, koreans, koreans and swimming, my korean husband, picnic in mountains, swimming, swimming culture
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.”
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.
Today is Memorial Day in South Korea. It is for commemorating and honouring those who have given their lives for their country.
It’s also time remember that the Korean War never officially ended. We aren’t just commemorating fallen soldiers from long ago wars, but also remembering those who have died recently while protecting their country. Soldiers are still killed in skirmishes with North Korea and in military service accidents.
Western furniture is something I really miss while in Korea. A lot of homes have barely any furniture, especially out in the countryside. My husband’s parents have a decent sized house for Korea but there is no sofa, no dining table. There are a limited amount of chairs and there is 1 single bed in the spare room. His parents sleep on the floor and we sleep on a mattress (I miss having a real bed too).
Meals are eaten on small tables (밥상) which are put away between meals. I understand why people don’t have much furniture because the space is used in a different way and traditionally Korean houses and furniture are very different to what we are used to in western countries. Furniture is also very expensive in Korea. There is not much range and it’s often quite bulky. While we now have space for a sofa technically, it would still have to be small one. Easy and cheap to get in Australia… not so easy or cheap in Korea.
My body really misses being able to relax on a sofa and I always take the opportunity to sit on them when we visit friends who have sofas. If you watch a lot of Korean dramas and Korean commercials it looks like Koreans have lots of western furniture, and houses and apartments are well furnished but that is not an accurate representation at all! It’s slightly more realistic when they are showing very wealthy families in dramas, but commercials that are supposed to be showing an average family but the average family lives in a huge apartment with lots of furniture?! Lies!
So I’m just stuck with my imagination now. Maybe if I wish really hard and believe… one will magically appear?
We’ve been super busy lately and came back from Seoul last night. We did some filming with Han and Sophie here and then we travelled to Seoul together. For those that don’t follow us on Instagram here are some of the photos.
On the bus to Seoul
Han on the bus.
Waiting to meet with the publishing company. Walking around with Alice.
We stopped by the Eat Your Kimchi studio and Martina gave Alice this game. You may have seen it in a video before.
Sophie and Alice out on Saturday night in Ilsun.
Alice watching some buskers.
The boys after Saturday night drinking, wearing ahjumma pants. Mr Gwon, Han and Daniel (Daniel will be in some videos later this year).
The boys with Alice on Sunday
Unfortunately we didn’t get to do all the filming that we wanted to get done with Han and Sophie. Sophie and I didn’t get to film our videos because of time, illness and family commitments, but we are determined to get them back to Korea this year so we can do more stuff together. They fly back to Sydney tomorrow.
So loud! Too bad if there really was a problem and I was like “Oh it’s just the taekwondo kids” and then the roof caves in on me.
I put a photo on Instagram a little while ago of the kids after their lessons playing by the river.
(Woolies is Woolworths, a major Australian supermarket).
Han and Sophie’s daughter Alice had her first birthday celebrations (돌) on the weekend. It’s a very big thing in Korea! They are a lot of fun but my husband realised how much work they are. They are more like a wedding than actual modern Korean weddings are (way more fun as well).
He was only joking about not doing them for our children, of course we have to. Sophie also pointed out that once we have a baby he is going to think his child is the best in the world and do everything for them! First birthdays are huge events but they are also well catered for. You book the package deal you want and it’s held at a special hall with a buffet and an MC and everything is provided.
I’m sure once we have a baby he is going to think we need to do much more than just buy a supermarket cake!
Here is a photo from the celebrations.