Relationships

Relationships with Koreans- friendships and romance

Very Interesting 22

Very Interesting

You don’t have to marry someone who shares all the same interests as you… in fact it’s pretty hard to find someone with the exact interests! We have a lot of things in common but I’m interested in a lot of things he is not interested in and vice versa, so sometimes we have to listen to each other’s tangents.

I like listening to university lectures when I work sometimes and I’m currently listening to a course called ‘Understanding the Human Impact: Life and its Impact’. It’s really interesting to me but Mr Gwon doesn’t always appreciate me talking about the domestication of all the food that is on the table.

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Nice Night 10

nice night (800x800)

Best thing about a nice hotel room… eating what we want while watching TV in bed. We like watching the Hip Hop audition show Show Me The Money. Because we live with Mr Gwon’s parents, we really don’t have much control over what TV we watch. We don’t have a TV in our room and we can’t just watch whatever we want. (If I never see another 막장 drama again it will still be too soon…)

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Talking to himself 13

Talking to himself

Awww so sweet.

In other news, we are super busy right now. The book is going to be released NEXT MONTH and we still have so much to do. Also my brother and sister are visiting for a week soon so we will be travelling around. There may be less comics and videos this month. Once this hectic time has finished we will go back to a normal schedule.

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Big Butts 27

Big Butts

He likes big butts and he cannot lie….

One interesting aspect of being married – or even being around – someone from another culture who speaks English as a second language is the way they can say things that kinda sound offensive but it’s meant as a compliment. Sophie and I mentioned it in a video and talked about our husbands saying things like, “I like it when you are a bit chubby”. For us there can be negative connotations to things like that, but it’s not meant in a negative way. The same way the first time Koreans told me that I have a small face, I thought they were insulting me.

It’s also interesting the way standards for beauty often relate to things that are unobtainable for some people. I’m always amazed to see butt padding or “butt bras” in Korean underwear shops for women to make their butts look bigger.

For me, comments about the size of my rear end can carry the remnants of embarrassing moments from teenage years. Although I was always considered to be on the thinner size, I’ve never been flat in that area. One teenage moment that springs to mind was dressing up as the Spice Girls with friends, and I was ‘Posh Spice’ and wearing a tight dress. Another girl rudely commented about how big my butt was in front of everyone… Combine that with reading magazines containing articles about how to make your butt smaller and tighter…

None of that matters now, and I’ve learning to shake off that negativity. Beauty can be so subjective. Whatever shape you are, there will be someone who likes it.

I just still sometimes have that 1 second of thinking something is an insult before realising it’s a compliment.

 

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Things to consider when dating/marrying a Korean guy 29

This is quite a long video because there are a lot of things to talk about. Sophie and I will address certain topics more in depth later so now is the time to ask questions!

Everyone has different experiences but Sophie and I made a list of a bunch of things to consider when dating a Korean guy with the intention of marriage.

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Poking 35

Poking

Okay, if you have a Korean partner you have probably experienced this. It’s a silly thing that Koreans start doing as children and something that many adults continue to do, much to the annoyance of others. The hands are placed in a certain way… and the butt is the target. There is a reason that one of the first things I learnt how to say in Korean was “똥꼬 안돼!”

 

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Inception 16

Inception

I woke up in a dream, thinking that I was back in Australia with my family and I was so happy. Then I wake up and realise that was just a dream and that I’m in Korea and things are terrible. Then I wake up really this time and realise I’m in Korea and everything is fine. This happened the other day and I had to make a comic about it.

What I think my subconscious is working through is this: I have a wonderful family and it’s hard to leave them, not only in the sense of leaving home and leaving my country, but in the sense of leaving and starting my own family. It’s a natural part of life but it can be difficult. My mind was probably questioning whether I’d made the right choices, what if what I chose was really bad? How does it compare to my life with my family? The dream gave me the scenario of that alternative reality. Then I woke up really and was a bit disorientated by these dreams. I go downstairs and find my wonderful husband (who would never act badly like that really) simply sitting on the floor exercising. He greets me with a big smile and I realise how wrong that dream was.

What the bad version of my husband said was also an indicator of some things I do find difficult in Korea. I am the only white person around here and people do come to look at me. Older people touch my white skin. Most days it’s fine but some days I really dislike having to be introduced to many people. But now everyone around here knows who I am so that situation doesn’t really happen, or it’s actually something different. For example the other day my husband called me downstairs and I had a moment of feeling, “I hope it’s not more random people who want to see me,” but actually he just wanted me to see the huge fish a neighbour had caught. (Those that follow Facebook and Instagram would have seen the photo).

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Popcorn 23

We are resuming comics from today but we are not yet sure when we will start videos again.

Popcorn

He doesn’t like popcorn! Who doesn’t like popcorn?! I love popcorn but didn’t get it all the time in Australia because it’s ridiculously expensive at the cinema. It’s cheaper in Korea so I always want it. He hates it and gets dried squid instead. Popcorn is obviously not a high priority for him when we are rushing to go see a movie.

He has also become interested in fashion that is a bit “younger” than what his countryside friends wear which is why he was stopping to look at snapbacks. When he sees his friends here they comment that he still looks like a university student. Meanwhile his friends have settling into more middle aged style of clothing and have aged more due to heavy smoking and drinking.

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Henry 58

Henry

His man crush of the moment is on Henry because he has been watching him in that TV show (male celebrities experience being in the army).

One of the things I like about Korea and Korean guys is that they can openly show affection for other men without feeling like they are compromising their masculinity. They compliment each others’ appearances and show physical affection easily. It’s normal to have what we may call a crush on another man, but in a platonic way. A good example of this is seeing how excited Kim Woo Bin was when G-Dragon called him.

I’ve definitely seen a clash of cultures before when I’ve seen Korean men turn to Australian men and say “You are very handsome”. Completely normal for a Korean men to say that, but it’s not something Aussie guys are used to hearing from straight men and they can feel a bit uncomfortable.

While I was making this comic my husband stopped me in the middle of it because he wanted to show me another video of Henry…

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Babies on Facebook 21

Babies on Facebook

How things change! Once you start thinking about having kids, babies become a lot more interesting. I also think that because it’s closer friends having babies now I’m much happier to be bombarded with photos.

And of course there is the extra element of what our kids will look like. When we were on the train coming back from Suwon the other week, we met a family where the father was Caucasian American and the wife was Korean. They had 2 adorable little girls. As it happened, they were going to get passports renewed and had photo albums with them to prove the kids are theirs, so the father showed us photos of the girls as babies and how their looks changed. They had green and blue eyes when born that changed to brown and their hair colour had darkened as they got older.

Han and Sophie have the cutest baby in the world, and seeing their baby Alice is also exciting for us because we are similar to them and we can start to speculate about our future kids. And for those wondering – no pregnancy announcements any time soon. We still have a lot of stuff we need to do before having a kid.

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Many things to say 64

Mnay things to say

Today’s comic is a bit sad. I always have many things to tell my mother-in-law but it’s really hard because my Korean is so basic. I studied Korean part time for 1 year but it’s only now that I’m in Korea I’m studying hard and trying to put it into use. However, speaking casually with Korean friends and throwing in lots of English is very different from speaking with my parents-in-law where I have to be speaking at a higher politeness level, and they have no English at all. Also there is the problem of dialect. Although there are things I can say in Korean it is very hard and confidence is such an important aspect of speaking in another language. Even if technically I know how to say something, it can be hard to remember it quickly enough.

I really envy my husband’s level of English because although his English is not perfect, he can express himself really well in English. I want to be able to do that in Korean. I’m studying every day but it is very overwhelming.

My husband told his mother that I have many things to say but I can’t yet, and she said she is looking forward to when I can speak well because it will be fun.

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Alone for a Day 13

Alone for a day

Some days we talk all day and are joined at the hip all day, but other days we might not see each other that much even though we are in the same house. My desk is upstairs and it’s much warmer up there so I’ll be working or studying there. My husband has to look after the tiny shop his parents have (mostly snacks for students) while they work in the greenhouses. So some days we don’t see each other as much but I know he is nearby. When he went to Seoul for a day nothing was that different, but not having his presence in the house made me so lonely.

Also, sometimes even though we are in the same house we talk on kakao talk to each other, and some people noticed I tweeted at him the other day to come upstairs… hehe

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Surprise 18

Surprise

It was like Christmas! Seriously, the last time I got a new bike was a Christmas a very long time ago. I was really reluctant to go downstairs at first because my husband hadn’t told me why. Often when I’m called downstairs it’s because someone in the village wants to meet me. Sometimes it is properly meeting – there was one nice guy who wanted so speak English with me – but sometimes it feels more like they have just come to stare at the white person. Sometimes I’m in a happy mood to deal with that, other times I’m feeling a bit more introverted. I thought it was a situation like that, where someone wants to see me because they have rarely ever seen a white person and I was worried how I looked. My mood changed instantly when I saw the pink bike!

My mother-in-law felt bad for me that I’m working in our room most of the time. I really like long walks but my husband doesn’t and it’s not a good idea for me to wander off alone around here. But now I have a bike to ride around the village! The neighbours joked that I’ll run away now that I’ll have a bike because they saw me racing up and down the road on it.

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Party Poppers 11

Party poppers

Yeah, he is an annoying older brother.

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New Haircut 35

New haircut

He gets really shy about compliments because I don’t think he has actually received that many in his life. He was never the handsome guy so it’s strange for him that people now compliment him. He doesn’t really fit into the  general Korean girls’ standard of beauty so when international people say something like, “You look like this actor” or “You look like this Kpop star” he gets embarrassed and says he hopes Korean girls don’t see those comments because he dreads to see their reactions.

For example, last night he was playing poker with my brother and some Korean girls and I walked in and affectionately called him a “handsome boy” because I like his new haircut. A Korean girl there immediately reacted with such disdain, “Handsome boy???” He then pointed out that his wife is allowed to call him a handsome boy regardless of what anyone else thinks!

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