While I was getting my hair cut and coloured in Seoul, Mr Gwon went and ate some Japanese ramen with our friend Charlotte. Finding authentic Japanese ramen can be hard in Korea – we’ve eaten some terrible Koreanized ramen before – but Charlotte showed Mr Gwon this place in Hongdae. It’s called Menya Sandaime and seems to all be Japanese people working there. Many famous people have also visited. But I didn’t get to try……..
So you guys asked us to vlog while we were in Seoul… so we did!
There may be more of these vlog style videos coming soon as we’ll be travelling with my brother and sister.
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.
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.
Han and Hugh talk about what movie they would like to be in. They also talk about what Kpop group they want to be in and which members they would kick out…
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.
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.”
Daniel’s first Ask Korean Guys video! The guys talk about awkward back hugs in Korean dramas.
So back hugs? They are used in Korean dramas so much! I guess it can look really romantic on screen but as they guys said, they usually use them in a different way. Hugh uses them when he is too ashamed to look at my face because he did something bad and I’m angry at him. I think they are sometimes used in dramas that way too – but it’s really not romantic. Daniel uses them to be annoying apparently.
Blogging is full time for us. He takes on the boss/manager role and he is quite good at it. He keeps track better than I do. If I had a job title it would probably be Creative Director. I do most of the creative stuff and guide the way things look but I do need someone to organise me. He also acts like a manager in regards to working with the publishing company and stuff for the book.
HOWEVER, sometimes he is not good at putting the pressure on himself. You’ll notice there isn’t a Mr Gwon Time video every week. Sometimes we are genuinely so busy that we can’t. Other times he has left it to the last minute and then just wants to skip it. But on days that I say I want to skip doing a comic… the look he gives me!
Anyway, you guys should always harass him about that! Or at least give him some good ideas. Help him get into a creative mind.
So what about others involved in the blog? What are their jobs? Sophie does a lot of creative stuff with me. We sometimes work together thinking about video ideas and scripting and she occasionally does comics.
Han… well Han is just talent. He isn’t involved in video ideas and setting up. He is literally the star that just walks on set and goes in front of the camera. We’ll have to wait and see what roles Daniel (and his girlfriend Chloe) fit into. Though I think it’s pretty clear that Daniel is eye candy talent. Though maybe he has some other skills too!
Speaking of Han and Sophie. Even though they are in Australia they are going to film a video answering your questions, so leave some questions for them in the comment section.