We’ve been seeing this eyebrow gel all over the Korean beauty blogs on Facebook, so Hugh wanted to try it out. He always wants thicker eyebrows, but is too lazy to use an eyebrow powder or pencil every day. This stuff actually stains the skin underneath the eyebrow and you peel it off after it dried. Unfortunately it isn’t exactly what he wanted and expected…
If you are completely unfamiliar with Korean culture and respectful terms, this comic might be a little bit difficult to understand.
The longer we’ve been back in Korean culture, the more Hugh likes being called “Oppa”. Since it was my birthday recently, my age “caught up” to his. This doesn’t happen in Korean age because everyone’s age goes up at the same time at the start of the year. But in international age there are a few months where our ages are the same. Hugh pointed this out. In Korea if someone is the same age as you it means you are friends in the sense that neither person needs to use a respectful name for the other, because neither is older than the other. It allows for much more relaxed speech and manners usually.
So I took the opportunity to act like a “chingu” instead of a “dongseng” (the younger one in the relationship). Used to be an “oppa”, Hugh suddenly realised he had made a terrible mistake…
In English I am very free and comfortable and can tease him with no problems. But in Korean, in a Korean setting he suddenly realised how different it was if he wasn’t my Oppa anymore. Especially because I used the opportunity to be rude.
Hugh says: I was saying, “You are the same as my age now! Hahaha!” And making fun, but actually it’s not good for me. I still like to be called Oppa.
Cicadas are soooo loud in Seoul, so I had a theory…
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In this week’s Seoul Life video we talk about our latest Kpop encounter, show some old Korean commercials, visit beautiful parks and Hugh gets a surprise present (even though it was my birthday! haha).
In every city you come across some weird things sometimes. We couldn’t make a Seoul Life video (because busy while my mother was visiting) but we put together a few things we have filmed recently. The streets being bug sprayed, cats with colourful tails and watching men go down into the sewers. The bug spray thing is quite strange to me because I don’t think that type of thing has been done in Australia for so long. I have no idea what exactly they are spraying with but it conjures up images from the past of DDT… which is always worrying. But it’s banned in South Korea… so I do wonder what they are using? Let me know if you know more about it!
by Nic • Culture, Relationships • Tags: australian culture, how we make our marriage work, intercultural couple, intercultural marriage, international couple, international marriage, korean culture, korean husband, my korean husband, western woman korean man
We get a lot of messages where people need advice and we do out best to answer them. We decided it was time to make a video talking about how we make our marriage work and what things we do to make a happy life together. The video was actually over 30 mins long but of course cut down, so there was many more things we had to say!
We wrote down what we wanted to say, but I ended up doing more of the talking because Hugh isn’t as comfortable in English for a more scripted video BUT if you get him in person he will talk your ear off!
by Nic • Korean Language, Random silly, Relationships • Tags: english pet name pumpkin, hobak, intercultural marriage, international marriage, meaning of pumpkin in korean, pumpkin in korean, pumpkin korean
Hugh says: Pumpkin (hobak in Korean), the pumpkin flower is beautiful but pumpkins in Korea have a lot of wrinkles and creases so it doesn’t look pretty. So we say apples and watermelon are pretty. There is even a saying when someone is putting on a lot of makeup to try and look good, “Do you think you can look pretty just by paining black lines on you?” (Like a watermelon).
Even though I know pumpkin means something different in English, and Nichola will use the English word, my automatic reaction is to not like it. So I just tease her saying I mean both meanings when I say “pumpkin”.
by Nic • In Korea, Korean History, Korean People • Tags: intercultural marriage, korea has changed so much, korean history, korean modern history, my korean husband, paju modern history museum, south korea modern history, youtubers in korea
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.
This was filmed just before we moved to Seoul. It was the same day that we visited ancestral burial mounds, and met a lot of family members and went to the place Hugh grew up. As we were traveling home, to my surprise, we turned into the Dinosaur Museum in Goseong. It’s actually a huge area and we didn’t have enough time to explore all the coastline. I was quite interested in the exhibits, but other family members were not as interested. It’s really hard to enjoy slowly (and to have the time to film) with people rushing through museums. Hugh and I will have to go back again sometime so we can enjoy it more.
The dinosaur footprints were very cool to see, and there was so many of them! The coastline is really beautiful in that area. I recommend checking it out if you are in the area, or even making the trip is worth it.
Goseong is in Gyeongsangnam-do. More info here.
We didn’t have time to sit down and film and talk as much as we usually do for ‘Seoul Life’ because my mum is here for 2 weeks and my brother and his girlfriend were here for a few days. This video is a bit more random. Hugh tries to play Pokemon Go, I find a cheese shop, we go to a restaurant called Pork University and spend time with family. And we find a random Ferrari.
My brother visited for a weekend and went busking in Hongdae. Unfortunately we had torrential rain for most of the weekend, but it cleared up enough for him to go busking for a short time. He has performed in many countries but this was the first time in South Korea. A lot of people commented later saying they wish they had known he would be playing, but until the last minute we really were not sure if he would be able to. He will come back sometime though. My brother is a full time drummer (and also plays real drums of course), he plays in bands but also regularly does bucket drumming. A video of him playing went viral a few years ago and since then he has been invited to play at events around the world. He also does a lot of live streaming now where he teaches some drumming techniques or streams his busking.
I have yet been able to enforce this rule. Maybe never having our own place and never the freedom to be completely nude before has caused this situation of constant nudity at home now.
It has lead to some interesting situations, like the story we told in our recent SEOUL LIFE video.