My Korean Husband

Intercultural Life

Tag: in korea

Those Shoes

Those Shoes

Don’t ever trust that messages have been passed on.

While On Duty (군대 똥 이야기)

I have to make it clear that this comic is NOT about my husband. It is about a friend of ours who very kindly allowed me to use the story of what happened to him while in the army. All South Korean men have to do about 2 years compulsory military duty, which they usually do in their early 20’s. Therefore Korean men have a lot of stories about being in the army. Some are sad but others, like this one, are funny.

Uh oh…. standard Army underwear has the soldier’s name on it. Technically the underwear belongs to the South Korean Army… and he used it to wipe his butt.

He was punished of course, he had to carry 40 kilos of weights and run about 5 kilometers. He laughs when he tells the story though.

Here is the same comic but in Korean this time:

Frog

Last year we stayed with my husband’s parents for a month. They live in a very rural area of South Korea and their house is surrounded by rice fields. At night we could hear the frogs singing loudly but one night I was surprised to find one in our room. I have no idea how it got inside the house, especially as our room was upstairs.

It’s true I have zoo keeper training, but I don’t work in the industry at the moment. However, I knew what I was talking about, though my husband had ideas of his own…

I let him catch the frog for his male pride (I’m always the one to catch things like spiders) but he then refused to listen to me and tore apart the room for 20 minutes trying to find this frog. Of course it was just hiding while he heaved things around. I don’t know what his parents thought we were doing… it was late at night and there was a lot of banging and crashing.

Eventually after we did exactly what I said to do we saw the frog, grabbed him, and then he went back outside again.

 

Who knows the word for ‘frog’ in Korean?

Shoes

shoesoff

So in Korea, Japan… and probably most of Asia… NO SHOES INSIDE! Even though many Australian families may choose to not wear shoes inside it’s not a cultural norm here. It’s completely acceptable to wear shoes inside here. Because of this when I’m in Korea or Japan I have such a hard time. I’m so slow! Korean and Japanese people can take their shoes off so fast and and slip them back on in 1 second. I’m always left behind fumbling with my shoes. It’s actually something that stresses me out a bit because I know I end up looking like an idiot. Sometimes when trying to get shoes back on quickly while standing up and I’ve fallen over…

I know part of the problem is that many of my shoes are difficult to get on and off- because they were bought in Australia- whereas Koreans are usually wearing shoes that are easier to remove. And simply because I’m not used to doing it. I wasn’t born in a country where this is normal.

Hopefully I’ll get used to the constant taking off shoes. When we find an apartment in Sydney it’s probably going to be set up in a more Korean style so shoes will have to come off. At the moment I’m at the parent’s house in my hometown while my husband is job and apartment hunting in Sydney.

Also, just trying out another style of drawing which is why this comic looks different to others.

Korea has a lot of mountains

many mountains in koreaHe knows how to annoy me.

Bicycles

I rarely get to ride a bicycle as an adult, though I loved riding when I was a kid. There isn’t a good casual bike riding culture in Australia and the laws are more restrictive so I don’t own a bike anymore.

Two of my favourite more recent memories involve riding bicycles. One memory is of riding bicycles through the streets of Tokyo with my brother (who lives there), and the other was last year riding around my husband’s hometown.

His hometown is actually more of a village… full of old people. His family lives in a very rural part of Korea. But actually it was nice being there. I loved riding along the paths that crisscrossed through the rice fields with the mountains and the river in the background.

We only had two bikes and because my legs are longer than his I took the larger bike while he was stuck with the smaller pink bike.. haha (he is actually taller than me, it’s just that my legs are long). He didn’t complain… much.

 

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