My Korean Husband

Intercultural Life

Tag: korea (page 1 of 7)

Low Furniture

Hugh’s parents’ house is traditional in the sense that most of the living is done down on the floor, so the furniture is very low. This means so many things are in easy reach for a baby! Our apartment in Seoul is more baby proofed so we can relax a bit, but when we went back for Chuseok we had to be “on” the whole time. Yul wanted to touch EVERYTHING! Of course it was all tempting, but so many dangerous things around. Someone had to be hovering above him at all times. In comparison, Hugh’s sister has a modern apartment and it’s a lot easier when we visit her as it’s safer for Yul to crawl around.

I’ve been told that because of the low furniture in Korea parents often resort to walkers for babies to keep them contained, so they can’t reach as much, but they are frowned upon in other countries and outright banned in some as they can be dangerous. So we’ll just have to be super careful while we visit in the countryside.

But seriously, babies want to touch EVERYTHING!

Alice walks into YG Entertainment to ask if Bigbang is there

4 year old walks into YG Entertainment to ask if BIGBANG is there.

Most people will know Sophie and Han’s daughter Alice from several of our videos. The other week Sophie, Alice and baby Gyo were visiting us and the walk from the bus stop goes past YG Entertainment. Alice likes Bigbang and has even been to a Bigbang concert before so she knows the YG building as “Bigbang’s house”. As we were walking back from the shops and passing YG, Alice was asking about Bigbang. We told her that as it’s a Sunday they won’t be there (which is usually true). Since she is so confident she decided to walk right into the YG driveway and ask the security guard if they were there. The security guard was very nice to her but told her they aren’t there. Usually fans are stopped before getting that far but they let her in and the security guard had a smile on his face. Alice speaks more Korean than English so the whole exchange was in Korean.

I posted this video on Instagram and it got a great response so decided to post it on YouTube too. So many people relate to Alice wanting to see Bigbang. Even some Kpop news sites picked up the story.

Thank you to everyone for all the positive comments across social media. Her mother’s Instagram is here.

Here is a photo of Alice earlier in the day:

 

How much do you wish that you had the confidence of a 4 year old? haha

This is just one of the mistakes I’ve made in Korean! It’s hard learning a second language and not knowing how words are related or not related at all. At least Hugh got a good laugh out of my dumb assumption.

Our audience can be quite fragmented. We have people who only read the comics, people who only watch our videos and some who only follow the Nicholalala webtoon. This new series is a way of showing the comics to the YouTube audience and to discuss them further as a couple.

When I posted this comic there were people who said they thought the same thing, so I felt a little less dumb! Let us know what other comics you’d like us to revisit in a video!

Original comic is here.

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Raw Fish

I really did think this for a while because I’ve never been to one! I’ve never worked in a Korean company. Luckily it isn’t compulsorily to eat hwe at hweshiks because it seems to be a food that divides people. I’m not really a fan of Korean raw fish. A lot of Korean seafood can be quite chewy and some people do love it being chewy. We don’t though! I’m also glad that we work from home and don’t need to go to hweshiks because a lot of people seem frustrated when they have to attend and they go for such a long time. In Korea it’s very hard to bail and leave early. It’s actually one of the big problems facing Korean families and I’m sure the Korean government could raise the declining birth rate (which they are so desperate to do) if they just had a better work life environment for working parents. It’s hard to have children when work expects so much of your time outside of work hours, especially when it requires heavy drinking.

Why do Koreans love mukbangs?

We talk about the popularity of mukbangs in Korea and how that plays out in real life. Often western journalists want to reduce the idea of mukbangs to a simple sentence when they write articles about them but in reality there are many cultural reasons why Koreans love them.

Western journalists also have this idea that all mukbangs are about eating SO much food. While some people do that, it’s not what mukbangs have to be. It’s literally just someone eating while being broadcast, usually through livestreaming. Someone can even just be drinking as the Korean word it derives from means both to eat or drink. Often articles will say that mukbangs are popular because more and more Koreans live alone and are eating alone so if they are watching someone eat they feel less alone.

It can be part of it for some people, but that type of explanation ignores the fact that Koreans just love to watch others eat. It’s not surprising when you look at South Korea’s history of rapidly becoming a developed country. Even within Hugh’s lifetime he remembers not that much food when he was young and there not being much meat. His parents only had meat a few times a year when they were young because it was so expensive back then. Food is something still very special and in living memory there were times where there was not that much food. If a mother is able to cook well for her children she wants to see them enjoy it and gets enjoyment herself from watching them eat.

Hugh has a story from his grandparents that when people had a dried fish, they wouldn’t eat it right away, but would hang it from the ceiling and look at it while just eating rice and imagine they were tasting fish instead of rice. These days there are copious amounts of food in Korea, and it’s very cheap. There are many TV shows that show close ups of people eating food and food sounds are accentuated for the camera. Often in western cooking shows the eating part is just a small section at the end of the show, but Korean shows will show a much longer time of people eating and enjoying the food. For me as a nonKorean I really don’t like the sounds of someone eating or seeing a closeup of their mouth as they eat, but it’s very common on TV here. Korea’s relationship with food now has been shaped by their hard times in the past.

So now with food so easily accessible people tend to be more worried about gaining weight. People on diets like to watch mukbangs because they get satisfaction watching someone else eat. This plays out in real life too. Many times I’ve been with a Korean friend and at a restaurant and cafe and they will buy me food and when I ask them what they are eating they will say, “Oh nothing, I’m on a diet. I just want to watch you eat.” That would be very strange in Australia! When Hugh is sick he wants me to do a personal mukbang for him. So because he can’t eat he will watch me eating closely and even tell me what food to eat so he can feel satisfaction from what I’m eating.

People who do mukbangs, and are very popular, don’t necessarily speak a lot while doing them. They will answer some questions but often people are just telling them “eat this thing now” or “eat these together”. It’s not necessarily about the social aspect as much but the enjoyment of watching someone else eat.

What about in your country? Do you like to watch people eat?

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SEOUL LIFE: Halloween and Weird Shrimp

In this Seoul Life we talk about Halloween in Korea, what we plan to do in Seoul and Hugh eats something weird. Also BTS album giveaway! Please comment over on YouTube to enter the giveaway.

Swarm of Dragonflies

Quick video up on the Nicholalala channel. There was so many dragonflies as I went for a walk near the Han river.

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