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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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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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.
Quick video up on the Nicholalala channel. There was so many dragonflies as I went for a walk near the Han river.
Martina comes to visit her old stuff! Simon and Martina (Eat Your Kimchi) were in Korea for a few days and Martina came to visit our apartment (Simon was sick unfortunately). A lot of our furniture is from their old apartment and their studio. It has been such a big help to us to already have this furniture and not having to buy it all once we moved to Seoul. We are really lucky to have them as friends. We actually talked about when we first met in Sydney years ago, and how far we’ve come.
Going back to the countryside was a bit strange. There were things that were comfortable, but other things that were weird. Also not really having a purpose because its not our home anymore leaves a weird feeling of not knowing what to do.
Rainy season has started! There is no way to not get soaked during this time. Luckily it’s not every day, just a more days of torrential rain during this time.
I saw a quote that was something like “Marriage is asking each other what you want to eat until you die” haha. Hugh is sneaky as he always gets in first and asks me what we should eat so I can suggest 10 things that he can say no to. Although I can be a pickier eater, he is pickier when choosing what we should eat because he takes his food so seriously.
Our second week in Seoul and yet it feels like we have been here for so long! In this episode we talk about celebrity sightings, show some more of our area and talk about what we do for a living.
It’s been great to easily go to restaurants we like as well as being able to cook at home. We are slowly exploring more and more of our area.
We quite regularly walk past the YG Entertainment building on the way to the station and there are ALWAYS fans there, but it’s actually pretty rare to see much there. Last night we went for a walk and there were a few fans waiting at 1:30am! The funny thing is that Bigbang members can be in the area… but just not there. I notice a lot of fans that wait are international fans, I think some people fly into Korea to just sit in front of the YG building. I totally understand wanting to see it and wait for a bit, but I’ve seen fans who have been there for 6 hours or more, because I walk past earlier and hours later when I have to walk past again… they are still there… Anyway we were pretty lucky to randomly see Taeyang like that when just walking home.
If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section or on social media and we may answer next video!