Best thing about a nice hotel room… eating what we want while watching TV in bed. We like watching the Hip Hop audition show Show Me The Money. Because we live with Mr Gwon’s parents, we really don’t have much control over what TV we watch. We don’t have a TV in our room and we can’t just watch whatever we want. (If I never see another 막장 drama again it will still be too soon…)
(For those that don’t speak English as a native language, “cranky pants” just means a person who is grumpy or irritable. It’s a funny way of saying it).
My residence cranky pants didn’t get any sleep at all because of the World Cup…
Western furniture is something I really miss while in Korea. A lot of homes have barely any furniture, especially out in the countryside. My husband’s parents have a decent sized house for Korea but there is no sofa, no dining table. There are a limited amount of chairs and there is 1 single bed in the spare room. His parents sleep on the floor and we sleep on a mattress (I miss having a real bed too).
Meals are eaten on small tables (밥상) which are put away between meals. I understand why people don’t have much furniture because the space is used in a different way and traditionally Korean houses and furniture are very different to what we are used to in western countries. Furniture is also very expensive in Korea. There is not much range and it’s often quite bulky. While we now have space for a sofa technically, it would still have to be small one. Easy and cheap to get in Australia… not so easy or cheap in Korea.
My body really misses being able to relax on a sofa and I always take the opportunity to sit on them when we visit friends who have sofas. If you watch a lot of Korean dramas and Korean commercials it looks like Koreans have lots of western furniture, and houses and apartments are well furnished but that is not an accurate representation at all! It’s slightly more realistic when they are showing very wealthy families in dramas, but commercials that are supposed to be showing an average family but the average family lives in a huge apartment with lots of furniture?! Lies!
So I’m just stuck with my imagination now. Maybe if I wish really hard and believe… one will magically appear?
These are all places that I ride my bike around regularly. Although I have discovered a lot of stuff, I never knew I could go into these historical houses. I always assumed they were private property. Now I’ve realised that I can if I want to! I usually ride around by myself but when my husband can be persuaded to join me, he does have a lot of fun too.
The old tree is said to cry the night before someone dies… which is kinda creepy! The countryside looks so pretty now, it’s such a change from how desolate it looked during winter. It’s quite nice down by the river now, but as I mentioned in the previous blog post, I’m not allowed to go swimming there.
We also managed to briefly film 2 cranes in the rice field. It’s quite cool to see a pair like that because they mate for life.
Hope you guys enjoyed that video. Let us know if there is something in particular you would like to see in the Korean countryside.
by Nic • Culture, In Korea, Korean Countryside, Relationships • Tags: dreaming within a dream, dreams, inception comic, korean husband, living with korean family, my korean husband dreaming, my korean husband inception
I woke up in a dream, thinking that I was back in Australia with my family and I was so happy. Then I wake up and realise that was just a dream and that I’m in Korea and things are terrible. Then I wake up really this time and realise I’m in Korea and everything is fine. This happened the other day and I had to make a comic about it.
What I think my subconscious is working through is this: I have a wonderful family and it’s hard to leave them, not only in the sense of leaving home and leaving my country, but in the sense of leaving and starting my own family. It’s a natural part of life but it can be difficult. My mind was probably questioning whether I’d made the right choices, what if what I chose was really bad? How does it compare to my life with my family? The dream gave me the scenario of that alternative reality. Then I woke up really and was a bit disorientated by these dreams. I go downstairs and find my wonderful husband (who would never act badly like that really) simply sitting on the floor exercising. He greets me with a big smile and I realise how wrong that dream was.
What the bad version of my husband said was also an indicator of some things I do find difficult in Korea. I am the only white person around here and people do come to look at me. Older people touch my white skin. Most days it’s fine but some days I really dislike having to be introduced to many people. But now everyone around here knows who I am so that situation the doesn’t really happen, or it’s actually something different. For example the other day my husband called me downstairs and I had a moment of feeling, “I hope it’s not more random people who want to see me,” but actually he just wanted me to see the huge fish a neighbour had caught. (Those that follow Facebook and Instagram would have seen the photo).
We had a big day out on the weekend! We went and saw cherry blossoms. At the place we went to there was also a festival and lots of people! Lots of couples. Then we went to another place where there is canola, which was beautiful as well. Korea is very beautiful at this time of the year.
There aren’t many white people here so I do get stared at a lot. It doesn’t bother me until…. it’s teenage girls walking behind me and laughing! That’s when I get paranoid. Is there something wrong with me? Do I have something on me? Are they just laughing because I’m different? Most likely it’s nothing to do with me, and they aren’t even as bad as Australian teenagers but there is still something unnerving about it. Also I don’t have the fluency in language to deal with it if something happened.
It’s so weird because of course I was once a teenage girl but the older I get the more annoying and scary teenagers get!
This was so funny to my parents-in-law because I had been speaking to my husband and I used informal language, but because of the timing it sounded like I had replied to my father-in-law with informal language which is really rude! They knew that I hadn’t done that on purpose but because it sounded like I had, they laughed so hard. Especially because my father-in-law had softly said, “It’s okay” and then I had yelled, “It’s not okay!!!”
It’s been the running joke in the house for a few days. Every time I walk into the room my parents-in-law say, “안괜찮아!”
At least I made them laugh!
He doesn’t watch that many dramas. If he watches one it tends to be a more serious one, whereas I tend to watch the romantic popular ones. I do like watching dramas with him but there are only certain dramas he will watch with me and even then it takes some persuasion. We watched A Gentleman’s Dignity and Reply 1997 together and are making our way through Reply 1994. Dramas like City Hunter he gave up on because of the romance.
That’s why it’s so funny that he is getting emotionally involved in these dramas that his parents watch in the evening. They are completely cliche soap operas but he watches them every night. Last night he got into a heated argument with his father about the characters…
Do you enjoy the food photos he posts on his Facebook and Instagram? I suffer because of them! Okay only for a few minutes. I’m not allowed to eat until he has taken a photo or video. He takes photos of everything he eats, even if he doesn’t post it online.
We are going to revamp his website soon and we are thinking maybe it should just be a food blog? What do you think?
Today’s comic is a bit sad. I always have many things to tell my mother-in-law but it’s really hard because my Korean is so basic. I studied Korean part time for 1 year but it’s only now that I’m in Korea I’m studying hard and trying to put it into use. However, speaking casually with Korean friends and throwing in lots of English is very different from speaking with my parents-in-law where I have to be speaking at a higher politeness level, and they have no English at all. Also there is the problem of dialect. Although there are things I can say in Korean it is very hard and confidence is such an important aspect of speaking in another language. Even if technically I know how to say something, it can be hard to remember it quickly enough.
I really envy my husband’s level of English because although his English is not perfect, he can express himself really well in English. I want to be able to do that in Korean. I’m studying every day but it is very overwhelming.
My husband told his mother that I have many things to say but I can’t yet, and she said she is looking forward to when I can speak well because it will be fun.