my korean husband

All Nighter 2

All Nighter

Korean society really caters to people staying out all night. There are many restaurants that are open all night and things to do well into the early hours of the morning, like noraebang (karaoke). Because we live in the countryside we either have to make sure we get the last bus at 11pm from Jinju or stay out all night. There is the option of getting a taxi, but it’s about $20 and that just seems like too much in Korea (though the same trip in Australia would be about $60!).

Hugh is not as young as he once was though, and all nighters can catch up on him, though he does a lot better than I do. I’m amazed when he comes home at 8am and then has to help his parents on the farm right away.

Lots of people have huge nights and go straight to work in the morning in Korea as well, though of course there may be consequences… like Hugh’s friend who is a hairdresser and was still drunk in the morning when she went to work and managed to cut her own fingers. Don’t think I’ll get her to cut my hair.

Due to my health problems and constant battling with fatigue, it is a part of Korea that I find difficult to keep up with. When you go out with friends for dinner, it’s not like in Australia where you have dinner and drinks and then can be home by 10pm! Instead, in Korea, you don’t just go to one restaurant, it’s normal to go to 3 or 4 and to stay out really late. I sometimes have to avoid social situations simply because I know I will be wrecked for days if I spend that much time out.

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I’m Fine Thank you AND YOU? 3

This week’s Commenting on Comments:

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Shave 16

Shave

Sometimes I don’t notice things…

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Are you in love with a Kpop star? 12

This video is probably not for a lot of our audience. But I hope some people find it helpful. I just wanted to create a resource and safe place to talk about this. It’s easy to dismiss teenage love and admiration and it’s often the butt of jokes. I wanted to use my own experiences to give some advice and help those that feel that their Kpop obsession is getting a bit out of control.

There was a lot I had to cut from the video because it was so long. It’s still really long though (Hugh complained when editing). I also wanted to talk about the problem with some entertainment companies that promote their stars in a way that sends a message of availability to young fans. That’s a big problem in Kpop and it fuels this obsessiveness. There are a lot of high profile stars who definitely have girlfriends but it’s kept hidden.

I also wanted to let young girls know that although all the guys they know in real life are probably idiots they don’t want to date… it won’t always be like that. Those idiots grow up and mature – they get better looking as well! I would have hated my husband if I had met him at 16. Anyway you’ll get older, you’ll meet cool guys, nice guys, sweet guys, handsome guys and you’ll find that you have less space in your life for an obsession with a celebrity. In fact, the normal guys you’ll meet in real life will probably end up being a way better boyfriend than a Kpop star can be. Kpop stars don’t live a normal life, especially when they started training at such a young age, and they miss out on a lot of normal experiences that can stunt them emotionally (sorry to any Kpop stars reading this!) Any relationship with a celebrity is going to be riddled with extra complications and in hindsight you are going to be glad that your teenage dreams didn’t come true, because life can get so much better than you know.

Finally, if you feel like your obsession is more than just an obsession and is combined with depression as well, please seek help.

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Back in the 80’s 2

In this week’s Commenting on Comments we talk about South Korea in the 80’s and how to apply BB cream???

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Typhoon 8

Typhoon

There’s been some typhoon-y weather lately but no damage around here. This comic idea is actually from Sara from SeoulSarang, who imagined Hugh saying “Typhoon is coming” in a Game of Thrones way. I decided the logical conclusion was to go put a rain jacket on.

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Kpop Subway 11

Kpop Subway

If it’s YG Entertainment biased, I know exactly what they are talking about! I’m up to date on that news! Usually I tune out the Korean I hear around me in public, but I could follow this conversation!

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Motel TV 5

Motel TV

So much watching people eat on Korean TV.

We’ve been in Seoul for another project and got home last night. Will be trying to catch up on videos and comics over the weekend. (Fingers crossed, still dealing with some health issues).

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Reverse Culture Shock – Australia 6

Reverse culture shock is such an interesting thing. People who have never had the experience of living in another country and then going back to their own country probably can’t understand the full extent of how shocking it can be. I had no idea how strange it would be. In some ways it can be more shocking than going to another country. You are prepared for cultural differences in another country but in your own country you expect to fit in, and then when you realise how much you’ve changed it brings up conflicted feelings about identity. As the saying (and book title) goes “You can’t go home again” because something has altered your perception and the home that you once knew doesn’t exist anymore.

Things I struggled with in Australia were the greetings and not knowing what to do. I felt anxiety that I had never felt before. I was uncomfortable meeting new people and how to interact with them. The extremes of customer service also bought on another level of anxiety because I just didn’t know what to expect because it could be either extreme or just somewhere in the middle.

In Korea I know foreigners can have trouble with the way people can push and bump in crowded cities and view that as rude, but I’ve realised in Korea it’s not personal, it’s done with blank faces and it’s just people trying to get through their day in a crowded city. In Australia, it’s so personal! You bump into someone and you don’t know what you may get. The person can smile and say, “No worries” or you can be given a look as if you’ve just murdered their whole family because they are so offended that you accidentally bumped into them.

In Korea there is more of an acceptance of mothers and babies in public places. There are many older women that are happy to help out mothers and easily chat with them or even hold your baby while you do something. It’s also normal to bring babies everywhere, especially restaurants, and be out late with them. Because I was with Sophie and Alice while in Sydney and we were out doing things in Sydney, I witnessed the way that she was treated because she is a mother. It was disturbing to me how much she was dismissed and treated as if she was taking up precious space because she had a child with her. Also because we sometimes switched who had Alice or the pram, it would have sometimes appeared that I was the mother and I felt those looks and disapproval directed to me. At one point I had hold of the (pretty small and lightweight pram/stroller) and was trying to get a hold of Alice who starting to run just out of my reach in a shopping centre. A business woman in her 50’s or 60’s had to side step around the pram as I frantically tried to grab a 2 year old, and she did so with the nastiest look on her face and a very audible sigh and eye roll. Oh I’m sorry that you had to go sideways ONE STEP that took ONE SECOND. I was incredibly shocked at how easily people showed their displeasure to strangers. I can see how a more community orientated society has a lot of benefits for mothers in Korea. You also see many of the grandparents looking after the children in Korea too and it’s normal to be out in public with young children. I also see a lot less public tantrums from children in Korea too.

Some great things about Australia, in particular Sydney, was the multiculturalism and the access to lots of different food! Ironically it’s easier to get authentic Asian food (other than Korean) in Australia than it is in Korea. While it’s definitely getting better in Korea, it’s still normal for foreign food to be made by Koreans and be extremely adjusted for Korean tastes. In Sydney, in Thai town, we had $4 boat noodle soup with Han and Sophie because it was a Thai place that catered to Thai people, whereas in Korea it’s less authentic and more expensive. Being more multicultural allows for there to be more authentic cuisine and a huge variation of food. But on the other hand, restaurant prices on a whole in Australia were more expensive than normal Korean food restaurants in Korea.

Another thing I didn’t mention was how much skin people show! Seeing low cut tops and cleavage was quite shocking to me in Australia. In Korea it’s okay to show the legs, but not the chest, back and shoulders. While in Korea it can be annoying to not be able to wear skimpy tops in summer, I really have changed how I think about what are appropriate clothes.

Of course both countries have pros and cons, but sometimes you don’t really realise what they are for your own country until you live in another country.

As always, these are just our opinions and our experiences.

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Comic Tomorrow 4

Comic tomorrow

So that happened… I had problems with my laptop yesterday that took a long time to fix and it’s really frustrating when you don’t have the money to buy a new laptop yet. It’s okay now I think, but I got really behind in all my work and then Hugh reminded me about the comic for the next day and asked what I was going to draw. I snarkily said, “You butt” and decided to go with that!

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Why do Koreans use toilet paper like this? 9

This is definitely something that doesn’t bother me while I’m in Korea, but if we were living in Australia in our own place I’d have all the paper in the “right places”. Since my parents usually have Koreans boarding with them my mother has made a rule of no toilet paper in the kitchen. While it’s natural for Koreans to have it with them while cooking, it’s too odd for Australians to be using it as much a multipurpose thing.

We do have kitchen towel in the kitchen at my inlaws house here, but I think I use it more than anyone. I use it when cooking and as a serviette/napkin while everyone else is using the toilet paper. Having meals in Korea is vastly different to what I grew up with as well because the style of eating is so different. I would definitely fold the napkins into nice shapes and place them on the plates for nice dinners or when we had guests in Australia.

What Hugh said about sometimes using newspaper for toilet paper as a child was surprising for me. It is interesting to see how different our childhoods were.

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Wedding Anniversary 9

Anniversary

Will I?…. Will I really?

I’m pretty terrible with dates and hardly remember anything, I even looked at the date yesterday and didn’t remember it was our anniversary. We do have 3 wedding anniversaries though (registry, Australian and Korean) so if we do miss one, there are others to celebrate. I also have a very understanding husband who doesn’t expect much but likes spoiling me, so we still had a nice dinner together. And part of my present was BIGBANG concert tix!

(Quick give me ideas for what I can do for our Korean wedding anniversary!!!!!)

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More Cookies 16

More Cookies

Since there isn’t really a baking culture in Korea, for some Koreans (my husband in particular) tasting real home made cookies can be like a religious experience. In Korea, cookies (or biscuits in Australian/British English) are just store bought ones and even ones in cafes are not that good. Whenever we are in Australia Hugh demands more and more cookies. There are a lot of people living at my parents’ house so he was very concerned about other people eating the cookies. Several times I caught him trying to hide the container of cookies in our room.

It’s also interesting comparing childhood experiences with Koreans in regards to cooking. For example, baking is a relatively safe activity to do with children and my siblings and I were able to bake and make cakes and cookies from an early age. Since most homes in Korea don’t have ovens, it isn’t possible to get children baking at a young age and other types of cooking (stove top cooking) are more dangerous for young children. Not only are baking skills not learnt early on in Korea, but even buying simple baking items like measuring cups and wooden spoons can be difficult.

Did you learn how to bake when you were young?

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Back in Korea! 1

Unfortunately we haven’t had nice weather here yet. I can see that it’s spring and it will be very pretty but it’s been raining since we got back.

As we mentioned in the video, I’ve just easily gone back to our normal life here while Hugh has felt a bit weird and maybe some reverse culture shock again. He was the one that fitted easily back into Australian culture, so it’s interesting how that works out.

Link to the Nicholalala Webtoons here.

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Back from Australia: Pics post 0

We are back in Korea! We did film some things in Australia and have a few more vlogs to upload, but mostly it was a holiday for us. We have a bunch of photos to show you (mostly food) and then we’ll be back to normal schedule!

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