So you’ve found yourself in Korea, whether it’s for school or for work, intending to stay awhile. You have been looking for friends, and now find that romance might also be in the air.
However, as you’ve already heard that the dating culture in Korea can be rather different from what you’re used to back home – especially if you come from a country outside of Asia – you’re cautious and want to get more information before going for that cute girl from the cafe or that hunky guy at the bookstore since you know they’re from a Korean culture.
Bibimbap (비빔밥) is what I often share with people as their first venture into Korean food (also anglicized as bi bim bap or bi bim bop). The word literally means “mixed rice.”
Traditionally, it’s served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste), soy sauce, or doenjang (a fermented soybean paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The hot dish is stirred together thoroughly just before eating.
There’s a mutation in the latte wielding left’s discourse, a phraseology new to this six-year long expat, and it’s more decadent than a Cinnabon/coke combo at the connection airport. Here’s a bite: “Oh I know…(its my) white boy problems” or the “yeah….white girl issues..I know”, among other similar sentiments. What to make of this curious new flourish in mainstream American discourse, which agonized my soul’s stomach on several different occasions during my summer’s re-acquaintance?
The “they” opposed to the “we” of the “white-boy/girl” implied in this methane ass cloud of self-indulgence has expanded out to include all minorities regardless of their “first, second, or third world” (an obsolete metric, if it were ever cogent) status. Simultaneously, the rectal offenders insinuate that all white people suffer from this decadent state of affairs, regardless of how many ironic tattoos they don’t have.
As an English speaker, Korean is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. Anyone who's studied Korean can tell you this: it takes a lot of time and effort to learn. But I wondered what Korean people thought about their language. Would Koreans think that their language was difficult to learn... or even easy to learn?
The two questions that I asked them specifically were these: “한국어가 배우기 어려운 언어라고 생각하세요?” (“Is Korean a difficult language to learn?”), and “한국어를 배우는 사람들에게 응원의 말 부탁 드릴게요.” (“Any words of encouragement for people who are learning Korean?”).
There may not be a sport as closely tied to fashion as tennis. Okay, so NBA basketball players have gotten some attention of late for some incredibly eccentric looks, and that’s fun. But professional tennis players, particularly on the women’s side, often show off looks that people will actually want to imitate. Sometimes they do it through the athletic wear they bring to the courts, and sometimes they show up looking effortlessly glamorous at side events, or even in interviews following their matches. Fashion is something a lot of WTA tennis players take pride in, and with the U.S. Open now underway we thought we’d highlight some of the icons in the sport.
As kids, we usually don’t second guess adults. We pretty much take them at their word, which makes sense, since they’ve put in the time, and (in theory) have amassed the necessary knowledge. Sometimes they get it wrong, but when we’re young we generally view adults as infallible. It wasn’t until my teens that I began to question the wisdom of this arrangement, and by my late twenties I came to understand that as adults, we definitely don’t have it figured out. In fact, we’re just making it all up as we go along and hoping for the best. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.
I've gotten lost more times than I can count while riding the subway in Korea. I'm fairly 길치, which means that I'm not good at maps or directions. But even someone like me can get around the subway because of how simple it is to use. It might look scary, but the Seoul subway is one of the world's most advanced subway systems. It's simple to use, and I'll teach you how it works and how to get around. I'll also tell you what to look out for if you don't want to get lost like me.
There’s nothing better than planning a vacation, especially one that you’re really excited about. You buy your tickets, pack your bags, and then the best part: you begin to daydream about your trip as you plan your itinerary, making a list of the places you must see while you’re away from home. As the list gets longer, your excitement grows, and before you know it it’s time to go!
If you’re studying the Korean language, a trip to Korea is one of the absolute best things you can do for yourself. Not only will you get an unparalleled opportunity to practice the language skills you’ve acquired through your studies — you’ll also get the opportunity to dive deep into the culture, art, restaurants, and shopping that learning Korean gives you access to.