apartment

Questioning The Media Portrayal Of Foreigners & Drugs In South Korea

The arrest of a Canadian working for a university in Daegu on charges of growing marijuana in his apartment has once again ignited a discussion over how foreigners & drugs are depicted by South Korean media entities, & a blog post written by prominent expat researcher & Gusts of Popular Feeling writer Matt VanVolkenburg has drawn increased attention to the issue. Korea FM spoke with VanVolkenburg & Korean studies professor, NY Times contributor & Korea Expose managing editor Se-Woong Koo about how the recent case, & previous incidents, have been portrayed in the ROK.


The Glass is Half Full (of BS)

"You're so positive! You really have a bright outlook on things!"

So say coworkers and acquaintances, but it's not something I ever really considered to be one of my defining personality traits. Sarcastic, judgmental, with a tendency to complain-- yes, yes, and (according to my mother) yes. But positive, glass-is-half-full gal? Is that really me?

Well, yes and no. Living in a foreign country is a lot harder than you'd expect. Things that should be easy are difficult, every little chore seems a bit more exhausting, and it's easy to begin to feel beaten down and victimized. When your class is canceled, or a taxi driver won't stop for you, or the store stops carrying that familiar brand from home, it's so easy to take it personally, to feel that your school or the country or even the world is against you.

Home is Where?

Well, it didn’t matter. He’d had enough. He wasn’t going to try to understand anything anymore. He was going home.  
 Except that wizards can never go home.
-Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

I come back to that quote every once in a while. When I first read Sourcery, back in high school, I breezed right past it; during a more recent read, it jumped off the page and lodged itself in my brain, and so far, despite my best efforts, I've been unable to kick it out.

Home is something I think about a lot. I've moved so many times that it's taken on a sort of hazy, unfocused quality. There's my hometown, where some of my family is, the place when I spent my childhood. There's my mom's home, in a town I've never lived in. Is it Seattle, where I graduated college? When I say "I want to go home," what do I mean?

My SoKo digs!

Overwhelmingly Marvel Biased: House Tour Part 2

While I posted a tour of my apartment back when I first moved in, I realized recently that I still haven't posted any pictures of the finished product. I have furniture now! Art is on the wall! Things are surprisingly color coordinated! So, without further ado, I present to you: my house.

The entryway is largely unchanged. I love the little shelf/window thing, and it was actually the first place I decorated when I moved in. I feel like I should move the books now that I have a real bookshelf, but I like the effect so they can stay for now.

Get a Move On: A Tour of My New Apartment in Korea

As you may have gathered from my previous post, my dreams of living in a space bigger than a shoebox are finally coming true! By which I mean, of course, I moved!

Unfortunately I never really got any good pictures of my old place, but it was quite small. Bigger than a dorm room, but not by much. My "kitchen" was a microwave with a hotplate perched on top, and if I had dishes to dry I didn't have even an inch of counter space. No table, no chair, no couch, just a bed and a TV and a dresser. I'm not complaining, though; for the first place I've ever lived in without a roommate, it was quite nice. Certainly cozy in the winter!

I Can't Stay but I Don't Want to Leave

I'll be moving soon, and this fills me with some conflicting emotions. On the one hand, my current place is a sort of glorified dorm room, with no kitchen to speak of and barely enough space to do, well, anything. On the other hand, my landlords are some of the sweetest people I've ever met. It's not unlike renting an apartment from your friend's grandparents.

Of Suwon No More

I am no longer a resident is Suwon. It’s a sad day, I suppose, but one myself and Herself talked about for a while. It may be a new idea to you but it’s one thing we’ve known about for some time.

Over the past week boxes were filled, as we’re plenty of those 100 litre rubbish bags. The bags went to the dumpster down below, the boxes to the post office. Thankfully there’s surface post from Korea to Ireland.


Instagramming My Environment

Friend and travel blogger Steve Miller a.k.a. The QiRanger, has started a new October series of videos titled Eye on Your Environment. His aim is to look a little closer at the world around him, and to talk about what makes his environment special to him. I can see a lot of worth in this kind of post (and have tried myself before), but especially because Steve doesn’t live too far away from me and in an environment which is not too dissimilar to Yeongtong.


The Ahjumma Made Me Stay

When my co-teacher opened the door to my apartment, I don’t know what I was expecting. Here, around the corner of the middle school that i work at, in a small building three floors up. When she opened the door, I thought that I really had the worst luck in the world.

I was greeted by a horrible mildew smell and absolute filth. The place seemed like it had been used by four people and then ditched for five years. The floors were caked with dust. The sheets smelled bad. The kitchen was covered in an ungodly amount of food residue and spilled sugar. Laundry room reeked. The place was awful.


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