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Busan e-FM Week 28: National Identity

Busan e-FM Week 27: Baby Photo Shoots

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Back in January I talked about the birth of my son in Korea, and how we named him. This week, I wanted to talk about another apparently important baby issue – baby photos.

Counting days

Busan e-FM Week 26: Expats Who Run

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


This should have been my last week at Busan e-FM. They’d reached the end of their six-month season and this is when they shake things up and change around the schedule and even some of their staff, but they persuaded me to sign on for a second season, or as I think of it, 52 more hours on the subway.

Busan e-FM Week 25: Financial Trading in Korea

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


This week I’m going to talk about my job. I’m a financial trader, and I work for myself.


I read recently that seven out of ten Korean people regretted changing their jobs. Clearly there’s a lot of stress here connected with people’s working lives. It’s the same in England. In fact, there’s a word for it in English – we call it the “rat-race”, and it’s a race many people dream about dropping out of. There’s a book about trading by Alexander Elder, which begins with these words: “You can be free. You can live and work anywhere in the world. You can be independent from routine and not answer to anybody. This is the life of a successful trader.” It’s a good opening because it speaks to the dream of freedom and independence people have.

Busan e-FM Week 24: Korea and the English Language

The english waves come inAbout 'Open Mike in Busan'


Now this probably a very important subject in Korea – especially for Busan e-FM listeners – today’s subject is Korean and the English language.

The Korean English language school

I met my wife in England, where she did some postgraduate studies at the local college and university in my home town. Both were quite popular with overseas students, and perhaps that’s what led to the story of the Korean English language school.

Busan e-FM Week 23: Korean History

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Today I’m going to talk about Korean history. Now you know what they say about Korea having 5,000 years of history [or more], so obviously I’m not going to discuss all of it – only bits.

Knowing history

Busan e-FM Week 22: Crime in Korea

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Today I’m going to talk about crime in Korea, and as I’ve mentioned before crime is a big problem in England, so it’s often on my mind.

England versus Korea

Crime in England is much worse than in Korea according to statistics. The robbery rate for England is 188.7 per 100,000 people – that’s worse than the United States at 146.4, and Busan which is only 24.7.

Busan e-FM Week 21: The Korean Media

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Today’s topic is the media in Korea – so I’m talking about TV, radio and the newspapers.


I never saw a lot of Korean TV before I came here. I’m afraid that there’s no Korean Wave in England. Of course, I’ve seen some here now. From what I’ve seen I suppose you’d say it was broadly similar to British TV, but there really seem to be three main types of Korean television programme – historical dramas, soap operas and light entertainment shows. Or maybe I have this impression because it’s what my mother-in-law always watches.

Busan e-FM Week 20: Things That Have Shocked and Surprised Me

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


I thought we had a plan, but it seems it was only ever my plan, not Busan e-FM’s. In my version of the plan I was finishing at the end of Week 21, and the last two weeks would be my summaries of the good and bad of my life in Korea. And that’s how I ended up delivering the first of my final summaries for Week 20. In the alternate plan, I was contractually obligated to appear until Week 26. The contract was mythical, by perceived Korean social obligation to continue beyond my warranty period was not.

Busan e-FM Week 19: The Gravitational Pull of Haeundae

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Today’s topic is one relatively small but important part of Busan, Haeundae-gu, which is where Busan e-FM has recently moved to.

"The new multicultural heart of Busan"

I feel Busan e-FM’s move is an interesting issue in itself. Because – according to the station’s adverts – this is meant to be “the new multicultural heart of Busan”. As a foreigner here, I see this as a very important subject. You see, because of my job I can live anywhere I want to in Busan. Right now, I live in Saha-gu, but if there’s supposed to be a place here which is multicultural, it makes me wonder if it’s better to live there myself.

Busan e-FM Week 18: Shopping, Vitamins and Other Imports

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


I think I mentioned LG and Samsung before on the show. In fact, it’s kind of hard to get through talking about life here without mentioning Korea’s ubiquitous [yes] brands. But this was the week I was told not to mention them – not even the foreign ones - even though this week’s subject was shopping - 20 minutes before I went on air.

Busan e-FM Week 17: Health

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Sometimes it feels like I’ve visited a lot of hospitals and dentists while I’ve been here, so today I’m talking about some of my health-related experiences in Korea.

The first hospital by comparison

Busan e-FM Week 16: Technology

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Today I wanted to talk about technology in Korea. I graduated from university with a degree in Computer Science, and then worked for many years as a software engineer, so it’s a subject which is very close to my heart. I’m a technology geek... or ex-geek anyway.

Korea ubiquitous technology hub

Busan e-FM Week 15: Lunar New Year

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


This week’s subject is Lunar New Year. We don’t use a lunar calendar in Western countries, so when I came here it was new to me in some ways, although I had to adjust to the notion of lunar years a long time before.


When I arrived for my first day of studying Computer Science at university I ended up joining the wrong queue – I nearly became an archaeologist – and the Chinese guy in front of me was also a Computer Scientist in the wrong queue. We became friends and I spent most of my university life mixing with the Chinese community – so I became quite familiar with lunar new year celebrations, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating sometimes because it’s a very family oriented time, and it reminds me that my family are over 5,000 miles away.

Busan e-FM Week 14: The Baby Experience

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Another important event in my life was the birth of my baby son four months ago. Actually, our plan to have a baby was one of the reasons we returned to Korea.


I though it would be better to have a baby in Korea rather than in England. We have our National Health Service, so the cost is very low, but sometimes the service is quite basic as well. Korea is more expensive, but there are many hospitals and treatment options to choose from. In the city I’m from there’s one really large city hospital which covers everything – including delivering babies – so this means if you choose to have your baby in a hospital rather than a home, that’s where you have to go, whereas in Korea our first task was to choose a hospital.

Busan e-FM Week 13: Weddings and Honeymoons

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


One of the most important events in my life was my wedding, and it happened only a few weeks after I came to Korea – in fact, that’s why I came, to marry my Korean girlfriend here.

Fortune tellers

Busan e-FM Week 12: The Safety Experience

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


This week’s subject is safety. Perhaps when people think about this country and its culture, they think about the places, the festivals, the food and things like that, and not necessarily the issue of safety, but safety was one of the first things I thought about in Korea.

Some of it is politics

On my third day in Korea I was walking to... well, I didn’t know where we were going actually – that’s what life is like sometimes as a foreigner living with a Korean family here – and the civil defence sirens went off.

Busan e-FM Week 11: Apartment Experiences

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


For this week on Inside Out Busan, I thought I’d talk about something that’s quite significant in this country, which is where you live, and I’ll also talk about some of my Korean property experiences.

The differences between Korea and England

Busan e-FM Week 10: 2010 Review

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


There’s an old saying ‘do someone a favour it becomes your job’. Having shown willing to veer away from the original schedule and do a Christmas segment, then I was asked to do a review of 2010.


Now we’ve reached the end of 2010, I thought that today I should do a bit of a review of my latest year in Korea.

But first – the burning issue of my wife’s Christmas present

Right after leaving the station last week I went to the nearby Lotte Department Store here in Centum City – and they were closing it, at 8pm(!), so I couldn’t get in. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ve been in Korea too long, because I’ve started to really believe that stores are open all the time – or at least – really long hours.

Busan e-FM Week 9: Christmas/Festivus

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


Oh the Christmas magic. I hadn’t originally planned to talk about this happy time of year, but as the day rapidly approached it seemed odd to be talking about my apartment experiences as originally intended on the 22nd December. So I volunteered to veer off course and tackle a topical subject. I wasn’t particularly well at the time though, so fed up as I was I seriously considered telling the listeners how I celebrated Festivus back home. But finally I decided that could be a bit mean, or maybe the Christmas spirit did finally get to me. I turned up at the station wearing a Santa hat with flashing lights, which nicely distracted everyone from the Meniere’s-related spaced out look in my eyes and inability to focus. Happy Christmas!

Busan e-FM Week 8: Korean Food and Pizza

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


There’s no avoiding it – I’m finally going to talk about some of my food experiences in Korea. So today’s topic is Korean food... and pizza.


While I’ve been here I might have eaten Korean food, but I’ve also been on a quest to find good pizza – and it’s difficult. Basically pizza is meant to be like the three colours of the Italian flag – white cheese, red sauce, and green herbs. Most of the pizzas I seem to get are just the white cheese with toppings – the sauce is this millimetre thick layer of watery liquid, if it exists at all, and forget about the herbs.

Busan e-FM Week 7: Pets and Pet Rescues


For this week on Busan e-FM, I thought I’d talk about how I ended up becoming a serial pet owner in Korea, even though I never intended to. So this is all about pets – and pet rescues.


Let's Talk Busan - November 1, 2010

53:05 minutes (36.45 MB)
Let's Talk Busan#89
November 1, 2010

Busan Profile
    Speaking with Dwayne Stores, Samantha Tucker Iacovetto, & Jon Hardy about this weekend's Busan Night Live

Busan Beat - News & Commentary

Talk of the Town
  Greg Dolezal, Johnny Jung, & Bobby McGill go to battle over
  • Lotte Giants Managerial Change
  • Halloween Festivities & Expat Nightlife Etiquette
  • AIDS Testing and Prevention
Host: Jeff Lebow

Busan Beat Stories 
Relics from the Chosun era have been found on the grounds of what used to be Camp Hialeah.  Camp Hialeah served as the U.S. military base here in Busan until it closed down a few years ago. There are plans to renovate the area into a Citizen's Park, but as workers were investigating geological features of the site, they found about 100 broken pieces of ceramic from the Chosun era which lasted from the late 14th century until the end of the 19th century.  Workers also found horseshoes, most likely from era of Japanese occupation when the area was used  a horse race track.  It is speculated that there might be more relics in the area dating back to the Three Kingdoms era of Korea.  If that turns out to be the case, the schedule for  renovation plans may need to be adjusted.
On October 12th,  seven year old Kang Hyeung Wook(강형욱),  a 1st grader, was picking up trash in the school yard when he was accidentally struck by a car driven by the school’s principal.   Five days later, the child died in the hospital.  This tragic incident has led to an uproar on a couple of fronts.  Firstly, the school’s insurance policy does not provide any compensation for the victim’s family.  The policy does not cover car accidents  because it is assumed that  drivers are covered by third party automobile insurance.
 More significantly, there has been a call to prevent this from happening again by making sure that drivers do not need to pass through any area where children might be playing as they make there way into and out of school parking areas.  According to the Education Board, in 60 out of 298 elementary schools in Busan, drivers have to pass through the playground in order to exit the school.   Parents have formed an online movement to gather signatures supporting a law that would ensure that the necessary changes are made.

The X in KTX finally comes all the way to Busan.
Today marks the opening of the new section of KTX line from Busan to Daegu. KTX, Korea's high speed rail line opened in  2004 and cut the travel time from Busan to Seoul 'almost' in half, but things weren't really 'high speed' from Busan to Daegu because the new high speed lines for that portion of the trip had not been completed. . That all changes today as that portion of the KTX line opens, cutting travel time to Seoul from 2:40 to 2:18, saving travelers 22 minutes... well, at least three times a day. Many of the daily  trains will still make stops between Busan and Daegu, pretty much nullifying any time savings. Still passengers will be paying more, regardless of how long it takes to get there as the fare from Busan to Seoul will increase W4,300 to W55,500.  The stops along the newly opened section are Busan Station, Ulsan, Shin-Gyeongju, and DongDaegu. The old section, which will remain in use by some trains,  stops in Busan-Gupo-Miryang and Dong DaeguThese kinds of high speed connections are expected to help the Southeast region of the peninsula develop economically and Busan city is expected to use this opportunity to promote other aspects of Busan Tourism including adding three more City Tour buses in 2011, a musical theater at Jagalchi market, and adding four more passenger waiting rooms and a transfer center at Busan Station.

There are some concerns that all this high speed transit may lead to 빨대 효과 or the straw effect. Basically, because it's now so fast and easy to get from these Southeast areas of the country to Seoul, that the high tech industries and cutting edge facilities near 'Capital City' will suck up talent from these smaller local economies.

Every fall, the Goni (or Tundra Swans - big pretty white birds) migrate through Busan on their way down from Siberia to their winter homes down south. This year they arrived a bit earlier than usual on October 29th.  Last year, their numbers had fallen as there was a shortage of their primary food supply - 새섬매자기 Sae-som-mae-ja-gi. It’s an annual plants native to the area. .  This year however, food supplies appear to have returned to normal and their numbers are increasing once again.
That Nakdong Estuary is the largest habitat in this area where migratory birds stop by.  Because of a dam that was built 20 years ago, several major highways in the area and nearby factories, the overall number of migratory birds that pass through this area has drastically fallen.

In Haeundae, a 19 year old woman who is HIV positive was arrested on a charge of knowingly having sexual relations with 20 men she met through an internet chat site. The court rejected the arrest warrant when it was revealed that she is mentally disabled and has the mental development of an eight year old. A prostitution victim protection organization “Sal-lim” and psychiatrist pointed out that in light of this level of development, it is not possible that can be held responsible for criminal action or for taking these actions on her own. When the arrest first took place, the woman's father had told the police that his daughter was forced to sell sex by someone else, but police officers chose to charge her with a crime.

She turned out to be HIV positive in March, not with AIDS so far. She saw a doctor and took medical checkup and  then was told she is infected. Even after that she ran away from home frequently like she did before, and then she made money by selling sex. In August her father reported to the police saying “my daughter , HIV positive , seems to be forced to have sex relations by someone.” Police is tracing the infection route and possible existence of pimp but the all efforts have been in vain.  According to the police 3 men who had intercourse with her were HIV negative.

Last week, two Wild Boar-vehicle collisions occurred within 20 minutes of each other. Around 1am on October 29, along the Busan-Ulsan highway near Geumjeong mountain, a cargo truck hit a 60kg wild boar. 20 minutes later, along the same road another car hit another boar. In both cases, drivers received significant injury and the boars were killed. There are approximately 60 wild boar living in the Geumjeong Mountain area and their numbers are expected to continue increasing. Their search for food sometimes leads to roads and residential areas. In fact, recently, an 80kg boar was shot and killed when it made its way into a house in the vicinity.

Let's Talk Busan airs every Monday at 7pm on 90.5 Busan eFM

Ashley (of Busan eFM) takes her turn in front of the mic

See video
We finally get to ask the women behind the mic (Kim HyunJung (aka Ashley) a few questions @ the Busan Kotesol Conference - June 26, 2010.

Busan Haps Night with the Lotte Giants from Busan eFM's 'See the World'

See video
The See the World show on Busan's English radio station (Busan eFM ) did this feature story on Expat Night at the local baseball team, The Lotte Giants. The event was sponsored by Busan's English Language magazine,

Talk with the cast of the Vagina Monologues (extended cut)

19:00 minutes (21.79 MB)Vagina Monologues
A Discussion with the cast of The Vagina Monologues which will be performed April 25 at the Monk in Kyungsungdae (in Busan).  Event Details

Petra Jung @ Busan Haps #5 Launch Party

 Discussion with Petra Jung of Busan eFM, cover girl of Busan Haps Issue#5

Busan Haps Launch Party
February 12, 2010
Club Fabric

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