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Eat, Play, Dance! The most delicious performance in Korea! ‘Bibap’

Bibap is a Korean nonverbal performance with the concept of Korean representative dish ‘Bibimbap.’ The show describes the cooking competition of chefs through the combination of music with b-boying, acrobatic, and martial arts. Started in 2008 as a 30 minute show, Bibap has actively participated in international and domestic food fairs, biennales, and even 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Our Trazy user, Jihyeon L, visited the Bibap show. She said it was great fun. Shall we listen to her story of how much she enjoyed it?


#shimmeringseoul #koreanfoodlover #korean #닭갈비 #먹스타그램



#shimmeringseoul #koreanfoodlover #korean #닭갈비 #먹스타그램


Seodaemun Prison in Seoul

With the kids in vacation, getting up late, keeping me busy and messing up by perfect schedules, I decided enough is enough and pulled them out of the home to experience a bit of the Korean heritage. We just happened to choose to go and visit the Seodaemun prison which was built by the Japanese to confine the Korean freedom fighters. It was an interesting but somber experience.

Bubbling goodness

Yay! Summer vacation is here! I love it when my kids are around, waking up late, heavy breakfast at noon, playing and chatting until lunch time and continuing to play and chat until dinner. It is pretty fun and I am enjoying every second spent with them. 

Today, we ventured out of our home even with the MERS situation hanging above our heads. Few people were wearing masks, there were sanitizers even inside the bus for public use, and antibacterial wipes everywhere. Maybe a little less crowd in the malls, and deserted restaurants. Everything is a bit gloomy and depressing here in Seoul :(

Korean Onomatopoeia: The Fun Korean Words

The Korean language contains many words that are based on onomatopoeia, which is the sound associated with an object or action. The Korean word for onomatopoeia is heeseongeo (의성어), but don't worry about remembering it... it's rarely used. In fact, if you use the word with Koreans, then they might assume that you are talking about some kind of fish! So let's take a closer look at a few of them.

Note: This article contains Hangul (Korean letters). If you can't read Korean yet, download a free guide here to start reading in about 60 minutes!! 


First day of Spring at Oryukdo, Busan

The thing I love most about Spring, is that every Spring feels like the first Spring. It feels like a discovery, a revelation, and a homecoming. Especially in Korea, where the rains come in early summer rather than May, and everyone waits with anticipation for the cherry blossoms to come alive again. There is even a cherry blossom forecast here–it’s pretty amazing. But Spring is also fleeting, as are the cherry blossoms, and every year I find myself wishing I could make time stand still, every March 21st. It’s that feeling that I live for every year, that makes parts of me awaken that I had long forgotten throughout winter. I become whole again.


Engagement Session - Diversifying the Hanbok


Photo by David Tran, 8 Degrees Inc.
I should start this post by saying that Ryan and I were not initially planning to do engagement photos, but... I got lucky at a work gala silent auction and happened to win an e-session with David Tran of 8 Degrees Inc. I'm SO glad we did!



Everyday Life in Direct Translation

A little look at linguistic and cultural differences via three everyday situations in London vs Korea.

Some quick notes:

Korean syntax (the order in which words and phrases are put together, basically) is pretty much the opposite of most European languages. This is very tricksy, as is the rule that you have to specify the topic, object and subject of your sentence by putting a particle after them. Except sometimes you don’t say the subject at all, especially if it’s a person. Like ‘I’, for example, or ‘you’. Yeah.


Useful Or Not? Foreign English Teachers In Korea

 

 

During the last few years, the number of jobs available for foreign English teachers in Korean public schools has significantly decreased. According to an article on The Korean Observer, the number of foreign teachers has dropped from over 9,000 to 6,785 in three years. Meanwhile jobs at hagwons are becoming more competitive between foreigners. The question is whether these cuts are beneficial, or detrimental, for Korean students.


Monoculture?

This post started life months ago as the third in a series about clashing cultural norms. After more time in Korea and (hopefully) more understanding on my part, it turned into something a bit different…you can read where it all started here.

Here are some criticisms of the UK according to other Europeans:

1. Opaque communications: Our morbid fear of conflict makes our language indirect and gives us a reputation, amongst our continental counterparts, for being dishonest and sneaky. The rest of the English-speaking world, too, complains of the bafflingly high incidence of coded language in British English. For those new to this phenomenon, this handy chart should help:

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Negativity, Sensitivity, And Defending Your Country

I read an article recently discussing Korean sensitivity and explaining why Koreans are ‘hyper sensitive to criticisms from non-Koreans’. Before I even started reading, I felt that the answer was pretty obvious: surely Koreans don’t like it because the people complaining aren’t Korean themselves. In my eyes, it’s understandable why, as a native, you’d get annoyed by foreigners coming into your country, only to moan about the way the country is run.


Merry Christmas Everyone

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Just wanted to take a minute to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to anyone who has taken the time to read my blog over the past few months! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Love,

Kathryn and Malteser


Moving To Korea: Top Tips I Wish I’d Known…

Coming to Korea was a huge, daunting move, and needless to say I did a lot of research beforehand; finding out about the culture and customs (bowing your head and removing your shoes inside), weather (yes, there definitely are 4 distinct seasons), and shopping (being told that buying clothes/shoes/underwear was pretty much impossible). 

The information I found was helpful, but ultimately it’s living here which gives you the best knowledge. So here, in hindsight, is what advice I’d give myself, and anyone else about to move to Korea.


A Beautifully Festive Display- The Garden Of Morning Calm Lighting Festival

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It’s that time of year again- it’s snowy, it’s December and it’s time to feel Christmassy! I’m sure most expats would agree that Christmas isn’t a huge deal in Korea; sure, cafes are decorated prettily, there are Christmas-themed foods and drinks, and there are a few Christmas trees to make you feel festive. But compared to back home where Christmas spirit pretty much dominates the country as soon as Halloween is over and done with, Korea is somewhat lacking proper festivity.


The Dancer

Sooljip Lantern

One For The Girls- The Miracle ‘Magic Straight’ Hair Treatment

I have always loved hairdressers in Korea- I can get a cut and style for about 15,000 won (approximately £8) which is just amazing, and about a quarter of the price I’d pay back in England. What’s even better is that the hairdresser always does a good job, even when I can only mime what I want done- a massive relief, especially the first time I went, having no idea what to expect and scared that miss-communication would lead to an awful cut.

Then I discovered ‘Magic Straight’, which brought my love of Korean hairdressing to new heights. I’ve always suffered from unruly curly hair which is prone to frizzing. So during our first humid Korean summer, I had a permanently electrocuted look about me, static frizz which I just couldn’t tame. Needless to say I hated it.


A Message To Korea From A Student

In light of my recent post on exam stress, I thought it was quite fitting to share a video I saw on YouTube today. The video was made by a Korean middle-school student called Jason, and it shows his message to Korea: a depressing discussion of the Korean education system. 


Stress, Tears, and Tantrums… It’s Exam Time.

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reactiongifs.com

There’s been a pretty negative atmosphere at school during the last week, and there’s one reason why: exam week. It’s the students’ final exams before the end of semester, a time when stress levels peak for pupils and teachers alike. Luckily for us foreign teachers, we are only in charge of one written exam. Apart from that, we’re not too involved in the tests, even the English one. But that doesn’t mean we’re completely removed from the drama when it’s exam season. During our time at the school we’ve seen students crying, parents crying, arguments, breakdowns and complaints.


Animal Themes, Hello Kitty Themes… And Study Themes- Cafes in Korea

Shake-on-it

Last week I was reading about a new cafe which is opening in London- a ‘cereal cafe’, with hundreds of flavours of cereal, many of which have been discontinued or are foreign imports. Lucky Charms, Barbie Cereal, Star Wars Cereal- you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve even got cereal cakes, cereal memorabilia (yes, I would like a Kellogg’s Frosties lip-balm), and cereal artwork on the walls. As a cereal lover, it sounds like my dream cafe. Needless to say I was pretty jealous I wouldn’t be able to visit.


A Korean Winter Mystery

The past couple of weeks have seen the temperature drastically drop to below freezing- winter, along with a hefty lot of snow, has officially arrived. As such, the coats are back out, everyone is dressed up in their warming, winter gear. But there is one big difference between Koreans and foreigners and how they wear their winter clothes, and it’s something which puzzled me last year and has remained a mystery until now: why do (99% 0f) Koreans wear their coats inside?


Yangsan Half Marathon

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Ran the Yangsan Half Marathon today in 1:36:24! Not sure what I’m most excited about: my time, my shiny new medal, or the carton of raw eggs I received in my finisher’s goodie bag. #onlyinKorea


Happy Christmas From Pizza Hut Korea

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It’s December, it’s snowy and it’s time to start feeling Christmassy (and to give yourself an excuse to watch Home Alone and Elf in class). And while Christmas might not be the biggest holiday in Korea, Pizza Hut has still decided to celebrate in style…

With a limited edition, special, three- layered Christmas Tree Box. What better way to get into the festive spirit than to order a takeaway in a tiered box made to look like a Christmas Tree?! 


My Winter Survival Kit


Sneak Peek Korea – Halloween Madness!

Sneak Peek Korea is a video series in which I made videos into all the extra footage I get that doesn’t make it into a proper video, and is largely unedited! I film a lot of my life and want to share as much as I can with you, because you seem to like it! :) Before I would just scrap extra footage I didn’t think was good enough for it’s own video, but I hope to instead provide little sneak peeks of my life in Korea, unscripted. Let me know in the comments if you enjoy these kinds of videos!


Keeping Fit In Korea

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I’ve spoken before about healthy eating in Korea and explained why I find it easier to follow a healthy diet here than at home in England. The other part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is obviously to exercise. Before coming to Korea I’d switch between using the gym and going for runs outside. Since moving, I’ve found some aspects of keeping fit easier, others more difficult.


10 Ways That Korea Is Winning

All countries have good and bad points, things which we can either complain about or praise. And while Korea has it’s faults, today I’m going to focus on the good things: 10 things which give Korea definite cool points.

Oreo Cereal

alibaba.com

To the misery of Oreo-lovers everywhere, this cereal has been discontinued in every country…apart from South Korea. I regularly see it featured on lists along the lines of ‘foods we miss which no longer exist’. Well, come to Korea and stock up…

 

 

 


The Coolest Ice Creams In Korea

Koreans can be pretty creative and original when it comes to snacking, as I wrote about


Beautiful Fall Leaves in Gyeongsangnam-do!


Rachel’s Tiny Kitchen #1 – RICE COOKER CHICKEN WINGS!

I have always enjoyed cooking, but boy did I take for granted my kitchen and oven in the States! Since moving to Korea I’ve had to adapt the way I cook completely. From having no counter space, to replacing ingredients with things available here, to trying to make delicious cakes in a small toaster oven, I’ve done it all! There have been a lot of failed experiments and total disasters in my tiny kitchen(stories I may have to share soon!), but along the way I’ve learned a lot about how to make your tiny kitchen as efficient as possible and still make delicious food!


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