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korean culture

It Takes A Village

Starting last week my school moved to its new, permanent location about 20 minutes outside the city. The campus is absolutely huge and beautifully tucked into the valley of some small mountains with a distant view of the ocean (pictures to come later)! However, it makes for a bit of a longer commute and especially for me, since I don’t have a car, a slightly more complicated journey to and from school.


Vlog Entry #12: Student Video Projects

In another post I explain a little bit more about how these awesome videos came into the world. So if you want to learn more, you can check that out. Othewise I’ll just get out of your way and let you enjoy yourself!

A comedic introduction to some of the sports students practice at my school.

 


Hakrim Dabang: Seoul's Original Cafe

Although there aren't any statistics to back this up, I assume that Seoul, South Korea has a bigger concentration of cafes than any other city in the world. Which is pretty impressive, considering that coffee was practically unknown until the late Joseon dynasty in the early 1900s. Even then, coffee shops, or dabang as they were referred to, were few and far between, with Seoul's coffee culture only developing into what it is today in the 2000s.

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.


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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Apologies...

Bit of a long absence, sorry!

Since I last wrote, quite a lot has happened, including but not limited to:

  • One trip to Tibet
  • One gruelling semester of teaching,
  • One gruelling period of Korean language study,
  • One engagement
  • One crash-course in Korean family politics  .

The final three points may be related.

Two weeks of desk-warming before I scurry off to be wed should provide lots of time to fill you in, but first, HELLO! It is lovely to see your lovely faces and I promise never to leave you for so long again.

Much love,

L xxx


A "Zen"-Course Lunch at Barugongyang Buddhist Temple Food Restaurant

Barugongyang offers up authentic Buddhist temple cuisine using only fresh, local ingredients. Read on for my personal review of the restaurant's peaceful atmosphere and thoughtful course meals.


It's only been fairly recently that we've learned how eating greener and cleaner rather than focusing on calorie and fat counts can positively affect the health of our bodies and minds. With trends like CSAs, detox diets and green smoothies becoming all the rage in the nutrition world, we're taking a step forward toward healthier lives.

However, the Buddhist monks of Korea have been slightly ahead of this trend. And by slightly I mean by hundreds of years.

Wait for Me Until I Become You

Recently I’ve been giving my students mini essay assignments each week on various topics to improve their persuasive and creative writing. Below is the work of one of my strongest students. I asked him to write a letter to his future self in the year 2020. Check it out! It’s pretty great!

future

Dear myself in the future,

Hello, myself. I’m yourself. Precisely, I’m yourself in the past. I heard you’re 23 years old. Though you are older than me, I will not treat you politely. I have many questions. Most of all, what is your college? Seoul University? Really? You did a good job. And, did you go the army? Where? Katusa? Oh, I think you’re very good at English.


10 Things South Korea Does Faster

One of the first Korean words I learned after my arrival to the peninsula was bbali (빨리). Meaning "fast," it's a term used frequently and, in my opinion, perfectly summarizes the entire country in two syllables. After all, the nation rose from the ashes of the Korean War in a mere six decades to become one of the world's greatest economies. In general, Koreans do a lot of things fast. Here's 10 of them, in no particular order.

Transportation

I’m Ready for My Close-Up: An Interview with TLTalk

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Janeth Ignacio for her up-and-coming blog, TLTalk! You can find the interview, which covers everything from culture shock to teaching ESL, here. Enjoy!



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