people

Marmot’s Hole Podcast: Korean Parliamentary Election Results

Marmot’s Hole blogger Robert Koehler goes through the recent South Korean parliamentary election results & discusses his thoughts on Saenuri’s fall behind the main opposition Minjoo Party in National Assembly seats as well as the rise of liberal defector Ahn Cheol-soo’s new People Party.


An Interview with Joey Rositano, Photographer of Jeju Shamanism

Joey Rositano is not your ordinary expat. Hailing from Nashville, the Tennessee native has called Jeju-do, an island off the southern coast of South Korea, home for the past nine years. 


Korea's Mythical Murals: An Interview with Michael Roy

Michael Roy, who also goes by the moniker “Birdcap” is an American street artist and illustrator that hails from the southern state of Mississippi (also home to yours truly.) Although he is no longer living in Korea, he quite literally left his mark on the streets of the East Asian nation while he was working here as an English teacher and an artist.

Roy, who sees the beauty in the “active ruins” of the city’s forgotten neighborhoods of the past, in a city of the future, has created a unique contrast with his whimsical murals and colorful graffiti, which often incorporates Korean imagery and language. He notes, “In an age of such eclectic materialism and with an ever-increasing variety of digital media and sources, I have found in the raw physicality of buildings, a sobering vestige of site and memory.”

Grab Your Traveling Spoon and Get a Taste of Korean Culture

Some of the best memories of my travels involve sharing a meal with the local people. From slurping up chanko at a sumo wrestling championship with a Japanese couple in Tokyo to picnicking with Tibetan monks in India to chowing down on tajine with Berber nomads in the middle of the Sahara Desert, the experience combines the very best two ways to get to know a country's culture: conversing with the locals and eating the food.

Such experiences are often spontaneous, as getting a chance to interact with the local people isn't always easy. After all, it's kinda difficult to walk up to a stranger and invite them to share a meal, without looking like a crazy person, that is.

Friends Like These

Friends Like These

I love the part that friendship and camaraderie plays in Korean society, even well into old-age. This particular band of merry men were sat enjoying the crisp fall weather in Gwangju's Pureungil Park. 

Grub's Up at Gwangjang

Grub's Up at Gwangjang

Dinnertime at Gwangjang Market, Seoul.

The Sound of the Drums

The Sound of the Drums

A Buddhist monk brings the evening's ceremony to a close at Haeinsa temple, Gyeongsangbukdo.

Lost Seoul

Lost Seoul

Police with riot shields fill Gwanghawmun square in preparation for planned protest against the Park administration in the aftermath of the Sewol disaster.

The Morning Shift

The Morning Shift

An early morning delivery driver trundles along the deserted streets around Jagalchi, Busan.

Life from Above

Life from Above

Life from above, as captured in Daegu's sprawling Seomun Market complex. You can read the accompanying story here . 

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