foreigners

Dear Korea #081 - Goodbye is always the hardest part.

Dear Korea #081

While most mature people may bid farewell in a more caring manner, my friends and I apparently like to be more juvenile about it. Speaking personally, one of the most difficult aspects of living abroad is relationships. You come into a country after having said goodbye to everyone you know back home, you make new friends, stick around for a year (or more), and then find yourself saying goodbye to the very people you started this amazing journey with. It’s quite bittersweet really.

Not to be one to complain, but the past few weeks have been rather rough. I’m sure it’s been this way for a lot of people. Though I’ve grown used to being the person who’s leaving to go somewhere, I don’t think I’ve quite gotten used to being the one to stay behind. When I first came to Korea over two years ago, I was immediately introduced to a great group of people. Thanks to them, I’ve had many laughs, made some amazing memories, and even managed to make this very comic after having grown inspired by them. The majority of these people are gone now, and I’m left feeling just as vulnerable as I did when I first got here. The difference now is that I don’t seem to have the same willingness to make new friends with new people that I did back then. Seriously, how do people do this every year?

To Stephanie, Kat, and to so many other amazing people out there…you suck for leaving. Despite that, you will be missed, and one can only hope that our paths will cross again in this mysterious world that originally brought us together. Until then, stay awesome, and don’t ever stop moving forward ♥


Dear Korea #080 - A Little Privacy Please

Dear Korea #080

Yay! A new comic! It’s on time too! This is something I shouldn’t be celebrating!

Anyways, the situation presented in this strip is one that happens a LOT more often than I thought it did (especially in smaller cities). I guess it’s something I don’t ever experience too much while on my own, as I look fairly Korean. Whenever I was out with my flock of foreigner friends, I always assumed people were looking over our way due to all the English they were hearing. It wasn’t until I started going for more walks with my very uncommon roommate that I noticed people blatantly staring and taking not-so-sneaky pictures.


Roam Around the World

I’ve been busy with writing for NaNo,  I wrote close to 5,000 words today so I could use a little bit of a dance break so I thought I would share.

When I was thinking of names for this website, a song kept running through my head.  It’s one of my favorite songs by The B-52′s, and pretty much From Roam with Love‘s theme song.

I hope it makes you want to go out and rule the world, or at least dance around while laughing at early music video styles.
“Roam if you want to, roam around the world”

 

From Roam with Love,
Jenna


Dear Korea #076 - This Does Not Sparkle

Dear Korea #076

Good Monday everyone! I hope you all had an awesome pre-Halloween weekend! Did anyone dress up? A bunch of friends and I went as the Gender Bender Avengers. It should go without saying, but we were awesome.

Anyways, the idea for this week’s comic was sent to me by a good friend of mine. He told me how he often likes to buy flowers for his very lucky lady, and how the Korean flower shop he goes to tends to make everything overly fancy. Decorating stuff is totally cool, but I don’t know too many guys that enjoy the idea of walking home with a flashy glitter bouquet. While I do think he’s managed to get them to ease up on the ribbons and extra stuff, they seem to be quite pushy on the glitter issue.


5 Awesomely Awesome: “I Love Korea” Edition.

Even after living in Korea for a year and a half, I still have these wonderful moments where all I can say is “I Love Korea”.  I’ve been out exploring some of Korea’s islands the past few days which provided quite a few of these moments, so here are some of my favorites:

 

1. Defunct Carnival Rides:


Down near SangJu Beach in Namehae we found two old carnival rides sitting on a lot.  And for some unexplainable reason the famous ride “Supertagadisco” had some very famous faces.


Under Siege: Dirty and Smelly and Fusion Babies

"I'm not just saying this because you’re related to me, but I used to think that all foreigners were dirty and smelly... but you're not." - a close relative who I am not permitted to name by title until the statute of limitations expires.

Does this mean I've pushed down the barriers of prejudice in Korea by just a little? Perhaps not, because this close relative went on to expand on that thought by adding "When I pass them in the street, I can smell their bad smell, they look unkempt and their clothes look years old. But you always look neat."

And apparently I don't smell that bad either. If only foreigners could smell as wonderful as Koreans.

Filed under 'accidental truths close Korean relatives tell you when they finally let their guard down after five years'.

Under Siege: Come On! Come On!

I’m alone in the apartment and receive a call from an unknown number on my mobile. I don’t answer it because my son has only slept 30 minutes all morning, he’s just woken up, and I’m desperate to get him back to sleep again so I can do something productive in the little time this will afford me. To this end, I’m walking circles around our lounge with him in a sling on my back, which is the only way of getting him to sleep, at all, ever.

The same number phones again exactly one minute later. This time I answer it, because it's entirely possible that it might be important.

Dear Korea #068

Oh no, another late update! I sincerely apologize for that. There were actually a number of reasons for this particular comic being delayed. I actually had to rewrite it a few times, and even had to deal with some resistance of posting the whole thing.

For many of us living in Korea, I’m sure we’ve grown pretty familiar with the seriously not cool “The Shocking Reality About Relationships With Foreigners” news report. If you’re not familiar with it, feel free to look it up. I can assure you that there is no shortage of blog posts and YouTube videos surrounding the whole issue. I actually found the video somewhat ridiculous, but was very saddened to find out that there are still people who believe it as the truth.


Normalised into Indifference: MBC etc.

I think I’m normalised to a lot of the larger complaints made about living in Korea. Complaints like ‘Korea is soooo racist’ and other ones, but I’ll stick to the racist thing here because it’s topical. By topical I’m obviously talking about the video of the naïve and innocent foreigners who admitted to MBC about having sex with Korean women, which in turn encouraged further reporting of rumours about someone’s friend who may have overheard something in a Caffé Bene.

I’ve had a bit of time to think about this, but I’ll keep it short as there isn’t really much to say. I have no doubt that all that was said in the video was true. Whether it was reported on ethically and the footage actually involved the aggrieved is debatable.


Under Siege: Racial Abuse on a Bus

So I promised to tell you the racial abuse on the bus story. It happened two days after I’d been kicked out of a taxi when the driver saw I was a foreigner. It wasn't a good week for me in Korea.

I was sat right at the back of a bus with a Korean colleague heading back to civilisation from Gijang after work. My colleague’s English is good but buses are noisy and you have to talk above it for comprehension.


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