August Rush: The First Birthday Party

The failure to go to England had another consequence. Our son would celebrate his first birthday in Korea. So we had four options in order of my descending preference: do nothing, have a meal with friends and family at home, have a meal with friends and family in a restaurant, or submit to the complete circus that is a baby birthday hall. Yes, they have baby birthday halls.

Tired, sick, rejected from a job I wanted, and generally extremely fed-up, when my wife broached the subject with me, I famously said “just choose the option you think best”. Tens of thousands of years of language development and men still haven’t learned not to speak those words in sequence to women. I suppose one would have to conclude at this point that it must serve some evolutionary purpose, but if it does I certainly can’t imagine what. And I said it in Korea.

Dear Korea #038 - Let's Make Songpyeon (송편)

Dear Korea #038

Oh no, I’m a day late! I sincerely apologize for that. I don’t even know if this comic actually applies anymore. What can I say? It’s been a busy few days.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the holiday, Chuseok is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Like many other harvest festivals, it is held around the Autumn Equinox. As a celebration of the good harvest, Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of Korean traditional food such as songpyeon (which is what they’re making in the comic) and rice wines such as sindoju and dongdongju.

Dear Korea #031

Dear Korea #031

From what I’ve heard from my friends who have children (especially those with babies who are 100% non-Korean), this happens all the time. Oh the horror stories I’ve heard. To be fair, it’s your own faults for having such cute babies.


I wish I could say more, but I am dead tired. July is turning out to be a super busy month! I hope everyone else out there is enjoying their summer as much as I am!

Busan e-FM Week 33: Humour/Humor, Satire and Ire

Dear Korea #027

Dear Korea #027

Based off of very true events. It’s more funny than it is offensive, really. It’s just a little funny to see how shocked some people look when they realize someone without blonde hair and blue eyes is from the United States. Keep on keepin’ on, taxi drivers!

On a side note, a face palm is harder to draw than it looks.

Also, did you know that Dear Korea has a Facebook Page? If you have a Facebook account, you should totally go and like it! Or not. I won’t cry if you don’t (maybe).

Busan e-FM Week 30: Family Month

The english waves come inAbout 'Open Mike in Busan'


I prepare notes for my radio segment; I always felt that to be my best on the show I had to construct a narrative. Like most of the things I write, it’s more time consuming than the result appears to suggest or justify; I tend to debate each word and nuance in my head. Sometimes it turns violent. This week was a new low; the preparation time for my ten minutes on air was nine hours.

Busan e-FM Week 28: National Identity

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 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 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.

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