Modeling in Korea

One big cultural difference between Korea and America is the way the "commercial" models pose. In America, the cheaper the clothes, the cheesier the expression. In Korea, it goes the other way...the cheaper the clothes, the more bored the models appear. This boredom also applies to Korean celebrities endorsing food items, grocery stores, and patriotic ideals.

I suggest clicking on the pictures to get the full effect.

The Subway

*Disclaimer-the Korean has been translated for your convenience*
Also, "waegookin" is the Korean word for "foreigner".

Train: 5 minutes until arrival.

Train: 1 minute until arrival.

Meet the Foreigners

This is Mr. and Mrs. Foreigner. They are very much in love. They live in Korea, and sometimes they encounter things that are too funny not to be shared.
Mr. Foreigner bought Mrs. Foreigner a pen tablet for Christmas.

Let the awesome begin. (But remember that these things take some time).

That Was the Year That Was

A few years ago the American company I worked for sent me on a management course which was a predictable exercise in the fascism of extroversion run by morally nihilistic extroverts telling me to be extroverted. I wrote software. Software writers are supposed to be introverts – otherwise we're really not going to be happy sat at our desk on our own all day. But I guess the course had some effect on me because that's when I realised I really wasn't happy about it. So I quit, which probably wasn't the result they were expecting, although perhaps it's just as well because later they sent my boss to jail. While extroverts might run the world but they can be as dumb as rocks in dealing with introverts. I'd set up an Introverts United support group to help raise awareness of our plight, except I wouldn't want to go to the meetings.

Korea Changes E2 Visa Process: FBI Background Check How To


A few weeks ago I ran into problems registering my son's name with the local district office, and I said it wasn't likely to be the last time having a multicultural child was going to cause problems in Korea. Well I didn't have to wait long for the next issue to raise its head – our son's health insurance bills have arrived and because his Irish surname takes up four Korean character spaces (it's four Western syllables), there was only one character space for his first name rather than two – so he's lost the last syllable of his name. I should have seen this coming because – with my middle name - only the first syllable of my surname appears on my health registration – and this is how I get called out in the hospitals.

The Battle of Tsushima

Korean Mother went on a two day trip to the Japanese island of Tsushima – which is called Daemado in Korea. You shouldn't read too much into the different naming – it doesn't necessarily make it another Dokdo/Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks situation.

Radio Active

"One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

About once every two months I'm approached to write for a magazine, do a radio show or appear on TV, just because of this blog. Why? I'm not really sure. It's probably a similar story for the other foreign bloggers in Korea. Sometimes it seems people here desperately want to know what we think about Korea – although the vox populi vox dei (semper insaniae proxima) is the sword that potentially hangs over us if what we have to say veers too far off-script.

Reality check - five things to know before coming to Korea

Author's note: 'Life in Korea' posts are dedicated for the newer expats among us. If you have a more experienced perspective to offer, comments are open.

Quite a few of you wonderful readers hail from the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and dozens of other countries. I also know quite a few of you read to research a future trip to Korea, or to consider job prospects. While there's lots of things to learn ahead of time (learning hangeul, for one example), there's plenty of things to expect upon entering Korean soil.

Destination: Haebangchon Fest (fall 2010)

Gil, at the HBC Cafe.

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