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Inventions from Korea that you might not have imagined at all!

Good inventions can change the world into a better place. Items invented in Korea also have permeated into the lives of all, making our lives more convenient and more exciting. Can you guess what kind of items were invented in Korea?

invention1 1. Instant coffee mix

About 50 years ago in Korea, coffee was a luxurious drink which was mostly affordable in high class families. However, thanks to the invention of the instant coffee mix in 1976, coffee became inexpensive and people easily began to purchase it anywhere. Eventually drinking coffee got popular among the middle class and was placed as a big part of the Korean culture.

Korean Royal Cuisine

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We're about to have a once in a lifetime experience eating Korean Royal Cuisine. It's something that even people living in Korea rarely ever do, and it's probably some of the best Korean food we ever had. Check it out for this week's Food Adventure!

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Teacher’s Real Face

1One day, I walked in the classroom and found two of the girls in my elementary class wearing pink eyeliner which they made from clay.

“Wow, you girls look prettier today,” I said, trying so hard not to burst into laughter as the girls gingerly walked to their seats with their heads up, so that their clay eyeliner would not fall.

“Teacher, we wear eyeliner like you,” one of the girls, Mary, who was barely blinking, mouthed.

“I can see that, but mine is black and yours is pink.”

“Pink is pretty.

Private and Public Attacks on Queer Spaces in Korea

In this long overdue post, I am going to move away from my standard role on this blog (provider of English information on gay life and news in South Korea with little commentary on my part), and write about efforts by both the government and the private sector in silencing the gay community and blocking access to resources in ways that are damaging to the community and, in some cases, contrary to constitutional rights. While there was plenty of domestic and international coverage on the push by the religious right to ban Seoul's pride parade in 2015 (and Namdaemun Police Station's compliance through disallowing any gathering), there has yet to be a comprehensive look into the other more nefarious ways in which both public and private bodies aim to cripple the gay rights movement in Korea.

Sourdough, Hongcheon and Compost

This week has been a week. I don’t want to get too far into it, because gainful employment is nice to have after taking a year off of work and draining my savings on language school and travel, but let’s just say that I am currently working for two large corporations and, occasionally, we are -- how should I put this? Invited to enjoy lectures on the subject of marketing and advertising. I’ll just say that I find there is a strange kind of optimism about capitalism in South Korea that doesn’t really exist anymore in the US. Which isn’t to say the US isn’t in love with capitalism, but Americans for the most part have some vague knowledge of the devil with whom they dance. Part of it, too, is how the TED Talk model has swept the nation – even if you’re going to give a lecture about how to make more people want to buy more things, you have to start by asking everyone how they think they can give more meaning to their lives, or why they think living in today’s world is so difficult.

Top 20 things you must do in Seoul!

Because every part of Seoul is so appealing, you may be confused of what to do and where to go if it’s your first time in Seoul. Here are our expert recommendation for your bucket list of travelling Seoul. From popular and hip places to hidden local spots, you will visit the must-go places and have unforgettable experiences if you finish all the things mentioned below. Now, let’s hit the road~~~~!

The Fugitives

A window-shopper from the hospital (At least she's not carrying an IV pole. ^^)

A window-shopper from the hospital (At least she’s not carrying an IV pole. ^^)

Clad in their hospital gowns, they can be seen moseying through the busy streets on Market Day, dining in a crowded restaurant or drinking in a 호프 (hof or bar) with friends, sometimes dragging their IV stands as if they are carrying a Prada bag with pride.

It is easy to spot them at the public parking garage or on a bench outside the hospital, smoking and chinwaging with other smokers, not giving a damn about other patients who went out of their room to get some fresh air. I call them THE FUGITIVES. You see, patients normally stay IN THE HOSPITAL and are allowed to go out as long as they are on the premises of the hospital where they are being cared for, but these patients I call fugitives are always itching to leave the hospital grounds. They don’t just leave; they paint the town red, more like they are on a hospital-holiday spree.

My husband was one of these fugitives. When he was confined for more than a month, he would escape from the hospital and spend the entire day at home. At first, I thought that he just missed me, so he kept coming to the house, but he would either be playing computer games or curl up on the sofa and watch TV for hours. At times, he would play pool with his buddies… in his hospital gown! Oh, and yes, he did the most dreadful thing a fugitive can do when he was admitted to the hospital for a minor accident… leave the hospital late at night to drink in a bar! He even attended a wedding a few hours away from the hospital! Good thing he traded his stylish hospital gown for a suit that day.

Hospital gown, check! IV, check!

Hospital gown, check! IV, check!

Fugitives are everywhere in Korea, and people who see them don’t seem to mind. I understand, hospitals can be boring… but wandering around town with your IV or drinking alcohol outside when you are being treated and cared for? C’mon!  

I remember when my husband had a surgery in the Philippines, and he was confined for a week. He called the hospital a prison, the doctors the prison wardens. He couldn’t leave his room even when he could walk. He wasn’t allowed to smoke outside. The doctors kept reminding him to refrain from smoking and quit drinking, as his condition was alcohol-related. When he had another surgery in Korea, none of his doctors told him to cut down smoking and stop drinking. He said that Koreans don’t like being told what to do, even by doctors… unless it’s a matter of life and death. Could this be the reason why doctors in Korea are reluctant to tell their patients the do’s and dont’s? Could this be why the fugitives behave the way they do and get away with it? Well, there is no harm in enjoying a typical day outside even when you are sick, but should you really be wandering around town with that IV drip?

Could this “don’t-tell-me-what-to-do” mentality be the reason why a MERS-infectee from Korea flew out of the country on a business trip to China despite being advised by his doctor to wait and see if he was disease-free, thus causing panic among Chinese citizens?

Could this be the mentality that drove two Korean doctors under MERS quarantine to push through with their holiday trip to the Philippines without considering the possibility of spreading the virus if they were indeed infected?

Could this mentality be the reason why seeing an in-patient drinking in a bar or a hof like there is no tomorrow does not shock Koreans anymore, and not even one hospital staff would bother to remind patients who smoke at the entrance of a hospital that sharing their toxic smoke with visitors and other patients is illegal? Korea has imposed smoking bans in public places since 2013, including hospitals, but I guess the fugitives pictured below didn’t get a memo… or perhaps they just lack common sense and regard for others.




12th Stepping Stone Indie Rock Festival (The Korea File)



Temple Stay: Hwaunsa Temple (Gyeonggi-do)


(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

Hello Again Everyone!!

Introduction to the Temple:

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