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Intrusion

In my last post here I talked about the particularly farcical clash of some fundamental cultural norms. I feel like this episode was a real knock, one which snapped me brutally out of my honeymoon period and sent me spiralling into what is commonly referred to as Phase Two Culture Shock and commonly experienced as Disproportionate And Inexplicable Rage Against Everything. This is rarely a pleasant state, but in a culture where openly showing emotion is social suicide I needed to cure it, quick-sharp. Annoyingly, the best cure is also the thing you want to do least, namely engaging relentlessly with the culture causing all the rage, trying to understand why it is doing so and hopefully soothing the rage in the process.


(The Last) Letter from Korea, June 2014.

Dear Ireland,

If you’re not already aware I’ll be leaving in about a week. I know I’m going on about it a fair bit, but it is what I’ve been building up to for quite a while and it feels appropriate to me to talk about it a lot. Right now, in terms of being in Korea, it doesn’t feel like there is much else I should be talking about. One thing though that I’d like to make clear though is my intentions.

Never at any point have I turned around and said I have to get out of Korea for some abhorrent reason, like the usual tripe you hear about the inadequacies of Korea, Koreans, or indeed the inadequacies of those who cannot accept that this is a very different country to the one which they were raised in. I could go on here, but I won’t.


Deulmusae: A Whole Lot of Penis in Pocheon

The penis. As unattractive as it may be, it has remained to be an important symbol of strength, fertility and power in cultures all the world over since the beginning of time.  From ancient Pompeii to Egyptian hieroglyphics to the costumes of modern day tribesmen of New Guinea, phallic imagery has been used unabashedly. Unsurprisingly, the penis has played just as an important role in Korean culture.

The DMZ Tour

One of the places in Korea that I had wanted to visit more than any other attraction was the DMZ. Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.

It’s not an easy thing to see if you don’t live in Seoul because the tours that are allowed to take you there do not run on Sundays and Mondays, as well as holidays.

So hopping a train is not too easy, especially for me as I’m in Busan on the very opposite end of the country.

IMG 1504 1024x682 The DMZ Tour There are two different tour packages in general: the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel portion, and the Joint Security Area (JSA) portion.


Of Suwon No More

I am no longer a resident is Suwon. It’s a sad day, I suppose, but one myself and Herself talked about for a while. It may be a new idea to you but it’s one thing we’ve known about for some time.

Over the past week boxes were filled, as we’re plenty of those 100 litre rubbish bags. The bags went to the dumpster down below, the boxes to the post office. Thankfully there’s surface post from Korea to Ireland.


Seogwipo, Jeju

     One of the many lovely things about Jeju is that it isn't that big and most parts of the island can be reached within an hour or two from the capital Jeju city. (Though they make for bumpy rides the buses have English announcements at every stop, which is quite handy if your Korean isn't up to scratch, but annoying for the natives I imagine...)

Seogwipo is generally known as Jeju island's second city and technically includes the entire south-side of it though obviously, in a  rather spread out fashion. Seogwipo is totally different experience from Jeju city in the north, less developed, less crowded and seemingly slower in the pace of its existence...

The Busan Drag Prom 2014

Date: 
Saturday, June 21, 2014 - 21:00

Oooooh, child! Here we go again! Start searching the local vintage shops and the back of your closet for a blast from the past because on Saturday, June 21st you’d better be in KSU dressed like a 'brick house'.  The Busan Drag Prom is back and is gonna have you jiving all night long at this year’s ‘Saturday Night Diva’ event.

Can you dig it?  


Beach&Emow - Expat Apartments in Gwanganli, Busan (Sponsor Intr

Brand New Apartment building with elevator is in clean, cozy and safe with very convenient surroundings.

Contract period: 6 months, 12 months is available.

Perfect Location: Keumryun or Suyeong close to subway connecting station of line 2 (green) and 3 (brown) and bus stop, limusion bus stop to airport.

It is easy accessable location from train station, airport, express buse terminal even you are new to Busan.

Walking distance to beach, river and mountain within 3-10 minutes.

Zone: residential area with friendly neighbours.

Neighbourhood: Suyeong, Kwanganli, Centum, Haeundae, Kwanganli, KSU, PKNU

Near by food shopping market, fitness center, clinics, corner store and more.

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Key money: one million Korean Won


Winning Gold at the Seoul Olympic Park

I’m finally making my way into Seoul more frequently now. I know, after almost 3 year…what took me so long?!

This time around I made several stops, and one was to the Seoul Olympic Park. The Seoul Olympic Park was where the 1988 Summer Olympic Games was held.

It is not crowded at all, though the roadway around the park seems popular among bikers, walkers, and families picnicking.

The main gate of the park was very massive and equally impressive to see it in person. I vaguely remember images of it on TV way back when the games were actually taking place. It’s an amazing site in person.


Understanding Psy and Snoop Dogg's "Hangover"

Earlier this week, international sensation Psy debuted his latest release, "Hangover," featuring American rapper Snoop Dogg (er... Lion) on his oft-visited YouTube channel. Responses to the video have been mixed. Some believe the song is just as catchy as his "Gangnam Style," a viral hit that has received over 2 billion views to date. Still others have complained, slamming the video for its incessant product placement and Snoop Dogg's ever-growing tendency to sell out. Either way, "Hangover" is entertaining and paints a rather accurate portrait of Korea's intense drinking culture and famous nightlife (sans all the twerking in gold booty shorts). For those less accustomed to Korean ways, read on to better understand what exactly the duo are doing in the five minute video.

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