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My Abortion in Korea

By Melissa Salvatore

This is a story of my experience with abortion as an expat in Busan, South Korea. I understand this is a controversial issue, and I am neither trying to encourage nor discourage abortion to other women. I simply want to use my story as an example of having this experience here and to provide other women with options and resources available to them. It is said that abortion is one of the loneliest experiences a woman can ever go through. I want women here to know that they are not alone, and have support.

BUSAN, South Korea -- While abortion in South Korea is illegal, it is a widespread procedure with upwards of 350,000 abortions performed each year according to a government report. And while it is federally banned the procedure is performed safely in clinics and hospitals, both public and private everywhere. I had come across this contradiction while researching Busan prior to my arrival. I took note of the information with the hope that I would never find myself in such a situation.

ARKPodcast Episode 14 – Wanna Be Loved

119:21 minutes (54.64 MB)


Things have cooled down substantially the past week in fandom, so this week’s free talk is a little less controversial. Noelle is sick this week, just a few days before her birthday, poor girl. The fact that she’s edited this episode so quickly is testament to how insane she is.

Download Episode 14


Korean Bloodsuckers!

I was dreaming about writing this when I heard that all too familiar high-pitched whizzing buzz pass over my ear. I suppose it was an advantage that I got three more mosquito bites after the first one that had woken me from the itching. The extra bites really reminded me of the wonderful times I have had been woken repeatedly in the middle of the night courtesy of a flock of mosquitoes residing in my bedroom.

Yes, summer isn’t summer in Korea until you get your first bite at 2am and spend the next forty-five minutes chasing the tiny black vampire around the bedroom with whatever suitable implement comes to hand. Coming from Ireland, we have nothing like mosquitoes, in fact I didn’t even realise that there were ants in Ireland until last year. Korea, is not so lucky.

When You Don’t Address the Issues, You Get…Band-Aids

Better Than Nothing, But No Actual Solution
This morning, this article appeared on the Yonhap News website. There are many things that the Korean government can do. Depending on your political beliefs, they range from additional government spending to a reduction in the various taxes that exist on consumer goods. Most likely, the measures need to be related to a reduction in consumption taxes or temporary relief on income taxes. Let’s be clear though: there is no quick fix here. Actually addressing the problems have been the topic of many posts on this blog.

Busan KOTESOL Conference 2011 - Presentations & Discussions

Videos of Presentations & Discussions
Busan Summer KOTESOL Conference

An Ajumma Stole My Firewood

Well, technically it was Joe’s firewood.  He wrestled it from the brush on the hill behind the beach on Bijindo, the island we chose for our one-night camping trip in April mostly because I tracked down photos of it on a foreign dude’s blog, and in the photos foreigners were camping.  On the beach.  With a campfire.  “Check these out,” I said to Joe.  ”Looks like you can have a fire on Bijindo.”  

Anyone who’s traveled in Korea knows it’s tough to find seclusion.  Forty-nine million people live here, in a country three times the size of Vancouver Island. Head to the beach or the mountains or a paved park on the edge of the city and prepare yourself for company: Koreans love a dose of fresh air, even if they are a little sun-shy, as their detachable arm sleeves and foot-long visors suggest.

Search for this Summer's Best Patbingsu

One of my most beloved things about the summer is not just that you can walk outside without having to put on a bundle of clothing, but that Korea offers up a great summer treat. I am talking about patbingsu, which is a icey mix of fruits, candies and tteok. There is a standard way to make it with the basic ingredients, however, like coffee in this country, patbingsu is also a competitive item on the menu.

Therefore, just in any neighborhood you can find different versions of this cool treat depending on what shop you stop at. The most popular place to get a fancy patbingsu is at coffeeshops, who will mix them up with ice-cream or espresso. There are also smaller shops that will make them and sometimes you can find them at random restaurants.

The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea

Harvard University Professor Ezra Vogel visits The Korea Society to discuss the monumental new political history he co-edited, The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea. South Korea was mired in poverty in 1959, yet by 1979 was gaining significant economic influence both regionally and globally. Park is credited with modernizing South Korea, but at a huge political and social cost. The state was predatory yet technocratic, reform-minded, yet quick to crack down on dissidents in the name of political order. The chaebol received massive government support to pioneer new growth industries, even as a nationwide campaign of economic shock therapy—interest hikes, devaluation, and wage cuts—met strong public resistance and caused considerable hardship. UC San Diego’s Stephan Haggard describes the work as “remarkable...[it] will establish itself as the most significant work on the Park period.”

For more information, please visit the link below:​policy/​policy/​the_park_chung_hee_era_the_transformation_of_south_korea.html

Cast: The Korea Society


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