Recently Featured Content


Recently Featured Content

Rebranding Freddie: From Korean Adoptee to Swedish Design Star

A casual glance at 32-year-old Swedish branding-design mastermind Fredrik (Freddie) ֖st and one would hardly label him a Swede. His smallish frame, long black hair, and Asian eyes place him from this part of the world.

Born somewhere in South Korea, sometime in July 1981 to unknown parents, his entrance into the world contrasts the style and flair of the man now. Not long after birth, he was found wrapped up and abandoned in a police station; a discarded infant, barely a few days full of breath. He was sent to an orphanage to await his fate as an international adoptee. A few months later, he was sent to Sweden, as two new parents awaited anxiously.


Jeongwol Daeboreum 2015

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The Jeolwol Daeboreum festivities date back hundreds of years and it is still amazing to see just how many people come out to these celebrations. This festival is held on the first full moon of the lunar year. The typical celebrations will start in the afternoon with singing and dancing until the final main event. Here in Ulsan, the main event is the burning of the Daljib. The Daljib is the large pile of straw and branches that gets burned to ward off evil spirits and misfortune in the new year.


Playing with Fire – Korea’s Great Full Moon

The Great Full Moon Party (대보름날 Daeboreum Nal)

Not so long ago – before Korea was divided into commie and capitalist-puppet halves and before it was annexed into a fascist empire – Buddhism and the folk traditions of the peninsular reigned supreme. I have no idea what the folk religions were, but they have to be way more fun than worshipping a skinny jewish guy who was nailed to a cross and whose father cares way too much about where people stick their genitals. Of course there was Confucianism, which isn’t so much a religion as it is a set of strict societal rules.


Take a Look into a Korean Folk Village (민속촌)

민속촌 means "folk village," and there are only few of them in Korea. The most popular Korean folk village is located in Yong-in City (용인시), which is south of Seoul.

A 민속촌 offers us a glimpse into traditional Korean life. There are old-style Korean buildings, arts and crafts displays, performances, and more. You could visit for an hour or spend the entire afternoon, and there are plenty of interesting things to do and see for everyone.
Check out the video below for a guided tour of Korea's most popular 민속촌!
민속촌: Traditional Korean village and K-drama filming spot



And are you just starting to learn Korean, or want a solid review of the basics? Then my book "Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language" is the book for you! You can check the book out on my site here, or find it directly through Amazon and most online retailers.

Or if you've already started learning Korean and want to take your skills to the next level, check out my second book in the series, "Korean Made Simple 2: The next step in learning the Korean language." You can check out the sequel here, or find it directly through Amazon and most online retailers.

-Billy

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Buying a Car in Korea

As usual, I managed to go for weeks without posting, despite my best intentions. There's something about vacation that just sucks away what little ability I ever had to stick to deadlines or regimes, and suddenly it's been weeks and nothing at all productive has been done, even though I actually have more free time. It's a great mystery of my own personal universe.

In my defense, a lot has been going on. I did manage to buy my car, but not after what were probably the most stressful 48 hours of my life. Buying the car itself was pretty easy, but trying to get insurance...well, the phrase "when it rains, it pours" is pretty accurate here. Okay, story time.

So, I was cutting it pretty close, budget-wise, but I was pretty sure I had everything worked out. I'd heard from various people a ballpark range for insurance for a year, and naturally I divided that over 12 months and figured it was totally doable. That was, of course, where I made my first mistake.

Busan Shark Dive: Up Close and Personal with Jaws

When I was a young gal, I had an ungodly fear of sharks. Perhaps it was the animatronics at the Jaws ride at Universal Studios, or the threat constantly reiterated by the warning signs on the beaches of Destin, a beachside town in Florida where my family and I spent our summer vacations. So, it came as a surprise to me that I had an extreme desire to swim with them when I learned of the opportunity offered by the Sea Life Aquarium in Busan.

So, I left my nerves (and inhibitions) in Seoul and headed down to the southern coastal city to take a dive with Aquatic Frontier, a foreigner-owned and -operated diving company based just outside of Seoul.

Inspiration through Dance - Dance To Connect in Busan

Being part of a multi-racial society can be a barrier to making friends due to the limitations of language, but recently here in Busan four groups of people crossed that divide in a most unusual way.

The Dance-To-Connect workshop arranged by the American Embassy Seoul and the American Prescence Post in Busan invited the Battery Dance Company (BDC) from New York to hold a week long workshop in Busan.

The worksop was hosted at the Sohyang Music Theatre near Centum in Busan and comprised of four groups of people numbering about a hundred strong.

The four groups were split into, North Korean family members, disadvantaged children, a choir and multi-national housewives.

The theme of the show was to highlight the emotions of the lives of people in each group. I was very fortunate that my wife, a Filipina was one of the housewife group members and became the photographer for the event.


Now and Then: Beomeosa Temple

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A bird’s-eye-view of Beomeosa Temple from the turn of the last century.

Hello Again Everyone!!


Yongpyong Ski Resort

This is my second time skiing at Yongpyong, so I thought I’d write a guide for all of you who are thinking of going.

How to get there
The cheapest way to get to Yongpyong from Seoul is to head to the DongSeoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon station, Line 2) and buy the 14,500 won bus ticket to Hoenggye (pronounced Hweng-gay). Buses run a few times every hour and the ride takes about 2.5 or 3 hours, depending on the personality of the driver. The bus stops at two other towns before reaching Hoenggye.

At Hoenggye, you can shop for groceries at the supermarket next to the bus terminal before grabbing a taxi to your accomodation. There is also a free shuttle bus to the resort. Alternatively hook up with one of the private rental shops and they will likely pick you up for no extra charge.



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