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Steampunk Art in Seoul

This weekend I shall be taking the KTX train north to Seoul for its Steampunk Art Unfurled: Art of Victorian Futurism.

The showing will take place across from Seoul National University. Do click the Bing Map link to see the location.

The Creeping Koreanization of my Life in Three Acts

by Third Bass

“We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters.”

-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

The journey–from filling out a few forms, gathering some docs, and hopping on a plane–to full-on liferdom in Korea is a road many have traveled. Below is nothing more than my own particular road, which has its unique attributes, but like a river with thousands of tributaries, shares a common terminus.

The Epic of Bibimbap - Part 3: Andong Bibimbap

"Part 3: Traditions of Splendor" presents Andong Bibimbap which is deeply rooted in the Korean confucian tradition and culture.

   See the detailed recipe and tips here.



What happens when you’re sure of a life decision, but suddenly get beaten down with an onslaught of criticism against it? For me, I have always carried my resolve through these kinds of storms (mostly to a beneficial end), but this time I find myself in the unique and rare position of being completely lost. How has a decision that I have been sure of for the past three years crumbled in a few days?

R.I.P Michael Simning

Okay, let’s see if I can do this without getting emotional.

While I know many of you may be expecting another silly comic today, I’m sorry to say that recent events in the city of Gwangju have left me feeling too emotionally and physically hollow to draw something worth giggling at. Instead, here’s some art I’ve done in the past few days.

A few days ago, a dear friend of mine passed away after years of being one of the strongest yet funniest men I had ever met. When I first arrived in this wonderful city I now call home, he was one of the first people to help my still culture shocked self feel at ease. I believe he had this effect on a lot of people who have passed through here. Our love for fatty foods, as well as his constant approval of my drawings of curvy women, brought us closer together, and I have considered him a great friend ever since.

Review of Park Geun-Hye’s first Year as Korean President

My comments to Al Jazeera on Park Geun-Hye’s first year in office


Why does it Happen? Some Korean Cultural Conclusions

It has come to my attention that foreigners in Korea (including me) often use cultural explanations for much of the behaviour that can be seen by Korean people and also sometimes draw conclusions from it.  Why is that?

There will be a significant number of people who will chalk it down to prejudice or a lack of understanding, and to be fair in some people, and with some issues, this may very well be the case.  However, the story is not a simple as that.  In my opinion, there are obvious traits about Korean culture that stand-out and that guide us to cultural conclusions, and these are very often the right ones.  Let's go through a few and I will highlight the simplified cultural explanation (SCE) and see if there is any truth to it:

Plastic Surgery

The Strange Meals of Mr. TJ: A Portrait of Selective Eating Disorder


by Ralph Karst

Let me introduce to you a friend and former co-worker, TJ. TJ, an American, has lived in Korea for about four years. In that time, he has not eaten Korean food. Not at all, not once, ever. Not a nibble. Unusual, but not totally inconceivable. Most foreigners in Korea probably know at least a few fellow ex-pats who generally steer clear of kimchi, kimbap, duenjang chiggae, and bibimbap, even if they do occasionally sample something “safe” like Korean BBQ, or a bowl of noodles of some sort. So TJ, while extreme, you could say fits in at the end of a recognizable scale.

The Story Of…Bulguksa Temple


Korea’s most famed temple: Bulguksa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Dear Korea #114 - Can't Trust Technology


Sigh~ As the comic illustrates, my first attempt at taking the driving test did not end with happy news. At least I learned quite a bit, though I can’t say I agree with everything that went down.

When taking the driving test, at least where I took it, whoever is behind the wheel is expected to follow directions from an electronic voice in the car. The good news is that this can be done in English, though some of the wording can be a little awkward. There is a proctor who will sit in the car to keep and eye on your every move, but they will usually stay silent throughout most of the ride. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that many of them don’t speak much English.

I’m not sure just how badly I did, as there were so many different things I lost points for. The biggest, most confusing thing that made me lose a lot of points was not putting my car in neutral when stopped at a red light. WHY IS THIS A THING?! I’ve also heard of people losing points for turning their heads to check their blind spots, which I didn’t do too often. What ultimately made me fail was running a hidden red light at a cross walk that was impossible to until it was too late. I know for a fact that this red light has failed MANY people at this particular DMV. Tricky stuff!

The worst part? If you fail, you can’t take the test again for three days. Bleh. I’m still not sure why the machine kept saying “beeper”, though I think it might have something to do with the GPS in the car.

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