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South Korea's Best Themed Cafes

Over the past decade, coffee shops have taken over the streets throughout South Korea; it's impossible to walk around neighborhood without running into a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or Tom and Toms. Competition for customers is high so it's not surprising that entrepreneurs have begun to try out creative methods to make their businesses stand out from the rest. So... what to you get when you mix creativity, competition, and coffee? Themed cafes, of course, and finding them has become a favorite hobby of mine since moving to Korea.

I've compiled my favorites into a list below, complete with ratings, comments and a map.  Be sure to bookmark this page, as I will update it as I come across new ones. Please note that businesses close or move quite frequently in Korea; it is best to call beforehand to confirm that the business is open.

People Watching - Some Obvious and Superficial Differences Between the UK and Korea

For the last month, I have been back at home in England.  The differences between my home and Korea is something that has always fascinated me, so it has been interesting to wonder around in my hometown and do all the things I used to do and just people watch, whilst at the same time have a strange feeling that I now have a rather Korean perspective about it all.  Here are some really obvious things I noticed this month:

1.  Happy Dogs Being Walked

The Death of Patch and Why Coming to Korea Was Always a Good Idea

Today I mourn the end of an era. Not in South Korea, although an ending is coming soon (I am coming back for a second year and should write about all that is happening, but that is for another post) when my job in Dadaepo, Busan, finishes and my school puts another nail in its coffin by turning the sole remaining foreign teacher position into a part-time role. This leaves the school with three Korean-English teachers, a PT’er and a new director who may or may not teach, while moving between two branches. Unfortunately, it also leaves me out. 

Thankfully, even a tough English teacher job market in Busan gives me an opportunity to get another one pretty quickly, which I did. I will return in early March, in Gimhae, one city away, but at least I will be close (and, hopefully, on the Busan-Gimhae Lightrail). Also, employed. 

Kimchi Battle Korea

Saturday December  7, over 40 foreigners joined together to attend the Gangnam Kimchi Battles at the Kimchi Cultural Center in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul.  Kimchi is Korea's most trademark side dish consisting of spicy fermented cabbage.   The event  celebrate kimchi making and sharing (known as kimjang) being put on UNESCO's cultural  heritage list.

A Girl's Guide to Gangnam, Day One: Sinsa-dong

Psy may have put Gangnam on the map with his bow-ties and "gentleman"ly behavior, but the fact of the matter is... Gangnam is for girls.

Recently, I took a bit of a staycation in Seoul's upscale district in search of the area's best shopping, dining and entertainment facilities and made a point to take plenty of notes for all you gals looking to make the most of your visit to Gangnam's most famous neighborhoods: Apgujeong, Cheongdam-dong and Sinsa-dong.

For the ultimate Gangnam experience, it's best to devote two days of your Seoul vacation to the district.  To save you time, I've compiled a two-part, two-day itinerary that will focus on must-see attractions, restaurants and even accommodations.

How to Pack the perfect Sack- Backpacking

How to Pack the Perfect Sack

A Guide for Backpackers

The complaints!

Another fan mail!  Actually, it’s the same person who asked about how to handle the kids.  This time the problem is focused on how to get a handle on the complaints.

Let’s look at the heavily edited e-mail:

 I’d also love it if you could post about classic complaints from mothers of students and how teachers can avoid the cardinal sins that bring them about in the first place.

The Revolution Will Not be Grammaticized

The No-Poo Shampoo Method & A Guest Blogger!

Shew- That was a long break from the blog!

These last few months have been CRAZY! (More to come on that later)

There are lots of you out there that are in the honeymoon stages of your new year resolutions... or still trying to think of one. Lots of people will want to lose weight or begin a healthy lifestyle.

What is my advice to those of you who want to make LASTING changes this year?
I could tell you all to go vegan tomorrow, or start running and working out everyday, but how many of you would do that and STICK TO IT? Maybe 1% or less, right?

Dear Korea #109 - Customer Service


Boom! New comic! Looks like drawing in front of a live audience makes me work a lot faster, making it easier for me to get things done on time. Then again, I’ve always been one of those people that worked better under pressure, even if that “pressure” is me chatting about video games with strangers while working.

This week’s comic is about those little call buttons they have at restaurants. WHY IS THIS NOT A THING EVERYWHERE? Seriously, I love them. It’s one of those things I wish they had back in the states. Then again, having worked as a waitress back home, I’m pretty sure such a thing would have driven me crazy. I wonder if it drives the waitstaff here crazy. Darn, now I feel bad. Still, the convenience is awesome, especially when you’re sitting in an area where people can’t really see you.

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