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Saturn Return-ing 30 in Korea

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Saturn Return

This week, I prepare to bid farewell to my roaries twenties and celebrate entry into the dirty thirty club.  This year in particular (29) has been pretty magnificent, but it hasn’t been without heartache and disappointment.  People keep bringing up this idea of Saturn Return .  “The longer, more elaborate version: This is the astrological period of our life when the planet Saturn completes its orbit around the Sun, coinciding with the time of our birth. It happens every 29.5 years, so if you have skated by in your late 20s, this period could get you in your late 50s.”  Is this where the No Doubt album name originated?  Gwen Stefani was 30 or 31 when it was released.  I was obsessed with these tracks.  I was 13 when Return of Saturn was released, but the lyrics seem more relevant now than ever!

I don’t hold steadfast and true to astrology, but one can find poetry and life lessons in just about anything.  The idea that I should learn something from the craziness of my twenties is certainly not lost on me.  While I’ve been a teacher in Korea, life in Seoul in Busan has thrown me some curveballs.  I’d like to share what teaching and living in Korea has taught me in an elementary kind of way.  Here are a few Dr. Seuss memes to, pardon the pun, bring it all full circle.

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I’ve Learned to Love My Body

Being naked isn’t a crime.  Ajummas (the old gals) at jimjilbangs (bath houses/ spas) strut around, full bush and fupas out with pride.  They don’t give a rat’s ass about my curvy stomach and hips or my prickly legs.  I’ve worked hard to drop the weight I gained after joining the workforce and quitting my varsity days.  Now I’m in the maintenance stage which means I really have to dedicate quite a bit of time and energy to not balloon again.  I have to nourish my body even if that means being a hunter for protein and veggies at my own grocery store.  Now that I’m mere days away from 30, I know I’m never going to be perfect.  Getting a luxurious facial or massage is allowed and should damn well be in the budget.  If I want to get botox or lip injections then that’s my own personal choice.  Through fitness, nutrition, a Korean skin care regime, and time to treat myself I aim to strike a balance.  I strive to be a better me than yesterday.

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What the Fuck is this Shit?

Sometimes you’re just not going to have a damn clue what’s on your plate, written on a kid’s test, or walking down a runway.  Just learn to roll with it.  There’s no point in getting up in arms over something you don’t understand.  Culturally – take some time to do some research if you’re even feigning an interest.  If you’re living in or even just visiting another country, their customs will likely be foreign to you.  Try to figure ’em out.  If it’s just some other expat prick leaving you scratching your head – dealbreaker.  Move the fuck along.

 

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Tough Memories

Is dating shitty guys all part of Saturn Return?  Looking back on Taipei and Tokyo suuuuuucks.  I remember the amazing moments we shared and the distances we traveled together.  I try to see the silver lining in it all, but it’s not easy especially when I’m pinpointing the exact moments in Tokyo when he was texting his…less than reputable woman.  The best I can do is reflect on the good times and, instead of looking for negatives, think of learning opportunities for the future.  I got to feel the bliss of romance in Taiwan and Japan.  That’s pretty rad.

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Ghosting

A decent person will respond when txted, messaged, or called.  Don’t give out your phone number if you have no intention of ever seeing the person again.  If you’ve had interactions you don’t want to continue, find a nice way to tell the person.  It’s one thing to have a friendship or dating situation fizzle out, but hiding behind technology is so cowardly.

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No Fucks Left

Guys, I’m 30.  I’m exhausted.  This isn’t my first rodeo.  If you’re a flakey friend or a douchey date I’m over it.  I have zero fucks (red, blue or otherwise) left to give.  Sorry if that offends you, but I’m just outta chances to hand out.

  • If he’s not giving me what I need, I should just move on.
  • I’m not going to change him.  If he wants to become a better version of himself he will.  If I can help…great!
  • Change yourself for yourself.  Never change for him.

 

 

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On the Subject of Impact

Sometimes it’s hard to be a lifestyle blogger with a major focus on dating.  The impact of constantly trying to put myself out there has definitely taken a toll.  Of course I believe in love and want to find the right companion…for me.  The whole idea that I have to work on myself by myself is a little ridiculous, in my opinion.  My gal pals keep telling me to stay single and work on myself.  I think that’s a load of hooey.  I’m definitely a more organized and productive person when in a relationship.  I’m a busy person and I really have to carve out time to spend it with the people I like.  “Love yourself first” is an over-used phrase.  I love myself just fine, thank-you very much.  Why is it that the last three men who have tossed those three little words my way suddenly run in the opposite direction when I finally return their affection and say them back?  I say “I love you” to my friends constantly.  There are plenty of poetic ways to speak and show your affection.  By the time I return home I’ll have no partner and no job.  Will I have prospects?  Who knows…but it’s terrifying to look into the unknown.  Hopefully “terrifying” will be spun as “exhilirating” sometime soon.

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Most People Are Cunts

This, ladies and gentlemen, is truer than true.  While there are some great, salt of the Earth human beings out there, most people are only looking out for #1.  I’ve seen countless men and women be treated like absolute shit because they’re just an option and not a priority.  So much time is wasted because people are shitty to people.  We like to hurt one-another.  Plus, let’s talk bloggers.  I’ve encountered some amazing, supportive women in Korea.  Most people think that expat/ travel/ beauty/ foodie bloggers are all in competition.  That’s not true at all.  If you look through any of my posts here or on The Toronto Seoulcialite you’ll find I try to take any opportunity to link to the supporters in the community.  That said, there are some real assholes around.  I don’t know how I’ve been unable to identify the patterns.  I want to give everyone a fair chance, but it’s exhausting when people want a piece of you for a free hotel stay or meal.  Boys and girls, there’s no such thing as a free meal.  If I’m working in contra with a brand there’s a multi-faceted marketing plan to go along with a post.  You don’t just get to share 1 sly pic on instagram and live a life of luxury.  There’s plenty of work to share around.  Stop being cunts and just support one-another, dammit.

 

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The Internet

Can people on the internet just stop and realise that bloggers are people too?  The number of degrading comments and threats I’ve received for discussing fluffed up dating scenarios is insane.  You can’t take anything some angry troll with a firewall security blanket says seriously.  This one is still something with which I struggle, as these people know exactly who I am (and often where to find me), but they’re safely behind fake profiles with stolen profile pictures (or none at all).  I love to get helpful suggestions from readers.  They’re few and far between, so if you’ve got something then please go ahead and e-mail me or leave it in the comments.  Recently a faceless Korean instagrammer told me to start YouTube as my lengthy posts aren’t always the easiest to understand.  That was a great suggestion!  Telling me to go back to Canada because I’m clearly someone who couldn’t get a job back home?  Not so helpful.  Ps. I was the Director of Sales and Marketing for a group of companies back in Toronto.  I took a major pay cut to come to Korea and don’t regret it for a second.

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Stand Out

In the Apgujeong area of Seoul, Korea, there are so many versions of the same face it’s scary.  I don’t want to look like anyone else.  I want to feel authentic.  I don’t, however, need to have my natural hair colour or bags under my eyes to feel authentic.  If someone is telling me I look tired and should ‘take a rest’, maybe I am tired and should slow down.  Having blonde hair in Korea constantly means I stand out.  Will I keep it back in Canada?  Who knows!  I definitely feel more like myself as a blonde (having gone back to the dark side earlier this year).  I enjoy the liberties Koreans take with style.  Some of the conventions are a little weird (the shortest skirts, most conservative tops, and most heinous shoes).  I hope I can feel free enough to stand out with my own personal style when I go back to Toronto.

 

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Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

I don’t think in 30 years I’ve had a birthday as amazing as this one.  The most important people showed up and completely showered me with love (and food – the true way to my heart and Seoul).  Having all of those people in one room was overwhelming, hysterical, and incredibly fun.  I’m amazed and humbled that I can be the brassy, unapologetically honest, wild, and sensitive person I am with the people I have met in Korea.  We’re never gunna survive unless we get a little crazy, but I know mine can be a lot to handle.  Thank you for showing me all kinds of crazy love.  My Saturn Return feels like a positive renaissance.  Here’s to the next 30.  Peace out, Saturn.

The post Saturn Return-ing 30 in Korea appeared first on That Girl Cartier.


The Toronto Socialite
 
      
That Girl Cartier
 
     

 


The North Korea Travel Ban is Probably a Good Idea at this point

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This is a repost of an essay I wrote for the Lowy Institute recently on the travel ban preventing Americans from going to North Korea as of September 1 this year. The picture is the US State Department mailer to this effect from a few days ago on my iPhone.

Basically my argument is that the ban is a good idea at this point given how many foreigners Kim Jong Un seems to be snatching during his reign. The numbers have gone up, and although I went to North Korea as a tourist myself and have recommended it in the past, I no longer do so, especially for Americans. It’s just way too dangerous now.

Otto Warmbier’s death is the last straw, as I figure it was for Tillerson. At the time of his death, I thought a travel ban might well be the next step. I still find it curious that Kim Jong Un did not let Warmbier leave earlier. The tourist trade brings in needed dollars, and Pyongyang is already complaining about the US halt. They easily could have let him go when he fell into a coma and then just pretextually snatched the next idiot US tourist who drank too much to replace Warmbier. But they held onto him to the point where they’re responsible for his death. Pointless. Just shows once again how awful North Korea really is.

My full essay on the travel ban follows the jump:

Beginning in August, US citizens will no longer be allowed to travel to North Korea. The death of Otto Warmbier appears to have been the final straw. Warmbier was a young American tourist arrested after a drunken prank in North Korea in 2016. Imprisoned, he received ‘medical care,’ likely from a hack doctor, given that high-quality care in North Korea is rationed for elites. He fell into a coma, was returned to the US this spring, and died shortly thereafter. Naturally, North Korea accepted no blame for this young man’s pointless death.

Once again, North Korea demonstrated its breezy disregard for global norms. Warmbier was an apolitical youngster in far over his head, clearing not attempting to ‘bring down the state’ as he was charged. It is transparently obvious that he was picked up to use as a bargaining chip. It is widely assumed that US citizens arrested by North Korea are only returned after some backroom deal is made. Presumably that was the intent with Warmbier as well. That even his life-threatening health crisis did not move the regime to release him until too late is likely the cause for Rex Tillerson’s State Department to finally push through the ban.

The notion of a North Korean travel ban has lurked on the fringes of the analyst community debate for a long time. The increasing taking of US hostages under the Kim Jong Un regime had revived the policy idea, while Warmbier’s unprecedented death – no other American tourist-cum-hostage has died from North Korean custody – suddenly elevated it. Kim’s predecessor and father, Kim Jong Il, took the occasional hostage but likely saw the tourist trade as valuable source of income. Under Jong Il, the military’s position in the economy was elevated, and North Korea’s economy unsurprisingly contracted, including a famine that killed nearly 10% of the population. In that environment, every dollar counted. Jong Un though has explicitly focused on economic growth, and it seems to be working. Hence, he may feel freer to take hostages as political bargaining chips as their relative economic value shrinks.

It is difficult to know how much the tourist trade nets North Korea. The regime provides no statistics of course. My back-of-the-envelope math suggests North Korea will lose about five millions dollars from the US ban. I travelled to North Korea in 2012. I went through the largest of the tour companies, Koryo Tours. (Warmbier went through Yong Pioneer Tours.) I spent approximately $5,000 on a standard, mid-range ten-day tour. Roughly 1,000 Americans go to North Korea each year. Hence my guesstimate of five million USD lost.

For perspective, North Korea’s economy is approximately 35 billion dollars, and it raised annually around $80 million dollars from the now-closed, North-South joint industrial park at Kaesong. So that five million is not large. But North Korea has repeatedly sought the re-opening of Kaesong, and the loss of tourism income, both from banned Americans and others now frightened off from visiting, does have two impacts:

First, North Korea exports almost nothing (legally). So hard currency is in great demand to fund the imports of luxury goods and foreign technologies for the nuclear and missile programs. It is widely thought that the Kims keep the loyalty of their retainers by showering them with gifts like foreign cars, HDTVs, top-shelf alcohol, and possibly narcotics. Dollars are needed for this and to participate in global WMD black market. It is curious that Kim simply did not let Warmbier leave. It would have been easy to do, and he could easily have been replaced by another tourist later. Instead, Kim lost an easy source of US dollars.

Second, legal western currency, even in small amounts, has a multiplier effect. Legal tender allows North Korea to wash revenue from its (presumably) much larger currency-raising operations of illegal activities. Chinese banks, where North Korea likely parks its money, are coming under greater scrutiny as the sanctions debate turns increasingly toward financial restrictions. Legal monies from tourism and Kaesong were a nice way to deflect that pressure. Indeed, conservatives in the US and South Korea long argued to stop tourism and inter-Korean projects – for which North Korea always insists on payment – for precisely this reason. It is again curious that Kim did not simply make the minor concession of releasing Warmbier.

Given Warmbier’s death and Kim’s zeal for US hostage-taking, the ban is probably a good idea at this point. When I went, it was still pretty safe. But I have not counseled anyone to go in years given the up-tick in snatchings. The ban does violate the basic right of freedom of movement. The US rarely bans travel; even the Cuba restrictions are fading. But it has become quite obvious that Kim is happy to use in-country foreigners as hostages; he did the same with Malaysians a few months ago. The ban is also a way to punish North Korea at a time when we are genuinely at a loss for how to retaliate against it for its many regular provocations. President Trump’s impulse is to strike North Korea, but he cannot, and yet more sanctions seems (but is not) stale and redundant. So this is at least a mild, and justified, counter-punch.

But it does come with a loss. American tourism into North Korea was the last, only way for regular, non-elite Americans and North Koreans to interact. Yes, it was all highly staged. Yes, it was perverted for ideological purposes by the regime. But there still was some people-to-people contact removed from the high politics of distrustful elites. North Koreans in stores, at parks, on the street, and so on could see, at least a little bit, regular Americans in the twenties and thirties talking, laughing, asking to buy lunch or find a bathroom like everyone else in the world. And vice versa. It was not much, but at least it was something to humanize the other side. However necessary the ban is, it is too bad that that is all over.


Filed under: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Korea (North), Lowy Institute, United States


Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

 


추어탕 도전 먹방 Korean Food Challenge – Mudfish Soup

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CHU-EO-TANG (추어탕) is soup made from mudfish. Mudfish are small, long fish that smell a bit. But I'm no stranger to eating fish, so when I heard that visitors to Korea often avoid eating it, I decided I had to give it a try.

I went together with my friend 소영 to try it for our first time. You can get it as either ground or whole mudfish. For this video, we tried the ground-up mudfish soup. Next time I'll definitely get the whole mudfish in my soup. And you eat it together with other toppings such as chives and ground perilla seeds. I'd recommend giving it a try, as long as you like fish. It does have a nice fishy flavor which some people could dislike - but that I love.

Check out our adventure eating mudfish soup here~

The post 추어탕 도전 먹방 Korean Food Challenge – Mudfish Soup appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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The Korean In-Laws in Australia!

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So, my Korean in-laws finally stepped-out of Korea.  For the first time in their lives they made it to another country.  And I missed it!

I was actually really gutted.  I had longed planned a big cycle touring trip of Australasia; firstly cycling from Darwin to Melbourne in Australia and then cycling all around New Zealand over a period of about 3 months or so.

Unfortunately, this coincided with their trip to see my wife, which occurred fairly last-minute due to my wife having a short gap between jobs.  Seeing as my wife had some time-off they jumped at the chance to come visit.

I had always looked-forward to observing how my in-laws would react in a Western English-speaking country that was well outside of their comfort zone.  My in-laws are both from Suncheon, a smallish city in Jeollanamdo, quite possibly the most rural province in Korea and quite far from the international hubs of Seoul and Busan.

In Korea, I was the stumbling, bumbling fool, who got around with limited Korean and was ignorant of a wide variety of cultural practices and things going on around me. Now it was their turn.

I wasn't just interested in a bit of schadenfreude, however (although it would have been wonderful), I was actually really curious to see how they'd react to it all.  Fortunately, my wife kept me up to date with what was going on.

As I suspected, my mother in-law appeared to be quite fascinated with everything and open-minded, especially with regard to food.  My father in-law, not so much.

The first thing they did after leaving the airport in Melbourne was go to the nearest Korean restaurant, even before going home to freshen up.  My wife told me that in the week her father was there, he ate pork belly every single day (this is the cut used in samgyeopsal in Korea), and in the whole time he was there ate nothing but Korean food except on two occasions; once eating a warm jam doughnut at Victoria Market, and one time eating fish and chips while on the Great Ocean Road.  Apparently, the fish and chips made him literally sick later on that evening.  He was also quite pleased that he could buy an ample amount of soju to wash down the copious amount of pork belly he was consuming.

Surprisingly, perhaps, they commented that my wife should not come back to Korea, and that they really liked Australia.  Maybe some of this is to do with how successful my wife has been (after a tough 2 years) in Melbourne.  They beamed with pride about how my wife works as a surgery room nurse in the most prestigious public hospital in Melbourne, The Alfred.  One of their few requests for places to visit was the hospital itself, and they made sure all their friends back home knew about this.

Among the things that impressed my father in-law about Australia was the sheer scale of the place and the abundance of open land.  On their trip along the Great Ocean Road, my wife said he gazed in fascination out of the window for most of the journey, even when there was little to see.  To be fair Australia's wide expanses of flat, baron land must be quite a difference to the lifetime of forested mountains he must have been used to, with cities and buildings squeezed into the flat spaces in between (he should cycle through the centre of the country for a real shock).

Of course, the thing that gave him the most joy was the cost of pork belly, which was quite a bit less expensive than Korea.  Apparently, the jam doughnut in Victoria Market was the only distraction from him salivating over the cheap choice cuts of pork belly at the butchers there.

My mother in-law was taken aback by the number of men she saw pushing prams and carrying babies.  She thought this was a great thing, and something she never really saw in Korea.  She was also very happy with how politely she was treated by the young men she came into contact with generally.  She was less impressed with the women, however, who she perceived as being a little more cold, self-entitled, and uptight than she expected.

Another thing that caught her eye was just how individual people were in their sense of style.  Melbourne is perhaps an especially noticeable place for things like this, with St Kilda where I live being a particularly eccentric place.  She was intrigued about how people mostly didn't give a damn about what they were wearing or how they were acting.

My mother in-law stayed on for 2 weeks longer than my father in-law, who had work commitments after one week.  She was able to go on an extra trip over to the Grampians, a range of unique-looking mountains a couple of hours North-West of Melbourne.  Unfortunately for her, this coach trip was also frequented by a large number of Indians, who were apparently smelling strongly of curry and body odour (I promise you these are her and my wife's words, not mine).  Knowing that my wife and my mother in-law are a pair of bloodhounds when it comes to their sense of smell (they have both put me to the sword at times for "Western smell"), and rather intolerant of unwelcome odours, this put a smile on my face while I was cycling through New Zealand.  Apparently they moved seats several times to escape the worst of the stench, but to no avail.  They were also highly critical of the punctuality of a pair of young German girls who were always late, and the last ones to get on the bus at the end of each stop.

Apart from the odd bit of culture shock, like this, however, I was pleasantly surprised about how well they adjusted to such a brave new world.  Amazingly, they encouraged my wife not to even visit them in Korea, but just to wait until they visited her in Australia, or even meet up somewhere else in the world.  My mother in-law, especially, has always wanted to go to Germany, a place where she dreamed of working as a nurse once (perhaps this is where my wife got her ambitions from).

Funnily enough, though, she doesn't have much interest in visiting England, and my hometown in particular.  Curiously, this has a lot to do with my mother, who she feels slightly uncomfortable intruding upon, and is convinced that her daughter is not a good daughter in-law as well.  Despite numerous attempts to allay her fears on this subject, she is convinced that because my wife did not cook for her and clean the house when we were there (and knowing her character generally), my mother must think ill of her for bringing such a rotten daughter in-law into the world.  The truth being to the contrary, that my mother thinks my wife is lovely, and surely wouldn't harbour such thoughts against her mothering skills, and would certainly be delighted to be a host if my mother in-law ever chose to visit.

The only problem for my wife is that her brother misses out.  He, like many thirty-something Koreans, is tied to a job with a scant amount of holiday time, if any at all, so visiting Australia, or indeed almost anywhere overseas except China and Japan is extremely difficult.  I think he really misses his sister.

It seems though, as if both my in-laws have caught the travel bug now, they are keen to visit again and to as many countries as possible.  With this in mind then, I am sure I will get my wish, and see them out of their comfort zone for myself in the near future.

Note:  This is a delayed post, as I forgot about it completely.

Korean Dating Etiquette: What You Must Know

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Whether you’re planning a trip to visit Korea or you’re planning to relocate to Korea on a more permanent basis, you’re about to experience a fun and exciting culture that is extremely warm and welcoming to newcomers. That being said, there may be some cultural differences depending on where you’re coming from, especially in social arenas like making friends and going on dates.

Dating is a great way to experience a new culture — you get to become close with new people, and while you enjoy spending time with them you’ll also get to experience Korea through their eyes. Whether it’s checking out your new companion’s favorite off the beaten path restaurant or visiting a part of South Korea you didn’t know existed, you’re bound to have a great time if you find yourself dating while you spend time abroad.

Before you ask out the next cute boy or girl you see, let us help you familiarize yourself with Korean dating culture. There are definitely some ins and outs that you should know beforehand, and they’ll help you steer clear of any social faux pas. Read on for our tips, and happy dating!

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Meeting Dates in Korea: Where are all the single people?

Korean dating etiquette

Before you need to worry about the ins and outs of dating, you’re probably wondering where to meet eligible bachelors or bachelorettes in the first place. Korea isn’t like many Western countries where suitors are encouraged to go up to attractive strangers to make small talk (and maybe ask for a phone number if it goes well). Rather, the most common way to meet new romantic candidates is through friends and acquaintances.

The logic is that if someone you already know tells you that you should consider a new dating prospect, chances are much higher that the date will go well than if you were to consider dating a stranger who knows nothing about you (except that they like the way you look).

The best way to broaden your dating horizons the next time you’re in South Korea is by making friends, so start by talking and being friendly with as many people as possible! This will help you fully enjoy and experience Korean culture, and it may lead you to a “hey, you know who I should introduce you to…” conversation sooner rather than later.

Who picks up the bill?

Korean dating etiquette

Okay, so you’ve made some Korean friends, and one of them has set you up on a date. Congratulations! Now that you’re going on a date, you’re probably already wondering who is going to end up covering the bill at the end of the evening.

This is a controversial issue across the world in different dating cultures, and it seems like most people have a strong opinion about it either way. Fear not — we’ll fill you in so you handle this situation with ease the next time it comes up!

In Korean dating culture, what typically happens is that as the evening progresses and you get dinner at a restaurant, go to a movie, stop by an ice cream shop afterwards, etc., one person will cover the entire tab at each place. Now, that means different things to different people — some men who tend to be more old fashioned prefer to pick up each check on the first date, whereas some women are more comfortable covering at least a portion of the evening.

While there’s no answer that is correct 100% of the time, feel out the evening and if you’re comfortable doing so, cover the first bill of the night (whether it’s dinner or drinks). Chances are, your date will pick up the next bill, and the evening will progress that way.

The ‘three day rule’ does NOT apply

Korean dating etiquette

If you’re dating in a country other than Korea, you’re probably familiar with the ‘three day rule,’ or the rule that you shouldn’t reach out to someone you’re newly interested in via text or phone call for at least three solid days after getting their phone number. This rule has been a focal point of romantic comedies and sitcoms for the last decade, and some men (and women) swear by its effectiveness.

While you’re in Korea, throw the ‘three day rule’ out the window if you don’t want to ruin your chances with the new cutie you’re trying to talk to. Koreans are generally glued to their smart phones and love instant messaging, so if you choose not to reach out to your crush they may take it as you not being interested.

Furthermore, if your crush reaches out to you via text or IM (which they will, and often!), if you don’t respond for a couple of hours because you aren’t checking your phone they will more likely than not think you are rejecting them.

Keep your phone on you, and don’t be afraid to show your affection with emoticons! Your crush will thank you for it.

What about PDA?

Korean dating etiquette

PDA (public displays of affection) is another aspect of dating that can vary greatly across different cultures, and like splitting the bill, PDA can bring up strong opinions on both sides. While you’re dating in Korea, you’ll likely notice that your significant other won’t be open to intense displays of affection in public.

In South Korea, passionate kisses and lingering hugs are considered tacky and inappropriate when they take place in public. Rather, they’re seen as special, romantic moments that should be shared with your partner in a private setting.

Although you won’t see many kisses while you’re venturing around Korea, feel free to hold your date’s hand or put your arm around them — these are both considered appropriate displays of affection and can make you feel closer to your date throughout the evening.

You’re ready for a Korean date!

Whether it’s splitting the bill, texting, or PDA, you’re now familiar with all of the basics that will get you through the preliminary stages of dating when you’re in Korea next. Whether you’re interested in going on a couple of early dates or you’re looking to build a prolonged relationship with someone, you have all the tools necessary to navigate Korean dating culture.

What advice would you give someone looking to date in Korea? Share your tips and insights in the comments below!

 

If you want to make sure your Korean language skills are good to go before your trip, check out our 90 Minute Challenge to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet, and see where you stand. Have fun!

 

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

 

 


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Seoul-stagram Goals: StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe @ Pink Hotel

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Seoul Cute Cafe Theme Cafe Review StyleNanda Pink Hotel Pink Pool Cafe Myeongdong Seoul Korea Best Theme Cafe Toronto Seoulcialite

StyleNanda Pink Hotel

The new StyleNanda flagship store in Myeongdong has been brought to my attention by several Seoul blogger and insta-blogger friends in Korea.  Normally I wouldn’t want to saturate the WWW with a story my friends have already covered.  When friends of mine from Toronto came to Seoul for a quick visit, the StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe instantly came to mind.  Sure, they’d want to see the mega hits in Seoul, but I wanted them to get a sense of the cafe culture in the city.

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StyleNanda Pink Hotel Lobby

Wes Anderson fans rejoice!  The lobby of the StyleNanda Pink Hotel is totally reminiscent of the Grand Budapest Hotel.  I wouldn’t have believed it myself had it not been for The Soul of Seoul’s recommendation to visit this quirky spot.  Everything is pink, gold, and luxurious.  The velour accents make the whole place feel old, yet charming.  Details like the keys at the information station and the gold elevators really make you feel as though you’ve entered a completely different era…and perhaps even country!

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StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe

The StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe did not disappoint!  This floor looked like we were actually about to step out into a 90’s “Saved by the Bell” diner-themed pool party (you remember “The Max”, right?).  The neon lights were adorable and well-placed.  The lighting in most areas was very bright – perfect for instagram shots, of course!  We each ordered different drinks, charged our phones, and then made our way through the giant shop.

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StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe Drinks

My blue cream soda slushie topped with blue cotton candy immediately began to fall apart.  It made a giant mess all over the table.  Word to the wise – they have wet tissues up at the counter.  Working with this much cotton candy I guess they knew they’d have to!  While messy, my cream soda slushie (actually just named “soda”, so don’t be fooled) was incredibly delicious.  The slushie itself wasn’t too icy.  I prefer mine to be cold, but smooth, so it was great!  My melting cotton candy even hit the spot…what was left of it!

StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe Coffee

A ordered the Americano which came with cotton candy.  Truth be told it was pretty watery and not something I’d want to order myself.  J, on the other hand, got a brewed coffee which might have been the best I’ve had in Korea thus far.  Korea isn’t exactly well-known for producing a great cuppa Joe, so if that’s what you’re craving this coffee might be for you!

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StyleNanda Clothing, Accessories, & Make-Up

Each floor had its own unique design catering to the style of item being sold.  We found really reasonably priced jeans, shirts, bathing suits, jewelry, bags, and make-up – TONS of make-up!  I didn’t pick anything up a we were in a bit of a rush, but That Girl Cartier will definitely be back to hit up the StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe rooftop.  It was unfortunately closed the day we went, so I’ll have to check it out again soon!

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Where is the StyleNanda Pink Hotel Flagship Store?

STYLENANDA PINK HOTEL Flagship Store & STYLENANDA PINK POOL CAFE
** Take Exit 6 of Myeongdong Station **
37-8, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
(66-2, Chungmuro 2-ga)
Open hours : 11:00 – 23:00
Check out my friend Arielle aka “Soju4Two” on YouTube for her experience at The StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe!

StyleNanda Pink Hotel Flagship Store instagram Faves

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The post Seoul-stagram Goals: StyleNanda Pink Pool Cafe @ Pink Hotel appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.


Caribbean Bay Water Park Discount Ticket Promotion for Foreigners Only on Trazy!

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Looking for discount tickets to Caribbean Bay, the best Korean water park near Seoul? Be sure to check out these special discounts for foreigners and deals!
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a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
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3 Must-Try Rides & Attractions at Caribbean Bay Water Park in Korea

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Planning a visit to Caribbean Bay, Korea? Here are the 3 must-try rides at Caribbean Bay Water Park, the best Korean water park near Seoul!

Korea 1967

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Korea1967When stationed in Korea 1967, I took up photography as a hobby.  Below are some of  the photographs.  You can find the entire set at Korea1967.blogspot.kr
Please feel free to inform friends and family of the people depicted that they can be download from here.

- Mark Presco
Korea1967.blogspot.kr


  
  

 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

 

 


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