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Weekly Featured Events - April 17~23, 2015

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-04-17 02:34
Weekly Featured Events - April 17~23, 2015

Coming Up This Weekend & Beyond 

  • Foreign Culture Market
  • ​Busan KOTESOL Symposium
  • 2nd Critical Mass
  • Tipsy Talk, FlowerFest
  • HaHa Hole
  • Craft Beer Fest
  • Mira Story
  • & more


Check out all Koreabridge Event Listings (and post your own) at: http://koreabridge.net/calendar

1st Annual Craft Beer Festival in Gapyeong
http://koreabridge.net/event/1st-annual-craft-beer-festival-gapyeong-apr...
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:00

World Cinema XII
http://koreabridge.net/event/world-cinema-xii-april-2015
Repeats every day until Fri Apr 24 2015 .
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:00

Nakdong Riverside Yuchae Flower Festival
http://koreabridge.net/event/nakdong-riverside-yuchae-flower-festival-ap...
Repeats every day until Sun Apr 19 2015 .
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:00

Africa Art Fair @ Walseok Art Hall in the KNN Centum Building
http://koreabridge.net/event/africa-art-fair-walseok-art-hall-knn-centum...
Repeats every day until Sun Jun 21 2015 .
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:05

Tipsy Talk a.k.a. Drunk English
http://koreabridge.net/event/tipsy-talk-aka-drunk-english-april-2015
Repeats every week until Sat May 30 2015 .
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 19:00

The HaHa Hole! Busan's Open Mic Comedy Night @ OL'55
http://koreabridge.net/event/haha-hole-busans-open-mic-comedy-night-ol55...
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 22:00

Laochra Busan GAA - Gaelic Football Training
http://koreabridge.net/event/laochra-busan-gaa-gaelic-football-training-...
Repeats every 7 days until Sat Oct 24 2015 .
Sat, 04/18/2015 - 11:00

Busan KOTESOL Symposium: Culture in Korea's English Language Classroom
http://koreabridge.net/event/busan-kotesol-symposium-culture-koreas-engl...
Sat, 04/18/2015 - 12:30

2015 Spring Busan Flag Football Season
http://koreabridge.net/event/2015-spring-busan-flag-football-season-apri...
Repeats every 7 days until Sat Jun 13 2015 .
Sat, 04/18/2015 - 11:00

Busan's April Foreign culture market
http://koreabridge.net/event/busans-april-foreign-culture-market-april-2015
Sat, 04/18/2015 - 13:00

Dalmaji Art Market
http://koreabridge.net/event/dalmaji-art-market-april-2015
Repeats every day every Sunday and every Saturday until Wed Nov 25 2015 .
Sat, 04/18/2015 - 14:00

The 2nd Critical Mass Busan
제2회 크리티컬 매스 부산
http://koreabridge.net/event/2nd-critical-mass-busan-제2회 크리티컬 매스 부
Sat, 04/18/2015 - 15:00

Redeemer ICC Sunday Service
http://koreabridge.net/event/redeemer-icc-sunday-service-august-2014
Repeats every week every Sunday until Mon Dec 28 2015 .
Sun, 04/19/2015 - 11:00

English Worship Sevice @ Podowon Church in Yulli
http://koreabridge.net/event/english-worship-sevice-podowon-church-yulli...
Repeats every week every Sunday until Thu Dec 31 2015 .
Sun, 04/19/2015 - 12:00

Free Irish Dance Lessons
http://koreabridge.net/event/free-irish-dance-lessons-april-2015
Repeats every week until Sun Jun 14 2015 .
Sun, 04/19/2015 - 18:00

Language cast Busan weekly meetup
http://koreabridge.net/event/language-cast-busan-weekly-meetup-june-2014
Repeats every week until Thu Dec 31 2015 .
Mon, 04/20/2015 - 18:30

Janáček String Quartet Concert
http://koreabridge.net/event/jan%C3%A1%C4%8Dek-string-quartet-concert-ap...
Tue, 04/21/2015 - 19:30

Controversial 'Mira Story' to be screened at Gukdo Art Cinemahttp://koreabridge.net/event/controversial-mira-story-be-screened-gukdo-art-cinema-april-2015Wed, 04/22/2015 - 19:40 

Open Mic Night @ OL'55
http://koreabridge.net/event/open-mic-night-ol55-february-2015
Repeats every week until Wed Dec 30 2015 .
Wed, 04/22/2015 - 21:00

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Date a Man Who Travels

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-04-15 02:55
Date a Man Who Travels

Date a Man who travels

They are easily missed in the bustling, dusting, city centers of the world for they are usually camouflaged in local garb against the backdrop of pedestrians walking enmasse, motorbikes riding, tuk tuks tukking, darting in between the ever stacking egg crates, petting wandering goats and cows. Never confused with the spectacled flash of their boyish traveling counterparts painted with the latest in Koh San Road beer label fashion, found traveling in interchanging wolf packs. With a still eye however you may spot their grinning beards, which finds solace in the chaos of the big smoke. You may notice them alone, fearlessly snaking through the melee of fruit markets in search of that perfect mango breakfast they had had the previous morning, with which they are eager to share with you, and anyone who comes across the shine of their disarming vibe of brotherly love, be it a local, a tout, the aforementioned green traveler, or most of all, with a scentful woman who resides in such dimensions of freedom.

Date a man who travels.

Try not to shy away when he approaches you with an unconventional question, because a man who travels would rather share an experience WITH YOU rather than waste time on names and geographic labels. Try to enjoy the exchange before you dismiss him, it maybe the breath of fresh air you didn’t realize was needed, exhaling societal complexities and toxins. Try your hand at his queer witty banter, the exchange could spring you right back into things. And once you both have settled into the liberating free breathing realm of presence, and find yourselves flying off into a joyous sunset of random convos, the humdrum topics ranging from cities of birth to favorite family guy lines will come about on their own, and will actually be interesting.

Date a Man who travels

When you see him having his ritualistic coffee in the calm of morning whilst reading his book of topics eastern, join him. It is your turn to approach and allow his boyish center to reveal itself. Join him in the silent peace of a traveler’s morning, which alone can be a bonding moment. Further cemented by eating the piece of waffle he’s offered you hot from his plate. Do not be suspicious of his brotherly ways for they are most likely authentic. He has a big heart and it bleeds for true human communion beyond the Freudian motives that so often arm us. Most likely he’s already willing to do so much for you lady, much less share some “maple soaked sweet bread?” Surrender the rest of your day to the travel gods cause most likely he wants to spend it with you, and probably has a loose plan of action, at best. Join him and foster his magic, for a traveling man always carries with him at least a little bit, but needs the catalyst of a free woman’s trusting smile to work. So push him on that two day kayak trek down the Mekong offered by that smiling dready around the corner, charm his magic into action, and no doubt that river trek or city walk or museum visit or what have you will extend on and on.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Missionary Imposition

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-04-14 13:08
Missionary Imposition

The first Koreans I met were in Xi’an, China. They were missionaries and so was I. We had bubble tea on a university street on a hot evening and talked about miracles. Mean little homeless cats stalked across the Lazy Susan on the café table. The Koreans, a young couple, were mildly concerned about the state of my salvation because I wasn’t Catholic, like they were. The police deported them the next day for proselytizing, which is officially illegal in the country. I forget their names now.

This was summer 2007. It was my first trip to Asia and I’d flown over with eleven other bible college students. White saviors, there to do the Lord’s work. To witness to the locals and show them the signpost to salvation. After seven weeks of laying groundwork we’d leave, pushing them off on their own like kids on a bike, reinforcing them from the other hemisphere with the power of prayer. Hoping they’d start a church or something and that the conversion rate would grow exponentially in our wake.

To get visa approval we had to go “undercover” as university students enrolled in a Mandarin speaking course. We were coached by our school’s Student Missionary Union to stay off Facebook in the country, because that would expose our links to the church. And not to use the words “Jesus” or “missionary” in public, in case the local police overheard us. All of this was enough to allow myself to indulge in daydreams of espionage, of being an international renegade infiltrating a secular Communist bloc. I remember the rush of wrapping my Bible up in T-shirt and burying it deep in my suitcase like I was smuggling a 9mm Beretta through immigration. I was James Bond, if James Bond were a nineteen year-old American Christian who had never kissed a girl and didn’t know what beer tasted like.

So it was a vice-free excursion. No alcohol or nightlife. But that was fine; at that point I didn’t know what I was missing. Lights out at 10:30, after prayer meetings and four-chord worship songs strummed by our team leader. During the day we’d entrap college students by hosting huge ultimate Frisbee games on the quad. The goal was to make friends, invite them to coffee, then slowly sneak in our message during conversation, which we’d direct toward the topics of passions and dreams.I didn’t really bother with any of that. I was happier sticking with the leisurely perks of a summer abroad; tearing into a plate of dumplings on the street and posing in front of pagodas wearing aviators. I didn’t consciously acknowledge it until years later, when I got a little separation from it all, but I was a fraud that whole summer, as I had been from the jump. A wholly insincere Christian, only really enlisting as part of the flock because it was all I knew. Evangelism wasn’t a priority. I just went on the trip to impress girls from church and to compile a Facebook album.

I was less of a human being than I was a wellspring of arrogance, this being courtesy of a stilted worldview and a perception narrowed to the width of a sniper scope. Mine was an untested, unchallenged childhood spent behind a shield. Comfortably inside the middle-class Baptist bubble. I look at American soldiers in Seoul and trust-fund backpackers in the Philippines and many of them regard the planet with same superior smirk that I used to. Seeing each country as some quaint destination that exists for our amusement. Or yet another place populated by natives in need of our ideology.

I was the rebel of the team, because I’d vault the campus fence at midnight and go on six or seven-mile runs through Xi’an. Past the Drum Tower inside the old city wall or through the alleys in the Muslim quarter. Or through the red light district, where the girls carrying trays in dive bars wore shorts that showed their ass cheeks. A new sight, for me. The filth in the underworld was almost impressive: the decades of grime packed into the grooves of the sidewalks, the rolling hills of trash and the grease slicked all over the steel walkways twisting overhead. Old women in shapeless clothes just squatted and shit wherever they happened to be walking.Every run was another spin of the kaleidoscope. Sweaty taxi drivers on break tipping back flasks of baijiu, one of whom casually vomited in his cupholder as I went past, as if this was standard operating procedure. I spent a lot of nights out there, pounding through the city. My curiosity impelled me; I’d come all this way, I wanted to see something real.

And I did. There was the night a guy had his girlfriend pinned in front of a bar with her arm corkscrewed behind her back. He was knocking her head sideways with open-hand slaps as I came around the corner. The other drinkers all sat nearby and sipped. I’d never been in a fight; I don’t even think I’d ever seen someone get hit. He yelled at me to go away and I did. I still think about that moment.

Xi’an in the country’s old capital. Like any Chinese metropolis, it’s the real deal and makes Western cities look adorable. Its towers spawn out into infinity. Some people look at a city like this and regard it with urgency, because they see eight million people who are damned unless they can reach them all. I was wondering who could reasonably expect us to do such a thing.

I got lost in the sprawl some nights and the humidity would force to me to a stop. If you ever slowed down, then groups of kids on canes came up to ask for money. Most of them had been maimed by local bosses or whoever organized the begging racket. There were little girls whose legs had been broken and reset so they healed backward. Slumdog Millionaire schemes. If Jesus loved them, he had a strange way of showing it. On Wednesdays we went to an orphanage and took the disabled kids with swollen heads swimming. They liked to be held weightless on the surface of the water. Doing this made me feel helpless. Against ugliness, against all this cold chaos I kept witnessing. All these vignettes were adding up to something. They put deep cracks in my foundation and forced me to a point of honesty.

It’s been eight years since then and now I drink. Now I don’t believe in Heaven or a guy who decides if you get to go there. Billions still do, but I don’t necessarily begrudge them that. Someone has to go to the orphanage. What has kept surprising me is that, despite all the warnings of the emptiness that tortures the lost souls on the other side of the fence, I’m more fulfilled now.Now I’m back in Asia. There’s a stretch of road near my villa here in Korea that I’ve learned to avoid because it’s a missionary hunting ground. Enter the zone between the golf driving range and that glassy new hospital and you’re straying into the confluence of three churches. Right in the middle of overlapping fields of fire. You can feel the neon crosses tracking you like target reticles. The Christians always dress smartly and they’re quite clever; they’ll stop you to ask for help with “Englishee homework” before quick-drawing a Bible and beckoning you inside the church to hear the “Secret of the Passover.” My fellow expats will relate. Sometimes blond Mormons from Utah will come up and I’ll shoot the shit with them just to enjoy a rare sober conversation with a foreigner. Twice, cars have shuddered to a stop next to me and their drivers have rushed up with leaflets. I empathize with their urgency. They care about my salvation. I guess in a way it’s kind of nice that someone does.

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Date a Man Who Travels

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-04-14 06:19
Date a Man Who Travels

Date a Man who travels

They are easily missed in the bustling, dusting, city centers of the world for they are usually camouflaged in local garb against the backdrop of pedestrians walking enmasse, motorbikes riding, tuk tuks tukking, darting in between the ever stacking egg crates, petting wandering goats and cows. Never confused with the spectacled flash of their boyish traveling counterparts painted with the latest in Koh San Road beer label fashion, found traveling in interchanging wolf packs. With a still eye however you may spot their grinning beards, which finds solace in the chaos of the big smoke. You may notice them alone, fearlessly snaking through the melee of fruit markets in search of that perfect mango breakfast they had had the previous morning, with which they are eager to share with you, and anyone who comes across the shine of their disarming vibe of brotherly love, be it a local, a tout, the aforementioned green traveler, or most of all, with a scentful woman who resides in such dimensions of freedom.

Date a man who travels.

Try not to shy away when he approaches you with an unconventional question, because a man who travels would rather share an experience WITH YOU rather than waste time on names and geographic labels. Try to enjoy the exchange before you dismiss him, it maybe the breath of fresh air you didn’t realize was needed, exhaling societal complexities and toxins. Try your hand at his queer witty banter, the exchange could spring you right back into things. And once you both have settled into the liberating free breathing realm of presence, and find yourselves flying off into a joyous sunset of random convos, the humdrum topics ranging from cities of birth to favorite family guy lines will come about on their own, and will actually be interesting.

Date a Man who travels

When you see him having his ritualistic coffee in the calm of morning whilst reading his book of topics eastern, join him. It is your turn to approach and allow his boyish center to reveal itself. Join him in the silent peace of a traveler’s morning, which alone can be a bonding moment. Further cemented by eating the piece of waffle he’s offered you hot from his plate. Do not be suspicious of his brotherly ways for they are most likely authentic. He has a big heart and it bleeds for true human communion beyond the Freudian motives that so often arm us. Most likely he’s already willing to do so much for you lady, much less share some “maple soaked sweet bread?” Surrender the rest of your day to the travel gods cause most likely he wants to spend it with you, and probably has a loose plan of action, at best. Join him and foster his magic, for a traveling man always carries with him at least a little bit, but needs the catalyst of a free woman’s trusting smile to work. So push him on that two day kayak trek down the Mekong offered by that smiling dready around the corner, charm his magic into action, and no doubt that river trek or city walk or museum visit or what have you will extend on and on.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Expat, Immigrant, or None of the Above?

Koreabridge - Sat, 2015-04-11 06:26
Expat, Immigrant, or None of the Above?

What do you call someone who moves abroad for “a year or two” and never goes home?

By John Bocskay

 

An anonymous wag once observed that a farmer who has sex with a sheep is a pervert, but an aristocrat who does the same thing is an “eccentric”. I’ve always loved this joke for the humorous (if slightly crass) way it bares a fundamental truth: social class and privilege profoundly affect our perceptions of people, and these biases are reflected in the language we use to describe them.

A case in point is the recent flurry of pieces discussing whether we who live overseas are more appropriately labeled immigrants, expats, or something else.

Some have argued that factors like social class, economic status, and country of origin are the more relevant determinants of who gets to be an “expat” and who gets saddled with a less glamorous label. Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, editor of SiliconAfrica.com, has argued that the words ‘expat’ and ‘immigrant’ are primarily racial distinctions. Writing for The Guardian, Mr. Koutonin notes that “expat” is an example of a “hierarchical” word “created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else.”

Hemingway in his Paris apartment

When it first appeared in English as a noun in the early 19th century, expatriate referred to a person who has been banished from his country (it comes to us via the French verb expatrier, meaning “to banish”). In its current usage, it more often refers to people who have chosen to live abroad, but it still carries the old sense of exile, whether voluntary and romantic (think Hemingway)  or involuntary and sad. Expatriate still has negative connotations among stateside Americans (some of whom mistakenly parse it as “ex-patriot” and draw the inevitable conclusion) because as any avid reader of American bumper stickers well knows, you can “love it or leave it” but apparently can’t do both.

While a word derived from Latin “ex” (outside) and “patria” (fatherland) should ostensibly apply to anyone who resides abroad, Koutonin claims that “that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad.”

I can’t speak to the truth of this in Europe, though I think right away of James Baldwin and Richard Wright, celebrated African-American writers whose “expatriate” label has never been challenged. Whatever the case, it doesn’t completely square

James Baldwin

with the situation here in Korea, where “expat” is the general term that white-collar professionals use to describe themselves, regardless of color.

This is not to say that people of color don’t experience discrimination in Korea – they do, and it’s unfortunately not very hard to find recent examples of that – but merely to suggest that the “expat or immigrant” question, at least in Korea, is moot. Foreigners here are free to call themselves whatever they please, but the Korean language lumps us all under the term waegukin (literally, “outside country people”), which, as far as Korea is concerned, is the most salient fact about us: we’re all from somewhere else.

Koutonin’s call to deconstruct these terms is well-taken, but it’s hard to get on board with his remedy. Rather than extend the “expat” label to anyone residing overseas regardless of race, color, or class – a suggestion which would have the virtue of being both egalitarian and linguistically precise – he encourages readers to “deny [white expats] these privileges” and to “call them immigrants like everyone else.”

It’s not clear exactly what type of ‘expats’ he’s referring to but it’s important to recall that immigrant means (from Merriam Webster) “a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.” Expats then are a free-wheeling, mobile bunch, while the immigrant plants his stake and settles in for the long haul.

“Immigrant” also raises the question of intention. I’ve talked to a lot of Western expats over the years about why they came to Korea, and I have yet to meet even one who has said, Yeah, you know, I figured I’d go to Korea and spend the next forty years there. I mean, why not?

I have however met many expats who have no plans to return to their home country, and to be fair to Mr. Koutonin, a lot of us do end up not going back. One more year leads to one more year until you reach a point where you understand that the effort required to pick up start over far exceeds the effort required to stay where you are. For better or worse, this has become your life.

A substitute teacher lives the dream

Many expats will say that they remain open to the hypothetical cushy job that could lure them back (but which never comes looking for them); others give repatriation a go and come scurrying back when they get tired of substitute teaching or suburban monotony; still others stick it out in Asia and resign themselves to being blown in the winds of a global economy that requires more of us to migrate to where the jobs are and doesn’t always enable us to end up back where we started. To the extent that it is predicated on choice, calling oneself an “expat” may turn out to be a privilege after all, and the uncomfortable truth is that after so many years abroad the path leading back to the West for some of us is radically narrowed or effectively closed.

Does this then make me an immigrant, if only with the benefit of hindsight? Or can I claim to be an expat as long as I occasionally entertain idle thoughts of moving on? Other phrases like ‘international migrant’ and ‘global nomad’ strive to capture both this uncertainty and the willingness (or necessity) to flee to more promising shores.

As I quietly figure out where my life is headed or not headed, I find myself not concerned with labeling that experience. I realize that this stance may itself be another form of privilege – that of not caring – but it’s also part attitude, which may best be summed up by paraphrasing another old joke:

Call me an expat or call me an immigrant; just don’t call me late for dinner.

 

* Are you an expat? An immigrant? Late for dinner? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

**This piece originally appeared in Haps Magazine


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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

On being a totally unqualified private ESL tutor

Koreabridge - Sat, 2015-04-11 03:00
On being a totally unqualified private ESL tutor

This past winter, I quit the fifth and last job I would have in 2014. It was a waitress gig at the local contemporary American restaurant. My boss was a bipolar alcoholic. That, combined with his penchant for playfully slapping my ass was enough for me to say good bye and fuck you very much to the restaurant industry.

Here’s a clip of my boss asking me if I wanted to see his cock (yump, I sneakily voice-memoed at work sometimes):

http://www.ilikeairplanes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/COCK-Waitress.m4a

 

Quitting that job, just like quitting the four before it, felt kind of great and kind of terrible. On the one hand, I got to leave a less-than-ideal situation. But on the other, I was frustrated at myself for propagating what seemed like a never-ending cycle of irrelevant work experiences (dishwasher, tech support representative, real estate admin assistant, barista, waitress).  I promised myself that in 2015, I would do things differently.

 

 

 

Now it’s April and I’ve been tutoring three ESL students for two months. All three are middle-aged Japanese businessmen and, even though it’s only been two months I feel somewhat attached to my tutees and will be sad to say goodbye to them come May. I’m lucky to have gotten this new job that’s way more relevant to my life than bussing tables and getting that extra cup of ranch.

But even so, I’m still unhappy with my work and I hope you do not perceive me as an entitled brat because of it! The point of this post isn’t to complain. Instead, I am writing it to share the experiences of a post-grad somewhat aimlessly bouncing around this shitty job market. If you’ve ever been curious about responding to one of those ESL-tutor needed craigslist ads, this post is meant for you.

Here are four reasons being a private ESL tutor kinda sucked for me:

  • I am totally unqualified to be a private ESL tutor.
    • I was hired for the job because I have an English degree. But that doesn’t mean I know anything about explaining how the English language works. Sure, I intuitively know what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to grammar. But I’m clueless when it comes to describing the difference between “during” and “for” when talking about time. I don’t have prepared worksheets or lessons for the sessions; I have been making it up as I go. My tutees have told me they enjoy the lessons and look forward to them, but how much am I really helping them?
  • I have little faith in adult ESL education. 
    • Of course, I support learning at any age. But I don’t think it’s realistic for a man who works 40-60 hours a week (hardly using any English) to devote extra time to studying a second language. After the age of seven, the critical learning period for second languages is over. Then, people have to rely on declarative learning (such as rote memorization or repeated drills). The older you get, the harder it gets. I’m not saying they shouldn’t try. I’m saying it’s just going to take a lot of energy that they might not have, given their packed schedules. Their companies mandate weekly ESL lessons and it all seems like a formality to me. None have the time or the energy to take learning English at their age seriously.
  • I am unsure of the tutor-tutee power dynamics.
    • One of my tutees told me today that he wants me to push him to study, and he wants me to be tell him explicitly when he’s doing a bad job and when he needs to try harder. But how can I tell someone so busy to study? And how can I tell someone older than me what to do? I don’t know too much about Japanese culture, but I think that in general they respect the position of teacher more than Americans. He expects me to take ownership of that authority but I see him as of a higher status and am extremely uncomfortable taking charge.
  • I don’t trust getting close to (older) men.
    • One of my tutees is always really sweet and funny. Sometimes he gives me chocolates or soap. We have a good time having casual conversations and grammar lessons during our sessions. He told me I remind him of his daughter, and when I told him I was moving to Korea, he asked me to continue skyping ESL lessons with him once a week for the whole year and wanted to pay me in advance (almost $1000).  This smells a bit fishy to me but I could just be being over-sensitive. Either way, I said no and ever since then, things have been a bit awkward between us.

 

 

Overall, I haven’t enjoyed this awkward craigslist ESL tutoring job. I hope my experience teaching in Korea will give me a foundation to build on!

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Some Regional Honesty on the 70th Anniversary of the End of Pacific War? Not a Chance

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-04-10 04:19
Some Regional Honesty on the 70th Anniversary of the End of Pacific Wa

 

 

 

There will be loads of retrospectives this year. But rather than write yet another ‘what are the lessons of WWII?’ piece, thought I would write about how current Asian politics is still framed so much by the war. Particularly, I thought it would be useful to point out in all honesty how some of region’s elites actually came to power on the back of the war – even though they’d never, ever admit that. Specifically, Chiang Kai-Shek would have crushed Mao if he hadn’t had to fight the Japanese instead, and the (North) Korean Worker’s Party would never have come to power without the Red Army ‘liberation’ that was legitimized by Japanese occupation. Being honest about this stuff is helpful, if uncomfortable.

This piece was originally written for the Lowy Institute. It starts after the jump:

 

 

“Seventy years ago this summer, the long project of Japanese imperialism in the Pacific came to an end. In the West this will all be rolled together with the war against German and Italian fascism. For Americans particularly, it is all World War II, and the struggle against Hitler has always taken preeminence in our remembrance of the conflict. But in Asia, the final death struggle between Imperial Japan and its many enemies, most importantly the United States, is better understood as the crushing of a near-century long Japanese imperial project to remake Asia.

Although it is popular now to read WWII as a global war, I think the Asian term, ‘the Pacific War,’ for the regional war against Japan is more accurate. The conflict that culminated with Hiroshima has its direct roots in Japan’s post-Meiji turn toward imperialism with the first Sino-Japanese war (in the 1890s). German and Italian fascism, by contrast, more were clearly products of the interwar period and the rise of Stalin. Japan’s commitment to the Axis was always mixed at best; C.L. Sulzberger and Steven Ambrose spoke of the ‘Axis Gang’ rather than an alliance. The same imperial Japan which opportunistically declared war on Germany in 1914 opportunistically aligned with it in 1940 (first to pick up its Pacific territories, then to hedge the US and USSR). The Axis powers so distrusted one another that the Nazis did not inform the Japanese of the planned invasion of the USSR, nor did the Japanese consult the Germans on Pearl Harbor.

The ‘Pacific War’ puts the regional focus where it belongs – Japan. It was modernized Japan that permanently broke the long-standing Sino-Confucian order of the region (a momentous rupture that needs more research). It was Japan that dragged, often quite violently and unwillingly, much of the region into economic modernization. It was Japan that first absorbed and then spread western ideologies like sovereignty, nationalism, fascism, genetic racism, and capitalism (corporatism is perhaps more accurate) around the region. And it was the defeat of this long-term imperial project that opened the door for Marxism in the region, compelling the US to stay permanently – and, ironically, fight wars such as Korea or Vietnam mostly to protect Japan against forces the empire itself had sought to counter. A rather strange twist of history that…

So rather than trot out another ‘what are the lessons of WWII?’ essay (here is the best one I’ve read so far), I thought instead to capture what local leaders might say in all honestly about the what became a region-wide, anti-Japanese war:

Japan: “We started the war, and it was a blatant imperial effort to dominate the region. There, I said it! Yes, I know you and the whole world know that already, but my right-wing coalition back home doesn’t. (Actually, they do. They just don’t want to admit.) I would roll-out our old-time excuses that we were just doing what the Brits and French were doing in Africa, or that we were liberating Asians from the whites, or that the Americans forced the war on us, but our extraordinary, Nazi-like brutality in China and cultural eliminationism in Korea are still inexplicable by any of those excuses. Maybe the best I can come up with is that we were blocking the spread of Marxism in the region, but then we also did more than Stalin or Ho or anyone else to help Asian communism by crippling Chiang Kai-Shek against Mao. *Sigh* Ok. I really got nothing left. It’s our fault, and we really should alter our history instruction and at least put up a few museums on the carnage we left behind. But at least we fought the war really foolishly; our general staff actually thought we could simultaneously fight China, the British Empire, and the US and win…”

China: “Thank god for the Japanese invasion, or the Great Helmsman never would have survived the 1930s. Ok, since we’re being honest, Mao really wasn’t so great, but the point is that our party probably would have lost the civil war to the Nationalists if Chiang hadn’t had to spend most of his resources turning eastern China into a quagmire for the Imperial army. And Chiang did a pretty great job of that too, a point I will be sure to never, ever admit to Chinese history students. If the Japanese army hadn’t bogged down so badly in eastern China, then the Japanese strike into southeast Asia, which chain-ganged in the Brits and Americans, wouldn’t have been necessary. I am happy to say that Mao did the least he could in all this, back-biting and infighting with Chiang while using him as a shield against the Japanese. Nor will I ever admit that Mao is responsible for far more Chinese deaths than the Japanese ever were. I’ll just be sure to bang the Diaoyu drum whenever this sorta stuff come up.”

South Korea: “The war is a huge embarrassment. While the Chinese, Americans, and even the Filipinos got to fight, we were torn between ineffectual partisans and collaborationism. So many collaborators in fact, that our country is still turned upside down by this issue a hundred years later. We’ve had book publishing wars explicitly naming names of whom worked with whom. The dictator president who put us on the map was a collaborator too, and we even ripped off our economic model from the Japanese. All this is pretty hard to stomach, so we’ve therapeutically fashioned our political identity in part as the anti-Japan.”

North Korea: “We’re far more indebted than we’ll ever admit. Without the Japanese annexation and the subsequent Soviet ‘liberation,’ Kim Il Sung might have wound up a Presbyterian preacher. There wasn’t anything close to majority support for a communist takeover in Korea, and most of what we say about Kim Il-Sung’s anti-Japanese heroics at Mt. Paektu is completely made-up. Japanese colonialism also happily provided us with a legitimating ideology, even though our own despotism has lasted twice as long and is far more brutal. We even pulled our racist, semi-fascist, barracks-state, god-king political structure, which is neither Marxist nor Korean in precedent, from imperial Japan. But we admit nothing.””


Filed under: Asia, Domestic Politics, History

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

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The Seven Levels of Korean Aegyo

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-04-09 13:16
The Seven Levels of Korean Aegyo

Korean Aegyo (애교) is basically when somebody acts in a cute or childish way, despite not being a young child themselves. This can take many forms, from how people speak and act, to how they dress or decorate their room. The reason for acting cute is to try and flirt with or impress somebody, or to get something that you want. If you are impressed by somebody’s aegyo, then you can say ‘gyiyowoyo (귀여워요)’ which means ‘cute’ in Korean (dictionary form: 귀엽다).

She thinks Korean aegyo is 귀여워요

Korean Aegyo is generally performed by women although some more feminine guys might use it too from time to time. If a regular guy uses this then you may feel uncomfortable and get daksal (닭살) which means ‘goosebumps’ and is used in Korean when somebody is weirding you out. Of course, most people don’t use it in an extreme way, and quite a lot of people really hate it. The more ridiculous examples of aegyo can often be found in Korean dramas or on comedy shows. Those examples are very different from how people might use it in real life, just as Korean dramas themselves aren’t a particularly accurate portrayal of Korea (otherwise we would all be living in the one authentic hanok available to rent in the whole of Seoul or one room apartment overlooking the Doota shopping mall, but dating a chaebol heir/heiress with a secret past and whose evil mother hates us).

The word Aegyo is often used with the word bulida (부리다) to make aegyo bulida (애교 부리다). This means ‘to act in an aegyo way’. There are different levels of aegyo, with some things being used by lots of people and generally accepted as reasonable behavior in public. Take a look at the seven levels below and let us know which levels you think are appropriate to use on a date, and which levels should be left to Korean dramas and gag shows.

Level One Aegyo

Stretching the final vowel of a word

If a word ends in a vowel, then this vowel can be stretched to sound cuter (or whiny depending on your perspective, this guy in particular hates it [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMCnEpeyTS0]). The word ‘oppa (오빠)’ is a good example of this. (For those not familiar with ‘oppa’, it literally means ‘older brother’ is used by girls to refer to a guy who is a little bit older than them). As lots of guys like being called ‘oppa’, saying this word in a cute manner has more effect than other words might (sorry guys, I don’t think saying ‘noona (누나)’ in this way will have quite the same effect).

Level Two Aegyo

Extra ‘ㅁ’s and ‘ㅇ’s

In English it is very hard to show some features of the language, such as sarcasm, when sending a text message or email. In Korea, if you want to express your aegyo in a text message, then rather than adding umpteen extra vowels and wavy line symbols at the end of every word that ends in a vowel, people add the letters ‘m’ or ‘ng’, for example ‘oppang (오빵)’, ‘baegopang (배 고팡)’ etc. This can drive you mad if you are using a dictionary to translate somebody’s text messages. The ‘yo (요)’ at the end of many Korean sentences is also often written as ‘yong (용)’ when people are using this sort of aegyo. Texting in this manner is not uncommon, but some people take it a step further, adding these extra consonants (자음) when speaking.

Level Three Aegyo

Using basic hand gestures

This is when someone uses their hands to make cute symbols like a heart or ‘v’ sign (The Korean ‘V’, not the English ‘V’) in situations outside of having their photograph taken (where even ajjoshis (older Korean men) can be seen making the ‘V’ sign on occasions). The hands can also be used to accentuate the face by creating mock dimples or a ‘V’ shaped chin. Watch the hand gestures in ‘Gee’  if you want to learn some new aegyo hand gestures. Pouting is also included in this level of Korean Aegyo.

Level Four Aegyo

Wearing Lotteworld hairbands outside of Lotteworld

Everybody in Korea knows Lotteworld, the indoor amusement park near Jamsil Station that is open all year round. Many people have dates there and a very popular item on sale there are animal ear hairbands. They look cute and you will see lots of people wearing these around Lotteworld. Whilst wearing these inside Lotteworld is of course aegyo too, it is a generally accepted thing to do, after all, you are in a world with fairies and pirates so why not wear leopard print (호피무늬) cat’s ears? Wearing these in public is not a common thing to do however.

Level Five Aegyo

Full on body movement

Similar to level three, but with the whole body being used, including foot stomps and noises to go with the gestures. By this stage, we are definitely entering TV drama territory, and some readers may wish to tell whoever they are with to stop acting in this way. One way of doing that is to use the verb ‘척하다’ which is similar to ‘pretend’ i.e. gwiyowoon chokhada (귀여운 척하다) – to pretend to be cute; or yeppun chokhada (예쁜 척하다), to pretend to be pretty. If someone’s aegyo is getting on your nerves, then you might want to say ‘kwiyowoon chokhaji maseyo (귀여운 척하지 마세요)’ (stop pretending to be cute).

Level Six Aegyo

Bbuing Bbuing (뿌잉 뿌잉)

Although this is a hand gesture, it is so closely associated with Korean aegyo, and especially the more ridiculous aegyo that you see on Korean gag shows, that it needs its own level. There are several long running jokes on Korean comedy shows which involve very un-cute actors doing the ‘bbuing bbuing’.

Level Seven Aegyo

Choosing to sing this song in a noraebang

This song pretty much sums up Korean aegyo. Watch this video to see some more hand gestures associated with aegyo.

VIEWER WARNING: this song will get stuck in your head so if you really don’t like aegyo, don’t watch this video!

 

Of course most people don’t use a lot of these later examples seriously except for on TV or in dramas, but the first few levels are used quite regularly. Which level of Aegyo would you use with your partner, and which levels do you think are unacceptable in public?

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Controversial 'Mira Story' to be screened in Busan April 22

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-04-03 13:02
Controversial 'Mira Story' to be screened in Busan April 22

This month Busan has a very special event on the evening of Wednesday the 22nd, and you guys should know about it.

Korean director Chul Heo (Ari Ari the Korean Cinema) and actress Mira Choi will be screening his newest independent film, “Mira’s Story.” (There will be English subtitles)

Chul Heo is known for touching on controversial Korean issues in his films, and this one is certainly no exception.

The Korean government was not happy when Oliver Stone paid a visit to the Korean Film Critic Yang Yoon Mo, who was a political prisoner being held on Jeju island. Professor Yang served an 18 month sentence for protesting the construction of a deep water Naval base in Gang Jeong village on the island of Jeju.

This film, “Mira Story,” has received similar resistance since its release in January 2015, in part because the opening scene involves the Sewol Ferry- the most controversial issue in Korea- and ends at Gang Jeong village, where for eight years the naval base construction site has been a center of protest.

In addition to the possibility that this may be your only chance to see the film, Chul has included some songs from our very own Busan expats Gino Brann and Violet Lea.

 You definitely don’t want to miss this unique and touching film which has been funded solely from artists’ talent donation and crowd-funding. Pencil it in and come support an independent art film for a great cause. More details below.

PLOT

“Mira Story” follows the lives of individuals who have been suppressed by government policy and is told through the eyes of Mira--jobless and lost--who sees an opportunity for change and healing by bringing thousands of books to a village in Jeju.

Mira (Played by Mira Choi) meets various people on her journey and they bond through their similar intentions, frustrations, and motivation to set sail with these books. Talking with them lifts her spirits as she tries to forget the things that have bogged her down--the standard measure of success.

Mira’s trip to Jeju is an eye-opening experience for her as she witnesses the conflict between the villagers and the police and the harsh reality of the struggles people have been going through for the past seven years. She marvels at the stark contrast in the beauty of the island and the damage that is being done by the construction of the naval base. Her emotions cycle between doubt, fear, anxiety, and hope as she makes her way around the island and views the difficulty with her own eyes.

 

LOCATION:
국도에술관 (Gukdo Art Cinema) http://cafe.naver.com/gukdo/
Daeyeon subway (Line 2) exit 5, walk straight and make your first right. 10-15 minute walk to the theatre. (Map included)

ADMISSION: Adults 9,000W Students: 7,000W

TIME: 7:40-10pm (1 hour Q&A/ live performance at the end)

MOVIE TRAILER: http://youtu.be/C76lFN6y55o

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Working it Out Abroad

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-04-01 02:47
Working it Out Abroad

Britney said it best: "You want a hot body?...You better work, b*tch".  I had gained about 30 stubborn pounds in Toronto over the course of my 3 years since leaving Vancouver.  I had a trainer, I would diet, but nothing seemed to work.  I've kind of come to the conclusion that I'm getting into those twilight years of my twenties where rather than losing weight I'm just working out to avoid the inevitable gain my body so desperately wants to waddle into.






Enter Eco-Gym (formerly Bill's?).  This small gym in Hwamyeong-dong, Busan has just what I need to keep my cardio and weight-lifting up, and not much more.  There are several treadmills, a handful of stationary bikes, a lat-pulldown, a leg press, some other weight machines I don't tend to use, a couple of squat racks (that the locals use for deadlifts, curls, and un-weighted squats, which makes me want to scream).  There's a plethora of free weights which I love, as Mark Sparks (my conditioning specialist at Cardio-Go in Toronto) ensured that my last few sessions focused on workouts I could do with limited equipment.  My only complaint (well, more confusion) is that most of the weights are in kilograms rather than pounds.  I'm pretty good at converting the weight in my head, but they still feel way heavier than back at home.







The gym itself was really cost effective: 100,000 KRW for 3 months of use.  This also includes use of their workout clothes, however I have yet to take advantage of that offer.  Most of my workouts usually involve a walking on the treadmill as a warm up for a couple of minutes then HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  I follow that up with abs and weights for the next 30-40 minutes focusing on different combinations (depending on the day, of course) of arms, shoulders, chest, abs, legs, and of course - the booty.  So far I've made it to the gym 4-5 times a week since joining 3 weeks ago and am feeling pretty good about it!  I've also stopped eating rice throughout the week, which should definitely help.  



If you're in the Yangsan - Deokcheon area this is a great deal.  Some of my Korean friends/ colleagues are even considering joining so that we can all go together, which is pretty sweet!  They offer Personal Training as well (I found that out the hard way when one of the "English-speaking" Members - ie. someone who knows how to say Hello and talk about the weather a bit) told me I could use that area no problem and then I found out that I had been interrupting a personal training session - whoops.


On my walk home I pass this magnificent organic grocery store and bakery.  I don't dare step in - the bagel and cream cheese just looks far too good, as well as a Love Motel with a slogan telling me to live out my dreams. 

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Apartment hunting in Korea

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-03-30 02:01
Apartment hunting in Korea

I recently went through the harrowing experience of finding a new apartment in Busan, Korea. Finding a new apartment anywhere is stressful, but things felt even more unstable with the language barrier and culture differences. I wanted to share some quick thoughts in hopes that this would help someone else.

Koreans tend to live by a “bali-bali” (fast-fast) lifestyle, and apartment hunting is no exception. Start searching for an apartment 2-4 weeks before you need to move. It is very common to look an apartment and transfer money (the initial deposit) on the same day. 

First, figure out your ideal move-in date (입주일), location/neighborhood (위치/지역), key money deposit range (보증금 범위), monthly rent range (월세 금액 범위), contract period (계약기간) for one or two years, and desired housing type -Studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom (주거 형태 - 원룸, 방 1 개, 방 2 개). Keep in mind that a Korean studio has the kitchen and bedroom in one room, while a 1 bedroom has the kitchen and bedroom separate. A 2 bedroom is what Americans would refer to as an actual 1 bedroom. It seems that Koreans refer to each room as a “bedroom,” including what Americans think of as merely a living room.

I recommend checking the Koreabridge housing classifieds직방다방, and 부동산 (real estate offices). The classifieds are in English, but the selection is limited. The phone apps for those two sites are only in Korean, but relatively intuitive. You can send text messages to individual realtors as their numbers are listed on each listing. Then, arrange to meet up to see the apartments. Different real estate offices/agents have different properties. I recommend walking into as many as you can and just telling them what you’re looking for. They’ll arrange a few apartments for you to view.

When viewing an apartment, make sure to ask how much it is (얼마예요?) in regards to deposit, monthly rent, building fee (관리비), and options/furnishings - washing machine, stove, A/C, refrigerator (어떤 옵션 - 세탁기, 가스레인지, 에어컨, 냉장고). If utilities aren’t included in the cost of the rent, they usually don’t know the price of them, but it doesn’t hurt to ask [i.e. gas (가스비), electricity (전기비), and internet (인터넷비)].

The key money deposits for monthly rent housing contracts usually start at 3,000,000 won and go up from there. A larger key money deposit will lower your monthly rent. Typically, if you are looking for a bigger apartment, such as a 2 bedroom, you will need at least a 10,000,000 won deposit. Ideally, you will get your entire deposit (aka “key money) back after you move out, subtracting any unpaid utility bills, cleaning fee, and repairs for damages you’ve made.

Once you’re looking at apartments, you’ll find that it is a very quick process. Realtors will encourage you to transfer a 10% deposit ASAP. I have viewed apartments with other apartment-hunters and seen that whomever transfers the deposit first gets the apartment. So, when you finally do decide what apartment you want ask your realtor what their commission fee (중개수수료) is. It should be a percentage of your deposit and monthly rent. It’s kind of complicated and honestly over my head. I just keep asking for a discount (”깎아 주세요”) until it is 300,000 won or less. I believe they are not allowed to ask for a certain amount, legally, but they don’t seem to be afraid of any consequences for breaking the law; the penalty must not be very serious.

Before signing papers for the apartment, be sure to see a copy of how the structure is legally registered (등기부등본) to check whether the owner has any serious debts (집주인의 대출관계).

If you live in Busan, I have three suggestions for movers, listed from most expensive to least: (1) Ho Bohm Hyang 010-9732-2424 Doesn’t speak any English; professional mover with lots of help, (2) 010-5912-6212 Speaks limited English; just one guy with a bongo truck so you’ll have to help him if you have a lot of items, (3) Midan 010-3379-6339 Speaks perfect English; drives a yellow van taxi so moves smaller items and you should move them yourself. They are all really kind and very reasonably priced! Pay in cash only and be immensely grateful. They are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met and have helped me and my friends move all over Busan.

After you move, make sure to change the address on your ARC within 14 days to avoid any fee penalties. You can go to the immigration office to do this, but the easier and faster option is to go to your local gu (neighborhood) office. Try searching for the closest “구청.”

Also, register your lease to protect your key money deposit! It costs less than a dollar and only takes a few minutes to complete. To register your lease you will need to go to your local community center (주민센터) and ask for a “확정일자.” This is an official record of the deposit money you have put down, and establishes your priority for getting your money back should the property go to public auction.

Each neighborhood, or dong (동), has at least a few centers, but you can only register at the center that covers your residence’s location, so you may have to do a bit of walking. 

Once at the right location, you will need to fill out a remarkably short and simple application (in Korean) asking you for your name and address. You will also need to have a copy of your lease and your alien registration card. The process takes about ten minutes and mostly involves the clerk helping you punch data into a computer.

About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

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Ye & Partners Law Firm

Koreabridge - Sun, 2015-03-29 21:27

About Ye & Partners

YE & Partners is a full-service international law firm founded in the summer of 2012.

Ye & Partners is a group of responsive attorneys and professionals with the backgrounds, expertise and industry experience to advice on a wide variety of legal matters. Attorneys in Ye&Partners comprise the leading talent in their practice areas. They provide attentive and client-oriented service, an understanding of each client’s needs.

From our experience in the legal area, we’ve discovered that many foreigners living in Korea fail to protect their own rights due to inadequate legal counsel. We’ve met tons of accident victims who totally have no idea where to begin the process to recovery. We’ve met many employees who have accepted their unfair treatment in workplace without ever taking any kind of legal action.

All such suffering could have been avoided had they had their chance in court. This is why we decided to offer legal services to those people.

Actually, this is not about us, it’s about you. Your success is the only meaningful measures of our success.

Services

Civil

  • General Civil Litigation
  • Family Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Compensation
  • Corporate Governance
  • Employment & Labor

Corporate

  • Corporate Governance

  • Employment & Labor

  • M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions)

  • Antitrust Litigation

Intellectual Property

  • Patent & Trademark

  • Copyright

  • Trade Secret

  • Entertainment

Administrative

  • Administrative Disputes

Criminal

  • Criminal


Feedback

Dean. F 
Thanks so much for your reply. It is nice to have like you who will help and give free advice to your people especially for foreigners like me here in Korea. Thank you again

RUTHIE 
Hi Jin! Thank you for your prompt reply. Your answer was so clear and helpful to me. I hope we meet soon.  Thanks again!

REILLY -
Even though I do not live in Korea, this legal consultation service was very helpful. I was so glad she was fluent at English too. Thank you!!

Julia Um - 
I greatly appreciated the affordable price!!!!

Mike Kim - I was very happy with the service I received from Ye&Partners. From meetings to courtroom proceedings I felt that I was very well represented throughout my legal situation. I was explained everything that I did not understand throughout the ordeal

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Being represented by Ye&Partners reduced my concern about the issue while I went to school. I would most definitely recommend Michelle Chang to anybody seeking legal advice/representation

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The attorney I spoke to gave me all the information I needed for my case plus extra helpful info

Contact

All information will be kept in strict confidence.

  1. Send the details of your inqiry.
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We will send a reply mail or call back as soon as possible.

Ye & Partners Law Firm
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Six Things You Need for a Korean Picnic

Koreabridge - Sun, 2015-03-29 05:58
Six Things You Need for a Korean Picnic Is the weather not glorious right now?!

In sunshine like this, I refuse to be inside for any longer than I absolutely have to. This includes for meals. In fact, one of my favorite things to do in this weather is picnic. And with all the great green spaces the city has to offer (like Naksan Park, the Han River and the Dream Forest), a picnic can be had just about anywhere.


Koreans picnic under a canopy of cherry blossoms, an icon of spring. (Photo by Travel Unmasked)
And I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact, Koreans love outdoor dining. Whether it be on a mountain hike or simply outside a convenience store on plastic furniture, they know how to do it right. I've taken a few cues from my Korean friends to get the picnic techniques down perfectly. So, I decided, why not share all the valuable know-how I've learned over the years with you guys, so that you too can have a great Korean-style picnic.

So, without further ado, here are six things you absolutely need for your Korean picnic:

6. Picnic Mat

Why get grass stains on your favorite duds when you can pick up a picnic mat at Daiso for a few bucks? These easily toteable mats pretty much last forever and come in handy a lot during picnic season, whether at the park or a rooftop party.



5. Selfie Stick

Because let's face it. No Korean outing is complete without one. Enough said.



4. Sun Protection

Everyone knows that Koreans have gorgeous skin and this is no doubt thanks to their skin care systems, which they follow religiously. Be sure to follow their lead and slather on the sunscreen, don a giant sun hat and if you're a really serious picnicker, order one of these sun tents, easy to pack and perfect for the beach or park.

3. Kimbap

The Korean equivalent of America's sandwich, kimbap makes for a great picnic snack. It's easy to eat. It's healthy. It's delicious. It's cheap. And thanks to the recent trend of gourmet kimbap, there's a flavor to suit everyone's taste. My go-to is Robot Kimbap, which sells varieties like Wasabi Tuna and Cream Cheese. Pick up a few rolls or make your own and your picnic will be perfect.


(Photo by SamIsHome)
2. Fried Chicken

A less healthy but even tastier Korean picnic staple is fried chicken. But even better than the dish itself is the picnic culture that surrounds it. In many of the green spaces around Seoul, like the Han River and the Dream Forest, nearby chicken restaurants will actually deliver your order right to your picnic spot. For reals. Just keep an eye out for their fliers, make a phone call, let them know where you are and they'll bicycle it over in record speed. Did I mention they also deliver beer?



1. Makgeolli

Chilled makgeolli and picnics go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just ask any Korean hiker, farmer or me. More refreshing and tangier than beer, it's a great way to get a bit of a buzz on your weekend outing. Available at any convenience store, it's easy to get your hands on and not so strong that you'll get out of control. In small doses, that is.



So there you have it. Your packing check list for a great Korean picnic. Plan out your picnic spot using this list of the top 10 outdoor spaces in Seoul and enjoy!


Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching unless otherwise noted. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.


Seoul Searching
www.MySeoulSearching.com

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Vlog Entry #13: Jindo Sea Parting and Holi Hai Festivals

Koreabridge - Sun, 2015-03-29 01:14
Vlog Entry #13: Jindo Sea Parting and Holi Hai Festivals

On March 21st and 22nd I took a trip organized by Enjoy Korea with friends to the island of Jindo, for the Sea Parting Festival, and Busan, for Holi Hai!


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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-03-24 12:22
Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market

 Last Sunday's start was a bit confusing!   Like the picture above (taken outside exit 4 of Nampo Station), there were many directions we could have taken to meet our friends in the "shopping district" of Busan, Nampo-dong.  I snapped that photo just as we had exited to street level and was excited to see both Vancouver and Toronto represented. The shopping street is a bit tucked away from the main street (take exit 7 if you choose to go!) so we went to the mall by mistake.  They run a water show so as we entered the mall the William Tell Overture was playing and water was falling from the ceiling.  As we tried on Dior Sunglasses (at a kiosk, no less) the show was approaching its finale.  We couldn't get wifi at first, so we wandered around enjoying the changing LED lights and the Sam Smith-themed apparel. 





While the mall was pretty cool (and offers a viewing deck on the 12th floor that we'll need to go back to) we finally got wifi and finally met up with the other two. 
 

 We immediately headed into a Green Tea shop where there were various Green Tea lattes and Green Tea flavoured foods like the Green Tea pesto grilled cheese I had for lunch.





 


  







I'll definitely need to head back - they had some great (and inexpensive) clothes, a huge street-food market, and an Art Box shop (with great household appliances/ cutlery, etc. makeup, and school supplies).  I bought a shirt and a wallet as well as some Hotteok ("Hotteok is a variety of filled Korean pancake, and is a popular street food of Korea. It is usually eaten during the winter season." Busan Tower
Street Performers
 I'll have to head back for Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream!
 Yes - that is a Taekwondo uniform for dogs.
They sometimes spell city names wrong...
 
















 After lots of walking around, window shopping, snacking, and sight-seeing we headed back to Hwamyeong visa the Jagalchi Market Subway Station (Jagalchi and Nampo are linked through an underground path).  I'll definitely be back to this area soon!
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-03-23 14:11
Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)

 

 

By John Bocskay

Icame across in my news readings today a story about this survey by a group called the Corea Image Communication Institute, and the results are interesting for the little bit of light they shed on the gap that still exists between what Koreans think will interest foreigners and what foreigners actually find interesting about Korea. The survey “asked 308 Koreans what aspects of Korea they felt most pride in and 232 foreigners what they enjoyed most while visiting.”

This bit caught my eye:

Personally I think this kicks the shit out of Skinfood and Tony Moly.

“For shopping spots, 45.8 percent of Koreans said they would introduce tourists to traditional marketplaces, while 42.67 percent of foreigners said they would prefer the more contemporary road shops and shopping streets, possibly due to the fact that English communication is easier in downtown areas.” 

It’s possible that English is more widely spoken in downtown areas, though the old folks at Kukjae Shijang or Dongdaemun Market seldom fail to get their point across with whatever level of English they have at their command. I couldn’t help but wonder whether one reason for the discrepancy is simply that many people are just more interested in contemporary Korea than they are in the traditional stuff.

Yeah, that’s great, but I don’t see anything that looks like a Pina Colada.

This finding also jibes with something I’ve often noted in the classroom. Over the years, I’ve had adult students plan an imaginary 2-day itinerary for a foreign friend who is visiting Korea for the first time. Some suggestions, like mask dances, temple tours, and palaces are common. You might be surprised at how many of them have included conference centers, shipyards, and automobile assembly plants on the must-see list. Who knows what our hypothetical tourist thinks about all that, but those are not really the things that leap to mind when I’m doing the 2-day tourist thing.

It’s natural to want to showcase great achievements and traditional heritage, but tourism planners do well to acknowledge things that travelers actually want to do (sauna, anyone?), as opposed to what the bigwigs would like them to experience. Surveys like this are certainly a step in the right direction, because as anyone who lives here knows, there are many features of modern Korea that are pretty cool.

Case in point: food. Regarding the popularity of fast food delivery service (over 50%), the article had this to say:

No thanks.

The fact that the singer Psy portrayed Korea’s delivery food culture in his internationally-watched music videos may have contributed to its popularity,” said the CICI in a press release.

Thanks Psy! And here I thought that was just because late-night food delivery is just utterly brilliant.

Actually, I do think it’s brilliant, which is why I like it. When I read things like this, I catch a faint whiff of the old insecurity that makes it hard for some Koreans to believe that without a spokesman or an aggressive (andoccasionally hokey) ad campaign the world will be unaware that there’s a lot about modern Korea that’s not only cool but speaks for itself.

Maybe that’s reading too much into this (I’m sure you will correct me in the comments section), but I also note that Koreans are sometimes caught by surprise when something of theirs catches on. Psy’s viral hit was itself an example of Korean pop culture taking off in ways that no one could have anticipated, let alone packaged and pimped for global consumption. Watching this quirky Korean crooner skyrocket to global fame, it was hard to tell who was more surprised, the world or Korea.

Full disclosure: I purposely chose the least flattering photo of ddeokbokki I could find.

Not everything in the survey was unexpected: it showed strong agreement about food, with Korean restaurants being far and away the most popular food option among both Koreans and foreigners (76% and 77% percent respectively). However, a discrepancy in the second-place option shed light on another tendency: Korea’s chronic overestimation of foreigners’ enthusiasm for ddeok. For those of you who have somehow escaped it, Wikipedia describes ddeok as a rice cake made from rice flour and which has zero taste whatsoever until it is filled, sprinkled, drizzled or slathered with something that has some actual goddamn flavor (I’m paraphrasing). Anyway, survey said:

While 12.50 percent of Koreans guessed that tourists would seek out street food such as tteokbokki, 10.43 percent of foreigners replied that they prefer cuisine from other Asian regions such as pho noodles and sushi.

Glad I was sitting down for that. Your thoughts?

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Vance Stevens and a TESOL 2015 iPadagogy preview

Worldbridges Megafeed - Tue, 2015-03-17 15:00
Sunday March 15, 2015 1400 GMT What was it about? 

Ellen Dougherty, Nery Alvarado, Daniela Coelho, and Vance Stevens, four colleagues working for HCT/CERT at the aviation college in Al Ain UAE, are presenting a mini-workshop at TESOL Toronto called iPad-agogy: a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach, Thursday, March 26, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Electronic Village in Toronto

http://tesol2015ipadogogyabloominbetterwaytoteach.pbworks.com/ (the link will go live before March 26)

 

One of the presenters Vance wishes to share his insights into using various apps for writing including Google Docs with students to both enhance and streamline the process of interacting with them in their writing practice. Vance teaches to students who use iPads but manages the process on a PC. We will discuss the reasons for this configuration, but my purpose at this session is in part to  get feedback from those present on how they address writing with their students in an iPad or PC environment.

 

Official archive of the event:
http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/

 

How this worked at showtime March 15, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which went live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/Lk2E-uuI3DU
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/claa0ug5rblh2u5m55rvi1sdjfc
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here prior to the event)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

read more

Learning2gether with Vance Stevens and a TESOL 2015 iPadagogy preview

Webheadsinaction.org - Tue, 2015-03-17 15:00
Sunday March 15, 2015 1400 GMT What was it about? 

Ellen Dougherty, Nery Alvarado, Daniela Coelho, and Vance Stevens, four colleagues working for HCT/CERT at the aviation college in Al Ain UAE, are presenting a mini-workshop at TESOL Toronto called iPad-agogy: a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach, Thursday, March 26, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Electronic Village in Toronto

http://tesol2015ipadogogyabloominbetterwaytoteach.pbworks.com/ (the link will go live before March 26)

 

One of the presenters Vance wishes to share his insights into using various apps for writing including Google Docs with students to both enhance and streamline the process of interacting with them in their writing practice. Vance teaches to students who use iPads but manages the process on a PC. We will discuss the reasons for this configuration, but my purpose at this session is in part to  get feedback from those present on how they address writing with their students in an iPad or PC environment.

 

Official archive of the event:
http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/

 

How this worked at showtime March 15, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which went live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/Lk2E-uuI3DU
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/claa0ug5rblh2u5m55rvi1sdjfc
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here prior to the event)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

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Deep Thoughts

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-03-17 02:23
Deep Thoughts

Ever since I left Seoul I have been thinking more and more about myself and my photography. I saw John Steele’s great post about his turning point with photography and it really gave me a lot to think about. I have gone over what I do and and how I do it more than at any other point in my photographic life. Was there a turning point for me? Are my best photos behind me?

These past few months have worn me out. A year ago, I had what I called the perfect job for a photographer. I worked at a university with some amazing photographers and I had the time to get out and take some photos whenever I wanted. However, just a few months ago the same person who hired me basically laughed me out of his office when I went to check my schedule for this term. So I that got me thinking  a lot about if I am at a crossroads in life right now.

The biggest choice that I think that anyone has with life and with photography is do you continue down the road that you have always gone but ultimately leads nowhere or do you keep changing paths until you find one that suits you or that is profitable? For the longest time, I chose the comfortable path. For 5 years I worked at the same school, took the same photos of the same places. It was really comfortable knowing that nothing would change. I knew where to go and what to do.

Sadly, nothing lasts forever and doing the same thing wasn’t doing it for me. That is the same way that I feel about my photography. For years, I had a recipe for HDR photos that I thought were really good. I would set up, shoot and not really even have to think about the settings. Maybe a bit about the composition but more or less I just knew that I was going to get something out of the shoot. For most, that is great.

For me, I started wanting more. I started seeing other people pop up and make some serious waves and yet no matter how many of my photos I posted, they only made ripples. It was really starting to get to me. I was got so annoyed when I saw people getting getting great shots with a ton of comments. I knew that this wasn’t healthy and the whole thing was meaningless but it still burned me inside.

My Turning Point

The biggest thing that I realized was that I had to change myself in order to change the outcome of my efforts. I have been doing the same things over and over again. Taking the same photos over and over again. So I started learning new techniques. I started depending on HDR less and less and actually using the camera and the myriad of photo techniques to get the desired look that I wanted.

It is the same in life. I got lazy and I realized that the people that I look up to are the ones are pushing themselves everyday. Sure, they may seem relaxed but they are also hitting the gym, studying, maintain schedules and just being positive. I have grown into a complainer while the people that I was complaining about were out there putting in some serious effort to get their name out. It’s easier to gripe about how crappy things are than to change them. It is a lot harder to see how great things are and that with a little effort each day I can do something better.

 

So for now I am focussing on being that person and that photographer that I want to be. This means learning and studying each day and even meditating. I always thought that meditation was for hippies or something to only do when you are really stressed but it is helping to give me a clearer idea of what I want. I have even done this while waiting for a right light out shooting. Just taking a few minutes to clear my head and focus on the scene in front of me really helped make a better photo.

So in the end, I just want to say that hopefully there will be a new path for me in the coming days. I have a new blog style with a clearer focus on the photos and I am really happy with it. Thank you all for the great support and I hope this post wasn’t too sappy. I hope that it gave you something to think about on some level.


 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Elizabeth Anne about Blended Learning in a Conservative Higher Ed Environment

Webheadsinaction.org - Sat, 2015-03-14 18:54
On Sun Mar 08 at 1400 GMT Elizabeth Anne discussed with us blended learning in her conservative Higher Ed environment in Grenoble, France What was it about? Elizabeth writes: The establishment is notoriously opposed to change. For the past 8 years my 3rd and 4th year science students have all had to create their own pbworks wikis for their English class (to fulfill the requirements of their mark), while each class shares a wiki on which they collaborate. I'd love to share some of the things I've learnt from this experience while learning how you manage to reconcile blended learning with institutional requirements. Webheadinaction.org archive: http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/ 

How this worked at showtime March 8, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDHXNw1vxw0 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/cebrg7tm8sa3kn26dqoe1fe7qic
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (provided on the day)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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