The arrest of a Canadian working for a university in Daegu on charges of growing marijuana in his apartment has once again ignited a discussion over how foreigners & drugs are depicted by South Korean media entities, & a blog post written by prominent expat researcher & Gusts of Popular Feeling writer Matt VanVolkenburg has drawn increased attention to the issue. Korea FM spoke with VanVolkenburg & Korean studies professor, NY Times contributor & Korea Expose managing editor Se-Woong Koo about how the recent case, & previous incidents, have been portrayed in the ROK.
We had seen the sea parting once, not knowing it would part two more times again by sundown. Some of us (self included) were a little worried about getting seasick on the boat out to Modo Island, so instead of braving the sea we actually ended up having a leisurely morning getting ready (after a well-deserved, post-parting nap!) before heading down the cherry-blossom lined paths and street over to the festival.
The blossoms are blooming and we are mid-way through this year’s cherry blossom season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more flowers to be amazed and take selfies in front of! And what better way to enjoy the spring air and newly sprung flowers than with some makgeolli in hand? Thankfully someone else thought of this winning combination, and made a festival specifically for flowers & makgeolli.
With my new schedule I still hardly have time to breathe. Two and a half weeks into my time in Seoul I was pretty much ready to call it quits with designers who had expressed interest in having their Fall/ Winter 2016 styles profiled on The Toronto Seoulcialite, only to still find no tickets in my new mailbox 24 hours before their shows. Designers (well…people in general) can be fickle and disorganized, so I was ready to spend my Saturday catching up on sleep and Shonda Rhimes. Star (of 87Pages) convinced me to get my ass outta bed at the crack of dawn on Saturday to take in the madness of Fashion Week in Seoul.
We arrived expecting a massive crowd quite early, but the place was pretty empty. It was really nice to take in the first really warm weather of the season with the beautiful, modern architecture of Dame Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza where Seoul Fashion Week is held. Stepping out of my taxi there was an eerily pristine moment of calm before the storm in which I got to admire the building and its empty surroundings bathing in sunlight from all angles. I reflect on that moment now, just having found out that Hadid, first woman as well as the first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, died of a heart attack only 5 days later on March 31st, 2016.
I have been in Seoul nearly two weeks now and it feels like a year’s worth of events have taken place in the blink of an eye. What is “sleep”? What is “free time”? In this video, you’ll see the progression from my suitcases exploding in my new apartment to a place that feels like home. It feels like a dorm room, and while I’d much rather live in an environment I’ve decorated in a sophisticated manner, my biggest priority this year is using my 2 generous vacation periods to see the world.
Spring is springing, and we are changing things up a little this month! We have long been advocates for makgeolli’s rather under-praised cousin, cheongju (also referred to as yakju). Cheongju is the golden yellow liquid that separates from the sediment during fermentation of makgeolli, and can be just as tasty as it’s milky counterpart.