Dear Korea #076 - This Does Not Sparkle

Dear Korea #076

Good Monday everyone! I hope you all had an awesome pre-Halloween weekend! Did anyone dress up? A bunch of friends and I went as the Gender Bender Avengers. It should go without saying, but we were awesome.

Anyways, the idea for this week’s comic was sent to me by a good friend of mine. He told me how he often likes to buy flowers for his very lucky lady, and how the Korean flower shop he goes to tends to make everything overly fancy. Decorating stuff is totally cool, but I don’t know too many guys that enjoy the idea of walking home with a flashy glitter bouquet. While I do think he’s managed to get them to ease up on the ribbons and extra stuff, they seem to be quite pushy on the glitter issue.

Places on a Map

For my Birthday, amongst a myriad of other awesome things, (including a beautiful, handmade necklace and a punk rock chick scrub brush) my friend Heather gave me some scraps of fabric.  They're really cool patterns, and I put two of the three of them to good use.

I've seen some of these handmade cloth state or country outlines both for sale, and as craft projects online and so I decided to channel my inner Martha and get crafty.  It was really quite easy and I think it turned out great.

The Cutest Thing I Never Knew I Wanted

I've been having a great Birthday Weekend!  And even though I shall chronicle it more later, I wanted to share one of my awesomely cutesy gifts. 

There are few things I love more than cutesy things, nostalgia, and dinosaurs.

Yesterday Sam gave me a shrunken triceratops in a cup.  I mean what says "Happy Birthday" like a stuffed animal that promises to grow in water.  I don't know where he found it, I might need to find out, for research purposes of course.

"I've got Brians in my Head, I've got Feet in my Shoes...

... I can steer myself any direction I choose."  (Oh Dr. Seuss, I love you!)

Last month for Teacher's Day, (yes Korea has a Teacher's Day and I've gotten some lovely and very heartwarming things because of it) I received a fancy envelope from the parents of my Kindergarten kiddos. 

Inside that fancy envelope was a fancy gift certificate to Centum City, "The Worlds Largest Department Store".  It was very generous, and don't worry (MOM) I wrote them all 'Thank You' cards the very next day. 

Dear Korea #067

Dear Korea #067

Yikes, this one’s much later than I had originally anticipated for it to be. If it helps, I did have family visiting from the states. Anyone that knows what that’s like while trying to juggle work at the same time should understand what I mean when I say that it was quite possibly one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a long while. Overall, it was fun, and now I’m left with enough boxed macaroni and cheese to last me the entire year.

Anyways, while I’m not sure if there’s an actual translation for the term 서비씨 (seobissi), I assume it’s a spin on the the word “service”. Either way, I can’t help but get excited whenever I hear any sort of shopkeep utter those magical words.

Black and Blue: Koreans Mend Broken Hearts with Black Day, April 14

Feeling lonely? Celebrate Black Day on April 14,
and eat some jjajanmyeon, or black noodles

Happy White Day!

Today, March 14th in Korea is "White Day" (it's also Pi Day, which I'm really bummed that went almost the whole day without realizing it- and missed both times to celebrate 3/14 at 1:59 and 26 seconds).  White Day is the male counterpart of Valentine's Day - which is where women give chocolate to the  man in their life and then a month later, the men reciprocate. 

I wasn't really expecting anything to come out of this day other than chocolate to be on sale tomorrow, but as usual, I was wrong.

First, our principal who is both laid back and no-nonsense bought a basket of goodies for all the teachers in the office (which are all girls except one outnumbered guy).  It was nice and filled with candied nuts and little cookies and some gummy candies and hung out in the staff office to be grazed on all day.

Red, White, & Black: Special Days Celebrating Love in Korea

As the chilly month of February descends upon us, so too do thoughts of romance (or lack thereof!) as Valentine's Day draws near. For young Korean couples, however, Valentine's Day is just the first of many love-themed days that are approaching. Seeing the commercial success of Valentine's Day, marketers have latched on to the 14th of each month and made a special day that couples can use to celebrate their love, but none are quite as popular as White Day and Black Day.

Dear Korea #054 - Accepting Regifts

Dear Korea #054

As the comic says, Happy Lunar New Year!!! I guess this comic would be a little funnier if it wasn’t so sadly true. Ever since I’ve arrived in Korea, all I ever wanted was one of this mega-gift packs of Spam. Sadly, I have yet to receive one. I find it pretty funny how so many people complain when they receive the same thing. I would much prefer canned meat over a box of fruit, which will more than likely spoil in a matter of days. Does that make me a strange person? Whatever, I love my Spam. Makes certain Korean dishes significantly more awesome.

Vegan Christmas Gifts

What do you buy a Vegan for Christmas? This question had my family stumped for years. I didn’t want to add to stress of Christmas with my ‘preferences’ but when asked if leather is okay, or if it really matters that a lip balm contains sebum (sheep fat), I had to smile and softly say, “Yeah, it does sorry.” Sorry because it’s inconvenient to seek out cruelty-free gifts, not sorry because I act according to my beliefs.

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