korean life

A Unique Bus Stop Flea Market in Korea

I’m fortunate to have been in Korea going on three years now. I’ve seen a lot of things, eaten a lot of things, and learned a lot of things. Sometimes I just go through my daily routines forgetting that I’m on the other side of the planet from “home”. I guess that’s because this is home now. For now.

So for me to see something new that catches my eye and really makes me stop to look is uncommon. However, when I moved into my new neighborhood in Busan, I found myself walking past this bus stop on many occasions that has an incredibly cool flea market nestled around it. I often wait at this very bus stop as well. Each time I walk through the market, I see something that amazes me or makes me laugh.

This a true Korean flea market. Many vendors come to set up shop and peddle their goods each and every week, and those goods vary greatly.


I Watched Korean Girls Eat on YouTube

I don’t even remember how I was tipped off on this story, but apparently there is this strange craze in South Korea where people tune in to watch girls eat food.  This shouldn’t be a huge surprise seeing that people will tune in to watch anything – even if it’s just BAD.  But to sit and watch someone eat a meal just seems ludicrous, as Mike Tyson would say.

Having said that, I found myself sitting in front of my laptop watching these K-girls eat their food. It’s what boredom and morbid curiosity will do to you while you’re teaching in Korea.  There’s lots of free time.

But there I sat watching.  And after I made it through the entire video, I realized – “I just watched someone eat their dinner”.


7 Ways South Korea Rules the World

 

CNN just recently did an article called, “10 things Korea does better than anywhere else”.  Some of the things I can’t confirm, but I can say that 7 of them are definitely spot on.


This is Why Koreans Are THINNER Than Americans

You’re probably wondering whether or not you want to travel to a country like Korea to teach English. If you do decide, you’re probably going to wonder about things like bills, transportation, how to open a bank account, how much Korean will you need to speak, what kind of guys and girls to Korean girls and guys like, and everything else.

Oh, and food.

What is the food like?  Is it really spicy?  Are there choices for vegetarians?  I’ve heard them all. But there is one thing I don’t hear of a whole lot that is related to food in a round about way. “Will I gain weight or get skinny?”

The truth of the matter is that traveling to Korea has an element of stress for everyone. It’s more for some than others, but it’s there. In fact, I had someone in my orientation class who never made it to the teaching part. They just turned around and went home.

And what happens to most people when they get stressed? They EAT!

The degrees to which each of us eat under pressure varies widely. However, as Americans or westerners, we have a tenancy to eat like, well, an American or westerner. There within lies the problem.

There are differences between the indigenous foods here in Korea compared to back home. In America we love processed foods, MSG, artificial sweeteners, fat, salt…everything that tastes good. But you want to know something? So do Koreans. There are snack shops, bakeries, fast food joints, fried chicken joints, pizza joints and burger joints EVERYWHERE. It’s all here. Even though Korean’s “big size” at McDonald’s is basically the standard size back home, you can still get Double Quarter Pounders with cheese.

However, the average Korean has a far smaller circumference than the average American. Why?

Many people have had many opinions on this, but here I share what I’ve noticed and what I believe is the core reason for unnecessary weight gain or obesity in America. It also explains why it isn’t rampant in Korea, though it is beginning to rear it’s ugly head.

The post This is Why Koreans Are THINNER Than Americans appeared first on The Red Dragon Diaries.


On “2.5 Oyajis” with YouTube’s Japan Vlogging King, Gimmeaflakeman

If you are interested in traveling and teaching in either Korea or Japan, your search will ultimately lead you to Gimmeaflakeman.  Victor is possibly the most recognizable figure in J-vlogging, so it was a pleasant surprise and honor to be asked to be part of his show “2.5 Oyajis”.

Along with Hikosaemon, also of Japan, the two lead a periodic show where they interview characters who live abroad as they do. They share stories and insights and provide for an entertaining but highly informational show. It was great to chew the cud for an hour with them covering topics such as South Korea’s relationship with Japan, my North Korean heritage, and North Korea in general.


Weight Training and the Curious Case of Korean Gyms

Your body is going to change when you come to Korea.  It may be for the better or worse, but it will change.  The food is different and your lifestyle will change and somehow the combination of these things will impact your appearance.  So, finding a gym is going to be something you’ll want to do eventually.  The thing is, you don’t know anything about gyms in Korea or what to expect.  Well, neither did I.

The gym experience is definitely different, and by some standards and experiences – unique.

The first thing I realized is that there are no mega-franchise fitness centers that I have come across here in Busan.  Maybe in the super-tropolis, Seoul, you’ll have luck finding one, but given the space issue in Korea, it’s unlikely.


Should Expat English Teachers Be Afraid of the North Korea and China Situation?

North and South Korea are technically still at war and of course we all know the supporting allies for each country are China and the United States, respectively. There are various opinions on the whole entire conundrum, but one thing we can all agree on, especially those of us actually in South Korea, is that the situation can be a little disconcerting.

For those of us who are here teaching and have been through those school days designated for mock disaster/war rehearsals, I’m sure we can agree that the situation on the peninsula went from being an online news story we read in the comfort of our own homes to a stark reality.

Not only do we as expats come to appreciate the tension more, but many of us start to look more meaningfully into the situation as a whole. This includes forming our own opinions on China and the presence of the United States in this region of the world.


10 Hobbies in Korea for Foreigners


3 Female Teachers Talk About Dating, Racism, and Safety in Korea

One thing I’ve learned through blogging and vlogging over the past two years is that there are a lot of questions about life as an expat teaching English in Korea.

They are all different and they comes from all ages, races, and backgrounds. Among the questions about food, qualifications, documentation, and who Korean girls like most are those from female teachers inquiring about dating, racism, and safety.

Dating:
This is a danger zone topic I learned the hard way through my HIGHLY controversial vlog, DO NOT Teach English in Korea if You Are These Types of People.


How to Speak English to Korean Students (and Teachers)


 

 

IMG 5783 300x225 How to Speak English to Korean Students (and Teachers)Living abroad, and more specifically teaching English in South Korea is all about expansion and improvement. That is, if you want it to be. One thing is for sure for every person who travels abroad to teach ESL in a foreign country – you’re going to learn about acculturation and it’s 4 stages. You’ve likely heard of them before, but never associated them with a big, fancy term like ACCULTURATION!


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