For anyone new to Korea, you may be unfamiliar with the long list of literature previous expats have left behind. While I’ve yet to see a definitive list (and probably never will), let’s simply say the story of the English teacher that comes to Korea has been written about in many different ways. This blog has reviewed a few different versions of the story – from Chris Tharp’s excellent and informative Dispatches from the Peninsula to a gonzo-inspired “The Dog Farm” by David Wills. There’s been a few others along the way, some more memorable than others. The story can be told in many ways, More >
Promoted in both the Korea Herald and Joongang Daily, this exhibit of Joseon Dynasty genre paintings is the first public exhibition of several dozen 19th century paintings. With the headlines of both stories involving the angle of “erotic” paintings, you would be forgiven for thinking they comprise a large portion of the exhibit.
Not so much.
Enter Gallery Hyundai – complete with Park Myeong-ja, the president of the gallery. She apparently spent years working her “connections” to put these exhibits together. The exhibit, which includes four floors worth of paintings, dedicates precisely More >
LEARNING about Korean food in English can be done in a few different ways. If you’re new to Korea, you can head out with a good friend, check out one of the many Korean food blogs, or pick up a guide to some of the foods you might try. The folks over at Ongo Food Communications have started something new here – a manga style comic book aimed at explaining specific Korean foods.
Covering kimchi is not only par for the course, but a good introduction to Korean food – or anyone that wants to hear the story without the saccharine-sweet flavor often introduced by government information. More >
What’s that, you ask? You like beer too? You’d like to enjoy some good beer without feeling a beer snob or needing a degree in Beer to make a good choice? Make a beeline (beerline?) to Reilly’s for some good beer, good grub, and good conversation.
Despite the impressive beer list, there isn’t any pretentiousness about the served suds. There’s simply quiet confidence and knowledge, especially from the first Certified Cicerone (pronounced ‘sis-uh-rohn’) in Korea, AKA Troy Zitselberger. If you’re aware of what a wine sommelier does, this is actually pretty close – a cicerone serves beer, More >
NB Armstrong has called Korea home since 2000, and during that time has enjoyed some interesting characters that make your average expat tale look lame. To be clear, NB does seem to have gone out of his comfort zone quite a bit more in “Korean Straight Lines”, and it’s unclear from most of the stories when they actually happened. The where is a bit clearer – the story starts out on “the south end of Masan city” down in Gyeongsangnam-do – though it definitely moves around somewhat (he enrolled in a ten-week Korean language course in Busan during one chapter).
A few stories center around a More >
Korea has achieved what many thought impossible – in a couple generations, the country has rebuilt itself from war-torn devastation to a first-world country known for many reasons. At present, the country faces a number of other issues, possibly considered ’first-world problems’, that have to be addressed to continue its success. If you’re interested in seeing how Korea got to where it is today (and why things are the way they are), a glimpse of history provides the context.
The book starts with a very good review of Korean history, complete with the nuances (and without the nationalist More >
Over the weekend, I found myself in Hongdae and Haebangchon – two havens of international flavor within Seoul – and discovered three new places that are worth taking a look. Instead of writing them up individually, I thought I’d throw them into the same post and keep things simple. Don’t forget to share with your friends!
First up: Asia. Offering up Thai and Indonesian food, the Hongdae space is just big enough for a handful of tables (including one outside), along with the following decorations:
A few tastes of home, perhaps?
My girlfriend ordered the pad thai noodles (9,500 More >
This app has come a long way in a single version. The first version, while not bad, required an Internet connection; this one has the same requirement, but fits the smartphone platform with redesigned mobile-friendly pages.
Start with the main page, which is well-organized into expected sections: destinations, accommodations, and practical needs like dining and transportation. You’ll need to dig through a menu or two before the app retrieves a website, but if you’ve tapped the right options it’ll give you the information you’re looking for 95% of the time.
For destinations (“attractions” as More >
IN the book Les Miserables, the author expounds on the condition of Paris’ sewers for quite a few pages. For anyone that managed to finish the brilliant but sometimes boring book, I salute you. While this tour didn’t require as much patience, it wasn’t an experience I’d foist on someone for the same reasons.
Produced by Artsonje, the Real DMZ Project 2012 hasn’t yet received a lot of press in the English-speaking world. The aim is to connect art and artists with several destinations around Cheolwon and parts beyond the Civilian Control More >
If you live in the HBC area, you’ve seen this place go up recently – complete with the graffiti-covered exterior that’s near-impossible to ignore (see more on this in a couple of paragraphs!). Burgermine has set up shop next door to another also-new burger place, just down the hill from legendary Jacoby’s, and presumably the novelty of bread, meat, and cheese needs to be bumped up a notch.
The innovation here is two-fold: a make-your-own-burger station that reminded me of my college’s cafeteria (albeit cleaner and classier), and a easy-to-understand, eat-all-you-want policy. Order, wait for More >