I see a lot of people have been reading my post about the Korean Setting Perm. On it, I mentioned that the curls were quite tight, but that I thought they would loosen up over time. Well I just want to update and say that they no, they haven’t really loosened up at all, and it’s been over eight months. Eight months later and those curls are still holding tight.
Setting perm is described by Koreans as the “elegant” waves versus the digital perm, which is supposed to be curlier and more slightly more fun? I’m not sure how to describe it, but setting perm is what you see when you see classic, sophisticated Korean girls. I don’t think it turned out the way it was supposed to have on my hair because my hair is naturally very frizzy, so I’m sorry if my pictures weren’t of much help to you.
Funny thing I just searched up “setting perm before and after” and my picture came up. Maybe I shouldn’t have put such a dismal picture of the after shot (sobs).
In retrospect, the Korean magic straightener was not nearly as good as the Japanese straighteners I’ve gotten before, so here’s some real advice: definitely go for the Japanese straighteners over the Korean magic one if you want straight hair. Okay, that’s enough talking!
Since I started this blog back in August, it’s been about eight months of me blogging about Korea and its beautiful language, people, culture, etc. And thank you lovely people for visiting my site, whether through references or just randomly stumbling upon it from Google search. I’m truly grateful.
Since I’m not longer in Korea right now, I haven’t been able to update the blog regularly with experiences and stories from Korea – because I’m no longer there. However, I’ve met a lot of people with equal amounts of enthusiasm for the language and culture, and I just wanted to plug them a bit.
If you’re looking for a network of friends to study Korean with you, go to Self Study Korean. The site is run by a bunch of really awesome people from all walks of life with one thing in common – their love for the beautiful language that is Korean. I’ve been frequenting it because not only does it help me in my journey to mastering Korean, there’s a feeling of community and belonging on the site.
If you’re looking for a Korean pen pal, go to Interpals. You can pick what language you want to be your target language, and you can make friends who you can share languages with. I think the website is fairly safe, and I haven’t heard any creepo stories from it, so I think you will be okay trying to find friends on it.
If you’re looking for a westerner’s perspective on Korean culture, go to Noonablog. Paula, the writer behind Noonablog, has been living in Seoul for the past couple of years, and she has a lot of insight into Korean culture. She’s also into fashion, so a lot of her posts are about fashion (happy for me ^^), and I’ve met her personally (she’s awesome), so I promise you you won’t be bored by her blog!
If you’re looking for a good website for authentic Korean merchandise, go to G Market. This website is one of Korean’s largest e-markets, and it has everything, from clothes to cosmetics to food to furniture. The prices are decent, and they have worldwide shipping. I haven’t personally bought from the website, but I have friends who have, and I’ve heard no complaints. If nothing else, the endless pages of cute clothes (and the guys’ clothing section has a lot of cute models ^^) should keep you occupied.
Right now, I’m a little out of ideas, but if you think of any other good resources for Korean-related things, let me know! And also, if you want me to blog about anything in particular, feedback is always appreciated <3
One of the main things I love about Korean culture is their food. Before I went to Korea, I hadn’t eaten too much Korean food, just bibimbap and Korean BBQ. But even then, I knew I loved the vibrant colors and intense flavor of Korean food.
One of the best things about living in Korea is being able to eat so much cheap, delicious Korean food just by stepping outside your doorstep. In every part of Seoul (and other cities, I’m sure), there are amazing little restaurants in every street corner owned by families – they’re cheap, authentic, delicious. I found it very difficult to find a restaurant in which I had a BAD meal. Plus, Korean restaurants (along with many other restaurants in Asia) don’t charge tax or tip, so it’s really easy and convenient just to eat out basically everyday.
Some of my favorite Korean dishes were kimchi jjigae, pudae jjigae, pajeon, and labbokki. I loved pretty much everything I ate in Korea, but these were the standouts for me.
Last week I decided to make some Korean food. Now, this is a big step for me, seeing as I groan whenever my mom asks me to try cooking. Cooking to me has always been a bit of a chore, because you need to go out and buy specific ingredients, and without the right ingredients, the food won’t taste right. I basically make only ramen and spaghetti, the two easiest foods to make. But seeing as I love Korean food, and that the closest yummy Korean restaurant is over 30 minutes away, I decided to give cooking Korean food myself a go.
So since I explained to you that I kind of hate cooking and that I have very little experience, I thought it’d be best for me to try an easy dish for my first Korean experiment. I chose Kimchi jjigae because it’s pretty simple – you just put kimchi and some other simple ingredients into a pot and let it simmer for a bit, and voila! You have kimchi jjigae. I have to give a lot of credit to Maangchi for her Korean recipes, because without them, I wouldn’t even had the confidence to try making anything. Her recipes are simple and easy-to-follow, and she often includes videos, which is very helpful.
Here are my kimchi jjigae ingredients:
And here’s my kimchi jjigae after being boiled:
It turned out a lot sweeter than it’s supposed to be (it’s not supposed to be sweet, more sour), so I’ll have to work on that for the future. Also, I used the wrong tofu – it’s supposed to be the slick, smooth one, but I bought tofu that said it was “soft” on the cover – clearly smooth and soft are not the same things. But my parents said they thought it was really delicious, so I was pleased ^^
Next, I tackled kkatdugi because my mom randomly brought me home a radish from the store. So I went on Maangchi’s site again, and of course, there was a recipe for kkatdugi (cubed radish kimchi). The ingredients required for this kimchi are really commonplace – garlic, ginger, green onions – so you won’t have to go too out of your way to buy them. The one weird ingredient that it calls for that I’d never heard of before is fish sauce. Apparently we had some in our garage that we never even opened. Go figure.
Here are the ingredients pre-mixing.
And here’s post-mixing:
I have yet to try it because it’s supposed to ferment outside for several days, so I will update you later once I taste it!
Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post and if you want me to try making any other Korean food, please let me know and I will try my best!
Yesterday I took my camera with me (and my friend) and just walked around Hongdae taking random pictures of interesting-looking buildings and things. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
I somehow stumbled upon the Coffee Prince coffee shop! It’s right behind the Hello Kitty on the hill. Here are some pictures.
And then we settled into Toms N Toms, which is just like my familiar Starbucks, but it had 3 floors, so it was nice and lovely. Because the day had kind of gone south, I got a honey bread thing to compensate. It is so cute-looking and delicious at the same time. I almost didn’t know what to do with it. I mean, just look:
And then we went home. But not until after I got some delicious street food. Actually, the 2nd time I was eating street food, a car crashed into me. Or rather, my backpack. It was so unbelievable, and I almost didn’t feel it too. But even though the windows of the car were tinted, I could see the driver and front-seat passenger bowing to me in apology. I waved my hand, as if to say ‘No problem!,’ in a daze. And that was my day. Actually Saturday was much more exciting, but I’ll update about that later. Until next time!~
So this blog post title today is really lame, I know, but it’s kind of the best thing I could think of. Last Sunday, I did a little photo shoot with lovely Paula, one of my fashion inspirations here in Seoul. She has a great blog, filled mostly of fashion, but also of life, love, and how beautiful Seoul is, which I’ve also discovered myself the two or some months I’ve been here so far.
Paula is working at a vintage shop called OldOld. The store is located near Konkuk station (Line 2). It’s a cute little store in the basement of an old building, but there are a lot of gems just waiting to be discovered. For my friend and I, Paula decided on a knit-only look that was kind of angelic, and to play up that aspect, we shot only on a roof-top. It was a really fun experience, and I’d be happy to work with Paula again for any other fashion ideas she has. She was the first fashion blogger in Seoul that I found, and I was so happy to finally meet her. She’s perhaps even friendlier in person than online, and that’s saying something ^^
So here are some of the photos:
They turned out really nice and artsy, right? I really loved the outfits Paula picked. She’s a natural stylist :) I really love the fashion here in Korea – it was one of the drawing points for me. At long last, I got to work on a fashion project here…I’m grateful :)
So last Friday I finally got my butt down to Yeouido, where the KBS Broadcasting Station is located, to see Music Bank.
Now I have to precursor you guys on what it means to “see” Music Bank (or any other music show). Each artist/group has to do about 15-30 minutes of pre-recording before the live show, which starts at 6 pm (for Music Bank). The recordings start late morning and end before the live show. Each group that is performing that week, whether it be Super Junior or F.T. Island, or whoever else, has to pre-record their performance several times before the start of the live show, so that instead of rushing between set changes, some groups might not get to perform it live during the live show (I’m not sure who doesn’t get to perform…I might have to get back to you on that one).
Getting into the pre-recordings: It’s not hard to get into the pre-recordings. All you have to do is show up at the KBS Station about 2 hours before the start of pre-recording with a copy of the latest album of the group you want to see. You will almost always need this in order to get in. Go to the person in charge of the fan club (they will probably be wearing a badge that says they are fan club staff) and tell them you want to see the show. Show them your album, and they will collect your name and (in my case) write a number on your wrist. And then all you have to do is wait until the pre-recording starts, and then enter with everyone else :)
What to do in the pre-recording: The authorities say no photography or videos once you’re inside the KBS Building, and if you’re caught, you will probably be thrown out. They’re kind of strict about this. My friend, however, sneaked a picture inside the studio…so it is possible, if you’re sly enough. Fangirls (in my experience, a lot more girls than guys love kpop) are SO crazy. When I went to see Infinite, the girls around me were all screaming the members’ names at the top of their lungs, and waving incessantly, in the attempt to have the members wave and smile at them. And the fan chants during the actual pre-recording performances are so intense. Half the time my ears were bleeding from the fangirl screams. It’s like you’re at a sports match or something….maybe this is the sports culture of Korea :o
About the live show: I’ve never had any experience getting into the live show, and none of my friends have had either. For Music Bank, Music Core, and Inkigayo, there’s apparently some lottery system online for getting tickets. This most certainly requires a Korean social security number, which none of us have. There really must be another way to get tickets to the live show, but I just haven’t figure it out yet. I hear that Music Core is possible, but you’d have to get there really in the morning, and right now I don’t have that kind of patience. I will update later if I get any more information.
Now, finally let’s get to my experience!
So I got to the KBS Station via the National Assembly station on Line 9 (next to Yeouido). Unfortunately I don’t quite remember the exit I took right at this moment, but I will update with that information later. The KBS building is quite close to the subway, only about a 5-10 minute walk away. When you get to the KBS Station, make a right at the first intersection (after the traffic bars) and walk straight until you see a sign for KBS Hall (written in Korean), turn left, and walk up the stairs. It’s like an open space with a roof overhead, and the entrance to the recording studio is to the right. Find the fan club staff roaming around in that area.
This is what the place looked like when I got there (the entrance is actually on the left side of this picture):
And we waited a longer than I thought we would, actually. We were supposed to enter for Infinite at around 2:30 and I think we waited all the way until 4:10 pm…and I might’ve caught a cold, but it’s so worth it. INFINITE!!
And once we got in, I was so amazed. The studio was a lot smaller than I thought, but the set was beautiful! Really gorgeous. They were promoting Paradise, which I think is a great song. The choreography is really smooth, less intense than the Be Mine choreo, but great nonetheless. And the boys…well, they were a lot smaller than I thought they would be. They were sooo skinny, like malnutritioned kids from a third world country. Yes, I did just have to make that comparison. They looked exactly the same as they did on camera, so that was a happy surprise. Myungsoo looked really tired, so he was the only one who was not really waving back at us, but all the others were really enthusiastic at waving and smiling at us. It was a really good experience. I really didn’t want it to end, but sure enough, after 3 takes, the security guards were ushering us out the door. They were a bit rude about it too, but oh well.
Afterwards, we went to Handel & Gretel, which is the little cafe owned by Yesung (from Super Junior)’s parents. It’s right outside the main KBS gate – you cannot miss it. It was beyond adorable, but it was tiny as hell. We had to sit outside in the cold >___< Here are some pictures of the place.
And there’s the conclusion of my first attempt at going to Music Bank! I will actually be going back again this week, and seeing if I can get any more information. Hope this was helpful and I love reading comments, so please do comment below!
요즘은 바빠서 블로그에 글을 못 썼어요…너무 미안해요 :(
I’ve been so busy these days, so I haven’t had a chance to update this blog as frequently as I would like to. I know I said I would blog at least once a week, but it really has been crazy. Mid-terms are coming up next week, and I need to study this week.
But my 약속 or promise to you guys is that after mid-terms are over on Tuesday, I will be blogging a lot! I have a bunch of things to blog about…for one, I finally attended a music show! This past Friday, my friends and I went to the SBS Broadcasting Building and watched a pre-taping of Infinite for Music Bank! It was like a dream come true. Even though I didn’t get to see the boys super up close, I would say I was maybe 30 feet away from them at one point. The stage and the auditorium for Music Bank were awfully small, and also it’s kind of impossible to get into the live show without getting tickets off an online lottery. However, I met some people when I went who will be going back and also going to other shows (Music Core, Inkigayo, etc) so I will be going back. Next week’s Infinite’s goodbye stage so I will most definitely be attending! I will be making a full blog post about this soon, so stay tuned!
For now, here is a picture of the Paradise stage at Music Bank that my friend sneakily took. We aren’t supposed to take pictures inside the building >___< so strict!
Look! There’s Myungsoo/L :)