Tag Archives: Korea

Episode #20: Can I Touch Your Hair?

 

Translation credit: Hyo πŸ™‚

This has actually always happened to me at some point or another in Korea (except without the nicknames Hyo made lol. Koreans seem to be fascinated with the curly hair that most black people seem to have.

And yes they do ask to touch it. I generally don’t find it offensive because it’s done in a curious manner. Some do get offended, but it’s really not that big a deal to me unless they do it in a negative manner. I’ve never had Koreans from the street actually ask to do this (but some of my female friends have), but at every school I’ve worked at, the student have always asked to touched my hair and were too amazed when they touched it.

They are even more amazed when I let it grow for a little while, then cut it all off (that’s when Hyo calls me Kiwi Dom). Actually this episode of her touching my hair reminds me of that scen from the new Karate Kid movie. It’s always funny that something as simple as my hair would garner lots of attention in a completely different culture. Here is another woman’s experience, but in China:

http://beingblackinchina.weebly.com/1/post/2012/11/can-i-touch-your-hair.html

Until next time

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Episode #19: Food We Hate Pt. 1

Hyo absolutely hates peanut butter. She really can’t even stand the smell of it lol. This is one thing that is interesting when dating someone from another culture. You can both try different foods and there will always be food that you like or dislike from the other person’s culture. Β It’s always interesting how one food that is a staple of your country’s culture will be completely disliked. Everyone has different tastes, and that’s fine.

Naturally, I like Reese’s, and I found that most Koreans I have come across, do not like peanut butter. I think it is one reason why Reese’s Cups can only be found at the Foreign Food store here while Snickers, Twix, Hershey’s, and M & M’s can be found in pretty much every convenience store. So frustrating so when we went to the states this winter, I bought like 10 Reese’s XL bars (can’t even find those in the Foreign Food Store), and a big bag of Reese’s that were much cheaper. I was happy for about two weeks.

Anyways, I hope maybe one day Hyo doesn’t hate PB so much :p

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Episode #18: 무울…Moool

This is one thing that can be frustrating for people trying to learn Korean (or any language for that matter). Just a simple difference in pronunciation will leave you facing dumbfounded looks from people in restaurants, taxi drivers, etc. It can be frustrating, but you get better with it as time goes on.

Pronouncing “λ¬Ό” has always been trouble for me. For some reason, I sound the “oo” sound too long, and yes, it does sound like a short piece of speech from a cow. Hyo is a great teacher though and hopefully I can be kind of fluent by the end of the year. I can understand about 20% of what’s being said.

But this situation happens all too often. How about you? Can anyone who is learning Korean relate to this?

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Out in Incheon: Chinatown and Freedom Park

So yesterday was Sunday and it was a pretty nice day. Sun was shining, a little warmth in the air…you could feel the tinges of spring. Then evening came, and reality set back in that it’s still not quite spring time warmth yet.

Anyways, we had a nice day out in Incheon. I proposed that we go to Chinatown seeing as I had never been there before. She decided we should also check out Freedom Park which was only a stone’s throw away.

First, we went to Freedom Park. We got off of DongIncheon Station and walked about 5-10 minutes up a a hill before coming up on the park. The park itself is not huge by any means, but there is a lot of space, and a great view of Songdo, the port, Incheon Grand Bridge, and the sea. There is also a statue of General Mac Arthur, an animal pen (with tons of birds and rabbits), and some nice flowers.

Hyo hiding as usual.

Hyo hiding as usual.

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Random peacock

Random peacock

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Very Crowded

Very Crowded

Next we headed down the hill right into Chinatown. Hyo found it (by luck haha just kidding she was a great guide) and we began to walk around. Overall it was smaller than i expected, but there were lots of restaurants, many with long lines outside of them. Ultimately we choose a restaurant that wasn’t so crowded and had some  깐풍기 (Ggan-pung-i…fried pork in garlic sauce). It was my first time trying it as although I have a 24 hour Chinese food place I regularly get delivery from, 깐풍기 is not on the menu. We also ordered some fried rice.

We were stuffed afterward, but still decided to walk around a bit more before heading back home. If you want to go to Chinatown, just get off at Incheon Station (the last stop on Seoul Line 1), and you can’t miss the big gate right outside the station that leads to Chinatown. Check it out^^

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