tvN 2014 office drama ‘Misaeng’ An Incomplete Life Review

misaeng drama

My male students don’t usually talk about TV dramas but at the end of last year some of them started asking me if I was watching 미생 Misaeng – the tvN drama about the life of office workers in a trading company in Seoul. At the time I wasn’t watching it. Perhaps like many people, I didn’t think an office drama would be that interesting. Then I was an interviewer for the English speaking test for new employees at a large company and my Korean co-interviewer asked the interviewees which character in Misaeng they related to the most! Everyone seemed to be talking about it. And so I realised that I had to watch it. Continue reading “tvN 2014 office drama ‘Misaeng’ An Incomplete Life Review” »

Happy Lunar New Year 2015

Happy Lunar New Year! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!


A sheep might bring happiness but apparently there is a lot of unhappiness going on at this time of year! That’s because of all the work that has to be done for the New Year festivities! An array of savoury pancakes have to be fried, meat and fish cooked, raw chestnuts peeled, vegetables mixed with sesame oil, and the signature dish of the day – rice cake soup – prepared. Then everything must be plated up early on Lunar New Year morning and presented on the alter to carry out the ancestral rites. And who has to do all this? The daughter-in-law! This is 명절 테러 myeong-cheol te-ro “Holiday Terror” :o Continue reading “Happy Lunar New Year 2015” »

The best kimbap shop in Seoul? Lee’s Roll 리김밥

Lee's Roll

This week, on my quest to find my favourite kimbap in Seoul, I tried 3 different kimbap from Lee’s Roll (리김밥 ri-kimbap) in Apgujeong, Gangnam. Like Kim Seon Saeng this shop sells ‘premium kimbap’ so the prices are more expensive than your regular kimbap. Prices start at a fairly modest  2,500 won for a classic roll and go up to a whopping 5,500 won for a red paprika with Gouda cheese roll.

When I arrived at the shop it was already 2pm and I wanted to sit in a restaurant and eat but all I could see was a takeout section – they have a small shop on the ground floor selling readymade kimbap. There is a small counter with stools against the window for customers wanting to eat inside, but it felt a bit too cramped for me. So I bought the kimbap and took it home on the train with my tummy rumbling. :( But now as I look at the photograph more closely, there appears to be a restaurant upstairs on the second floor which I completely missed. :? Continue reading “The best kimbap shop in Seoul? Lee’s Roll 리김밥” »

Valentine’s Day in Korea

paris croissant

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day – I refuse to be drawn into this commercial event (Mr Kim gets NOTHING - bah humbug :)  But that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy wandering around the pink and strawberry themed extravaganza in the departments stores and bakeries at this time of year.

I wonder how I would deal with February 14th if I were a Korean lady though, since this is the day that only the ladies are supposed to give chocolate to the men in their lives. The shops say you have to buy chocolate for all men not just boyfriends, but coworkers too. It’s a kind of duty. So should I feel guilty if I don’t take part? Continue reading “Valentine’s Day in Korea” »

Where’s the best place to buy craft equipment? Dongdaemun Market

dongdaemun market

A visit to Dongdaemun market always leaves me inspired to start making stuff. Last time I came here I became mesmerised by the mind-boggling array of beads on sale and decided to start jewellery making. I haven’t actually made anything yet, but I do have lots of beads. ;) Then recently I bought a book on Korean knotting, maedup 매듭 and so headed off to the market to get some cord so that I can start knotting! Continue reading “Where’s the best place to buy craft equipment? Dongdaemun Market” »

Dongdaemun Design Park in Winter and an Oyster Lunch


If you fancy an afternoon of extreme contrast in Seoul then Jongno is a good place to go. I spent an hour or so wandering around the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Park (which only opened last year) followed by an oyster and rice soup lunch in a tiny alleyway restaurant just up the road in one of the oldest parts of the city… Continue reading “Dongdaemun Design Park in Winter and an Oyster Lunch” »