May 2013

What’s happening in May

blythe 2_3_2So May is here already and it’s brought with it much warmer weather. I found a mosquito in my flat on May 1st! The first sign of summer! It will soon be time to put the mosquito net up too, even though it feels like we only just stopped using the ondol – underfloor heating! The blossom is almost gone now with just a few petals still clinging on to the branches for dear life.

There are a few special days this month in the Korean calendar. May 1st is Labour Day. But it’s not a national holiday, so some companies are not closed for business. May 5th is Children’s Day 어린이날 (o-rin-i nal). And May 17th is Buddha’s Birthday 석가탄신일 (sok-ga-tan-shin-il) This holiday falls on a Friday this year so this could mean a weekend away somewhere for us :) There’s a green tea festival in Boseong (about 5 hours form Seoul by bus) that weekend. Boseong is the largest tea growing district in Korea. But it’s already proving difficult to get a seat on the KTX. We’ll find a way to get down there, though. Because I do like tea :)

On Saturday May 4th Namdaemun – the gate that was burnt down by a disgruntled citizen in 2008 – will be reopened to the public. I remember that day well. The whole country was shocked that a fellow citizen could burn down the country’s most important and 600 year old national treasure. It’s taken 5 years and millions of pounds to fix. The culprit is still in prison I believe. And on the first Sunday in May is the re-enactment of the memorial service for the Joseon kings. I went last year. The event is called Jongmyo Daeje

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Buddha’s Birthday is May 17

In Korean drama world…

I finished watching Horse Doctor (MBC) and all the recaps. And I’m working on some more info about the Joseon court and the titles of all the officials working in the court – it’s quite complicated. And the ranking system was SO important!

There are plenty of dramas to choose from at the moment. I’ve been watching the morning drama 당신의 여자 (tang-shin ui yoja) Your Woman. As I’ve mentioned before, I think morning dramas are great for studying Korean because as well as being entertaining, they are usually easy to follow – involving love triangles and love cheats – and they are nice and short (around 30 minutes) and use very repetitive everyday language and expressions. So I don’t have to feel guilty ‘just watching TV’, because I can say I AM STUDYING. 😉

One of the main characters is played by Park Yun Jae, Chae Rim’s (from All About Eve MBC 2000) little brother. And Im Ho has been in several of my other favourites including the morning drama 여자를 몰몰라 (yo-ja-rul mul-laYou Don’t Know Women (SBS 2010)  and sageuk drama Dae Jang Geum (he was King Jungjong).

There’s also a daily drama version of the classic (and my favourite sageuk ever) Heojun on MBC. AND evening drama 장옥정Jang Ok Jung on SBS is about Jang Hee Bin – the very naughty (real life) concubine of King Sukjong. (Several dramas have been made about her life and she is the baddie in sageuk drama Dong Yi too.) So in Drama world I think I’m spoilt for choice right now …

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