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” »

Chuno (Slave Hunter) (KBS2 2010) Review


Yes, I know I’m late, but I have finally got to enjoy the delights (and there are many ;) ) of the 2010 drama Chuno, Slave Hunter -  a sexy and beautifully made sageuk with action and romance. I can be hard to please when it comes to dramas and if something doesn’t please me I’ll just stop watching even if I’m half way through. I had no problem getting through Chuno. It was fab.

But it was the beauty of the characters and their costumes and the cool choreographed fight scenes that was the real crowd pleaser rather than the story itself. Exciting chases take us from Hanyang (Seoul) all the way down to Jeju Island and back with fun choreographed fighting with a catchy soundtrack along the way. The drama presents two classes at the polar ends of society – slaves (nobi) and aristocrats (yangban). It’s all about extremes. And there are so many hot male characters we are spoilt for choice. (I’m not complaining about that) But although I enjoyed the action and the humour, and was appropriately disgusted by the toe picking – yikes – I didn’t cry – just felt a little pang of sorrow at the end. (I’m watching Misaeng at the moment and have cried in every episode so far! I wasn’t expecting to do that. :o ) Continue reading “Chuno (Slave Hunter) (KBS2 2010) Review” »

So is 2015 the Year of the Sheep or the Goat?

National Folk Museum of Korea

In 2015, the Lunar New Year will fall on February 19th and we’ll enter the year of the sheep/goat. ( hangeul: 양 yang; Chinese character: 羊) So there’s a small but cute exhibition on at the National Folk Museum of Korea at the moment telling us all about sheep/goats. This confuses me as I’ve always seen sheep and goats as completely different animals with their own characters.

I think of goats as nosy little fellas who want to sniff and eat absolutely everything in sight – even the clothes you are wearing if you stand too close to them. Sheep on the other hand are shy and run away when they see you coming. (I’m more of a sheep than a goat. ;) Continue reading “So is 2015 the Year of the Sheep or the Goat?” »

Apartment Fire in Uijeongbu

uijeongbu fire

picture Joongang Daily

I read in today’s Korean newspaper Joongang Ilbo about the dreadful apartment fire in Uijeongbu, just outside Seoul where 4 people died and 124 were injured (11 critical). 226 people have lost their homes and have had to be evacuated to a local school. The fire happened last Saturday but more information is coming out about the cause. And despite the fact that there was a fire inspection carried out only a few months ago, it appears that there were insufficient fire prevention measures in place. Two of the three apartment buildings didn’t have sprinklers (because they are lower than 11 floors) and some residents said they didn’t hear a fire alarm – it was the screams of the other residents that made them realise there was an emergency. (flammable materials used in the construction of the apartments have been blamed too.)

Since we (like most people in Seoul) live in an apartment, this kind of news is very worrying indeed. I think most of the time we just don’t think about the dangers of living in high rise buildings. We have never had a fire drill here and I wouldn’t know what to do if there were a fire. Although in our previous apartment building there was a fire once. Continue reading “Apartment Fire in Uijeongbu” »