About Me

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Jennifer Gabriel

When a Texas fed, Texas bred Nigerian-American girl named Jennifer met a South Korean boy named Junho, sparks flew. They soon fell all the way in love and shared their lives (and attempted to exchange their languages).

After he left, she followed him to South Korea. What happened next wasn’t a happy ending but a happy beginning, and since then she has been sharing her life and love for all things Korean at her blog, Western Girl Eastern Boy.

Now, she’s back home in Austin, Texas but getting ready to take on Japan AND South Korea, because every Texan girl’s boots were made for walking, traveling, and tackling life and love in the search for somewhere (and someone) special.

75 thoughts on “About Me

    • Long story short:

      2008 – Discovered DBSK and started self-study; also became best friends with a Korean boy. He and his friends all spoke Korean and stuff, even around me. So I started learning from them, too.
      2011: Took Korean class. Met my ex, who is Korean, and he taught me a lot, too.
      2012: Went to Korea for three months and lived in Gangnam, where everyone speaks Korean and almost no one speaks English.

      + singing Korean songs at Karaoke and watching a lot of Korean shows.

      *whew*

      Oh, textbooks? NO, they suck at teaching Korean.

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    • Hi westerngirleasternboy: I happened upon your blog and I am glad I did. I am much older but I am Black and American Indian. I love Koreans. I am into K Pop and fashion has been my goal and dream and dance and singing its my life actually. I love your interest I took Law as well College 4 years but did not finish money. Its expensive books and all. I do want to go to Seoul Korea someday soon, visit or to live. I want to learn Korean. I am glad I came upon your site or blog dear one. Thanks you are so inspiring as well. Well you have an amazing new week and be safe and keep sharing all you know. Blessings to you.
      Sincerely,
      Maria Edwards

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    • Hi Maria,

      Its a pleasure to meet you!^^ We already have so much in common~

      Yes, law school is SO expensive. I hope I can find a good job when I graduate and start paying off my loans.

      I will post about learning Korean soon, so I really hope you learn Korean and get to go to Korea someday soon, too!^^

      Much love,
      westerngirleasternboy

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  1. hey my name is Sweet and i’m from Ethiopia(Africa). I’m 18 years old and just graduated from high school this June and i have always loved Korea(for five years to be exact) and want to learn of course in Korea but i’m scared I will be learning the language more than the years I will spend in college. Also the social aspect” will i be able to not let the negativity about my skin get to me? “, “will i have a social life that includes Koreans?? or will i finish all my years in Korea being depressed and all?” those questions have been hunting me and I just want to clear my head and decide on one thing.. Please help me on this.. I know you might say i’m getting way over my head but i can’t seem to shake it off. And as far as education goes I want to know if foreigners will benefit from the educational system of the country as any Korean student.

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    • Hi Sweet!^^ I know where Ethiopia is~ ;)

      A lot of Africans–especially from Kenya and the Congo, travel to Korea to study at Korean universities. They have classes in English, but they also have Korean classes to help you learn the language. So, you can study your major and Korean at the same time.

      Stanley and Sam are two famous Kenyan students who recently have been on many TV shows in Korea spreading positivity about people of color. You, too, will be fine and make lots of friends and be happy as long as you are confident, strong, and focused. There will be plenty of people who want to get to know you, although there are– of course, people who will be rude to you or ignore you. However, like Stanley, Sam, myself, and other people of color who have been to or are still in Korea, don’t let those few people bring you down. They are not worth it at all!

      I don’t think you read my blog, but I do talk about my summer in Korea where I went to school, worked, and dated. So, I can already say: You are not in over your head!^^ You are just doing what myself and so many other black girls have already done, so take your time and choose a good university with an international program that offers the major and the classes you want~

      Finally, feel free to reply here or email me at westerngirlxeasternboy@gmail.com if you need a mentor or just a friend who can help you as you plan for life in Korea and even live in Korea. I have a lot of friends (both Korean and non-Korean) there, and I will be going back for a short visit soon myself.
      <3

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  2. you have no idea how much that helped,thank you and i will contact you when i have more questions and all. now i know what i want to do,,KOREA HERE I COME.. :-)

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  3. Hello there, i’m Nigerian but interested in the Korean culture, plus may be visiting Seoul very soon. If you dont mind can i contact you via email, would like to know alot about Korea :)

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  4. hmm, just resent it again, its probably being a bit slow because you are on your phone, would be expecting your reply as soon as you receive it, komawo, komawoyo, komupta, komasimida, kansahamida.. A big LOL, testing my korean skills on you :D

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  5. Dearest westerngirleasternboy, thanks for the reply. I know that day is coming soon to go to Korea, for me. My blessing is to soon come in. I hope to learn the language soon. With your help or online help I can learn more. And yes, we both have much in common. And I sure pray that you will get the dream job you want if its meant for you to be that lawyer it will be there for you; or if its something else that has Law in it as well it will be for you. What I do mean is we can study all we want but if its not what God put us here to do, it will not pan out and we would need to take another path. It does not mean studying or taking Law was a waste of time, there can be other work that needs your study in Law as well. So never be upset nor disappointed in any changes in your life. You are a smart person I can see that from readying your blogs. I am just glad I stumbled upon your site. You have an amazing rest of your week. Again thanks so much for your reply.
    Maria

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  6. I would just like you to know that I spent like 3+ hours on your blog looking at all your posts when I should I have been studying for finals and working on my projects and papers lol. It seems you’ve been through a lot, but I think that’s made you stronger in the end.You got me thinking about a lot of things now. Anyways, you have a nice blog with wonderful content and I can only hope that my blog becomes something as interesting, useful, and inspiring as yours one day in the future. Looking forward to more posts! Have a nice day!

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    • Wow, what a distraction, but hopefully one you thoroughly enjoyed!^^

      I actually visited your too, and its beautiful. From the background to the headings and even the content– it really reminded me of mine, and I could tell you spent a lot of time on it, making it personal, stylish, and unique.

      I’m really glad you thought my blog was interesting, useful, and inspiring, and I know yours already is and will continue to be, too! So, I look forward to looking at your blog for awhile, too, just not now since I also have work to do (and episodes of Heirs to watch)!

      Happy Blogging:)

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  7. Hi ,
    Am Nigerian too younger by 2yrs ;love kdrama ,k pop , I have only learned the basics like,mother,father,brother,sister,really.and so on, will love to learn more and uses . Hope to go on vacation there one day or perhaps live there .So happy to stmble upon your blog.Have a wounderful week ahead.

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    • Oh, you are off to a good start! I hope you get to travel there someday, its really wonderful– but try to avoid the cold cold cold winters if you can! Enjoy your stay on my blog, happy reading, and feel free to leave a comment or email me anytime with questions:)

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  8. Another whiskey drinker! I likes, I likes!

    Taking a look around your blog right now before I send my questions (just in case you’ve already answered them somewhere in the midst of all of your experiences).

    Looking forward to connecting with you.

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  9. Thanks for finding me again! I just got back from South Korea and had an awesome time….I’m slowly going through all the photos I took there!

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  10. Hey there!

    First of all, I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I stumbled across it while googling for stuff about the truth behind partying in Seoul, and ended up covering practically every post. And yeah, it was bang in the thick of my finals :P You have such amazing and diverse content, ranging from tour guide-ish tips to really well written pieces. Was a pleasure going through it!

    I’m 20 and from India and I have to make this trip to Jeju in the beginning of August with a friend for some conference. I have two more days to spare so we plan to stay over in Seoul for two nights after the conference. It would be really awesome if you could give me some advice about where to find the cheapest-yet-safe accommodation for college kids in the city! We’re very excited yet slightly anxious too!

    Some handy tips would be very very welcome. My email id is arugahlaut@gmail.com.

    Thanks so much! :)

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    • Thanks so much!

      I love to hear back from my readers, because I’m definitely doing this to for ya’ll!

      Unfortunately, you’re not the first (and probably won’t be the last) person to stumble across my blog during finals… >.<

      Well, I have a friend in Jeju right now, so let me ask him how it is there. Seoul, of course, is my home away from home, so I will definitely send you an email within a day or two to let you know where to find housing and where to stay so you can have the most fun but be safe!

      Tips will be provided, too~
      <3

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  11. I just found my home!!! I live in a small town with little to no Koreans, but I absolutely love Korean pop culture and history! ! I am an older African American woman that does not go a day without something Korean! I’m a self studying Korean student and dream of being fluent when I visit. Thanks for this blog!!!

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    • That’s so cute, I thought I was the only one living in a small town! We do have a Ktown here but it’s… small. LOL And keep studying, I hope you master Korean soon. You are so welcome, and thanks for reading and reaching out to me. <3

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  12. hmmmm love wat ur doing girl keep going n make Africa n blacks proud hahaha fighting !!!!!!!!am a ghanaian n love koreans every well but dislike their critisizm well am learning Korea myself through the movies i watch alltime hope to visit there soon n marry one cute guy like min ho hahaha if u approve for me shout amen hahaha love yea fighting !!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Amen! Haha Yes, its hard to deal with some of the more serious issues between Koreans and black people, but its not impossible! Sam is doing so well, he’s also making us proud! Now I also know more about Ghana, too. :)

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  13. Hi WGEB. i really liked your article. my dad just got transferred to S.korea and i was just checking on how to deal with racism there and if i will be accepted bt the boys over there(teenage girl here)and i stumbled here.
    P.S i know im a little to late but KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK…Nigerian too tho

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    • Mhmm, it might be uncomfortable at first with all the stares but you’ll soon find out that many Koreans– especially the youth, actually love and want to know more about/get to know more black people. I’ve heard from them– especially the girls, that we are just kind. Of course, not everyone thinks that way, but their open-mindedness may surprise you in light of all the bad things people have to say about race and relations between blacks and Koreans.

      At the end of the day you’ll meet good and bad people no matter where you go! Korea is safe, much safer than America or Nigeria in my experience, but be careful in school should you attend a Korean school. Please email me at westerngirlxeasternboy.com or just comment somewhere on my blog if you have any trials or tribulations to share! :)

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  14. Your going to visit Japan? Are you going to learn Japanese? I’m super duper jealous it’s my dream to visit Japan. Do you have any places you know that you already want to visit in Japan? Also will you be visiting Yoochun and Jaejoong’s restaurant? I’m sure you will be loved where ever you go. You seem to sweet and positive. I wish you were my sister.

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    • Aww, thanks so much! You are so sweet, too! :D

      And, I have been trying to learn Japanese for as long as I could remember. I’ve never studied it properly, just on my own. And, I ALWAYS gave up. There are too many characters. However, I am going to try again (of course) and hope for better results. I’d love to be able to speak Japanese before I go.

      I really want to go to Okinawa for the beach and aquarium. I am not so into JYJ to visit their restaurant. And please call me unni, it means sister in Korean. I’m probably older than you, too:)

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  15. Stumbled unto your blog, but we have another thing in common other than the Korean commonality I’m Nigerian as well. Funny thing is that at first my family thought that i was weird for having the interest in the Korean language and culture. Now that I found your blog i can rub it in their faces.

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  16. Hello, WGEB.
    It’s so interesting to watch your blog. As one of Korean live in U.S., these are very impressive. Frankly, I’m dating with my American girl friend but I have to go back to Korea in December. It sucks.

    Anyway, I think Korean men can be good boyfriends for Western girls. Even though they lived in different countries and cultures.
    Thank you, you’re like a bridge of between two countries and cultures.

    I look forward to continue reading of yours. :)

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    • Hi Timmy!
      So nice to hear from you, but I do know how much long distance relationships can suck. Either way, I hope you and your girlfriend work it all out. :)
      Also, it makes me happy to hear that I am a bridge between two different countries and cultures, and I hope you do stop by again to keep reading!

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  17. Hi came across your blog when I was just looking for Korean dramas but I think will be sticking around. Love reading about the topics that you post.

    I just went to South Korea for the first time this year and it was so much fun. Would’ve gone to Japan but it was kind of expensive. So cool you can get to live in both places=)

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    • Yes, I see you’ve left me some comments, so happy to meet you! Enjoy your stay and be in touch with any questions, concerns, or comments! Also, I plan on going to Japan for the first time next year but am doing as much research as I can before I go so I know what I’ll be getting myself into! Glad you’ve been to SK, I can’t wait to go back…

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  18. Hi! I love your blog! I’m also a huge fan of Korean culture! I hope I can go there someday to work or study and learn more about South Korea :)
    I’m from France and I’m currently in my 1st year of architecture and design in Paris, so I wanted to know if I could send you some messages by mail to ask you some questions about life in South Korea, how foreigners can work there etc.
    I can speak French, English, Arabic, Spanish (a bit) and I want to study Korean but I don’t know how :/ I know some words since I’m translating dramas in Viki and watching korean tv shows/dramas/movies but I’d like to at least learn the basics in Korean. So should I buy some french books to learn Korean or is it better to learn this language through english books? Do you also know other ways to learn Korean?

    Thanks in advance and I really really love your blog! I hope you’ll post more things about South Korea and Japan! Fighting!! .<)

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    • Hi Sarah,

      It’s so lovely to hear from you. My email is westerngirlxeasternboy@gmail.com, and of course you can send me your questions– ALL of them!^^ But for now I will let you know some things based on your comment~

      Read about learning Korean (the right way) HERE. You can also read more about using Korean like a native speaker HERE. I especially recommend reading the Office Romance post because I talk about what it’s like to be a foreigner and work in Korea.

      But, I think it will be better to learn Korean through English books– just my opinion since I know there are many textbooks and resources from English to Korean and Korean to English.

      I will definitely post more about South Korea and Japan, so thanks so much for reading and also taking the time to get in touch with me! I look forward to getting your email! <3

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  19. Greetings! I’m highly intrigued by your story and i’m really glad about your South Korean dream! I wish one day, some time soon, to be able to visit South Korea for at least one month, it’s a dream of a lifetime, but for the time being my pocket seems to be contrasting my dream :P I’ve heard from a friend of a friend who’s studying there that life isn’t expensive, i mean, it can get really expensive if you want to, but you can highly enjoy your time there without exaggerating in terms of money. I will invest more in your SK stories, it’s always nice reading one’s like-minded experiences, in a way they get you closer to your own SK dream :)

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    • Hello,

      I’m so glad you found me! I stopped by your blog and enjoyed some of your posts, looking forward to more since there are so many Korean dramas and Japanese dramas and just cultural things I love learning about. We definitely share the same interests in that regard!
      South Korea is SOO cheap. I lived in Gangnam for about 450/mo and apart from my somewhat wild shopping sprees I was able to afford my lifestyle. Of course, I also love one rooms and that helps. But, who is ever home anyway when there is so much to do outside?!
      So, I hope you get to go to SK soon! Dreams really do come true~
      — WGEB

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot! And it’s not only the dramas, the beautiful 80s music and partially the kpop scene, it’s the culture, the language, even the expressions of the people that attract me! It feels so vibrant even just through the dramas and i think i won’t get disappointed if i get the chance to go there. Yes, one rooms are $$$ comfortable and you can save money for journeys around the country, soju which i heard you can find even for 1500 won and i was told that you can eat good traditional food at good prices and that Western food is very expensive there, but who cares about Western food if you are in SK? :D Nightlife must be rich right? From karaoke bars to night clubs :D Thanks a lot once again, i will hold your words in the end, it’s been a dream for so long, hopefully enough it will come true :D

      Kostas (or my Koreatized Kwon) :P

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  20. Hi, I’m Imani. I’m 13 and love your blog. I’m not sure if you think it’s weird that I’m this young and following but I really enjoy your posts. I’m really interested in Korean culture as a whole, not just kpop + Kdramas. I’m trying to teach myself the language and I love the fact that you write about your experiences and what you’ve learned. I honestly thought at first that Korean people didn’t approve/ like African Americans. I’m studying alot and saving up money for in the future because I really want to visit South Korea. I really admire you for doing and sharing that race doesn’t matter when making friendships. I feel like you’re an older sister too me even though we’ve never met XD Sorry I’m rambling now, Thank you for doing what you do.

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    • Hi Imani! :)
      It’s not weird at all! I hope I can be not just a big sister, or unni, but a role model for you as well! Learn the language, save up, visit, and just enjoy the exploration and adventure ahead of you. Be safe too, of course. I’m always here if you need anything. <3

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  21. Hey Jenny Gab,I am Eniola Dixon…British Nigerian too.. you can call me Yeonie..I love Koreans,Kpop,Kdrama and all too,i can speak 60% korean…Are u on facebook? tell me so i can add u up..Really want to be friends with u and know u better

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  22. Hi! I love korean drama. Specially romantic comedy, i just finished watching pinocchio. It was good. Have you seen it? I’ve watch 3 korean drama in 1 week. Haha thats how i love korean drama, and now i dont know what to watch next so im searching, and found your blog, at first i dont wanna join the conversation because i dont know what to say and eventho no one can see me here im shy to join and share my thoughts but whatever hehe, i just wanna say how i love korean drama like you do, they have 1 of the best stories in the world. :) one of my favorite actress is jeon ji hyun i love her she’s amazing and so beautiful. :) sassy girl is one of her movie that i really love, have you seen that movie? Its an old movie like 2001 but its really good. :)

    i think your my key to learn how to speak and write korean language thanks. and any suggestion? Specially romantic comedy. Thanks!

    Can i ask how old are you?
    And
    Your blog is awesome. Love it.

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  23. I think it’s great what you’re talking about regarding not just race but cultural boundaries and the ways we can cross over them with less conflict. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we can have so much in common. There really needs to be more dialogue about these things in the global community that is developing with the help of the internet. Also, I’m on a major K Drama viewing spree even though I should be working on my dissertation >.< I just finished watching Falling for Innocence and couldn't get enough of My Love From the Star!

    Like

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