한여름의 일기장 (English Translated Version)

*Diary*

(This is the English translation of 한여름의 일기장, or A Summer Diary– along with some “BTD,” or behind the diary stories, for my friends and followers who were attempting their own translation or merely curious about what REALLY happened that summer.)

Introduction

In the summer of 2012, I kept a diary while I was in Korea for the first time; and, it felt natural to write in Korean while I was there. It was also something that I had wanted to do ever since I read 딩구는 돌은 언제 잠깨는가 (When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken) by 이성복 (Lee Seong Beok); and, my diary chronicled the time I spent in Korea– the time when I, a rolling stone, was awaken.

6/17/12 What Happened at a Bar

Something will be born in the deep night, in the space between poured drinks and people. The dreams we dreamed today are still breathing inside of our bodies, and we briefly smiled at each other with smiles that broke easily, because we couldn’t express those dream with words. Drinks flowed down from our mouths, and dreams rose up from our hearts. We wanted to throw up– not the alcohol in our bodies but the dreams in our hearts.

I was watching the time that I had spent alive like a movie, and he was smoking a cigarette. He said, “I can see my sigh in this cigarette smoke.” I saw his life in that cigarette smoke:

Something spit out slowly–
Something rising heavily to the sky–
Something lonely, disappearing as it broke apart.

He said that he was going to stop smoking. I couldn’t tell him that his life would stop, too; and, he was smoking the same cigarettes as my ex-boyfriend. I saw that cigarette, and I thought, “I failed at love.” I saw my pathetic sigh in the ashes of a burnt out love. That night in that bar he stopped smoking, and I stopped loving.

The only thing born again was the night, and we set off on the road with drunken footsteps. Swaying side to side– to the club, to our houses. Looking back, there were many times that we got lost, and there were many times that we leaned against each other, too.

Underneath an alien sky, I was always dizzy, but I could not miss my hometown.

6/18/12 Empty Universe

I waited today. While I was waiting for him, I realized that the only way to never feel disappointed is to never expect anything from anyone to begin with. Still, it was all useless.

“It was already too late,” I thought.

Ever since the moment my ex-boyfriend left me, I always thought, “How I would live in this empty universe?” From that moment… how could I have gotten all the way here?

I also realized that dreams were just dreams.
Because there were things that shouldn’t be there in my memory , because there was one man that I should forget but couldn’t forget in my memory…

6/19/12 Pain that Doesn’t Hurt

From my body to my heart…
Everything hurt.

6/21/12 Waiting

I waited. After waiting, I fell asleep. Even in my dreams I was waiting. I was waiting for someone, for my dream. I woke up. There was no reply to the email that I had sent. He didn’t come today either. There was nothing. In the midst of useless time, I forgot who I was; and, I thought, “I am living a life that has nothing to do with my will, my purpose.” So, the me won’t wait anymore…
Will wait again tomorrow.

“Those people all said that they were okay, but they were lying. Even though those people were hurting, they couldn’t feel the pain.”

What I’m saying is that absolutely nothing happened today.

6/??/12

Even though we are underneath the same sky,
Our footsteps do not get any closer to each other’s.

A love that couldn’t stay and left,
Even though I call and call it,
Underneath the endless sky, I can’t push
a person like a wall, time that is like a wall.

I can’t even cry.
If love leaves, then it must come back again.

With a light heart,
separation.

7/2/12 My Heart Beats

The moment when the world changes, as I lived I always waited for that moment.

She threw up her dreams on the table.

“To love, to be loved, to be a loved.”

Sometime I, too, wanted to live with that mind, that heart. Even though I couldn’t forget him, I forgot that mind, that heart. She changed my world with her words once more. I, who had forgotten the meaning of love, saw love again in the space between her eyes and smile. I felt love again. A love that wasn’t incomplete, that was precious…

He smiled.
I saw a certain charm, a certain lost dream in the space between his eyes and smile. I wanted to grab his hand, my lost dream. While I extended my weak, hopeless hand slowly, the seeds of strength and hope were spread in my heart.

My heart is still beating.
Even though I can’t hold onto him, with that truth alone…
I was happy.

7/07/12

I didn’t speak to him the year after we broke up.
But, I couldn’t forget him. I pretended to forget him. I pretended not to love him. I pretended to be happy.
Honestly…
I lived everyday with his memory.

So, I sent my ex-boyfriend a letter (KakaoTalk message) on a sleeping night.

“What are you doing?
Are you well?
A lot of time has passed, but I still think about you a lot; sometimes I cry, and sometimes I smile. I worry about you a lot. How is your leg? How is work? Are you meeting a nice girl?
Looking back, I was lacking in many ways as a girlfriend. Still, I still miss you, and I still want you to be happy. Being underneath the same sky as you, seeing the world you live in has given me strength and hope. Like you said, it’s too late, but unlike what you said, I can’t forget you. I learned so many things from you: Love, consideration.
I’m always sorry and thankful at the same time.
I don’t think you’ll meet me, so this is just…
On some night this is just me talking to myself, not my beloved ex-boyfriend, before we part again!^^
Sweet dreams~
Now, I’ll sleep, too.”

I slept for two hours.
He called me while I was sleeping.
I could feel his smile through his voice alone.
After such a long time…
My feelings grew complicated; I wanted to hold onto him again.

(BTD Story: It was 2:00 A.M. in the morning when he called and asked me, “Do you have a dream?” This is only important because he hadn’t spoken to me for a year, and this is one of the first things that he said. He still remembered my dream. I still remembered his.)

7/12/12

My heart stopped beating yesterday. In that moment, why didn’t I die?

7/22/12

I came here with nothing– with an empty heart, with empty hands, but something made my weary body, my dead heart feel again. I felt loneliness, longing, pain, sadness; and, in the midst of tears, a smile appeared.

Fulfillment. Happiness. Hope.

And love.

And people.

I have been living in this world, and I was reminded that the most important things in this world are people and love. Don’t give up; You’re not dead yet. My heart was warmed, and I felt asleep with a smile.

7/25/12

You shook me.
I’m dizzy.
Where do I have to go?
The steps I must take to you are suddenly gone.

8/05/12

A canceled promise– with him. From now on, I’ll eat alone.

It took me 21 years to meet Junho and another three years to let him go.

From “My Child,” a poem by me, Jennifer Gabriel:

“He rewrote me in a foreign language that I could barely speak.
He gave me a new name and a new heart.
Although, one day he would cease to call me by name and break my heart, and then put it back together again one late night after I had traveled to his home and walked underneath a vault of alien skies
that– felt– like– home.”

<3

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So, What’s Next?: Korean Culture Blog Posts, KCON, &caughtinkorea

*Off Topic*

I’ve had my nose buried in the entire Sookie Stackhouse series– you might know these books a little better as the TV show True Blood, for the past week. I managed to read them (all over again) from start to finish, which explains my long(er than usual) absence.

Well, I forgot how much I love reading for fun! After all, I was in law school for the past three years and had no time to read anything but casebooks

>.<

Anyway, here’s what’s coming up on WesternGirlEasternBoy, because I love blogging, too!

So, What’s Next?

I have some new, exciting Korean culture blog posts in the works:

How to Make Korean Friends Online, in America, and in South Korea

This But Not That: How To Dress To Impress in South Korea

How to Lose a Korean Guy in 10 Days (Based on True Stories)

My Favorite Kindie Artists, Part 1

My Favorite Kindie Artists, Part 2

Of course, Feeding Your KDrama Addiction will be back, too!

In addition, KCON 2014 is in TWO weeks. I STILL can’t believe that I’m going.

(This is crazy.)

While there I plan on going to the convention and the concerts as well as crossing a few things off my “KCON Bucket List,” like bar hopping, shopping, and sight seeing in Los Angeles. Of course, that includes a trip to KTown, AND meeting up with one of the minds behind KDrama.com.

(Their site just gets better and better, so be sure to check it out!)

I will be sharing my first KCON with you all here on my blog and at my Instagram, and I hope you are just as excited as I am!

So, stay tuned!

I’ll be back tomorrow, and I’ll kick things off with a translation of 한여름의 일기장.

P.S.: I recently discovered these hilarious, NSFW KakaoTalk chats by caughtinkorea, a black girl who is living in Korea. Be sure to check out her tumblr for those chats (oh, yes– Korean boys can be crazy, too) AND more fun stories about her life in Korea. Oh, her brother is in BTS’s new reality TV show, American Hustle Life, and she’s sharing stories about that, too.

<3

한여름의 일기장

*Diary*

In the summer of 2012, I kept a diary while I was in Korea for the first time; and, it felt natural to write in Korean while I was there. It was also something that I had wanted to do ever since I read 딩구는 돌은 언제 잠깨는가 (When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken) by 이성복 (Lee Seong Beok); and, my diary chronicled the time I spent in Korea– the time when I, a rolling stone, was awaken.

6/17/12, 술집에서 생긴 일

깊은 밤속에, 술과 사람 사이에 뭔가를 태어나겠다. 오늘의 꿨던 꿈은 아직도 우리 몸속에 숨을 쉬고 있었고 그 꿈은 말로 표현할 수 없어서 서로에게 한 번의 깨지기 쉬운 웃음이 잠깐동안 나타났다. 술은 입으로부터 내려갔고 꿈은 마음속으로부터 올라왔다. 토해 하고 싶었다. 우리 몸에 있는 술을 말고, 우리 마음속에 있는 꿈을.

나는 한 편의 영화처럼 내 살아왔던 시간을 보고 있었고 그는 담배를 피고 있었다. 그는 이 담배연기에 내 한숨을 보인다고 말했다. 나는 그 담배연기에 그의 삶을 보았다:

천천히 내뱉는 것–
무겁게 하늘위로 올라가는 것–
외롭게 흩어지면서 사라지는 것.

그는 담배를 끊겠다고 말했다. 나는 네 삶도 끊겠다고 대답하지 못 했다. 또 내 옛 남자친구와 똑 같은 담배를 피고 있었다. 그 담배를 보고 나는 사랑에 실패했다고 생각을 했다. 나는 사랑먼지에 내 한심한 한숨을 보았다. 그 밤에, 그 술집에서 그는 담배를 끊었고 나는 사랑을 끊었다.

밤만 다시 태어났고 우리는 취한 걸음으로 길을 나섰다. 비틀비틀 클럽까지, 집까지. 뒤돌아 보면 길을 잃어버린 적도 많았고 서로에게 기대했던 적도 많았다.

이상한 하늘 밑에서 항상 어지러웠지만 내 조국을 보고 싶지 못 했다.

6/18/12, 텅 빈 우주

오늘 기다렸다. 그남자를 기다리면서 실망 느끼지 않은 방법은 처음부터 기대하지 않은 것을 알아냈다. 그래도 소용이 없었다.

이미 늦었다고 생각했다.

내 옛 남자친구가 나를 떠난 순간부터, 나는 이 텅 빈 우주에 어떻게 살겠다고 생각을 했다. 그 순간부터 어떻게 여기까지 왔을까?

기억에 없어야하는 일들이 있어서, 기억에 잊어야 하지만 잊지 못 한 남자 하나가 있어서…
꿈은 꿈일뿐이란 것도 알아냈다.

6/19/12, 아프지 않은 아픔을

몸부터 마음까지…
다 아팠다.

6/21/12, 기다림

기다렸다. 기다리다가 잠을 잤다. 꿈속에서도 기다렸다. 누구를, 내 꿈을 기다렸다. 깼다. 보낸 메일의 답장이 없었다. 그남자가 오늘도 오지 않았다. 아무것도 없었다. 쓸데 없는 시간 속에서 내가 누군지를 깜빡했고 내 의지와 상관 없는 인생을 살 고 있다고 생각을 했다. 그래서 더 이상 기다리지 않은 내가…
내일도 기다리겠다.

“그 사람들은 다 괜찮겠다고 말을 했지만 그 사람들은 거짓말을 했다. 그 사람들은 아파도 아픔을 느끼지 못한다.”

내 말은 오늘 아무 일도 없었다.

6/??/12

같은 하늘밑에 있어도
다가가지 않은 우리 발 걸음

머물러 있지 못 했고 떠나간 사랑을
불러고 불러도
끝없는 하늘밑에서 벽같은 사람을, 벽 같은 시간을
미리지 못한다

나는 울지도 못한다.
사랑은 떠나면 다시 돌아와야한다.

가벼운 마음으로
이별

7/02/12, 심장이 뛰네

세상을 바뀌는 순간, 살면서 그 순간을 항상 기다리고 있었다.

그 여자는 밥상위에 자기 꿈을 토해 했다.

“To love, to be loved, to be a loved.”

나도 언젠가 그런 생각으로, 그런 마음으로 살고 싶었다. 그 남자를 잊지 못 했지만 그 생각을, 그 마음을 잊었다. 그 여자는 그말로 내 세상을 한번더 바꿨다. 사랑은 뭔지를 잊은 내가 그여자의 눈과 웃음사이에 사랑을 한번더 보았다. 사랑을 한번더 느꼈다.
부족하지 않고 얼마나 소중한 사랑…

그 남자는 웃었다.
눈과 웃음 사이에 어떤 매력을, 어떤 잃어버린 꿈을 보았다. 그 남자의 손을, 내 잃어버린 꿈을 잡고 싶었다. 내 힘과 희망이 없는 손은 천천히 내밀하면서 내 마음속에서 힘과 희망의 씨를 뿌렸다.

내 심장은 아직도 뛰고 있었다.
그 남자를 잡을 수 없어도 그 사실만으로…
나는 행복했다.

7/07/12

헤어진 후, 일년동안 그남자에게 아무말도 하지 않았다.
근데 그남자를 잊지 못했다. 잊은 척. 사랑하지 않은 척. 행복한 척.
솔직히…
매일 그 남자 추억과 함께 살았다.

그래서 잠 이 안 오는 밤에서 옛남자친구에게 편지를 보냈다.

“뭐 해요?
잘 지내요?
시간 많이 지나갔는데 아직도 네 생각 많이 하고 때론 울고 때론 웃어요. 너에게 대해 고민을 많이 해요. 다리는요? 일은요? 좋은 여자를 잘 만나고 있을까요?
뒤돌아 보니까 나는 여자친구로서 많이 부족했어요. 그래도 아직도 너를 보고 싶고 네가 행복했으면 좋겠어요. 너와 같은 하늘 밑에서 네가 살고 있는 세상을 보고 힘과 희망이 돼요. 네 말처럼 많이 늦지만 네 말처럼 너를 잊지 못 해요. 너에게 많은 것을 배웠기때문이요. 사랑, 배려.
항상 미안하고 고마워요.
나를 만나지 않을 것 같아서 그냥…
또 다시 이별하기 전에 어느 날밤 내 사랑하는 옛남친에게 혼잣말 같은 이야기일뿐이에요!^^
잘 자요~
이제 나도 잘게요.”

두시간 동안 자고 있었다.
잠든 사이에 그 남자에게 연락이 왔고 나를 깼었는데 모든 것이 꿈 같았다.
그 남자의 목소리만으로 그의웃음을 느낄 수 있었다.
오랫만에…

복잡한 내 마음, 그 남자를 다시 잡고 싶었다.

7/17/12

어제는 내 심장이 멈췄다. 그 순간에 나는 왜 죽지 않았을까?

7/22/12

처음 왔을 때 아무 것도 없었다. 빈 마음으로, 맨 손으로 왔는데 내 지친 몸, 내 죽은 마음 뭔가를 다시 느끼기 시작했다. 와로움. 그리움. 아픔. 슬픔. 눈물 속에서 웃음도 나왔다.
만족. 행복. 희망.
또 사랑.
그리고 사람.

세상에서 살고 있었고 세상에서 소중한 사람과 사랑은 제일 중요한 것을 다시 느꼈다. 포기 하지 말고 아직도 죽지 않았다. 마음은 따듯해 졌고 웃음 속에서 잠을 잤다.

7/25/12

네가 나를 흔들렸다.
어지럽다.
어디로 가야하나?
너에게 다가가야할 발걸음은 갑자기 멈춘다.

8/05/12

그남자랑 취소된 약속. 이제 혼자 먹을거다.

Junho

*Short Stories*

(Junho is an auto-biographical short story that I wrote the night after I met my first boyfriend, Junho, on January 23, 2011. I’ve always wanted to share this story with you all, and now I’m finally ready.)

Junho

Us~

With Junho~

Did I fall asleep that night, the night we first met?

I remember the sound of teeth on teeth as you ground yours in your sleep. Lying in a stranger’s bed, I should have been afraid. The large tattoo of a winged angel on your back, its head bent down, your head bent down…

Your smile, your broken English.

And later, the way you hugged me as I slept, saying, “미안해,” over and over again when you finally realized I was a virgin. In the morning, I put on your shirt, and it fit perfectly. You walked around in your underwear, drinking cans of coke and smoking Korean cigarettes.

Flashes of the night before, when we had met, always come back to me.

I had been dancing on top of two speakers with my friend, S-, when I saw you. Another friend of mine, P-, had been rubbing my legs as I moved to the music. Later, you would tell me that I had looked funny. Our eyes had met, and I had liked your leather jacket and tight fitting jeans, your Italian shoes that were made in Korea. I went to you, looked from you to your friend, and asked you to dance. Later, we went to the bar for drinks. That was when I began to slur in Korean.

I had to leave to meet more friends, so I told you to come with me and to bring your friend. We left, hand in hand, and I was as dead on the inside as I had been since I realized my first love was not my true love, that my true love was somewhere far away across the ocean. You were going to be just another boy who would hold me for the night, who would keep me from falling apart. We danced more, and when the club closed, I asked you to go to 노래방. Outside, you met some of my friends, and as we were walking you said that you wanted to date me. I laughed, because no one had ever said those words to me before, and I didn’t believe you, then.

I still have a picture of you, the first picture we took together. Its from that night.

Your friend dropped us off at your place and left feeling lonely. Your roommate left the room to us. It was right before we slipped underneath the sheets of your twin bed, drunk. In that picture, you’re in the middle of brushing your teeth and a bit of toothpaste is stuck to the corner of your mouth. I’m there beside you, smiling. You always told me to delete it because of that little bit of toothpaste.

In the morning, did we brush our teeth together?

I know that you cooked and that we hugged and that you kissed me sweetly and that you put your head in my lap and talked to me, listened to me, showed me pictures of your family. You spent six months in America with no one to talk to until you met me. I spent twenty-one years in America, with no one to talk to until I met you.

Traditional, my family is from Nigeria, Africa. They grew up in a small village where there were no strangers. Then, they came here to America. They tried to raise us– three of us, my brother and my sister and I, the way they had been raised, but we were surrounded by strangers. I always felt as if I was an alien. The first day of kindergarten: Why do I still remember the way my sister teased me in front of her friends. My father, who called me stupid. My mother, who didn’t know how to do my hair or dress me. The kids, who all teased me. My teacher, Mrs. Tools, who taught me how to read and write, to escape into books and dreams…

Later, I would learn how to cry. Discipline, love. Absence. My father is absent from many of my memories, but I remember the first time I told him I loved him after I stopped kissing him goodnight. My mother is absent, too, but I remember how she used to swing us around and around in the backyard near the huge magnolia tree. I remember different grades and different teachers. I don’t remember the names of many of my friends. They were only strangers, passing in and out of my life. For me, growing up meant forgetting the meaning of love.

I was loved, once, when I was child and before I knew the world. In other memories, my sister lets me crawl into her bed after I wake up from a nightmare, my brother lets me read his comics and play his video games, my mother is singing to me, my father is telling me stories, and my friends surround me as I fall asleep.

I remember a song, a song that I thought was written for me.

Simon and Garfunkel came on, singing, “I am a rock, I am an island. I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain, it’s laughter and its something I disdain.” Those lyrics: Full of depression and loneliness, resigned to hate instead of love. From then on, I lived that way. I don’t remember what made me decide to live that way, what made me think I could live that way…

I liked a boy for five years once, A-. I wanted to marry him, even though we had never really met. He played soccer, like me, and he had the most beautiful smile. I asked him out, which was harder than the time I asked out M-, another boy I had liked. I didn’t know that boys should ask out girls. He said yes, though, and then he stood me up. Later, he would look me in the eyes and lie to me, making an excuse like his mother had when I had called him and she had answered instead. Looking back, I never loved him.

I didn’t even know who he was.

I think I just wanted to be like everyone else. I was only pretending to be like everyone else, because it was what everyone wanted. What did I want? I wanted to be liked, to be loved…

My first love: I loved him, but I did not belong in his world, so I left him. I was always leaving him, but there he would be, again, by my side. We have always been somewhere in between strangers and friends and lovers. I think he was the first person I ever really knew.

You are the first person to know all of me, parts of me that I could never show to anyone else. I asked you once, if you could love me. You didn’t look me in the eyes as you said yes, but I like to think that you meant what you said. One day, you told me in a song. Later, you told me…

There were many ways that I knew you loved me.

You’ll return someday– to your mother and your father, to your home…

Did I fall asleep the night we first met? Since then, my life has been like a dream I once had.

WGEB on Instagram: Fashion, Food, &Fun + KCON 2014

*Off Topic*

KCON 2014 is getting closer and closer, and I want to be able to update you all step by step, moment by moment– and not just with blog posts but with pictures and short stories.

There are also SO many little things that I want to be able to share with you all from my latest fashion items to my favorite Korean food to fun stuff I do with my friends (and dog), and now I can!

Because, I’m finally on Instragram.

I'm on Insta ya'll~

I’m on Insta ya’ll~

Find me on “Insta” by going HERE.

Now, I also have Tumblr– my WGEB one and my advice column, which is growing quickly and getting REALLY interesting so keep those questions coming!

In addition, if you haven’t seen them already, there are links to my WGEB  Twitter and my WGEB Facebook Page underneath the search bar.

Right now, I just use Twitter and Facebook to share my blog posts with people who would rather follow me and keep in touch with me there.

Well… I really can’t tell you how excited I am about Instagram!

I guess I like it because it is so easy to use, and when I don’t want to write a long blog post or when I just want to share something short and sweet or random and unrelated, I can do it there.

… And, it’s addicting.

VERY addicting.

P.S.: I actually locked myself out of my first Instagram account in ways even I can’t explain, so just ignore it if you do find it.

>.<

Flawless Skin in a Few (Extra) Minutes

*The “Beauty Tips and Tricks” Series*

I was horrified after watching this video!

Don’t get me wrong: I think the girl who is being “painted to perfection” looks great in her before AND in her after, but do girls really do THIS when they get ready? I’ve heard of girls spending HOURS in the shower and on their hair and make-up, but this is just…

SO shocking.

I’m the girl who hops in and out of the shower in ten minutes flat, slaps on some BB Cream (literally), and spends about ten more minutes on her lotion, hair, and make-up. I always have to add a few extra minutes when I need to do my nails (ugh).

As Golem would say if he were ME:

“My precious.”

But, he would be talking about TIME.

After watching this video, though, it hit me like a subliminal bus: The concealer, the highlighting, the brushes

(Unni also “brushes on” her make-up, and she has flawless skin.)

So, I’ll be never been a make-up artist, but suddenly– I wanted to try putting on a little more make-up, too; and, that’s how this blog post, Flawless Skin in a Few (Extra) Minutes, was born.

I went to my favorite make-up brand, Ruby Kisses (fka New York Kiss), and I have received or ordered the following:

3D Face Creator: Concealer + foundation-- two shades, one compact~

3D Face Creator: Concealer and foundation

BB Cream~

BB Cream~

No More Blemish Powder~

No More Blemish Powder~

No More Blemish Liquid Foundation~

No More Blemish Liquid Foundation~

Peach Glow Contouring Trio: Pearl highlighter, gold bronzer, and pink blush-- again, all in one compact~

Peach Glow Contouring Trio

I also got some mascara and lip gloss, but I still don’t want to get (and can’t get into) eye shadow and lipstick. I am also less than fond of eyeliner whenever I actually put it on my face.

For now, I’m mixing and matching colors and combinations to see what works for me, but I’m much lighter than I thought I would be, which sucks because now I have a bunch of make-up that’s not in my shade.

Well, that’s what happens when you live life on the wild side!

Flaws be gone, I am flawless with my make-up on!

And, it doesn’t take more than a few (extra) minutes.

So far, the concealer and brushes have really saved my skin, and I like the new BB Cream I got as well. I can’t wait to try the powder and foundation (hopefully in my shade this time) along with the contouring trio.

I want to create two distinct daytime and nighttime looks, which I’ll definitely share later, so don’t worry– I won’t be putting all that on my face at once!

However, when you put YOUR face on, always remember Anna Akana’s words of wisdom:

“The power of make up is incredible, but the power of you is cray cray.

See her awesome, inspirational video, “How To Put On Your Face,” right here:

P.S.: I’ve abandoned Etude House. Aren’t I fickle?

I’m currently using Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions for my skin care and Ruby Kisses for my make-up, which is doing wonders for my skin! I decided to fight back against the dark force dark spots one more time, and I have no regrets about going back to battle– yes, with my “war paint” on, which comes in ALL shades and can be worn by ALL races, so go ahead and get your own if you’ve been hit by the subliminal bus, too.

<3

Ghana’s Sam Okyere Is A Korean TV Star

*Korean Culture: The Good, The Bad, &The Ugly*

I’ve talked about Sam Okyere before (aka Sam Ochiri or Sam “572”– “572” should be said in Korean, so that’s oh-chil-ee) HERE and HERE. Now, I HAVE to share this article about him:

Ghana’s Sam Okyere Is A Korean TV Star.”

To everyone who still thinks that Koreans are all just mean, racist people– to everyone who dreams of being a star in Korea even though they are not Korean– to everyone who loves to see One Love spreading across the world…

Keep your eyes on this guy from Ghana!

Sam "572" and his Aussie hyung Sam Hammington for Vogue~

Sam “572” and his Aussie hyung Sam Hammington for Vogue~

And now, part rant, part real talk– I hope you’re ready for what I have to say to everyone.

To everyone who still thinks that Koreans are all just mean, racist people…

I’ve read one too many stories from people who think that all Koreans are racist based on what they’ve seen and heard or a few bad experiences that they’ve had.

Now, although I’ve talked about whether or not Koreans are racist before, I have to elaborate: A lot of the negativity you experience has nothing to do with your race and everything to do with your expectations and attitude.

When it comes to South Korea, if you refuse to assimilate into Korean culture to some extent (whether because you think you can do whatever you want in someone else’s country or because you just aren’t thinking about the MANY differences between your culture and theirs), then yes– you will stand out like a sore thumb, and for all the wrong reasons.

Even if you’re standing out for the right reasons, you still might not know it!

For example, not speaking Korean means you really don’t know WHAT people are saying about you, and this statement goes out to the black girl who was also from America that I met during my first trip to South Korea. She turned heads and stopped traffic but assumed every Korean person was just staring at her rudely or saying racist things about her.

They weren’t.

In fact, they were complimenting her left and right, trying to catch her eye or strike up a conversation with her, but she had already put up a brick wall between herself and every Korean person– guy or girl, who crossed her path.

It was sad, to be honest, because she had really closed her heart off to the place where she was living and the people she met.

I understand that some Koreans ARE racist, but don’t let a few bad Koreans spoil the whole bunch. I had my own racist experiences in Korea– like the guy who told me to go back to my own country the first day I arrived, but that didn’t stop me from modeling in Korea, being in a Kpop video, and making tons of Korean friends and boyfriends boytoys.

(Yeah, let’s be honest…)

Basically, Koreans are just like us in many ways, so don’t judge them until you’ve met them.

Finally, there are the people– usually girls, who think that Korean guys only like Korean girls, or that Korean guys only like a certain type of foreign girl who is pale and big eyed with big boobs and a big butt but is still somehow skinny…

*Rolls eyes at ALL guys who want THOSE kinds of mythical girls*

I don’t know if you could tell, but I’ve gotten one too many questions asking ME if Korean guys like this or that in a girl. I don’t know– I’m not a Korean guy. I’ve let you all know what my Korean guy friends think, but I REALLY think you should just meet Korean guys and find out for yourself, because they are all different…

Just like the rest of us!

^^

To everyone who dreams of being a star in Korea even though they are not Korean

Even if you don’t want to be a Kpop star, which is hard for Koreans as it is anyway, you might still want to be a star– a celebrity, an entertainer, a comedian, an actor, a model, in Korea.

Sam “572” is doing BIG things in South Korea, so why can’t YOU? Is it really your race or your skin color (or size) that is holding you back or will hold you back?

No.

Sam isn’t Korean or pale skinned– far from it in fact. Yes, he is a guy, but that doesn’t mean he looks anything like the “ideal guy” we hear so much about in the Korean media or from the mouths of Koreans themselves.

What Sam does differently:

1. He speaks Korean fluently.

2. He understands Korean culture and more importantly Korean people.

3. He confronts issues such as racism and prejudice in the real world– not just behind a computer screen; and, he does more than confront them…

He changes them.

Now, I’ve seen a few people respond negatively to Koreans after watching Sam appear on the following episode of Happy Together (where Sam and Yoo Jae Suk first met and fell in love):

Why?

Well, one of the Korean hosts stated that he looks like Will Smith. Another host continually made stereotypes about Africa and African people.

They also called him “Black Sam.”

If you are American and thinking like an American, then this will immediately seem racist. However, you need to be able to see the world from someone else’s perspective and understand where they are coming from without letting your own personal experiences or biases come into play.

Koreans will ALWAYS tell you who you look like. It’s just a thing they do, and they do it to each other, too. The first words I often heard out of strangers’ mouths when I was in Korea were Beyonce, Naomi, or whatever famous black female star came to mind– and for Koreans, there aren’t many beyond Beyonce, Naomi, Rihanna, Whoopi, and Oprah!

So, it’s not something to get offended or upset about, although let’s face it– Sam looks like Will Smith about as much as I look like Beyonce or Naomi…

Not at all.

As for Park Myung Soo, the host who was stereotyping Africa and African people, he is ALWAYS rude. It’s his gimmick.

Koreans, by the way, have a completely different sense of humor and make jokes about or laugh at many things Americans are offended by. This makes sense since Korean people and Korean history are entirely different from ours, and things we as Americans might be sensitive about just don’t make Koreans as sensitive.

Unsurprisingly, on another show hosted by Yoo Jae Suk, Infinity Challenge, Sam and Park Myung Soo were watching soccer together with other Korean celebs and hugging whenever Korea scored– Yoo Jae Suk invited Sam since he thought he would be lonely watching the game alone.

Park Myung Soo even giggled like a little boy when they hugged– it was SO cute.

Aaw~

Aaw~

I’ve also heard that Sam supports Park Myung Soo by attending his events!

Finally, Koreans have a different idea of “black.” It’s just a color– sometimes, like white. They called the “other” Sam– Sam Hammington, “White” Sam, too.

To everyone who loves to see One Love spreading across the world…

I am so proud of Sam and so thankful that he is pursuing his dream with bright eyes and an open heart.

I hope he encourages you and inspires you the same way he has encouraged and inspired me– although I still have no desire to be a star in Korea even though I have had my own few seconds of fame.

Nevertheless, I am dreading the daily monotony of life as a lawyer and looking forward to KCON 2014!

So, be sure to check out the article, “Ghana’s Sam Okyere Is A Korean TV Star“!

Because, I think we should all be a little more like Sam– and that includes getting a cool last name that sounds like numbers in Korean.

<3

Hallyu X Holic, The Kpop Pop-Up-Shop

*Off Topic*

Hallyu X Holic– that’s Hallyu by Holic, or “the Korean Wave brought to you by an Addict,” is my home away from home, and I’ve decided to turn it into a Kpop Pop-Up-Shop!

You can buy tons of Hallyu-related stuff from Kpop merchandise to Korean skin care and beauty products to Korean fashion items for anywhere from two to 10 to 20 dollars…

+ a flat rate of 7 dollars for shipping in the United States and 14 dollars for shipping internationally.

BUT, there’s only one of (almost) each item, so be the first to visit Hallyu X Holic!

(The EXO Nature Republic Photobook might already be gone!)

Visit Hallyu X Holic first…

Then, start shopping!

P.S.: I’ve tried to make everything as cheap as I could– I even did a lot of price comparing on places like Amazon and eBay, because I want to treat my friends and followers to some of what we all love so much.

So, happy shopping.

<3

My Kpop CD Collection

*Kpop, Korean Idols, &More*

By now my Kpop CD collection is pretty big but only because I am obsessed with EXO and BTS. When I liked Kpop before, it wasn’t enough to buy CDs, posters, and other merch…

Well, things change!

I’m even going to KCON, the ultimate Kpop event– in America at least, where I will get to see some of my favorite boy and girl groups like CNBLUE, BTS, and SNSD! I’m also really looking forward to seeing IU…

I just LOVE concerts!

My Kpop CD Collection~

My Kpop CD Collection~

My first Kpop CD (2PM) was from a friend. He bought it for me while he was in Korea back in 2009 or 2010. Then, I bought GD &TOP’s CD, but it was kind of a disappointment since the songs weren’t that good…

So, I stopped buying Kpop CDs since most of them aren’t worth buying. They aren’t FULL like an album, you know? However, recently I’ve been going crazy and buying all of EXO’s CDs and BTS’ CDs, which are much more like albums. There are more than a few songs, and there are more than a few good songs, too.

I also have some Khiphop and Kindie CDs from some of my favorite Korean artists like LeeSsang, 10CM, and LADY CUBE.

^^

So, what’s in your Kpop CD collection?

If you’d like to get it started or add to it, then be sure to check out Hallyu X Holic’s Kpop Pop-Up-Shop, coming soon!

P.S.: I’ll be doing two blog posts on my favorite Kindie artists, so stay tuned!

The Road to KCON 2014, Part 2

*Diary*

Don’t forget to check out The Road to KCON 2014, Part 1, but in an important and exciting update to start Part 2:

Unni bought our KCON 2014 tickets this morning!

We were SO worried, because we had planned on getting P2 Loge combo tickets (sitting), but last night KCON announced that ALL tickets would be sold by “best available,” which meant that we would have to wait for P2 General Admission combo tickets (standing) to sell out FIRST.

Well, like I told unni, I don’t trust KCON since they are so unorganized!

As expected, we were able to purchase the tickets we wanted– P2 Loge combo tickets, immediately; and, we are in P2 Section 30, Row 2, Seats 12 and 13– for both nights of KCON!

Seating at KCON 2014~

Tickets and seating at KCON 2014~

^^

 I also did some more shopping and picked out the rest of my outfits yesterday when I got home from work since dollskill was having a MAJOR sale!

Unni says she did more shopping, too, of course.

I’m thinking about doing this for “airport fashion” instead of whatever I picked before– with my Betsey Johnson hot pink and black skull print weekend bag:

Top~

O/S Top~

Bottom~

Rainbow slick garter leggings~

Shoes~

Misfits platforms~

I’m not sure when yet, but I will definitely put these pieces together and wear them during KCON! And, I want to pair my Misfits platforms with this Misfits duffel bag:

Hel...~

Hel…~

...lo~

…lo~

I also got another peachy pink dress:

OMG~

Peachy pink and sexy sporty~

Again, to be worn with these shoes…

Broken Glasses &Blood Kicks~

Broken Glasses &Blood Kicks~

… And this bag.

Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

Kyaaa~

Kyaaa~

I also got some accessories, like glitter lip gloss (that smells and feels amazing) and cute hair ties that can also be worn as cute bracelets.

Glitter lips~

Glitter lips~

So cute~

So cute~

Even cuter!~

Even cuter!~

Now I’m just waiting to knock on my neighbor’s door at the hotel and have CNBLUE (or BTS) answer!

… Wishful thinking?

Well, let a girl make a wish!

*Crosses fingers, closes eyes, and makes a wish*

Okay, even if I don’t sleep and eat next door to some of my favorite Korean idols, I know unni and I will have so much fun! We have been planning and planning and buying and buying (especially me since I needed a plane ticket to LA– where she already lives), so it’s nice to be READY TO GO!

And, even though I don’t know who is performing on what date, I do know that these are the artists set to perform at KCON 2014!

The lineup with dates... &B1A4!~

The lineup with dates… &B1A4!~

I’m MOST excited for CNBLUE, BTS, SNSD, IU, and G-Dragon, but I hope that B1A4 gets added back to the lineup, because I want to see them, too.

<3

Feeding Your KDrama Addiction: Just for Foodies

*The “Feeding Your KDrama Addiction” Series*

It’s the World Cup, and my best friends and I have been having so many World Cup Watch Parties!

When Korea played, we ate samgyubsal. When Mexico played, we drank Tequila (and ate wings). Unfortunately, we were all at work when Nigeria, which is my country, played today.

And, they lost, too.

>.<

Even though the only country left for my best friends and I to cheer for is the USA (Germany and the Netherlands for my best friend from Bulgaria), that doesn’t mean that we have to stop watching the World Cup and eating delicious food.

In honor of  KDrama fans (and soccer fans) from all over the world who are also foodies like my friends and I and love any reason to get together with good friends, good food, and good drinks, here are some KDramas that will get your mouth watering as you watch!

1. Coffee Prince (2007)

Coffee Prince~

Coffee Prince~

This KDrama with an indie feel isn’t all about coffee, but it sure is mouth-watering thanks to Gong Yoo and a few coffee shop flower boys… and one boy, played by Yoon Eun Hye, who is actually a girl.

2. Pasta (2010)

Pasta~

Pasta~

If this KDrama starring everyone’s favorite actress Gong Hyo Jin doesn’t make you want to eat pasta everyday and call your crush, boyfriend, or husband “Chef!,” then nothing else will!

3. Baker King Kim Tak Goo (2010)

Baker King Kim Tak Gu~

Baker King Kim Tak Goo~

Baking has never been so dreamy and delicious (or so deadly and dangerous) until this KDrama decided to take one of our favorite foods and past times– break and baking, to the next level.

4. Let’s Eat (2013)

Let's Eat~

Let’s Eat~

Now this is the Just for Foodies KDrama to end all Just for Foodies KDramas!

How?

Well, with Korean food porn.

Yum yum yum!

Don’t forget, you can find out where to watch all of these KDramas and more (yummy snacks not included) HERE.

Another Etude House Haul

*Korean Skin Care: Hauls, Help, &More*

I LOVE Etude House, and I also LOVE Amazon Prime, which lets me get my favorite Etude House products within days (instead of weeks).

I actually bought these Etude House products several months ago, but I wanted to use them for at least a month or two before I reviewed them.

So, here are my reviews for Another Etude House Haul!

My Haul~

My Etude House Haul~

I only got a few products, but these are all now some of my favorites!

Peeling Wash

Who would have thought that you could peel away your dead skin so fast and refreshingly? This leaves my skin soft as a baby’s butt!

Follow the directions carefully, and that means using this after you’ve cleansed your skin and after you’ve patted it down to a damp dry.

Collagen Essence in Primer

If you’re not using a primer, then you need to! This goes right along with my Collagen Essence in Base. I use it right before my base, and it leaves my skin hydrated all day.

It’s perfect, because once I have primer and base under my BB Cream, my make-up lasts all day, looking fresh, too!

Gel Lip Mask

Chapped, dry lips PLAGUE me, but this awesome lip mask is fun and refreshing.

Just put that big pink mouth over YOUR mouth, and lean back as your lips get the Kiss of Life. Once you’re done making out with this product, your lips will be as soft as– yes, as soft as a baby’s butt.

Highlighter

I’ve been needing something to balance out my skin tone, and this is perfect. It’s soft, shimmery, and subtle!

Etude House Hauls make me happy!

If you want to buy your own Etude House products (and much more), then stay tuned for Hallyu X Holic’s Kpop Pop-Up-Shop!

It’s coming later this week.

<3

 

Feeding Your KDrama Addiction: 3 Heartwarming Hospital Romances

*The “Feeding Your KDrama Addiction” Series*

If you are feeling a little sick after being unable to feed your KDrama addiction for the past few weeks, then these three hospital romances are “just what the doctor ordered”!

1. New Heart (2007)

New Heart~

New Heart~

In this hospital romance, heart surgery residents struggle to save lives and find the ever-shifting balance between work and romance.

2. General Hospital 2 (2008)

General Hospital 2~

General Hospital 2~

Work and romance abound in this heartwarming and often hilarious hospital romance.

3. Good Doctor (2013)

Good Doctor~

Good Doctor~

In what is definitely my favorite hospital romance, a boy with autism becomes a doctor who not only defies but breaks down the stereotypes regarding his disorder.

What hospital romances have you watched?

Don’t forget that you can find out where to watch these dramas and more right HERE, and stay tuned for more KDramas:

“Just For Foodies,” “6 High School Romances,” and even more KDramas from some of my favorite genres such as mystery and makjang!

^^

The Road to KCON 2014, Part 1

*Diary*

OMG…

KCON 2014~

KCON 2014~

So, this– me going to KCON 2014, is actually happening!

I am buying my plane ticket on Tuesday, and unni will be buying our KCON tickets (P2, so please God let her click fast!) on Friday since I will be at work when tickets go on sale.

We’ve both already booked our hotel (we both got suites) and planned our outfits, so here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store!

A Sneak Peek at my KCON, “Kpop Idol” Look

Lots of pink, mint, and black… and some well-placed bunny ears.

Look #1

Pink Me, Please~

Pink Me, Please~

I got this in mint as well, and I will probably bring both when I go to KCON just because I am obsessed with sets right now.

Look #2

This! The above shirt will be worn open over this dress or tied around my waist when I wear this dress~

The “boy beater,” white ribbed tank dress~

Denim button down shirt~

A simple but fun denim button down shirt~

This shirt will be worn open and over my “boy beater,” white ribbed tank dress– minus all the red bandannas and chunky gold jewelry of course, or tied around my waist when it gets too hot.

Hmm, I will probably wear this outfit when I fly into L.A., just because it is super cute and SUPER cozy and will allow me to adjust from hot to cold to hot again.

Look #3

Black open back dress~

A black, open-back dress~

For a night out, or a dressy day out, too!

There are more looks to come, of course, but I’ll save those for later since I haven’t planned more than three looks yet.

Of course, no outfit is complete without some kicks and a match-y bag!

Broken Glasses &Blood Kicks~

I call these my “Broken Glasses, Broken Bones, &Busted Lip” Kicks~

I’m only bringing one pair of shoes, and these are it!

… Yes, I travel LIGHT.

After much hunting, I am totally satisfied. These are the bomb, and they even come with a lilac heart-shaped adjuster over the laces that can’t be seen in this picture.

It took me awhile to find a bag, and I wasn’t sure if I should do silver, holographic, or black, but I LOVE this one and think it will look perfect with my outfits and kicks– it’s a good size, too:

Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

A Super Cute Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

Kyaaa~

Kyaaa~

As for unni, she will look fabulous as always. She is planning some 40’s vintage looks to wear to KCON 2014, and I can’t wait to see them. I still remember when she told me about a girl she tried to travel with who wouldn’t let her wear what she wanted to wear since they wouldn’t match or compliment each other…

Yeah, we’re not worried about that.

It feels like I’ve known her for much longer even though we first met in South Korea last winter– what a trip with so many ups and downs!, and haven’t even seen each other since then.

I am SO lucky that she lives in L.A. and that she actually wanted to go to KCON with me, too. We started talking again once I graduated from law school (and had more time to just BREATHE), but I didn’t think I would get to see her again so soon!

^^

But, the road to KCON 2014 in L.A. also includes a pit stop in Houston for Kpop Star 4 auditions!

Am I auditioning?

No, I’m just tagging along with one of my best friends.

Like me, she’s already had her 1 second of fame, but this will be a fun trip and quite the adventure for both us before she leaves to go back home to China.

My parents live near Houston, but we will probably be staying at our best friend’s house, which is actually IN Houston. I’m also getting a dog, and I need to figure out where he will stay since I’ll be traveling– in America and not South Korea or Africa, for once!

P.S.: Girls and women, don’t be afraid to work hard, make your own money, and spend it HOWEVER the hell you want.

<3

My “Must-Watch” Classic Korean Variety Shows

*Must-Watch Korean Movies, Must-Watch Korean Dramas, &More*

Whenever I disappear for long short periods of time, it’s usually because I’m watching my shows… and can’t stop watching my shows.

Now that I’m no longer in law school I don’t have homework or finals to keep me from my precious, beloved shows, but working at a law firm is (how surprising) even more exhausting!

Well, at least I’m getting paid, and I’m currently saving up for KCON, too. I’ve booked a Junior King Suite at J.W. Marriott Los Angeles, L.A. Live and will be buying my plane ticket and KCON ticket later this week. Remember unni? She lives in L.A., and we are going to KCON together!

Anyway, when I finally DO get off work (at 4:00 P.M.) and have time to watch my shows (until as late at , that’s all I’ve been doing, especially since I went home for Father’s Day this past weekend and am behind.

I am over Korean dramas for the time being and am definitely back to binging on Korean variety shows. I even started watching We Got Married (again), and I am SO in love with two of the new couples: Wooyoung and Park Se Young couple and Namgoong Min and Hong Jin Young couple!

God, I forgot the power of the Busan satoori

>.<

It’s also weird and gratifying to see Wooyoung ALL grown up. I was a 2PM fan girl back when they debuted in 2008 or 2009. I even got to see them perform live in Dallas at the House of Blues! However, when the Jay Park thing happened, I became a little distant from 2PM (and Kpop), but like I’ve said before (somewhere), EXO brought me back into Kpop fan girlism, and now I can’t stop that, either!

Anyway, here are some of my must-watch classic Korean variety shows that, like the first few seasons of We Got Married featuring my favorite couple Hwang Bo and Kim Hyun Joong, you don’t want to miss.

1. X-Man (2003)

X-Man~

X-Man~

Various celebrities are divided into two teams. One team is led by Kang Ho Dong and the other team is led by Yoo Jae Suk!

At the start of each episode, one celebrity is chosen by the producer to be the X-man, whose main mission is to disrupt teamwork in his or her team and purposely throw challenges while keeping his or her identity a secret.

Kim Jong Kook and Yoon Eun Hye had a famous love-line in X-Man, as well.

2. Ya Shim Man Man (2003)

Ya Shim Man Man~

Ya Shim Man Man~

In this show, guests have to answer fun questions about family, love, and more. If their answer is not in the Top 5, then they gets blown by very strong air that actually hurts and ruins their hair!

Like this, the audience and fans get an opportunity to get to know some of their favorite celebrities like, Bi, Yoon Kye Sang, and Shin Mi Na a little more, because they offer their opinions gained from their own personal experiences.

3. Heroine 6 (2004)

Heroine 6~

Heroine 6~

A school theme keeps this show fun and fabulous! Male celebrity guests like SS501 (Kim Hyun Joong’s boy group) stop by the classroom. They try to get picked by the heroine of their choice, usually through dancing or a special performance.

Should more than one male choose the same heroine, then they battle it out to win their girl! They will have to do the most bizarre things, like role playing, singing, etc.

Afterwards, they play two very original games: Catch the Mouse and Dibidibidip.

4. Love Letter (2004)

Love Letter~

Love Letter~

 This show featured male and female contestants competing for “each other” in romance games. For example guests have to dance in order to impress the person they are after. Contestants were artists, actors, models, comedians, and MCs of the South Korean entertainment industry.

5. Family Outing (2008)

Family Outing~

Family Outing~

This show had a celebrity family travel to different parts of South Korea, taking care of the house of an elderly family who would be sent on an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

So, have you watched any of these classic Korean variety shows?

Along with We Got Married (2008), Happy Together (2001) is a must-watch classic Korean variety show that is actually still on air!

P.S.: Feeding Your KDrama Addiction will be back next week, on Monday as always. I will also be back (soon), so stay tuned for some cool blog posts this weekend.

<3

Daniel Cooper: How One Korean Girl Broke My Heart, Then Fixed It

*Korean Culture: The Good, The Bad, &The Ugly*

Daniel Cooper, my friend and fellow blogger at Voyage To Asia, is back with another great guest blog post!

Daniel Cooper~

Daniel Cooper~

And, if you haven’t read his first guest blog post, then be sure to check it out HERE.

This week he’s back to tell us more about his sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartwarming experiences in Asia!

How One Korean Girl Broke My Heart, Then Fixed It

Hello!

First off, this post is a little sensitive as it contains a bit of racism and targets international relationships, but…

Isn’t that what WGEB is all about?

So, let’s share!

^^

After being in China for a few months prior to the time this incident happened, I had already learned a ton of Chinese that I can competently use in any situation. It goes without saying that I thought I was “that guy.” My confidence was at an all time high, and I started learning some Korean around this time, too.

So, this is the story of how a Korean girl attacked me with racism, and then came back with real understanding. Now, she is one of my closest friends, but it all started during our first round of drinking one night in China.

Hyung:

“Daniel, what club do you want to go to tonight?”

Me:

“Hmm, well it’s up to you guys, but… Ruby’s is always fun.”

Noona:

“Okay, then let’s go to Ruby’s!”

So, after some soju and Indian food (Exotic, right?), we got a few taxis and were on our way. There were about 11 of us in total.

Once we arrived at the club, we found a sofa big enough for all 11 of us, chilled, had some drinks, and then danced– of course. Since I happened to see one of my other African-American friends, we wandered off together for a bit. Later, we decided to chill outside, and of course he started talking to some Korean girls…

In perfect Korean, which left me speechless and clueless.

I did notice that one Korean girl seemed upset, and I didn’t want anyone to feel left out, especially since I felt left out, so I asked if she spoke Chinese…

She did!

We chatted for a good five minutes, and she even cracked a smile before saying that even though I’m funny, don’t think about asking for her number or becoming her friend.

This was confusing as hell, so, like most people would, I asked her why.

She said, while pointing:

“You see my friend over there?”

Me:

“Yeah, she’s talking to my friend.”

Her:

“Yeah, I don’t like black people, so don’t ask me for my number or anything. Sorry, nice guy.”

Without pausing, I said:

“Okay well, give me your number.”

Her:

“Didn’t I say don’t ask?!”

Me:

“I didn’t ask.”

Her:

“Go away, I really hate black people. They are always so mean and vicious, and you don’t know how to love people right. I don’t trust you.”

I wanted to ask her what happened, but she kept on going and said:

“I swear if I see another black person hurt my friend or any of my friends, I will never let it go. I will never accept it.”

But, what really happened?!

Well, after doing my best to hear her out, I found out that her friend was really hurt by a black guy who cheated on her twice AFTER she forgave him, and then he lied to her about his visa expenses. She gave him half, since she didn’t have much at that time, and he took the money and ran…

Which is stupid, and not just because she is really beautiful!

To read how my friend and I turned this group of hurt and hateful Korean girls into happy Korean girls, be sure to check out Part 2 on my blog, Voyage To Asia.

^^

My Thoughts?

First, I want to thank Daniel for coming back like he promised, and I can’t wait to read the rest of his story!

Second, I wasn’t shocked by what she said, because I’m guilty of the same thing. I had a bad experience with one Korean guy a LONG time ago, and because of him I swore that I would never be friends with, like, or date a Korean guy ever again…

Well, the VERY next day I met my first boyfriend– a Korean guy, and I couldn’t have met a better guy! So, I think Daniel did exactly what he should have done in that situation: Keep an open mind and an open heart, even if someone else’s mind and heart are closed.

We all have our ideas about other races of people who are different from our own, and these ideas can be good or bad, positive or negative. However, like the girl Daniel met and I did, it’s important to realize that our ideas about other races of people– if prejudiced by one bad experience, are definitely wrong.

And for once, being wrong never felt so right!

<3

Kpop Skate Night!

*Kpop, Korean Idols, &More*

Flyer~

Flyer~

Kpop Skate Night is taking place on Wednesday, June 25th in Houston, Texas!

The event is hosted by Houston Kpop Entertainment and MultifacetedACG, and I am happy to announce that I am partnering with MultifacetedACG!

In the future, I hope that I’ll be able to share more great Kpop events like this with all of you, and I can’t wait to meet the woman behind MultifacetedACG at KCON 2014.

Partners, events, and more!

I have already partnered with DramaFever in the past, and as many of you know I blog for them.

I am also partnering with MyMusicTaste– the start-up that I briefly worked for during SXSW, and Voyage To Asia.

Stay tuned for another awesome guest blog post from Voyage To Asia’s very own Daniel Cooper, which is coming later today!

In addition, Hallyu X Holic is my new home away from home where I’ll be sharing even more of what I love about South Korea: music, fashion, food, fun, and the latest celebrity news.

Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway to get you excited about Hallyu X Holic featuring Dollskill.com gift cards, Korean skin care and beauty product samples, and Kpop merchandise from some of my favorite boy groups like BTS and EXO!

^^

Flirty Korean Lesson #2: 노래방에서

*Flirty Korean Lessons*

I don’t know what kind of Korean you’ve been learning up until now, but I do know that when I first started learning Korean five or six years ago, the Korean that I learned from textbooks was pretty useless when it came to not only flirting with Korean boys but actually having a conversation with Korean people.

You know what I mean!

Lessons on asking for directions or how to make a phone call aren’t exactly topics of conversation in real life– at least not all the time, and everything that I did learn from textbooks ended SUPER formally, which was also awkward since super formal endings in Korean are often used exclusively in the Korean military or when speaking with a Korean 할모니 or Korean 할아버지.

Yeah, that was rare…

So, I wrote Flirty Korean Lesson #1 ages ago, and it was a little dirty but (hopefully) very funny and extremely educational; and, after going to 노래방 this past weekend, I realized that it was time for Flirty Korean Lesson #2!

And remember, you should be using Naver Dictionary– not Google, to help you translate back and forth between English and Korean.

^^

Flirty Korean Lesson #2: 노래방에서

So, you’re finally at 노래방– that’s no-rae-bang, or “song room” … aka karaoke!

NRB~

NRB~

Wait, you’re not there yet?

노래방 같이 갈래요? (no-rae-bang ka-chi- kallae-yo?) — Do you want to go to noraebang together?

Okay, now that you’re there, here are some common words and phrases that will come in handy whether you’re with non-Korean friends, Korean friends, or your crush– who just so happens to be Korean for the sake of this blog post, even though he definitely doesn’t look like your favorite Korean idol or actor…

>.<

But, he’s still cute!

내 옆에 앉으세요~ (nae yeop-e an-ju-se-yo~) – Sit next to me~

I’m using the “~” to indicate a polite “please.” Really, “~” means you should use your 애교 목소리- that’s ae-gyo mok-so-ri, or cute voice…

If you have one. 

노래 해주세요~ (no-rae hae-ju-se-yo) – Sing for me~

It doesn’t really mean “for me,” but ideally you don’t have to ask other people in the room to sing– just your crush, and of course he should sing for you!

… I hate going to sing with people who hesitate to grab that mike. Don’t be shy!

노래 못해요! (no-rae mot-hae-yo!) – I can’t sing well!

I can’t sing well, but I’m not shy. Sometimes I feel bad for the people who have to listen to me sing, though.

노래 잘해요! (no-rae jal-hae-yo!) – I can sing well!

랩 잘해요. (rap jal-hae-yo!) – I can rap well.

Since I can’t sing well I stick to rapping most of the time.

소맥만~ (so-maek man~) – Only somaek~

Somaek is soju  and beer. You should ALWAYS– especially if you are drinking with Korean guys, mix your soju with beer or yogurt or Sprite or whatever. Just be careful, because upping your ratio in the wrong direction– like more soju, can REALLY ruin your entire night.

Sometimes, it can give you a hangover that ruins your entire next day!

노 스킨십! (no skinship!) – Don’t touch me!

Literally, this means no physical affection, or physical contact if the “affection” is lacking but the “physical” is still there.

I went to 노래방 last weekend on Saturday night– the inspiration behind this entire blog post, and my crush was there, but he was being a little too friendly so I told him this.

Of course, he’s cute and nice, so he immediately let me go…

And then started telling me how great his best friend is, so I had to go through the whole process of sitting next to a Korean guy who’s sitting too close to me all over again, but I just kept my mouth shut. After all, what’s a little cuddling at 노래방 while you’re being serenaded… by a really drunk but decent looking dude with NO game?

*Sigh*

괜찮아요?! (kwaen-chan-a-yo?!) – Are you okay?!

By the way, I went with one of my best friends (white and Japanese) and her boyfriend (Korean), but when I opened the door they were in a room FULL of Korean guys. There were like six or seven of them!

You can imagine how much drinking and singing was going on, but after awhile my crush started dancing and stripping– yes, he’s six-pack ready, but…

토해하지마요~ (toe-hae-ha-ji-ma-yo~) – Don’t throw up~

… Then he started throwing up on his hands and on the floor, so his hyung– a really nice and incredibly buff judo athlete, brought a trash can for him to basically put his head in.

*Rolls eyes*

취했어? (chwi-haess-eo?) — Are you drunk?

갔어? (kass-eo?) – Are you wasted?

This is slang, but it’s still good to know.

집에 가자… (jib-e ka-ja…) – Let’s go home…

Or so my best friend said once she saw that the best friend was trying a little too hard to be more than MY friend.

Yeah, party’s over…!

다음에 뵈요~ (da-um-e bae-yo) – See you next time~

조심히 가요~(jo-shim-hi ka-yo) – Get home safely~

Literally, this means go safely or carefully.

Okay, but what about the stuff on that strange-looking, over-sized remote control with way too many buttons that you probably didn’t use unless you are a 노래방 pro?

THIS thing~

THIS thing~

(gok) — Song

You can search for a song by country and then by title or singer.

국가 (guk-ka) – Country

제목 (je-mok) — Title

가수 (ga-su) – Singer

예약 (ye-yak) — Reservation

This is the big yellow button that you push to reserve your song.

시작 (shi-jak) – Start

This is the medium sized green button that you push to start your song.

일시 정지 (il-shi jeong-ji) – Pause, or pause button

Koreans almost never use this button, though, at least not the ones that I go with. They will cancel your song if you leave to go to the bathroom or get some chips!

취소 (chwi-so) – Cancel

This is the medium sized red button that you push to cancel your song if you don’t feel like singing it– or torturing people, anymore.

점수 (jeom-su) – Points

박수 (bak-su) — Applause

I hope you enjoyed learning some flirty Korean!

If you’ve been in a situation where you wish you had known some flirty Korean, then let me know in the comments. It might make a great Flirty Korean Lesson for me to write in the future, but that’s all for now!

P.S.: What happens at 노래방, STAYS at 노래방…

<3

HANGOVER by PSY feat. Snoop Dogg: Everything You Need to Know to Understand The Music Video

*Kpop, Korean Idols, &More*

The Most Epic Collaboration Ever~

The Most Epic Collaboration Ever~

PSY just released his new song HANGOVER featuring the legendary Snoop Dogg. From Champion (2002)– a noraebang favorite for many of my Korean guy friends, to Gangnam Style (2012) to Gentleman (2013), PSY has had the same  fun, free-spirited style for more than a decade.

However, I was never really his fan– until now.

In HANGOVER he’s cute, wacky, and someone I definitely want to party with the next time I go to Ktown or South Korea. In fact, I better put “Party with PSY” on my bucket list!

^^

You can watch HANGOVER right here:

And, here’s what you need to know to understand the music video– scene by scene, because it’s packed with tons of Korean pop (and party) culture that you don’t want to miss!

분노의 양치질 (Teeth-brushing of Fury)

A scene from a famous drama starring Cha In Pyo that has been parodied over and over again by everyone from Korean comedians to Korean actors and actresses~

A famous scene from a drama starring Cha In Pyo~

This scene has been parodied by so many Korean comedians and Korean actors (and even actresses) that Cha In Pyo finally told Koreans how annoyed he was by the people who made fun of his acting.

I know it’s hard to believe, but here are just a few of the parodies that have pissed off the man who started it all:

Korean actress Sung Yu Ri~

Korean actress Sung Yu Ri’s Teeth-brushing of Fury~

Korean Actress Yoo In Na~

Korean Actress Yoo In Na’s Teeth-brushing of Fury~

Even the Nation’s MC, Yoo Jae Suk, has parodied this scene!

The Nation's MC (and Comedian) Yoo Jae Suk~

The Nation’s MC (and Comedian) Yoo Jae Suk~

You can find more of this phenomenal parody online, featuring everyone from Korean kids to Korean idols to a cat owned by a Korean lady.

폭탄주 (Bomb Drink)

Poktanju~

Poktanju~

Poktanju is another crazy creation that came about as a result of the love that Korean’s have for drinking.

You can learn how to make your own, too, but I bet it won’t be as stacked as the one in HANGOVER!

However, someone should accept HANGOVER’s Domino Poktanju challenge…

Just not me!

>.<

편의점에서 먹기 (Eating at a Convenience Store)

Your very own restaurant serving millions of things you don't really want to eat, except ramyun!

Your very own restaurant serving millions of things you don’t really want to eat, except ramyun!

In America it’s really unheard of, but in South Korea it’s everywhere…

Eating at a convenience store!

Maybe it’s because Koreans like to do everything quickly (빨리 빨리!), but it sure is nice to be able to buy food, heat it up (if needed), and eat it just seconds later– especially if you really are hungover and on your way home at night!

When hunger strikes~

When hunger strikes~

And, what Snoop Dogg is eating– 삼각 김밥, or triangle-shaped kim and rice, actually tastes pretty good and comes in tons of different flavors:

Yummy~

Yummy~

The yummy stuff is on the inside!

낮술 (Daytime Drinking)

"Daytime drinking is welcome"~

“Daytime drinking is welcome”~

In the music video PSY and Snoop Dogg start drinking during the day, which is common in South Korea. If you haven’t done it, you should try it– no matter where you are.

In addition, you can even see some Korean drinking etiquette as PSY only uses one hand to pour some soju for Snoop Dogg. The cheek roll is also a very Korean thing to do, and as far as I know only Koreans do it, but maybe that will change after this video.

It’s while drinking during the day that PSY and Snoop Dogg meet the ahjummas, or older women, and then the REAL fun starts…

미용실 (Hair Salon)

Hair salon~

Hair salon~

But first, PSY has to go to the hair salon, or 미영실, to get his hair done.

There are hair salons everywhere in South Korea, but especially in high end red light districts like Nonhyun-dong where the girls not only need it but can afford it on a daily basis.

노래방 (Noraebang, or Korean-style Private Karaoke)

Luxury~

Luxury Noraebang~

Finally, they’re at noraebang!

Noraebang is all about overly decorated rooms with cheesy wall-paper, flashing disco lights, and a set of tambourines ready for That Person who’s too turned up.

Noraebanging~

Noraebanging~

And of course, it’s also about singing songs and drinking drinks until not only do you sound good but the girls (or boys) you came with look good!

But first, you need to figure out how to use this stuff:

Huh?~

Huh?~

G-Dragon and CL

g1

G-Dragon &CL~

These are PSY’s Korean labelmates who both make a cameo in HANGOVER. Their company is called YG, and if you’re into Kpop then you already know about YG and these two Korean artists.

If you’re not, then it’s about time you found out about ‘em both!

G-Dragon of Big Bang

CL of 2NE1

Love their music and style!

Recently, CL was even compared to Rihanna by Dazed, but they really are two very different artists even though they are both fiercely feminine. 

디스코팡팡 (Disco Pang Pang)

It looks safe enough...~

It looks safe enough…~

Until you get on and the ride starts!~

Until you get on and the ride starts!~

Okay, this is a crazy Korean ride that I would actually go on if I felt like puking up one of my meals, or dislocating my shoulder.

Yeah, no thanks!

사구 (Korean, No-Pocket Billiards)

Sagu~

Sagu~

Four Ball, or 사구– that’s sagu (sa means four), is an interesting game that I’ve never played before but have heard about from my Korean guy friends.

Of course, there’s also martial arts and jjajangmyun, Chinese black bean noodles, in HANGOVER. Those noodles were definitely delivered, which is a common way to get some grub wherever you happen to be whenever you’re in South Korea.

술 대결 (Drinking Battle)

A drinking battle between a couple in a Korean drama~

A drinking battle between a couple in a Korean drama~

This is not just a Korean guy thing to do, or just a guy thing really!

Obviously, the goal is to see who can drink more, but when soju is involved things definitely get a little more dangerous…

Things also get dangerous at the end of HANGOVER thanks to one well tossed spoon!

Well, I hope you love PSY and HANGOVER as much as I do, especially now that you (hopefully) understand the Korean culture behind the crazy, cant-stop-watching scenes in the music video.

<3

The Top 10 Trendy, Must-See Spots in Seoul, South Korea

Apgujeong Rodeo Drive~

*Korean Culture: The Good, The Bad, &The Ugly*

Recently, I talked about the real reasons why everyone seems to be (and really is) going to South Korea. Although South Korea has many beautiful, exciting cities to see and explore, most people– including me, just go to Seoul.

(However, I’d also like to go to Busan for the summer and Jeju Island or Okinawa in Japan for my honeymoon!)

Anyway, Seoul is incredibly small, but it’s also jam-packed with tons of different, unique dongs, or neighborhoods, so it seems incredibly BIG. And, each neighborhood has it’s own style along with something special to offer, from sightseeing to shopping to something yummy to eat.

So, instead of getting lost in all that Seoul has to offer, just take this list of the top 10 trendy, must-see spots in Seoul with you whenever (and wherever) you go!

Before you begin reading, you need to know that I’ve been to Korea twice: Once in the summer of 2012 and once last year in the winter.

Okay, are you ready?

^^

1. Samcheongdong

If you watch the Korean variety show Roommates then you’ll know about this neighborhood, because So Ra unni is always going there!

I went there for the first time during my winter trip last year. Mr. Kang showed me around, and we walked on a beautiful cobblestone road past some traditional palaces before we stood in the long line for the famous Samcheongdong chicken skewers.

Yummm~

Yummy~

We also ate at a great ddeokgalbi matjib.

More yummy food~

More yummy food~

matjib is the name for a restaurant that specializes in making one tasty dish.

Along with the roads, palaces, and matjibs, Samcheongdong is also home to a national museum.

2. Sinsadong

Sinsadong is most famous for Karusogil, or Karuso Road, where you can window show, or really shop, and then sit down and relax with some good food and drinks at a nice cafe or restaurant.

I went to Sinsadong for the first time back in 2012. At that time I went there on a date, and we walked around, did some window shopping, and then ate at a nice Italian restaurant.

I went back again with Mr. Kang last year during my winter vacation, and we went to a nice bar where I got my first margarita in Korea!

My strawberry margarita~

My strawberry margarita~

… I’ll stick to drinking them in Texas, but thanks anyway, Seoul.

3. Itaewon

Oh, Itaewon!

How you’ve changed over the years. Gone are the dirty streets filled with suspicious foreigners. They’ve been replaced by poppin’ clubs, stylish bars, and cute shops.

I went to Itaewon during my first trip to South Korea in 2012, and I loved it– so much so that after partying in Itaewon all night, I missed my flight!

Of course, when I went again last year, I had to go back!

Mr. Kang took me to his favorite bar there.

Glam in Itaewon~

Glam in Itaewon~

We also ate at a pojangmacha, or tent bar, outside.

Speaking of eating, go here if you want to do some serious eating. Since it’s Itaewon, there is something other than Korean food here– and a lot of it!

One~

Celebrity Hong Suk Chun’s Famous Restaurant~

Two~

Burgers~

Three~

Burgers~

Four~

At Flying Pan Blue, my favorite place to eat in Korea~

Five~

Wine~

Six~

And pancakes~

Chicken Avocado Panini~

Eating a chicken avocado panini there with my best friend the night before I left~

Still, you have to be careful in Itaewon, because of places like THIS.

4. The Han River

I LOVE the Han River.

Where else can you take a nice walk, a refreshing run, or a fun bike ride outside during the day or late at night? … I don’t know, but I haven’t done any of that!

What I have done is get my chimaek, or chicken and beer, on there back in the summer of 2012. Of course, it was another date– one that was supposed to start with a boat cruise but never did.

The view from the river front chimaek restaurant~

The view from the river front chimaek restaurant~

And, here’s the boat cruise that I never went on.

The Han River Boat Cruise~

The Han River Boat Cruise~

I’m not complaining, by the way…

I’ll take chimaek on land over a boat cruise on water any day!

5. Hongdae

As you can see, there is A LOT of shopping to do in Hongdae.

And, oddly enough, after eating chimaek at the Han River we went to spot number 5, Hongdae, for the rest of our date where we had some fruit soju and snacks since you can also go to bars and clubs there.

Fruit soju~

Fruit soju~

Nachos~

Nachos~

Hongdae is also famous for– and named after, its college of the arts and artwork that the students there create.

Art~

Artwork~

More art~

More artwork~

The college~

The college~

Hongdae is also famous for its music scene.

Live music~

Live music in Hongdae~

So much fun~

That night was so much fun~

The clubs in Hongdae are there, but I don’t recommend going unless you enjoy being trapped in a fire hazard.

At Cocoon in Hongdae for the first (and second to last) time~

At Cocoon in Hongdae for the first (and second to last) time~

I barely escaped alive…

>.<

6. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is simple:

It’s ALL about shopping.

If you want to get your Korean beauty products, then you HAVE to go here for the wide variety of stores and their great sales.

I didn’t fall in love with Myeongdong until I went back last year in the winter and took this awesome picture after getting tons of awesome Korean beauty products from Etude House:

Me and my husband So Ji Sub~

Me and my husband So Ji Sub~

Yes, my husband!

<3

7. Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun is also simple, but the shopping here is much more Korean. Think bartering for prices and walking away with tons of really good but cheap stuff!

Apparently, this place was recently renovated and is now a hot date spot, which you’d know if you’ve been watching Roommates all the time like me…

>.<

However, I still do (or did) most of my shopping in Apgujeong.

8. Apgujeong

Oh, five or six years ago this would have been number one, but Korea changes a lot in months let alone years!

I love Apgujeong– the shopping, well, I loved it TOO much so I didn’t do much of it when I went back.

The nightlife here is the best!

My favorite bar in Korea, Bunker~

My favorite bar in Korea, Bunker~

Bunker buckets~

Bunker buckets~

And the food, well, its pretty good, too!

Texmex at Coreanos~

Texmex at Coreanos~

Soooo good!~

Soooo good!~

You can do it all on Rodeo Drive and even stop by the Galleria, H&M, and Uniqlo.

9. Cheongdamdong

This is where I stayed last year in the winter, and it was a dream come true!

What a quiet, lovely, filthy freakin’ rich neighborhood to get some REAL shopping done, and it’s also home to one of my favorite clubs, Ellui, and a bunch of entertainment companies like SM and FNC.

Apart from shopping at stores you can’t afford, there’s a few other things to do, like heading down into the subway and shopping there or walking around and looking for Korean idols.

So, keep your eyes wide open!

O.O

10. Namsan Tower

I saved the best for last!

Okay, that might not be true, but I still haven’t been here! I’m determined to go with my boyfriend (whenever I actually get one), so yes– I’m saving the best for last: Cable car rides and locks of love!

Cable cars~

Cable cars~

Locks of love~

Locks of love~

Oh yeah, there’s a super famous restaurant with questionably tasting food at the top of that tower. Yeah, I’d like there to go there someday, too.

And get proposed to, again.

So, do you know where you want to go once you go to Seoul, South Korea?

I know I do!

^^

Korean Boyfriends: A Korean Drama Come True?

*Korean Culture: The Good, The Bad, &The Ugly*

I’ve talked a little bit about my ex-boyfriend, right? He’s from South Korea, and he had only been in the United States (Texas of all places) for six months when we met on January 23, 2011.

 That’s on 1/23!

Or, I would never be able to remember…

>.<

Anyway, he knew a little English, and I knew a little Korean; but, lets just say that my Korean improved and his English stayed the same.

Well, recently I’ve been watching the charming chaebol KDrama Scent of A Woman, and Kang Ji Wook (played by Lee Dong Wook) totally reminds of my ex-boyfriend– for better of for worse, since I don’t exactly want or even need to be reminded that I met, loved, and lost someone like him.

Now, I’ve watched a lot of KDramas, but I always thought they were a little very unrealistic. Well, I was wrong!

So, here’s why having a Korean boyfriend CAN be a Korean drama come true.

^^

Kang Ji Wook, or My Ex-Boyfriend?

Kang Ji Wook is a chaebol, which makes him rich and more than a little jaded.  My ex is, too. Born in 1984, he grew up in Apgujeong, one of the most expensive places to live in Seoul. But, he left home when he was 16 to work… and to get into LOTS of trouble.

(He has a tattoo on his back and more than a few Harleys. Last time I checked– still Kakao stalking, he bought a new apartment and a Ferrari.)

Anyway, Kang Ji Wook is also just a big kid with lots of scars left over from his childhood. His mother passed away, and he doesn’t get along with his father– AT ALL. Hmm, my ex actually came to America because his one and only older sister passed away, and he also doesn’t get along with his father.

So, what happens when a Korean guy like that falls in love?

He turns into a total angel and spoils the girl he loves!

Shopping Sprees

He's waiting~

He’s waiting~

Bored...~

Bored…~

But wondering what you'll look like in that dress~

But also wondering what you’ll look like in that dress~

Then: Bam!~

Then: Bam!~

Looks good, right baby?^^~

Looks good, right baby?^^~

My first second date with my ex was at this outdoor shopping mall in Austin called the Domain. We went shopping at a lot of places, but all I remember is going to Betsey Johnson!

Afterwards, we had a nice salad and steak dinner at an Italian restaurant. Of course, he over-tipped. Seriously, he didn’t understand the conversion rate at all and may have had Monopoly money in his pocket for all he cared!

Anyway, we went shopping together quite often until we fought in the Betsey Johnson store… two days in a row. He said that I “lose my mind” every time I go in that store, so I told him we should stop going shopping together, and we did.

Well, we stopped going to Betsey Johnson together, at least!

Sweet Serenades

Belt out a tune for me, baby~

Belt out a tune for me, baby~

On the weekends, my ex and I would always go to noraebang, or Korean Karaoke, after going DT. He is a really good singer, and he would always sing to me.

It wasn’t the first time (or the last time) that I was sung to, but it was definitely the best and most memorable! Right before he left, he actually serenaded me with this song, “Seoshi” by Shin Sung Woo:

“I’ll always be standing here, so after you’re tired from walking you can see me–

There, that star in the sky…

So you can see my heart, that loves you.” 

You probably had never heard of that song or that singer until you watched– if you did, a popular Korean variety show called Roommate.

The Not-Soft-But-Still-Romantic “Pillow Arm”

Pillow Arm!~

Pillow Arm, when you use his arm as a pillow!~

“Pillow arm” is really popular among Korean guys, but only the hardcore couples keep doing it night after night. I mean, his arm definitely falls asleep and goes numb!

Waking Up With Sunshine (and Him)

*Sigh*~

*Sigh*~

I don’t know, but this is why I was REALLY reminded of my ex. I mean, I loved waking up with him…

Me in his arms and sunshine on our faces- it was just a dream come true.

^^

If you’ve dated a Korean guy or had a Korean boyfriend, has watching a Korean drama ever reminded you of him?

If so, then let me know.

If not, then tell me about a character from a Korean drama that you wish was your boyfriend!

P.S.: No tears were shed while writing this blog post.

<3

Feeding Your KDrama Addiction: 9 Charming Chaebols

*The “Feeding Your KDrama Addiction” Series*

Chaebols are usually anything and everything BUT charming, but they still seem to be in EVERY KDrama these days. They’re known for being rich, spoiled, and at the root of all KDrama evil.

But, not all chaebols are bad; and, these ones aren’t just good

They’re charming!

^^

1. Who Are You? (2008)

Cha Seung Hyo~

Cha Seung Hyo~

This rich and bad-tempered chaebol may have gotten his body snatched, but that doesn’t stop him from turning into the very good man of one lucky girl’s dreams.

2. Boys Over Flowers (2009)

Yoon Ji Hoo~

Yoon Ji Hoo~

Oh, I hope you weren’t expecting to see Go Jun “Poo” here…?

Although Kim Hyun Joong couldn’t act to save his life in this KDrama, there was still something charming about his character.

(My inner fan girl is showing…)

3. Secret Garden (2010)

Kim Joo Won~

Kim Joo Won~

This chaebol had a knack for turning doing crunches and drinking coffee into some of the most romantic moments KDrama Land has ever seen.

4. Scent of a Woman (2011)

Kang Ji Wook~

Kang Ji Wook~

I’m currently watching this KDrama– and continuing my Lee Dong Wook spree, and I have totally fallen in love with the first chaebol who’s been willing to throw it all away for the woman he loves.

5. Can You Hear My Heart? (2011)

Cha Dong Joo~

Cha Dong Joo~

This chaebol might not be able to hear, but he sure is able to love– and with all of his heart.

6. I Love Lee Tae Ri (2012)

Lee Tae Ri~

Lee Tae Ri~

Wait– not ALL chaebols are rich men. Some of them are rich women, like Lee Tae Ri.

7. Master’s Sun (2013)

Joo Joong Won~

Joo Joong Won~

This chaebol takes first place for not only being So Ji Sub charming but (mostly) calm. After all, the woman he falls in love with can see ghosts!

8. Mi Rae’s Choice (2013)

Park Se Joo~

Park Se Joo~

… Yeah, that fan girl? She’s back, but this chaebol was rather charming.

(He probably wouldn’t have been if someone else had played him.)

9. Heirs (2013)

Choi Young Do~

Choi Young Do~

Oh, I hope you weren’t expecting to see Kim Tan here…?

TEAM CHOI YOUNG DO!!!

So, who is your favorite charming chaebol?

If you don’t actually know what a chaebol is, then you’re not watching enough KDramas, and you DEFINITELY need to watch more. So, go HERE to find out where you can watch all of these KDramas and more…

MUCH more…

>.<

The Top 6 (Real) Reasons Why People Go To South Korea

*Korean Culture: The Good, The Bad, &The Ugly*

These days, it seems like everyone is going to South Korea, but why? Well, the following reasons are the REAL reasons why people go to South Korea. Some of them might shock you, and some of them might surprise you…

Or not.

Either way, I’m just going to tell you what I’ve seen, heard, and experienced first hand ever since I decided to go to South Korea for the first time back in 2012.

Reason #1: Sex

You would NEVER know that she's just a member of a girl group and that this is their video!~

You would NEVER know that she’s just a member of a girl group, that this is a screen cap from their music video, and that she’s NOT actually half-naked!~

Wait…

What?!

Why would anyone travel all the way across the world– or less than all the way across the world, just to have sex?!

I don’t know, but maybe it’s because of the image that South Korea projects to foreigners through its media, such as Kpop music videos featuring sexy but cute girls and boys and Korean dramas and Korean movies starring hot actresses and even hotter actors.

Either way, I saw it first hand when I went to South Korea. After all, I accidentally lived in a red light district my first time there!

Wait, what I actually saw was not sex, although when I went out with my classmates from law school one night, I did see many things that I should not have seen… just imagine hands going where hands should NOT be going, at least in public!

It can be hard for foreigners, especially girls, to go from sex to dating (and to marriage) since they do seem to make one BIG mistake that I already talked about HERE but also talk about HERE.

(Now, I don’t care WHAT country you are in– having sex with someone you just met is a good way to make sure that you don’t see them again, or at least not for anything more than that!)

However, most of us are young, wild, free, and just want to have fun while teaching English or studying abroad– no matter where we are; and, there is something “safe” about knowing that what you do in South Korea will (probably) stay there.

So, what REALLY makes sex the number one reason on this list: South Korea, while famous for music, dramas, and movies, is also “famous” for prostitution.

Reason #2: Teaching English

A teacher and her students~

A teacher and her students~

Okay, this is probably the reason that you were expecting to be first.

Most of the foreigners that I met in South Korea were teaching English, and they probably still are.

In fact, I took a Korean class in 2011 while I was completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology… and still dating my ex-boyfriend. He’s the (real) reason why I went to South Korea for the first time!

Anyway, about five or six students that I took that class with were (or still are) teaching English in South Korea, and there were only about 20 of us!

I’ve also met someone in law school who taught English in South Korea with his wife…

Anyway, you get the point!

Reason #3: Studying Abroad

Study abroad~

Study abroad in South Korea~

If you meet a foreigner in South Korea, and they’re not teaching English, then they’re probably studying abroad.

After all, I also went to South Korea for the first time to study abroad at Sungkyunkwan Law School, and I know many of you are planning on or are already studying abroad in South Korea, too.

(For more on studying abroad in South Korea, go HERE!)

Reason #4: The Nightlife

Whooo~

Whooo~

There is NOTHING quite like the nightlife in South Korea

Everything is open late, and it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is– a club somewhere will be crammed with good looking people swaying and grinding to some good beats until about 6 o’clock– or even 9 o’clock, in the morning!

Don’t even get me started on restaurants, bars, and even noraebang, or Korean karaoke. You can read more about that HERE, where I blog about my two week long white winter in Seoul that took place just last year!

^^

Reason  #5: Kpop

BTS~

BTS~

Yes, Kpop made the list, too.

Hell, I know I WANTED to see some Korean idols when I went to South Korea– I just never did.

*Sigh*

Maybe next time but definitely at KCON!

Reason #6: Military Service

The army~

The army~

I also met a lot of people who were in South Korea because they (or their family) were stationed there– like the boys I filmed that one Kpop video with…

Blink and you’ll miss it!

So, did all of the reasons you were thinking of make the list?

None of these reasons are “good” or “bad.” There are only good and bad trips to South Korea, so make yours good by going for the RIGHT reason, which is something only YOU can decide for yourself.

Now, if you want to know where to go once you get to South Korea, then stay tuned for The Top 10 Trendy, Must-See Spots in Seoul!

Feeding Your KDrama Addiction: Gender Benders

*The “Feeding Your KDrama Addiction” Series*

Feeding Your KDrama Addiction is back this week with some of my favorite KDramas: Gender benders! And, don’t forget that you can find out where to watch these KDramas and more right HERE.

Anyway, girl or boy, boy or girl, what’s most important in life and love is being true to yourself– and the person you love; but, if you end up lying about (or switching) your gender to the person you love, which is something that doesn’t just happen in KDrama Land, then you might be in BIG trouble… and in some very awkward situations.

So, let’s see how awkward things can get with these gender bender KDramas!

1. Coffee Prince (2007)

Coffee Prince~

Coffee Prince~

Well, she might look like a boy, but she’s definitely not; and, when her boss starts to develop feelings for her, he doesn’t quite know what to do!

2. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

Sungkyunkwan Scandal~

Sungkyunkwan Scandal~

 A young girl who dresses as a boy suddenly ends up at a school for boys, and of course, some poor lucky school boy is going to fall in love with this school girl in disguise!

3. Secret Garden (2010)

Secret Garden~

Secret Garden~

When a rich chaebol and poor stunt woman drink a magic potion, they wake up in one another’s bodies and slowly learn more about one another’s hearts… and very different bodies.

(From the writer of A Gentleman’s Dignity and Heirs!)

4. Ma Boy (2012)

Ma Boy~

Ma Boy~

HE has to pretend to be an idol– a female idol; but, when he finds himself falling for his roommate, he’s forced to choose between his first love and his life as an idol.

So, what are some of your favorite gender bender KDramas?

I haven’t seen A Painter in the Wind, You’re Beautiful, or To The Beautiful You, but I’m sure you girls will all tell me about them in the comments…

So, keep those suggestions coming!

^^