My Summer in Korea, Part 3: Dating

*The “My Summer in Korea” Series*

Here is the final chapter on my summer in Korea– the one you’ve all been waiting for: Dating in Korea.

I’m going to talk about the boys and men I went on dates with, as well as give you girls advice and warnings about dating in Korea. In the end, you’ll be able to do it, too!

Holding hands~

It always starts by holding hands…~

Pet

Pet found me on one of those Naver fashion cafes that I used to post in back in 2011. I just did it to practice my Korean, but I picked up a few guys in the process. Pet was the first one. We talked for months, and when I finally went to Korea in the summer of 2012 he took the subway for three hours just to see me and spend a few days with me. We met before I had a phone, so it was really fun to send a picture of the place where we would meet to him over Kakao, tell him to be there, and wonder if we would actually be able to find each other.

He was right on time, and my first impression of him was:

“Wow, he’s young.” 

Pet was a gu boy, which meant he was younger than me by more than just a few years.

So, he didn’t have a lot of money, but he still paid for our first date together, which was dinner at a restaurant in Yeoksam-dong, the place where my hotel was.

(I highly recommend it– Nox Boutique, even though I recently found out it was a love motel!)

I remember sitting down at the table with him and getting ready to order when the ahjumma came over, wiped the table, stared really hard at my face, and then said:

 “Yeppuda (pretty).”

I just smiled and said thank you in Korean.

We ordered something cheap, I don’t even remember anymore, but it was good. Then, we walked around outside and held hands before heading back to my hotel.

We dated over the next couple of days, but his personality was basically like that of a young girl on PMS. So, when he left, I didn’t bother asking him to come back.

BGUN

I met BGUN at NB. He and his friend rescued me from the second guy I dated in Korea, who I won’t mention because he turned stalker after our first date and started a fight with me and my friends at the club when I told him:

“I’m not your girlfriend.”

Anyway, BGUN was a dancer and an oppa. He trained a few idols who I won’t mention, but he works as a manager now. He was always busy working (like the time he went to China for three weeks), so we didn’t get to date a lot, but he came over often– at FIRST.

Now, I want to warn you girls:

Don’t date Korean guys who only want to go to your house at night (or during the day).

This is a major sign that he is only interested in one thing: SEX. Now, if that’s what you want, go ahead, but you know you deserve better.

I told BGUN that I wasn’t okay dating at my house at night, so I just stopped talking to him after the second or third time we met.

(He wasn’t good in bed, anyway.)

But, he was really sweet, and I think he likes me a lot, because he still talks to me and is waiting for me to go back to Korea, which will be soon!

Gyopo

I met gyopo on Craigslist Seoul.

My first and final advice about Craigslist Seoul is that you should only use it for these three things:

1. To find jobs.

2. To sell clothes.

3. To meet girls.

DON’T MEET ANY GUYS FROM CRAIGSLIST SEOUL. THEY ARE ALL WEIRD. ALL OF THEM!

Although gyopo wasn’t as bad as the other two guys I met on Craigslist when I first got to Seoul and only knew a few people, he still wasn’t that great either. He was good-looking in this greasy, Italian way even though he was definitely Korean.

On our first date we went to the downtown area in my neighborhood, Sin-nonhyun. First, we went to Ho bar and had drinks and then a restaurant and had hoi (raw, fresh seafood).  Afterwards, we went to NB where a white guy grabbed him and kissed him. This led him to kiss me in an attempt to prove his manhood (or something), and things went… on… from there.

He was nice, so for our second date we went to a suljib (pub) in Hongdae and had fruit soju (Korean liquor) and nachos.

For our third (and last) date, he planned things, but didn’t execute them– at least not well. So, instead of taking a boat out on the Han river for a tour we just got chimaek (chicken and beer) on the river. I LOVED this. Afterwards, we went to Hongdae to club. Instead of dancing with me, though, he became really awkward and shy, so I told him:

“Let’s go.”

We sat and listened to live music outside, and he began to whine.

And Whine.

And WHINE.

So, on the way home I told him to go home, even though he couldn’t and would have to sleep somewhere outside!

My main problem with gyopo was that he was too obsessed with my looks and too insecure about his own. He was younger, too, so maybe that’s why… And, most of his ex’s were white, not black or Korean– which made for an interesting and forgettable time in bed…

HAHA

D.H.

D.H. is the second guy who talked to me after seeing one of my posts in a fashion cafe on Naver.

(Thank you Naver.)

He was oppa and Super Korean, but by far the best date that I had and the best person that I met in Seoul. We got over the language barrier really quickly, but he didn’t speak any English. Thankfully, by then my Korean was really good, although I always had a headache after one of our dates…

>.<

For our first date we ate and drank together in my neighborhood. We talked ALL night, and he walked me home in the morning.

Girls, another warning:

When Koreans ask to go into your house for “water” or “tea,” don’t let them, because they won’t leave.

By the time I met D.H., I already knew this, so I sent him home with a hug. This is VERY important. Showing a Korean guy that you are not easy will almost 99.9% guarantee that he will either become your friend, lover, or boyfriend. Sleeping with a Korean guy the first time you meet him is almost a 99.9% guarantee that he will never talk to you again– unless he wants sex.

(Of course, there’s that .1%, but don’t count on being one of the lucky ones.)

 We met again a few days later for our second (and last date), because I was leaving in a few days! We went to Itaewon for pancakes and breakfast food. I love that he also wanted wine even though it was brunch time! Then, we walked around Itaewon together. He took me to a pool hall and taught me how to play. I ended up beating him later. He took it well. He was always funny and cool. Later, we went to Apgujeong for a movie, but all the tickets were sold out so we just got ice cream at Baskin Robbins instead.

(He really liked all the food I was introducing him, too, which made me happy.)

Then, we walked around at the Galleria before saying good-bye– he even waited until I met up with my friend, who I went clubbing with later that night.

Before we reach “The End,” here are some final words:

Dating in Korea may seem hard at first, but the more confident you are– the more attractive you will be. You don’t have to be stick thin or have straight, relaxed hair. Korean men love curves and natural hair, too! So, go out on your own looking amazing, and don’t be afraid to make eye-contact at, smile, and even talk to Korean guys– because they WILL approach you.

Not feeling beautiful enough yet? Then, stay tuned for the “Black Girl in Korea” Beauty Tutorial!

But, there will be advice and tips for everyone, like my favorite: How to go from an A cup to a C cup and a B cup to a D cup without surgery or stuffing!

Excited yet?

^^

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My Summer in Korea, Part 2: Working and Going to School

*The “My Summer in Korea” Series*

Working in Korea

One thing I hated about Korea was working there, but it was probably just because I had a terrible boss– and no, he wasn’t Korean, or even Asian. However, I did get to model and even star in a Kpop video– if 1 second makes you a star, so it wasn’t all bad!

I completed a human rights internship at a human rights organization that I will leave unnamed (at least here). They created a contract with me while I was in America, and then changed the terms as soon as I got to Korea in May– not the Koreans, of course, just my boss who hired me– this American guy.

I wasn’t allowed to do the work my school had given me funding– exactly $2,500.00, to do, which was translate articles from Korean to English, allowing me to study Korean culture. I did complete one piece while there, but they didn’t even publish it. Instead, I filmed things like this protest in front of the Chinese Embassy.

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Posters.

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Protesters.

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Reporters.

We had it out, and in the end I didn’t quit, but we mutually decided not to work together anymore sometime in June. From then on, my summer really and truly began!

I also tutored, which was more enjoyable, but along the way I met one student who tried to rip me off, which was common. And no, I didn’t let him rip me off.

Once, on the way to tutor my student (the one who tried to rip me off), I was molested while on the subway. Funny thing is, my best friend at the time had told me about men in China who would try to touch women inappropriately with their elbows. At that time, I had no idea that it would happen to me– or just how creepy it was!

And, I had just arrived to Korea, so I spoke some Korean to my assailant and left. He followed me to the next train! Then, the ahjusshi who had been sitting in front of me when my assailant touched me inappropriately suddenly appeared, like Batman.

My hero.

My hero.

He spoke to me in Korean, because he had heard me speaking it before, and he told me that my assailant was “acting weird,” that he had called the police, and that I should go sit in a different train. I was so thankful. Seconds before he came I thought to myself as I stared in the reflection and saw my assailant standing behind me, watching me:

“I’m alone here. I don’t even know who to call. No one will help me, no one cares, because I’m just a foreigner.”

So, after that I think my heart really opened up to Korea and Koreans– as with everything, there would be good and there would be bad.

gandb

Good… and bad.

I was also scouted in Apgujeong, and I worked as a shoe model for this amazing unni. 

Her boyfriend was Nigerian. We were flip-twins FOR SURE.

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Her store~

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So busy~

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Pretty shoes~

I was also casted for a music video shoot, and I am in this Kpop video:

But, good luck finding me:

Try 3:04!

Another amazing unni I met at a club in Apgujeong cast me in it. She worked at one of the smaller entertainment companies, like this oppa I met at NB in Sin-nonhyun– my hood!

Going to School in Korea

I attended the Fordham Summer Institute at the Sungkyunkwan School of Law in June, and it ended about two weeks later, which was nice because that meant I could go back to drinking, dancing, and dating.

It was a beautiful campus with a parking lot with pink spots designated for women in heels.

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Pink parking spots~

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Going down~

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Pretty view~

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The School of Law~

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The field~

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Stairs~

On the first day I met an unni who tried to hook me up with her oppa while we were all eating lunch. It was so funny, but he wasn’t my type.

(He was gyopo.)

Anyway, classes were fun. I was cold-called and did well on the first day of class, but after that my Professor stopped cold-calling, because other students weren’t really paying attention.

Bored in class~

Students are always bored in class~

I rode the subway and then bus to and from school every day, but one Korean boy in my class would give me rides home or walk me to the subway.

(I didn’t like him either.)

Once, I took the white kids and gyopos to Bunker (my favorite bar) and Monkey Beach (some grungy club) in Apgujeong. One white boy met this Korean girl at the club. He was so fat and ugly but of course she was all over him just because he was white. He even stuck his hands down her shorts, and she let him…

We ALL saw. I was with my unni at that point, and they were disgusted while I was entertained AND disgusted.

Since I was in law school, we toured some political places in Seoul, too, on the last day before our final exam. I’m not into touring, but I’ll update with pictures later (much, much, MUCH later) because this place was really pretty.

Basically, going to work and school in Korea was the same as going to school in America– for me. I went because I had to, and I did my best not to go hungover.

Other people who went or will go to Korea will have different experiences, because they…

1. Don’t speak Korean and don’t know anything about Korean culture– minus Kpop/Kdramas, which doesn’t count, because most Koreans don’t listen to or care about half the groups/dramas out these days.

2. Usually go to Korea to teach English or attend some special program at a university where everyone they meet is foreign, anyway. Be careful if you do go to Korea to teach, because there is definitely a stigma associated with female English teachers in Korea. They definitely have a reputation, but not necessarily a good one.

One American “teacher” I met had a threesome with these two Korean boys I introduced her to at a club, and then she asked me where she should go to get plastic surgery on her nose. She also asked me how I went on dates with Korean guys.

I met similar girls like her, who always asked:

“So, do you like Korean guys. Have you dated any?”

Then, they would go into explicit detail about their experiences with Korean guys, and how much they hated them– but, not really. They were usually just hurt by some Korean byungshin (loser) or ke saekki (son of a bitch)…

But, lets save the rest of these stories (and my own) for My Summer in Korea, Part 3: Dating. There, I’ll talk about my best and worst dates in Korea…

>.<

My Summer in Korea, Part 1: Settling In

*The “My Summer in Korea” Series*

I had always wanted to go to Korea, but not to teach English or see my ex-boyfriend. I really wanted my trip to be about me, my chosen career, and my future.

After careful planning and convincing my mom that South Korea was different and separate from North Korea, I finally made it happen. I went to Korea in the summer of 2012. I was going to study law at Sungkyunkwan School of Law, and I was going to complete a human rights internship with NKnet. I received some scholarship money, but I paid for most of the trip with money I had saved up from working two to three jobs for a few months…

Suddenly, I was on my way!

My flight to Korea~

My flight to Korea~

My oppa’s friend picked me up from the airport, bought me my first meal in Korea, gave me some good advice about life in Korea, and took me to my hotel.

First meal~

First meal~

I stayed at Nox Boutique in Yeoksam-dong, Kangnam-gu for a few days. I booked my hotel before coming to Korea, and I made sure to find a real hotel, not a love hotel. They had great service and free breakfast!^^

My room~

My room~

I spent the first night alone, but my friend in Korea (we met online) rode the subway for three hours to see me and we finally met in person for the first time the next day, which was hard to do since I didn’t have a phone!

Where we decided to meet~

Where we decided to meet~

He stayed with me at my hotel for the next two days. We also got to date, and I was really thankful to have him with me. It was nice to have someone to talk to and eat with, especially in a place that was completely brand new to me.

At Kraze Burger~

At Kraze Burger~

Couple burgers~

Couple burgers~

Yummy~

Yummy~

On the third day I went apartment hunting, which is really fun in Korea. I went to this small, cramped office and was shown different rooms on a website. Then, my realtor drove me around to look at the rooms I had liked. I found a cute little one room apartment that fit my budget, about 450 a month. My friend also helped me move into my apartment.

The entrance~

The entrance~

My bed, my painting, and Gray, my teddy bear~

My bed, my painting, and Gray, my teddy bear~

My closet and some of the "kitchen" and "living room"~

My closet and some of the “kitchen” and “living room”~

My shoes~

My shoes~

I lived in Nonhyun-dong, a neighborhood in Kangnam. After my friend from the countryside left, I met up with a few other people I knew and friends I had who were also in Korea.

One friend took me to Hong-dae. We walked around and went to a small concert hall. Afterwards, we grabbed some food with a new friend we met at the concert who had come to Korea from China.

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

He was inspired to sell Korean-Mexican fusion food after eating some at a taco stand in Austin, TX, which is where I live and go to school! Small world~

He was inspired to sell Korean-Mexican fusion food after eating some at a taco stand in Austin, TX, which is where I live and go to school! Small world~

Hongdae~

Hongdae~

Ran into the lead singer outside at a gas station, and then saw him inside, too. He talked to me, but I didn't know he was going to sing until he went on stage~

Ran into the lead singer outside at a gas station, and then saw him inside, too. He talked to me, but I didn’t know he was going to sing until he went on stage~

Concert in Hongdae~

Concert in Hongdae~

Concert in Hongdae~

Concert in Hongdae~

Makgolli~

Makkgeolli~

Pajeon~

Pajeon~

Odaeng tang~

Odaengtang~

Afterwards, we went clubbing, but I wasn’t impressed with Hongdae clubs. Everyone was so young and wild. The clubs were also dangerously packed and pretty boring as far as music goes.

Cocoon~

Cocoon~

A few days later, my other friend took me to the downtown area of my neighborhood, which was just five minutes away! I was shocked to see what was on the other side of the street and behind those tall buildings.

DT in Nonhyun-dong~

DT in Sin-nonhyun~

DT in Nonhyun-dong~

DT in Sin-nonhyun~

Ho Bar~

Ho Bar~

Outside in the street~

Outside in the street~

Inside NB~

Inside NB~

Inside NB~

Inside NB~

At 5 or 6 am it finally closed~

At 5 or 6 am it finally closed~

My friend from Korean class was also in Korea, and a few days later I met her. She taught me how to use the subway. We also walked around and ate a lot of delicious food.

Tous les Jours! Now there is one in Austin, TX where I live, too~

Tous les Jours! Now there is one in Austin, TX where I live, too~

From the day I met my friend's girlfriend~

From the day I met my friend’s girlfriend~

They bought me yummy food~

They bought me yummy food~

I miss it!

I miss it!

We got closer when we came back to America, and now she is my best friend! We are planning another trip to Korea and many other parts of Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia) soon. In the end, my first few days in Korea were great thanks to my friends!

And, be sure to check out My Summer in Korea, Part 2: Working and Going to School and My Summer in Korea, Part 3: Dating!

Finally, if you ever need any help while you are in Korea, just leave me a comment or email me at westerngirlxeasternboy@gmail.com! I know some good people and can give you tons of advice about having fun AND staying safe.

^^