Coming home

So the first thing I saw when I got off the plane from almost a full 24 hours worth of travelling, was this bathroom sign. You know, I never thought I’d be so relieved to see French and Spanish before. I guess after studying Korean for so long it’s nice to see languages I’m a little more familiar with. Of course the Chinese part can be found in both Korea and America…You know, it makes you wonder, maybe I should be studying Chinese…Image

Anyway, the second thing I noticed was how religious the South is compared to Korea. I found this revelation funny actually. I had always been aware that the South had a reputation for being more religious than other places. However, being born and raised in Louisiana (aka The South), I really had nothing to compare it to when it comes to religiousness. Before I left Korea I even thought for a moment that they were similar in their religious zeal. I mean, I’ve been invited to church barbecues back home and in Korea, so that’s pretty much the same right? Wrong.

The first sign was when I was greeted by my parent’s copy of James Earl Jones reads the bible right next to the kitchen TV.Image

That wasn’t enough to convince me though. The second sign was at wal-mart when I found myself with the option of which Jesus/Catholic Saint candle to buy for the kitchen table.Image

The candles made me giggle, that is until I got home and found one actually sitting on my kitchen table. I’ll give you three guesses which one. Need a hint?Image

At this point I thought, oh that’s just my parents surely…and wal-mart micromarketing. The final push for me though was the gigantic cross in front of one of the churches by the main highway in my city (picture not included, but seriously it’s probably visible from space.)

 

The last thing I noticed pretty quickly is how little presence Korea has in Louisiana. There isn’t a single Korean restaurant in our state capital, and only a small Asian grocery store to sell any Korean products. With this in mind I figured I’d try my hand at Whole Food Market, where out multiple shelves of food products from many different countries. This is the Korean food presence in this “multicultural store.” 

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ImageImageI think I’ve made my point. 

 

 

Tattoos in Korea

Tattoos in Korea

The first time I was invited to check out one of Seoul’s tattoo parlors my first thought was, “Aren’t tattoos illegal in Korea?” Apparently not because today I find myself at yet another tattoo shop in Korea. This one is called Sun Rat and it’s in Hongdae. As it turns out tattooing in Korea is very much alive and legal. They just require the tattoo artist to a licensed medical doctor first. You know, because why would I want an artist creating masterpieces on my arms when I can have a doctor drawing stick figures on my lower back! Luckily for y’all a lot of places with real artists (who still religiously adhere to all safety regulations like any good tattoo artist would) blatantly ignore that little rule. They can do this because the enforcing of that little law is loose at best.

However, I wouldn’t run out and get one just yet. First, think of your mother, and no not how good the word Mom would look on your bicep. Think of the company that tattooed people keep! I’ve seen these people and they aren’t the kind of guys you’d want next to you in the jimjilbang pool. I know your next question is why is this apple pie cute American girl keeping company with gangsters, thugs, and untrustworthy tattooed people then? Well obviously it’s because I’m a gangster thug! However, don’t get your hopes up that I’m unladylike boys because this belle is tattoo free (as of right now). You know, that way I can still get out of the thug life before it’s too late!

But seriously, those are the stereotypes a lot of older Koreans associate with tattoos, (gangs, unladylike, untrustworthy) but anyone younger than 40 will tell you it’s just not true. Yes tattooing used to be used in Korea to show which gang to belonged to, but then the key word here is USED TO. It’s the same in the States, Japan, etc, but we’ve moved on from that and yes Mrs. Adjumma Korea has too.  Personally I can appreciate a good tattoo, even though personally I don’t see myself getting one any time soon. They can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people and are a beautiful way to express yourself if done well. These little tattoo shops popping up around Seoul prove the minds of younger Koreans are opening to the possibilities of tattoos. I just hope the rest of Korea follows too. 🙂

Desk Warming

Today is day 1 of my February desk warming month. There is a part of me that is happy about this, because I’m being paid to show up to work and blog/reddit/watch youtube videos all day. However, there is another part of me that is really worried about extreme boredom. Really there are only so many movies one can watch before you’re stuck watching The Babysitter’s Club Movie…something I did today that I’m not proud of. Maybe if I get bored enough I’ll start studying Korean wholeheartedly and actually progress in my speaking and listening abilty. Maybe…

From COEX to Bongeunsa Temple

From COEX to Bongeunsa Temple

I started off my day today thinking I would just go to the COEX mall at Samseong Station and window shop. Maybe I would even go to the aquarium? However, after living in Korea for almost a year I’ve come to the conclusion that shopping here is pretty universal. If you’ve shopped in one place you’ve shopped in them all (give or take a price or two). Well that and the aquarium was almost 20,000W per person! Eventually my boyfriend and I got bored and wandered outside where we saw a huge Buddha statue in the distance. Being the curious foreigners that we are we set off to investigate and found this free Buddhist temple called Bongeunsa Temple. This temple is over 1,200 years old! The structures were beautiful with lanterns decorating the insides of most of them. They even had a friendly temple cat that wandered by outside the temples and meowed until someone would pet him. So cute. Sometimes Korea really amazes me though. Where else could you find a beautiful 1,200 year old Buddhist temple right across the street from Asia’s biggest underground shopping mall? I ❤ Korea.

From tumblr to wordpress, I’m moving on.

So on my tumblr lately I’ve mostly just been posting gifs about living in Korea. I love doing this and don’t plan on stopping that now, but I want this blog to fill in the gaps between my cute and simple gifs, and my lengthy and expressive youtube videos. This will be the in betweens of living my life here and what I do while I teach, travel, and learn in Korea. Here’s to new beginnings, love your faces lovelies! ❤

Hello world!

I’m a Southern girl about to embark on my first ever journey outside of the USA! I’ll be living and teaching in South Korea for 1 year. It’s a dream I have had for a couple of years now and I can’t believe it’s actually happening. That being said I want to document my year starting now. I think first things first though is for me to say goodbye to what I’ve called home for the past 22 years. Here goes…