Back in November, a friend of mine got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in filming something for MAMA (the Mnet Asian Music Awards), effectively the biggest k-pop awards in the world. Despite knowing next to nothing about what it would involve, I leapt at the chance, because as a k-pop fan (and someone who says yes to every unimaginable and ridiculous thing Korea throws their way), why wouldn’t I? My friend Nieves had been asked by her friend, who knew someone at Mnet looking for foreigners to film some material for the awards. Somewhere along the way, I was […]
In Korea, once something – be it a tv show, food, place, or anything in between – becomes popular, pretty much everyone here begins indulging in that thing. You see countless posts strewn across social media on any given day depicting everyone’s interaction with said craze, and it’s a phenomenon unlike anything I’ve experienced anywhere else in the world.
These days, whenever I inform my family and friends of my latest adventures here in Korea, they’re rarely surprised. So many wonderful yet crazy opportunities have come my way in the past six months that, when I recently told them I had managed to snag myself and four friends a free weekend away exploring 전라남도 (Jeollanam-do, South Jeolla Province – the south-west of Korea), they were excited for me, but weren’t particularly amazed. When I added that it would be filmed by MBC, they remained blasé; after all, my parents mockingly asked, just how many times have I been on television here […]
The university pride in Korea is very serious, especially from students at the SKY universities – Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University – which are typically considered to be the three major schools here. Walk around Seoul as soon as the weather is cool enough to warrant a jacket, and you’ll see countless students from every university in Seoul plastered in their schools’ varsity jackets, complete with their majors embroidered on the back. I own two. Every September, an enormous sports competition is held between Korea and Yonsei, called the 고연전 (koyeonjeon – Korea/Yonsei games) – or the 연고전 […]
Every year since 2009, 청계천 (Cheongyecheon) stream in central Seoul has hosted a spectacular lantern festival. The event, which runs for around three weeks every November, features beautiful and intricate lanterns of all shapes and sizes; some depict special scenes, while others represent themes or come from corporate sponsors. There’s even a small area where visitors can construct their own lanterns, write their own messages on them, light a small candle inside, and set them out onto the stream. While in Seoul last November, I was eager to visit this festival, but unfortunately it began on the day I flew […]
Apologies for not posting for the past couple of months – I’ve been so busy with university that I’ve not really had a lot of time for anything other than studying, especially in recent weeks. However, I’m now on a much needed two week break from classes, having completed my first semester and passed Level 3 of Korean. I moved last week, too; I no longer live in my beloved Hapjeong, but am closer to my school, and share an apartment with one of my best friends here in Korea. So, now that things are finally settled – for the first […]
[Day One] I woke up early the next morning and caught a bus to the entrance of 우면산 (umyeonsan/Umyeon mountain), where Eunju, Julie and I would start our second day of Seoul exploration with a short hike and lunch. We ended up only walking for a short time before accidentally stumbling upon the very peaceful 대성사 (daesongsa/Daesong Temple), which with beautiful views across Seoul seemed like as good a place as any to stop and eat. However, the local wasp population decided to make our picnic as difficult as possible, and it wasn’t long before we just gave up and […]