All posts tagged: Korea

Human Totem Pole

An afternoon stroll in South Korea with the family and we came across this stop sign which caught my attention for my daughter who was sitting on my husband’s shoulders was much taller than the actual sign.  From this perspective it appears my husband is much taller than his six foot frame or that he may be standing on a rock, but the sign is shorter than the average stop signs where the highest point of this sign reached his shoulders. For Paula’s Thursday Special

Seven Days in Dynamic Busan

You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been cancelled for the next seven days and $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week. Being that I’m experiencing a bout of wanderlust right now, you don’t even know how much this scenario excites me! First off, I’d book a flight somewhere, anywhere, but here. Here are a few considerations: Distance – It has to be close enough that the commute won’t eat into my seven precious days of freedom, but far enough that it’s culturally different from Hawaiʻi and the United States. Affordability – Duh. Exploring – Whether it’s going to historical sites or enjoying the natural environment, the location should have a variety of locales to enjoy. I enjoy visiting “second cities”, like Hilo is to Honolulu. Second cities have all the modern conveniences, but possess a certain intimate charm. That being said, I’d head to Busan, South Korea. Busan is not as sprawling as Seoul, so it’s small enough to be able to feel familiar after a couple of days, yet I would …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

We walked along the shoreline of the Yongmeori Coast on Jeju-do, South Korea, and stopped at a make-shift station operated by two women selling fresh seafood. Large plastic basins were filled with cool water to keep loads of brown conch and bright orange sea squirts alive. Bottles of beer were also strategically and suggestively placed in the basins to entice visitors. We decided to indulge in the experience and as we waited, the women cracked open the conches and cut into the sea squirts, slicing them up for us to enjoy al fresco. It was the first time we tried these two foods and were all pleasantly surprised at how yummy they actually were. If we had been free of responsibilities after our little excursion, we might’ve indulged in ice cold beers as well. Oh well… There’s always a next time. Weekly Photo Challenge: Three

Kainoa’s Korean Love Affair (January 2014)

You would never know that I’m a fan of Korean pop culture just by looking at me, but my love affair with South Korea has been going strong for well over a decade. It all began in Honolulu when I watched subtitled dramas on local KBFD and it’s blossomed over the years to include music, reality shows, cooking, language, and even, history. To kick off 2014 and give you all a glimpse into what makes me tick, I’ll be doing a monthly feature of my current distractions in South Korean culture. ♥♥♥ Drama: The Prime Minister and I After Heirs ended, I latched onto a new rom-com k-drama called, The Prime Minister and I (or The Prime Minister is Dating). I initially thought the 20+ year age difference between the leads, Lee Bum Soo and SNSD’s Im Yoona, might be challenging for on-screen chemistry, but I was pleasantly surprised. They are both excellent actors with a strong supporting cast, plus the storyline is sweet. As much as I liked Heirs, this drama is light-hearted with brooding kept …

Stuff We Love/Obsess Over: Heirs

I swore never to watch another k-drama again, yet here I am, about to write an entire post on the K-drama that takes up 2 of the 5 hours I set aside every week to decompress and watch TV. You can’t know how it infuriates me that I’ve succumbed to this drama and after 14 episodes, with 6 more to go, I’ve decided to stop wasting energy on this love/hate relationship, and just go with it. So this is me, going with it. Kim Tan (Lee Min-Ho) is a chaebol and the illegitimate son of the large business conglomerate, Jeguk. We meet him at the start of the drama, living alone in California and surfing to his heart’s content. He’s not entirely alone, save for a few American friends. As a side note, there is a bit of English at the beginning of this drama, but the English speakers have an intonation and cadence that sounds like English language drills.  Cha Eun-Sang (Park Shin-Hye), flies to California from Korea to attend her sister’s wedding. She arrives to find her sister’s …

A Recovering K-Drama Addict’s Top 10

5 years ago, I had to stop watching Korean dramas (K-dramas) because of the amount of time I was spending not sleeping and barely being able to concentrate on anything else other than what I was caught up watching. It’s a good thing, considering my life has gotten so much busier and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy how emotionally invested I was becoming that I didn’t want to leave the house. So now, no more staying up until 3 am on a ridiculously early Saturday morning, convincing myself to watch “just one more episode”. No more buying boxed sets of subtitled dramas. Nope, that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss a good drama every now and then, but now I can only minimally commit, which means, I start a few episodes and once I decide I’d like to see how it ends, I head over to Drama Beans to finish the series by reading episode summaries. I also watch Korean movies, or an episode of my favorite Korean variety show, Running Man, instead. The time commitment is …

Stuff We Love: Lychee Makgeolli

Korean dramas may not be your thing, but what you can’t deny is that they give non-Koreans, a glimpse into culture. Food is the reason why I get hooked. Watching people under a pojangmacha (food tent) kicking back ddeokbokki and enjoying bottles of soju late at night in modern day Seoul, or sitting in a neighborhood restaurant wolfing down samgyeopsal in Jeju-do, Korean dramas expose us to a few everyday occurrences, even if they are glamorized representations. I first learned about makgeolli, or traditional unfiltered rice wine, on a Korean reality show and was soon curious to find out what it tasted like. The problem is, although Hilo is classified as a city, it’s not so metropolitan, so authentic Korean ingredients are somewhat limited. One day after work, Carolina and I headed over to Cham Cham, a local Korean restaurant and got to talking to the owner. Alan gave us the skinny on where to find makgeolli: Kadota’s Liquor, the same place I ducked into when I was in college to pick up the extremely affordable Strawberry Hill, in a …