A week at my non-teaching job in Seoul, South Korea

The sunny weather in Seoul this week has been a welcomed sign of hope~ I made a weekly vlog about my life here in South Korea as a designer. I am really enjoying making weekly videos about my life no matter how narcissistic it may be.

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Sushi and Cherry Blossoms

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Today was a day of sushi and cherry blossoms. The flowers are a’blooming and the birds are a’chirping because spring is a’coming people. The cherry blossoms are nature’s way of saying, ‘hey guys, everything will be okay’.

Cherry blossoms are like the training wheels of nature, they make us feel safe and sound before we summon the confidence to do life with only 2 wheels. After they’re gone, we forget they were even there! Before you know, we’ve smoothly made the winter to summer, heatech to humidity transition.

WHAT AM I SAYING? It was my first back working every day this week and my brain is a little soggy. All of this quarantine has made me lose the humorous edge that helped crown Jo So Ko as the internet’s best travel blog 12 years running.

Time to get some rest, but first, here is a video I made about my work life in Seoul! Check it out if you have nothing better to do ๐Ÿ™‚

My Korean husband cooks Jjapaguri from the movie ‘Parasite’

parasite-jjapaguri-sceneIf you fell in love with Bong Joon Ho’s latest film ‘Parasite’, you might be curious about some of the food that was featured in the Oscar-winning movie. At a very tense moment in the movie, the newly appointed maid to the Park family is asked to make a dish called ‘Jjapaguri’. The English translation is ‘Ram-don’ but the Korean name comes from the two different types of instant noodles that are used in the dish. To make Jjapaguri, you need these two types of instant noodles that you can buy from your local Korean supermarket:

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Jjapaghetti and Neoguri

I was curious to try the dish for myself and I’m lucky enough to have a Korean husband who knew exactly how to make it! We live in Korea so these ingredients are readily available. We wanted to keep the recipe as similar to the dish made in the film so we even added beef! (Beef is a very expensive ingredient here in South Korea! Pork is usually the favoured meat). Here is how our meal turned out, it was surprisingly delicious and I think I may even like it more than I like Jjapaghetti by itself:

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The soju is optional!

Feeling too uncool to be at Arco Cafe, Seongsu-dong, Seoul

If you’ve been feeling a little bit too cool with all of this staying home in your pyjamas business, then head to Seongsu to level out your ego a little bit. The customers at this new cafe, ‘Arco’, looked like they were stopping by for coffee on their way to far cooler, far more important fashion-related things. It was such a lovely cafe with a gallery/concept store on the second floor and a cafe on the ground floor. I really enjoyed our apple crumble and delicious strawberry croissant situation.

I’ve made it my goal for 2020 to make more of an effort to get some friends in this crazy city we live in. Being a foreigner in South Korea, or in any country, can get a little bit overwhelming. Besides, everyone needs to have a good old gossip over a $6 flat white from time to time. I have been so inspired and amazed by the internet community I have found here in South Korea and I hope to meet each and every human I have had an interaction with on Instagram, YouTube and here on my blog!

If you are living in a foreign country, what are some ways you like to meet new friends? Also, if you live in Seoul, and you’re reading these words, I would love to explore an area of Seoul with you? I could honestly have a meaningful conversation with a forest, so don’t worry if you’re a shy/introverted human! I don’t discriminate. Also, upon reflection, maybe telling people I want to meet up with them on the internet is a bit creepy and I totally understand if nobody ever responds to this post…

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This is a mural that was featured in Goblin (the K-drama!!)

 

 

์ •์ง€์˜์ปคํ”ผ: Korean Cafe that overlooks the Suwon Fortress

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If you’re located in the Suwon/Yongin area in Korea, visiting the Suwon Fortress is an alternative travel plan to braving the Seoul Subway system to explore Gyeongbokkung and the surrounding Hanok Village. The neighbourhoods surrounding the huge fortress, that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are super trendy yet quiet. The combination of the early spring weather and the lack of customers due to coronavirus made us feel like we were on a mini-vacation. We had a hard time choosing which amazing cafe to go to, but ์ •์ง€์˜์ปคํ”ผ was our final choice! There were two other couples waiting to go inside when we arrived. The interiors were simple, yet industrial and modern. We had a delicious coffee each and enjoyed the view of the Suwon Fortress from the rooftop while soaking up the afternoon March sun. We were also able to plan our route along the fortress while enjoying our coffee.

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Jung Jiyoung Coffee Roasters

Follow me on Instagram to see more (edited) photos and story updates. I would also love to hear your Korean cafe recommendations, I am always on the lookout for new places to go but they usually just stay saved in my phone for several months before I get there. Wishing you a happy and healthy week ahead!

 

How to Order Coffee in Korean

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Here is a little cheat sheet if you are coming to Korea and want to perfect your coffee ordering skills. This is great for those wanting to improve their skills here in Korea, or for travellers interested in the Korean language visiting Korea. Keep scrolling for an English translation.

S = Sales Assistant, C = Customer ( You!)

S: ์•ˆ๋…•ํ•˜์„ธ์š”. ์ฃผ๋ฌธํ•˜์‹œ๊ฒ ์–ด์š”? Or ๋ญ ๋“œ๋ฆด๊นŒ์š”?

C: ๋”ฐ๋œปํ•œ ์นดํŽ˜๋ผ๋–ผ ํ•œ ์ž” ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”.

S: ์‚ฌ์ด์ฆˆ๋Š” ์–ด๋–ป๊ฒŒ ํ•ด ๋“œ๋ฆด๊นŒ์š”?

C: ํ†จ ์‚ฌ์ด์ฆˆ๋กœ ํ•ด ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”.

S: ๋“œ์‹œ๊ณ  ๊ฐ€์„ธ์š”?

C: ๋„ค, ๋งž์•„์š”.

S: ๋”ฐ๋œปํ•œ ์นดํŽ˜๋ผ๋–ผ ํ†จ ์‚ฌ์ด์ฆˆ ํ•œ ์ž” ๋งž์œผ์„ธ์š”?

C: ๋„ค.

S: ๋„ค, 4,500 ์› ์ž…๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

—–beep boop beep boop credit card sounds—-

S: ์˜์ˆ˜์ฆ ๋“œ๋ฆด๊นŒ์š”?

C: ๊ดœ์ฐฎ์•„์š”. ๋ฒ„๋ ค์ฃผ์„ธ์š”.

S: ์˜†์—์„œ ์ž ์‹œ๋งŒ ๊ธฐ๋‹ค๋ ค์ฃผ์„ธ์š”.

C: ๋„ค, ๊ฐ์‚ฌํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

—–coffee machine sound—-

Barista: 36๋ฒˆ ๊ณ ๊ฐ๋‹˜, ๋”ฐ๋œปํ•œ ์นดํŽ˜๋ผ๋–ผ ๋‚˜์™”์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

C: ๊ฐ์‚ฌํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

B: ๋ง›์žˆ๊ฒŒ ๋“œ์„ธ์š”.

—–drink coffee for 4 hours—-

 

English Translation

S = Sales Assistant, C = Customer

S: Hello. Are you ready to order? Or What can I get you?

C: One cup of hot cafe latte, please.

S: What size would you like?

C: Tall size, please.

S: Is that for here?

C: Yes, that’s right.

S: So, that’s one tall hot cafe latte?

C: Yes.

S: Okay, that’s 4,500 won, please.

—–beep boop beep boop credit card sounds—-

S: Do you want a receipt?

C: It’s okay. Please throw it away.

S: Please wait over there for a moment.

C: Yes, thank you.

—–coffee machine sound—-

Barista: Customer 36, your cafe latte is ready.

C: Thank you.

B: Enjoy

—–drink coffee for 4 hours—-

A day of my life in South Korea

Good morning! If you’re new here, welcome to my blog. My name is Johanna and I make blog posts and youtube videos about my life in South Korea! Lately, I have been making the most out of having a lovely new home to live in.ย  I have been more or less stuck here since the outbreak of coronavirus here in Korea. I am a complete homebody though, so I am not complaining about having to keep indoors! Here are some images of said homebody action, followed by a YouTube video I published last week.

If you are in Korea, feeling a little bit of cabin fever, please don’t forget to get out of the house for fresh air. There are plenty of places to explore that don’t involve being surrounded by lots of people. Parks, hiking trails, rivers and playgrounds are all very quiet at this time, make the most of it! Alternatively, you could take up a new hobby like I did last year. I decided to learn how to embroider and I have really been loving it. I bought a “starter kit” from Amazon last year, check it out!

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For my pattern, I used a beautiful book by Yumiko Higuchi called ‘Embroidered Botanicals’
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Eating beef BBQ at home. For some reason, home-cooked BBQ tastes so much better than BBQ in a restaurant. A controversial opinion I’m sure.
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A rainy day in “quarantine”
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I’ve had so much spare time to do annoying household jobs like cleaning the fridge!

Things I brought back to Korea as an Australian Expat living in Seoul

Hello Internet! Living as a foreigner in a strange land can have its challenges. For example, Korean toothpaste tastes kind of weird and mild, and don’t even get me started on what they call “honey” at the supermarket. Whenever I have the chance to go back to Australia, I always keep in mind the kinds of things I need to bring back with me in order to survive in South Korea!

If you have lived abroad, you may have faced culture shock challenges. You may have also faced ‘lack of choices as a foreign consumer’ shock at your local shops. As an expat living over yonder, things like toothpaste, tampons, books (if you’re living in a non-English speaking country), yeast extract spreads for your toast (Vegemite), shoes for your foreign clown feet, bras, socks and teas are essential to bring with you.

Pro Tip: If you’re in Korea, I use iHerb for all of my foreign health product needs and Book Depository for all of my reading needs. Also, it’s worth subscribing to Book Depository’s mailing list (which they will do for you ever so kindly and unwittingly if you purchase something) because they have regular sales and deal$$.

If you thought I was going to write about these products in an in-depth way, you are wrong. I’ve discovered the wonders of YouTube and I am absolutely obsessed with filming myself, editing and putting it out into the world for everyone to judge! It’s amazing.

The quality of this video is so terrible but I am just so excited about having a new hobby that it doesn’t seem to bother me! If you are a foreigner living abroad, I would love to know what things you bring back with you to make your life a little bit more comfy – let me know in the comments below!

A Korean House Tour in Seoul, South Korea

Hello, internet world! I recently moved house, but before I did that, I managed to film a very shaky and in-depth tour of our apartment in Seoul. It cost about $700 a month and was what is called a Villa. We now live in a more spacious and cheap situation a little outside of Seoul and couldn’t be happier. Here’s to an exciting 2020 full of blog posts, picture taking, Webtoons, and YouTube videos! Hooray.

I am new to YouTube, so I don’t have many options when it comes to choosing the thumbnail. This snapshot was the least terrifying of them all. I think the idea of sharing my life in video form on the internet is kind of weird but we humans are communication fiends. I really want to share my experiences and use my new hobby to force myself to be more social, explore Korea more, and find creative ways to edit videos!

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Thank you for watching/reading/exiting immediately!