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Buddha’s Birthday 2019

Sat, 2019-05-18 11:11

So I have been a little preachy in these last few posts, so I thought that I would get back to basics and just talk about one of the best times of the year here in South Korea and one that few travels really know about. I am talking about Buddha’s Birthday.

I was shocked that when I started posting my images, that there were a lot of people that were living in Korea that had limited knowledge about the event. With so many temples around Korea, I was a little put back by the messages that I received. I think many people just thought that the lanterns and elaborate decorations were limited to Jogyesa Temple in Seoul. Fortunately, they are not and many of the temples outside of Seoul have far better events and celebrations.

Tongdosa At the entrance to Tongdosa

This year is a particularly sad year for this temple as one man’s impatience and road rage lead to 1 death, another person in critical condition and 11 people injured. It is very sad new as this day is supposed to be that of celebration and happiness.

Walking up to Tongdosa

Tongdosa is always a place of quiet thought and long walks. Due to its size, tourists are generally spread out and never get too crowded with the exception of the main temple complex and in front of the museum.

In recent years, they have increased the number of lanterns along the path to the temple as well as added themed lanterns in the stream and path in front of the temple. This makes it slightly different from other temples as many focus more on the amount of personal lanterns as each of them contain a donation.

Testing out my lensball that I rarely use Beomosa This section of Beomosa always draws my eye.

Beomosa is always a great place to spend the evening. This year my wife and I spent the evening wandering around the grounds. Sadly, it was a little too cool in the night for my wife and I was a little too focussed on my work to notice. However, once I paused long enough to notice the world around me, we went straight back to the car and warmed up.

You don’t often see what lanterns and these alway look so elegant to me.

Beomosa is a temple that I go to pretty much every year. It is calm as peaceful before the big day and you can really get a sense of calm when you are there.

Over the temple grounds at Beomosa

The temple is also slowly being surrounded by nice cafes, so if you do go, you will find a place to sit within walking distance from the temple. However, I tend to usually go down to Route Coffee, my old haunt from when I taught at the university just down the road from there.

One of my favourite walks at Beomosa Bulguksa The sunsets at Bulguksa temple in Gyeongju

This year I was pleasantly surprised with my time at Bulguksa. Upon entering the grounds and my hazy creative brain as well, I was great by none other than a group of some of Busan’s finest photographers.

As the festival starts

These guys are members of the Busan Lightstalkers group who happened to be returning from an epic camping trip and decided to stop in at the temple on their way home. They caught me mid-creative fog which was mildly hilarious as I am sure that there is now photographic evidence of their odd state that I go into.

Blue hour at Bulguksa is amazing

At any rate, the temple was amazing. Not the millions of lanterns that Samgwangsa has, but just a wonderful assortment of lanterns and decorations in a UNESCO recognized temple.

Under the lanterns

The evening ended with a lantern parade around the temple. By this time my batter had died in my camera and sadly I did not think to bring a backup. Typically, I have 2 fresh batteries in my bag and like an idiot I had left them either in the charger or next to it.

shot and edited entirely on an iPhone using Flixel’s Blendeo app

Thankfully, I had my phone and I snapped a few long exposures using Flixel’s Blendeo app. This made for a nice effect with the flow of the lanterns in the parade.

Haedong Yeonggunsa The standard Haedong Yeonggunsa shot

I have been wanting to go to Haedong Yeonggunsa for a while now. I really wanted to get a drone shot of the temple from the water. I felt that this would be the perfect time to do so. The lanterns add so much to the colour and contrast in the image.

Just before the lights went out

Sadly, this visit was cut short due to the fact that the temple closed up early as they do, before the big day. Haedong Yeonggunsa also has a particular advantage when it comes to actually closing as it is one of only a few temples that has bridge leading to a single door.

Haedong Yeonggunsa Buddha’s Birthday 2019

Most temples as you can see are quite open meaning that they usually have a larger main gate for vehicle traffic and whatnot but that usually doesn’t stop too many people from wandering in. Here, the bridge leads to a single entry point which was locked by the time I finished shooting outside.

Overlooking Haedong Yeonggunsa

The also gave a huge warning by turning off all the lights momentarily. The photographers around me were none too happy about that. For me, it just happens and you have to deal with it. After all, the event is for Buddha and his worshippers, not for photographers and tourists.

Temple pagoda with shrine to drivers

I hope that you enjoyed these images. This is really my favourite time of the year in Korea and one that I fondly remember from when I first got started into photography. If you have and questions about the locations or editing process either drop me a line here or send me an email.

Also if you are coming to Korea and would like me to show you some of these places, let me know. If you get in contact, I can make arrangements and take you around as I am slowly starting to do more photo tour here in Korea.

The post Buddha’s Birthday 2019 appeared first on The Sajin.


People are (still) people

Fri, 2019-05-17 02:40

“People are people so why should it be
you and I should get along so awfully?”
– Depeche Mode

To borrow a line from folks older than me, the world today is lacking in civility. This is especially evident when various sacred cows enter the conversation. Even now, I am thinking about how to carefully present myself as to not offend “all sides” enough to either stop reading or proceed to flame comment me to Mars. But, as a cynical left-leaning centrist from New Jersey, I must admit to a few of my own pre-conceived notions about how things are.

Dispelling a few of these notions, or at least learning to better separate someone’s politics from the person is another benefit of this road trip around the United States.

“But, John,” you might be saying to a computer screen, in which case, get outside. “How could you possibly defend this particular person or that particular policy when they approve of this particular terrible thing or that particular terrible idea?”

To answer this hypothetical question, guilty voice inside my head, I’m not defending anything. Unless you want to say I am defending the seemingly lost of art of not being mad at everything all the fucking time. Then, yes, I am defending that.

I am also defending my own right to augment my own ideas of how things are.

Just because I talked to the wine maker at the winery with what I consider a questionable wine name…

Yes, they have a wine called “2nd Amendment Right” with a gun on its label. That’s different.

…does not mean I have been converted. Nor does it mean I don’t think those ideas are any less questionable. What it did do is humanize people who beforehand were some nebulous terrible concept. The “other,” those ignorant, gun-loving hicks and other far less kind comments I have made. That’s not nice. It’s not civil. It’s also pretty hypocritical when I start throwing names out about people regarding ignorance and then proceed to learn nothing about them other than they want to ban this or that or voted for this or that asshole or “they like guns,” which likely would barely scratch the surface of their beliefs, one would hope. They’re still people, I don’t have to agree with them. I can even aggressively disagree with them. But, they’re still people. I have often forgotten that, and I am sure I’m not the only one on either side of many arguments.

In the case of the winery, a certain belief in a thing I am on the opposite end nearly derailed what ended up being a pleasant surprise (we were on I-64 heading to Indiana and just happened to see a sign for the winery and thought, “why not?”). We bought a bottle (not the one with a big gun on the label) and went on. The winemaker poured us some wine, we tried some wine, he was nice and we were nice. This is something that seems to have become endangered, which is unfortunate for a number of reasons you may or may not think about. But, for one, when both sides of an argument devolve into mad foaming at the mouth animals, there is even less possibility of either side meeting somewhere in the middle, if only for a glass of wine. Not to change policies or change minds, just for a drink. That sucks, because I like wine.

And if the conversation did head to politics, maybe we could all be a little less rabid and dismissive. Not of one’s particular beliefs, but of the idea that those ideas exist and why. This is another benefit of our road trip.

We also saw an old-fashioned country jam session at a Moose lodge that served simple but filling food. Do any of these folks have political leanings and beliefs that likely skew far in the opposite direction of this cynical left-leaning centrist from New Jersey? Quite possibly. But, they were nice. And, their music was great. And, there is a time and place to discuss one’s political beliefs and whether or not they align with mine. A Wednesday night Moose lodge jam session is not one of them.

So, why not enjoy some excellent music and some good vibes? It doesn’t change your beliefs. If it does, they must not have been very strong in the first place.

JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.

How To Say ‘Wait’ In Korean

Thu, 2019-05-16 19:53
How to Say ‘Wait’ in Korean – 80/20*


     Wait – 기다리다 (gidarida)


How to remember (association):

     Wait for my niece, this kid is a reader. (기다리다/gidarida)

*80/20 Pareto Principle – The 20% you should learn that will give you 80% of the results.


Today we will go over how to say ‘wait’ in Korean. Read on for meaning, explanation, and examples of this Korean vocabulary. ‘Wait’ no longer, let’s get right into learning!


Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes!


‘Wait’ in Korean

The word for how to say wait in Korean is 기다리다 (gidarida). This is the basic form of the verb, and it will transform depending on the level of politeness and type of conjugation used. For example, when used with past tense, future tense, imperative, or in its noun form. Luckily, the use of the verb 기다리다 is just as simple as other regular verbs in the Korean language. Additionally, the only translation for the word ‘wait’ in Korean is 기다리다, so there is no need to get confused while learning several words with slightly different meanings.

Photo Credit: freepik

To remember how to say wait in Korean we’ll create an English association for it. This can be any word, phrase, or image that helps you recall the Korean word and its meaning.

So how can we remember 기다리다? We can break it down into two parts:

기다 – sounds like kid a

리다 – sounds like reader

So imagine that you’re at the bookstore and your friends want to leave but you have to wait for your niece.


Wait for my niece, this kid is a reader. (기다리다/gidarida)

What associations can you think up to remember 기다리다? Remember, the more unique or strange the story is, the easier it is to remember.

Related Vocabulary

대기하다 (daegihada) – be on standby

대기번호 (daegibeonho) – waiting number

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Sample Sentences

Formal Examples:

1. 잠깐 기다려 주세요. → Please wait a moment.

    (jamkkan gidaryeo juseyo.)

Standard Examples:

1. 벌써 1시간동안 기다리고 있어요. → I have already been waiting for 1 hour.

    (beolsseo 1sigandongan gidarigo isseoyo.)

2. 저는 기회를 기다렸다가 마침내 그 남자한테 고백했어요. → I waited for an opportunity and finally confessed to that guy.

     (jeoneun gihoereul gidaryeotdaga machimnae geu namjahante gobaekaesseoyo.)

3. 밤이라서 버스를 한시간 넘어서 기다려야 했었어요. → I had to wait for the bus for more than an hour since it’s night time.

    (bamiraseo beoseureul hansigan neomeoseo gidaryeoya haesseosseoyo.)

4. 시험 결과가 나올때까지 한달동안 기다리게 되었어요. → I have to wait for a month to before the exam results are out.

    (siheom gyeolgwaga naolttaekkaji handaldongan gidarige doeeosseoyo.)

5. 어쩔 수 없이 사장님 나갈때까지 기다려 봐야 할 것 같아요. → Looks like we have no choice but to wait and see until the boss leaves.

    (eojjeol su eopsi sajangnim nagalttaekkaji gidaryeo bwaya hal geot gatayo.)

6. 왜 기다리지 않았어요? → Why didn’t you wait?

    (wae gidariji anasseoyo?)

Informal Examples:

1. 늦어서 미안해. 나를 오래 기다렸어? → I’m sorry for being late. Did you wait a long time for me?

    (neujeoseo mianhae. nareul orae gidaryeosseo?)

2. 날 기다려줘! → Please wait for me!

    (nal gidaryeojwo!)

3. 좀만 더 기다려. → Wait just a little bit longer.

    (jomman deo gidaryeo.)

4. 왜 나를 이렇게 기다리게 했지? → Why did you make me wait like this?

    (wae nareul ireoke gidarige haetji?)

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!

The post How To Say ‘Wait’ In Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Can you believe it's 2019?

Thu, 2019-05-16 18:18
2019 has been a challenging year so far.
We are now living in Singapore, we've both left our jobs and trying to figure out what to do/where to be next. I've finally taken a career break after many sleepless nights wondering what would be the best choice - I left my career when it was at it's peak; I was working as a recruiter for a multinational company and drawing a salary that was much higher than most my peers. I never regretted this decision, although there are days I feel anxious thinking about the money I could earned if I had continued. 
My husband left the Korean company he was working for after a difficult 2 years. We learned that Koreans will always be Koreans even if the KR firm is based in another country. He's taking a short break to prepare for his AICPA exams and I really hope he completes it this time.
I would never trade anything for this moment! It feels like the weekends everyday and we get to wake up, do chores & run errands together.
Here are some photos from our winter trip in Feb.
We stayed a night at the Ski Resort and had chicken + beer for dinner!

Never again! All these gear just for a couple of pictures.

I loved this glamping site! The owners were nice and provided great hospitality. This glamping trip could not have happened without my husband as they only speak Korean.

Sis & I got to be like little kids again.

This picture was taken in the morning after sunrise but it started snowing a little past midnight. We woke up at 5am for a toilet break and saw the most beautiful sight ever - in the extreme darkness and silence you could see and hear white flakes of snow tapping lightly on our tents.

We stayed in an apartment that was right at the Gwananri Beach. We could see the Gwanan Daegyo (광안대교) from our window.

We had breakfast in a nearby cafe by the bridge. I can't explain how/why but it just tastes different from the brunch we have in Singapore.
Maxi will always be the puppy we remember him to be. My husband would always make time to play with Maxi whenever we went back.


The Singaporean Girlfriend

Stuck on you: Stuffed at the Iron Fork food festival (St. Louis, MO)

Wed, 2019-05-15 06:30

Before we begin our actual road trip tomorrow, there is plenty to share from the past three weeks Jen and I have spent in her home state of Missouri. I will try to cover it all over the next several days if I can.

As an ignorant, elitist east coaster who has considered New Jersey wine some of the best ever produced (I’m not so ignorant as to not recognize such a claim might dismiss my opinions by many, but I am holding firm), I was so pleasantly surprised by the Missouri wine industry. With little knowledge of spirits, I was less surprised but still exceedingly pleased by the gin and whiskey we enjoyed and purchased at Pinckney Bend Distillery in New Haven. Having been in South Korea the past six years, I had a little knowledge of the craft beer boom in the U.S. but have yet to fully grasp its scope. So, I was not entirely surprised when Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade in St. Charles tapped into my lifelong love of video games and my adultlong appreciation for suds.

One area I was not at all surprised to find was good was the region’s food culture. I mean, does any place really have “bad” food culture? Maybe. Then again, I have the tendency to find the good in any food, whether it be the most ubiquitous fast food offerings or the most artisanal, organic, farm-to-fork farkers out there.

Speaking of forks, we got a fantastic taste of the St. Louis area’s restaurant offerings and the quirky and inviting City Museum of St. Louis at the annual Riverfront Times “Iron Fork” competition last week.

Think Iron Chef, the cooking competition program that began in Japan in the 1990s and eventually made its way to the U.S. Chefs are given a food item for which they have a set amount of time to prepare various dishes that incorporate that item, with a panel then sampling those offerings and then judging whose reigned supreme. For the record, I preferred the original.

Also, for the record, Jen and I did not actually see this competition during the Iron Fork. There were too many people, too many food stalls to sample and far too much fun to be had in the museum, which was open after hours for the event only.

I feel bad for anyone who tried to suggest this place to their kids but didn’t explain it well enough. “The City Museum? Museum? No, thanks, mom, I want to play the iPad or whatever the kids are doing these days” I imagine them saying. For shame. City Museum is an awesome hands-on playground and something I totally did not expect.

Expect the unexpected. City Museum is a hundred-year-old warehouse in downtown St. Louis in which artists have repurposed the pieces of old cities to build miles of tunnels, slides, climbers, bridges, and castles.  There are secret passages and grand galleries. Playgrounds and ball pits. A circus and a train. A rooftop school bus and a Ferris wheel.

The food was copious. Sample portions (as many as you wanted to grab) of, and this is only from memory: tuna poke on crispy wonton chips, ceviche atop cucumber, vegan ceviche with marinated beets, pulled pork tacos, macaroni and cheese x3 (was there more? I lost count), pizza, smoked pulled turkey, fried raviolis (a St. Louis tradition, apparently), falafel fries with incredible tzatziki, and plenty of booze sample booths on top of the five drink tickets baked into our completely-worth-it $45 admission fee. Take that, overpriced New Zealand Wine Festival in Korea. Moving to Ananti Cove is not a good enough excuse to nearly doubling your admission fee in a few years.

Once we’d had our (over) fill (I realize how few food photos we took. Too busy enjoying it), we focused most of our mental energy into the museum itself, which featured various hands-on (and body-in) exhibits, giant slides, interactive fish tanks, and even a retro arcade.

Being after hours, a few things were unfortunately closed, including the roof. Will we come back during regular hours? Definitely. This time, I won’t feel like a stuck pig at the end of a fork heading toward my already overfilled mouth, however. I’m still full.


Sushi Roll – Shrimp Tempura (Fried Shrimp)

Tue, 2019-05-14 01:05

In this sushi making video, we show you how to make breaded fried shrimp tempura for use in sushi rolls. Tempura shrimp sushi is a bit more involved than the California Roll. This involves stretching the shrimp, breading and frying it. Then we show you how to roll the sushi and also, optionally, how to add a layer of avocado to the top (avocado sushi roll).

Please take a look at our shrimp tempura sushi roll video here. Below is a shopping list and more details.

Shopping List

You’ll need to get some equipment for making sushi if you don’t have it already. You can find most everything at your local Asian supermarket or online.

  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Plastic wrap and/or wax paper
  • Cooking thermometer (for best results… temperature is important when frying)
  • Deep pot for frying
Ingredients Tempura ‘Breaded’ Shrimp
  • Medium-large shrimp (we use 21-25 count per pound)
  • Bread crumbs
  • Tempura flour
    • 3-parts flour
    • 1-part starch
    • 1/2-part salt
  • Cooking oil
Sushi Roll
  • Medium grain sushi rice
  • ‘Nori’ seaweed sheets – Also labeled as ‘kimbab’ seaweed (김밥 김)
  • Avocado – Buy it hard and leave it out a day – Avoid mushy, over-ripe avocados
Directions Tempura Shrimp

This is just a disclaimer that we aren’t making traditional ‘tempura’ shrimp. The traditional process is more complicated and creates a much thicker shrimp, which is great as a side-dish but not so good when rolling half-sheet sushi.

  1. Remove shell and de-vein. Stretch shrimp by making straight cuts at each segment on the underside and diagonal cuts (head-to-tail direction) between each segment on the top. Bend shrimp and pull lightly. You should feel a snapping at each segment.
  2. With dry tempura flour, coat each shrimp.
  3. Mix water and tempura flour until runny and coat shrimp again.
  4. Coat shrimp with bread crumbs.
  5. In deep pot, add oil and heat to 175ºC/350ºF.
  6. Add shrimp, 3~4 at a time. Watch temperature. Evaporation/bubbling will lower temperature.
  7. Check color. Remove when golden-brown.
Sushi Rolling

How to get started teaching English in a country w/ no job lined up and only $250

Sun, 2019-05-12 18:48

First off I am not advising that you do this. I previously wrote about how much money you need to move to Asia with to get started working as an English teacher.

And that was based on an ideal.


Sometimes you can't get the money together or things just aren't ideal. So let's say you get there, but you only have a little money to your name and all of your documents ready.

How can you make it work?

Well, I know you can because I have been close to broke many times in a foreign land and I still made it work.

First off..

Don't go to Reddit and r/tefl and ask this question. That forum and many of the other Reddit forums are full of pragmaticists and naysayers.

My experience...

I pretty much moved to every place I ever taught in Asia (China, Korea, Taiwan) with about $2000 to my name and no job lined up. It took about a month or more to find suitable work. 

And I currently live in Japan and moved here with maybe $3000, but I don't teach English now.


I know that's probably what you don't want to hear if you only have $200 to your name. 

But in China, Korea and Taiwan it took time for me to find decent places because I was a little picky. Also having an urgent need for money will make you act because if your need is not urgent then you can procrastinate.

So how can you make it work?

It's possible. Don't doubt it my friend. You can do it. Here's how...

1. Look for sub jobs

Look for positions working as a substitute English teacher in the city you are located in. Many of the big cities have local expat sites where they advertise jobs that may be long or short term.

These short term positions can be good for a few reasons, but for you they are good because you can get some cash after you work.

These positions can last anywhere from a day to a week or even more. And you can negotiate with the school as to when you get paid, but it's possible to get paid after your first day.

2. Find free housing (3 ways)

A big expense for you is going to be housing and if you don't want to pitch a tent then you need some place to stay right?

So first...

Go to hostels and see if you can do some work for them to get a free bed. Often hostels will "employ" people to make beds and clean for a free place to stay.

If you can't find a hostel then you can look into volunteer programs like Workaway or WWOOF and see if they have any positions near you. WWOOFing positions are often rural, but you can check. And Workaway positions can be both rural and urban.

If options one and two don't work for you check out Couchsurfing and see if you can find a place to stay with someone for the short term or at least for a few days.

3. Ask for an advance in pay

So if you are looking for a job then it's entirely possible that you could get an advance in pay if you ask. Now you should know that most private institutes in Asia will pay a month and a half later or close to that.

So let's say that you start your job on May 1st in a private academy. Chances are that you won't get paid your salary until the 10th to 15th of June.


In Taiwan and Korea after I found work there I was pretty short on cash and I asked my employer for an advance and they did. I think they might have made me work a week or so before they did that though.

So just ask.

And if they don't want to help then that might be a sign that you don't want to work there. Also I wouldn't ask this question until they offer you a job.


It's entirely possible to get started teaching English in a foreign country with just a little money to your name. It's not ideal and it can be difficult, but it's possible. 

If you look for positions as a substitute teacher you can get some cash in the short term. And if you look at volunteer positions, working in a hostel or Couchsurfing you can find free housing.

And if you just ask your new employer for an advance and tell them your situation it's possible that they will advance you some money before payday.

Lastly, always do your research before you go because some countries will require paperwork like apostilled diplomas, certificates, criminal background checks, etc. to get a job.

And those things take time and cost money.

 ESLinsiderThings You Probably Didn't Know About Teaching English In Asia, But Should Know

Trump’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ with China: Huntington’s Model doesn’t even work in East Asia

Sun, 2019-05-12 10:31
Trump’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ with China

This is a re-post of an essay I wrote for The National Interest a week ago.

Basically my argument is that even if you are a hawk on China and see it as an emerging competitor or even threat to the US, the clash of civilizations framework is a weak analytical model by which to understand Sino-US tension.

The big problem is that Huntington builds his civilizations everywhere else in the world around religion, but in East Asia he can’t, because that would make China and Japan – who are intense competitors – allies in a Confucian civilization. Making Japan and China allies would be ridiculous, so Huntington can’t use Confucianism as a civilization, even thought that so obviously fits his model for East Asia. Hence, Huntington falls back on national labels, identifying separate ‘Sinic’ and ‘Nipponic’ civilizations. This ad hoc prop-up of the theory undercuts Huntington’s whole point of arguing that national distinctions are giving way to civilizational ones and that therefore we should think of future conflicts as between civilizations, not nation-states. Well, apparently East Asia didn’t make that shift; conflict here is still nationalized. So

There are other issues I bring up as well, but that’s the main problem. Please read the essay after the jump…



Kiron Skinner, the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, ignited a controversy last week when she analogized Sino-US competition to a clash of civilizations. There has been a good deal of pushback from international relations academics (here, here). Many noted that Samuel Huntington’s famous thesis (article, book) has not actually been born out much. There have not in fact been wars since his writing that have been as epochal as the ‘civilizational’ label would suggest. And Skinner’s particular comment that China will be America’s first “great power competitor that is not Caucasian” sparked a lot of extra controversy that ‘civilization’ was being use as rhetorical cover for the Trump administration’s persistent flirtation with white nationalism.

But one problem in all this not yet pointed out is how poorly Huntington’s model actually fits the dynamics of conflict in East Asia. The argument got its greatest boost from the post-9/11 war on terrorism. There, religious conservatives – on both sides ironically – saw the conflict as much as a millennial clash between Islam and Christianity, as between the US and rather small, if radical, terrorist networks. Huntington’s book was even re-issued with a cover depicting a collision between Islam and the US. But in East Asia, the thesis really struggles.

The central variable defining Huntington’s civilizations is religion. This is why the argument feels so intuitive for the war on terror, where religion is a powerful, obvious undercurrent. But in East Asia, religious conflict was never as sharp as in the West, Middle East, and South Asia. Nor did religion define polities in East Asia as sharply. Confucianism and Buddhism were obviously socially influential, but they generated nothing like the wars of the Reformation or the jihads of early Islam.

So while much of the world is coded by Huntington via religion, he struggles to use that in East Asia. Instead, he falls back on nationality mostly – coding China, the Koreas, and Vietnam as ‘Sinic’ and Japan as ‘Nipponic.’ He also suggested a Buddhist civilization in southeast Asia, as well as Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

All this is analytically pretty messy, however interesting. First, the most obvious benchmark for Huntington to use in East Asia, since he focuses on the world’s major religions elsewhere, is Confucianism. Whether coded as a social philosophy or religion, there is little doubt that Confucius’ writings had a huge impact on China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. But if Huntington had done the obvious and tagged a Confucian civilization including these four players, he would have made the laughably inaccurate argument that those states are natural, i.e., cultural/religious/civilizational, allies.

In reality of course, there is a lot of traditional national interest-style conflict – the kind Huntington says has been replaced by civilizational bloc-building – in the Confucian space. China and Japan are obvious competitors, and the East China Sea is a serious potential hot-spot now. The Koreas are still very far apart ideologically, and neither feels much affective affinity for China or Japan. And China and Vietnam also sliding toward competition in the South China Sea.

So Huntington is stuck; his model does not work in northeast Asia. So to save it, he carves out Japan as a separate civilization defined by nationality, not religion, with little explanation. He then lumps the Koreas and Vietnam under a Chinese-nationality defined ‘Sinic’ civilization, which, in my teaching experience, Korean and Vietnamese readers find either typical American ignorance or vaguely offensive.

The Buddhist civilization of southeast Asia struggles analytically too. Do Mongolia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka have enough in common to bin together? Why isn’t South Korea, where Buddhism was long influential and still very much alive, put into this civilization? Do these states communicate or cooperate with each other in any way that much reasonably defined as ‘buddhistic’? The answer is almost certainly that Huntington did not know or really care that much – likely as he did not know what to do with non-Arab Africa, so he just labels it all one ‘African’ civilization and moves on.

The thesis was really designed to explain the collisions in southeastern Europe (the Balkan wars of the 1990s) and the Middle East between Muslim-majority states and their neighbors, and this is where it continues to be most persuasive when taught. In east Asia though, it falls down pretty quickly. The units of analysis (civilizations) are not constructed in that region around the variable (religion) which Huntington uses elsewhere, and the conflicts of the region have little to do with religion, because organized religion was not as influential in East Asia’s political past as it was elsewhere.

So if this is to be the Trump model for US foreign policy – and it certainly seems to be the administration’s preferred mode to address Islam – it will lead to bizarre predictions and behaviors. The ‘Confucians,’ Buddhists, and East Asian ‘non-Caucasians’ are not going to ally against the United States. China, for all its ‘Sinic’ cultural difference from the West is also, obviously, deeply influenced by Western political thought – most obviously Marxism-Leninism, and, today, capitalism.

We may well fall into a cold war with China; prospects for a benign, or at least transactional, Sino-US relationship are narrowing. But there is no need to over-read that competition as an epochal civilizational clash and thereby make it worse and more intractable. That kind of thinking applied to 9/11 lead to wild overreaction, as we read salafist-jihadist networks as a far greater threat than they were. If we do that with China, which really is very powerful, our competition with it will be that much sharper and irresolvable.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University



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How to Make a Korean Study Notebook

Sat, 2019-05-11 00:16

Everyone who's studying Korean has some sort of notebook or system that they use for writing down what they're learning - most of the time it's a notebook or several notebooks. When studying grammar or writing down notes and example sentences, there's no substitute for a good study notebook.

And everyone has their own method for making a study notebook and keeping it organized. This is to be expected, because everyone learns in their own ways. And if you have something that already works, keep using it. However, I wanted to make a video that could give some general tips for making a study notebook, for those of you who might not have one or who want some advice.

These are my own personal tips for how to make and organize a Korean study notebook. This video includes all of the methods that I have used before, and which ones worked well for me.

If you do things differently, do let me know in a comment here or below the video. Thanks for watching!

The post How to Make a Korean Study Notebook appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.




Don’t Be So Desperate! For Every Photo You Post, Do This

Fri, 2019-05-10 17:33

I know that the squirt of dopamine that you get from posting photos to every site is a rush. I do it too. I get high from a night out of great photography and all I want to do is show the world my images. I want EVERYONE to see them. I will hammer every. single. site. with my images. Then sit back and wonder why nobody is interacting.

The $1.80 Rule View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Gary Vay-Ner-Chuk (@garyvee) on Apr 18, 2019 at 4:44pm PDT

Recently, I saw a post by Gary Vaynerchuck that got me thinking. Now, I will say that a lot of these so-called Social media “gurus” have a lot to say but not much of which is actually actionable unless you are a 20-something Coachella goddess or look like a male model. However, he made a point that got this 40-year-old bald photographer thinking. He brought up the idea of giving people your “2 cents” and then everyday investing $1.80 into instagram. Not real money but investing the time to like and comment on people’s images. Essentially, giving them your 2 cents or rather your thoughts.

This is similar to what Chase Jarvis talks about when he mentions “the other 50%” and how that is what a lot of creatives miss, myself included. So again, what does all this mean for the average photographer who isn’t island hopping with a group of bikini-clad influencers? It means that you have to put the work in. It means going through your feeds and looking at other photographers’ work, liking and commenting on it. Not just the big names but the others out there that are just like you.

If each comment is worth $0.02 then to hit that $1.80 you will need to comment about 90 times. At first this seems like a lot and in truth it sort of is. However, if you are smart about it then it sort of becomes a routine. Also, consider the fact that the people who are really making it in today’s world of “social photography” are the ones that ARE investing the time into their social media game. Now, they may have a team of people doing for them, but they are still putting that time in somehow.

Don’t Be Desperate

When I see people posting images EVERYWHERE and either not doing anything else or just giving the bare minimum is seems like a desperate attempt at getting attention. They are expecting people to flood their feed with compliments day after day but never reciprocate. If you are expecting me to invest my time or 2 cents into your work without giving anything in return, chances are that this approach will not get me to come back to your page or feed. This goes well beyond simply thanking me for the comment too. Take the time and pop into the person’s feed and see what they have.

Commenting is important. It encourages people and in return, they reciprocate by checking your stuff out, which is basically want you want, right? Just be genuine about it. Don’t spam, try being a part of the community. Better yet, try helping other photographers if they need it.

When I see people posting the same image to 10 different photo groups on facebook and then posting it on instagram, I don’t really feel the urge to comment. It’s like that guy at the party that goes on and on about the great trip he had but never checks to see if anyone is interest or stops to hear what other people have to say. Then you hear the same guy tell the same story to another group of people. Chances are that you are not going to be anymore interested in the story than the first time you heard it. I feel the same goes for photographers.

What To Do/ What I Did

Take some time and be a part of the community… without ramming your photos down people’s throats. Spend some time commenting and engaging others. Seems simple, right? It is but it does take some daily effort.

I set out to see what would happen if I invested my $1.80 into Instagram and really work on the “social” part of the “other 50%” of the game. It had some interesting results.

Scrolling through the top posts in Flume. You can hover over the thumbnail and click “L” to like and “C” to comment.

Each morning I would sit down and open up an app called “Flume” which allows me to post, comment, and like from my computer. This allowed me to greatly speed up my liking and commenting thanks to Keyboard shortcuts.

The interface also allows me to quickly scroll through my feed and like and comment very quickly. Not to mention that I can also upload via Flume as well. This means that I can comfortably invest that $1.80 without too much effort. I just choose the hashtags that I am interested and and start liking the photos that I like.

The interface of Flume helps streamline your process. It has everything the facebook app has but I find that I can get things done faster with flume and not to mention post to my accounts as well.

With regards to facebook, I am an admin for a number of photo clubs around South Korea where I have been based for the last 15 years or so. I have pushed for the old flickr style of “post 1, comment 1” rule for the groups. People are encouraged to post their photos but also comment on others as well. This was done for the most part because I saw a trend of people dumping photos in every group that they could. This included myself as I had a bad habit of doing this. However, slowing people down and getting them to look at other photos in the group had an interesting effect.

What Happened

Let’s just say that Gary was right. By commenting on other photographer’s photos and investing my time there, it gave me a boost in engagement. Nothing too crazy but I did notice that it carried over to my photos even when I had not posted anything for a bit. Meaning, that typically you get that boost of engagement when you post a photo and it dies down after a day or so. That is why experts recommend posting everyday or multiple times a day.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jason Teale (@jtealephoto) on May 6, 2019 at 5:27pm PDT

When I invested my time into commenting more than I was posting, it was reciprocated onto my feed. Even accounts that I have followed for awhile but never engaged with came around. Comments on my photos increased and so did my followers.

Sadly, I forgot to run the numbers as I was doing this but I can say that I got a few more followers each day that I put the time in. For me, that is a good thing. If you are looking for more followers, then perhaps look into Trey Ratcliff’s new book. You will get an idea of how not to do things and what happens when you try and cheat the system.

For facebook, it was a double edged sword. The commenting brought one group back to life and effectively killed off another. The commenting allowed for one group to feel more comfortable and get to know one another. While in the other group, it stopped the posts all together. Truthfully, that already had been happening for a number of reasons. This was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The bottomline there is that you have to put the work into building a following through networking. If you want to work and get your name out there in the community then you will have to not just produce great content but be active in the areas that you want to be known in.

We live in an age where everyone can make a pretty picture. In my last post I talked about certain areas getting slammed with instagrammers. It happens in landscape photography. Someone sees your shot and then goes out there and takes a better one and you feel robbed.

The one thing that is harder to replicate is the effort put into building a network of friends, followers and colleagues. They can’t simply drive up and take your following. That takes time and effort and if you are willing to put the work into this it may pay off in the long run.

I say “may” as it won’t always work. I have failed many times at building communities. I have used my network to help get jobs for other photographers only to get nothing in return but a “thanks buddy!” as they get paid and never return the favour. That will happen. However, the harder you work the strong your network and following will be.

So if you are asking yourself why people are not commenting and liking your stuff, maybe ask yourself how much you are liking theirs? Invest the time.

The post Don’t Be So Desperate! For Every Photo You Post, Do This appeared first on The Sajin.

Geumyongam Hermitage – 금용암 (Dongnae, Busan)

Fri, 2019-05-10 14:48
The eerie view behind the main hall at Geumyongam Hermitage in Dongnae, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Geumyongam Hermitage is located on the southern slopes of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5m). The hermitage lies just east of the very busy Mandeok Tunnel on the far western part of Dongnae in central Busan.

Geumyongam Hermitage is situated up a small road after exiting the much larger and busier bend in the road along the first of Mandeok’s tunnels. The small hermitage’s road zigs and zags its way up the mountain, until you eventually come to the hermitage’s grounds. The first thing to greet you is a mature bamboo forest to your right and the hermitage’s kitchen and visitors centre to your left.

Past both, you’ll see the temple’s main hall in the elevated courtyard to the rear of the hermitage’s facilities. The exterior walls to the main hall are adorned with fading Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals in a blue pastel hue. Stepping inside the main hall, and sitting all alone on the main altar inside a glass enclosure, is a golden statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). To the right of the main altar is the hermitage’s Shinjung Taenghwa, guardian mural. And to the left is a colourful mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Adorning the interior of the main hall are various Buddhist motif murals like the Bodhidharma in the back left corner and a pair of painted screens that flank the main altar.

To the left rear of the main hall is a smaller sized shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). The stone statue of the Buddha is surrounded by a beautiful nimbus. There is another shrine, but it seems to have been taken down.

To the left of this former shrine, and next to a small mountain stream, you’ll find a set of stone stairs that leads up to the temple’s Sanshin/Chilseong-gak. Interestingly, there are two separate entries to this shaman shrine hall: the one to the right is for Chilseong (The Seven Stars), while the door to the left is meant for Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). However, once you step inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll notice that there is also a mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) hanging on the far right wall. In the centre hangs a red mural of Chilseong. And to the far left, you’ll see a rather regal image of Sanshin. The exterior walls to the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak are adorned with beautiful floral and dragon paintings.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Dongnae subway stop, Line 1, subway stop #125, you’ll need to go through exit #3 to get a taxi. From this station, it’ll take 7 minutes, or 3 kilometres, and cost 4,100 won.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. Geumyongam Hermitage is beautifully located. It has an eerie feel to it because of the mature trees that surround and envelop the hermitage at times. The artwork in and around the hermitage grounds are beautiful including the Sanshin mural and the Shimu-do murals.

The road that leads up to Geumyongam Hermitage. The mature bamboo forest along the way. The main hall at Geumyongam Hermitage. The main altar inside the main hall with Gwanseeum-bosal seated all by herself. The temple Shinjung Taenghwa mural. A mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal inside the main hall. The Bodhidharma mural that adorns one of the interior walls of the main hall. A painted screen that also adorns one of the interior main hall walls. Just outside the main hall at Geumyongam Hermitage. A shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul just to the rear of the main hall. I guess this was once a shrine. A look at the a pair of Shimu-do murals, as well as a fish wind chime and intricate latticework. The pathway that leads up to the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak. A better look at the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak. This dragon mural adorns one of the exterior walls to the shaman shrine hall. A painting of a magnolia tree in bloom that also adorns the shaman shrine hall. The mural of Chilseong that hangs inside the shaman shrine hall. To the right hangs this dour painting of Dokseong. And to the left hangs this regal image of Sanshin. The view from the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak.

July 22 - 31, 2018Schedcation 8.0 started by flying into Mexico...

Fri, 2019-05-10 02:30

July 22 - 31, 2018

Schedcation 8.0 started by flying into Mexico City, taking a bus to San Miguel de Allende, and then flying out of Leon/Guanajuato (BJX).

The women loved our terrace apartment while the guys had their spot in the heart of La Condesa. 

For museums, we missed out on booking our tickets in time for visiting Casa Luis Barragan, found Soumaya more beautiful on the outside than in, fell in love with Frida all over again at the Blue House, became art at Jumex, and enjoyed the library as art more than usual.

Good things we ate include: tuna tostadas and mezcal at La Capital, tostadas with garlic at La Costilla, tacos at Tacos Tony, al pastor gringa at El Vilsito, chicken sandwich at Cicatriz, snack at Falafelito, breakfast at Ojo de Agua, and churros at Churrería El Moro

After the chartered bus to San Miguel de Allende, we had our own villa in a small, sometimes noisy neighborhood. Within walking distance was Restaurante El Coyote Flaco, where you could walk through the cava el vampiro to see mammoth remains, no joke.

Taking Ubers into and out of town were a little more difficult, but we loved the city. My favorite place we ate was El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes, owned by a husband and wife, they’ll treat you like family within minutes of meeting you.

This trip we celebrated 10 years as a completely bootstrapped company. I’m proud of what we worked on and we really deserved all the micheladas we had (and more). 


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


How To Say ‘Cosmetics’ In Korean

Thu, 2019-05-09 17:52
How to Say ‘Cosmetics’ in Korean – 80/20*


     Cosmetics  –화장품 (hwajangpum)


How to remember (association):

     What make-up genre is booming now? (화장품/hwajangpum)

*80/20 Pareto Principle – The 20% you should learn that will give you 80% of the results.


Read on to learn more about how to say ‘cosmetics’ in Korean along with tips for remembering it.


If there is one thing you will absolutely fall in love with once arriving in Korea, if you haven’t already, it’s Korean cosmetics. Particularly for women, but even catering to men now, the quality of Korean cosmetics is incredible. There are a large variety of brands to choose from, and all while prices are mostly affordable, depending on the brand.


Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes!



‘Cosmetics’ in Korean

The word for how to say cosmetics in Korean is 화장품 (hwajangpum). The word 화장 (hwajang) means makeup, while the word 품 indicates item – although 품 on its own does not mean anything. The word 화장품 considers all cosmetics products, but generally does not include skin care. See ‘Related Vocabulary‘ below for more on that.

Photo Credit: macrovector

To remember how to say cosmetics in Korean we’ll create an English association for it. This can be any word, phrase, or image that helps you recall the Korean word and its meaning.

So how can we remember 화장품? This takes a bit of imagination. Let’s break it down.

There are three elements, 화 – 장 – 품, so to remember it better let’s associate them with similar sounding English words.

   화 – what

   장 – genre

   품 – boom

From these we’ll create a story to learn the vocabulary and its meaning.


What make-up genre is booming now? (화장품/hwajangpum)

What associations can you think up to remember 화장품? Let us know in the comments! Remember, the more unique or strange the story is, the easier it is to remember.

  Related Vocabulary 한글 (Korean)PronunciationMeaning 화장품 가게hwajangpum gagecosmetics store 화장품 회사hwajangpum hoesacosmetics company 화장품을 바르다hwajangpumeul bareudaapply cosmetics/put on makeup 화장품을 찍어 바르다hwajangpumeul jjigeo bareudaapply makeup with fingers 기초 화장품gicho hwajangpumskin care products 피부관리pibugwanliskin care 남성용 화장품namseongyong hwajangpummen’s cosmetics 색조 화장품saekjo hwajangpummakeup 천연 화장품cheonyeon hwajangpumnatural cosmetics 주름 방지 크림jureum bangji keurimanti-wrinkle cream 눈썹 펜슬nunsseop penseuleyebrow pencil

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Sample Sentences


1. 그 회사의 화장품을 어느 나라에서 제일 잘 팔아요? → In which country does that company’s cosmetics products sell the best?

   (geu hoesaui hwajangpumeul eoneu naraeseo jeil jal parayo?)

2. 우리 언니는 비싼 고급 브랜드 화장품만 써요. → My sister only uses high priced top quality brand cosmetics.

   (uri eonnineun bissan gogeup beuraendeu hwajangpumman sseoyo.)

3. 명품 화장품을 좋아해요? → Do you like luxury cosmetics?

   (myeongpum hwajangpumeul joahaeyo?)


1. 내 생각에는 요즘 고급 화장품을 찾기가 힘들어. → In my opinion it’s hard to find good quality makeup products these days.

   (nae saenggageneun yojeum gogeup hwajangpumeul chatgiga himdeureo.)

2. 이 화장품을 어떻게 바르면 될까? → How should I put on this makeup?

   (i hwajangpumeul eotteoke bareumyeon doelkka?)

3. 혹시 TV 홈쇼핑에서 화장품을 사본적 있어? → Do you perhaps have experience in buying cosmetics from a TV home shopping channel?

   (hoksi TV homsyopingeseo hwajangpumeul sabonjeok isseo?)

4. 한국 화장품을 외제 화장품보다 아주 싼값에 구입할 수 있어. → Korean cosmetics are far more affordable than foreign cosmetics.

   (hanguk hwajangpumeul oeje hwajangpumboda aju ssangapse guipal su isseo.)

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!

The post How To Say ‘Cosmetics’ In Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Bye, Korea

Thu, 2019-05-09 02:30

I taught English in Busan, Korea for a year, ending June 2011. I remember the dread I felt flying to Portland then. I left Portland again and returned to Korea February 2013. I felt like I was home. Since then, I’ve quit teaching and I’ve been working remotely for almost four years. When I flew back to Portland in August 2017, without any intention of coming back to South Korea, butterflies (different from before) filled my stomach.

I love Korea and it’s been a great experience living there. I love learning more about where I come from and improving on the language. I also know in my heart that I’m American and that I want to create my home in the U.S.

For the last month in Korea, I walked around as if in a trance. I can’t believe how much time has passed and how much life has changed. I miss singing along with my appliances (i.e. rice cooker and washing machine) and waking up with tinfoil in my bed because I fell asleep eating kimbap

I feel nostalgic for a time, as well as places, which is an overwhelming feeling. It’s scary to think of returning to Korea, and think of the last time I left, as if no time had passed at all. Time goes fast, life is short, and the impermanence of things is hitting me harder than it ever has.

I did SO much in Korea, met amazing people, ate all the things, and had amazing experiences. But, still, I know I can’t do everything I wanted to do or do things again. There are so many places to go in this world, but maybe I’ll be back. Because I obsessively make lists, here’s a list of places I wanted to experience but didn’t make the time for:

  • Andong Traditional Folk Village - Rural Korea is a sharp contrast from the fast-paced neon and concrete cityscapes. I never went to the mask festival at the end of September and beginning of October each year. Apparently this is the town for some awesome chicken, as well.
  • Anyang Art Park (안양예술공원) - This a cool park in Anyang City that’s free and a photo dream. You can get off at Anyang Station (Line 1) and take bus number 2 to the park. It’s a very large place and it might be a bit confusing, but so many photo worthy spots. Definitely wear walking shoes and bring water in this heat! 
  • Beopgi basin - Nestled in the mountains just 45 minutes north of Busan. Renting a car and visiting Hongryong Falls (홍룡폭포) would be a great way to spend a day.
  • Beopjusa temple stay - Literally “Mountain Removed from Worldliness,” Songnisan is where the 7th-century Buddhist Beopjusa temple is still located. It has the largest buddha in Korea
  • Bukchon Village - I’ve been here before but really wanted to visit this picturesque neighborhood again. It’s flanked by two palaces —Gyeongbok Palace to the west and Changdeok Palace to the east— this village has the largest cluster of privately owned traditional Korean wooden homes or hanok in Seoul. The easiest way to get to Bukchon in Seoul is to go out Anguk Station (subway line 3) Exit 3.
  • I really wanted to go to Chuncheon/Gapyeong again just to eat the Dak Galbi (닭갈비). I could eat dalkkalbi every day, and it really is the best where it was invented. The two best places are “Tong Na Mu Jip” and “1.5.″
  • I’ve been to Geoje several times, but, yeah, I want to go again. I’d love to hike up Mt. Daegumsan, take a short boat ride to Oedo Island, and ride the zipline at Deokpo Beach.
  • Jeonju - I’d like to try the bibimbap and visit the Hanok Village (전주 한옥마을). 
  • Jirisan - What a shame that I never made it to the top of this mountain. I’ll always cherish the lovely trips I’ve had out there and only wish I could have spent more time there.
  • Kimchi Museum - I walked by this place so many times in Insadong but never went. Where else in the world will you be able to go to a museum solely dedicated to the Korean staple, kimchi? Kimchi, or seasoned fermented vegetables, is at the heart of Korean culture and its food and is usually eaten with every meal. There are 187 different documented types, ranging from kimchi of different ripeness levels to water kimchi, cucumber kimchi, and radish kimchi varieties. In addition, it is not uncommon for Korean households to have refrigerators solely dedicated for the storage of kimchi. At the museum, you can taste 7-8 different types of kimchi, view bacteria found in kimchi under a microscope, and even learn how to make kimchi in the education room. 
  • Oh, to see Kyeongju again. Korea used to be divided into three major kingdoms (Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo) until the Silla kingdom conquered the other kingdoms and made Gyeongju the capital. Gyeongju remained the capital of this region for approximately 1000 years, leading to the creation of a number of archaeological treasures that are well worth your time.
  • On several visits to Seoul, I missed out visiting a Hanbok Cafe in Insadong or the Princess Diary Cafe outside Exit 3 of the Ehwa Women’s University subway station. These dress cafes give you the opportunity to wear a Korean traditional dress or wedding dress at rental prices of 15,000₩ ~ 40,000₩ an hour. 
  • The Robo Life Museum in Pohang does require a reservation but looks pretty awesome. Some are miniature robots programmed to be Psy back up dancers, some are robotic fish that swim, and some are robotic seals designed for therapy. 
  • Seonyudo sits off the west coast of the peninsula, 90 minutes from Gunsan by boat.
  • Seoraksan again. It was so lovely in the fall –but I see endless beauty in every season.
  • Seoul Fortress Trail, the Naksan section covers an enjoyable scenic route from Hansung University Station and the Hyehwa Gate traveling south alongside Naksan Park and Ihwa Mural Village until you arrive in the crowded, neon streets of Dongdaemun with the landmark Dongdaemun Gate at the foot of the pathway. The route itself doesn’t take too long to cover with sunset a recommended time to visit so as to enjoy the spectacular views across the city at their finest. Accessible from Hansung University Station, Seoul Subway Line 4 Exit 4.
  • Seoul Palaces - There are a lot of them (e.g. Gyeonghui Palace. Deoksugung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeongbokgung) and many are near each other. I always planned to see them all but ultimately got a distracted or bored. 
  • Seoul Forest - This park was opened in 2005 and features absolute beauty. It’s a bit of a trip from downtown Seoul, but I’ve heard it has five connected parks and it’s possible to see deer Located outside Seoul Forest Station (Subway Bundang Line) Exit 3. 
  • Uponeup (우포늪) is the largest and oldest wetland area in Korea, a protected area that dates back to times when dinosaurs ruled the world. A favouite with Korean photographers due to the unspoiled setting and views that the wetlands offer up, it sounds like a romantic weekend.
  • Yeosu is a port city on South Korea’s East China Sea coast. I haven’t researched what to do there but I’ve always wanted to visit.
  • I don’t know much about the city of Yulpo but when my friend Allison went, she couldn’t wait to share: “I just spent three days there and visited the big tea plantation ten minutes away (TWICE!). It’s a tiny farm village next to an empty beach. And there is a green tea spa on the beach. It was heaven.”

Alright, Korea, maybe next time.

Nothing's Really Real Podcast: (Ep 57) Skin On Sundays

Wed, 2019-05-08 20:22
Nothing's Really Real Podcast: (Ep 57) Skin On Sundays

Skin on Sundays is a project created by Jessica Lakritz. Jessica makes physiopoetry, where she combines her own poetry with the physical canvas of the human body. We talk about her art, her life, the flat earth, anger management, herpes and how lucky we are for dogs. We discuss the excessive amount of dick pics Jessica receives in her DMs, and the environment women endure online. She also reads a poem from her book, Seasons of Yourself.

 Jessica shares a very sincere and personal Memory of Regret, and I share a very light and kinda yucky one. You can see and learn more about Skin on Sundays at the website, and If you enjoy the show, please recommend it to a friend, leave a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen to podcasts on – and remember I love ya.

 Nothing's Really Real Podcast:  Soundcloud    Stitcher

How Many Vocabulary Words Do You NEED to Speak Korean? | Korean FAQ

Tue, 2019-05-07 23:39

How many Korean words do you need to speak fluently? The answer may BLOW YOUR MIND - just kidding. It's anywhere between three to five thousand... but how I got to this number, and how you can evaluate this number for your own vocabulary is what's more interesting.

I broke down hours worth of native Korean conversations to figure out how many unique words were being used on average, and compared that with how many words I use myself. This was used to calculate a ballpark estimate for how many vocabulary words are actually being used, and let you know how many you'd need in order to speak and understand the majority of what's going on.

How many words do you know? How many more do you need? Let me know your thoughts on my video here or in the video's description.

The post How Many Vocabulary Words Do You NEED to Speak Korean? | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

15-Minute Mochi – Easy Rice Cakes with Red Bean (찹쌀떡)

Tue, 2019-05-07 08:47

You might know Korean rice cakes as ‘mochi’. You’ve probably tasted or seen mochi ice-cream or seen it at your local Asian grocery store. In Korean, it’s called “Chap-Ssal-Ddeok”. These are made from a rice-flour dough and filled with bean paste or a powdered nut and honey mixture.

Traditionally, rice cakes are a labor-and-time intensive process. You need to cook rice, squeeze it, mill it into powder, mix into a dough, steam and pound away at the dough.

In this video, we show you how to make a batch of ‘mochi’ rice cakes that you can make, start-to-finish, in less than fifteen minutes. Look below for a list of ingredients for shopping. Help support us. Scroll down for more content. Ingredients

(Servings: 6~8 rice cakes)

  • 1 c – Glutinous rice flour
  • 2 T – sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c warm water
Korean rice cakes filled with sweet red bean paste Help support our site. Directions Rice Cake Dough
  1. In a medium-to-large microwave-safe bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Heat a cup of water, about 1-minute in the microwave. Mix about half into the bowl.
  3. Mix the water into powder. Slowly add more water until it flows (batter-consistency).
  4. Cover bowl with sheet of plastic wrap. Poke air holes into the plastic.
  5. Microwave on medium power for 45~60 seconds.
  6. Remove bowl and mix to remove clumps.
  7. Repeat steps 5~6 until dough is translucent. Usually 4~5 times (more or less depending on amount of ingredients and microwave power).
  8. Move rice cake dough to a work surface covered lightly with starch.
Forming Rice Cakes
  1. On your starch-covered work surface, roll the dough to cover with starch.
  2. Cut the dough into six-to-eight equal parts.
  3. Take one piece and flatten into a round shape. Work the dough from one side to the inside (filling side) to eliminate dry spots.
  4. Add ball of sweet red bean paste to the middle of the dough piece.
  5. Lightly dab water around the edges.
  6. Close the dough so you have a ball shape, working excess to the inside of the ball. Flatten and set aside.

Follow along in our video for the ‘mochi’ rice cake method.

If you want to learn how to make other Korean desserts, visit our post on ganjeong – puffed rice snack or visit our main page at

In-depth examination = key to successful surgery! (BGN Eye Hospital)

Mon, 2019-05-06 10:18


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Most of us thinking about laser vision correction surgery are worried about safety and success rate.

Definitely, these are the most important questions one need to know before deciding to get rid of one`s glasses or contact lenses.

So where does the safety start?

It starts exactly during pre-surgery examination. This is the important process after which you get accurate information about your eye condition, including cornea, retina, optic nerve. This examination should not be underestimated, as exactly after analyzing all these results doctor may recommend the safest and the best surgery option individually for you. Maybe ReLEx SMILE is the most up-to-date technology, or your friend recommended you LASIK saying that it is the best choice he had ever done, but believe us the best surgery is the one that suits best for your eye condition, guarantees 20/20 vision satisfaction and avoids any concerns with safety.

And as for the safety, can those in-depth examinations including retina OCT, corneal topography and  pachymetry check all eye conditions and eliminate all the risks?

Yes and no, during corneal check with a slit lamp we have only 70-80% probability when checking corneal  dystrophy, this is why the latest DNA technologies are here to help.

Most of us have never heard of Avellino, genetic corneal dystrophy. This disease is quite rare, but in case a person has it any eye laser treatment should be avoided.

BGN Eye Hospital provides Corneal DNA testing as a routine check before all refractive surgeries.

Testing is done in accredited DNA center, where results are ready within 24 to 48 hours, as well as the same day speed results ( 2-3 hour testing time) are available as well.

And definitively good news, you will not pay any extra for the DNA check, this examination is included in the price of any surgery you decide to proceed with.

To book a free Lasik examination and consultation contact BGN Eye Hospital ( BGN Busan branch)

at 010-7670-3995 (7/24) or kakao: eye1004bgnbusan.

You can also check their Facebook pages, to find some useful information