Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Art Exhibit Near My School

So my new school apparently has an art museum right across the street from it.  I did not know this until a friend asked me if I would like to check out an art exhibit with them.  I am not really into art so much, and I don't usually like museums unless it is of something particularly interesting to me.  However, still being relatively new to life in Seoul, one of the things I have tried to force myself to do is to never turn down an opportunity to do something new, so I accepted the invitation.

The exhibit was of a British architect, named Thomas Heatherwick, who has built many notable structures, such as the London Olympic Flame, the new design for the London city buses, and many futuristic buildings around the world.  It was pretty interesting looking at all the creative designs he had created, but the best part of the exhibit was at the end when you got a chance to sit in his unique version of a rocking chair.  Instead of rocking back in forth, you could spin around like a top.  Here is me enjoying the chair.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

빼빼로 Day

What is celebrated in many parts of the world as the end of World War I and honoring the veterans who gave their life in that war, has a totally different meaning in Korea.  November 11th is known in Korea as 빼빼로 (Pepero) Day.  빼빼로 is a stick shaped candy that is basically a cookie dipped in different flavors of chocolate.  This is really just a genius bit of marketing as the whole country eats this one brand of candy on this day.  What is the reason for November 11th being 빼빼로 day?  Well, November 11th (11/11) looks like 빼빼로 sticks.  It is silly, but it works.  The whole country goes crazy for this candy on this day.  I can't imagine how much money they make


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Political Problems in South Korea

With days before the 2016 United States Presidential election, most of my attention on politics has been focused on the bottom-less well of corruption that is the two candidates.  However, in the last week there is another story of political corruption that has also grabbed my attention here in South Korea.

I'll be honest and admit I really do not follow Korean politics outside of its relationship with North Korea.  Prior to this incident, I could not even tell you South Korea's president's name.  I knew it was a woman and that her last name was Park, but that was it.  However, this story was so big that I had to read up on it and find out why so many people were so upset.  If you want the full story I suggest you go here to read it, but basically the president has been brain-washed and manipulated by some crazy lady who was her "spiritual advisory".  It started with this lady's father when he claimed that he could communicate with Park's assassinated mother.  It is some real Rasputin level of manipulation here! Anyways, President Park had been sending this crazy lady lots of important documents to get advice on speeches and policies despite this lady having no political experience or title at all.  Park is a puppet and did whatever this lady says for reasons nobody seems to understand.  I mean just imagine that North and South Korean relations and policies were being influenced by a lunatic and you can imagine the South Korean's anger.

This anger is building as just this last weekend hundreds of thousands of Koreans gathered at City Hall to demand that Park Geun-Hye step down as president.  Instead, she is firing almost everybody in her administration including the Prime Minister.  This is delusion beyond words to think that firing people who had nothing to do with the scandal is an appropriate response to the citizens' anger at her ineptitude and clearly unstable mental state.

In closing, America, no need to panic due to the upcoming election.  If Korea has survived this long under this level of corruption, how much damage could Trump or Hilary do?

Photo credits: BBC.com

Photo credits: BBC.com

Photo credits: BBC.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween has always been a favorite time of the year for me. As a toddler it meant my mom dressing me up in clever self-made costumes and collecting as much candy that would fit in a pillow case.  After giving my parents their required choice of candy as payment for walking us door to door, me and my brothers would gorge ourselves sick.

As I got older, I took on more of the responsibility for the costume ideas and creation that I had learned from my mother.  Now the fun in Halloween to me is coming up with a unique costume idea and finding clever ways to create that costume well.  Anybody can buy a store bought costume, there is no creativity in that, so don't expect me to be impressed with that "super cool" super hero costume you bought.  But if you have a unique idea combined with creative craftsmanship with your costume, well then cheers to you!

In the past I have self-created Jolly Green Giant, Wolverine, Captain America, Jay-G (a popular emoticon character in Korea), Hulk, Charlie Brown, and Popeye costumes.  This year I chose another beloved character for my costume; Cookie Monster. Pulling off making a costume from scratch is a little more challenging as a foreigner in Korea, due to the fact that I don't really know where to go to find the materials I need.  But through having my Korean friends help me locate different items and pure luck I was able to make the costume.

I got affirmation that I had pulled it off well through the many people who came up to me and asked, "Where did you buy your costume?"

This is styrofoam balls with eyes painted on them, stuck to a blue hoodie using velcro tape

This a black surgeon mask with a Cookie Monster mouth painted on 

End result with a prop cookie made from modeling dough

 Some costumes from my past:
Jay-G (Korean emoticon)
Captain America
Charlie Brown
The Jolly Green Giant

Which one is your favorite? Comment below.