Friday, 24 June 2011

Norae Bang or Bust!

It's true what they say : it's always the nights when you really want to curl up at home in your pyjamas, yet instead you drag your sorry carcass out - those are the nights that are usually epic.
I worked late this evening, due to glitches in my handling of Korean word processing, and when I got home all I wanted to do was snuggle up to some Korean noodles while watching Taiwanese drama and nursing my cough. I'm a girl of simple tastes!
But when I got home and checked my mail I had a message from a Tae Kwon Do buddy letting me know that our Kwan Jan Nim (our Teacher) was being interviewed by a reporter from Seoul who was also going to take photos of the class. So all the students were being called in, looking all shiny for the camera. After the photo shoot we had a short practice and I was still intent on crawling back home........but then, food was delivered - little pieces of chickeny heaven that perked me right up and when someone said 'Norae Bang?' I said, 'Hell yeah!'

I've been to my friends Phillipino Norae Bang a few times but this was my first time at a proper Korean joint with some of my Korean friends. Between the natives and the long-termers who have been here over a year, we had some good Korean music going on.

I even stumbled through my favourite ballad from the drama 'Secret Garden' thanks to Dutch courage and LOTS of prompting from Insu.

My personal high point of the night was the last song, which was 'Sorry Sorry' by SuperJunior as sung by Elizabeth and Insu.

I've linked the video below so you can see for yourself how catchy it is!

The building didn't look like much from the outside, but as you can see, this joint took Karaoke seriously!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

K-Pop Sample Take Two!

Because my link didn't seem to work in the last it is again!!

Reasons to love Korea - Part 1

  • Random strangers greeting me on the street in English or Korean, simply because I am an 'exotic foreigner'!
  • The food, the glorious food!
  • The fact that I get a awed 'whoah' from EVERY SINGLE Korean when they hear I have come ALL the way from Ireland.
  • The fact that this is sometimes followed by the concerned question: "How are ye coping with the volcano?"
  • My grubby little 7 yr old student Alex, who whispered in my ear, "Kate Teacher, I lub you."
  • Korean dramas - highly addictive, sweet and funny. As well as an enjoyable way of increasing my vocabulary. (the fact that they are populated by stunningly attractive men has nothing to do with it whatsoever..ahem..ahem..)
  • The friendly, helpful and unbelievably inexpensive taxi drivers - especially the ones who are so delighted that I can give simple directions in Korean that they round down the fare!
  • The Ajummas (older women) who tell me that I am beautiful, particularly my lovely mouth and my Princess hands! (preen!)
  • K-Pop: catchy, upbeat and each chorus that I learn to sing along to feels like a major victory!

This latest hit from Big Bang is what's in my head these days - major departure from my norms, but hey, I try to be eclectic!

I don't know what it is about HipHop - give it to me in English and I can sometimes take it, mostly leave it, but if it's in French (particularly some great Senegalese groups) or Korean, and I can listen all day. Clearly I'm in it for the beat and not the lyrics?!
  • The fact that while killing time before meeting a friend last Monday evening I was able to buy socks for school which featured, from left to right: A frog with a blue love heart, a pig taking a bubble bath and perhaps most impressive of all - a Japanese cartoon Superhero chicken!

I should take this oppurtunity to point out that these little cuties are Men's Socks.

Oh Asia, how I love thee!