Is this how old people talk? “I remember back in my day when Korea didn’t have cheese or herbs, and taxis used to be giant a-holes! Ah. Those were the good old days!” Yeah, it is how old people talk. I don’t know why we got interested in doing this topic. ACTUALLY WAIT! I do know. We recently spoke with some newbies to Korea, and we were talking about some of the things they were getting at HomePlus, and we wanted to scold them for not being as thankful as we are for it. UUUU DON’T KNOWWW WHAT WE WENT THROUGGHHH!!! *slaps pizza out of your hands* YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS PIZZA!

Ok, but for really reals, our old cantankerous curmudgeonniness aside, we wanted to talk about a few more changes we’ve noticed in this country over the past few years. Lets go!

Alcohol in Korea

Don’t confuse this with Korean alcohol, which – for us – hasn’t really changed all too much. Soju’s still…great? Soju never changes. Hite and Cass are still bad. Makgeolli still gives us the shivers ALTHOUGH Martina just tried one with chestnut that she didn’t get all flashback sick from. That’s not the point. We’re more interested in the import stuff that’s happening here.

The beer scene is really starting to blossom. While before we only knew about Hite and Cass, maybe a Red Rock from time to time, now they have lots of IPAs in lots of different places. They’re not ubiquitous, mind you, so a regular mom and pop shop will still have only Korean beers, but there’s a blossoming foreign bar scene with cool beers being both imported AND brewed here. Itaewon has some awesome brewers making good stuff, like Magpie Brewing Co. But, if you can’t make it to Itaewon, Home Plus is starting to have lots of great IPAs on sale. Home Plus! It’s lovely!

We’re also finding some a few good cocktail bars in Korea. Not many, mind you. Southside Parlour in Itaewon is probably the only guaranteed awesome place we know that offers a wide selection of import rums and bourbons, and even homemade bitters and soda. They take their time and make old fashion drinks the proper way. We love going to Radio Garden in the summertime for yummy summer cocktails. It’s still on the more expensive side but it does a good job of offering well done blended summertime beverages. A lot of cocktails are still ridiculously overpriced and sweet and not made with the best stuff, but we’ve found some places – again – in Itaewon that really know their stuff, and some cool spots here in Hongdae as well, like The Lounge Bar located right beside our studio! Good stuff, like awesome apple martinis that take time to be made because they’re being made with real pureed apple instead of sour apple mix! It makes us happy :D


Sadly, bread here still isn’t that great. There are a couple of shops that make good stuff. There’s one down the street from us in Hongdae, and you gotta make 17 left turns then 12 right ones, swing on the blue vine, and knock six times and give them the secret password (which we won’t reveal here) that makes really nice bread. But it’s the exception, rather than the norm.

Grocery stores here now have bread sections, which is a lot more than what we can say from before, but they’re just not great. We bought a baguette from Home Plus and it could be used as a murder weapon. Nope. For people that like sweet white bread, you’re gonna love it. We like hartier, darker, nuttier breads, and they’re not easy to come by here. Korea’s getting there. Just not yet.

K-Pop and Korean Music

We talked about this in our Girls’ Generation Kpop Music Monday, and how Kpop in 2013 wasn’t that great for us. We miss the good old days of Kpop! Now, just like how Garosu-gil is overrun by franchises, Kpop is overrun by new groups. And by “new” they’re not even that new. They’re just repeating a lot of what’s been done before, with different faces.

This, to me, is the biggest sign of us being old farts. We listen to lots of music from around the world, and we know some old dudes that only listen to Metallica and Black Sabbath and say “maaaaaan muuuusic just ain’t what it usssed to be maaaaan.” They only listen to the stuff they grew up with and refuse to try something new. We’re always like “but there are so many new genres coming out, so many new things! Give it a shot!” but they’re not having it. They’re stuck in the past.

We’re not that way with Kpop. We’re waiting for something new. Give us a new sound! A new voice! I want more than just new faces and new outfits! I want to hear more than just “but they worked really hard”. I want music for ears not just music for eyes! It seems like tons of companies have said “damn, this Kpop thing is popular! Let’s make a band and make some money!” Why the hell is Jackie Chan making a Kpop band? You think he’s passionate about the industry, and has a message that he wants to share with the world, or is he just trying to cash a quick buck?

The kpop scene is too overrun with too many groups for us. It wasn’t always like that. It feels like groups are being rushed out without enough training and without enough thought and the result is a bunch of mediocre groups that can’t compete with most of the current big band’s rookie debuts. I hope we’re not the only ones that feel that way.

I want to see bands form from the bottom up, rather than the top down. Enough of big labels cultivating a group of strangers. Let’s see some friends get together that want to make great music, develop their own sounds and songs, promote themselves, and make it big on their own. That’s why we’re so passionate about the Korean Indie scene here. Korea needs a music revolution. Kpop’s formula is being exploited and mass produced. I want something different.

Anyhow, that’s enough of my neck-bearding and cane-waving. Let us know what your experience is like. We’re only speaking from the perspective of Seoullites. If you’re in Busan or Daejeon or Jeju or elsewhere in Korea, what have you noticed that’s changed? We can’t speak for everyone’s experience in Korea (obviously), so we’re eager to know other people’s opinions.

And if you don’t live in Korea, do you have a growing Korean scene around you? Any shops or local markets, or is it non-existent? Let us know! Maybe you’ll find some local Koreaphiles in the comment section! :D

Lastly, sign the petition for better cheese in Korea! You can make it happen! All you have to do is click this pretty button down here and, uhhmm, you will get more cheese…yes…cheese…

  1. SMEs ftw. Corporate franchise pigs, boo.

  2. My father-in-law spent several years in Korea while in the army and brought back a love of the food, which I learned from him. I’m so lucky to have an AMAZING Korean restaurant/market a 3 minute drive away, and 2 other Korean stores near by as well! I’ve gone to my favorite one so much that I am familiar with all of the staff, and they’re always having my try new things! I would love to visit Korea, but without knowing Korean, or traveling with someone who knows Korean, I don’t see it happening. I’m just not that brave!

  3. Hey, thanks for this post! I lived in Seoul, S Korea from 2010-2012 and used to watch you guys every week for laughs and giggles. Since I’ve moved back to America, I’ve unfortunately lost touch with most things Korean. My friends went to Seoul for vacation, yesterday, and as I was looking up things for them to do I stumbled on this post! It’s so interesting to read about how Seoul has transformed in a matter of a couple years from what I/we used to know. Garosu-gil used to be one of my favorite stomping grounds for it’s unique style, so it’s unfortunate to hear what it’s become (but I kind of predicted it was going to happen after the forever 21 popped up).

    Anyways, thanks again for this post! Even though we’ve never formally met (I think I saw you walking around apgu and at the wolfhound pub in itaewon before), it’s like you’re my last remaining connection in Korea keeping me up to date with everything!

  4. I like lots of things, and I would do any of them for a job. But my dream job seems a little unrealistic. Could you make a video on how you decided on what you wanted to do as a job and what it took to accomplish it?

  5. Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque

    Korea isn’t that know in Spain yet, unfortunately. There’s only 6 or 7 korean restaurants in the whole country.

  6. Mary Elizabeth Mapes-Plummer

    I come from northeastern Indiana, US. And let me tell you, I’ve despaired for quite a while over the monochrome setting around here. Being a foodie and a lover of culture and travel, I would love to see my area become more multi-cultural. Things are changing bit by bit, we’ve got an awesome Latin fusion place on Main Street now. But this TLDR was about Korea, so, I’ll tell you my Korean story.

    I went down to the “big city” a half hour away on the news that there was an Asian market. My brother and I found lots of things we had been wanting: stainless steel chopsticks, real sticky rice (NOT Uncle Bens’) and all of the awesome Asian produce you could eat. But my favorite part was talking to the ahjumma working the counter. I told her that I was making my first attempt at soon dubu jigae (soft tofu stew) and wanted to know which red pepper paste would work best. I’ll always remember the smile that crossed her face. She was so sweet and helpful, and I was just sorry that my rudimentary Korean was not enough to thank her in her home language.

  7. Do you guys know if there are any sort of stigmas or assumptions behind having long hair? I’m a guy and mine is nearing my waist and lot of people auto assume druggie or think something’s wrong. Wondering if this will affect my chances of getting hired as a teacher in Korea.

  8. Out here in DFW we have a K-Town that has been branching out. There’s a lot of the little bakeries and boba shops but they are almost all from one company as far as i’ve seen. At school, there has been an increase in people who are watching K-pop videos and there’s a petition to get a Korean class started since there aren’t really any colleges nearby that offer it.

  9. Ruth Van de Winkel

    I really liked this vid, very interesting, but CORRECTION Godiva is NOOOOOT French, it’s Belgian. I know like only 10 percent of the entire globe has heard of a tiny European country named Belgium, but it is the capital of beer, fries(NOOOT french fries, they’re disgusting really) and CHOCOLATE, Belgian chocolate is the best #Belgiumrepresents

    • Simon Gheeraert

      Hiya fellow people from Belgium ! In the honor of your country, I’ll sacrifice a Grim Rouge ! (cmon, I’m from Dunkirk, that’s being AT LEAST 33% from Belgium innit ?)

  10. i share your point of view about k-pop :(

    also, i feel like people have opened their minds about kpop here in brazil. not very much though, but it feels like some progress has been made.

    i haven’t noticed a growing korean cuisine or korean stores scene in my state of brazil though, but i’ve heard people mention that they already have some of those in their respective states.

    i’ve noticed a lot more online stores selling kpop merchandise. it was sooooooooo hard for me back then to buy them because i would have to wait over a month for them to arrive from foreign sites. i couldn’t pay for faster delivery hahahahaha

    when i first started really probing into kpop back in 2006, kids just labeled me as the weird kid that liked korean stuff. and i was the only one in my whole entire school who was really into it so i had no one to share the excitements with. i felt like a complete alien.

    now, when i talk to my younger sister’s high school friends, some of them are just as into to kpop as i was as a teenager. people don’t give them weird stares when they mention liking kpop, they actually think it’s normal.

    when you mention k-pop and doramas in conversations with some friends, they have actually heard about them and they actually know that they exist. to me, this was unimaginable a while ago. every time i talked to people about it back then, they would think that south korea consisted only of traditional music (and they would actually think that their traditional music is enka, which had me worried O__O). they also thought south korea was a country still recovering from the korean war, so they would be alarmed every time i mentioned i would like to visit there…

    even still, i find it that people in my state in brazil are slightly more open minded about south korea today than they were before.

  11. From what I read here and also from my personal experience I came to realize that Koreans who live in foreign countries don’t really leave a mark. I come from a small town on the Black Sea coast and we do have Koreans living there. The biggest industry and the most sustainable one there is the naval shipyard and it is owned by Daewoo, which employs about half the town. Unfortunately, in spite of their influence there, not a single drop of Korean culture is visible in the town. About ten years ago a Korean restaurant opened two blocks from my home and I remember it vividly cause I used to eat there all the time, but it closed after one year and nothing Korean has been developed since. In fact, most of the Korean community adapted really quickly to our lifestyle. They go to our markets, eat at local restaurants and drink in our bars. It’s probably because the majority of them are men who come here for a limited period of time and they don’t usually bring their wives and kids with them. One particular type of business has a lot to be thankful for this. I’m talking about prostitution, of course. Some Koreans, however, do bring their families with them, but their kids don’t go to our schools. Instead they attend some private schools in another city 30 miles away and the women don’t really do much outside their homes. There were a couple of ajummas at my gym a few years ago who got along pretty well with me compared to the others…maybe too well now that I think about it. Whenever I stumble upon a Korean drama I think of them cause there’s always one flirty ajumma character, although a bit exaggerated from my point of view. The ones I knew were actually really nice ladies.
    Anyway, it’s a shame that Koreans here haven’t shared much of their culture so far. I hope they will feel comfortable enough to do so in the future, because we don’t shy away from diversity. I have seen lately some Korean restaurants in Bucharest, but they are still way overshadowed by Chinese, Japanese and Thai food joints.

  12. We have a fairly sizable Korean population around the north side of Atlanta, so you’ll see many shopping centers with restaurants, dentists, lawyers, real estate agents, etc. with signs in hangul. There are also a few H-Mart locations around the city where you can get groceries. It’s a Korean-based chain so their focus is mostly on Korean and Asian food, but they also try to tailor their products to the local demographics. We also have a large hispanic population here so you can buy chorizo and queso fresco along with your kimchi. :P

    I really like the Korean bakeries here because you can get good quality snacks for really cheap and several of them also serve bubble tea. There are also a few fusion restaurants that serve things like Korean tacos (OMG yum) and Korean-inspired Southern American food.

    (We were also supposed to have a Block B concert here but they moved the location to Washington D.C. T_T)

    • Priyanka

      I used to live in that area until recently. There are tons of korean stores, shopping malls, dentists, car dealers, churches in that area. All the advertising is in korean too. I used to go to the Nam De Mun grocery store on Pleasant Hill all the time.

      • I don’t think I’ve been to Nam De Mun yet but I’d like to go check it out. Buford Highway Farmers Market is good for all sorts of international food too; I think that’s where I bought makgeolli last time.

  13. (I’m moving to Korea next year, so while I haven’t experienced these changes, I must say, the upsurge in foreign food availability makes me vurry happeh…)

    In regards to Korean scenes around me, there is a big one fairly close. Actually, I recently moved to go to school and was thrilled to be near the H-Mart and restaurants. It seems like in this particular area, it’s entirely Korean. Not hardcore Koreatown, but extensive. Aside from the H-Mart and a dozen or so Korean restaurants near it, there’s a Korean bookstore, two coffee shops, a spa, noraebang, and even accountants and dentists advertised in Korean. It’s a regular Ville!

    I’m sad to hear about the hyper-franchisation. I visited Korea last summer and was really taken by the indie feel of some of those neighborhoods. Especially Hongdae. Methinks Hongdae-ites should protest if too many big stores move in. It would totally ruin the aesthetic.

  14. Hey!

    We are not sure where to post this question, but here goes!

    We are wondering if you could make a video for those of us who want to travel to South Korea, where you can highlight what is a must to see in Korea, apart from Seoul. Me and my girlfriend have been watching your videos for some time now, and we are excited about travelling there during the summer. Any good tips and ideas from you on where to go and what to do. (We are already planning a “good night sleep” in a love hotel *wink wink*, but there are surely a lot of other awesome things to see?

    Thanks! :-)

    -Two Norwegian nasties.

  15. How are people with disabilities treated in Korea? Are there government programs to aid them and how does society generally perceive them as a whole?

  16. I don’t think the Korean culture is as big of an influence in the UK as it is in other countries such as Canada and the US. I could be completely wrong because I don’t live in major cities such as London and Birmingham. I think I heard that there are a few Korean restaurants but there isn’t really a big Korean scene in the UK (someone correct me if I’m wrong)

    There is a huge Chinese and Middle Eastern influence in the UK though. Especially Chinese. London has a Chinatown and where I live, in my town alone there five or six different Chinese restaurants one after another it’s crazy. I think it was after Psy came out with Gangnam style did Korean stuff become more popular here. Since he came out there has been a growth in Korean influence around the cities of the UK. In the countryside and more rural areas no way but in the cities yes (again correct me if I’m wrong). I think the main example of this is music whereby Korean groups have started coming to the UK. I know Infinite and Super Junior had a concert in London and Crayon Pop did an interview on a British radio but that’s about it. I think the Korean influence is only growing music wise instead of culture wise. Which is a shame I think Korea as a whole is not just about kpop *shrugs shoulders*

  17. Hi Simon and Martina! I just want to quickly say that you two are absolutely WONDERFUL and hilarious and thank you so much for making so many comically informative videos. (I binge watched them for the month leading up to my departure form the states and you’re my number one go to guide for life in Korea!) I’ll only be starting my fourth week in Korea tomorrow, so I don’t have much of an opinion to provide but I’m living in Iksan which is, I think, the “country”. At least that’s what all the foreigners here tell me. I’m not sure I believe them, but it’s all of I’ve got to go off of.

    As for what I’ve noticed, everything that is cheap and easily attainable at home (I hail from the far away land of Texas actually) is FREAKING EXPENSIVE AND REALLY HARD TO FIND HERE! Butter for example, is like, $6/cup!!! WTH?!?!?!?!?! I really wanted to make some cookies buuutttt…. that’s out the window now! Also, where the heck can I find dried beans that aren’t ridiculously expensive? In the Home Plus here I saw a small sized bag of what I thought were black beans and it was about $11. That’s insane!! And the cheese of course is horrific. I paid what I considered a lot for cheddar and it’s… well… I’m not really sure it’s edible. I actually really like cooking, but as I’m on a budget I’m definitely going to have to readjust because I simply cannot afford to make the “cheap” meals I’m used to making at home.

    The biggest thing I’ve noticed however, and I must admit it’s a little disappointing, is how very westernized Korea is. Even Iksan which, as I’ve been told is a “small town”, seems like it’s not even Korean. Ok no, you don’t see massive amounts of seaweed for sale in the grocery stores at home, but still. The streets, the stores, the massive amounts of coffee shops, the mass marketing of every sports/athletic brand you could possibly wish for, is a bit…. sad. I was hoping to find a place that was a little less American and a little more Korean. It’s pretty shocking really. And not like culture shock. More like… “wow I left America to come to… America?” shocking.

    As for how people treat me as a foreigner, so far that’s been absolutely wonderful. Just today in fact I had a very nice guy come talk to me as I was grocery shopping in Home Plus, and then on my walk through the park and elderly man hailed me down and we chatted and he wound up giving me his phone number in case anything ever happens to me. Little kids stare at me sometimes but it’s not a huge deal. I know they’re just curious and I’ve been told that in this area, some people have never seen anyone who isn’t Korean. I’m so sorry for the long post but you asked!!

  18. Actually, I noticed Home Plus took away its sharp cheddar :P

    I didn’t notice too many big changes after 3 years away, other than the fact Family Marts were replaced with CUs. I think the stares are pretty arbitrary, and not at all likely to decrease in frequency.

    I explained to some Russians today about the meaning of “Russia saram” in Korea and they just laughed.

  19. Hahaha, I laughed so hard. I live in a small city in China and I frequently hear “-GASP!- A FOREIGNER” in Chinese, often right in my face, as if I can’t understand. Or indeed “AN AMERICAN!” and often “A RUSSIAN”… I’ve taken to going “-GASP- A CHINESE PERSON?!?!!?” when they do it. Gets nice shocked reactions :D

  20. I live in Queens, New York and there’s a neighborhood called Flushing that has steadily become little Korea. They have a lot of the indie shops that line the streets and there’s one particular store that blasts k-pop before you even go in. Paris Baguette is the most popular bakery in the neighborhood. It’s pretty cool that they have such little stores in the neighborhood, but at the same token, the stores drop in and out of existence faster than you can get attached to them. They also have a k-pop merchandise store that popped up, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the Hallyu wave is becoming really big. It’s becoming a point that it’s very rare that some k-pop song isn’t playing at any given store at any time.

  21. Hmm.. I went to Ulsan for a vacation last 2012 and while walking around Samnamdong (?) area, people would stare at me when I talk with my Korean friends in English. It was awkward! LOL! Also I went to this cute accessory shop called Bad/ Naughty Cat and the sales lady practically ignored me at the counter! I was using my limited Korean in conversing with her but she was deliberately looking elsewhere but me. My Korean friend had to intervene and she explained to me that I was the first foreinger the sales lady met so she was confused. I’m not even “white”, I’m Asian.
    I hope the smaller cities in Korea would slowly be open to foreigners next time :)

    Also, EVERLAND! Please hire an EngLish Translator to give out warnings and instructions on your rides! :(

  22. The Koreans seem to be fond of eating ice cream (those from convenience stores). Have you tried the ice creams available there ? Are there any that you would recommend if you have tried it.

  23. In one of your video, you showed how soju can taste better (soju and cola). Do you know of other ways of mixing alcohol in Korea ?

  24. Is sending packed food to kpop idols a trend in Korea ? There are many videos showing fans sending packed food to their idols and does the fans send food to the idol’s manager too ?

    • Priyanka

      I heard a news story on NPR about celebrities getting gifts and how their management companies would toss away any food items because they never know what is in it. They were specifically talking about US companies but I imagine the practice is the same everywhere. Especially since Korea seems to have more …uhhh… passionate fans.

  25. I have heard from many people that fruits are extremely expensive in Korea. Is it really that expensive ?

  26. i live in the states, Connecticut to be more exact and i am over by the large casinos. so we have a great mix of races most of the Asians in our area are Chinese. So we have a lot of Asian markets mostly geared to the Chinese there is one place that has some Korean food only because the owner is Korean other wise we have to travel about 45min to an hour for Korean restaurants and grocery. Or to go to home and home or h mart i go to flushing NY about 2 hour drive. To tell you the truth I think my area has a lot of Asian markets than it did a few years ago.

  27. I live in America in California, a town called Fullerton. I live in a Korean environment, with Koreans every where lol left, right, front, back, up, down… Literally, this place is FILLED with Koreans, I rarely had any nonKorean friends. I live right on the border next to another city called Buena Park, and this border area place has like a whole area where there’s all these Korean stuff. There are about 4 huge plazas/blocks, and I can find almost anything. But there’s one thing that makes me think a lot because in that area, there a THREE Korean supermarkets???? In the same area?? Selling basically the same stuff so yeah… But besides that there’s a lot of cool places and AWESOME places to EAT!! Recently, Kang Ho Dong’s kbbq restaurant opened in that area (there used to be only one in LA in America), three boba shops, another great kbbq place, two small outlets with a bunch of Korean-boutique styled shops, several bread/bakery houses, jjajangmyun houses, a lot of snack houses, and so much else! In 2013, they held the Korean Cultural Festival in one of those plaza/block spaces, and it was huge!! There were a bunch of tents set up with all this Korean (and Kpop) merch, and Korean/Dongdaemun/Apgujeong type street food vendors/pojangmachas. It went on for about 4 days and nights?? I think they invited a few Korean celebrities too… But what I found really awesome/proud about this area as a Korean was that this place attracted so many Korean people that the American styled restaurants and shops went out of business and were replaced with Korean restuarants and shops LOOL like Denny’s went away and replaced by kbbq, Pizza Hut also replaced by a yogurt cafe, some other stores replaced by gogi houses, and recently Burger King went out and something new is coming in but we don’t know yet. I don’t know why, but I feel kind of proud watching this area evolve more and more into completely Korean hahah it was like K-town except right next to my house. But of course, nothing beats the real thing! I really wish i lived in Korea… ㅠㅠ even if the education is harder there… well, I already feel pressured much with the Asian parents and pride… so almost no difference in pain?? hahah

  28. TIL: Reading these comments I have found out that H-Mart is just about everywhere now!

  29. Bajebus this post has a lot of comments as well. Thank you all for contributing to the discussion. You guise really make this a special place. Thank you :D

  30. Soo cheese …. not my thing I think I could live without it my whole life (sorry Martina)… I’m gluten intolerant so I don’t even eat pizza which is the only thing I could see myself wanting to eat with cheese.

    In Cali we had K-town in LA which is pretty well stocked in just about anything you’d like to get I think… but I only have gone there about 2-3 times so I’m no real expert… Where I’m at right now.. (merida Yucatan Mexico – about a 4 hr drive from CanCun) Merida actually has a little enclave of koreans BUT I still haven’t found it- I’ve found a little korean language school where I started taking classes, but nothing else. I know there are a lot of koreans because they have many little knick knack shops in the historic center of the city and my uncle is actually half korean but doesn’t know much about the language or the culture so can’t help me there. I also know that there’s a hospital that’s called ” Hospital de la Amistad Korea-Merida” which was established in cooperation between the Korean government and Yucatecan government.

  31. Aidan Walker

    At home there’s a barely existant Korean population. In fact, there’s not much of anything other than whitey-mc-whiteville. There’s a small Asian grocery- called Asian Supermarket- about 20 minutes/half an hour drive from my house that is very small but JAM PACKED and I think has always had all the weird Korean and Chinese ingredients I was looking for (except dried anchovies- why is it so hard to find dried anchovies?!?). Recently, within the last several months, a larger international grocery store (G Mart) opened up just down the street from the tiny one, and it offers an even wider selection of Asian ingredients in addition to things from the rest of the world. The Asian population in general is very small (I’m from kind of the country side in western Maryland), but to be fair I think the largest portion was probably Korean (they have the monopoly on local liquor stores), followed by Chinese, and I’ve never met a Japanese person in my life.

    I started uni this year in Baltimore and it was pretty big culture shock. The campus has a massive contingent of international students, as well first-generation Americans, probably the largest number of whom are Korean, followed by Ghanians (why from those two little countries I don’t understand). Here I’m taking Korean language classes in which most of my classmates are Korean-Americans who just don’t know how to write, and the language is everywhere. A lot of the small shops in the area are Korean-run, and a short bus ride away are both a Lotte Plaza and an H-Mart, which is actually really exciting b/c if I’m out shopping I can stop at H-Mart and get a really good plate of food for not very much.

  32. Hi Martina and Simon! Can you talk about abortion in Korea on TL;DR? Is it legal there? I heard from some of my Korean peers that the reason birth rates is so low in Korea is because of abortion. They also told me how this is also the reason there aren’t any teenage pregnancies in Korea. Is this true? Also, what do you think about abortion in general?

    P.S. I really love your channel! It helps me stay awake for my graveyard shift! -Yunika from Saipan

  33. I live on the countryside in Germany and I have to say here are NO KOREANS at all!

    All Koreans that are somehow interested in Germany, always get lost in the big cities that are like 8 hours away from where I live!!

    Korean food is also a BIG rareity! If Im lucky enough I will find in some huuge department store a section called “asian food”, which has like tofu, seaweed, soysauce and the typical stuff. But most of the time just Japanese or Taiwanese brands.
    I MISS KIMCHI SOO MUCH!!!!! *deeply sighs in despair and sadness*

    There are only like 3 korean restaurants in the surrounding of lets say 100 km distance? yes! that few!
    I looked up the internet for HOURS and only found 3! It used to be 5 or something but they all closed. The nearest korean restaurant is about 1 hour away in the next bigger city. Its lead by an old korean couple which is already living since years in germany, but they closed their Restaurant until April. ( I called because I couldnt find their restaurant and I really wanted too eat food there! So I was just so desperate and gosh… ONE MORE MONTH!!) They talked so cutely! Oh dear^-^

    I might sound like I live in the biggest hole, and I probably do. But if I take a look around, here are 1000 of chinese or taiwanese Restaurant and shops that sell ORIGINAL AND/OR HOME MADE FOOD! The number of Japanese restaurants etc. Is also growing! But just not Korean. Its sad tho, since I love Korea. But I just hope too move too korea really fast, so I dont have to be all depended on waiting for new korean stuff here haha :9

    oh ps. if you want good bread, I heard of a few Korean bakeries that learned baking in Germany FROM German baker professionals. (and germany has hella good bread! We probably eat nothing else lol)

    -German-Style Homemade bread in Gangnam its called “Retro-Oven”

    And another Bakery called:

    -” Ach so!” – Its located in: 109 Richensia, 72-1 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, (02) 794-1142

  34. You forgot…excess kpop rookie groups with weird names. I thought big bang, orange caramel, after school and shinee were really weird ( no hate here. I love these bands! ). But its getting weirder. Most ridiculous was a girl group trio named “Vetty L”, which meant “very pretty ladies”. And again, no hate but whats up with JYP and numbers? As for originality, well I’m glad there has been quite a lot of hip hop and dubstep recently. But the sexy concepts..ughh. Boring and all I see is “this video deemed unfit” “this dance has changed” and all. I cant even remember the song! If its not 19+ videos, its groups trying to do what seems like “EXO’s 360 camera dance” but it makes you dizzy instead -.-
    As for Korean stuff here….kpop is huge! Especially SM and YG, I must say. I live near Koreatown, so theres lots of Korean grocery stores and restaurants. Oh and also, back then it was really hard to get kpop goodies, even online. On sunday I went to a mall and there was a WHOLE floor literally selling all kpop! But it can still be a bit expensive /.
    And I have a question, as teachers yourselves, how do you view the education system in Korea? Is the syllabus hard? Do they really study late hours? How about kids with special needs cases? Will they force you to do a particular degree or department,no matter how much you hate it? Thanks and love you! xx

  35. Leticia Bastos

    I live in Fortaleza, Ceará-Brazil, and here we just have a japanese market and is hard to find most of the condiments that Martina talks in her recipes XD. We have some korean restaurants, but they are reeeally far away from the main city, like near the port, because most of the korean people here works there. :( lol Talking this way seems like my town is small, but the most widespread asian culture here is the Japanese one…

  36. I live in a small city of about 116,000 people but we actually have three Korean restaurants (and they’re actually pretty good, or at least they have my Korean friends’ stamps of approval). We also have several Asian markets, and one downtown has a really great Korean section. It was most heavenly being able to go in there. I did laugh at the insanely huge shelf of gochujang. Ooh, I love me some gochujang! I am also lucky that I have several Korean friends here, and the Korean students at the university put on a Korean cultural festival each semester with K-pop dance performances as well. And I have many friends who love watching Korean dramas and listening to K-pop, so I feel lucky to know a lot of people in my community who are interested in many aspects of Korea. Deeno from Mad Dino Asylum also lives by and we hang out (we even went on a shopping expedition recently to a huge Asian store in a neighbouring city).

  37. Living in Northern New Jersey is great because there are so many ethnic supermarkets. One of my favorites for Korean groceries has to be H-Mart; huge selection of groceries and snacks.

  38. In Melbourne, Australia, there’s quite a few Korean groceries and KPOP merch shops but before I knew about KPOP and Korean culture I didn’t know they existed XD

    • Oh Melbourne! Yes i’ve seen a few korean restaurants there, even outside of Chinatown, surprisingly. Its great to see kpop getting attention around the world

  39. Oh gosh I missed this when it first came out, luckily you posted it here :DD Interesting videos guys! Great to see how much Korea has changed within the space of 5 (?) years. Maybe next time you go to Canada you could film a similar video? :D

  40. Well about the franchises and that they are taking Korea, well that’s also happening here in Mexico, they’re opening a lot of American Eagle, Aeropostale, Forever 21, Gap, Victoria secret, ihop, etc. stores all at the same time! I feel sad, about that… :(

  41. Gamyeon

    Unfortunately, my town of Sherbrooke, Quebec, doesn’t really have any korean scene. It’s more of a mashup of different asian cultures. I am aware of one small shop where I can find “asian ingredients”. We have a lot of vietnamese restaurants along with on korean grill that opened last summer. Else, all the asian culture is located in Montreal. How I wish I could more easily find korean ingredients apart from going to the metropolis.

  42. I’ve got some questions! :D If Japan has lots of earthquakes, and South Korea is so close to Japan, do earthquakes happen often in South Korea? What about tsunamis? And how bad are those events? and How prepared are authorities to deal with such events? (I know that Japan has the best buildings that can deal with earthquakes, but what about South Korea?) :)

  43. Simon and Martina- be patient with kpop. I’ve been following it for awhile and I remember there being a dead phase in the past. Not that kpop peaked as much as it did now, but I remember when S.E.S, Baby V.O.X, and Fin.K.L were popular. There was a HUGE flood of girl groups. I feel the same now as I did before. I would listen to the new groups and think “They aren’t bad, but they aren’t very different, and why do I need more of the same songs?” They would release an album, not sell many, and disappear.

    And it is funny that you mention that in Korea you get outed less that you are a foreigner. Being in the US and going to many asian restaurants, I found that Korean stores were the most alienating. I remember going into a CD store in Ktown in NYC and being asked for help, and I was the only one being asked. Perhaps they thought I was lost? Or thought I was trying to get a Justin Timberlake album over Se7en? I’ve been to stores that were clearly set up for just other Korean families, that would have VHS recording of kdramas. XD But I’ve noticed that Korean restaurants and stores have been more foreigner friendly, with breakdowns and explanations of things. They even list vegan/vegetarian options which I feel like is a very western thing.

  44. Where I live in the South-East of England, the only kind of Asian things we have around our area are Chinese takeaways. So I have to travel to London (luckily only around 25 minutes for me) to get to any Korean kind of shops. In London there is only a tiny Koreatown, or should I say street, which includes mainly just restaurants although there is one Korean snack cafe which has a teeny k-pop merchandise shop downstairs. This is mainly all we have in England that’s anything to do with Korea, however I have seen much more Korean restaurants beginning to pop up around London, and a H-Mart has recently got better by getting lots more stock in, so things are definitely expanding here.

  45. Hi guys ~ for the next TL;DR, can you talk about how foreign artists/ musicians are portrayed in the korean music industry? like are they even famous in Korean (like their korean peers)? do they have fan cafes/ fan clubs like korean artists do? For example, foreign artists’ videos also get banned by the Korea Communications Commission ?(videos like Lady Gaga, Robin Thicke, Miley Cirus, Beyonce, Rihana & Shakira, etc) I know that Kpop music industry was based on its northamerican peer but …? Also, when I watch your videos or any drama most of the backround music is Kpop, sounds logic; but for example, in my country PERU, which is a southamerican country, therefore our native language is spanish, we have a few radio dial that only broadcast music in english. Hope you guys can take my question in consideration~ lots of love from PERU <3

  46. Filsan Said

    Can you talk about the quran contreversy in CL Song mtbd and do you think YGE needs to apologize?

  47. I totally agree about the Kpop. I have been a fan since around 2011 and boy has it changed over the 3 years. You start to see the 2nd gen. groups less and less on music shows and variety shows because music shows are all about the 3rd gen groups now, and their companies focus more on their new groups and leave out the 2nd gen. for awhile. You see so many countless new groups coming out each year with the same type of concepts and sounds, that it’s very hard to stand out and get popularity to the point where some bands end up disbanding because nothing is happening for them. Usually the rookie groups that stand out are the one from the Big 3: GOT7, EXO, WINNER (I personally like all 3 :D) Oh and the biggest change that is a little too much now is the girl groups overdoing the sexy image (Girls Day, AOA, Rania, Hyuna, etc…), well N. American music become horrible lately with that also (I mean even Beyoncè’s image and music has changed recently T.T), but I liked the way how it was more modest and more innocent back then :(

  48. Ah, as I was watching the end of the video, people were mentioning blood types in Japan.
    There was actually a Japanese group (NEWS) that released a song ABOUT blood types :D
    Koi No ABO – NEWS


  49. Hello from Denmark! Maybe this is more a job for Martina, but could you guy’s make a KDRAMA tldr, where you talk about your favorite show, the worst shows you’ve seen and maybe teach us the” golden rules” of any KOREAN DRAMA?

  50. To be able to get any type of Korean food I have to drive an hour and a half (from home) to Penn State, where they have 2 Korean restaurants and like 3 Asian markets. One of those Asian markets is completely Korean though, and it’s really cool and the owner always looks so happy when we go buy stuff XD but for us to be able to make any Korean foods ourselves, we have to drive all the way there for ingredients… no fun, sometimes. There’s a Korean church that’s closer though (still about 30 minutes away) and I go at least once a month to have delicious Korean food, and the food they have there is actually more old-fashioned, because the church is full of old people and they refuse to conform to modern ways of making food!!!!! hahaha
    I’m usually able to make really good Kimchi jjigae at home though, but that’s only if I bring Kimchi and gochujang back from the town where my university is to home…
    trying to survive without Korean food /sobs

  51. oooh.. i love homeplus! Have to make a stop there during my yearly ‘pilgrimage’ to Seoul.. hehe.. and i am living in Asia so i do get very easy (but overpriced) access to korean products.. totally agree with your views on the current kpop scene.. i find myself drifting away from kpop and only following the activities of the groups i like. All the new groups or even the older groups are always coming back with very generic songs/concepts/etc.. i’m getting bored!! :(

  52. I am German, but I live in Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek and my school is fuuuuull of Koreans! Basically all my friends are korean and somehow they have a secret community. We do have korean shops, which started from a few, turning now into, well every street having a store. That would be nice if they weren’t selling old products, people in korea don’t buy anymore, plus its super expensive. And most of it is food or weird face washs, or super ugly accessorize!
    Korean people here aren’t really open about their relationships and it was more my…mexican friend introducing me to korean food and k-pop. Ain’t that sad?

  53. I’m in Nakseongdae, Seoul, and it’s pretty difficult to find cheese here that didn’t come from a dead dinosaur.

  54. I live in Belgium and there is no Korean community. We do have some Asian super markets but they mainly offer Chinese/Taiwanese/Thai/vietnamese food. It’s because the biggest Asian community here, are the Cantonese. There’s one shop I know in Brussels where you can buy kpop cd’s but that’s it. I was actually really surprised when I heard a woman talk in Korean. She didn’t even look like a tourist because she wasn’t holding a super big camera in her hand and a map of the city center but was instead walking with a little kid.
    I heard there was a Korean restaurant in Brussels but I haven’t been there yet. I really want to try Korean food though especially when I see your FAP FAP’s… :(

  55. At the moment I am a volunteer teacher in China and my local grocery market has two types of cheese, processed american cheese slice and Breakfast cheese slice. Both of which have about 10 slices and are about 5$ but I have to be having a bad week to buy cheese, that amount of money can buy me about 5 good sized meals. Oh cheese, how I miss thee…

  56. In Daegu we still do get the, “Hey look! American!” reaction a lot. Especially from kids. We’ve done the exact same thing you guys did, though. “Omo! Waygook!” *look of shock and amazement from me* “Omo! Hangook!” They just look all confused, till my kids walk up and say annonghaseyo, and then we have instant celebrity status.

  57. One thing I’ve noticed in my almost 6 years here are how its really easy to get a smartphone now as a foreigner. When I first came I had the choice of six terrible fliphones as they were the only ones I was allowed. And even three years ago I had to go to one specific store in hongdae for an iPhone as nowhere else would give me one. Also there are a lot more British foods to choose from now in Homeplus, which is great!

  58. Not a lot of korean people around here, except for the exchange students… They seem to have a good tight community while staying here, but because people are here usually maybe for a half an year, the group is constantly changing. Only one korean restaurant in the whole country(!!!), been there once and the food was excellent, but still… Traveling for whole two hours by train to get there is a bit overwhelming at times, so I don’t go there that often. There are loads of asian food markets around, but they are heavily chinese/thai/vietnamese oriented and things that are authentic korean are really nonexistent… It’s a shame, but what can you do?:)

  59. what!!?? nooooo I LOVE CHEESE I want to go to korea so bad but I think I would die I’m cheese addict TT.TT

  60. How’s religion in South Korea? Are Korean people religious? I know that ther controversy surrounding CL’s song is hugh righ now, but is it also a hugh controversy in there?

  61. now for random…1.grave mounds and totems, walking in the hills, so peaceful… 2. blasphemy: BabyMetal Give Me Chocolate…ahhhrghhh!! if only kpop could be this creative

  62. - INCOMING: Unnecessarily long post. I’m sorry, I can’t help it. -

    Oh man, I laughed at that Circle of Lime joke so hard. I thought Simon was just going to say “life” but instead he said “lime” and it caught me off guard. Such a bad joke … but so funny.

    Also, you mentioned taxis and I have to ask: I’ve heard stories of foreigners getting told ‘oh that’ll cost so much to go there’ but they were actually giving a higher price than what it should be because they’re a foreigner and they wouldn’t know better. Does this still happen? I’m a bit worried about that if I ever visit.

    As for Korean community: I live in Melbourne and I don’t know much, but I know there’s like a row of Korean restaurants in the middle of the city. Somewhere near Melbourne Central from memory. My geography is terrible so I never remember where things are. I also know there’s some Korean grocery stores around somewhere. The community isn’t HUGE but it definitely exists. Australia (and Melbourne in particularly) is quite multicultural so I’d say there’s communities for just about everyone here. And maybe the Korean community is bigger than I think, I just don’t know. But we don’t have a Korea Town or anything like you guys once mentioned existed in Canada. We have a China Town though and it has other Asian stores there too.

    Also, I couldn’t agree more about the overrun by noobie k-pop groups thing. Particularly the Jackie Chan thing. Can I speak about that for a second? Cos srsly, one guy’s name is SIMBA. Like, I admit, he’s named after an awesome fictional lion but still, WHO WOULD TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY?! Plus, another is called Prince Mac and he’s Australian so I’m a little embarassed by that. Should have called another member Cheese so there could be Prince Mac and Cheese! At least then I’d congratulate them on their creativity rather than stupidity.

    But yeah, back to the k-pop noobs. I remember in 2012 there was an influx and hey, I actually cared a little! But come 2013 it was just getting out of hand. I didn’t have time for these newbies anymore. It’s hard enough caring about one. Jesus christ, it’s hard enough keeping up with Jaejoong news yet alone all of JYJ and TVXQ. Ugh. I miss the days when you didn’t really have to care about rookie groups because rarely anyone cared about them and expected you to know them. But now there’s like LC9 and BTS and even C-Clown is somehow popular here in Australia just cos one guy is Australian. It’s getting ridiculous, I don’t know how some fans keep up with all these idols. Sure, I could probably remember all their names if I wanted to, SuJu was never hard to learn for me. But I just don’t want to bother for these mundane groups that produce the same stuff I could already get from other groups but other groups do it better.

    As for k-pop offering something new: I was watching Katy Perry’s Dark Horse recently, and sure, it wasn’t the best thing ever but it reminded me how different American music videos are to k-pop. How much higher budget they are. And how creative they can be, like I went back and watched some of her other videos like Wide Awake and Firework and damn I wish k-pop would do something like that. Not only the music video but the MESSAGE. That’s something I would like to see more of.

    But I understand why they keep it the way it is. Fans just want to see their oppa’s/unnie’s faces and watch the awesome choreography. And I can’t entirely blame them, so do I somewhat. God, I never thought I’d want a box MV back until I saw Mr.Mr. I’d take dancing in a box with nice, clear close-ups over that piece of shit any day.

    But yeah, at the end of the day what I’m here for isn’t the music videos but the music itself. So really, I just want an influx of good music. 2014 seems to be doing alright, so if they keep it up I’m happy. Because in the end of the day, that is what I’m here for!

    • like lets say from airport to hotel is 30 minutes? airport–highway —local– hotel. It only requires only 1 highway to go to the hotel. For foreigners they take a bunch of highways and local roads: airport–highway- local road – highway-local road– hotel. Best bet: if you see the taxi getting off the highway and going local and going back into the highway best chances are your getting ripped off.

  63. I live in Jeonju ~ not really countryside as much as it is a small city, but it has it’s moments. When I first came a few years ago I would get pointed at and talked about rather often. But nowadays it’s hardly ever. And if there is a comment its much friendlier like “where are your from?” or “are you enjoying Korea?” or even “your blue eyes are pretty.” Much much nicer than “FOREIGNER!” I do however get “American?” but they’ve gotten much better at distinguishing I’ve found. One ahjuma even said to me “Ah British? Yes. You don’t look American. You have a European look.” Nearly fell off my chair.

    Cheese is still a let down. Le sob ~ Agree with Simon – my father is from the Mediterranean, and I grew up on goats cheese. Seriously needing the goats cheese guys. FEEEEETTTTTAAAAAAA.

    On another note – I’ve been dating my Korean boyfriend for a year now. That’s something relatively new – young people are very interested in having foreign friends and partners, especially if they are seriously interested in learning English. Making friends with university students has become easy. So much so that if I walk around a student area I get young people randomly approaching me just to chat. And that’s a rather charming new development!

  64. In the Boston area there are two distinct type of Korean market demographic groups: those businesses that cater to the numerous college students (Harvard Avenue in Boston’s Allston neighborhood between BU and BC is especially notable) and the ones scattered around the suburbs serving the families, such as the area’s lone H-Mart in Burlington.

  65. For me and my kids, being stared at usually doesn’t happens often. What normally happens is people will come up to the boys and say they are cute (this happens all the time). The weirdest look I received actually happened yesterday when we were out. We were walking on a trail in a park and a couple (a foreigner and a Korean) was walking towards us. I was looking down while doing something with the stroller but when I looked up, the foreigner had the strangest look on her face (it was a shocked or bewildered look like she didn’t expect to see another foreigner). It was just so strange since I would expect that look from a Korean not another expat.

  66. We live now over in Cheongna, Incheon (previous Incheon, Suwon and Anyang) and admit things have changed a lot in time we’ve been here (since 2009). Basically everything you said we’ve seen and agree with. It’s still pretty common to have random kids stop and say hello but at least they’re practicing their English.
    Cheese – It’s accually getting cheap, the Cathedral City Cheddar at Homeplus is reasonably priced.
    Beer – Queen’s Ale and the wider selection of Import and Homebrew stuff has made life better. Shame the prices are so high due to the strange Korea rules on alcohol taxation.
    Makkoli – The range is massive and it’s definitely worth giving another go. It’s perfect for when hiking this spring.
    Bar/Restaurants – More of them have the menu at least partly in English. Even outside of Seoul.
    Information/Social Media – The amount of information online has greatly improved. Before it was basically wiki and a few blogs. Now there is information on so many products and places. Plus the expansion of Facebook Group as made it easier for Newbies to Korea to Settle.

    On the Negative Side: Hagwons are still a risk, the cost of living is much higher, air travel is still expensive, GoogleMaps are still not correct for directions and Beef is still expensive (which might be changing due to a new agreement with Australia).

  67. Re: “Hyper-franchisation”… I’m pretty sure “gentrification” is the word you’re looking for.

  68. Oh, that’s a good one.
    A pity Garosu-gil is not what it used to be. :’)
    (there was a nice bakery with good bread for only 8 000원, bwt)

  69. Just wondering in general what Koreans think of UK/Europe? The steriotypes etc?

  70. I do agree with the Kpop matter, I feel kinda bored with it, seeing the same thing again and again, sometimes I see something that gets my attention but I usually focus on my bias groups now. I also think companies should focus on ‘quality over quantity’.

  71. I live in the SF Bay Area. Oakland has the KoNo Area, SF has a Koreantown, so does San Jose I believe. And in the towns in between there are a lot of communities that are in generally predominantly.. something, be it Asian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Hispanic/Latina and so on. I guess I feel lucky to live in such a culturally-dense region.
    And I couldn’t live w/out cheese. If Martina stuffs her suitcases with bras and ranch, I’m stuffing mine with cheeses and Cool Ranch Doritos.

  72. After watching ( A LOT OF) your videos, I recently came to realize one of the things I really loved about Korea and became able to word it properly. One of the things I didn’t like about my country (I’m Iraqi!) is that there is no big franchises which is somewhat nice in a way, but messy. If you like a certain product or food item, the ONLY place you can get it is that and only that store, so if you want to repurchase, you have to drive like 40 mins to get what you want. The good side is that there is lots of variety (boy, is there a lot!), everything is new! Canada on the other hand as you guise may know (I’m in Ottawa not T-dot ;P), is overrun with large chains. Which is makes it really convenient but really, do we need like 5 MacDonalds on the same road (no but seriously I counted 6 once…) so when I see some new little indie store I’m standing outside going “HALLELUJAH!”. Barely any variety whatsoever. BUT THEN, you got South Korea! Just the right mix between giant franchises and small indie shops, variety and convenience! So you can imagine how sad I was when you guys talked about how that street is being overrun! NOOOOO! Korea must not lose its golden point! *Tear tear*

  73. I’m fairly new to Korea moved here last year. That being said, I came to Korea to visit my boyfriend in 2012, and now I’m married to him in 2014. And I’ve noticed a pretty big difference. When I first came to Korea and visited GyeongBokGung Palace I had children out for a school-trip point at me and yell like it was “Find the Foreigner Day” at their teachers “ZOMG AMERICAN!! ZOMG FOREIGNER!”. At first my Korean was limited so I didn’t know what they were saying but my boyfriend was laughing so I thought they commented on my the size of my butt or something….. but unfortunately it was entirely innocent. I was ready to GET DOWN.
    Fast track to nowadays, I live in Gyeonggido, and have kids riding on bikes zooming past me saying “hi sorry”, drunk ahjummas I help off the floor saying to me “I am so sorry, thank you”, I’m not as cool anymore, my street foreign cred is gone. I feel so helpless. At least I still get the creepy ahjusshi stares *shudder*, I don’t see that going away anytime soon.
    The one advantage I have now is my Ahjumma status. I can make friends with any married Korean woman, Korean kids don’t understand the concept of our marriage, middle school kids think it’s the most “shingihada” thing they’ve ever heard, I can stop cars with a glare, I can haggle until my lips go numb, I sit next to dining table with one leg perched on the chair sipping my drinks, I can swear worse than a Busan gangster… it’s quite glamorous.

    I still am not allowed to speak Korean to Koreans though, that downright disturbs them.
    Is it ever possible to shake the friendly Canadian stranger talk? I keep getting the itch to ask someone something or make a clever remark and laugh a little, but they are freakin’ terrified! What is a girl to do! I once commented on a girls lack of clothing during winter and her pained frozen face by saying to her as she sat next to me on the bus “aren’t you cold?” in Korean…. I swear… she looked at me with a half-smile and then quickly eyed any free seats somewhere else… I speak Korean!!! You don’t have to freak out about your English! *sigh* I haven’t tried now that I’m an Ahjumma, maybe they will sense it. Ahjumma and Halmonis talk to EVERYBODY!

  74. We have two Natures Promise stores pop up here in NYC, they had a promotion in December giving away EXO merchandise if you bought a certain amount of product. We also have The Face Shop! As far as food goes NYC has always (or at least in my lifetime) had a small “k-town” which is really just Korean restaurants, like Korean bbq, food courts, and bars (with soju), and other Korean style cuisine (Korean wings are bombbb!!!). In queens there are some of the best Korean bbq restaurants in NYC, but Ive heard that in the U.S. California has the best spots!

    Thanks to you guys I know exactly what to order when I go to these places in the city i grew up in, go figure!

  75. Aphrielle Rodriguez



  76. Try Costco they have a whole fridge section of cheese and a huge block is maybe 20

  77. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with this week’s TL;DR, but I just wanted to share this horrid issue:

    Is this really happening? Simon and Martina, have you guise witnessed/ heard of any such incidents, or perhaps other use of such ‘sanctioned’ mobs?

  78. Just wondering what the metal scene is like in Korea, especially extreme metal.

  79. I live in Singapore, where we have seen a considerable increase in the number of Korean restaurants and marts, in the recent 2-3 years. Although the number of Korean marts here can be counted with two hands and their product range satisfies the bare minimal, I would say that the increment is almost twofold. That’s significant given the size of our country. Korean restaurants on the other hand, have sprouted everywhere across the island! There’s this particular area in our central business district where tons of Korean restaurants and bars are concentrated, so much so that it feels like ‘Koreatown’, since many Koreans (expatriates and youth alike) flock there. Probably has a lot to do with the Hallyu ‘pixie dust’ and the increase in the number of Koreans in Singapore, though I am not sure if the latter is a result of actual increase or heightened awareness haha!

  80. I would have loved to be called out as a “foreigner” or anything for that matter… I am American. but for some reason every time I was in the DMZ I was always asked if I was Russian… this specifically meant are you a “Drinky Girl”. Anyone else have this issue? I even had scary situation at the train station in Munsan with a Korean guy who was sure I was. Crazy! This was a few years ago, but has that particular ummm “industry” changed at all.. or died down at least a little with their being a smaller military presence in the DMZ? Taboo, I know.
    I remember there being a good cheese selection from Walmart and the American grocery store in Itaewan!!! Luckily I lived at the Sheraton Walkerhill, there was always good cheese somewhere! LOL

    I agree with how it becomes aggravating to always be pointed out as different. We spend so much time trying to adapt and learn the language and basically assimilate, only to be reminded that you are an outsider. I found myself often being confused (or thinking I had something in my teeth) when people would stare or point. But I always loved when I could respond back with a comment and watch their jaws hit the floor when the blond American spoke their language!

    Glad times are changing… Sad too, Korea is so special for all of the quirky little nuances you mentioned. I hate to see them dissolve due to big global companies and their money. Still the best place in the world though!

  81. There are no limes in France, or they are difficult to find. We manage!
    I feel you Simon. I cannot live without goat cheese!
    The taxi problem is the same in Kuala Lumpur where I live now, you have to say no to 3 taxis before you can get one that uses the meter. It’s a really big issue as there are virtually no other good transportation means (there is a good train system, but it is very limited).
    I’m pretty sure there are Koreans in Paris, but we don’t really have a concept of community. There is, I think, a Korean school near my old appartment. There are shops here and there were you can buy Korean food, there are Korean restaurants and even a couple Kpop shops. But it’s very limited. Most of them are either in the Japanese or Chinese neighbourhood, no Korean neighbourhood.

    On the Kpop overpopulation: I definitely agree. Personnally, I can never proudly say “I’ve liked this group since they debuted!” because I get really into a group a year, or a couple of years after they debut. I wait for them to prove to me that they are worthy. A good debut doesn’t mean much. I will listen to the early songs, watch a couple live performances, but it usually takes time to me to become a fan. I have two criteria: sustainability (good quality in the long term) and quality of live performances. The first requires time and the second improvement, because rookies are not necessarily good right away.
    Hell, I just got into EXO this month. Yes, I resisted all this time. I also don’t want Kpop to take over my life, so I will wait until I’m really addicted to their songs to watch their TV appearances and variety shows. And get to the point of no return. I love getting to know the personnality of the members and how they interact, but music and talent come first!

  82. If you saw Jackie Chan’s interview on Happy Together, he really doesnt care about money. He is actually really fascinated with the korean culture. So, i think he is really passionate about producing his own boy band.

  83. Not long ago, there was a news item about Hongdae becoming even more of a tourist stop than before. (S&M shares a tiny part of blame in that, IMHO) Naturally that attracted attention of international brands, and some of them are seriously considering opening a marque store there. I think Apple is one of them, and there are more. At the same time, rent in the area is getting even more expensive, so some of the bars are moving to nearby Shinchon and other college area. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all?

    Kpop-wise 2013 was not a bad year for me. It may have something to do with me getting a satellite radio: I bought a new-to-me used car about a year ago, and it came with sat-radio, which gave me free music stream for life. It has a kpop station. Naturally I started to listen, and only listen. Then, when I found an interesting song, I looked up on youtube. Most of time, I was disappointed because MVs were just meh. Actually, with OST ballads, MVs often interrupted the flow of the song. So I just went back to just listening to songs. 2013 turned out to be a year of radio friendly songs. One exception: Bar Bar Bar by CP: fun music fun MV.

    With that caveat, some of the songs I liked from 2013, not in any order:

    “What are you doing today”, “Would you have a tea with me” by Hello Venus

    “Dolls”, and “Wild” by Nine Muses. These actually had interesting MVs. Try to watch 60fps versions if you can get your paw on it…. especially if you are a guy.

    “No No No” by Apink

    “Female President” “Expectation” by Girls Day. 60 fps thing applies here too

    English Sem song by NCA. Actually, a very nice MV. It’s a nano-sized kdrama.

    “Shower of Tears” by Baechigi

    “Tears” by Leessang

    “Good Start” by Verbal Jint

    “If this isn’t love” by Verbal Jint

    “Be Warmed” by Davichi

    “Growl” by EXO

    “Tell Me Tell Me” by Rainbow

    Following are all (pop) ballads and MVs ruining the song applies very strongly here:

    “Don’t Think You Are Aloine” by Kim Bokyung

    “Touch Love” by T

    “Don’t you know” by Davichi

    This list just from top of my head. I am sure I am forgetting some.

  84. Hey! Jackie Chan might really be going somewhere with this boy band thing! Maybe he saw the kpop world and thought “Damn. It just ain’t what it used to be… THAT’S IT. I’LL SAVE IT! I’LL RESTORE THE NAME OF KPOP!” You never know.

  85. I commented earlier, but I just thought of an interesting TL;DR question:

    What is celebrity culture like in Korea? Is there a massive amount of paparazzi or are paparazzi orchestrated to help Kpop groups? Are singers or actors/actresses or models more popular? Does pop culture make up a big part of Korea’s news and TV programs, etc like North America? How big are award shows in terms of acting (in North America, for example, The Oscars are HUGE) and singing (the Grammys). Do people even care about celebrities? Are celebrities ever made fun of i.e. Saturday Night Live, late night talk shows, etc. I know some kpop fans might already know the answers to these questions, but I’m a lot more interested in ALL celebrities, not just idols. Thanks!

  86. So I live in Australia in a suburban area called Cabramatta. The population there is mostly asian. I have read blogs of people going to Cabramatta or for just for food. Which is really strange for me because it is about an hour way from the city. I have also have people describing like a super cleaned up version of Saigon.

    I was pretty shocked but looking at the statistics it says that only around 30% of people in Cabramatta where in fact born in Australia. Seeing an ethically white person living the neighbourhood is rare. Most of the people that live here are of Vietnamese. But you also see Chinese, Khmer, Laos, Thailand and Serbian people here.

    Franchises have been showing up in the area such as Subway and Dominos but not as much. I have to get on a car and drive to the closest McDonalds. It is difficult to get good cheese from my suburb you have to drive to another town to get it. The only cheese is from a supermarket chain called Woolworths but since my suburb has mostly an asian population they don’t have as much cheese as I would like.

    You will almost never see anything Korean around here with exceptions to the dramas you can find in the DVD stores. Which totally all illegal and torrented online and sold. But the police seem to do nothing about. If you head closer towards the city there is large Korean community there.

  87. Ah. Yeah… I live in a town with around 800 people in the middle of nowhere Canada. I think I am probably the only person within 100 miles of myself that even acknowledges Korea exists lol. 70% of the people in my town are migrant farm workers that only speak Spanish. 29% Are the orchard owners that hire the farm workers… and then there’s the unfortunate 1% like myself that’s stuck in this god forsaken place with nothing better to do than watch kpop videos and EYK all day, every day xD So I guess I am the sole source of Korean culture around here… and I’m not even Korean xD

  88. so i live in california and in the city i used to live you were either hispanic or indian. i swear man. there were probably around 6 other total asians in my entire elementary school. they called me “the asian” -___- well at least it wasn’t like when we lived in the desert region and in a super small town in a trailer….i’m sure it’s completely different now, but back then kids our age were like “korea? what’s that?”

    when we moved just 25 mins away from the first mentioned city, it was seriously so weird. here you’re either asian or white. and there’s a loot of koreans. there’s around 5 korean major baptist churches that have at least 1000 members. or at least it feels like that LOL. my high school isn’t even one with the largest percentage of asians, but we still have a 51% asian students percentage. actually now that i think of it our city mayor is korean HAHAHA.

    but my friend (she’s asian) was telling me about this one time when she was in a remote town in mid-US walking down a street with her mom, and these white girls passing by her were like “omg an asian omg omg no way KANICHIWA!” …. .-.so i mean the whole foreigner thing doesn’t only happen in korea i guess LOL.

    you know, but on the other hand there are a lot of “fobs”(fresh off the boat) at our school. like the asians who just moved to korea stick with others of their homeland and never really make close friends with actual americans. i see why they would do this, but it really isn’t helping them in adapting to american culture and all. which to me seems a bit sad. idk just saying.

  89. Roxanne Stephanie Contante Cha

    I live in philippines and its not new for us seeing koreans everyday. koreans study english here. (i actually discovered kpop because of my korean classmate). There are some korean restaurants and convenient stores opening near our area. And before, you can only buy korean stuff (merch, albums etc) in online shops but now, wherever I go, my friends and I be like “there’s an EXO shirt. Oh look, one of a kind shirt. hey! Big bang poster. Oh CL’s hoodie” and I saw some people wearing EXO shirt and they dont even know who the F is EXO! man, it’s just irritating for a kpop fan. I really miss the kpop before. When their music is very different from american music. Lastly, kpop fans now only like the group because of their faces not their music. It really makes me sad. :(

  90. So I moved to Hawaii two years ago and the cheese scene here is pretty abysmal as well, though maybe not as bad as Korea! Its like 7$ for a tiny block of cheddar and 4$ for cream cheese and thats pretty much all youll see at a regular grocery store besides the plastic cheese. You can at least find other cheeses in a wide variety but they cost a lot and are out of the way to get. One time I splurged and binged on an entire block of cheese in one sitting! I do really miss just being able to pick up herbed cheve (my favorite cheese), some salami, and a french bread for like 5$ at the store.. more like 20$ here if you can even find all those! I just binge whenever I visit my dad back on the mainland lol

    The Korean scene is pretty bustling though! Lots of Korean and Japanese marts, restaurants, mom and pop type restaurant, yakinikku, more chain type (but fairly authentic) Korean food, tons of Korean people both from here and from Korea. I think theres a norebang down the street too but I heard its overpriced. It is more a Japanese/Local style fusion here than Korean, but its still a very sizable community! My school also has the most prestigious Korean undergrad and grad program in the US so theres that too. :P

  91. I used to live in northeast Ohio in the US and I was always one of only two or three Koreans at my school, and usually the only semi-fluent one. When I moved down to the Atlanta area a few years ago I was overwhelmed by the Korean population, there are SO many Koreans here O___O In Ohio, the majority of Asians are Chinese. Here in Georgia, the majority are Korean. There are all these big Korean grocery stores called H-Mart that don’t have exclusively just Korean shoppers. And you can go down streets after streets of just Korean stores and shopping centers, it still fascinates me.
    Also, I am finally going back to visit Korea after a whole 10 years! =DDDDD I’ll be in Seoul so maybe I’ll be able to stop by the EYK studio :]

    “Let’s see some friends get together that want to make great music, develop their own sounds and songs, promote themselves, and make it big on their own. That’s why we’re so passionate about the Korean Indie scene here. Korea needs a music revolution. Kpop’s formula is being exploited and mass produced. I want something different.” –> couldn’t have said it better myself.

  92. Hey Simon and Martina can you do a TL;DR about the popular kpop groups in Korea?? I mean us International fans all have specific groups that are popular in our own countries but we dont really know which groups are the most popular in Korea as opposed to the ones that are more popular among international fans

  93. My parents are divorced and I live with my mom, but my father’s new wife is Korean, so my whole step-family is too. When I’m with my mom, I’m living in a very rural part of the northeast of America, and there is little to no Korean culture here, and very little Asian culture. But my father lives near the metropolitan tri-state area near New York, and so we go to a lot of Korean restaurants and eat a TON of Korean food at home too, and there are lots of Korean and Asian markets around. But I guess my perspective is different seeing as I’m sort of on the edge of a Korean family. In urban America, especially with the implement of chains like BonChon, there is a LOT more Korean culture being experienced by Americans, some of which even goes unnoticed. But in rural areas, there hasn’t been much progress. Though I guess you could probably say that about Korea too. I bet there is a lot more American influence in Seoul than in the countryside. Still sucks though when I’m with my mom and I can’t get my hands on any dok boki :(

  94. adriana

    I live in the Metropolitan Chicago area. There is a huge Korean population here but it’s not as active/young as NYC and LA’s scenes. I live right by a Super H Mart though, which is a huge Korean grocery store. It’s amazing how much Korean products they have. There are a few stores within the market including The Face Shop! There is also a Korean-style spa next to it called King Spa and it’s amazing! There are some decent Korean bars in the the suburbs (Niles mostly), K-town (which is also mixed with Middle Eastern and Swedish stores/restaurants/bakeries/markets), and in the West Loop.. but I definitely don’t feel a community. I am not Korean, so it could be just that. Most Koreans here stick together and tend to get weirded out whenever my friends and I go to this upscale Korean lounge/bar. It’s really bothersome. I am half-Italian and half-Greek, so I am really used to many people of all ethnic backgrounds being really into my heritage because they love what the know/see of these two countries. That’s why it’s really strange that the Korean-Americans around here are put off by non-Koreans who are into Korean culture; it’s like they want to be exclusive. It’s usually the Koreans in their 20′s though. My friends that are Korean aren’t like that though, because they are more American than Korean-American, and they don’t really like the stereotypical Korean-American crowd. There are soooo many great Korean restaurants though! As for K-pop, there used to be a store called K-Pop America in a mall nearby. They went out of business and now one of the stores in Super H Mart sells all their products. I don’t really have friends that listen to K-pop, but some of them don’t mind when I play it. Honestly, I feel really alone in my passion for South Korean cuisine and culture. I know Chicago has a lot of K-pop fans, but I am in my mid-twenties and I am not boy-crazy for the idols. A lot of the fans here are more high school aged, so I definitely feel more alone lol

  95. andrea chan

    On the topic of blood types, it’s a little late I know but have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm83c09T158

  96. i have a question have you ever been cheated from paying more money from korean taxis. This is a known fact that korean taxi drivers will go the long route , or go around the block of your destination once more to get more money out of foreigners. Simon and Martina did you ever experience this when you first came to korea?

    • Yeah, I’m really worried about this. D:

      • i was told to not really talk in the cab because as soon as i talked they’d knew i was a foreigner. If i were you i would call a taxi company ( i forgot the name ) which gives you the exact price nothing more and nothing less. It also tracks the cab number and the current location

        • Sadly I don’t look a tiny bit Asian so they’ll know I’m a foreigner right away. But thanks, I’ll do some research on the matter!

      • If you’re looking for some taxi advice, I have some (if you’re in Seoul or another large city).

        1. Don’t take the black luxury taxis. They charge more.

        2. Make sure your taxi’s meter is working. The base price is 3,000 won, and 20% more from midnight to 4am.

        3. If the driver tries to negotiate a set price before you leave, do not go with them. Once I had a driver try to ask for 40,000 won (about $40) for a 5 minute ride to my destination after the subway had closed. The trip was only 4,000 won in the taxi I actually took.

        4. Don’t tip the driver. Nobody tips anyone in Korea.

        5. Pay attention to where the driver is going. If the driver is using GPS follow along on that, or follow along on a smartphone. Naver Maps is the Google Maps there. If neither option is available, watch for landmarks, like subway stations, neighborhoods, famous buildings, whether or not you should be crossing the Han River, etc. Know an approximate time it should take you to get to your destination so they don’t drive you around in circles for an hour.

        6. If you’re by yourself, do not sit in the seat behind the driver. Sit in the backseat opposite of him. The driver’s side passenger door is always locked, so if the driver decides to do something shady like stop for other people, sitting on his side allows them to quickly get in and block your way out. It’s very unlikely to happen, but I’ve heard bad stories about drivers setting up passengers in this way. The best is to just avoid riding taxis alone and always ride with a friend.

        7. Most importantly, if your driver rips you off, call 120 on your phone to report them. Make sure you know the taxi number and all other possible info, like the time you were riding, destination, etc. I’m pretty sure the drivers get into a lot of trouble now for these complaints, and most of them avoid the shady practices in order to keep their job.

    • If you’re looking for some taxi advice, I have some (if you’re in Seoul or another large city).

      1. Don’t take the black luxury taxis. They charge more.

      2. Make sure your taxi’s meter is working. The base price is 3,000 won, and 20% more from midnight to 4am.

      3. If the driver tries to negotiate a set price before you leave, do not go with them. Once I had a driver try to ask for 40,000 won (about $40) for a 5 minute ride to my destination after the subway had closed. The trip was only 4,000 won in the taxi I actually took.

      4. Don’t tip the driver. Nobody tips anyone in Korea.

      5. Pay attention to where the driver is going. If the driver is using GPS follow along on that, or follow along on a smartphone. Naver Maps is the Google Maps there. If neither option is available, watch for landmarks, like subway stations, neighborhoods, famous buildings, whether or not you should be crossing the Han River, etc.. Know an approximate time it should take you to get to your destination so they don’t drive you around in circles for an hour.

      6. If you’re by yourself, do not sit in the seat behind the driver. Sit in the backseat opposite of him. The driver’s side passenger door is always locked, so if the driver decides to do something shady like stop for other people, sitting on his side allows them to quickly get in and block your way out. It’s very unlikely to happen, but I’ve heard bad stories about drivers setting up passengers in this way. The best is to just avoid riding taxis alone and always ride with a friend.

      7. Most importantly, if your driver rips you off, call 120 on your phone to report them. Make sure you know the taxi number and all other possible info, like the time you were riding, destination, etc. I’m pretty sure the drivers get into a lot of trouble now for these complaints, and most of them avoid the shady practices in order to keep their job.

  97. I feel the need to chime in here. I lived in Seoul in 2008 and I never had that problem with taxis. Has it only been more recently? Or maybe it was just because I’m a girl? I don’t know. I never really had any trouble getting a taxi after midnight, although it was usually in Itaewon, so that may have had an effect on it. . . Then when I lived in Gangwon-do in 2010 and 2011, I never had trouble with taxis either. Again, maybe because I am a girl. . . I noticed that Koreans tended to be a bit nicer and more considerate of the girls, at least in my experience.
    As for people pointing at commenting about me being foreign, maybe I just got so used to it that I learned to ignore it, but I never had a problem with it. What made me roll my eyes was when the ajummas would insist on telling me I looked like a doll or a celebrity. I was compared to so many celebrities I can’t even remember which ones.
    And I completely agree about the overload of kpop groups! I can’t count how many times I would watch the music shows and just cringe when a new group would perform. And most of them aren’t even really around anymore.
    Anywho, there is my two cents worth.

    I would love it if you lovely people could find and tell us about shops that have gluten free items. I may be returning to Korea this fall and it would be handy information to have.
    You are awesome!

  98. Decline of KPop, you say? *Still listens to old Jinusean and MC Mong albums*

  99. Oh so it wasn’t just me when I felt disappointed because those shops in Hongdae weren’t really anything special :/
    At the big Home Plus you can get limes (cheapest of all the fruits) as well ;)

  100. Hey Simon and Martina can you do a TL;DR about the popular kpop groups in Korea?? I mean us International fans all have specific groups that are popular in our own countries but we dont really know which groups are the most popular in Korea as opposed to the ones that are more popular among international fans

  101. I definitely agree that I feel like Kpop hasn’t been as good from 2013 up to recent times. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some really amazing songs and dances that have come out. However, I feel that something needs to change. Songs and concepts that used to be interesting and fun when they first came out are now being over-used. I feel like a lot of the new groups that debut get stuck with a style that was popular about 2 years ago, so, half the time, they end up sounding very unoriginal and fake. It is a shame when you know how much work the group members do in order to get accepted by a company and then they end up performing music that isn’t theirs or music that doesn’t speak to their strengths at all.
    Initially when I started thinking these things I thought that I might have simply become a more critical music consumer, but now that Simon and Martina have mentioned their thoughts about the topic as well, I am starting to think that that is not the case anymore. Hopefully the larger companies will have a revelation of some sort and turn away from the current path that they are taking. Since, it seems that this path is squashing a large portion of the artistic and expressive qualities which make up the foundation of music and dance performance.

  102. Well we are in Ann Arbor, Michigan (“we” means my husband and myself) and there is actually a pretty large Korean population here. There are Korean grocery stores and lots of Korean restaurants. I do have to say that we have noticed that the majority of Japanese restaurants in South East Michigan are actually owned by Koreans. I noticed this when I began to get really into Korean culture (and food and music and language…. the list is endless). I was seeing a lot of traditional Korean dishes sort of added onto Japanese menus…. so you see sashimi and tonkatsu and then BAM!! There is the kimbap and bulgogi. I began asking servers while we were out just to see if I was crazy, then lo and behold they were owned and operated by Korean people! That sort of blows my mind because, as you guys have said before, sushi in Korea is just NOT THE SAME. ANYWAY…. I also work in a retail shop and we play Korean music often (since I am the boss and I say so) and we get a lot of people who notice it and say something or Koreans who are all excited to hear it, haha!

    • adriana

      Oh cool! I’ve been to Ann Arbor a few times, but I don’t really remember seeing any Korean restaurants/stores. I feel like AA is a perfect place to experience any culture because of the diversity of students at University of Michigan. My brother went there for their Engineering program, and a lot of his peers were from China and a few from Korea.

      • Wicked! If you ever come back, I have some great recommendations for Korean restaurants! My husband says they are “hidden” though, haha. But I totally agree with you that A2 is great for experiencing other cultures. This city is really open and liberal and I love it!

  103. I’m a Quebecois of Haitian descent and I live in Montreal, Canada~ And while I don’t hang around there THAT much, I know there are Korean shops and restaurants downtown, specially in Chinatown (yeah… “China”town…xD). I ate at a Korean restaurant there once with my friend and there was a TV that played KPop MVs and the owner was humming a Girl’s Generation song, hahaha. Then we went to a store to buy some goods like SHINee headphones, a GD One of a Kind snapback… I’m a freshman in university now, but I’ve noticed among high school teens that KPop is becoming more and more popular. So cool! I saw a girl in the metro with a EXO pin on her backpack too, haha.

  104. In Hawaii, Waikiki had a spot that had Hawaiian culture, until they destroyed it by replacing it with a shopping mall, MY UNCLE OWNED A FRUIT STAND STORE PLACE AT THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET PLACE! , BUT THEY JUST HAD TO BUILD A MALL! IT’S DESTROYING CULTURE. HOW IS A MALL MORE IMPORTANT THAN CULTURE! I MEAN SERLOUSLY WOULD YOU CHOSE A MALL OVER CULTURE (ok maybe you would but I’m trying to make a point here) (ALSO NOW MY UNCLE DOESN’T HAVE A JOB.) (WHY MUST THEY BUILD A MALL)

    • My ex lives in Manoa Valley and his uncle has a chicken farm on the North Shore and it was pretty entertaining to hear them both complain about the country staying country and all that, but at the same time, I feel for Hawaiians. Capitalism sucks the soul out of culture. lol

  105. I am actually currently an Exchange Student at Konkuk University in Seoul and even though I haven’t been here for long, I definitely agree with some of the points Simon and Martina made. I came here on vacation about three years ago and as a white American, I felt uncomfortable. I don’t know if this was just because it was my first experience in a society that was so different from home, but I definitely felt like people were whispering “어 미국 사람” behind me. I still sometimes get strange looks on the subway, but it really isn’t that bad. Most people won’t even spare me a second glance, which I like! Also yessss on the bread thing. Just had bread at a restaurant the other night and I guess it was supposed to be garlic bread? But it was just like a roll with a garlic-y sauce on top and the bread was super dry. I definitely miss the bread from home!

  106. DAVIDPD

    “They’re just repeating a lot of what’s been done before, with different faces.” Yes. You guys are finally catching on to what “Pop” music is!!~ Sorry if that came off as super snarky, but yeah the basic definition of “Pop” is pretty much that sentiment.

  107. Hi S&M! I wonder if you guys know Brown Bread near Ewha Univ? They do have some darker hartier kinds and although I prefer soft white breads, quite lot of exchange students enjoy darker breads. And some department stores like Hyundai have imported cheese and looks like they are expanding the section more and more. Most of them are European, little expensive but better than only sliced cheddar!

    Here’s rough location of Brown Bread!

  108. Are there any San Diegans here? I’ve perused the comments and not found any. San Diego had a pretty large Korean population (battling with the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese population on Convoy Street). Thing is, I feel on an island. I am a white chick and can’t find any Koreaphiles to share my love and growing pains with… I am sad, but grateful for EYK… sigh…

    • Hi Jme! I am in San Diego. Poway to be precise. I posted a comment earlier this morning about the area around Convoy. Also mentioned the H-Mart that recently opened in Mira Mesa, which is closer to me than Zion Market. I’m your girl if you’re into kdramas. Was kind of an addict for a time! :)

      • Oh my god, hello! I must have missed your comment. :-( you’re picture looks lovely and is encouraging. Most of my Asian friends here are Vietnamese and Chinese and they laugh at me and say that only middle aged ladies are into the dramas! I am sub 30 and this has been a hard mirror to hold up to myself. Have you ever been to Chorus? I grew up in the Clairemont area, and it’s my favorite karaoke place. :-)

        • Whaaaaat?? I got addicted to dramas when I turned 21! Hahahaha [Btw, not really from San Diego, but I'm only an hour away, so, Hi!] haha

        • Well, I’m in my mid-thirties, so the shoe nearly fits me! Although, I don’t really see how dramas are “only for middle-aged ladies” since a large portion of them these days are all highschool drama and first love awkwardness. I’m the one who should feel ashamed to be watching such shenanigans at my old age! Haha. I haven’t tried the karaoke scene yet, although my friends have often enticed me.

    • I’m San Diegan! Most of my “Asian” friends are Vietnamese, so they find it necessary to make fun of my Korean loving ways but I roll with the punches. lol.

  109. Hey Nastieesssss !!

    I just wanted to thank you S&M for all your amazing and funny videos !

    I’m french and i just arrived to Daejeon, Korea, 2 week ago but thanks you I came here with a pretty good idea of what i should expect from Korea and these nice and so cool Korean peoples :) !!

    I hope i will meet you a day around Hongdae cause you both definitely deserve drink :P !

    Regarding the video, i am not here from a long time, so i cant really comment those change, but as a french i can notice that here wine and bread are soooo expensive ; I should maybe start a commerce …. :P

    Cya Nasties :)

  110. Hey Nastieesssss !!

    I just wanted to thank you S&M for all your amazing and funny videos !

    I’m french and i just arrived to Daejeon, Korea, 2 week ago but thanks you I came here with a pretty good idea of what i should expect from Korea and these nice and so cool Korean peoples :) !!

    I hope i will meet you a day around Hongdae cause you both definitely deserve drink :P !

    Regarding the video, i am not here from a long time, so i cant really comment those change, but as a french i can notice that here wine and bread are soooo expensive ; I should maybe start a commerce …. :P


  111. Hey Nastieesssss !!

    I just wanted to thank you S&M for all your amazing and funny videos !

    I’m french and i just arrived to Daejeon, Korea, 2 week ago but thanks you I came here with a pretty good idea of what i should expect from Korea and these nice and so cool Korean peoples :) !!

    I hope i will meet you a day around Hongdae cause you both definitely deserve drink :P !

    Regarding the video, i am not here from a long time, so i cant really comment those change, but as a french i can notice that here wine and bread are soooo expensive ; I should maybe start a commerce …. :P

  112. Definitely agree with you about the whole Kpop thing. I really feel like companies are just spitting out groups and artists just for the sake of it, and I think that’s really sad because like you said, they are talented people and they deserve to have attention and to be successful. And I think that if companies really took the time to get to know their artists and to take the time to consider the right concept for them, then they would have better success because no one wants to see something that’s already been done, especially in the Kpop world when the label of “concept” and “genre” is so critical. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense. Haha

  113. YOU FOUND LIMES?? AT EMART?!?! Omg I need to go check mine after school today.
    I live in Cheonan, and grocery stores are expanding their cheese variety, although its like 70% single cheese slices that claims to be “cheddar” or “gouda” but it all tastes pretty much the same!! Ha! We do have like shredded mozarella (super expensive) and like..that real mozarella stuff, like the squishy ball of cheese (also expensive). I usually splurge on a small block of gouda. I went to Itaewon a few weeks ago and got a big block of real cheddar cheese, and that was like the most worth it purchase I’ve made in a long time!!!!
    Our emart just started carrying tortillas, which I hadn’t seen until recently. It also now carries like a quart-sized tub of just plain yogurt, and its fantastic!! (elastic)
    I don’t reaaally get pointed at that often, or at least I’ve never had anyone (that I noticed) actually point at me and say “waygookin!!” I’ve had kids stare at me a lot, but usually like high school age-middle aged people don’t usually seem too phased by foreigners. I’ve never had bad experiences with the elderly, but my friend has been yelled at a few times by some old halmoni for reasons she was unaware of…
    I haven’t been here near as long as you guys have, so I don’t have a very good sense of what has changed, only the recent-ish things..

  114. I’m live in a big city in Alberta, Canada and they have one Korean supermarket (that I’m aware of, at least) here and most of the Koreans live in one part of the city and don’t branch out very much. For example, I’m a university student but I know 1 Korean. It really surprises me. A lot of people like Kpop here, but there’s not many places where you can get albums and stuff like that. Most of the Korean restaurants are owned by Chinese people and I think some of the Caucasians (SOME, not all) have ignorance towards Korea and its culture, thinking there’s just PSYs running around everywhere. A lot of the other Asians that I know are very consumed into Korean culture, but mostly just focus on Kpop and nothing else… Idk, this is just my perspective of where I live in the city and the particular people that I’m around (I live on the side of the city where there’s NOT a lot of Koreans), so I could actually be completely and utterly wrong, so if any Albertans could let me know their perspective of where they’re from, that would be really interesting as well.

  115. I live in Montreal and there are some Korean restaurants near downtown. My favorite one is called “Chez Bong” . They serve a lot of things, but the best is the seafood pajeon. It is FABULOUS. And the funny thing was that there was soju on the menu and it cost 8.50$ for one bottle (even though I’m underage, my mom wanted to try it). And as for stores, I only know one. It’s located in Chinatown and it sells Kpop products, for example, some band hoodies, jewelries and CD. I still remember when I was in Toronto, my uncle brought me to Koreatown and there was a giant supermarket. Surprisingly, they sell some carpbreads. Anyways, I feel like that korean cultures is starting to come here in Canada

  116. I’m from Brazil, and here we have a fairly large Korean community, especially in the southern region, where I happen to live. In the city of Sao Paulo there is a whole neighborhood of Korean immigrant concentration, called Bom Retiro, which is famous for textile production and clothes shops. If you walk a bit around you can see signs written in hangul advertising Korean dentists, doctors, hairdressers, presbyterian churches and even lawyers’ offices! These structures were founded when the immigrants first arrived, and needed these services but didn’t speak Portuguese and couldn’t really get by with Brazilian services. I just think it’s amazing how they gather to preserve their culture, to this day.

  117. bigbangfosho

    My biggest issue with kpop these days is Brave Brothers. He lost his inspiration. All his music sounds the same yet he still is treated as some genius. If he just takes a break from the kpop scene he’ll probably make better music, which to me, isn’t that hard. All the band who use his music end up having a generic, cookie cutter sound and it really could be better.

  118. irritablevowel

    Question for Simon and Martina. You guys are fans of Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown. Did you see the episode of the Layover where Bourdain took Brown to the Clermont Lounge in Atlanta? If you haven’t, you must see it. It’s on YouTube. It’s both scarring and delightful.

  119. I’m in Iowa and there is pretty much nothing korean here… Except there is a really sketchy Asian store in the hipster part of Des Moines that has a few Korean things but nothing kpop. Also one time I saw an old abandoned building in Des Moines with some Korean writing on the sign. However; in the tiny town where I live there is a pretty big kpop community. I can think of at least 7 people off the top of my head who listen to kpop or watch kdramas. AND there’s a fairly new person at my school from Korea who I became friends with really quickly on account of I am the only person at my school who can speak Korean.

  120. Before I came to Korea, I knew a Korean couple in Texas who would help me with my K homework and tell me random things about Korea. After I graduated, I applied for the EPIK program and wound up being placed in the Chungbuk province. I was excited just to go at all! I discussed with that couple where I would be going, to which they responded with blank stares. They explained disapprovingly to me, “Oh, when you come back, you will speak Korean like a country person.” This kinda made me worried I would be placed in the middle of nowhere seeing that Chungbuk Province is one of the “countrier” provinces. To my surprise, however, I was placed in Cheongju, the capital of the province. I realllllly like Cheongju for a few reasons: it’s close to most major cities; and it has about the same population as Austin, my hometown; also the live music scene here reminds me a lot of Austin, too; and finally, Koreans in the Chungbuk province tend to speak more slowly than other provinces, which is surprisingly helpful when trying to learn Korean.

    But I digress, here in Cheongju, I’m able to find pretty much anything (save really good Mexican food). The Hyundai department store has a ton of different cheese (and yes, wayyyy too many bries), and some western favorites. Here, taxis are cheap and nice, but OCCASIONALLY, I’ll get some taxis who see I am a foreigner and pass me up. More and more of the popular places here tend to have employees who speak enough English to help us foreigners. But as I mentioned, this is the capital of the province. I have friends in other places far more rural where English is pretty much non-existent. I admire them because their Korean skills are probably improving much faster than mine. Also in Cheongju, we’re finally getting an H&M, so there’s that. I keep trying to think of more things, but I don’t wanna write a book…yet. From talking to oldtimers in my city, I’ve learned that Cheongju is growing very fast, and that I came at a great time. I’m excited to see what else will pop up during my time here.

    S&M, keep doing what you’re doing. Been watching since forever ago. I met you guys at the North Korea deal in Itaewon last year, and you were exactly how I imagined. I look forward to our next meet! But bring Leigh so we can talk about Texas thangz.

  121. irritablevowel

    This is Chicago, so there are moderate sized communities for most ethnicities and nationalities, and everybody has their grocery store. For Koreans there are two H Marts. One is massive and in a town with a significant Korean community. They make their own tofu and kimchi in house, a food court, big fish tanks that get MOBBED on Saturday, and smaller boutiques that ring the store (like a bookstore, home furnishings, a mini Best Buy etc.) I’ve seen people there who drove two or three hours, walk in with a big cooler, and stock up on like $400 worth of groceries. The same thing happens at Mitsuwa, the Japanese grocery store (some of the best ramen in Chicago), Caputo’s, the Italian grocery store (they make their own mozzarella…it’s amazing) and on Devon Ave with the Indian/Pakistani grocery stores, etc. etc. The other Hmart is out in one of the Mcmansion burbs, and seems to be marketing to basically all of Asia. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Basically, at that HMart, wherever you’re from, you’ll find some of the staples of your country, but maybe not the really specific stuff.

    Funny side story, I was in the Vietnamese grocery store when I overheard the following conversation between a caucasian man who was buying ingredients for some kind of dish (I’m not sure what) and the cashier:
    Him: Okay, I think I’ve got everything right?
    Her: Yeah, you’ve got what you need.
    Him: I just love (whatever it was that he was making) and I wanted to try making it myself, but I want it to be authentic. I mean, is this what you use?
    Her: Um, I just get it delivered from the restaurant down the street. But good for you for trying!

    I just about fell over laughing.

  122. Texan here – Dallas to be specific.

    The Korean population, that I’m aware of has always been up around the Carrollton area, especially where the H-Mart is located. Recently tho a new H-Mart opened up in Plano, TX which is a lot closer to me so that’s great.
    Still a 45 min drive /cough

    I live in the boonies tho in a predominantly black and Hispanic area :p

    So our Korean population is slowly growing!

    • Omg~ I live in Plano and I was super excited when the H-Mart opened up here! It’s about 10-15 mins from where I live (West Plano/ border of Dallas and Frisco) but I got to try to many new things there and I love it. There’s also a Asia World Market that’s bigger than H-Mart and not far from it.

    • Sequoia

      Hey guys! It’s nice to see some fellow Texans here. I grew up & still live in Carrollton. Koreans actually stared arriving here in the late 1980′s & have always had a fairly strong community. Lately, though, it’s really grown MASSIVELY and it’s been fun to visit the different stores & restaurants available. There are all kinds of specialty boutiques (& even a Korean hotel/spa) here now. I grew up eating kimchi at my friend’s houses, but back in the day, my Korean friends were more interested in eating “American” foods than traditional Korean foods. I grew up as a first generation American too (except mine was German), & as kids, we all just wanted to fit in. It wasn’t until high school that we started to be more interested in connecting with our roots. All this to say, that it wasn’t until finding this site & learning about different types of traditional Korean food, that I’ve had the courage to seek it out & try it! I started out slowly though. There’s an L.A. Burger here & they serve kimchi French fries that are ahh-mazing! I really recommend stopping by there if y’all ever visit Carrollton. ,

      • I’m all the way out in the boonies past South Dallas lol so idk if i’ll drive all the way out to Carrollton for fries but maybe if i’m ever in the neighborhood lmao

  123. the cheese thing made me laugh. my TEFL teacher said he was in Korea in the 1960s (whoa, I know right? there musta been NO foreigners then o_o) but he said Koreans would tell him and other foreigners that “they smelled like cheese” XD I thought this was a really funny coincidence since u guys talked about cheese.

  124. I’m in Daejeon and I don’t get stared at sometimes. Not enough to really irk me, but enough that I notice. Though, I should say I’m half Chinese. Sometimes people stare at me and I can see the wheels in their heads turning as they try to figure out which language to address me in. It’s clear to them that I’m half-something Asian.
    Even my completely “foreign” friends say they don’t get stared at too much in public.
    In fact, I get the most stares in my own neighbourhood and that’s because my students all live around there. “Teacher! Teacher, hello! Hello!” and then they want to introduce me to their parents (who always look scared). :)

  125. In Seattle, Washington USA, there is a lot of Koreans that come and live here or do foreign exchange programs and due to that I think there is a wide variety of Korean restaurants and grocery stores but there isn’t much about their culture just food. I saw one thing related to Kpop at a giant Chinese market but thats it.

  126. Marzia Matalone

    I agree with the serialization problem in the late kpop…but sure, I think also that even if a lot of rookie groups get out, eventually only the really good ones will stand out and survive…I bet that massification will not do any good to companies, simply because audience will soon get sick of the same thing always reproduced in slightly different ways…
    For example, I watched YG’s Winner show, and i think this guys have some potential, since their personalities and abilities are quite “individual”and somehow original…they are nothing like an “Indie” band, since they are produced by one of the biggest brand of Kpop, but they write their own music and have their unique style…Will they succeed? Only time will get us an answer… anyway my point is: even if kpop scene overflows with new groups, in the end, only the really good ones will gain their companies a long-term return, expecially from an economic point of view…being good looking and talented is not enough, they need personality to survive in this sea…

  127. Lise Karlstand Berkerud
    Lise Karlstand Berkerud

    I have wondered about something. Has the body pressure changed a little? Like if there is still the same pressure to be as thin as idols, or is it more okay to gain more weight.

  128. I’m really lucky because I live in San Diego. I live right by a neighborhood called Kearny Mesa, which is basically Asian Mecca. I can’t tell you the number of Korean BBQ restaurants there. PLUS, there is a Zion marketplace and an Hmart, where I get all my Korean goodies.
    And recently I was able to volunteer for the opening of the House of Korea in the international village at Balboa Park. So all you San Diegan Nasties need to go visit there on Sundays. The house is nonprofit and does a really great job at spreading Korean culture!!

  129. We have quite a lot of Koreans in Sydney and there are areas with Korean stores as well as from other Asian countries. Most of the shop employees in Sydney are Asian, because they get taken advantage of for their low rates and harder work basically. There’s a joke here called “spot the Australian” when going into Sydney… unfortunately because of this theres a growing racist attitude…
    Also the whole bigger stores taking over little stores is common everywhere, not just Korea. Where I live there used to be only family businesses about 10 years ago, now theres a McDonalds, three major shopping centres, major hardware store, all on one street.
    I agree about the k-pop thing, but please don’t say who you think fit that description because I might get offended… heh

  130. hapagirl

    From Hawaii, so fairly sure that there’s a large Korean community here. People here tend to retain their culture here and it blends into Hawaii’s culture, especially since we also have people who come immigrate here and tourists. That said though, when was the last time a kpop group or singer actually perform here, because the only I remember was when Rain got sued for not going through on his concert here.

  131. LinZi

    I live in a small (very small) city in New England and we have a few Korean things. There is a Korean grocery store that I shop at… it’s pretty small but has a lot of the important basics for the stuff I know how to make. It also have some other random stuff like Korean face packs and dishes and kimbap triangles. We used to have 2 (TWO!) Korean restuarants here when I first moved here, one was more casual but they have both CLOSED and I am SO SAD. Now there are none.. just a couple Japanese restaurants that serve some Korean stuff as well… not the same. :(

    We have a small community of Korean people… there is a Korean-English bilingual church that a lot of Korean and Korean-American people in the greater city area seem to go to (like the shop owner and the restuant owner all went there)…. I have never been to church but there is also a Korean Language school held in the church basement (though not religious itself)… I go there to learn Korean *yay!* It is run by all volunteer teachers and costs only $100 for a school year’s worth of 2.5 hour classes every Sunday.. pretty awesome! They also encourage you to go to culture events and such in the local Korean community to learn more and practice speaking Korean.

    So overall it actually has a lot more than I would have expected for a small city. It is definitely a small community but still pretty nice. I am still heartbroken about both of those Korean restaurants closing though. ::tear::

  132. Cheese and other groceries might be a little cheaper in Korea soon! Canada just signed a free trade agreement with S. Korea ^^ More delicious cheese!?

  133. Theres a big Korean supermarket just down the road from my University but I have no idea what to get!!? Does anyone have any ideas/tips for someone wanting to try more Korean food/explore its culture a bit more?

  134. In New York, there’s K-town in Manhattan which goes on for like 2 feet. But, in Queens, there’s a lot of korean people and there’s a neighborhood primarily of korean markets and restaurants (The kimchi tastes sweet and the food reeks of MSG though).. You can never find authentic, good restaurants even when the owners are Korean, IT MAKES ME REALLY MAD. You can find big chain franchises like Hmart and Paris Baguette. It was really helpful when we first moved to America. Korean markets are very common though, and I’ve noticed a lot of people have been eating and making their own kimchi lately, it’s a fad, like kale.. and juicing.

  135. Wishy

    Jackie Chan… is making a Kpop group…?
    Is this another way for him to make more money to donate to charity when he dies? Cause that’s the only justifiable reason my brain can think of right now.
    Okies, I have calmed down… It sounds interesting. Just tell me, why is JJCC pronounced “Double JC”? Wouldn’t that be stylized as JCJC or JJC?

  136. I totally agree with you guys on the whole k-pop thing ! Even though so many new rookie groups have come out in the past year or so , I still find myself listening to my favorite bands that have been in the industry for a while now , like Super Junior , Big Bang , Shinee , Beast , TVXQ ect. New bands are not even at talented , now a days groups are known more for their looks and less for their voices …………

  137. Thankfully I am literally like an hour or two away from Atlanta and can buy Korean groceries whenever I get the urge. Me and my mom love going to the Asian markets there. Hopefully I can convince her to go to a Korean restaurant since the one in my town closed. I miss bimbimbap ;-;

  138. TLDR Question:

    Hey guys! I was wondering what are the job opportunities like for foreigners? Of course I know lots of foreigners teach in Korea, but other than that what are the opportunities like? Do the major tech companies (samsung , LG) , or major banks/firms in Korea tend to hire Koreans only? Or do foreigners have a decent chance? I am planning on doing an exchange program in third year at SNU, and then hoping to get an internship in Korea in my fourth year, and then after completing my degree work at a major Korean bank/firm/tech company.

    PS. SIMON! I am a Londoner as well! When u guys were in Toronto, I missed you at the Eaton center by like 15 minutes :( If only I had stayed a little bit longer! :[

  139. I live in VA, USA, and I don’t have a huge Korean scene, but it’s definitely there (I go to an all-Korean church, there are lots of Korean markets that my mom shops at, and I have friends at school that are Korean). Like, the Korean markets usually aren’t huge, and it’s usually run by a couple of people max, so that’s a negative. But I do get the chance to have some ddeok that they’ve made (not the best, but we’re not in Korea, so I can’t complain), and if they’ve made any banchan/side dishes, then we have the privilege of having them (my mom’s a great cook, but she’s not the most enthusiastic, lol).

    However, I do know that in DC, there’s a huge Korean community. Like, when you guys went to go get Hoddeok in the little garages (they looked so good!) I was all like, “Oh! Those are kind of like the ones in DC!” Because there is a Lotte Market, and in the garage, there’s a dude that makes amazing Hoddeok, but only in the winter. There’s also a Shilla bakery (not the best, and overpriced, but once again, can’t complain), and a wonderful bookstore where they have K-pop CDs! And they’re albums that have just come out! Like, when GD’s One of a Kind album came out, I was fortunate enough to go down to that bookstore and find GD’s album! And I did see BIGBANG’s Alive album, so I begged my mom to let me buy that too.
    But any chance my mom gets, she wants to go to DC just because it reminds her a lot of Seoul (she keeps calling it a mini-Seoul, lol).

    So I’m lucky enough that I have a decent community within where I live. I’m also Korean, so that means my family and I visit Korea as often as we can (and I hope we get to this year, but because I’m a senior in high school, and I’ll be graduating, it’s gonna be time to be saving up on cash…because college tuition sucks ;AA;). But that also means my family can get some of the good, authentic Korean goods (like dried seaweed and sesame seed oil and such…lol). So, yeah! If there are any VA Nasties, I’d love to meet you ;A; it gets lonely sometimes when an EYK video comes out and I don’t have anyone to be excited with. <3 peace

  140. I live in Cincinnat, Ohio USA and we are not that culturally diverse so it is hard to be accepted as an Asian American. It is also hard to find good boba places here :, (

  141. Lyman (케이팝 팬)

    There is little to no Koreans were I live in Minnesota….so if I need Korean ingredients I have to make a 4 hour trip south to Saint Paul and find my favorite market which a small amount of Korean businesses are located and stock up before going back home….everyone always asks me if it’s worth the trip. I tell them of course…when you love Korean food as much as I do a 350 mile trip is nothing. Thinking about moving back to the city just for the market lol…

    • I live in Minnesota too! No Koreans here either, most people here still ask me why I like K-Pop if South Korea’s gonna bomb us all. ==; I’ve never lived in the cities but I’m going there this weekend, yay for the long road trip! They have Korean shops there? I’d love to get some ingredients to make something ><

      • Lyman (케이팝 팬)

        Yeah they say the same thing to me to…yeah in Saint Paul on Snelling ave it’s called kims oriental market!!

        • There are so few Korean restaurants in MN! I really enjoy Sole Cafe on Snelling. There is also King’s off of Highway 65 in Fridley, but I’ve never been there. I believe they have a grocery store, too. I haven’t found a grocery store dedicated to only Korean food, yet; Asian Pacific Oriental Foods in Minneapolis has more SE Asian food than Korean.

        • Lyman (케이팝 팬)

          There is a korean grocery right across the street from sole cafe it’s probably my favorite stop when I’m in Saint Paul. The lady is real nice and helpful if you need to know how to make something, and yeah the twin cities are more SE asian orientated.

  142. I live in Wisconsin (which is the dairy state so when I move to Korea I might die haha cheese~) and my university has a pretty decent sized Korean student population, but it’s not as big as you might find down towards Illinois. I have seen two Korean churches around my area, but in Illinois it seems like they have more Korean cultural centers, schools, restaurants, etc. My city only has one Korean restaurant and one Korean grocery store (both owned by the same family who I used to work for). So I think Korean culture is present, but it’s not as obvious and common as it might be in bigger cities or more urban states. I’m helping some Korean students run a Korean culture club, called Hanon, so we can try to spread knowledge of Korean culture throughout our university and community. I’m hoping to see that happen over the next few years!

  143. Cosmic Cat

    There isn’t a Korean scene where I live. However, I have noticed a lot more different languages and accents being spoken in my town. I know the UK has been multicultural for decades but I only live in a relatively small town and am surprised by the amount of different people that want to live here. I guess because I’ve lived here my whole life, I don’t really see the appeal. Wow I’d make a great tourist promoter xD “I don’t see what’s so special with where I live but come here anyway!” Maybe sometime in the future there’ll be a Korean restaurant then I can try all the fapfap foods! There’s a Turkish restaurant here and the bread is amazing omg if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be the Turkish bread! Ok I’m getting distracted by food now.

  144. The Kpop scene is getting so saturated its disgusting. Its hard for any groups to stand out because of the scale of it all and most things sound generic, and the groups that are not generic get pushed to the side.

  145. Happyjoy2

    I am one of the very few that live in the countryside. I live in one of the small towns which has the smallest population in Korea. Don’t worry, I chose to live here. lol. My experiences are a bit interesting considering I am Filipino American, so my foreign appearance is not as obvious as a Caucasian person. Even though I have only been here for two years, there have been some changes in a really short time. When I first arrived, Korean people would always ask me if I was from Thailand or Vietnam and if I was married to a Korean man. It used to annoy me because I would get randomly stopped by a lot of old people (and there are A LOT of old people here) on the street and asked the same questions. Now, it’s changed since I think the people are getting used to me.

    Cheese is still not as prosperous here. :( There is only single sliced processed cheeses available. I have to go to the neighboring cities, Jinju or Masan, just to get some real cheese. There is no HomePlus or EMart in my small town. lol. As for other foods, they started selling tortillas, avocados, lemon, and DILL pickles. So I am hoping the grocery stores will start selling some real cheese or herbs soon! I want to make good pasta dishes! And I know this might be a bit silly for people who live in Korea (especially in the cities), but a cafe in my town recently opened and sells the savory toasts! I love savory toast, so now I can satisfy my ham and cheese toast cravings. :)

    Street signs when I first arrived were mostly in Korean, but now they have changed it and added English translations to the signs. That change was actually a really fast one. It happened within the first 6 months I was here.

    My small town is expanding though because when I first arrived, there weren’t that many apartment buildings, but recently there has been a big boom in building apartment complexes and there also have been some houses built that are TWO story houses! I think this is a sign of a growing population here. I just hope it doesn’t become too crowded because I chose to live in this town to avoid the crowd and for peace and quiet.

  146. I live in Texas, but I discovered a Korea town-like area 20 mins from my house about five years ago. In the center is Super H-Mart, which I think a lot of people are familiar with. They have stores like The Face Shop and Tous Les Jours. Surrounding the store though, there are a LOT of Korean shops and businesses (including lawyers, doctors, accountants, hair stylists, and even dog grooming!). It’s a really fun area to visit and I am so glad that it is so close to my house. And there is a good samgyeopsal place, too!

  147. As far as groups go, I agree that there are several groups that concentrate more on dancing than the songs. I love to watch good dancers, but I’m not going to buy their album because they can’t sing. Quite a few of the rookie groups seem more like dance crews than singers, which is fine, but they need to switch industries. I think they could make even more money as dancers since they seem better at that. I wish more groups would form because they want to make music, and not because someone is trying to make easy money. I feel like so much pop music no matter what country you’re in, that genre tends to be made fast and cheap.

  148. Cheese, you guise. I like in KtownLA and mainly go to the Korean markets because I walk and live close to them. Cheese is rare in them. American, Parmesan and maybe shredded cheddar. Sometimes there’s another here and there, but not the huge selection I would stuff my face with. Same goes with bread. I crave sourdough, but that usually means I have to drive for it. Which I do, but not as often as I would like.

    The brie thing though. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. That and camembert. There’s like this new wave of dishes in cafes with them. It’s like the skipped the beauty of cheddar and went to brie. WE LIVE IN L.A. WE HAZ ALL DA CHEEZE!

  149. I agree with you on the whole monotonous Kpop scene. I started listening in 2009, and I got hooked because it was so different than music in America. Back then it was more often innocent and fun, now most of it’s just overly sexualized hip-hop, just like the music here in America. >.< So frustrating.

  150. Tons of Korean grocery stores and shops/Korea towns in southern California. Huge K-town in LA and Orange County with everything like HMart, Tour les jours, Paris Baguette, tons of restaurants – kbbq, tofu houses, jeon shops, soondae shops, meat/butcher shops, sool-jips, fried chicken and gold crust pizzas… I’m in San Diego now and the community is significantly smaller and quality (IMHO) is not as high as in LA or OC, probably because there’s less competition.

    • I live in KtownLA and when I visit other korean areas in CA, I totally notice the difference in quality. In the Bay Area (Santa Clara) some places have awesome kimchi, which surprised me.

      • One perk in SD is that I found a place with CHARCOAL kbbq!!! There are absolutely NONE in OC. Tons in Ktown LA! Soot Bull Jeep for the win! Ahhhh I miss Ktown LA…

        • As much as I love charcoal, I have to be dirty and in the mood. I hate how my clothes smell afterwards.

      • Paris Baugette is popping up all over the place in LA! There’s one in the Cerritos Mall, Santa Anita mall, and isnt there a lot in ktown? Now only if they’d open up for Korean coffee shops…

        • There’s like 2 or 3 PBs here. There’s Cafe Windbell in Buena Park if your looking for a korean coffee place. It’s not like the crazy flower boy ones here, but the coffee is good and the workers are nice.

  151. Haha funny story when i was little i had visited korea, was at the hospital visiting my gma and some random person had string cheese so he gave them to me and the other kids. Lets just say they thought it was gross and i got to eat all of the string cheese myself. My two favorite things i can’t live without is cheese and ranch!

  152. Sadly, I do not live in Korea. :(

    And I live in New Jersey now, but I used to live in Philadelphia. As far as I know, there is NOTHING Korean around here, which is HORRIBLE! YAH! I mean, in Philly we have Chinatown. Which is JUST that. A mini version of China. Nothing Korean related what so ever. And I’ve been in New Jersey for just over ten years now and still have yet to find anything Korean-related. I remember doing a search around my area for ‘cute stationery’, like Morning Glory type stuff and found NOTHING. :( Makes me has a sad! We used to have a Sanrio store in a mall in Philly years ago, and that was about the closest we got, but it closed.

    So I guess seeing Hello Kitty merch in random stores around here is as close as I’ve come to K-Pop in my area. :/ I mean yea, in 2012 I saw 2NE1′s concert at the Prudential Center (ZOMGZ THEY CAME TO MY STATE) and yeah, New York actually has a Koreatown and is roughly 80-90 miles from me, but I haven’t been there yet. NY is SO BIG, I’m terrified of getting lost!

    Oh! There was one glorious moment, when BoA’s debut English album came out, and I was able to walk into my local Best Buy, find it on the shelf and purchase it. *_* But then again, it’s wasn’t a K-Pop album… but it was a K-Pop artist… does that count? :/a

    Also forgot to mention, I KNOW there’s K-Pop fans in my area, but I can never find them. D: It seems like they all come out of the woodwork for K-Pop concerts and then vanish. I swore that one day while I was on my break at work, I was outside and heard someone drive by blasting ‘Fire’ by 2NE1 with their windows down. I almost jumped in my car and chased them down! XD Fellow K-Poppppperrrr lets be friends~! XD

  153. Jolene 졸린 McConnell

    Simon – ZenKimchi has a goat cheese recipe that looks pretty easy. I never saw it, but if you can get the goat milk, you are set: http://zenkimchi.com/recipes/food-for-foreigners/goat-cheese/

  154. Has there been a shift in attitudes towards homosexuality since you did your video two years ago?

  155. I live near Orlando FL, and I am so thankful that I have a really nice Korean store not even 15 min from my house. There seems to be a decent Korean community pretty close, because there are a few Korean churches, and stores in the area. I love going to the store, not that I can read anything. But it is big enough that I can find pretty much anything that I need for any Korean recipe that I want to try. The problem is normally, they have too many options and I don’t know which is the best one to get.

    I will say the first time I went it was really intimidating since nothing is really in English. But the best part was walking down the Ramen aisle. My mind was blown. It was probably one of the greatest finds I had found since moving here.

    There is also a really cool asian strip mall where I grew up, in Portland Oregon. It had a huge grocery store, but also different restaurants. There was also a manga store, and dvd/cd store. I was only able to go a couple of times before I moved, but it was pretty awesome.

    But besides Korean, there is also a pretty big asian community as a whole in Orlando. Which lends itself to lots of options.

  156. Mainy Åkerman

    I know a way we can get rid of all the excess rookie groups…

  157. I live in a small town in Kansas, and even we have a Korean store! We actually have one that’s run by an ajhumma, and another that’s run by a family from China that sells absolutely everything. The Korean store is more specific in what they sell and it’s mostly Korean, but the Chinese store has aisles and aisles and aisles of things from China, Japan, Korea, the Phillipines, India… it’s amazing. And in the middle of nowhere Kansas, of all places.

    • Are you talking about 888 International Market and/or the Oriental Supermarket in Overland Park, KS? As far as I know those are the only korean/asian stores in the Kansas City Missouri/Kansas area but they are awesomely awesome. I live in the suburbs of KCMO and weirdly enough, I went to the grocery store today and we now have kimchi! I was so excited that I bought 3 jars even though it’s only one kind and in a tiny jar :) Korea is slowing coming to the midwest, one kimchi jar at a time!!!

      • I’m actually talking about the stores in Manhattan, KS, although I know there are also stores in Junction City. It seems like there are more stores than either of us thought!

  158. I know a good way to get rid of the excess rookie groups…

  159. ANTHONY BOURDAIN. I LOVE TONY. I wish I can meet him in person. Food porn is my life.

  160. I live in San Antonio, which is a massive city ever reaching out towards Austin. The Majority of the Korean shops that I go to are located on the North Side of town, which is about a 20minute drive. COMPLETELY WORTH IT. Though I have noticed that all the Korean Shops are located within a 5 Mile Radius of each other. There are 2 Korean Norebangs within a block of each other, as well as 2 Korean Markets within 10 blocks of each other. Ive never been to SKorea, but I want to say that my favorite Korean Restaurant is pretty Legit, way Pricey but the food is completely worth it. The hardest thing for me to get used to, is the fact that you do have to flag down someone anytime you want water, or Panchan refills. I’ve been looking for language partners in my Area its been kind of hard, but I love going to Korean grocery stores, everyone is always so friendly and curious to my reaction of the food. :)

  161. I agree with the whole Kpop ordeal. I think some industries are so busy thinking about money rather than creating a fresh, new concept with carefully considered members. Now it’s a little hopscotchy. I’m glad that my favorite bands debuted in the “better times” but I feel extremely bad for the debut groups that can’t hit it big because they offer nothing new (and it’s not even their fault) – practicing for years and then not doing good, that’s a lot of time wasted on a good opportunity.

  162. I Live in Greater London. ( North west ) There are a few huge Korean supermarkets about a 20 min drive ,half an hour tube ride away. But the best Korean restaurants / supermarkets are in South west London ie Kinstgon / new Malden area ( which is way to tricky for me to get to ) or central London ( which is perfect !!) . Now the customer service in some of the grocery stores I go to is amazing , the shop assistants if they can even help out here and there but SOME are diabolical . The bestest korean restaurant for a cheapish meal around London ( just my opinion) is just by Tottenham court road station called Seoul bakery . Its so tiny and cute but is soo awesome. But yh London is good for korean stuff if you live in the correct half of it . — On a side note there is the Japanese centre which sells the Korean basics as well. :)

  163. I wouldn’t be able to live in Korea because NO BREAD + NO CHEESE = NO LIFE!

    • Haha there are bakeries ALL OVER the place…Like S&M said, finding darker, heartier breads are harder to find. But there IS indeed bread here. lol

  164. I live in Winnipeg, Canada and I had NO idea how much Korean stuff there is here! I’ve been dating a Korean guy for 9 months now and he’s shown me all the good Korean restaurants (including Japanese restaurants that are actually owned by Koreans), as well as some Korean markets. I’ve also noticed a growing interest in learning Korean – my university now offers Introductory and Intermediate Korean, which is pretty new. I’m excited to take those classes :)

  165. I live in a very Asian concentrated neighborhood within New York.
    Growing up, my neighborhood was much more diverse, but as the years have passed it’s become progressively more Asian. This predominantly includes people of Korean/Chinese descent (There’s a Chinatown nearby, and Chinatown slowly blends out into a mix of Korean stores)

    Being a Korean-American, I love having access to places like H-Mart (large American-based Korean supermarket chain) and having Korean bars and restaurants at every corner [as well as every other ethnic food you could possibly imagine], but sometimes I wish I could live somewhere that was a bit more diverse.. like it was when I was younger.

    Being in New York is awesome because of its diversity, but in the case of my neighborhood, I feel like a lot of Korean (and Chinese) people here have gotten too comfortable with the fact that there’s a concentrated population of people from their homeland and in turn make their assimilation to America slower (if existent at all).

    I could go on forever about this, because I wrote a thesis on the topic of being second generation Korean in the States, but it’s funny how Koreans here expect 2nd generationers(?) to have the same values as someone who grew up in Korea would have – while sometimes being totally blown away and surprised by the fact the knowledge we do have.

    I think I got a bit off topic, but I’ve been watching your videos for awhile and always really appreciate the objective opinions you guys put out there about Korea/Korean culture. Coming from someone who was born and raised in a Korean family away from the “motherland”, a lot of the opinions you guys have always seem on point with the ones I have – so your cultural insight videos are always well watched and appreciated.

    So with this I break out of my stalker-status viewing and leave my first comment!

    • I agree. Singapore used to be very diverse too. And the estate I lived in had a lovely mix of everything. People who stayed for 5 years started using our slangs and my friends who came back from China after 5 years spoke Mandarin like they lived there their whole lives.

      But in recent years there has been a strong chinese community, korean community and Indian community growing. It’s to the extent where you’d feel like a foreigner in those places. There was always lucky plaza for the filipinos but they were always a friendly bunch and they speak English, so it’s a lot easier. But for those who don’t speak english and stick to their own community it’s really difficult.

      The Chinese have this area in geylang where authentic China Chinese restaurants are. Singaporeans won’t like the taste and I’m not sure whether my colleagues themselves do. But the atmosphere is completely different. I could hear a few different chinese accents. Some of which are so thick, I cannot understand. Moreover, they are not speaking dialect.

      The Indians have a condo they rent or buy. The estate is huge and there are so many of them that an expat indian newspaper delivers it to the clubhouse for free. A lot of their children go to an indian international school so it’s like an india in Singapore.

      I don’t know about the places Koreans go to but I heard there was some Korean forum just for Singapore and they rent rooms specifically to koreans. My friend rented from them cus they charge a lower price. She wanted to make full use of her half year stay in Singapore so she didn’t want to join the bubble. For that she had to specifically reject her landlady saying that she doesn’t want to be introduced to Koreans or Korean restaurants. My Korean teacher himself has been in the bubble; he has lived in Singapore for 6 years and he still speaks English as though he just arrived.

      And I know I’m not being biased because I grew up with quite a few friends who came from overseas. I had a Vietnamese friend who had trouble with grammar and remembering vocab. We constantly had to help her finish her sentences and we made it a point to. Within less than a year, she was speaking fluent English. She had the most trouble with English out of all my foreign friends.

    • I’m actually working on a research paper about Asian Americans and political participation and what’s holding them back and stuff. If it’s possible, could I read your thesis? It sounds really good and I’m really interested! ^^

    • irritablevowel

      That’s the story of New York though isn’t it? I mean, my family are all New Yorkers, and they were always talking about how Chinatown used to be Little Italy. Or they talk about how Brighton Beach became a Russian enclave. We are Puerto Ricans, and my Grandmother lives on the Lower East Side, but I know that entire area used to be Jewish immigrants. There is still that Hasidic community there, but it’s nowhere near the size it once was. Now there is a new migrant community moving in called “hipster”. Hell’s Kitchen used to be heavily Irish and the East Village and Bed-Stuy were REALLY.BAD.NEIGHBORHOODS. The only Latinos in New York were the Puerto Ricans and some Cubans, then suddenly the Dominicans appeared, then the Columbians, the Guatamalans, the Panamanians, the Peruvians, the Ecuadorians, and on and on. My relatives are still amazed that there are Mexicans in New York. It’s always, constantly changing. And just like the immigrants before them, all of my city relatives eventually moved out of the city. Everyone eventually moves to New Jersey (or upstate).

      • Oh yeah, totally. Not to undermine the city and its history in any way – it’s just such a unique experience and cultural dynamic for the latter generations of immigrants growing up in these ever changing environments. It’s interesting to see how the diaspora establishes outside of the motherland, in any cultural instance.

      • I grew up in Queens, Jackson heights specifically; and when I go back to that neighborhood i am surprised by how heavily its populated by South Americans and Mexicans (I am Hispanic myself, first generation American in a Dominican family) when it was once a very diverse neighborhood when I was growing up. So much so that employees in Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s speak little to no English! Of course its easy for me to navigate since I speak Spanish, but it was such a change from when I grew up there that I was shocked lol! Its very interesting to see the neighborhood shifts! One of my best friends who is Puerto Rican still lives in the LES and it is a very hipster neighborhood now even with the old tenements still in place. Don’t get me wrong I love me some latinos, bring in the love guys; but the thing I love the most about being a New Yorker is the diversity!

    • I’m someone who was born and raised in the US but in a pretty traditional Korean family as well. It really makes a dichotomy of viewpoints. Off topic but I love your name, Seoul of New York :]

    • You say assimilation like its a good thing.

      • I agree assimilation was probably not the right word to use.

        • Thanks for pointing that out. In hindsight it totally was a poor choice of wording and I apologize if it was offensive. I intended to mean that it’d be nice to see more consideration of the fact that this isn’t motherland and be open minded of the fact that what they encounter will be different. Of course this not an isolated issue and it’s tough for communities like the one I live in – especially when many people originate from homogenous nations, but my poor choice of wording rooted from growing frustration more with people my age, not as much older generation immigrants (they’re a completely different story) who come to America at their own will – and then proceed to interact and expect what you would from a Korean-only setting.

        • That’s cool, I totally understood what you were saying :)

    • It seems like so few real diverse neighborhoods are left in the city, they stick around for a while and then niches start to grow! I am also a new yorker (from Queens!) and i’ve seen how my old neighborhood became a lot more heavily hispanic (i am also hispanic) and less diverse then it use to be and it doesn’t seem like its going to change very much. I love going into different neighborhoods and getting to try the different cuisine of different countries and never having to leave the city i was born in! Its awesome, but it would be even better if it would be less concentrated niches and more diverse neighborhoods! I myself love Chinatown (I’m at leas 2x a week) but if i lived in that neighborhood I would probably feel like I need more diversity. Right now I live in Glendale, Queens and its pretty diverse as I can’t pin point what nationalities seem to stick out the most since Ridgewood, Bushwich, Williamsburg, Maspeth, and even Forest Hills, are all so nearby its hard to really tell. Check out Glendale, its a bit off the beaten path (the M train or L train+bus ride on public transportation) but its blossoming!

    • I know H-Mart! I think there’s one in Canada as well, no? Or at least I think I know it. Something sounds familiar about it.

      And thank you for liking our videos. I’m not really sure we’re all too objective. Our experiences are very different than that of others. We’re just trying to share the things we’re interested in. I’m glad you like em, though. Thank you :D

    • I would love to read your thesis! I’m a second-generation kid myself (Romanian-American).
      I would seriously love to read it.

  166. Sioux Falls South Dakota is known to be more European (German) than Asian. We DO have a few places that sell Asian food but it combines Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean food into a few tiny stores around town. And if we have any Korean specific restaurants, I haven’t found them anywhere. However, I have noticed that my little town is changing. We now have a few more places popping up that are more authentic in cuisine. Hopefully, Korean food will be coming soon.

  167. I live in Southern California. (So. Cal.!) Anyways, I also go to UCR (University of California Riverside) and apparently, UCR is one of the most Asian dominated universities here. So, there are a lot of Asian businesses here. That can be because there ate a lot of Foreign exchange students from Asia. And so when they an Asian classmate finds out I live Kpop, K-dramas, etc. they freak out. It’s just they are so amazed that I like Kpop and stuff and I am not Asian. And when they figure out that i speak and understand some Korean, they get even more amazed. And everytime they see me their face is literally like *o* for a couple of days (they eventually get over it.). Like, there is Korean shop by my school. And when they Korean owner found out I like Kpop. She made it her mission in life to remember my name and everything. I even got asked if I was Asian a couple of times. xD lol

  168. “Why the hell is Jackie Chan making a Kpop band? You think he’s passionate about the industry, and has a message that he wants to share with the world, or is he just trying to cash a quick buck?”

    Amen, I am Chinese and as much as I respect him for his seniority, his money-making is grossing me out. His company is named after his named and the boy band’s name will be Double JC from his initials. Like heck, do you need to seriously plaster your name everywhere when you barely speak a line of Korean? I honestly don’t know how does one does business, especially the entertainment industry, when you don’t speak their tongue or even understand their culture well. Heck, I think some of us Kpop fans might even be better experts when it comes to Korea than he is.

    “The kpop scene is too overrun with too many groups for us. It wasn’t always like that. It feels like groups are being rushed out without enough training and without enough thought and the result is a bunch of mediocre groups that can’t compete with most of the current big band’s rookie debuts. I hope we’re not the only ones that feel that way.”

    Man I could go on forever about this. I have always been talking about the K-Pop market being saturated with all these groups that are barely trained and just mere tools for the people to make money. In fact, as a Sone and sitting through music shows waiting for the girls to perform (as they are usually the last few), I came to realise how embarrassing K-Pop can be now. In the past, I could still sit through it and enjoy the performances, perhaps take note of one or two upcoming groups. But this time around, I completely mute the stream and just wait for Twitter to tell me the girls are up. I am sure we all wouldn’t mind which company they are from, but the smaller companies are seriously under-performing and not proving that they have what it takes to go against the bigger labels. At all.

    “That’s why we’re so passionate about the Korean Indie scene here. Korea needs a music revolution. Kpop’s formula is being exploited and mass produced. I want something different.”

    Currently hanging onto K-Pop and hoping for that to happen. I hope you are still running the site by then!

    “And if you don’t live in Korea, do you have a growing Korean scene around you? Any shops or local markets, or is it non-existent? Let us know!”

    Me!!! I live in Singapore and the growth in the number of Koreans made me really happy! At first it was not so visible, mainly just all the K-Pop fanatics bringing Korea into Singapore but these days, starting from last year, I saw this noticeable increase in Koreans. Although still little, but I could easily bump into one or two at the more trendy areas like Orchard Road or hear Korean conversations on the train or on the bus.

    And to cater to this, there a lot more Korean minimart springing up all over Singapore in the weirdest places you can imagine selling a variety of Korean drinks, snacks and food. The K wave actually made Korean BBQ (or you guys call samgyupsal but it is more well-known was KBBQ here) a lot more popular among Singaporeans and there are so many shops coming up including Korean food as well. There’s an entire street called Tanjong Pagar almost filled with shop after shop of KBBQ near Chinatown where all the elderly hang out… strange but still they are all doing well. :/ Franchises are coming in as well like the Korean fried chicken we all miss after coming back from Korea so we have chains Kko Kko Nara and Nene Chicken too. Pepero sticks are a good alternative to Pocky now and CJ has successfully found it’s way to Singapore to bring in all the Korean food. We now can find jars of kimchi and shelves of frozen mandu in our local, normal supermarket as well as the ramyun being almost as common as mi goreng among youngsters.

    Now that you actually trigger me, I am off to see if there’s a growth in the Korean community in Singapore! If there is, I am sure amenities have to be set up to cater to this group and they will probably find their group of friends here too.

    P.S: I hope you wouldn’t mind if I use this topic as blog post after my research. It’s a very good topic to look into actually. :)

    • Jackie Chan actually lived in Korea for a few years before becoming an actor, so he does know a bit of Korean. But it still gets a “really? like seriously!?” reaction out of me. The fact that he wanted to form a KPop group was out for quite a while though(at least 1 year and a half I think). For more info on how much of an experience Jackie Chan has with Korea watch the Happy Together episode with him(available for free on the KBSWorld Youtube channel)

      • Priyanka

        Yea, I saw him on running man and he still spoke some Korean. He seemed to have a special bond with the country. Although a kpop group?? I don’t know. I will wait and see if they bring anything special to the table.

  169. When you were talking about Kpop groups, I literally thought of Double A/ AA because they do everything for themselves! WooSang does choreography. & Aoora produces. I also heard one member picks out their concept & one is the stylist. Like that group does everything yet gets no recognition. & yes I agree a lot of groups do concepts that were already done (sexy was more B.E.G but now everyone is doing it, like Girls Day & what not). What I hate though is when a new hip hop group comes out they get people saying “Oh, they’re trying to be 2NE1/Big Bang” even if their hip hop sound and look is different.

  170. It would be nice to have a group of people bonded by friendship to play on stage. Ideally they are like the beatles, every one a musician in his own right.

    But kpop is not like that. I love kpop because it has made entertainment, an art. Here’s why:

    1) Everyone has a specific role to play. So you don’t have to be a great composer or musician to be a singer. Everyone concentrates on what they do best. Concept, hair, make up, composing of the track, composing of the melody, lyrics, singing, choreo, every segment is being created by individuals who practice hard in their own role. All in the effort to create the best stage.

    This may seem like specialisation in mass production but it can be a wonderful creative process. For example, one writer pens the scenario; another writer develops the story based on her insight to the characters and to life; an actor interprets the lines and brings the character/ relationships to life; a director frames each scene to highlight the little actions and reactions. Everyone puts in their interpretation to the story. With each detail, the story is enriched and the audience is enriched.

    2) Bands come together not because they are friends but because companies think that they make the best combination. Ever thought: Why is relying on connections to climb the corporate ladder despised while in the music world, people love when it happens. Because music feels authentic when a group of friends play together? Is a collab borne out of friendship necessarily more authentic than one that is borne out of a common love for music? (Or in the case of kpop, the common want to create the best stage possible for everyone to enjoy)

    I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate backyard bands. I’m just saying that they are of a different nature and should be appreciated differently. I can love famous amos while loving that quaint family-owned bakery.

    3) While it is good to appreciate music. Let’s be honest, most of us are not musicians. And the goal of kpop is not to produce music worthy of sitting down and listening to intently. The goal of kpop is to produce performances to entertain. To pump up the hearts of fans. To put a smile on your face after a hard day of work. To be enjoyed in the background, while shopping. To sing at a noraebang with friends.

    Some people give kpop shit for not producing good music. Which is fair. But to me, if it brings people genuine joy, I think it has served it’s purpose.

    4) Let’s not forget that one of the best things, if not, the best thing about kpop, is it’s fandom. This one, is self-explanatory.

    Anyways, kpop is not just about music. Kpop stars are tv personalities, hosts, comedians, actors, performers who have a commitment to their fans.

  171. In London there are just way too many Koreans popping up. At Manor house in North London there was a week when every single day I sawheard Koreans moving with huge luggages. Once I went in to a Polish shop in the same area and there were 3 individual groups of friends that were all Koreans and were looking at the stuff they could buy. What’s up wit that???

  172. “The kpop scene is too overrun with too many groups for us. It wasn’t always like that. It feels like groups are being rushed out without enough training and without enough thought and the result is a bunch of mediocre groups that can’t compete with most of the current big band’s rookie debuts. I hope we’re not the only ones that feel that way.”

    No, you´re not. And to be totally honest (and will get slaped in the head for it) I’ve been feeling like that about kpop since 2010/2011… I’m since earlier 2008, the best fucking year in kpop music no doubt about it or well, at least for me it was, everything had personality and energy, the songs were original and unique, you could tell easily that they weren’t like that in any other part of the pop scene, that’s why I like it soooooo effin much. I don’t know, call me old fashioned but I’d love for kpop to stop doing mass produced styles into song and just release GOOD MUSIC. Really GOOD music, but seeing as everything got to demaning time-wise (gimme gimme gimme my oppars and unnies) I don’t see that happening anytime soon -.-

  173. midori501

    In the last few years, I have noticed a slight change in noticing Korean stuff in America. Even a mix japanese and korean restaurant came to my mid sized city (which was terrible mind you, worst bulgolgi I have ever had, never ever… ever.. again). But I still have yet to find a shop that sells kpop. The most you see for kpop is at anime conventions there will be a booth in the vendors alley, which has actually started carrying newer groups. And kpop panels, one of which I was doing. More kpop artists are performing in Texas, Hyuna and Jay Park just performed at SXSW

    But I do feel the Korean community is gaining more business, there is a small little area in Austin that used to really only have a korean hair salon, noraebang, and mini market. Now it has two korean restaurants and korean bakery as well. Their melon bread, delicious.

    At Texas State University there is now a Korean Culture club which helps throw a Korean Culture festival.

  174. Czech republic is not open minded in this way. On the other side we are too lazy to do something with immigrants. In Prague, capital, there used to be all those small shops with food in each block. Well now they are still here but all of them own vietnamies. Because of this large amount of them most older czechs when they see asian they assume it’s vietnamese. I know about large japanese community near where I live. But koreans? Nah… Also in supermarkets there are only few pieces of japanese ingredients for sushi, some strange noodles but I’ve never seen larger amount of korean. Maybe one, two pieces? Maybe none. Also KPOP is not very popular here.

    • Yey, czech person! Its exactly as you said. I live in Moravskoslezko and its the same. No korean people or Japanese. There are a lots of chinese food restaurants but it’s nothing tasty and vietnamese own it. Well at least I can make myself onigiri from the ingredients that are in shops.. :I

    • Hi, Xemantha and toneto!

      I have to say it is true, although i managed to find some good korean food shops in Prague recently. Sadly, these are only very small, hidden shops, and as I am not from Prague, I cannot buy the ingredients there very often. I am from Liberec. We have there even one restaurant run by Korean people, but sadly, the only one really korean dish they serve is kimchi. The rest is all the universal pan-asian bistro stuff, and sushi (good sushi, but I WANT KOREAN!).
      If you cook, it is better with japanese ingredients, there are at least four good e-shops, but when I wanted to try a korean cookbook I got, I could not find ANY recipe in it that I could make with all the ingredients available in our town or online. Well, maybe the beef soup… :-)

    • Check out a small Korean shop at Evropska 92, Dejvice. They have good selection of Korean food. That is the only one I know of.

  175. I live in State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State University’s college town) and we have 1 Korean restaurant called Kimchi (how creative?) and a single Korean grocery store. I went to the store after watching a bunch of your videos and got to try some Korean stews and kimbap rolls that they make home-made. I have to say the kimbap was amazing and it’s seriously one of my new favorite foods ever! I made my roommates and some of my Chinese friends try kimbap and they all loved it too, so basically I will slowly turn everyone I know to the ways of kimbap, muahaha! The university actually has quite a large number of Korean students (when you hear a foreign language on campus it’s always either Chinese, Korean, or Arabic), but I hope the Korean community keeps growing!

  176. First answer: We don’t have a Korea Town or similar here. We do have an Asian market (several actually) that have a decent selection and one that is run by a Korean couple that has an awesome selection. We also have at least 3 Korean restaurants, one of which is my personal favorite and one that is a chain of sorts. I have never eaten there as I try to avoid chains in favor of locally owned and run places. Also, we have a Korean community center (randomly near my house) but I’ve not been as I don’t speak enough Korean for that party ;)
    Second answer: Where is this cheese petition you speak of so that I might sign it and help fellow cheese lovers out?
    Third answer: A music revolution is fine as long as there is no loss of Korean identity. And I also agree that some of the new bands/people I’ve seen are just not up to snuff. PLUS, I’ve seen that established bands/groups/singers are not getting marketing pushes in favor of untested noobs which just stresses me out.
    Fourth answer: Any thoughts on the “scandal” (Ugh I hate that word but I can’t think of one that actually fits better) of the Girl’s Generation “Mr.Mr” vs the band Mr.Mr? Anyone?

  177. “The kpop scene is too overrun with too many groups for us. It wasn’t always like that. It feels like groups are being rushed out without enough training and without enough thought and the result is a bunch of mediocre groups that can’t compete with most of the current big band’s rookie debuts. I hope we’re not the only ones that feel that way.”

    No, you´re not. And to be totally honest (and will get slaped in the head for it) I’ve been feeling like that about kpop since 2010/2011… I’m since earlier 2008, the best fucking year in kpop music no doubt about it or well, at least for me it was, everything had personality and energy, the songs were original and unique, you could tell easily that they weren’t like that in any other part of the pop scene, that’s why I like it soooooo effin much. I don’t know, call me old fashioned but I’d love for kpop to stop doing mass produced styles into song and just release GOOD MUSIC. Really GOOD music, but seeing as everything got to demaning time-wise (gimme gimme gimme my oppars and unnies) I don’t think is going to happen any time soon, guys… -.-

    • Yes~~~ I totally agree with 2008 being the best year for Kpop (but I’m just being DB5K biased lol). But I think up until the Bonamana era, Kpop was pretty unique. After SM decided to give Suju a song that was basically Sorry Sorry #2 (I’m so gonna get flak for this, aren’t I?), I feel as though the other companies followed SM’s example. And then Kpop just became too saturated with groups and reduced the standard of the songs from great to mediocre.

      But I do kinda like the fact that there are more companies that are finding their niches, so there is competition for the Big 3. Because if all we had to choose from were groups from the Big 3, that’s not much diversification of music and genres and groups. But at the same time, Kpop needs to be more regulated and be less of a lucrative business opportunity; I feel as though then, we’d have competition between the companies but still have great music.

  178. Hi, I’m from Poland. I discovered k-pop thanks to my frirend who is a manga-fan and truly speaking I’ve never seen anything korean outside the internet or manga-fans’ society. No restaurants, no shops, no k-pop CDs to buy, only events organized by fans for fans. So in Poland there is small chance to know something about Korea or k-pop if you don’t know english or manga-fan. I felt lonely for long time becouse I’m not manga-fan but since I’m Nastie I feel much happier that someone understand me. Thank you guys :)

  179. Here in Serbia there’s only one Korean restaurant in the capital city :P But I’m glad there’s at least that :D

  180. I live near Michigan State University, and a lot of Korean students go there, so there’s a decent sized Korean community where I live. But even though we have a lot of Korean residents, we only have 2 Korean markets and 2 Korean restaurants.

  181. I completely agree that K-Pop is pumping out a few too many groups that haven’t been properly trained and it’s a bit obnoxious; HOWEVER, I don’t think that this means that K-Pop needs a revolution of people making their own music and being friends beforehand and all that stuff… I’m obviously not saying that that shouldn’t exist but why can’t both exist?
    I am a singer and I cannot write a tune to save my life but I could sure as hell sing one… One thing that I love about K-Pop is how much hard work and talent towards performance is valued rather than only favoring those who can write their own music.
    In the American music industry, it seems that a record company is more of a marketing company marketing a product that’s already put together, I love that K-Pop takes talent and develops it… being a good producer takes a tremendous eye

    I think that a person can be a great performer and convey a message and enjoyment of a song without writing it themselves. And I also think that people can make a good team without being friends beforehand
    When done right, companies do a great job of finding people with potential, giving them the training tools to become an amazing performer and pair them with people who have different skills that make them shine and provide them with amazing music, that yes they did not write themselves but still have the ability to move people…
    for example, SHINee, Big Bang (yes GD writes his own music, but he was also trained as an idol), 2NE1, Shinhwa, MBLAQ, U-Kiss, Orange Caramel/After School, Super Junior, Brown Eyed Girls, Miss A, B2ST, BTOB, VIXX and the dozens of other great idol groups…
    I think the K-Pop formula is being abused but will rise above, it’s just what happens when something gets popular but it eventually evens out

    • I guess my point is, when a dancer dances we don’t devalue their abilities if they didn’t choreograph the dance themselves, if a musical is put on we don’t expect all the actors to have written and created the music themselves and when we see actors we don’t expect them to have written their parts themselves… why is it different for pop music?

    • Awesome points, Dylan! Concentrating on what you’re good at and trying to learn new skills in the meantime(and that comes easier when you have so many talented people around you that have different skills than yours) is the way to go. So I think the KPop formula is quite a good one. It doesn’t work for quite a few of the new groups because they don’t really have talented people at the core: producers and composers that are actually good at what they’re doing and don’t just try to slightly change something popular. You can have awesome performers in the group, it’s just not going to work. And I think this is the fault of the managing companies really, because they want everything fast and to sell the product before it becomes outfashioned. Perfection needs a bit more time.

    • That is the best explanation of how Kpop works I’ve even heard. If you don’t mind I’ll use your words on the next one who criticizes it!

  182. There is nothing Korean in Tennessee. OK, that’s a lie, there are a few Korean restaurants in Nashville, what with it being one of the three urban areas in the entire state,, but outside of that, no. And Nashville is like 20 minutes away and I hate driving. There’s a Korean church in Nashville, but there aren’t any korean markets or anything. There is also a Korean community center there where you can learn to speak Korean. That’s the entirety of Korean influence in the whole of Tennessee. I’ve only met like 2 other Kpop fans here. STRUGGLE.

    • Robin Loveman Birdwell

      Hello from Alabama! :D DIRTY SOUTH KPOP FANS UNITE! I definitely feel your pain. When I was studying Japanese I had to go to crazy lengths to find ONE Japanese person in my city. xD Then I decided to give in to the korean wave since it seemed to be invading my city anyway. It’s like Montgomery’s only real multicultural feature. Surprised that Nashville doesn’t have more, you would think it might. :P

      • Oh there’s tons of Japanese stuff/people. There are a ton of car companies from Japan based in this area, and my uni has a Global Studies department (that I’m in) that places a lot of emphasis on Japan. Also there are like at least 3 nashville area cons. Sooo much Japanese stuff, but Korean? Nada.

    • There’s a korean market called K&S World in Nashville. It’s like on the way to the Costco in that area. I live in L.A., but my brother lives out in Nashville and I visited for a while and had mad cravings for Korean food.

    • I used to live in Nashville for the 3rd and 4th grade, and I still visit every other summer to see family. I feel the struggle every time I visit. In my experience with TN, I find there is only a little cultural influence out there at ALL, aside from the Hispanic/Latin community. If there are others, its a very small pocket. I live in the SF Bay Area so I’m guess I’m just used to finding at least 6 different cultures of food at any given time. But every year, I just die on many levels because of the lack of culture. Idk how much it’s changed from last summer but STAY STRONG!!!

  183. Alright, first comment here. I have no input here for how Korea has changed, but I can say how the asian community near by my house has changed. I went to university with predominantly LARGE asian community and I was exposed to so many types of asian food (Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, etc). I moved back home and I’m starting to see those chains you find in Asia here now. Since I’m a pastry addict, Paris Baguette and 85 degree Bakery opened up around here and I visit there often. I’m starting to see big name restaurants, bakeries, boba shops around here, but those mom and pop shops don’t get as much as attention as before. I love all, but perhaps people who lived in the culture and know what is good food might find some of big chain food mediocre. To me, it’s still pretty new.

    As for the kpop scene, I had the same reaction when Jackie Chan decided to debut a group. Supposedly, he has had input in creating and training them. I don’t know how since he is an actor who based most of his career in martial arts. I feel like nowadays there is no special “thing” about the new groups (especially the girl groups receive less attention).

    • lady_kire

      Jackie Chan actually has a singing career as well. (I’m not trolling.) I’ve heard one of his songs, and he’s a decent singer. He’s sung on the Ellen DeGeneres show, and he’s good live. I don’t think he has any mvs, but he’s pretty big as a singer in China I heard. Check out some of his ballads

  184. Here in Bristol (UK) there’s no Korean scene to speak of, though my local Tesco recently started selling soju, bulgogi cooking sauce and some Korean seaweed snacks, which is a start I guess! Came across a Korean/Japanese convenience store in London recently and pretty much bought everything there :P

  185. I do cook A Lot of Korean food and even recently had a Korean bbq with friends. As for cheese, we’ve got plenty in Holland, come live with me! :P

  186. I live in Phoenix, Arizona and there isn’t really a Korean community or scene around here. There are different Korean restaurants around here and there’s Lee Lee’s!!! Lee Lee’s is like the Asian Supermarket! They have not only Korean foods, but Japanese, Thai, and Chinese foods! It’s a wonderful place and my friends and I often make it a field trip to go look around Lee Lee’s! But my all time favorite restaurant is Ohya Korean Grill and Barbeque! I go there almost every week and I even get to practice my Korean! :)

  187. i love reading the comments about Koreans coming in storms to their area.
    I have some lol
    soooooo I’m not to sure when these were built but i noticed them 2 years ago
    I’m living in Peoria, AZ and down from my high school there is a Korean Preschool and a Korean church right behind it. I’m loving how we’ve had a few more Korean bars and restaurants pop up more around the main roads.
    now we just need the spoiled kids of this area to accept them without the rudeness :c

  188. I think the country trade off is definitely a wave goodbye to variety! I came from an area with a lot of Korean and Vietnamese super markets, I used to live in San Jose, California, and we moved out in the country past Sacramento, and there is nothing like that. In a way we were spoiled to get such yummy things. Whenever you move to the country, there is like just your basic regional food, so right now even deprived of Mexican foods (which I grew up on and get homesick for). But it is getting better though!! We found a store that sells these rolls I used to buy a lot, they have cream cheese and Jalapeno in the center and are so good. Maybe this will happen for cheese in Korea!!

    One thing I am super curious about is if you guys have thrift or discount stores. I live in an area that is almost all thrift stores and discount (there is an over abundance of antiques), and I wondered if Korea had this too.

  189. i might be moving to korea in fall time depending on if i get into a school! i’m in japan atm :3 applying to yonsei, but i don’t expect to be accepted tbh ahaha
    but i grew up in the bay area in cali so i knew a handful of koreans growing up! got into kpop way back in high school because of ‘em! haha

    i agree with the music revolution
    the kpop industry is so completely backwards and while there are groups whom i love and support, i feel bad about it at the same time because i know how abused the poor members are and how evil those damn companies are
    i’m like waiting for some idols to break off and start their own studios, labels, etc
    how is the scene in terms of independent labels? there seems to be a variety of indie bands, but are they mostly recording on their own (which is definitely possibly if you are willing to put down the money on equipment.) back in cali i had friends who had their own very small studios and would record local bands and rappers, and they basically just started up by themselves and were often self-taught (many were in bands or rappers themselves and then developed a passion for the production side of music and went from there).

    oh just registered today! been stalking your YT for a few weeks now and finally decided to start participating on the site :333

    • I go to Yonsei, and I think that as long as you got a 2.5 GPA or above, you got a good chance of being accepted. Mine was 3.0 at the time i applied, but the required GPA was over 2.5 Hwaiting!!

      • oh wow really! you’d think it’d be higher since it’s so prestigious! maybe it’s cuz they want foreigners so badly?! hahaha yeah i graduated early and mine was around 3.5 and i also did some college so hopefully that will also look good!
        it seems so complicated applying! i have yet to learn any korean but hangul so 頑張ります!ganbarimasu! haha

  190. A Korean scene is pretty non-existent in Montana (the state in the US). I was so excited when visiting in Seattle to go to a Korean market. There are nearly no foreign markets here, at least in the part of the state I live in. It’s BEAUTIFUL here, definitely go to Glacier Park if you’re in the area, but it takes digging to find cultural gems. For information on Korea I find things like EYK (yay!), watch dramas, and order books or language CDs. I wonder if I explored around town if I could find some Soju for my 21st birthday this month…? Hmm…

  191. Hi! I live in Hidalgo, Texas…which…is just like a pass-by town…>,>”” well for me that what it looks like…O.o! but in McAllen which is like 45 min. from Hidalgo…they have as far as i know 1 little! Korean market!…but is called Tokyo market :S but they sell mostly stuffs from Korea! :/! when it comes to restaurants there’s only 1 little restaurant which tastes amazing! but is pretty hidden; i had a hard time in figuring out where it was; is called Seoul House and the owner is so friendly, all the employees are from Korea i only went there 2 times! but the food is amazing! they even have Karaoke Night, and a board full of compliments about the food, 1 big board full of kpop groups….i guess that’s about it… :S!

    • earthmoonsun

      Holy Moly, I’m from Mission Texas ( lived in Hidalgo not too long ago), I moved to Miami Beach though! I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends from the valley are super into the Korean and Japanese culture, ahh super cool that I found your comment! I will totally check out the places you mentioned when I visit:D!!

      Btw is the place 45 min away from Hidalgo Because Hidalgo and Mcallen are like 10 to 5 mins away from eachother:)

      • then i guess i counted wrong U//////U””’ xDD i hate calculating in my head!! xD! you should! i haven’t enter the Tokyo Market…but Seoul House is amazing!!!! :D hope you can visit there~! ^^

  192. The USA has became over franchised which is half the reason why the rich are so rich and the poor are so poor. I would have to drive few hours to get into an area where it’s mostly family run/ mom and pop stores. Super stores have been popping up everywhere and it’s tacky and annoying. I hope South Korea doesn’t end up like that. What makes SK so charming is the fact that still have so may older buildings still and the haven’t become completelt “westernized”.

  193. I’ve lived in Gunsan for almost a year. It’s a city, but definitely a small one. The US Air Force base has made the Koreans accustomed to seeing foreigners, but I still get stared at every where I go. It gets weird in the jjimjilbangs. I actually quite like the little kids coming up to me and speaking to me though; I feel like a rock star.

    When I first started teaching English here, all the shops would play Psy’s “Gentleman” to the pedestrians. In the past few weeks, I can’t go anywhere without hearing “Let it Go” from Frozen. Bars still play some weird version of “The Bad Touch” and songs from The Lonely Island. I have no idea where Koreans get their mixes from.

    I don’t really ever want to leave this strange and amazing place.

  194. Personally I have seen a few things change after 3 years.

    For one, I feel like when I moved here to Daejeon I would get a lot of looks in the beginning from the locals. Like “omg it’s a foreigner!”. Not so much now.

    I feel you on the Kpop thing. It seems like it’s all about “Let’s make money” rather than “Let’s make music”.

    On the food front things are getting slightly better. Grocery stores are still slow getting the ‘good stuff’ but at least in the Daejeon area we’re getting more int’l food.

  195. What about the forceful evictions of street stalls that has been happening in the attempt “to bring in more tourists”

  196. I live in San Diego, which is known for being diverse, so there are many culture sections to enjoy. My husband is half Korean, so we used to drive weekly down to “Korea Town” for our groceries. It’s actually only a few blocks worth, but lots of action happens there. It’s almost always impossible to find parking, especially on the weekends. All my Asian friends, whether Korean, Chinese, Filipino, or Vietnamese go there to eat, drink, and karaoke. Recently, in the Filipino neighborhood about 5 minutes from me, the Korean grocery store H-Mart opened. It is now my go-to for all our Korean food. They even have a Paris Baguette inside, although my experience with it was much the same as yours in your Wank review; mmmm cold hot dog surprise… Also, Loving Hut is in the area, and is poplar with my vegan friends. At least in my circle, Korean culture has gained a lot of appeal in recent years, but that is probably because there are so many Asian groups here. Last September, Lee Min Ho was in town to film some of “Heirs” around our city. That was big news for the drama fans here!

    • O: You wouldn’t happen to be talking about the Convoy/Kearny Mesa area would you? My friends and I love that area because of all the cool shops and karaoke places, but we aren’t entirely sure where to go and parking is almost nonexistent.

      • Parking isn’t terrible on Clairemont-Mesa blvd. Like my favorite boba place has a slew of parking behind the building.

      • Yes! :) Lots of good places to eat around there, but always parking problems and super long waits for seating at the restaurants on the weekends. I like Blue Korea House (formerly Korea House BBQ), but still looking for a place that has a variety of kimbap on the menu.

    • I used to be H-mart biased, but Zion marketplace is like 5 min away from me and they have a bigger food court since they’ve moved locations. I’m in it for the noms. lol

      • I definitely like the food court at Zion better, but H-Mart is where I go now for my grocery shopping now since I am way up here in Poway. Gotta stock up on the gojujang! Also, there is a lady that makes fresh kimchi right in the produce section and I buy it by the bag fulls. :)

  197. It’s funny how we say that Korea has really sweet white bread and that it’s nothing like the bread most of us are used to in the west, because my Korean teacher at Yonsei University had been to Europe several times and was complaining in class about OUR bread being too sweet. HAH! All the Europeans in our class kindly told her that she obviously had been eating the wrong type of bread then, because European bread is delishurrrrs! None of that horrible stuff that’s whiter than snow and soft enough to inhale instead of chewing. I always miss bread the most when I’m in Korea. :(

  198. Also people in my country are extremely funny, I saw an add on facebook someone selling a Samsung s4 and as you might know, latin american people almost always think anyone asian is chinese, the guy’s post said “Samsung S4 the Original not the Korean Version”…draw your own conclusions…by the way I’m from Venezuela…

  199. lady_kire

    I’m from Vancouver and while we have loads of Korean restaurants and the H-mart, we suffer from hyper-condo development. There used to be a little Korean fast food/cafe near my house that was run my a really nice Korean lady, but (like most property in Vancouver) she moved her shop because that area was becoming a condo. I think another section of buildings where I live is turning into condos. I live in an area that is considered unique, and a little hipster for having few non-franchised shops and exclusive boutiques. However, now I find it becomming condo land. I know the condos are being developed to house more people, but shutting down all these indie shops is depressing.

    I find Hyper-franchising prevalent in the Downtown area. Downtown is a tourist area (obviously) and most people go on the main road, Robson street for tours and it has all the shops and restaurants. 8/10 restaurants or fast food places there are franchises. But what’s strange is that at the beginning of Robson to around this hill, is where there are loads of franchise food places. The bottom of the hill, has all these unique restaurants that I consider as jems and pockets of good food. There are indie shops and restaurants in downtown, it’s just a matter of knowing where to go.

    In downtown Victoria (where I’m studying), most of the restaurants and other stores aren’t franchised and are owned by independent entrepeneurs. So, it is interesting to see how two cities differ.

    Oh and in Vancouver, we also suffer from hyper-sushi restaurant development, and hyper bike lane development.

  200. I live in Denver, CO and there is a pretty decent amount of Korean population here, especially when you get into Aurora (a suburb on the SE side of Denver). That being said I feel like the community itself is very insular as in I don’t hear or see much actually going on within it or about it. There is a couple of H-mart stores here where you can get your Korean and Asian yummy fix as well as buy miscellaneous items such as rice cookers, cute trash cans, slippers, chopsticks (totally have bought like 20 sets cause they so perty!), etc. The Ahjummahs in there get startled easy though. I recently asked where the fresh kimchi was in Korean because she had been conversing in complete Korean to the previous person, but as I am an obvious white girl she got so shocked she couldn’t answer me. She just stood there for a few seconds. I repeated myself and then she finally answered albeit with just a pointing and nodding when I said thank you.

    Aside from food and a little bit of shopping, there are churches…a lot of churches! Even up on the North side of town where I live there are Korean churches.

    Sadly, not a lot of Kpop or Korean Pop culture. You can’t really find Kpop or K-movies readily. There is one store next to the H-mart in Aurora that has posters and key chains occasionally, but I have yet to find actual albums or anything here Oh wells!

  201. I have some very strange things to note about Korea, as I was born there.

    This is a recollection of some of the things 1988, that my parents have mentioned to me. To note, 1988 was a big year for South Korea, as they hosted the summer olympics. It was such a big event that adoptions were almost illegal, while the world watched Korea, so my parents were told they 1, wait to get me until December or 2, hurry like hell and go there at once, or they would have to wait for almost half a year.

    Yes, foreigners in Korea… it was even worse back then.

    1, taxi drivers were even scarier back then, than they are now. The same day my parents received me and the adoption was done, the taxi driver seriously went through a number of strange streets to check on all of his “girls”. When I say girls, I mean: that taxi driver most likely had a porn industry going on. In the end, my dad, being the foreigner that he is, who can’t accept such idiocy going on, yelled at the driver, who apparently did know some English, to take the family to the hotel. From what I can gather, no one had done that very often, because the driver did so, quietly.

    2, signs… back then there were still fewsigns in romanization or English. They had started putting some of them up, but not all, and that could be confusing. This is, btw, Seoul I am talking about, as it was in Seoul that I was staying with my foster family.

    3, The pet-food stores… this is something that had disappeared to our knowledge around 17 years after my birth, because we couldn’t find a trace of them. In 88, apparently you could get dog meat, because the top of Lotte had a pet store, for food consumtion. Me and mom actually went to look for it when I went to revisit Korea, but that store was gone.

    4, everything else in general… hole Hera, did someone pull the futuristic strings, but South Korea and Seoul developed hugely over those 17 years, I am not shocked anymore how wuickly things change generally in Asia. I am, to be honest, more concerned for their heritages being taken down, than the countries modernizing, because the latter is nothing to really worry about. What I love, is that South Korea do love their heritage as well, so that many such areas are protected. This meant that mom and dad could show me many sights they saw when they first visited South Korea, when they went to get me.

    Now, 9 years later, I would love to see these things for myself. I hope you, Simon and Martina, understand how much your videos mean to me, because they’ve really helped me reconnect with my roots. I came to realise ages ago I am not very Korea by nature, apart from some very strange, genetic, none-scientific? weird things that I do, that no one can fully explain, but other than that I love the Internet, because for the majority of my life, all I knew about Korea came from books dated between 1984-1991… let’s just say a LOT has happened since then.

    • Sorry I mean to share it as a new comment and put it as a reply on yours >_<

    • I’m curious as to what these “very strange, genetic, none-scientific? weird things” that you can do are :) You seem to have a very interesting background!

      • Oh dear, I think I made myself sound like some sort of genetic experiments… oops…

        OK, I was most likely exagerating a lot, but I do have two very weird things that we have theories around, but since no one, to my knowldge, has experimented with this, I cannot say for sure if this was somehow coded into my ganes by generations of Koreans… I don’t know, make your own assumptions.

        No. 1, sitting… this sounds really weird, but have you seen how many Asians cultures sit? Especially in Korea, where the tables are low and you don’t have chairs. You use pillows.

        When I was very young, from memory 4 and beyond, I used to tuck my feet under my butt. At the ealiest this caused blood to stop flowing, so my feet often lost all sense of feelings to them, and my parents quite sternly told me off, that never worked. I never even noticed I did so. Depite the fact that I grew up here, Sweden, where we use chairs and therefore you should get used to your feet dangling, but no… even until this day I feel REALLY uncomfortable with ym feet down, and only do this when we either have our shoes on (in a café, or resturant) or when we have guests (because it would seem a bit rude), but otherwise I still sit with my feet tucked under my legs, though I’ve learnt how to keep them from dozing off.

        No. 2. Chopsticks, this is another weird thing, but when I was 5, on my birthday my mother decided to make Korean bulgogi for the family party. (This became a tradition for most of my birthdays later on). All in my family, except my two cousins, are born 100 % Swedish, and for this dinner mother planned to introduce chopsticks to make things more authentic. This, to my very bleak memory, was a hazard for most, as just a handfull of my relatives managed to figure out how to use them, after all we had no one to tell us how. Mother of course, seeing how young I was, put forth a knife and fork for me, but I got to try myself first. 5 minutes after I was given the chopsticks, I ate 3 times faster than my mom, who was seen as the best person at eating with chopsticks. I am not kidding, no one could show me how to do it, but I somehow managed in less than 5 minutes to figure everything out perfectly. It just seems too strange to be a coincidence.

        I joke sometimes that this is somehow coded into my genes, but who knows. There are many other things that put me so far from the Korean ways of being, that I have no idea how to properly explain either of these two.

        But since you asked, here they are.

        • I also have a dislike of sitting normally, and I’m a Finnish woman with no known foreign heritage. I never sit normally on a chair if I’m at home. I vary on sitting kneeling with feet tucked under my butt to sitting feet crossed, either yoga style (feet on thighs) or indian style (ankles crossed, toes under thighs) on a chair or mermaid style with my feet on one side or one knee up to hug or to lean my chin to and one leg dangling. I’m just not comfortable sitting on a chair normally. Nice to know there are others. :)

  202. There’s a k-pop/punk band called “never mind” that got together as friends and started playing music, I really like them and I’m waiting eagerly for a comeback! :3



  203. i wanna go to korea when i get older, my older sister wants to spend a year there

  204. Hello there =), It’s been a while since I posted anything out here, I’m from Venezuela and surprisingly there IS a Korean scene over here, I mean not like everyone loves them (people still call anyone asian chinese) but there’s actually a small kpop fandom out here, we’ve even pushed some major companies here to bring kpop groups and …it WORKED, some of my friends are Lunafly fans and those guys are coming on April 15th! Unbelieveable but true!, also there are some people who sell korean stuff they’ve bought online at a horrible overprice but hey! It’s something…Although the timing for Lunafly to come sucks (I don’t know if we’ve been on your news but we’re kind of like having a civil war over here), we hope everything will be settled down by the time they come so they won’t cancel on us.

  205. KATHyphenTUN

    Something that just recently changed in my hometown is we finally have a anime/comic con!!!! My home town isn’t that large and therefore, I have always traveled a long distance in order to get to my conventions.
    BUT now there is! I’m pretty sure it will be suckish in comparison to the big city cons, but I don’t even care I can not wait to support them in this idea! The change always has to start somewhere!! (^.^)/

    • Yay! I’m happy for you! it’s the same where I live. My hometown is TINY, and I always have to travel and spend a lot of money to go to any comic con, but this year we are gonna have one! It angers me because I will be out of the country on that exact date but it’s still really good news. As you said, it’s probably going to suck a bit but hey, let’s support it and hopefully it will grow ^-^

      • KATHyphenTUN

        Yay~ someone who can relate! It really is super exciting isn’t it!! I was so shocked to hear of it and I have been trying to tell everyone I know in town about it so that if it is busy they may continue doing it! I would love to go to a con once and not stay in an expensive hote (or risk damaging my costumes in luggage bags)l! ><

        • Yes to all >_< And I don't know about your place, but here transportation sucks, it takes forever to get anywhere. So much money and time… that's the curse for people living in a small town. Speaking of costumes, I've just found out that our little comic con is going to have a cosplay contest. Duh, it's comic con, it's obvious… well, I wasn't even counting on it! xD it's actually a bit intimidating, to think I will wear geeky costumes in my town, where the "muggles" I know live too… I guess I've been a comic/manga fan in the dark for so long that now it's hard to come out! lol

        • KATHyphenTUN

          YES! Transit really sucks, it must be a small town thing! I would laugh so hard if we are from the same town XD I’ll be going as “Quinn” from “League of Legends” to the convention (guaranteed the only one probably XD). I’m curious how many people will actually dress up.

    • I agree! While I live in Philly and have some close Anime Cons like Otakon in Maryland and the NY Comic Con, they’re expensive just for the membership fee, hotel rooms, gas for the car… If only there was one or two not far away and not in a city as confusing as NY!

  206. thisisjustforfunval

    After reading some comments I shall never complain about the half hour drive to have Korean food again. I wouldn’t say we have a growing Korean scene, I think my city has had a growing Korean community that I’ve only just discovered the past few years. It is mostly centered around the army base. There are a handful of restaurants, little markets, churches, salons, even a small community newspaper. However, I’ve yet to run into kpop at the Korean owned stores I frequent. I need to check out more of the stores, but it’s so tough cause I feel attached to the places I go to.

  207. I’m from Columbia, South Carolina (a state pretty much everyone forgets about until we do something stupid) and the Korean community here is sizable but hidden. There are 3 Korean markets and 5 restaurants on one freakin’ road and tons of Korean churches, yet I have never seen one Korean person out in the public. And I’ve lived here my entire life but have seriously never seen one Korean person outside of the markets or restaurants. It’s really kinda creepy

  208. #1There’s a lot of foreigner that go to Korea to be teachers, what are other jobs that foreigner can get while living in Korea, even if they don’t speak much of the language.
    #2 There is a lot of mv, tv show and movies being made, but is there a lot of filming company’s that would accept a foreigner or even and foreigner for an apprenticeship? I’m going to college for cinematography and I really like the Korean culture, and I’m hoping to have both part come together some time in the future for me.

  209. neeko

    I live in the DC metropolitan area. Its pretty easy to get korean, as well as other asian foods/goods. We can get asian goods art places like H mart and G mart. lol it just so happens that my neighbors (left and right to me) are korean.

  210. I’ve been listening to –pop from about 2007-2008, this makes me agree completely about new bands who are just a repeat of what has already been done! I feel that older bands have really made their name in k-pop, it was easy to tell each member individually. For example Big Bang, the ex-TVXQ, even SS501. They all had their own material. NOT THAT I DON’T LIKE THE CURRENT SOUNDS, I LIKE THEM VERY MUCH!!!
    The good old days *sigh*

    • “the ex-TVXQ” ??

      • I guess she means when they were five, but I find that the current TVXQ as a duo has been able to rise to the occasion, and this year has brought new sound and choreography to the table. I wouldn’t say their sound at present is same kpop we usually hear. I love the infusion of old school with modern in their music. JYJ, is also doing their own thing and composing the music they like. I just hope they do a comeback before they enlist.

        • hellogoodbye

          yeah I agree! They’re still doing great now so I wouldn’t differentiate.
          Referring to the “ex-TVXQ” felt really unnecessary I’m sure people can still understand the meaning. Just TVXQ will do~

      • uh… with Yoochun (Mickey), Jaejoong (Hero) and Junsu (Xiah), as well as Changmin (Max) and Yunho(U-Know).
        All of them rather than just Max and Yunho, that’s why I called it ‘ex’

  211. No real cheese at all in Korea ?? Nowhere ? No luxury food shop to sell some ? Damn… I think I’ll change my plans of living there … ! Le fromage c’est la vie !

    • Its there, just super expensive and/or hard to find. Itaewon has shops with more varieties of cheese, you just have to be willing to spurge for it. :)

      • Good to know !! I’ll try to find out some when I’ll be there in April ! Actually I’m looking a lot for great wine shop / wine bar and places for cheeses. Not that I can’t live without it but I’m a wine bar owner in France and moving to korea is on my wish list !

        • Oh that’s awesome!! Unfortunately I’m not familiar with any good wine bars…I am no help in that regard :/ But yeah, I miss the laaarge varieties of cheeses found…elsewhere. lol I’m from the States, and 1/2 mile from my house, there is a cheese FACTORY. I miss it!! ㅠ_ㅠ

        • If you love wine and cheese… moving from France to Korea may not be the best idea!

        • Clément Thomassin

          Haha :) except if I’m planning to do it a business, good to know there is still a lot to do ! But maybe I’m a dreamer ? Whatever I love Korea more than I love cheese ㅋㅋㅋ

  212. I’m trying to decide on where in Korea I want to teach and the big brand takeover is definitely something that makes me hesitate to pick Seoul.

    Actually, maybe you’d consider doing a TLDR video on the pros and cons of living/teaching in various parts of Korea? I know I cannot for the life of me pick between Seoul, Incheon, Busan, and Jeju.

  213. Did you say Koreans outside of Korea??? The number of Koreans coming to stay in singapore is getting toooooooooo many!!!! they even set up a korean church! thank god koreans are relatively nice people!


    SG has too many FTs!!!!

    • send some over here – LOL

    • Hi fellow Singaporean! I’m from Singapore too, and yes, there have been an influx of Koreans living in Singapore in the recent years. Usually they’re here to study. I’ve had a mini Korean community in my high school/junior college 2-3 years ago, which was quite rare considering that there weren’t any Koreans back in my previous schools and it really surprised me. Now Koreans are pretty common here, I overhear Koreans speaking almost every single day. Which is why I think Korean food is really common to get here, lots of Korean restaurants and Korean marts pretty much everywhere.

      • ikr!! tanjong pagar is a good place for instance. in my area, the number of koreans (not students but families of 4 or more) have increase tremendously over the past 2 years… they must be cursing and swearing at the weather right now! it’s too hot and not even raining! what makes it worst is the haze that comes and go!!

  214. Robin Loveman Birdwell

    I hail from the Dirty South of the U.S. in a rather small city with a surprisingly large Korean population thanks to a nearby Hyundai plant. :D (Montgomery, Alabama). Seriously, we have like hardly any other multicultural pockets, then boom, huge Korean population, most of them recently come from Seoul. So just in the last 5 years we’ve had an increase in Korean restaurants, even got our own legit noraebang which is SO FUN, and we’re about to get a G-Mart. NO MORE DRIVING 2.5 HOURS TO ATLANTA! Now we just need a Korean bakery/cafe and we’ll be set. Plus, I started actively studying Korean this past summer, and I have a ton of opportunities to meet Korean people and make friends and I even attend a Kindergartener Korean class on Saturdays lol. My handful of Kpop-loving friends and I feel quite lucky indeed. Now we just need to meet / spawn more k-lovers like us. ^_^

    • Oh gosh I wished I lived there! I live in Venezuela ( South America ) And people here think anyone asian is chinese -_-”

      • Robin Loveman Birdwell

        Haha, oh no! Well there are plenty of people here who can’t tell the difference either. But I’m doing my best to educate everyone. ;D I really want to pull a Yeongguk Namja and start finding fun ways to expose random locals to Korean culture.

        • Out here Kpop is like so underground as well as everything korean, the fact is that here we have loads and loads of chinese people and some japanese but I’m pretty sure (In my town at least) that there aren’t any Korean people. Althought, mind you, there are Kpop fans in the country and we’re even having our first Korean concert ever on April 15th Lunafly is coming =)

        • Robin Loveman Birdwell

          That is awesome!! So far my friends and I haven’t been able to travel to the nearest kpop shows. My friend in Austin, Texas just saw Jay Park last night. D: We almost had Block B coming to Atlanta but it was moved to another city. SO CLOSE!

        • treya_barton

          I really wish they would have shows in Atlanta! That’d be so much closer :( There have been soo many groups coming but they usually stay in New York and Cali :( Only group I knew of that did a real US tour was Wonder Girls (with 2PM opening). I’m so sad I missed out on that – some friends of mine saw them in Dallas. But, I figured out what song it was that has “dirty south” in it. It’s the beginning of F.Cuz Say U Say Me from their Gorgeous album.

      • Same! Every Asian here, people call Chinese. -_- Except my Dad; he calls every Asian he sees Japanese, which might stem from my love of anime… haha. But surprisingly, the people I work with aren’t like that. We work with an Asian girl, whom we later found out is from Vietnam. When we first met her, I thought that might be where she was from, due to her name. And to my surprise, my other coworkers and the girl, made it a game of trying to guess what Asian country she was from, rather than just assuming she was Chinese. I was very impressed. :)

        • the only progress I’ve noticed so fat is that my mom can officially distinguish Korean Chinese and Japanese languages, because I’ve liked anime since I was like 5 and at 12 started to watch Chinese and Korean dram, a few weeks ago I was listening to some kpop and my mom’s friend who was at home that day told my mom “she’s really weird listening to that chinese music” and my mom was like “no no that’s kpop it’s korean” I just love my momma hahaha

        • Haha, your mom is cute. I got my mom into EYK, and a little into U-Kiss. Not sure if she can distinguish the languages, but I can by sight and hearing. I love languages though.

        • oh I haven’t gotten that far xd we live in a Spanish speaking country so… she couldn’t watch eyk but she knows them she’s like “are you watching that pink haired girl and her husband again?” or “is the blue dog in that episode?” hahaha she supports me in everything I have blue hair since I was 16 and she bought the hair dyes for me (not common here) I had an awkward “I’m a cosplayer” phase and she supported that as well and she’s working in another town where there’s an Asian market and brings me random stuff to try xd, I love languages too! I’d love to learn Korean and Japanese!

        • Awww. That’s really sweet. What a great mom!

        • You got your mom into our videos? That’s awesome. Thank you :D

        • Yeah, she thinks you guys are cute. I got her watching some of the WTFs and FAPFAPs, and she thought the names were pretty funny. I got her into U-Kiss because of your videos too ( like I did! ), but she doesn’t listen to their music much. She just think they’re “handsome young men”. She moved to Chicago though, so I don’t know if she still watches your videos. :(

    • I’ve been through Montgomery a few times because I have a friend who lives in Deatsville and whose dad works at the Hyundai plant and was surprised when I saw all the restaurants around there haha I sadly didn’t get to eat at any last time I went though. I live in Biloxi, MS and we actually have a small Korean population with two local restaurants, a Korean Baptist church, and a Korean mart next to one of the restaurants that’s always plastered with drama posters. Our biggest population here is Vietnamese though because of the shrimping industry.

      • Robin Loveman Birdwell

        Mississippi!! Yaay, a fellow dirty south kpop fan! lol. SO FEW OF US. Aren’t you so glad for your Korean mart though? I go to ours almost once a week, if only to buy korean pastries. mmm red bean… You must have some good Vietnamese food though, that is something we do NOT have. ;_;

        • Pretty sure I saw a few Viet restaurants in Itaewon… I went to a Thai/Viet fusion restaurant in Itaewon butttttttttt no go on the authenticity… A for effort.

        • treya_barton

          I do love the Korean mart and R&C Korean Restaurant :) There are several other Asian marts around but the others are more Vietnamese oriented. I honestly do not go out to try authentic Vietnamese food since it’s all in East Biloxi… Mostly what I get is pho at buffets which I’m sure isn’t the same (but is still really good). I’ll have to go try it sometime – my brother had several Vietnamese friends in high school so he’s had a more authentic experience (lucky him T_T).

        • treya_barton

          Also, hey right back atcha hahaha I can’t remember what kpop song it was, but one of them kept saying “Dirty South” in the beginning, and while I’m sure they meant South Korea I always used to think they were talking about us hahaha (now I’m probably going to spend like an hour trying to find that song ><)

        • Robin Loveman Birdwell

          Ermahgerd I need to know what this song is now too hahaha.

        • treya_barton

          I seriously can’t remember it ;_; I thought it was by B.A.P or Block B but I can’t find it. It’s driving me crazy :(

    • I live in East Houston and I wish I was there. The closest legit Korean/Asian market is on the other side of the city, it isn’t worth the drive (dealing with traffic and the confusing roads that look like a bowl of spaghetti thus it has been dubbed the spaghetti bowl by some locals) and it would be impossible to get frozen/refrigerated stuff back to my apartment before problems arose unless I invested in a really good cooler :’( I wish they would open one closer to my apartment but it really doesn’t look like they will.

    • Ah, lucky. I’m in Huntsville and off the top of my head I can’t think of a single Korean restaurant around here. Chinese, Thai, and Japanese, sure, but nothing Korean. Though we do have an Asian supermarket about 3~5 minutes away I’ve never actually been in it.

      • Robin Loveman Birdwell

        Huntsville!! :D Yay for more ‘bama k-fans. ^_^ Yeah, I mean we seriously just got lucky with this Hyundai plant, otherwise we’d have nothing. Stop by on your way to the beach next time ;D

    • I seriously have a reason to go down to Montgomery now!! I’m up in Huntsville. That sounds AMAZING.

  215. I really love brie! (When it’s melted in a sandwich with bacon and cranberry sauce…) I’m not much of a cheese person though – or a dairy person for that matter.. The only Korean people I know where I live are the old couple who run the cafe near me. I had no idea that it was a Korean cafe for a very long time, it’s right there on the street and I’d walked past it many times but I guess it just never really stood out in that way, despite having ARIRANG emblazoned over the door.

    There are a lot more Korean people in Dublin, no doubt about that. There’s a much bigger Chinese community in the North (since back in the 60s most of the immigrants to here were from the south of China and HK) than any other minority so we have plenty of good restaurants and a few supermarkets which happen to sell Korean goods too. That’s about it, really – not much to tell :/

  216. Hi, I’m from Belgium and we have a total amount of 3 Korean stores in the entire country * sigh*
    It is so difficult to find anything Korean here and the websites that deliver to Belgium ar very few and sooo expensive!
    So yeah, I like all things Korean but feel like a total K-alien here ;->

    • vdabeeltje

      really? I thought Korean stores didn’t even exist here. We have a supermarket in my city that sells a lot of asian food products, but other than that, Korea is far far away. I heard Ringa Linga in an H&M store recently though, which made my day :)

  217. Alicia Davis 알이샤 데비스
    Alicia Davis 알이샤 데비스

    Just a heads up EYK, your videos aren’t showing on any pages I open here on the website, kind of like the blank page problem you were having.

  218. Alright, I have been noticing a definite change in America coming from Korea in that there are far more Korean exchange students coming to my school. My school seems to be the go-to place for East Asian exchange students (the Europeans and South Americans generally go to public schools) and just a few years ago our only exchange students were Chinese. However, there has been a huge increase in Korean students, coming to study far younger than before. In this year alone, there are 4 new Koreans in the 7th grade class alone, and 1 new one in the high school, which adds up to eight. Keep in mind that my school only has 250 kids, so that is a pretty big influx. Do you know of any big changes in school policies or the view of America that may be changing in Korea that is causing this? I think it’s really awesome to have so many Koreans in my school now, I can speak a bit of Korean so they are really happy that there is someone from here that they can connect with and doesn’t see them as odd or different. ^_^

  219. I live in Tallahassee, Florida and there only one Korean restaurant and store. But they both are small and have limited choices. However, recently I went to Atlanta, Georgia which has a Koreatown area and I was able to try Sundubu Jigae and it was so GOOOOD. I also got a billion (7) side dishes compared to my local Korean restaurant only gives 2. That restaurant made me want to go to Korea even more.

    • i live in tampa and there is a japanese store called kolbe and also there is an oriental market ect…..

    • If you go south, stop by in Gainesville. Garlic and Ginger is a great restaurant and the Daehan Asian Mart has so many things (even fresh kimbap). Really nice people at both places. And I know Orlando has a delicious korean BBQ place. Your pic has me craving japchae!

  220. Where I live there’s a huge Korean scene. I do mean huge. Koreans from Korea, Korean-Americans. I guess it would help explain if I tell you that I live in a university city which is huge on diversity. Anyway, there are two Korean restaurants not even 10 minutes away from the university. I haven’t been to them (yet), but people tell they’re good. There’s another one about 30 minutes away run by some really nice Korean ajummas that I’m really excited to visit. As for the Korean stores, I’m pretty sure we have those too somewhere, but I haven’t seen or heard about them. There are multiple “Asian” stores though. And, there’s this huge aisle in our Walmart just for Asian food. I even found Shin Ramyun in that aisle once.

  221. Guys, this is is POP we’re talking about. I don’t listen to pop for spiritual enlightenment or life-changing epiphanies. I listen to the songs because they are fun, catchy, and help pump me up!

    On that note, I DO enjoy it when I am surprised with some deepness in lyrics, and I DO roll by eyes when lyrics are excessively dumb. There IS a certain standard that I’m used to (I think this is similar to what you guys were saying), and Kpop has not really been meeting that standard this past year. I also agree that the a lot of the new bands are just not that skilled and seem prematurely debuted. It’d be great to see more groups with the skill and confidence that BAP had upon debut.

    But if you guys are looking for a band of friends that got together, you are looking in the wrong place. Look at the indie scene more, because you won’t find a band like that labeled as a “kpop group”. =/

    • I didn’t mean for this to sound as confrontational and angry as it did. Sorry =(

    • Actually I hear even indie companies are starting this trainee process thing. Except they’re not as rigorous and they train their kids to make their own music or at least their own lyrics. But they’re still indie because you know them for their sound rather than their personalities.

  222. i’m from melbourne… melben! and we have our fair share of korean resturants and asian grocery stores which is really nice. also china town. we have a few festivals as well.
    when it comes to kpop or asian music stores, the only one i know of is media asia and everything they sell is expensive.
    i just buy everything online.

  223. I know you guys probably know the changes in Toronto better than I do since I have only lived here for 2 years but I can tell you that like 4 new Face Shop locations just opened in the past few weeks! They are taking over the city! You don’t have to go to Pacific Mall anymore you can just go to the Eaton Centre! Crazy!!! Also I went home to Halifax this summer and found out that there are at least 3 Korean restaurants there now! I’m pretty sure for my entire life there was none, there wasn’t even sushi places until I was finishing high school and by the end of college there was sushi places everywhere.

  224. There is this café across the street from my apartment that is a Korean American fusion place. They have some basic American dishes like salad wraps and things like California burgers and a lot of traditional Korean food, but the fusion food is really interesting! They have kimchi fries (French fries with kimchi and cheese on top), Korean burgers (an awesome burger with things like kimchi and a fried egg etc…), and bulgogi wraps! It’s all super yummy! And if I’m not feeling that, there is a traditional restaurant two blocks away and another one a block away from that. To sum it up, my campus is awesome. :)

  225. dbullock

    Cheese and bread are essentials to my existence… I could not live…

    So if cheese is scarce and expensive, what are they using on their pizzas?

  226. I’m from the Twin cities in Minnesota, USA where there is a large Hmong scene. My friend and I are hoping to go to a Korean restaurant that she enjoys soon. If you are ever in Minneapolis though, you should visit The Global Market. It’s wonderful and you will love it. You can try a camel burger (the meat is a tad dry but they serve it with pineapple alone with some more traditional burger toppings). There are also Somali markets and Latino markets besides the Asian markets.

  227. I’m from the GTA, and I’m 90% sure you already did a video about the two K-towns in Toronto. I do empathize with you about how you feel about the indie shops being closed down (hyper-franchising? hyper-franchisation?), Queen St which used to be so vibrant and artsy is now almost all chain boutiques and the Annex has changed a lot too they’re closing down Honest Eds and are in the process of selling all of the signs it’s a huge land mark and soon it’ll just be another apartment building :<

  228. I live in Hong Kong, and since HK is fairly close to Korea, getting Korean stuff isn’t that challenging; there’s actually a street that’s full of Korean food and items (I usually go there when I want banana milk, kimbap, or those candied potatoes…). There are a number of Korean BBQ restaurants (or just general Korean restaurants), but they’re not as numerous as the Japanese ones. Korean culture is also pretty accepted, especially by the younger generation. I’d here k-pop being played on radios, on TV (music shows), and even in stores. K-pop bands occasionally drop by as well, and I’d here people talk about Girl’s Generation, SHINee, or Super Junior quite a bit.

    About the hyper-franchization… The situation is a lot worse in HK. Besides the CD stores, malls just aren’t interesting to me at all because everywhere you go, it’s like Louis Vuitton this, Gucci this, Chanel that. Either they’re all brands, or they’re expensive watch/jewelry shop. A while back, Abercrombie opened up a huge store that spans pretty much the entirety of three floors- right at the entrance of Central’s subway station exit. For the grand opening, then even had tour buses and sprayed cologne from their building. If you didn’t know where the store was, all you’d have to do is follow the stench. As you can imagine, the rent isn’t cheap; in fact, rent anywhere is expensive in HK.

    So yeah, small stores are disappearing very quickly here. It’s hard to find them at all unless you go to malls that aren’t close to subway (MTR) exits or are farther away from the more populated areas. What is interesting is that small shops have found a way to survive to down scaling to what can be roughly translated to as “box-shops”. A person would rent a store, and then he or she would divvy up the space into many rather small square cubicle spaces and then rent those out for a certain price. That way, both parties benefit from the arrangement. It’s not the best solution, but it’s better than nothing. Usually, I find rather interesting things in the small box shops; they’re a lot of fun to shop; they’re not in the big malls though.

    • lady_kire

      Well, I know to avoid the Abercrombie…
      I remember visiting HK around 3-4 years ago, and people were excited for the (I think) H&M opening there. My mom and I were avoiding that shop because we knew that it’s nothing special if we’ve seen so many of them. I even rememer going to that mall on Lantau Island and it had all these name brands such as crocs, aldo, coach, etc., and my mom was wondering why on earth people are going crazy for something like that.

      I remember my mom taking me to the street where non franchised clothing shops are, and sold really cheap clothes. If they turn that street into a bunch of franchises, I’ll be pissed since I’m expected to return next year. I’ll also be pissed if they turned those mini malls where you have to go up a bunch of stairs in franchises…

  229. I remember a video where you talked about going to a Korean or at least Asian grocery store and I started laughing hysterically. While Asian restaurants and sushi places are common enough, there is a whole one Korean restaurant in the capital city, which probably means it is the only one in the entire country. As for other stores, there are some Chinese owned stores, like maybe 3 of them, but they generally sell regular cheap stuff. There was an actual Chinese thing shop, but it closed and I am heartbroken. I loved that shop. Also no Asian markets or anything like that.

    The kpop scene is…existant. A few hundred people scattered all over the contry, but barely anything happens as a group, just individuals. But with the first anime con thingy that happened last year I can say that Asian culture is spreading here, a few years ago nobody talked about anime or manga, especially kpop. I suppose it is because anime/manga are very popular among Russian speakers here and they get translated stuff from Russia, so it is spreading. And I am doing my own part in spreading the Hallyu Wave.
    But yeah, I’m inclined to say it is more non-existant than an actual thing.

  230. Jackie Chan is actually pretty involved with music. I mean, it does seem kind of iffy that he wants to start a k-pop band… but I’m such a Jackie Chan fan, I’m curious to see what he would do with it.


    • apparently these kids have been training for eight years, so who knows.
      i’ll be seeing them along with exo and siwon at jackies 60th birthday charity concert and i can’t wait to see what they’ll bring to the stage. i hope they don’t suck. plus one is apparently chinese-australian. pretty stoked we have another aussie in the industry.

      • If in those 8 years of training they have been studying martial arts so they can make some bad ass music videos, I’d be pretty happy.

        Let’s hope for the best.

        • brookecaution

          yeah i feel you. i love dancing and very strong performances and sometimes groups just don’t bring anything amazing forward anymore. if they can come up with something awesome in their physical performances, i will be so happy~

        • Lol, according the their bios the answer is YES, they have also been training at Jackie’s martial arts school in addition to music training!

  231. My husband and I live in Iksan, which is in the country. We definitely get called Migook Saram like every second of every day. We tried your trick of yelling “Hongook Saram” back at them. It’s usually received with blank, open mouthed stares. Like they can’t comprehend that we even attempted a Korean phrase. It’s even worse if you’re black. Our friend has had people actually come up and try to touch her skin. And children point at her and gasp like she is the village monster or something. So yeah, Seoul may be getting there, but I think the rest of Korea is still a few years behind on the acceptance of foreigners situation. We love Korea, but that’s our biggest beef with Korean culture.

  232. First of all I totally agree with you on the new K-pop groups. There are just way too many groups constantly coming out and honestly aren’t very good. There are so many groups that it’s hard for any one group to stand out. Who can remember all of those faces and wacky group names? Not me!

    I live in Kansas so the Korean scene is nonexistent, at least where I live. The Korean scene probably only exists in my bedroom when I’m watching k-dramas or listening to k-pop. XD

  233. I find that bread is generally pretty bad in Asia, especially if you’re used to eating European bread. Bread just tastes either too sweet or too doughy in Asia.

    • I wouldn’t say that about Japan, though. Some of the bakeries we went to in Tokyo are freaking crushingly delicious. Had the best croissant of our lives in Shibuya. Better than any we had in Paris!

      • It is a generally accepted truth in Europe that French croissants are not amongst the best. It is more of an Austrian food anyway.

      • Oh wow, I never expect that from Japan. Will definitely try some bread too next time I’m in Japan!!!

        By the way, just to notify you guys. After posting a comment in this blog, I tried to open this URL again and I got blank page. I tried using other browsers as well (I’m using Chrome, I tried Firefox too) and I still got blank page. I can see the page again when I open this URL in Chrome’s incognito mode.

        Ninja edit: it works now on my Chrome. It might be cache problem.
        Ninja edit 2: YouTube is down too. Internet breaks today

      • Grrrr this thing erreased my coment. So the short version: Yup japan makes a really amazing bread becouse the go to europe to learn how to do it. I met several guys in Paris lerning also how to do the french cakes. MArtin, you might have come across this in some manga or animes.

  234. After discovering EYK and joining the Nasties I took an interest in finding Korean grocery stores and restaurants in my neighborhood. I thought there wouldn’t be anything, BUT HOLY SMOKES WAS I WRONG! There is a really good Korean restaurant 10 min from my house right in the middle of nowhere!!! (I live in the suburbs/rural area.) Also, I found a Korean grocery store in my nearby city that is pretty well stocked. The first time I went there I was a little overwhelmed by all the choices and I didn’t know what to get, but this cute little ahjumma, who was grocery shopping too, started talking to me and giving me instructions on how to make Korean food and what I should buy. She was so sweet. I was so touched I almost started tearing up a bit afterwards.

  235. I agree with S&M, when it comes to the lack of originality and creativity in Kpop. After being a fan for over 14 years, the decline in the originality of Kpop is getting steadily worse and worse. Im a huge fan of the indie scene in Korea and work exclusively with some of the top indie bands as part of my job -trying to increase their international facetime with the Kpop crowd. Their music is all self-composed, fresh, and interesting. Some of the best songs of 2014 for me came not from Kpop but the Korean indie scene. I really wish that companies, and especially fans, would take more interest in the “other” genres of Korean music. There is such a wealth of untapped talent out there.

    • This is great, because I wanted to address this for Simon&Martina but didn’t know how to start, now I have your post to organize my thoughts to, so thank you. Now, the problem: What if you plain don’t like that? I love Kpop precisely because it’s produced to high heavens.
      I used to follow american boy band Backstreet Boys. They at some point sued their greedy company who had been taking almost all their money and won. That’s great, but after that their music was never quite as awesome. They have been making more and more of their songs themselves and used less and less songs from famous hitmakers. Ergo, no hits. And it’s not as catchy and I’m just not feeling it as much. I still love the Boys but haven’t even tried to look for their newest album.
      I don’t care if they make their own music, play their own music, I don’t care if they lipsynch, overuse dubstep or try to outshine other bands. I don’t care if they jump into bandwagons. I like a catchy song with pretty people who dance well and sing in a pleasing manner. Look at Orance Caramel’s Catallena. It’s produced and they are definitely not authors of the song, but that is fresh and interesting to me.
      I too get sick of sexy concepts but I’m just waiting for companies to release next singles with different concepts. But the fact that there are such things as concepts to me is amazingly fun. I hope Kpop never goes away, I don’t want underground music.

      • Oh I do agree with you there. There is a “something” about the craziness and spontaneity of ever changing concepts but you can also fall into a rut of bad ideas. Some artist come out with absolutely wonderful and appealing concepts one minute and the next minute I’m looking at them and going “What were you thinking??” There is a variety to Kpop that can appeal to almost anyone (if you find the right concept/artist for that person’s musical preferences) but if your are wanting to delve into more facets of the Korean music scene, I highly recommend looking up indie bands like: Crying Nut, Idiotape, Jambinai, Apollo 18, Glen Check, Love X Stereo, Galaxy Express, Smacksoft, and so many more. There is some amazing music out there, not marketed to the Kpop crowd that should be marketed to the Kpop crowd.

  236. I live in the US, on the east coast. I’m from a fairly large city and I moved recently to a smaller city (still a city though, decent in size!). Anyway, in my hometown and in my current location there are absolutely NO Korean shops/communities whatsoever. I know there are Koreans, but there aren’t a ton of them I guess, because my hometown only has ONE Korean restaurant =( And it’s fairly new too! Where I live now, there are no Korean restaurants. There aren’t any shops either, besides Asian markets that carry a variety of Asian groceries. It makes me so sad!! I have to order everything online.

  237. The countryside??? Did you say the countryside???!! Oooo me me me! *Jumps up and down*.

    Okay no real cheese here. Just plastic single cheese. 2 years ago when visiting Korea, I did manage to get some Aussie cheese in a department store in Jinju but when I went back this year there wasn’t any – only crappy plastic cheese. No real cheese :( My husband just informed me that I’m being cheese racist and discriminating against the crappy cheese…

    How much people stare varies a lot from day to day. I was riding my bike around the other day and some children were excited to see me and called out “American American” I stopped and talked to them for a bit and said I was Australian. I’ve had people cheerfully call out “good bye foreigner!” as I leave a restaurant. My husband often has to explain to people because they are curious. Usually the attention is okay and mostly positive. Today was weird though. We were waiting for the bus and this old guy stared at me for 10 mins. Even with my husband glaring at him he just blatantly stared at me. We think he thought I must be a prostitute or something because it gave me the creeps. Old guys stare at me a lot but usually they smile and say hello and are friendly. This was guy was just horrible.

    I have old women wanting to touch my hair and skin sometimes but they are always so friendly.

    My husband says some changes in the countryside – since he lived here years ago is that there are no young people now, they have all moved to the cities. In general there are now less people in this area of the countryside.

    • Credit to your husband for glaring that old man down.

    • HAHAHAHA cheese racist!!

    • awww props for mr gwon. and to u nic! i dont know if i could live in the countryside in korea. id prob have a breakdown. kk

    • I’m sorry, but how can you not be racist towards processed cheese? I only eat that when I’m desperate! You should have your husband try cheddar cheese, or gouda, he will never be able to look at processed cheese the same way again!

    • Would it be possible for you to tell me what would be necessities to bring from your home country for living in rural areas of Korea? I plan on entering a program that would require me to live in a rural area and I’m very curious to know what I should take. Thank you ^-^

      • antiperspirant deodorant is probably the biggest one… but shampoo, conditioner, skin products you can get even in rural Korea. If you drink a certain type of tea that might not be in Korea, I brought lots of chai tea with me. If you are used to using big towels… bring them because Koreans use tiny ones.

        If there is food that you really miss that can travel okay and not expire, bring that. Even though I love Korean food, in rural areas with no other options it can get monotonous, you will start craving food from home.

    • i am excited to go to Korea… i am nervous about how people will react to me. i am a large “white” woman. ( i am other nationalities too but i look white lol) i don’t know how i’ll be if a lot of people are staring at me…

      • It wouldn’t matter what your size is, there will be people staring at you a lot anyway, so I guess remember that it’s not only you that people are looking at, it is any foreigner. Most people are just curious so just try to have a positive attitude and laugh about it and it will be easier to deal with :)

  238. Ash3070

    There really isn’t much of a Korean scene in my country (Ireland). If you want Korean good, you have to make the drive to Dublin. The other day I made the 2 hour commute just for dakgalbi XD Lol >.> x x x

      • Ash3070

        Yeah I actually made the trip on both Friday and Monday >.> I might be crazy but I love dakgabi >..> I feel like it might be but it looks like it’s got less calories than an average dinner :) x x x

        • N. Nini Lent

          Im actually in the same boat as you. Living in rural North Carolina, the closest Korean restaurant is an hour and twenty minutes away. Even though the food isnt that spectacular, I still make the drive every Saturday. The best, and closest, place to get authentic Korean food is Annandale, Virginia. Its a very nice Korean community on the outskirts of DC. It has a lot of great restaurants, grocery stores, and small boutiques (even a Face Shop). The only real issue is that Annadale is a FIVE HOUR drive one way from where I live. Needless to say, thats a long way to go for real authentic Korean food but I still take that trip at least 4 times a year anyway.

        • Ash3070

          5 hours?! O_O Holy crap! Fair play XD Do the shops use Korean adverts? Like posters with idols on them I mean? In Dublin the only places Korean places I know of is this really nice korean restaurant called Kimchi and a Korean grocery store :) x x x

        • N. Nini Lent

          Yes. One of my favorite BBQ places looks like those BBQ places you see in Kdramas -with beer and soju adverts all over the walls and the round metal tables. I really love the atmosphere there. They always have Kdramas playing on the flat screen tv’s and Kpop playing on the intercom system. The food is wonderful.

        • Ash3070

          aaaaah I’m so jealous >.> Kimchi doesn’t even play kpop/k-indie or anything >.> Just music from the 80s >..> dammit >.< lol x x x

        • Damn, that’s a long distance! Makes me feel really lucky to live about 10 mins from Annandale.

        • Dark-HunterJenn

          I also live in a small area of North Carolina, and I have to drive about 45 minutes (no traffic) to an hour (rush hour) to eat at a Korean restaurant. It’s also never cost us less than 65.00 for three of us to eat. There is a big store in the same area that is an international grocery, so I can get a lot of Korean things there and it has a small food place inside it, but with a limited menu. Wish I could make that trip to Virginia. :)

        • N. Nini Lent

          Let me guess: Cary or Greensboro ? haha The one I mentioned above (1hr and 20min) is in GB. I actually attend a Church ran Korean school in the area on Saturdays and after school I always hit my favorite Korean Restaurant, the Super G Mart, and grab some bubble tea from the Pho restaurant inside the grocery store. Its a Saturday ritual for me. ^_^

        • Dark-HunterJenn

          Actually Charlotte (I live about an hour outside). I wish there were more here, mostly so the prices would be driven down :) You must be on the other side of NC? It would take me about 2 hours to get to Greensboro…

        • N. Nini Lent

          2.5hrs west of Charlotte, an hour 10 southeast of Greensboro, an hour south of Cary, and 45min northwest of Fayetteville. So, smack dab in the middle. LOL

        • Dark-HunterJenn

          LOL, I used to drive to Wilmington and Camp Lejeune right down past Fayetteville back when I was a youngin’ (like seriously 19 years ago…in my twenties) LOTS of small towns through there! You and I are in the same spot when it comes to eating then, having to drive for what we love. I honestly do not know any Korean people here, there is a Korean church two towns over, but I found it by accident.

        • N. Nini Lent

          That happens to me alot! Especially in NC. Btw, I sent you a message on FB. ^_^ Check your “other” box

    • *le gasp!* *point* Irish person! From where in the North are you from? There is a fairly good chance we are already friends because everyone has a mutual friend in the North but… *still pointing*

      • Ash3070

        Nah I’m not >.> Are you on the kpop Ireland facebook group? :) There are a good few northerners there :) x x x

        • I used to be, but things just got outta hand so I left it a good while ago~ I was on Running Girl though, if they ever found the footage haha

        • Ash3070

          What do you mean by things got out of hand? O_O I was at Running girl too! :D The one during the summer? :D x x x

        • Wait, the first Running Girl or the second one? I was on the first haha. Well, they didn’t get out of hand but the older members felt like we didn’t really fit in anymore. Then there was a whole bloody drama that ended up with people attacking me and others on Twitter and in the end I’d just had enough – so I left.

        • Ash3070

          Ah I was in the last one. That really sucks :/ Why did you fight? Was it just over something stupid :/ I’ve never heard any of this :( Did many of you leave? It’s really sad for me to hear; we’re such a small community in such a small country, I feel like it’s especially horrible for people to feel like the only option they have is to leave :( x x x

        • They had brought up the subject of someone being drunk, and I thought she was probably too young to drink so I exaggerated a bit and said something along the lines of “Isn’t she like, 12 or something?” I think she was 15 or 16 but this girl felt very offended by that so she and her friends took to Twitter. I wasn’t hurt by it or anything, but others had been talking about how they felt the younger members were kind of.. overtaking things? There were more of them than us back then and I didn’t necessarily feel that way until that whole thing happened. And then I felt like I couldn’t post anything and that I was walking on eggshells so I left the group, though one of them apologised to me after a while. I wasn’t the only older one to leave, though, others were getting a bit tired of it.

          Running Girl was the probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, though :)

        • Kpop Ireland Facebook group? *looks it up* https://www.facebook.com/kpopireland Seems like a growing crowd :D

        • Ash3070

          Yeah we have over 800 members in the actual group ^_^ https://www.facebook.com/groups/190552930960899/ This time last year we had less than 200 :D x x x

        • Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! It’s working again!

    • Cafe Arirang does good food, much cheaper than in Dublin – especially at lunch time. I dunno how far you are from Belfast but it’s just over the street from me haha

  239. I’m in Bucheon and I found Colby-jack at e-mart the other day! I got so excited that I was like jumping for joy in the middle of the store. People were legit staring as the foreigner freaked out in the dairy section… :/
    Aside from cheese, I would sell my freaking soul for some reeses cups! Korea why you hate peanut butter so much?

    • Bucheon?! Cool! What part are you in? We used to live in the Jung 1 Dong area, right beside City Hall, very close to the Emart :D

      • I live in an officetel right in front of songnae station. Across from Toona mall. ^^

        • Pretty Wotts

          what is a officetel? if you don’t mind me asking :D

        • Brooke Pashley

          Half commercial building and half apartment building. Usually the first few floors are businesses/restaurants ect and the top floors are studio style apartments.

    • Korea sounds like my kind of country, I’ve hated peanuts, peanut butter and basically all nuts since I was very little. Yesterday I legitily sniffed out someone who was two rows ahead of me in a crowed class who was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That stuff is stinky, and yucky! Hahaha Sorry for the mini peanut butter rant lol

    • If you ever come up to Seoul, swing by Sinchon. Right next to the Uplex subway exit there is a little store that sells Western imports. I was super excited when I found them because they had Reese’s and also Flamming Hot Cheetos!! Granted it is a little on the expensive side (10K for a bag of Reeses and 7K for a medium bag of Cheetos) but perfect for when you are missing home! So glad to live near it and not have to go all the way to Inchon to get stuff!

  240. I am pretty sure that the changes that are happening in Hongdae are due to the increase of tourism. Cus damn Myeongdong is getting way too crowded and I rather take a hike up a mountain then go there. Brands are looking for other spots to cash in on the tourist and what other place than Hongdae? Makes me sad, the unique boutiques of Hongdae always delivered something amazing to buy that few others had.

  241. I love this post so much. I’ve been in Korea for five years now and during that time I’ve moved around between Daegu, Busan, Seoul, and Ulsan. The situations in Busan and Seoul have changed a lot more than they have in Daegu and Ulsan, although the situation has changed even in Daegu and Ulsan (but it also depends on where you live within those cities). If you live closer to the outskirts in the city or in the poorer areas of the cities then they still tend to still freak out and be like “Oh look! it’s a foreigner” and they still try to do the random “hello” and try to tell you all the English they know in a few seconds, though. I remember when I first went to Daegu (back in 2009), it was less than a five minute walk to work and within those five minutes it would usually be pointed out at least five-six times “oh look, it’s a foreigner!” whereas going back to that area now, it is almost never mentioned at all. It still happens in my area in Ulsan, but not nearly as much. I think it’s happened maybe 10 times in the past year, which isn’t that bad at all (compared to how it used to be)….

  242. i think it is starting to change though. if u know yg’s upcoming boyband, called Winner, they were asked to write and compose their own songs, though it has to be approved by the CEO first. and they are still considered trainees too. hopefully they will start a trend of idols doing their own thing and music…maybe even coming out independent (but that will just end up as k-indie, but pretty cool if there is more indie pop or smtin)

    • And that right there is why I love YG. They allow their trainees to develop their creative side.

      • That’s just YG having a “backup” group for when Bigbang enlist(SM did that with SuJu/EXO and JYP 2pm/Got7), so of course they need to be just as talented which with BB they can all write songs. That’s why watching WIN reminded me of the Bigbang documentary just without two different groups. But more singers do get a chance to write and compose thankfully. Its refreshing to see multiple members from MBLAQ, BTS, 2PM, CNBlue, Winner create music and even Lay, Bang Yongguk, Zico etc. can’t wait to hear more. Hopefully female writers get more oppurtunities. Love Yenny and LE’s songs and CL did a good job too. And i know Yuri, Seohyun and Sooyoung from SNSD have written a song and so has Hyuna. There’s amazing potential in kpop its just drowned by horrible title tracks and stupid trends

  243. This happened in my hometown of Des Moines Iowa. I haven’t lived there full time since I entered college 6 years ago (hmm… sounds familiar ;) ). Every time I go back I see more and more chains and big name stores in place of little shops and restaurants I use to love! Des Moines use to pride itself on local owned businesses. There is still pride in those older locally owned businesses but it is harder and hard to start something new up in the area anymore.

    Thank fully there is still certain parts of the greater Metro area that are keeping small businesses flourishing but nothing like when I was in High School :/

  244. Okay before I finish watching the video, I NEEEEED to tell you a funny story about when I was in Seoul in December. So I was in Seoul with my mum’s best friend, who is basically my auntie, and she’s japanese. But she gets mistaken as Chinese, as Korean, as any ethnicity that isn’t her own. So we were on the subway and this old Korean guy looks from her to me and back and forth again, and kind of watches us as I walked over to her and told her there were two more stops left. As we were about to get off, he comes over to her and asks her in Korean something that I didn’t quite catch. Now she doesn’t speak Korean one bit so I quickly said to the man “Hanguk saram aniseyo.” (She’s not a Korean person.) The look I got from him was remarkable because he was so surprised! Best thing ever. Okay story done, back to watching the video.

    • I actually had a similar experience. I was with a friend running through the k-town area in NYC. It was just when I started learning korean, so my eyes were drawn to any korean signs and I was trying to read them. As we were passing outside of a building, I read the sign out loud and there was an old korean guy out front. He looked at my friend (who is chinese) first, then saw that my lips were moving as I was reading out the sign. He looked surprised, then proceeded to laugh (in what seemed like a light-hearted way). OH YEAH BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS.

      • Haha, that happened to me when I was back in the States! I was in the Korean grocery store and I was reading out the names of somethings to myself to see what they were and this woman comes up to me and says “You speak Korean better than my son!” It was wonderful. xD

    • As a similar story a friend of mine (French caucasian) was in Japan with a friend (French Asian) and they were speaking French. Suddenly an uncle turns to my friend’s friend and says “you speak French, it’s amazing!” The guy, of Vietnamese descent and who doesn’t understand Japanese, turns to my friend for translation, and my friend who speaks Japanese explains in French. The uncle was mindfucked.

  245. Unless the taxi change came around in 2014 I dare you to try to get a taxi on sunday 4am from Hongdae to Heukseok. I DARE YOU.

    • Seriously, before the taxi strike we couldn’t get taxis at all in Hongdae. We’d have to walk to Sangsu to get a taxi, and even then it was tough. Now, no matter the time, 3AM Saturday, 4AM Friday, no problem with taxis. But we don’t live in Heukseok. I don’t even know where that is. Our home is 15 minutes away or so :D

  246. Oh Hey! When I lived in Korea, I too really missed goat cheese. But its pretty easy to find goat milk, so I started making my own! Its easy and tasty! Do it!

  247. You create a petition for better cheese sooner than a petition for ranch dressing? Its as though Simon had no input on this at all. o___O

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