471 COMMENTS

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

Bread

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…

ToFebruary
  1. silver surfer

    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. Christa Ng

    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. Gaius Maximus

    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.
    Thanks!

  8. Anthony S.

    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
    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
      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. Allen Goldin

    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. Maryam Hijazi

    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. Cantthinkofcoolname

    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. Elise Boone

    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. Turner Wright

    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. Alisha Son

    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. Gloria Won

    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. yunikakaka

    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. heartmindseoul

    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
    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. Gracie グレイス

    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

    • heartmindseoul

      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. Gracie グレイス

    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. Mika Lovegood

    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… :(

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