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Korea Will Change You

June 6, 2013

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Yay! We mentioned in our TL;DR that we just passed 5 Years in Korea! Wow. That’s quite a long time. We sometimes speak with people who have been here for, like, a couple of months. We remember what that was like! But we also remember how different we were back then as opposed to now. We mentioned a bunch of ways Korea changed us in the video above, like in our taste buds, portion sizes, perceptions of masculinity and sexuality, our sense of danger, and our paying more attention to our appearances. There are a couple of other things that have changed with us that we didn’t mention in the video, though, so we’ll talk about those here:

Our Taste in Music:

Ok, so we’re music hipsters. We listen to lots of weird indie stuff. People might be really surprised by our taste in music, because they think that we only listen to Kpop, for some reason (maybe because we’re known as Kpop people on YouTube?) Point is: we didn’t like Kpop when we first came to Korea. Our music snobbery got in our way for a while. Hardcore snobbery. It was hard for us to think of Kpop as “real” music, whatever “real music” means. The idea we had before was that music is only good music if it’s made by the musicians alone, and Kpop seemed so fake in comparison. Kpop bands don’t get together from high school and jam out in their mom’s garage and play gigs at local bars and struggle to make ends meet and bartend part time while they practice with their band the rest of the time. There’s none of that with Kpop. Kpop bands are assembled by companies. Members oftentimes don’t know each other before forming the band. Kpop bands oftentimes don’t make their own music, but have songs written for them by people from different countries. There’s none of the traditional sense of sincere artistry in it. Well, that’s what we thought before, or – more specifically – what I – Simon, super music artsnob – thought before.

But that’s changed. I found that I was spending too much time focusing my energies on reasons to NOT like kpop, rather than just letting myself like it. It’s music! Doesn’t matter how it was made: it’s still music. Doesn’t matter if it was one person who wrote the song or a hundred. The song’s there to listen to, and oftentimes it’s ridiculously fun to dance to. Why deprive myself of the joy of liking something? So I can feel better about myself, think highly of myself for not liking a song? Why take pride in NOT liking something? That’s silly. We hear this a lot when we speak with foreigners in Korea not into Kpop. They never speak of it like a “meh, it doesn’t really do it for me.” There’s a passion and a fervor in their eyes, and they speak angrily against kpop. I didn’t want to be one of those angry people any more…

It was really Brown Eyed Girls “Abracadabra” and 2NE1 and Big Bang’s “Lollipop” that got to me. I thought “hell, these are awesome, AWESOME songs. So freaking fun! Why am I trying to deny liking them?” I gave up my pretentions. Sure, I stopped thinking of music as this infallible art or something like that, and good riddance. Pretentious people in any field, be it music or literature or movies suck at parties. They’re condescending fartsuckers and live bitter lives of resentment. Spend your life enjoying more things rather than defining them.

You know, I just realized that I shouldn’t be writing this post while partially drunk. Tomorrow’s a holiday in Korea, and there’s some great energy going on outside, and we’re sitting here at 1AM working on this video and blog post, so we decided to grab a couple of drinks and get back to work, Mad Men style. I forgot that I had a serious post to write, so – my apologies if I’m a bit incoherent.

Our Mission in Life:

Before we came to Korea 5 years ago, we planned on being in Korea for a year. Our plan was this: Korea one year, Japan maybe a year or two, and then back to Canada to teach and “start our lives.” Our idea was that we should travel when we’re young. Why wait till you’re retired to travel? By the time you’re retired, you’re old and in pain and sleep a lot more. Why not enjoy your travels when you’re young and get it out of your system? That’s what we thought.

Yes, it was unconventional, but we thought ourselves risky for doing so. Oooh! A year or two overseas! That’s different! And while we were in Korea at the beginning, we spoke with people who would sometimes ask us “when are you going to start your REAL lives” Real lives. Yes. That was the term used. Like, what we’re doing in Korea isn’t our real life. We have to go back to Canada, back to our roots, and buy a mortgage and buy a car loan, work our 9 to 5, and do all of the things normal people do. Not that we’re bashing that! Not at all! Sometimes we look at our lives now and think that there’d be comfort in a regular life. We just noticed, though, that the idea we had from people who lived lives like this was that the lives we were living here weren’t “real” or weren’t “right.” It’s just a phase, and soon we’ll return to normalcy.

We thought that for a bit, too, but the more we lived here the more we realized that maybe we might want to live here for a long time. Maybe we don’t have to go back and do things the way they “should” be done. Maybe we could live perfectly legitimate and real lives here. We don’t have to get a mortgage. We don’t have to have kids. We don’t have to own a car. We don’t have to do the things that normal folks do, and we wouldn’t have to worry about being unfulfilled as a result.

We’ve met so many awesome people here. Just yesterday we had people from Australia here filming something with us. Two white guys living in Australia, traveling to Korea, and speaking Japanese. How cool is that? We know Canadians living in Korea who married Korean people and have started lovely families here. Are their lives not real? That’s silly. So we look at ourselves now, two white people living in Korea and making YouTube videos. What’s wrong with that? Is that not a real job?

Sorry if that’s a bit of a ramble. Our point is this: coming to Korea and living here has really changed our perceptions of what’s normal and acceptable. Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten. And I hope that, by being here and sharing our lives with people online, we can motivate others to try something different. There’s a world of possibilities out there. So many places. So many options. So many lifestyles. So many lives to live. All of them real. If you’re bored of your life or unhappy or discontent, move! Go somewhere else! You have friends where you live: make new friends! You have family where you live: make new family! It’s not like your old friends and family will cease to exist. Go new places. Do new things, and find something that’s right for you. If life hands you lemons, go somewhere that life grows mangoes. That is, if you like mangoes. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like mangoes…

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Korea Will Change You

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  1. ahahahaha atm machine!!! i was like that today!! i was with my best friend though and told her to watch my back, be my bodyguard ahahha!! would have gone inside the bank but it was closed!

    “It’s music! Doesn’t matter how it was made: it’s still music. Doesn’t matter if it was one person who wrote the song or a hundred. The song’s there to listen to, and oftentimes it’s ridiculously fun to dance to. Why deprive myself of the joy of liking something? So I can feel better about myself, think highly of myself for not liking a song? Why take pride in NOT liking something? That’s silly. We hear this a lot when we speak with foreigners in Korea not into Kpop. They never speak of it like a “meh, it doesn’t really do it for me.” There’s a passion and a fervor in their eyes, and they speak angrily against kpop. I didn’t want to be one of those angry people any more…” well said!!! that’s what i always think about people who listen to other non mainstream korean music!! those kinda people annoy me so much! they just think they’re better cos they don’t listen to kpop but “real” music!! if they don’t like it then fine! but i don’t get why they have to put kpop music and idols down!! glad you changed and became more open!! it’s totally fine to like different kinds of music!! i like both kpop and other non mainstream music!!

    4 years ago
  2. I’ve been having a really hard trying to decide what I want to study. I kept thinking that I should study languages because I love learning new languages. I like the differences in other cultures, what makes each country so special. But my mom says to study nursing and I just can’t…. see myself as a nurse. I want to explore the world and I think being a translate/interpreter will help me achieve that. Thanks Simon and Martina for helping me re-think an important decision! Love you guys :'”)~

    4 years ago
  3. I love this post, I also feel this way too that you should do whatever you feel is right. I guess people’s mentality is too caught up in normalcy and which is i guess that a real life is where you go buy a house, get a good job and have kids and a family and the end. if you want to move and explore and discover a new place and culture i say go for it! i know alot of people think its crazy when some people want to go and become a teacher in korea they think that its just a phase or something. Honestly Ive been watching your videos from the beginng and you guys have gave me the inspiration to go live in Korea someday. Ive gotten some crazy looks when I tell people I want to live in Korea they dont take me seriously lol but I try not to let it get me down cause i know its partially not their fault that they think this is a joke, its just the way some people are raised i guess. Anyways sorry for the rant but thanks so much and keep doing what you’re doing you guys are great! <3

    4 years ago
  4. I love this post, I also feel this way too that you should do whatever you feel is right. I guess people’s mentality is too caught up in normalcy and which is i guess that a real life is where you go buy a house, get a good job and have kids and a family and the end. if you want to move and explore and disocover a new place and culture i say go for it! i know alot of people think its crazy when some people want to go and become a teacher in korea they think that its just a phase or something. Honestly Ive been watching your videos from the beginng and you guys have gave me the inspiration to go live in Korea someday. Ive gotten some crazy looks when I tell people I want to live in Korea they dont take me seriously lol but I try not to let it get me down cause i know its partially not their fault that they think this is a joke, its just the way some people are raised i guess. Anyways sorry for the rant but thanks so much and keep doing what you’re doing you guys are great! <3

    4 years ago
  5. When you were talking about how you don’t see homosexuality as a big deal anymore I immediately thought of that Simon Kevin fanfic…. I’m scarred for life

    4 years ago
    • LOL I don’t know what was the creepiest, the fanfic itself or Simon tweeting it… I’m kind of shocked too!

      4 years ago
      • From what I read, nothing actually happened except clever wordsmithing (maybe I could only see the first page?)…..I think the creepier bit is that this is exactly what I was thinking during the interview….er….not the fanfic but that Kevin seemed WAY too interested in Simon’s chest hair……..even if I had a kpop override on my gaydar, it got broken in that moment ^^;;;;;;;;

        4 years ago
        • If you read only the first page, you didn’t read anything! Don’t get me wrong it’s hilarious, but… disturbing!

          4 years ago
        • Well, in that case, I’m probably better off not reading it. I only checked out for lulz and I got some already from the first page so I’m satisfied. Yaoi is not really my thing and fanfic is definitely not my thing. Thanks for the heads’ up. BTW, I’m on the fence about whether it’s creepy for Simon to tweet about it. Maybe he only read the first page? If it’s hilarious (even creepy-hilarious), it’s still hilarious and technically, meant as a compliment so why not? Martina’s on to your motives Kevin! LOL!

          4 years ago
        • I can’t tell if you’re doing an imaginary ironic spanking of Simon while you say that or if you’re serious. I totally wasn’t thinking it was creepy that way. I let my 6-year-old son watch Eat Your Kimchi videos but I preview them most of the time and if I don’t, I accept that that’s my responsibility/fault if there’s content I didn’t want him to see. I certainly wouldn’t steer him towards yaoi fanfics (of any sort) and lucky for me he’s too young to read well yet anyways but I definitely take care to filter what he sees/reads on the internet. Because he’s only 6 years old, he’s still too vulnerable until he’s like… hmmm……I’ll decide that later. Anyways, Simon and Martina are adults, they don’t make any secrets that their content gets nasty from time to time – it’s part of why lots of us (adults and under) like them. While I am sure there is some low-level filtering in the editing of the videos, if you are not yourself when you tweet, who are you? They’re not in public office, I don’t think they have to justify what they say to anyone. If your brand is yourself, you can’t just stop being yourself because people will get offended. The internet is wide, people can always go and enjoy some other content.

          edit: not that there’s anything wrong with yaoi fanfics if you’re old enough to understand them…….

          4 years ago
        • No, I wasn’t so serious! There’s nothing traumatizing anyways (well, at least not more traumatizing for a teen than for anyone else!)

          4 years ago
  6. maybe it’s just me, but i had to go to YouTube to access the actual video–here it just wants to go straight to the five-year tribute (which i LOVED, btw). But anyway:

    I love that you guys are doing what is right for you; my friends and I have been talking lately about how ours is the first generation where we really feel like we have the choice. The generations before us fought to make those choices, but now we really have the choice to: go to college or really be successful with a career, have children or not, travel, marry, etc. My friends are really feeling guilty because they are coming to the realization that they don’t want kids (while I came to terms with this a long time ago), but the thing is, it’s finally really really okay if you don’t. I think it’s the same with travel and conventional ideas of career and relationship. you both have a fantastic career and obviously a creditable work ethic. I love what you do!

    4 years ago
  7. I love this blog post so much. I want to thank you because of EYK and the videos you produced showing Korea ie the wanks and fapfaps, it made me fall in love with Korea even more than just the music, traditions and TV and now I’m off to university after two years at college to study to be a teacher, doing a Bachelors in Education studies, English lit and English language :) I wanted to teach before but I wasn’t sure what. I want to teach English as a language and I’m also learning Korean so in the future I can also teach it as a lesson ie literature.. You guys inspired me to take a chance and make a risk, gave me motivation to work hard. You made me see that my dreams were possible you just have to work for them, now I’m well on the way to building a good life for me and my daughter who is 6 and very excited at the Hello Kitty cafe’s and the awesome arcades. She love’s Odeng and octopus flavoured crisps, she’s really getting into Korean culture too, and loves your hair Martina, thinks Simon funny faces are hilarious and begs me to show her pictures of Spudgy and Meemers :)

    So thank you guys, I’ve been a nasty since the beginning, here’s to another awesome five years :D

    4 years ago
  8. How do you think your time in Korea would have been different if you didn’t have each other? Sometimes I feel like by going to Korea I’m wasting an opportunity with my boyfriend to grow closer or into something more. By the way, I loved this TL;DR!

    4 years ago
  9. Thank you guys for posting this, I really loved the blog post, especially the “real life” part. When I tell people that I want to teach abroad and traveling is my dream in life I always get a response like “Wow that’s cool, do that when you’re young. So what are you planning to do afterwards, continue teaching in the States?”

    Its really hard to explain to people why I want to live other places and why I want to travel for a long time. Some people even think that I hate or dislike my home county! HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT?! Just because I want to experience new things and learn about new cultures, doesn’t mean that I dislike where I came from or that my dreams aren’t “real life.” You make your own reality.

    Thanks S&M for making me feel like I’m (semi) normal and not a complete odd ball. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

    4 years ago
  10. I have a question for the TLDR. I know that the EYK Studio is considered a business, but is that what supports you guys financially, and if it is, then how does it? It’s something that always intrigued me, since at first glance it seems like making videos on YT wouldn’t pay anything other than what ads on the page pay.

    4 years ago
  11. Well, there’s a question I’m burning to asked for a long time already. I spent have a year in Korea as an exchange student and it was just awesome! But the one thing a noticed along people and along my friends as well is that there seems to be a lot of social pressure. People seem to think that they have to fit in no matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s about clothes, relationship status or material items. Especially, when it comes to marriage and age. Not being married at a certain age seems to be kinda unacceptable. Plus, as I mentioned clothes, every where else you see a lot of different styles such as gothic stuff, or rock guys, exoctic, extraordinary and brave styles. In Korea I got the feeling that people rather trying not to stick out.

    Did I just get a wrong impression over this short stay or might I be right somehow?

    4 years ago
  12. I currently live and teach English in Germany and have lived here for a total of 2.5 years, and I’ve got to say, the travel bug is addicting – the more countries I visit, the more I want to see! I’ve been to over a dozen European countries, the USA, Canada, and Mexico, and the more time I spend abroad, the more I realize that I don’t want to stop. I am planning on applying to teach English in Asia at some point in the future for sure, because although experiencing one foreign culture is great, I think traveling only gets better the more you do it ;)

    4 years ago
  13. I loved this TL;Dr and blog post. “Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten.” This is what I try to tell my family and friends. Everyone judges me hardcore because I am white and I like Korea to the point that I want to live there. Whenever I tell someone I will be studying abroad in South Korea, they are always so negative, but only because they fall for senseless stereotypes. They think there is a lot of human trafficking, or North Korea will blow them up, or they are disease-infested, or women are exploited. Have they ever been to Korea to see for themselves? No. Just because a place is different doesn’t mean it’s bad. Everyone thinks I should focus on a career that makes a butt-load of money, get a huge house, and have a family in a rich white neighborhood (probably in posh Connecticut). But that’s not what I want. I am trying to find a career that will take me places, and possibly live full-time in Korea. The world is too big for me to want to stay in a cubicle in some office, making a rich CEO richer. I want to experience different places, cultures, language, people. I want to have conversations in languages I’m not fluent in, or get lost in a city that I’ve never visited before, or try food I’ve never heard of. Successful traveling careers are not easy to find. My parents would kill me if I “threw my international affairs degree out the window and settled for teaching english in Korea.” Unfortunately any other career requires years of commitment to even have a slight chance to live abroad. I’ll find a way though because, ironically, there is something about being abroad that makes me feel at home.
    I’m glad everything work out for you two. You’re very inspiring.

    4 years ago
    • “there is something about being abroad that makes me feel at home” – exactly how I feel!

      I’ve been travelling around every Summer with my family since I was 4 y/o so I absolutely have no issues adjusting to new places, in fact staying at one place for a long time makes me extremely bored! lol

      I’m currently living in Greece (not native in any way), studying economics (that I’m deadly bored of thus stuck with pile of subjects I failed and have to retake those exams -___-) and thinking of the ways how I can move to S.Korea. Not bcz I love Kpop but bcz ever since I dig a lil info on Korea I literally feel it being a place I belong. The only problem is me being almost 23 without finished degree and no money… XD

      For starters I’d like to go in Korea for a year for language courses (I’m so in love with the language & it’s easy~^^) but I strongly need scholarship (my family won’t pay for me for sure – they cannot get it why I love Korea and only nag with “you have to finish university”, “what are you gonna do without a degree” etc. .< and I'm a 3rd year! Ottokaji?)

      I tried to find any info how to obtain it but kinda failed :(

      4 years ago
    • I feel for you, bro. You are basically living my life. Lol I don’t have my degree yet, but when I told my parents that I was switching my major to Asian studies/cultural anthropology, they flipped. For whatever reason, they think my fascination with Korea/Asia is a “phase” that I’ll grow out of. They don’t want to recognize that I can make a legitimate (but most likely poor) career out of my interest. It’s an uphill battle with my family, but I’m getting there. They finally agreed to let me do a summer program in Korea!
      Anyways, my point is, you’re not alone. Lol Stick to your guns because eventually you’ll make a life you want to live :3

      4 years ago
      • Cultural anthropology is the best!!! That’s my major in uni right now and I absolutely love it. Culture is something unique in every place but underlies and is part of beliefs, politics, social standards, and everything else that makes up life around the world. Being able to study it and understand it’s importance is a great privilege, and will only serve to broaden your mind and equip you with knowledge that will get you far in life. It’s important to understand why people are the way they are because of the culture that they grew up in and it will help you so much if/when you move to Asia :)

        sorry if that was a bit nerdy and long but i am hopelessly in love with what i study!

        4 years ago
      • Better than my family; they think anime has hypnotized me into someone that I’m not and that the K-Pop I listen to is reinforcing it >_>

        And no, I wish I’m kidding. If I said I wanted to go to Korea, they’d flip their chips -_-

        4 years ago
  14. I love how Simon Rick-rolled the video. :) Congratulations on five years in Korea, and thank you for such an insightful post and video!

    4 years ago
  15. I used to think like that (and still do parts of it) but now I’ve realized when I’m 80-90 and my partner has died (or the other way) I want to have kids who still care of me and visit me, so even if it’s at 50 I eventually want to adopt. Just cuz there’s a lot of unhappy kids out there, why get your own when you could give some of them a loving home.

    4 years ago
  16. This post made me cry. I’ve been struggling with this feeling of being trapped and like everyone expects me to have a normal life and I don’t want that. Thank you for saying all of this. I’m going to save it in hopes of looking back on it and on people who didn’t do what people expected of them and they turned out just fine. In fact, more than fine, wonderful, amazing, inspiring. You guys are my heroes. ;; Thank you.

    4 years ago
  17. Well there’s actually a lot of restaurants that are exactly like that in North America (well where I live at least), where they have the utensils out and you just take them or they give them to you like you guys said. Ex. Vietnamese Restaurants (Pho) lol :) It’s probably just an asian thing. LOL

    4 years ago
  18. I’ve been sad for the society for a long time now because of it trying to shove a certain kind of lifestyle or acceptable personality onto people. It sometimes drives me nuts because people are so different they just can’t be fit in to same molds, especially if they don’t want to. My view of the world has changed ever since I became fascinated with Asian cultures and other stuff all around at a young age and I wish other people as well would take the time some day to discover that not everyone has the same view or manners and it’s completely fine.

    4 years ago
  19. This post was really a fantastic read, and it had many amazing things to take from it. Your partial drunk writing has told me to just enjoy, I have been so stuck in defining things that i forget to just enjoy. Thanks guys! You are an inspiration.

    4 years ago
  20. I love how towards the end the post took a sort of inspirational post!! It’s really cute <3 I'm SO happy I found your videos, although I have always researched a lot about Korea, aiming to sometime visit or even live there, if it wasn't for you, it would've been much more boring to find all the info, and you give a lot of things you can just find out randomly!
    Now I feel really ready for Korea! (funny thing is, all what you said now, why am I already like that although I haven't been in Korea even once? XD)

    4 years ago
  21. I like mangoes, but not enough to move across the world for them. Oranges, maybe. Mangoes, no.

    4 years ago
  22. You guys are such an inspiration. I mean, we’ve been taught, all our lives, that there was one acceptable route in life: go to university, get some high salary boring ass job, find a spouse, have two kids, retire and travel the world.

    But why do we have to wait till we’re sixty to do what makes us happy?
    Thank you for reminding me that maybe, just maybe, I can start living life to the fullest now.

    4 years ago
    • I agree with you 100%! That’s all I’ve ever heard in life, all of my friends anymore are doing just that, go to school, get a good job, get married, have kids… I work with a lot of middle aged people and that’s ALL they ever talk about. Whenever I tell them no, I don’t have kids, I don’t have a spouse, I didn’t attend college and don’t plan to, and I’d rather be single and spend my life doing what I want and saving money from my current job to be able to travel abroad, I get the weirdest looks. -_-

      It seems a lot of people don’t understand that you don’t have to fall in line like everyone else to be happy. Sometimes you have to do what you enjoy, what you want to do, rather than what society says you should do, in order to be happy. Simon & Martina are such an inspiration for that. :) Once I save enough money, I plan on visiting Korea, if only for a couple weeks at first, whatever I can afford, and make it my mission to meet them and thank them for continuing to inspire me towards my goal of being able to travel and enjoy life my own way, just like them. ^_^ <3

      4 years ago
  23. I love this video!! well said guys!!!

    4 years ago
  24. Great post! I’m in college now in the US and living in another country has always been something I wanted to do. After spending a long time doing research into teaching programs in all different places (Japan, China, France, Korea…) I have decided that I really want to try teaching in Korea for a year (despite my parents not being too thrilled with the idea. Also, it’s especially strange for me, considering I am an Education/French major and Spanish minor, having absolutely nothing to do with South Korea…

    4 years ago
  25. I don’t even live in S. Korea but I changed a lot too!! My taste in fashion, music, other stuff all changed xD
    Whenever I send pics to my guy friends they’re like, is that a girl you just send me? I’m like: nooo, isn’t HE hot and cute! xD
    Yeah…..My ming of what is manly is totally different. I hate it how to explain it everytime that when people touch each other, especially the guys, it’s not gay, it’s just like how girls link arms but guys are just close too…Yeah…
    I used to think a lot of male idols are so gay, but now…I find them totally manl! much to my moms disagreement xD

    4 years ago
  26. Zoe

    You know you guys talked about touchy-feeliness between people of the same sex, do guys and girls use as much skinship with each other when they aren’t dating?

    4 years ago
  27. So much has changed as I’ve been into Asia (almost 8 years) so I bet some changes happen when you move to a different country. I’m gonna stay for a year in Japan soon and I know it’s gonna change me some way but change is sometimes good. I think people should be offered to see the world and see different cultures. I study anthropology and it has changed some of my views, I think people should be more open to difference. Why indeed should we all be the same?
    Also I have to say that yes I also sometimes show Asian guys to my friends and ask aren’t they good looking and many say they look feminine or aren’t into Asians. Then I forget that oh yeah… Not everyone prefer Asians. haha And yeah they don’t look that girly anymore to me. (actually after visual kei no k-popper look girly haha)

    4 years ago
  28. I think anytime one decides to pick themselves up from their hometown roots and move to another city/ town/ country, it will ultimately change them. When I visited Seoul, there was this kind of energy that I really missed when I returned to Toronto. Perhaps it was more of the first time visitor experience and I just had an awesome time meeting up with friends and hanging out with cool people. My boyfriend and I had a real local experience via people who lived and worked there.

    I do believe that the more one travels and tries hard to have a local experience and not a tourist one, the better understanding they have of the world.

    4 years ago
  29. LOVE this post and video!!! Thank you for what you said about perceptions about masculinity. I have a post for my blog half-drafted about it…perhaps I should actually edit it and post it. It really annoys me when I post a picture of JYJ of FB and people are like: “Why do you like Korean men who look like girls?” and I am like: “WHAT?!!! They are so hotte, sexy, and manly (whatever ‘manly’ means)”. So I am really glad that you said something about that. And mad props for living the life that brings you fulfillment! I think it’s so important to do that.

    4 years ago
    • I think it’s such a shame how people will only perceive others based on their own limited and sterotyped ideals, especially with masculinity and femininity. There are so many different ways people present themselves and pushing people into a box filled with certain expectations just shows how ignorant some people can be. Sometimes I am also hesitant to say I like a certain celebrity or post pictures of them because I know there will be peopke who will go “is that a man or woman” or “why do you like girly guys?” But it really bothers me since there is no “right” way to be a male or female.

      Jaejoong is my ultimate bias in Korean entertainment and it irks me when people criticize him for being too “girly looking”

      4 years ago
      • I agree!!! I just tend to keep my K-pop and K-entertainment comments to the bloggersphere and Twitter where mostly everyone around here isn’t as prejudiced. Many of my FB friends aren’t, just some of them have not yet embraced the awesomeness ;)

        4 years ago
    • When your FB friends give you a bad time about Korean men not being “manly,” just post a few choice pics of T.O.P. or Rain or SE7EN—that’ll shut ’em up for awhile. :-)

      4 years ago
      • Oh, it doesn’t matter which pictures of Korean stars I post, I have some friends who think all Korean men are girly looking, even non-Korean entertainment ones. I just have to shake my head, and tell them they’re missing out.

        4 years ago
  30. amazing post! it really inspires me to do something great with my life.

    4 years ago
  31. There’s a scholarship available for me to learn Japanese for two years and then go to a Japanese University to study a subject of my choice.

    Should I do it?

    Hailing from the Caribbean

    4 years ago
    • If you feel like doing it, just go for it! I’ve been studying in the UK for a year (being French) and I don’t regret it at all! Everything Simon and Martina said is true, it helped me get a new vision of things and made me want to work abroad in the future… And I study Japanese too, and really enjoy that language^^

      4 years ago
    • Heyo fellow bimshire person. Is this the Monbukagakusho scholarship the Japanese embassy is promoting? If this scholarship had been around when I was your age I would have done it. It is actually much easier to acclimatize to Japan as a student than a worker because college is actually the time in Japan that they are allowed to be a bit freer and will have the ability and opportunity to make more friends. Also, since you are a foreign student, you will be guided a lot more and be able to take advantage of the college facilities.

      I am planning to go as a teacher, but I feel worried that I will have problems finding friends and whatnot because I will be an outsider.

      Also, studying off island is best. Maybe it is because I did it. I learned a lot being away from home. There are a lot of things that I became more open minded and aware of due to leaving the island to go to college.

      4 years ago
      • Hey there! May I ask you, what would you like to teach in Japan?

        4 years ago
        • English.

          4 years ago
        • OK, cause there is also a Monbukagakusho for students of Japanese language and culture and I thought that maybe you are somewhat in that domain. People usually try it, go there for a year or so and see what the life is like. Afterwards, if they don’t like it there’s always a possibility of going back and if they do they can try finding a working place as English teachers.

          If you plan to go there as a teacher I don’t think you will be lonely. There are lots of foreigners, other teachers, different people to hang out with. In some cases, gaijins will always be gaijins, but that will never be the reason not to get some good Japanese friends.
          In any case, I wish you luck. :-)

          4 years ago
        • I know about the Monbukagakusho scholarship. However the subjects you are allowed to study for Post grad I am not interested in. As I said before. If I had k own about it as an undergrad I would have done it. Alas, I only became aware of it after I graduated college and started to work as a teacher.

          4 years ago
    • I enjoy being in the Nasty Community. You all are so supportive!

      Thank You!

      NASTIES 4 LYFE!!!!

      4 years ago
    • do it do it do it do it! :D

      4 years ago
    • Yes! I’m currently studying in Hong Kong and studying abroad is one of the BEST things you can choose to do with your life. You won’t regret it!

      4 years ago
    • What is stopping you? I think if it is something you want to do and CAN do, why not do it?

      4 years ago
      • *sheepish* Well… my age. I started school early and though I’m graduating this year, I’m not yet old enough to legally leave my parents’ house or apply for a driver’s license… I’m scared that they’ll give the scholarship to someone else ’cause I’m not old enough… To study overseas by myself that is…

        4 years ago
        • When I was in 2nd grade we had an exchange student from Korea so I don’t think age would matter unless you’re like 4 or something.

          4 years ago
        • Prove to them that you have the drive and determination to not only succeed, but also make the best of this enriching experience. Unless the legal language in the tiny fine print [look that part over with a microscope] says that you are not eligible for the scholarship, I say you are just as worthy as anyone else.
          I hail from the Caribbean too, though I now live in the states; and one of the things I wish I had done more in my younger years of college was travel or study abroad. I also have parents who were tough about me going too far on my own. However, I did get the chance to travel through Europe and Aussie in my last years of college and I loved every minute of it. But now that I work as a teacher, it’s too hard to do. I say go for it. It will add so many wonderful experiences to your life, and think of just how exotic it will be to couple your Caribbean island flavor with the flair of the East!! Good luck, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

          4 years ago
        • If there’s a minimum age requirement there’s nothing you can do about it. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply next year. Or the year after. I’m in Japan on the JET program and I only got accepted after my second try. Just because S&M say to travel while your young doesn’t mean you’re old if you can’t travel OMG!RIGHTNOW!! If there’s an age limit, get a job, save up money, spend time with your friends and travel around your home country first. Nothing has made me want to tour America more than living in Japan. Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it this year. Try next year. That’s the great thing about being young. You have a lot more tomorrows waiting for you than you will 20, 30, 40 years from now.

          4 years ago
        • I’d say go ahead and do it.. Age shouldn’t really stop you from such a great opportunity. Don’t be worried about living away from your parents. You’ll definitely get used to it. I left home to attend a school abroad when I was 15. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned and gained a lot from it. So yeah if it is something you like to do, go a head and do it. Trust me you’ll enjoy it a lot! :D
          Good luck!

          4 years ago
        • A student at the school I teach at just went on exchange for several months in Europe, and he was 12!

          4 years ago
        • They typically don’t care about your age, and base their decision for scholarships on your personality and academics. As long as you could be considered a “teen”, you’re not too young. I went on exchange when I was 16, and I’ve met exchange students as young as 13 or 14. So age is usually not a factor. :)

          4 years ago
        • Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask and see. And if you don’t get it, there will be other chances. Don’t limit yourself because of this. Life is full of chances! :)

          4 years ago
        • Thank you so much for the support! And I’ll do that.

          4 years ago
    • I strongly recommend that everyone, if they have the means or opportunity to do so, live at least one year in another country. It makes you reconsider the things you grew up with. It shows you better ways your old life could have been lived, and makes you appreciate what you’ve taken as granted.

      4 years ago
      • lea

        I want to study abroad in Korea for my sophomore year in college but my overprotective parents think it’s too dangerous and such. D: I still have time to convince them though! ^^

        4 years ago
        • They think that Korea is dangerous? Are they worried about NK? Maybe you can get them to watch EYK videos to show what Korea is like.

          4 years ago
      • I agree with what you are saying, but there is a minimum distance required. Growing up in Canada and moving to the US for a year won’t quite be a big enough difference

        4 years ago
      • Agreed. I going to korea for a year in August. So excited.

        4 years ago
      • Thanks for the support! :D

        4 years ago
  32. “If life hands you lemons, go somewhere that life grows mangoes” – I think that will become my motto from now on :)

    4 years ago
  33. yer yer yerrr werk ittt EYK<3 i love you guys :'3

    4 years ago
  34. I would just like to thank you guys for your written blog post. Your experiences, really relate to the social conformity crisis I’m facing right now. I’ve just recently graduated from undergrad, starting law school, preparing for my “real” life. And all I want to do is travel. I think about it every day, I dream about it at night. And I feel pressured into this social conformity not to do that, and instead just become a lawyer, work, buy a house, etc. So thank you. Your post has inspired me.

    4 years ago
    • You know, I kinda had the same trouble not so long ago. I never felt like a ‘standard’ life would do it for me (like having a stable job, then a house, then kids…) and at the same time I didn’t have enough confidence to actually think of a different career. But now as I’m about to start my ‘working life’ I realise you have so many more options. Like you can do a job that will make you travel a lot, or live in a different country while still having a comfortable job (surely as a lawyer you can work abroad too?) And the strangest thing is that I don’t even feel non-conformist or anything, I just feel like trying different things and finding a compromise that will work for me…

      So maybe you shouldn’t worry too much about this ‘conformity’ thingie. I’m sure there are many ways to achieve what you really want to do^^

      4 years ago
      • Your right I should definitely weigh out my options. Thank you for your support guys!

        4 years ago
  35. How long did it take you all to realize how much you have changed?

    4 years ago
    • I don’t know, really. We didn’t think about it much until we started discussing the topic. The North American food issue was one when we, well, traveled back home. The other issues we talked about from time to time. The big one we talked about here in the blog post, about how to live a “real” life is one we only recently started discussing…

      4 years ago
      • Please share your stories on north american food issues! Asian living in Winnipeg here with only about 6 asian grocery stores in the city T_T (although Superstore has a dedicated international aisle…)

        4 years ago
      • Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

        4 years ago
  36. Sorry, just had to add that May 30th’s also my anniversary for moving to Poland! 2 years, woo!

    4 years ago
    • Congrats! I really want to visit Poland. The motherland! Do you speak the language?

      4 years ago
      • I was really surprised at how many people voted for Poland on your facebook poll. The thought of meeting you irl here has never even crossed my mind, since it’s not often that famous people from overseas take my country into consideration. It makes me all kinds of happy!

        4 years ago
      • Ależ oczywiście! but of course! I’ll be holding my thumbs/crossing my fingers for a nasties meet up in Poland :)

        4 years ago
        • Wrocław. And you? And any other Polish people reading this :)
          Simon where does your family come from exactly?

          4 years ago
        • Warszawa. I was in Wrocław last month for the very first time and this city is beautiful.

          4 years ago
        • We’ve got something in the works, hopefully!

          4 years ago
  37. I think it’s the fact that they douse the food in salt, which is why it’s so salty…. I can’t eat that much even though I’m american… Thanks to living in a Chinese household, lots of veggies and lean meats! and I love korean food, its so much fresher and refreshing on the palate! And I totally agree with the interaction between guys and girls.. I wish people here would accept such closeness, but like you said they would think you were gay or lesbian… so sad because I can only do that with my close friends who aren’t asian and they enjoy it.

    4 years ago
  38. You make me super excited to go over and experience it. Hahah as of next year i will (hopefully) be living over there and not vicariously through your videos! :-D I loved it when i was there in Sept, i think this sept will make it more awesome and then just ..just have to get a job. :) Thank you for aiding in my Korea research. :)

    4 years ago
  39. TT.TT I’ll never be able to go to Korea… DAMN YOU CONTAMINATION OCD
    I’d seriously have panic attacks every day >.<

    4 years ago
  40. “Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten.”
    Well said, well said. *slow clapping*

    4 years ago
    • I agree it is a great quote.

      4 years ago
    • jaja this is my new fb status

      4 years ago
    • Sorry. I just read that again and I realize that it’s really lame. Ah! *Embarrassed*

      4 years ago
      • Nooo I really liked that line!

        4 years ago
      • No way! I thought it was clever ^^

        4 years ago
      • I am sad to say I do know people who dislike mangoes, perhaps go where there are bananas?

        By living vicariously through your videos, Korea has also helped change my perceptions in a positive way. For example, getting rid of certain gender restrictions.

        4 years ago
      • it was beautiful silly :) you guys have inspired me and my friend to go to korea, still gotta save up though…. :P

        4 years ago
      • I thought that was very well-said! And I agree completely. It’s your life, and only you can determine what makes you happy.

        4 years ago
      • what if those mangoes are $45? What if I want a $50 watermelon? :P

        4 years ago
        • Then your life is more en-rich-ed. HAH! GET IT? Yeah I’m lame.

          4 years ago
      • That was deep, actually! I was in awe while reading that.

        4 years ago