Sunday, 21 February 2016

Renting in Korea

If you come to Korea as an English teacher, like I did, you will usually be offered housing with your job. You can find a bunch of information about this on the internet. However, instead of providing housing, many schools offer 'housing allowance' as an alternative. This means that they do not provide an apartment for you, but pay you some extra money with your monthly wages, that you can use to pay your own rent.

Personally, after a few years of living in housing provided by my employers, the decision to switch to renting by myself was one of the best decisions I made in Korea!

If you have decided to rent your own place, scroll down for my tips on renting in Seoul.

If you're thinking about renting but not sure, read on ...

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Seoul's Doll Cafes Revisited

I did a post almost a year ago now about some of the doll cafes in Seoul (link here), and I decided to make an updated post after recently revisiting a couple of them.

For anyone interested in BJD (ball joint dolls), the place for you to go is Hongdae (Hongik University area). You can visit the Volks store there, and there are these two great cafes:

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Korean Weekly(ish) Vocab #3

cactus  선인장  仙人掌

I don't know why, but the word for 'cactus' keeps coming up in conversation for me. However, I still have trouble memorizing it. The characters literally mean "celestial being, palm of hand" ... so I've got no idea what that's all about ... Is a cactus the hand of a god??

ring-necked pheasant  꿩

This is a nice word to know if you are interested in historical art and design culture, as the pheasant is a motif that often appears in artwork and textiles. It symbolizes nobility and can be seen in designs embroidered on royal clothing.

pocket notebook  수첩  手帖

I'll be honest, I never actually knew this word before, because I always just call it a 노트 ...

help, assistance  협조  協助

This word I learned because I saw it on a sign on an elevator, asking people to assist disabled people.

Finally, here are some useful hanja from this week's words:

手  수  hand (손)

This character can be found in the words: 수갑 (handcuffs), 수건 (hand towel), 박수 (applause, hand clapping), 수공 (handicrafts)

人  인  person (사람)

This is a really easy beginner hanja. It can be found in lots of common words, including: 인사 (greeting), 개인 (individual), 인간 (human being, humankind), 군인 (soldier), 인생 (one's life), 외국인 (foreigner), 한국인 (Korean person)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Korean Weddings - A Guide for Guests

I went to a wedding last week, and thought it would be useful to do a post on the etiquette of attending a Korean wedding, with some vocabulary too. So if you've been invited to wedding in Korea and you're not sure what to do, just follow these steps: