Happy Halloween – Thriller Light Show


The Korean Art of Makeup

I’m hooked. So between korean skincare and french skincare… I may need to buy more shelves at my house when its all said and done. LOVE IT!

Prune Juice and Fish Sticks

*Personal post to follow*

My food troubles have proven to be a larger issue than I planned for since I’ve been in Korea. First the food poisoning.  Then the “I can’t eat ANY more rice” vow I made about 3 weeks ago. THEN, I finally found western food and was happy about it although it costs an arm, leg, mouth and foot, I HAD to buy what I could because otherwise I’d be eating air as some of my 5th graders say.


When I got to my apartment the lady before me left quite a bit of things like blankets, pillows, towels, and even some food. I was very grattful. She was also a cook so she left primarily seasonings, utensils, and the like. However, after looking in the fridge initially I saw a bottle of Prune Juice which immediately made me wonder.

Fast Forward…

My life time supply of angel hair pasta came and shrimp alfredo was on thee menu. However since that was the only thing I ate for 3 days straight you can guess my need for prune juice now.

I say all this majorly personal testimony TO SAY, when coming to Korea, you will eat the food at first, during orientation and what not. Some days you will want to rip your stomach out and some days you will be happy you showed up to the dining hall. Once you are given the SAME food for more than a month and a half, you WILL want to find and cook your own food. This urge and sometimes binge eating may cause you digestive issues so be prepared if you can. The pharmacy I went to for some aspirin definitely had a whole section of prune juice and prunes dead front and center so it ain’t just me having “issues” and its not enough foreigners in the area for them to invest in “prune juice from California.”

My advice when traveling is to take a pack of prunes with you if you can or find some 100% prune juice with you because we all like to feel free!


*End of personal post*

Korean Beauty Products – Skin Food, Etude House, Innisfree

The samples they give you at Skin Food

Face Scrub, Hand Cream, Stick Perfum, Lip Pencil, Hair Argan Oil Mask, Makeup Remover

Pre-makeup face mask

Nail Polish from Etude House

Foreign Teachers become propaganda tools in exchange for trip to Dokdo

On September 21, Yonhap reported (in an article with “Dokdo is Korean land” in the title) that members of the TaLK program in Gangwon-do would be going on a trip to Ulleungdo and Dokdo, because “Letting foreigners who live in Korea and have an interest in Korea know about Dokdo is very important.” TaLK stands for ‘Teach and Learn in Korea’ and allows foreign university students (who have not graduated) to come to Korea and teach English in rural schools for less money than NSETs make. The idea was to attract ethnic Koreans from abroad, though with all the talk of ‘unqualified foreign teachers’ that gets bandied about (such as Newsis reporting last week that “4 out of 10 native speaking English assistant teachers are unqualified”), allowing non-graduates to teach here is not particularly consistent.

These kinds of trips to Dokdo for foreign teachers are nothing new; Brian linked to an account of a late 2008 trip and wondered, what with all the propaganda they are both subject to and made to become the subjects of, why anyone would want to go. One answer, perhaps, might be the free trip to Ulleungdo. I posted photos of Ulleungdo to accompany this report about a 2011 trip for NSETs to Dokdo (made to promote a “correct understanding” of the islets). Such visits tend to require that the teachers write essays about their experience, however, and the use to which essays will be put is made clear in this article about a similar trip earlier this year:

Gyeongsangbuk-do Dokdo policy head Heo Chun-jeong said, “Directly introducing foreign teachers who understand Korean culture and history to Dokdo is meaningful and important.” “I want these visits by native speakers to spread continuously in the future.”

Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to have the foreign teachers who participated in this publish the story of their visit to Dokdo as essays, distribute them among related organizations and post them on the ‘Cyber Dokdo’ homepage for use as promotional material.

They can’t really make it clearer than that, can they? There are other ways to encourage the production of such propaganda as well.

An article written after the most recent trip, titled “Confirming that Dokdo is ROK territory,” reports that about 40 Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) teachers went on a historical and cultural visit to Ulleungdo and Dokdo from the 24th to 26th, “ahead of the nation/race’s holiday, Chuseok.” The trip was meant to give them a chance to “take in the special and beautiful landscape of Ulleungdo and experience its unique island culture.” The article includes this photo:

 It gets worse, however:

In particular, they visited the Dokdo museum and saw materials and literature from Korea and abroad attesting to Dokdo being ROK territory, and they plan to remake “Gangnam Style,” which has attracted attention worldwide, into “Dokdo Style,” and upload the video to Youtube soon.

Yes, Satan help us all, they did actually shoot a “Dokdo Style” video, and unlike this one or this one or this one (which may or may not be related to VANK’s new cyber campaign) or the one with Dangun, founder of the Korean race, it was actually shot on Dokdo. Here’s the description of the teaser for it:

42 TaLK Scholars from Gangwon Province in South Korea traveled to Dokdo Island on September 25, 2012. After a difficult boat ride, these English teachers became a part of the 1% of Korean residents who have stepped foot on the island. To make the moment even more memorable, we danced to the now viral Gangnam Style as the first group ever to successfully do so on Dokdo Island.