Say Kimchi! Gimjang, a Korean winter tradition

When I think of winter, I think of snow blanketing the ground (or dreams of snow blanketing the ground). I think of decorating the Christmas tree, hanging wreaths around the house and on the front door, traipsing around the house with strands of garland and lights. But here in Korea, as often is the case,…

Dear America, a dispatch from abroad

I am a foreigner. And I was with Her. Many of us are – we’re just one of 8 million American expatriate citizens dotted across the globe. We have a strange relationship with America. It is our homeland, where we vote, where we visit family, and, sometimes, even where we vacation. But my true home is…

Who Wrote Your History Book?

By Whit Altizer I’m finally putting my master’s degree to work this year teaching American history to international university students in Korea. I love it. I have Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, and even an American student. They are active, engaged and ask interesting questions. This class has made teaching in Korea even more of a joy….

A Taste of Korean Hospitality

By Whit Altizer Biking through the Korean countryside always makes me fall more fiercely in love with this country. The masses of people, the identical apartment blocks, and the breakneck pace of the city often feels inescapable. But take a step just outside the clamor of the city and you’re hit hard with a different side…

The Billionaire Without a Face

By Whit Altizer It is not like our blog to comment on individuals outside of Korean pop culture, but I have been unable to avert my eyes from the story of Yoo Byung-un. The more I dig the crazier it becomes. Here is a brief look with lots of links where you can learn more….

Falling in Love with Korean Food Again

By Whit Altizer It’d be hard to say that I had completely fallen out of love with Korean food, but ever since we moved back, it hasn’t tasted the same. Our first home in Jeollanamdo (southwestern province) is famous for its food and from what I understand the cuisine from our new home in Gyeongbuk (southeastern…

Korea’s Low Birth Rate

The birth rate in Korea is incredibly low. According to the CIA World Factbook, South Korea ranks 219th out of 224 sovereign countries with a staggering 8.33 births per 1000 people. Niger ranks first with 46.84, the US 147th with 13.66 and Monoco last with 6.79 per 1000 people.  Source the Korea Herald. I hadn’t…

Swimming in Korea: The Ultimate Test

How Korean are you? Perhaps the best way to find out is to go for a lap swim at your local swimming pool. It separates the locals from the waygooks. Imagine traffic in Seoul and scale it down to a swimming lane. You might get cut off, bumped or have the person in front of…

Lee Min Ho: Still Hot

Since we returned to regular blogging, I’ve been checking in with our stats. Our all-time most hit blog? The one about Lee Min Ho. Not only is it the most hit, it’s the most hit 10 times over from the second most hit blog: Pregnancy in Korea. Sad truth: Lee Min Ho has brought more…

Road fatalities in Korea

By Whit Altizer The Korea Herald runs some pretty fantastic graphic news photos. This one not so fantastic. Getting on the roads in Korea as a cyclist, pedestrian or driver is a bit of a leap of faith as people seem to be always pressed for time, and not taking into account they are essentially…