30 July 2009

My Dongsaeng the Gisaeng

My dongsaeng, Doogal and her NP were looking to get a couple's portrait while they were visiting in Seoul last month. While strolling through Insadong we stumbled upon the Hwang Jiny Photo Cafe. I'm not sure why it's called a cafe when they don't serve coffee, but it turned out to be a great a place to dress up in Korean costume and get your photo on.

Photo packages vary in price, but my sister opted for the basic couple package at 100,000 won. The package includes one costume selection for each person, make-up, two print-outs (which are photo-shopped by the photographer), and a CD containing all of the photos from the session.

The cafe offers a variety of traditional hanboks as well as more costume-y hanboks, like the ones featured in TV dramas. My sister opted for the brightly hued look of a gisaeng, who were, for lack of a better definition, the geisha of old Korea.

*If you bring in the brochure (available at the front of the building), you get 10% off.

Check out the video to check out all the fun. My sister had a great time, I'm almost tempted to go back for myself. Though, I don't think I need more awkward pictures of me in heavy makeup and crazy hair.

My Dongsaeng the Gisaeng from Annalog on Vimeo.

Now, time for a quick "Who Wore It Best?"

The wig looks so crazy without the hanbok.

17 July 2009

School Lunch

Cyndi and Cousin VP are teaching English at a small private school in Seoul. They've both raved about the school lunch, so I've been dying to join them for lunch. I finally got a chance to join them for lunch a couple of weeks.

Can I just say that I love Korean cafeteria food? I love those little metal trays and the little compartmentalized portions. (I guess this is just further proof that I have the eating habits of a 6th grader.)

This is a student-made poster. It says "골고루 먹자!" Translation: "Let's eat a little bit of everything." The poster purports that if you eat "a little bit of everything" you won't be "bad" aka fat(?). But, if you DO eat a little bit of everything, you will be "smart" (and shorter?).

Lunch was so good: Tomato, kimchi, rice, fish filet, and chicken soup.

I was told that the students must finish everything they take. Otherwise, you have to sit at the table until you clear your plate.

Unfortunately, the day's menu was not very appealing to the mogyangs, Cyndi and Cousin VP. They couldn't partake in any of the yummy fish.

I enjoyed having lunch with the students. Lucy, the girl who sat next to me, was particularly funny.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" she asks. Then upon my response, she quickly darts around the corner. She returns a few seconds later and says. "You know, my cousin is a yuh-neh-in."

"Your cousin is a celebrity?" we all exclaim. "Who!?! Jang Do Gun?"

Lucy says his name. My cousins and I look at each other blankly. "Who's that?" we ask. We eventually figure out that he's one of the supporting actors in Coffee Prince.

"Does this mean that you're trying to set me up with your cousin?," I ask Lucy.

"He change his phone number, so I no talk to him now," says Lucy.

I guess her answer is "No."

"Contradictions taste good."

My sister sent me a link to a recent commercial for the "Starburst Contradictions" Campaign. All I can say in response is, "D'oh!" The ad features a young Scottish-Korean man, which apparently, like the new solid, yet juicy Starbursts, is a "contradiction." Scottish-Korean makes for an interesting combo, but I wouldn't say it's a "contradiction." Do the Scottish and Korean have a deep history that I don't know about?

I think the Starbursts people should just stick with the llamas.

09 July 2009

Korea, NO. KoreaN, YES.

My cousin, VP told me about this recent public service announcement produced by Kobaco. Essentially, the PSA encourages "Korea" to be warmer and more thoughtful -- to be "KoreaN." I'm guessing that the 'n' in KoreaN stands for "New Korea."

This PSA is pretty awesome. It captures a number of my gripes about living in Seoul. It's especially heartening to see that the video was produced by a Korean organization.
Hopefully the message is better received. It's like when your mother tells you to lose weight. Only a mother can get away with calling you fat.

Anyhow, I wanted to share this video with y'all, so I asked Cyndi helped me to translate the video.


KOREA [Scrolling shot of shiny skyscrapers that are allegedly in Seoul]
"We have changed, but..."
KOREAN [Shot of ajusshi yelling rabidly from his car. 짜증나!]
"We need to change more."

KOREA [Close-up of a woman using wi-fi to chat with her friend via webcam]
"We've advanced, but..."
KOREAN [The same woman is laughing loudly in the cafe, to the annoyance of the other patrons]
"We need to move further."

KOREA [Close up of a map, transitioning to a nice shot of Incheon airport]
"We've gotten closer, but..."
KOREAN [SHot of a Korean man rudely brushing past a foreign man on the escalator]
"We can get closer."

KOREA [Dynamic shot of sports fans cheering on Korea]
"Our hearts are warm, but..."
KOREAN [Shot of lonely foreign man waiting at a train stop]
"We have to be warmer."

"Korea 보다 더 자랑스러운 KoreaN."
Translation: KoreaN, prouder than Korea.