Tag Archives: Korean

Korean Food in Madison

My sister and I have officially found our go-to place for Korean food in Madison: New Seoul Restaurant.

It is tiny and authentic only in a way a place run by two people can be. (Total supposition but from what we can tell the owner waits tables while his wife cooks in the back!) The menu looked like something I would find in Korea and the food was delicious.

And the kimchi? Probably some of the best I have ever had.

We liked it so much we had a long discussion about the merits of moving closer. (Pros: delicious Korean food. Con: there goes our budget.)

Korean Baseball!

After our day running errands, Jasmine and I met up with some of her fellow teachers and went to a baseball game!

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It was an adventure because out of all of us I probably knew the most about baseball…but that is not saying much. We had great seats, though!

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At the same time, it was a totally new experience because this particular baseball team had CHEERLEADERS. Or more precisely, K pop dancers because the girls finished up every inning with a K pop dance. It was thoroughly entertaining. There was also an MC who kept running around shouting things in Korean I did not understand and working the crowd up into a frenzy at every possible moment. 

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Alas, the home team lost but it was marvelous fun. The crowd got REALLY into it whenever the home team was up to bat. Because most players were Korean and had three-syllables in their full name, a lot of popular chants and songs got used over and over using their names. I was singing right along by the end! However, when it came time for the other team to get up to bat, the entire stadium took a nap. I am only half-joking. The fall in energy was palpable. 

The Ajumma and the Beggar

Amy’s Trip to Korea, Day 1, Part 2!

(Ajumma is the Korean word for an older, married woman.)

After arriving at the bus terminal to await my friend, I pulled out my Kindle and began reading. An ajumma sat down next to me. A few minutes later, a beggar walked by and requested money. I shook my head. The beggar then turned to my neighbor. This infuriated the ajumma! She shooed the beggar off with much hand waving and exclamations. She then turned to me. 

I braced myself, half expecting to be read the riot act for some unknown misbehavior. After all, ajummas are not known for their mild manners. Instead, it appeared my neighbor just wanted someone to rant with. I could not understand a word coming out of her mouth but that did not seem to bother her a bit! Here is what I think she was saying:

“Can you believe these people? They get bolder every day! Here we are just sitting here and she has the nerve to bother us. I cannot believe it. I mean, us! MINDING OUR OWN BUSINESS. The nerve. I mean, seriously, the nerve of her!” 

At any rate, her glance was approving and her exasperation with the other person apparent so I am just going to run with that translation. It was fun! 

So…Who Am I? And Why Korea?

It occurred to me that as my network of readers expands, a lot of stuff I take for granted that you all know about me…you might not actually know about me. 

So, hi! My name is Amy. I am an American and I spent the last five-ish months studying abroad in Thailand. I like books, black and white movies, and blogging every day. Back home I am a semi-sensible law student with a perchance for over-committing to everything that strikes my interest. Which is most things. 

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing about my trip to Busan, South Korea. And it was amazing! It lived up to my impossibly high expectations. I love Korean dramas, Korean pop music, Korean food, traditional Korean clothing, the Korean language….and now South Korea itself!

I hope you enjoy walking through these memories with me! Let the fangirling begin! 

A Dream Come True

For as much as I hate on group projects, 7 years ago a group project basically changed my life

As a sophomore in college, I took Personality Theory (unfortunately, a class covering actual psychological theories and not personality tests like I thought.) The professor required group presentations and after we finished studying, my two group members asked if I wanted to stay and join them for, “a Korean soap opera.” 

And, oh, my life has never been the same since. 

We started with Dream High 2 but did not make it very far. 

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Korean dramas usually range from 16-20 one hour episodes. They are one season. After studying together, we would sit on someone’s bed and watch an episode. After giving up on Dream High 2, we switched to Personal Taste (the first drama I ever finished.) 

I remember vividly one scene where we squealed so loudly an RA came into check on us. (And by we, I probably mean me.) 

Meanwhile I started watching Boys Over Flowers on my own. I basically spent the entire Thanksgiving break that year binge watching.

And after that there was no going back. I became obsessed with Korean dramas!

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And I remain obsessed. 

Meanwhile, I began to get everyone around me into Korean drams. My sisters in turn discovered K Pop and quickly got me addicted! 

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Of course, you cannot watch a show about another culture without becoming obsessed with the food. I now consider kimchi more important than dairy. (And I love dairy.)

As for bulgogi, bibimbap, and tteokbokki…my mouth waters just thinking about them. Korean food went from a nonentity in my life to a dietary staple. 

All this to say, for the past 7 years Korea has influenced the food I eat, the shows I watch, the music I listen to, and even the clothes I wear. 

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And tomorrow, I get to visit one of the friends who got me addicted to Korean dramas…IN KOREA!

Can you imagine anything more amazing? 




(As I previously wrote, however, you will have to wait to hear about the experience till I am on a flight back to the U.S. Until then, enjoy the story of my vacation in Krabi with another college buddy!) 

300 Days

Today marks 300 days of using the Duolingo language app every day. I do not think I am actually learning much Korean. Or at least, I’m learning very weird things like “Mister, why are you fat?” and “The dog speaks Korean.” Perhaps once I reach the end I will experience an epiphany and realize it all makes sense. One can hope. 

The app is kind of goofy in my opinion but it does a good job incentivizing use. And hey, fifteen-twenty minutes of day of a new language can’t harm me, can it? I call 300 days an achievement. 

DramaFever Is No More

My favorite Korean Drama streaming service no longer exists. 

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This is quite heartbreaking. I’ve been watching Korean dramas for 6 years now and DramaFever was the best. I even paid for a premium membership. Besides being a source of excellent shows, DramaFever usually produced fun content, from celebrity gossip to drama promotions. (My favorite was an ode to Lee Min Ho when he starred in Gangnam Blues by two YouTubers but I can’t find it anymore so I’m wondering if it got taken down with the site.) Also the K-Drama LoLs videos but they also gotten take down. 

In summary, DramaFever did an amazing job uniting fans from across the world with our shared love of love Korean dramas and it is now no more. 

I guess this means we all go watch on Viki now? 

Amy’s Daily To-Do List

  • Complete daily Korean lesson (check)
  • Preserve Snapchat streaks (check)
  • Write a blog post (in the works)
  • Read 1 3 books (1/3 complete)




My original plan was just 1 book a day for the month of August, but then I thought, why read 1 book a day when I could achieve my August goal by reading 3 books a day until August 15th? I will probably drop the whole 3 books things as it is seriously cutting into my productivity but it pleases me to realize I can do it. (And for that reason I’m leaving it on the to-do list.)

180 Days

Exactly half a year ago, I was sitting between classes trying to find a Thai language app. I figured it was good to get a jump on it what with my new found interest in Thailand.

Unfortunately, I did not find one. I did notice that Duolingo finally had Korean, though. So I started there.

Today marks 180 days of doing Korean for ten minutes a day! I don’t actually know if I am learning anything, but it is fun.

Stars Falling From the Sky

Two years ago, I put together a list of my favorite k dramas. The list is fairly out of date and I really should put together a new one soon. However, there is one drama on there that has stayed my favorite despite an influx of really excellent shows lately.  It is Stars Falling From the Sky. 

When a self-absorbed, 25-year old woman finds herself the sole guardian of five, adopted younger siblings, her world flips upside down. With no money and no place to live, she takes a job as a live-in housekeeper for her long term crush and hides the kids in his basement. Chaos ensues…

I rarely finish the k dramas I start, much less re-watch them, but I just finished watching this drama for the third time through. I found it as endearing as ever. This just might be my favorite drama. However, I do not think it is a drama most people will like. Filmed in 2010, it lacks the polish of more recent shows. The characters spend over half their time drinking or crying. The usual k drama stereotypes are all present, including the love triangle/square thing, and everyone is in a constant state of angst

Everyone, that is, except the heroine. She doesn’t have time for angst. She is trying to feed and house five siblings. Her character arc is incredible. I love her affection for her siblings. She isn’t the only one with that arc, though. Re-watching this drama, I was struck by the fact that for a “romantic” drama, the real love goes to the siblings. There is an interesting contract between the characters with siblings (even just one), and those who are only children. Maybe because it is so rare to find big families or sibling love as the focus of pop culture, this story line really appeals to me. 

The romance in this drama used to throw me off. Spoilers in this paragraph. The couple finally gets together in the second to last episode. In the last episode, the hero proposes…and gets turned down. This is not an uncommon move in k dramas. Usually the previously weak willed heroine then goes off for two years only to return within the last five minutes of the episode for an inconclusive reunion scene. (Thankfully this trend is less predominant in recent dramas.) However, the heroine in Stars Falling From the Sky is hardly weak willed. She doesn’t disappear. She is as determined as ever to provide for her siblings. In this sense, while the last episode is full of dramatic kidnappings and shocking discoveries, it provides a level of realism. Not everything becomes perfect because you’ve found a man and he proposes. In this last episode, we get to see the heroine standing on her own two feet while also learning to rely on the man who loves her. It isn’t Disney ending, but it is a satisfying one I appreciate more now that I am older. 

Like I said earlier, I don’t expect most people to enjoy this drama nearly as much as I do. However, it was a pleasant surprise to re-watch it and discover I like it even more than I remembered!