Monthly Archives: August 2013

You are browsing the site archives by month.

So in Korea there are the two main tourist performance acts. Nanta and Jump, today I went out to the latter. For those who are not familiar with Jump, it’s a “Comical Martial Arts Performance”. It’s accessible for everyone as there is little to no speech. A little English, a little Korean (of which I understood everything *little proud*). Here’s a logo:



I can definitely see why this show is so popular. It consisted of 4 episodes with each it’s own theme. I’m not sure if these themes change over time but I’m sure they do (the show has been running since 2003). If you are planning to go to the show I would advise you to stop reading if you don’t want to be spoilered!


The first theme was about a visitor coming and had lots of impressive and funny moments. It had lots of the Korean etiquette and cultural aspects of family going on. It was really inspiring too…

The second act is where it got interesting however. “Who is today’s master?”. They were going to pick random people from the audience and do acts with them. Guess what, they picked me. I had to come up on stage after introducing myself and telling where I was from (which obviously, I did in Korean!). I became 네덜란드 마스터 (“Nedeolandeu Master”).

So I got on stage and was asked to repeat a set of actions, first the bow into a high kick. I didn’t know I could, but maybe the adrenaline made it possible… I kicked pretty damn high! (Got a round of applause for it xD). After that I had to do somersault forward and directly backwards into a hand-stand and a back flip. Obviously, this didn’t go as well but the forward, backward thing went okay!

I was ready to fight, but before that it was time to get searched to make sure I wasn’t going to fight dirty. They ended up pulling a giant axe out of thin air from my back. At this point all the actors ran towards me and removed chopsticks, swords, knifes and whoever knows what other kinds of weapons from my pockets, shoes and back.

After about 20 weapons were lying around me they ended up running away to the other end of the stage jumping towards the ground and acting scared. I was laughing so hard, it was absolutely hilarious. To add to the effect I made a little improv taunt towards them and they reacted very well to it, such natural actors.

As reward for my efforts I got thanked by all of the actors and received a free booklet of their show which I had signed by all of them to Master 조디! I feel like I’m on top of the world right now. Nobody is taking this away from me! :)

The other 2 acts were just as good. The third was your typical Korean love drama story with the cutie that’s on my right (left girl in the picture). She had some sick looking moves and stomped everyone that got in the way of her and her perfect moment with “the one”.

The last and final act was about two burglars coming into the house with one being a master thief and the other a douche. It involved taking a bullet for family and various other underlying messages. It had really good moments.

The show was amazing, it was the perfect length and I really had a good time. I would really recommend this to everyone that is able to go!

PS: Shout-out to the grandfather in the story. He wrote 조디 right after me saying my name. First one that actually did it right from the beginning!

My first week in South Korea has already passed and I have to say that it feels so amazing to walk around in a country where everything is so different, yet familiar. After my trip to Daebudo island I have been taking it easy for a little bit and only went out to a couple of places in the area.

Even while doing very little I am enjoying it thoroughly. Finding the best food places in the most unexpected or tucked away places in Hongdae, walking through the markets and stores listening to the K-pop or even just hanging around listening to people speak in Korean has been so amazing.

While I find it a little frustrating that I don’t understand as much Korean as I would’ve liked it’s also quite motivating to be left in utter confusion. I want to specifically mention the people that work in the guesthouse where I am staying. Listening to 아름 and 원 banther away is so funny and it puts a huge grin on my face even though I don’t understand most of it. They both speak so fast, haha.

The best part about being in the guesthouse here is that everyone allows me to speak in Korean as broken as I can come up with. I feel really bad because I know I’m not properly using the formalities and in essence am being rude towards my Noonas. 누나들에게 미안해요… ㅠㅠ

With each of the guesthouse hostesses being such different personalities it’s been so interesting. 여원 is more reserved but very friendly. 원 is such a cool and down to earth person and last but not least 아름 is so funny, she’s a giant quirky ball of energy and very passionate. I’m really glad that I chose this guesthouse and met these amazing people. The thought of leaving in 2 and a half weeks (which is still quite some time away) absolutely terrifies me.

Even though I’ve been here for a short time I feel truly at home. If you go to Seoul, go to Namu guesthouse.

Here we have it, the actual purpose of this blog. After confirming that my Korean still sucks (very much) here on my trip I took the opportunity to get two books recommended by the absolute expert on Korean self-studying Hangukdrama.

This also means that I now finally have set an actual goal in my journey to learning Korean. At the moment I am not even sure if I will be able to take the TOPIK as my country does not actually conducts these tests but I will contact our Korean embassy and ask them for further instructions. It’s quite possible I can apply in Germany or the UK right? With that said, the locations for the 2014 TOPIK’s aren’t even known yet so let’s not jump to conclusions.

I would say that my grammar and my ability to actually construct correct sentences is very lacking. With that said I’m kind of impressed with myself by how many words I’m pulling out left and right. I’ll be starting at the very beginning of the grammar book while already “knowing” ~30-40% of the points.

Practice, practice, practice. The 34th TOPIK would be like 8 months away and while I feel that aiming for level 2 seems a little low… But you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

It may be a little weird as a first blog post, especially when I have not even layed-out what I will be using this blog for and why I made it in the first place.

Having that out of the way I want to go a little into some of the random encounters I’ve had so far here in South Korea. While I’ve only been here for 2 days it’s been amusing, overwhelming and inspiring.

First of all, Koreans really do not expect you to speak Korean at all. Once you do they are either amazed or freak out, which has been quite funny. I’ve gotten several “Omo” and “Oh…”s (Kind of equivalents to omg) .

One of the first especially funny ones was around the corner of the guesthouse where I am staying. Having just ordered food at a chicken place 2 girls picked exactly the table next to mine while nearly half the place was empty. They instantly “smiled and waved” (Heh, reference!) and started to overly excited ask me things in (very) broken English. I barely got to eat but we had a good time and I’ve got a lunch date with new friends coming up ^^.

The other encounter which especially stood out to me was just a few hours ago in the subway. Subways here in Korea are really packed and it’s hard to find a place to sit. They have special seats for the elderly, pregnant and disabled people. Before coming to Korea I researched a lot of the ethics of this country and it was normal for these seats not to be taken even if there are no elderly, pregnant or disabled people.

I was standing right in front of 1 empty seat while 5 koreans (who did not meet the “requirements” of these seats) were sitting there. I was really tempted to take the seat anyway because I had to get off about 15 stops later and was still in for a 30-35 minute ride. An ahjussi entered the subway and made a hand gesture for me to sit down. With a little confusion I told him that I would not sit down and asked him to sit down instead. He was a little hesitant but when I told him again he gave me a little bow before he sat down.

The part that impressed me the most was when on one of the next stations a seat next to him freed up. He basically forced me to sit down next to him. Let me tell you, if an ahjussi wants you to do something… he will make you do it. What bothered me was that another old lady that came on could’ve taken my seat instead. Here comes the kicker, the ahjussi made one of the Koreans who was already sitting when he came into subway stand up for her.

I don’t know why, but this felt so good. Respect in this country can still really be two ways. When he got off 2 stations before me he said “Bye bye, goodbye.” and made another bow.

I already had a really good day but this encounter truly made it better.

Looking forward to tomorrow! :)