Life · Life in Korea

“So you WEREN’T interested in Korean Culture?”

The conversation usually starts with them asking me why I wanted to come to Korea or how I got started learning Korean. Unlike most people who study Korean, I wasn’t drawn in by Korean pop culture. I was interested in exploring a new country, and the best option happened to be Korea.   So far,… Continue reading “So you WEREN’T interested in Korean Culture?”

How I Learn Languages · Life in Korea

Stellar Teaching: The Art of Breaking Down a Language

In my previous post, I quoted a language-learner who said that fluency in “a language cannot be taught; it can only be learnt.” That said, there are many other aspects of language that CAN be taught, and this semester, I was fortunate to have one of the most amazing teachers ever: Koh-seonsengnim (lit. "Koh-teacher," hereafter “Koh-ssn”),… Continue reading Stellar Teaching: The Art of Breaking Down a Language

Life · Life in Korea

How Korea made me American and Korean-American (?)

Surprising Development #1: Frances identifies more strongly as 'MURICAN. I have spent extended periods of time in Japan and Taiwan without feeling this way. But when I stepped on a plane back to the U.S. after three months in Korea, I felt extremely relieved to see FELLOW AMERICANS. It made me feel a little bit better when one… Continue reading How Korea made me American and Korean-American (?)

How I Learn Languages · Life · Life in Korea

Yes, it’s OK to Be a Foreigner (Read: “Look Stupid”)

Although this is not the first foreign country I’ve been to, this is the first time that I felt… truly foreign. I do feel that I’m slowly starting to blend in, by which I do NOT mean that I’m dressing k-pop style, dumping BB cream on my face, and dying my hair in trendy colors. Some… Continue reading Yes, it’s OK to Be a Foreigner (Read: “Look Stupid”)

Life · Life in Korea

3 Things I Learned as a Convenience Store Clerk in Korea

Coming from central New Jersey, where I lived next to a soy bean field, I was fascinated when I first saw 7-Eleven's on every street corner in Taipei. When I lived in Tokyo this past summer, I relied on the Lawson's below my apartment for everything from miniature tiramisus to photocopying. The set-up of convenience stores… Continue reading 3 Things I Learned as a Convenience Store Clerk in Korea

Life in Korea

How I Made $30 Eating Tofu (and musings on the future of the bean curd)

Today, I taste-tested various tofu samples for Pulmuone 풀무원 (pronounced "poor-moo-won"), apparently the largest manufacturer of tofu products in the world.  It was such a delectable experience that when the nice food scientist asked if she could contact us regarding future "tests," my friend and I immediately said yes. We had six sets of samples in… Continue reading How I Made $30 Eating Tofu (and musings on the future of the bean curd)