Kimchi Teaching

Living, Teaching, and Traveling in Korea

Missing for a long time!

I have been missing for a long time i admit. After getting married i found i have less and less time. I know sounds totally cliche and a little dumb. But it is true. Starting a new life is hard. But i do have happy updates. First let me introduce you to the wonderful new addition of our family, Haru. I actually got him from another foreigner living in Korea she was fostering him and trying to find him a permanent family. The only bad part was I lived in Seoul. She lived in Jeju. and our timing with trying to get him to me was a little hard.

But i was determined to make it work. He really seemed like the dog for me. So I booked a flight and used Korean Air on the way home so i could bring him back. This was really pretty easy but expensive honestly it was less than a 4 hour trip i landed got though met her. we went to the beach where we walked him and she said goodbye. Took him to the airport checked in and then got on the flight.

When we arrived his cage was taped and zip-tied so much. He did not like the plane ride and completely destroyed the locking mechanize. Then had to take a taxi from Gimpo to my house. God that was hard, the taxi driver was an a**hat. (Yeah first lesson i learned about being a dog parent in Korea. Some taxi’s are a**holes without dogs with them they are that x10. Obviously not all i have had a few really nice taxi drivers).

But it all went well and we have had him for over 7 months! He really is the best dog for an apartment in Seoul. he doesn’t bark. (Unless he is telling another male dog “I AM A BOY!! LEAVE ME ALONE!”)

Totally had a dog food tasting for my dog! The pet stores here will give you samples to try!

 

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Applying for an F-6 Visa

13770389_10101925093544323_5221844857357747106_nRecently i got married (both Western wedding and Korean wedding), and my husband is Korean which allows me to change my Korean VISA. Currently I am on an E-2 visa which means that my school sponsors me. So this means if anything goes wrong at my school they can cancel it and i have to leave the country. Thankfully my school isn’t evil and I feel pretty safe in their hands. However i still wanted to change my visa to a F-6 (married to a Korean citizen). However now this means technically my husband owns me. Yeah i apparently can’t own myself.

So first thing i do is try to find out how do I change it, which leads to lots of googling. And this is where i fell into a pit of nothingness. Because seriously there is (almost) NOTHING online about changing your visa. There is one helpful page from a man whose wife is Korean and the process they went through.(Shout out for being helpful!) But that is it because everything else is outdated. Even on the official immigration page it doesn’t exist.

usa-flagSo lets start out from the beginning. I’m going to break it down into sections skip ahead or follow along, remember I’m an American citizen if you are from another country some of the steps may differ. All my steps are geared towards an American marrying a Korean, currently living in Korea and they have an ARC. You can ask me questions you might have, but i am not an official representative so i can not know everything!

Step 1: Visiting the American Embassy to pick up an Affidavit of Eligibility for Marriage

us_embassy_seoulI am an american citizen and as an american you have to pick up a handy little paper from the embassy that stated you are not married OR you are legally divorced and have the documents to prove it. To obtain this handy little paper you actually have to schedule a time and physically go to the embassy to pick it up. Embassy of United States, Seoul Appointment. Not too hard and honestly feels super unofficial, but you usually have to stand in 0% of a line while everyone else stands in the longest line EVER.

Documents needed for U.S. Citizens getting married in Korea: The documents listed below are required by the Korean government, as you will be married under the laws of Korea.

  • PROOF OF UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP: A valid United States passport is sufficient to prove you are a U.S. citizen for the purpose of marriage.  If you have no valid U.S. passport at the time of marriage, you must submit the appropriate documents below to prove your U.S. citizenship: (I just took my passport seriously if you are in Korea you should have one)
    • An original Certificate of Naturalization for Naturalized citizens, or
    • A certified copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or an original Certificate of Citizenship for American citizens born abroad, or.
    • A certified copy of a birth certificate from the Vital RecordsOffice of your State of birth, with the raised seal or seal of the State on the copy, for native-born American citizens (please note that wallet-sized birth certificates are not acceptable).
  • PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF OF IDENTITY such as the US passport, driver’s license, military I.D., etc (Use your passport AGAIN)
  • A COMPLETED AFFIDAVIT OF ELIGIBILITY FOR MARRIAGE, affirming that you are free and eligible to marry.  (You get this form as soon as you walk in the door and tell them you are planning on getting married, they even tell you congratulations!)
  • If the American Citizen is under the age of 19, written permission to marry from both parents is required.

Now to the appointment, make sure you don’t take your laptop, extra battery, more then 1 phone, usbs, charging cords, in all seriousness just don’t take anything but you and your 1 phone with your paperwork. Either that or you have to leave it outside the building right beside the door and hope no one takes it. You are greeted by usually 2 people who ask why you are there and they hand you the appropriate paperwork to fill out along with a Call number. You fill out the paperwork wait till you number is called and go up to the desk. AFTER they call your number they will give you a payment slip that you will take to the Payment window and you will pay. The fee for the affidavit if $50. This can be with a credit card, money order, or cash (american). You will take this payment slip give it back to the first window you visited and sit down and wait.

Alright now they will call you to visit a window somewhere off the the side. They just ask you to swear your not married. You raise your right hands and say “i swear everything on this document is true to my knowledge” Sign the paper. The Consular Officer signs it, stamps it and you are done, with the embassy. Make sure to just make a copy of it later for your own records and files. It’s just good to have.

Step 2: Translating the Affidavit of Eligibility for Marriage

So you have to get this affidavit that you just received from the embassy translated. You DO NOT have to get it professionally translated. In all honest I translated it myself, had my husband check over it and he had to sign and date the bottom of the translated page.

Since i already did a lot of the work i will be helpful and share the document with you if you need it. Just MAKE SURE that you have someone sign the bottom saying they translated it.

Translated Affidavit Make sure that the translation matches the current format of the application the embassy gives you. Sometimes you will need to modify it a bit but it’s still good to have a starting line.

Step 3: Registering your Marriage at the Gu- Office

%ed%98%bc%ec%9d%b8%ec%8b%a0%ea%b3%a0%ec%84%9cThis step is pretty easy you will need to bring the Eligibility affidavit that the Embassy gave you and the translated copy. And fill out a form: 혼인신고서 (you can see an example of it in the picture). Pretty straight forward form. It will ask you your name, your partners name, identification number, address, your partners parents (you can leave yours blank they don’t care about your parents). The last step is you need two people to be a witness to your wedding. These people can either physically be there with you, or you can call and sign for them. We just Kakao’ed two friends and asked them to be our witnesses and signed for them. You will have to have their address, ID number, and name. You can also ask people whom are there but sometimes the people there aren’t very nice and wont help. I DO RECOMMEND that your partner calls the gu office ahead of time and makes sure that your witnesses don’t need to physically be there. Most do not require this but you have those special few that do.

After you finish all the paperwork the will call you up make a copy of both your partners ID card and your ARC card. And tell you that you have been registered and you will be notified in about 3-4 days of approval. I got a fun little text message that told me I was officially married in Korea. You can register your marriage either before or after the ceremony. Either is fine in Korea. Most people get married on Saturdays and Sundays which unlike the US you do not register the day you are married.

Step 5: Death by Paperwork

paperworkI know some of you must think i am joking. But i am not. It seriously is a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to find and fill out. However if you are super diligent you can get most of this paperwork within a week.

The first suggestion i will tell you is DO NOT call immigration and ask them questions. The people on the phones are volunteers and will 70% of the time give you information that has been outdated or wrong. what you should do it actually GO to immigration and find out what you need. HOWEVER, as of this year you have to sign up on the HiKorea website to be able to even talk to anyone. (You can only use Internet Explorer to look at the site all other search engines treat it like a virus)  I know a total pain for me to just go to ask them what i need, it would be more helpful if they just told me what i needed on their WEBSITE! 

formWe also had to ask other questions because my husband is still a student and i am the main income provider of the household. Makes it funny that with my visa my husband still owns me -_-.  Anyways for us this is the stuff we had to bring to our appointment. RECOMMENDATION I would download all the forms in Korean. The English site is very random and a little hard to understand their naming of the forms you need. You can see in the picture how to access the forms. it’s very easy and i give you the Korean form you need to download and fill out. Well technically most of the forms your partner has to fill out but at least you gathered them all.

  1.  Application 통합신청서 (신고서) and 사증발금신청서 (both can be found on Hikorea) (Foreigner)
  2.  Passport (Your passport) (Foreigner)
  3. ARC (Your Alien Registration Card) (Foreigner)
  4. 1 Passport photo with white background (You can get this taken at a photo studio or a photo booth at immigration) (Foreigner)
  5. Your Spouses Personal Guarantee Form- 신월보증서(한글) or 신월보증서(영문) (Found on Hikorea, just says that they guarantee that you aren’t a terrible person and will be good in their country and that they will pay for you if you have any financial difficulties) (Korean)
  6. Invitation– 외국인 배우자 초청장 (Found on Hikorea. This is Paperwork invitation, not your actual invitation, where your spouse is inviting you to stay in Korea)(Korean)
  7. Statement of How You Met and Your Life Together- they want you to include pictures throughout your dating time, as well as pictures from your wedding. (Your Korean spouses will be add this to the Invitation Paperwork with answer 2.4 and 2.5. We just added ours to the end of the paperwork. You also do not need to go get them printed, just printing 4-5 pictures on an A4 piece of paper in color is okay.) (Foreigner) (Korean)
  8. Statement of Income Statue- 외국인 배우자 초청인의 가족소득현황 진술서 (Found on Hikorea. This form will be filled out by both husband and wife, if both are working fill out the form twice with each persons income. For me, my husband wasn’t working so it was only filled out with my information.) (Korean)
  9. Personal Detail Form from the Foreign Spouse- 외국인 배우자의 결혼배경 진술서 (Found on Hikorea.)(Foreigner)
  10. Basic Certificate (Korean Spouse)
  11. Marriage Certificate (Korean Spouse)
  12. Family Relation Certificate (Korean Spouse)
  13. Family Register (Korean Spouse)
  14. Housing Document- The contract for the house you are currently staying at. Has to be in either your name, spouses name, or in laws name. Also you will need to provide pictures of your house.
  15. Annual Income Certificate for the previous year  재직증명서 and 원천징수 영수증 (both)
  16. Financial Status/ Credit Info Issued by Federation Bank- 사실증명 (Who doesn’t have a job) and 소득금액증명 (For whom has a job) you can find them online at http://www.nts.go.kr http://www.credit4u.co.kr
  17. Certificate showing Foreign spouse paid tax (Foreign Spouse)

Step 6: Show up and turn in your paperwork!

Scheduling an appointment for immigration using the HiKorea website again. (You can only use Internet Explorer to look at the site all other search engines treat it like a virus) 

This step is pretty easy but make sure you push the right button or you will be bulling your hair and calling their “help” line.

Step 1- Load the website. It can either be in English or Korean. Click on the reserve visit icon.im1

Step 2- Almost no one has a membership log in because you need a billion things then your I-Pin plus cell phone blah blah so just log in using “Appointment reservation (non-member)”im2

Step 3- Either use Identification with an Alien registration No./ Domestic Residence No. (Meaning you have been in Korea have been to immigration and you have an ARC umber.) or Identification with passport no. (which means you are new to Korea or no longer have an ARC number)

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Step 4- Pick your time and date fill out the information and your set to go

Step 5- Show up to immigration. Also bringing all your crap with you! Believe me just take EVERYTHING you can find. Somethings they will not need but honestly! I didn’t want to have to come back because “I forgot this one paper that i don’t really need”. So i took my husband showed up 30 minutes early at my appointment checked a paper on the wall that told me my number that they would call for me. And waited. The appointment time actually went over and i was waiting for about 30 minutes. (Fun part of this is the people who come in without appointments and then demand to be given a number.. Sure mister i had to sign up 2 weeks early take this shitty time i didn’t want but of course just go in front of me!)
On a side note at immigration I find if you get the older lady, out of the 4 ladies whom normally work there she will usually screw you over and ask for more paperwork or give you not the 13 months she is suppose to when i was on an E2 visa,  she also isn’t very nice. But oh well I though oh i am changing visas maybe it will be okay.

Step 7: Got my card!

Finally got approved! But it did take me 1 month! The card came in the mail. However i admit i was really angry. They gave me less than a year! Dammit the old lady strikes again!

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Self Wine, Wedding favors

8888Since December i have been busy with planning my wedding, so in January i went to wedding fair. In Korea most of your wedding is taken care of if you plan to hold it in a wedding hall. However my fiancée and I decided to hold it in his church. (I’m not religious and he is).

Because we are planning all of our own things we decided to enlist some help. We went to a wedding planner and asked some tips and to price range a few things for us. She invited us to a wedding fair held by their company. (In hopes we purchase one of the packages they are selling). We did get to find out about a lot of things. Made list of things to look and stuff we would need for the wedding. Yet the one i most loved the most was a self making wine booth.

4444In this booth, Selfwine Yeongdeungpo, you could try their wines they had on hand. They explained how we can order a set amount of bottles, normally you have to order at least 30 bottles, because we went to a special event we are allowed to order 20 bottles. The couple makes the wine, and then sends in pictures they want to use as the labels. I have to admit. I am a huge wine fan! So telling me i can give them as favors! I’m all up for that.

Of course wine is a bit expensive so we have to be very selective with who gets the favor, but we put down our 10 dollar deposit and scheduled to make our wine in late March. (You can cancel your deposit at any time and get refunded but i was very sure i was going to do this.) The place is fairly small located on the 3rd floor; it is nice and cozy inside, as well as very clean. However from the outside it just looks like a normal building. You can see the other couples that stored their wine. You are allowed to store the wine for as long as you want. We read through some of the labels and it was made more then 3-4 years ago. So they allow you to use the wine for your wedding, your child’s birth, a graduation, a celebration or so on.

11111The first thing you do when you come into the place is try all the different wines they have. So you can pick what wine you want to make.  (Did i mention that they seriously let you drink AS MUCH AS YOU WANT!) You are also encouraged to bring your own snacks to eat. They will provide you with chips. But we brought Tune crackers and bread. (They do have a Paris baguette near but i recommend buying food before you leave to go there. Mostly, because i wanted to drink a lot of wine so I brought food!) After you finish drinking all you want. (And hopefully before you are drunk) You will start making the wine.

We choose a nice Riesling Ice wine. It was sweet semi dessert tasting wine. (One of my number 1 demands of wine). My fiancée really liked the red dry wine but knew i would never drink it. We also participated in a few events and were able to get two bottles of another wine (Cabernet Franc Ice Wine) as service.

6666The making of our wine was very easy. Our wine expert explained the ingredients as well as the reasons for each. We put on our nice little outfits to make wine. I think mine made me look like a pirate and my fiancée’s outfit made him look like a doughnut server. Our wine expert did take pictures for us. (Yet he’s not the best photographer and definitely doesn’t know how to photograph women). He really tried though and you can always take selfies so just relax and enjoy. Then we mixed the ingredients together and had to make sure it had the correct amount of bubbly frothiness too it. After we finished it we labeled it and set it to storage. Then take some more pictures and say goodbye. While we were leaving we also got two free bottle corks (Score for the free stuff!).

We did not take our wedding photos yet at the time, so we have to send it in to make our label still. When we do have our wine finally finish i will show the update of our bottles! So untill then here are some bottles they had as examples. (I do have to say if you want to do this event it is only in Korean. So unless you or someone you know can communicate in Korean you will have a hard time.)

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Been Missing. Yet good excuse!

I am sorry it has been so long for me actually being able to upload anything. I have been busy planning my (Ameircan/korean)wedding. But after i will upload so much it will be a bit of an overload!

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The Two Love Stars: Gyunwoo & Jiknyo (견우직녀성)

KakaoTalk_20151203_233424005This past Saturday, November 28th, I was able to attend another performance near Uijeongbu (의정부시). I got the opportunity to review another musical names The Two Love Stars: Gyunwoo & Jiknyo (견우직녀성). This sotry is actually very traditional in Korea and it s told when it is late in the summer and the two stars Altair and Vega are very high and visible in the night sky. However this version is a little changes. it starts off in present day Uijeongbu where our main actress and actor can be seen waiting for the subway. Out of no where time stops and they are transported back in time when they were once lovers. They actually first met in the Heavenly World at a festival. Of course the girl is actually the daughter of the emperor of the Heavenly World. While the main heartthrob is one of the competitors seeking her hand in marriage. In typical Korean style performances this competition is decided with DANCE! (Yep you can win the girl of your dreams as long as you know how to dance.)

KakaoTalk_20151203_233423704So of course the guy who is also seeking the hard of the emperors daughter just happens to be the rival of the man she loves. Now epic dance battle time and the winner is… dunt dunt dunt.. The man she loves!! But of course the rival guy is hellza angry and wants to burn down the world!  Well they have a happy marriage they kind of just enjoy their time together watching performances of acrobatics, b-boy, laser light snows, traditional fan dancing. (there was so much happening at one time i was seriously confused where to look.)

But don’t forget hellza angry guy, his name is Poongbak, he comes back and picks a fight with Gyunwoo, Mr heartthrob. Poongbak is defeated and Gyunwoo lets him go! So when Jiknyo, our fair princess of this story, comes to congratulate him tragedy strikes. She notices hellza angry man take out a knife and instead of him dying throws herself in front of him to save him. (First off who turns their back on a man who has been trying to kill you).

Eventually Jiknyo dies and she becomes a star in the sky, Gyunwoo is so distraught that he can not stop crying. Out of his tears appears the spirits of love whom built a bridge for him to ascent to the sky and meet Jiknyo again to become stars together. (However the story kind of ends here but the real story in the program was that they are sent back to present day July 7th (7/7) with their lost memories to begin a new love story).

KakaoTalk_20151203_233437124This performance was about two lovers that find each other reminded me a little of Romeo and Juliet. In all the performance wasn’t bad. But it did have a lot of random too it. I think they tried too hard to put so much in it. I mean honestly the cast was something like 80 people. They didn’t quite finish the story instead they just ended the show with more dance battle things. There was also one time during the show that it dropped a big old F-bomb during the music. (Oh Korea when will you learn this isn’t good). They did try, but i think it need more work and less cast to really be something worth watching. (Another thing i hate about this performance is that you aren’t allowed to take photos, i wish that performances would realize i usually only recommend shows to me friends where they can take pictures, Or at least take pictures of the cast at the end of the show because then they can have something to show.)

At the end we also got to go to a fusion Korean restaurant. I can tell you right now.. I will give that a big old pass next time. They pretty much just charged 19,000 for everyone to eat side dishes. (I made my pictures of it look pretty though)

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Seoul Kimchi Festival 2015 (서울김장문화제)

12279223_10101630118017643_7702069571939168640_nThe most Korean thing that i know of when you say Korea has to be kimchi. So it is fairly normal that they would hold a Kimchi Festival. For the past few years i have wanted to join Seoul’s Kimchi Festival. It’s a chance for foreigners to make and share the experience of kimchi (However you have to pre-register at their website http://www.seoulkimchifestival.com ). It is held in Gwanghwamun Square and Seoul Plaza, right outside of City Hall, usually on a Friday and Saturday.

This last Saturday, Nov 7th, I got the opportunity to participate in the event. I have actually made kimchi before 2 or 3 times. However it was the first time my boyfriend ever got to make it. (This is more funny because he is actually Korean). It was actually a terrible day for kimchi making. It was raining and the grounds that the event was usually held on was flooded. So they moved everyone to the side tents which made it very crowded. Also even though the organization i normally blogged for preregistered me they couldn’t find my name anywhere. However they could tell i was obviously foreign and even felt bad for my boyfriend just watching that they let him participate also.

wpid-1446885487434.jpegThe event starts with finding your name and then being given a sticker. (This sticker is really important because with the sticker you can go pick up a thing of kimchi after the event) We then pick up a packet of participation items a rain coat, apron, headbang, sleeve guards, gloves, shoe booties, and a mask. (I can tell you right now the shoe booties were a waste due to the rain! They would get so full of water that they never stayed on your shoe) Next was trying some Korean traditional food, Kimchi, peppers, tofu, soup. It was actually really yummy. (Either that or i was so hungry that anything i ate would have been yummy). Even though we were suppose to have set times of when we were able to participate because of the rain they just let people walk in and out of the tent no matter their allotted time slot.

wpid-20151107_132238.jpgMaking the kimchi was very short actually. We got to make one thing of Kimchi and then finish. It took longer putting on all the cooking items then it did actually making Kimchi. We where at a table that could teach 6 people. Their was two Korean woman who where our instructors (They where really cute). We had to take a cabbage that was presoaked in salt water and fill it with a paste made of pepper paste, fish sauce, minced garlic, minced ginger, minced onions, and salted fermented shrimp.  You had to fill the cabbage very full and then wrap it (The woman kept telling us to wrap it like baby in Korean haha). When we finished they wanted us to taste the kimchi, however there was so many cameras around that they wanted us to taste the kimchi 3-4 times so they could take pictures :/ (I can say i’m not really a fan of fresh made kimchi it’s a bit fishy for me.)

Then we were finished. We had to take the important sticker we got in the start of the day to the tent we preregister at and get  our kimchi. We walked around the festival a little while. Made some ricecake at one point but mostly it was just nasty weather and i wanted to head home.  I wish i got to see more of the festival but it was so hard with the weather so bad and being hit in the face by every old persons umbrella. (I was getting fairly angry) 

When we got home i left the kimchi out on my back porch for 2 days to let it ferment a little. It was too fresh for me. After two days i tried it and it was really yummy! I am glad i got to do this event. I was even happier that i actually had someone t do it with.

 

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R16 2015 B-Boy World Final

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20150913_170412On September 12-13th i got to participate in the R16 2015 B-boy World Finals at Jangchung Gymnasium located near Dongguk University (Line 3), usually it was always hosted at Olympic Park. I was actually a little happy this year it moved because it was closer to my home. (However at the same time a little disappointing because the outside events were so small and there was really nothing to do while you waited for the show to start). They did have a break-dancing mat setup outside but it was hard to see anything that was happening.

1442132741238This year we could only get tickets to see one of the days. However a friend and I decided to try our luck and see if we could score some tickets for the previous day. We were actually successful and got some pretty good seats the first day. The battles on Saturday are for solo b-boy battles, popping, and locking. I have to admit i have never been a fan of popping and locking. (I find it a little boring at times, however i admit sometimes it’s amazing but most of the time I played on my phone). We actually didn’t stay for too long. My favorite is crew battles and that was going to be Sunday. However we did get so see the beginning round of each group.  We found out that they actually had a battle preliminary on Friday before this event to fill up spaces that opened up in each of the battles. (Honestly I admit this day i have no idea who won and who lost because i was to hungry and left for dinner).

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So now to the main event that i actually pre-requested my tickets for the Crew Battles! This year they changed how teams were made and i really dislike the new team making. They take a team of 4 and add in 3 wild cards then this makes up 1 team. However during crew battles  the crews are less team dynamics and more individual shows which ruins the appeal. (Not all the teams)

20150913_170444Our seats this time around were even better then the day before. We got VIP seats about 3 rows back (We had a great view!). The event kicked off with B-boy Khan and Moon from Korea giving a performance with a band. They did some locking moves, singing, and comedy. I mostly enjoyed their song choices and their rather pimp-ish clothes.

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Next up the MC introductions. I think one of the reasons i really love the R-16 Korean family has to be the MC’s they are the same every year but they are great! Again this year hosting was MC Go and MC Snipa. The DJ’s for the Crew battles were DJ Light (Japan), DJ Spray (Korea), DJ Skeme Richards (USA), and the house band Warsaw Band (Poland).

Then came the judges for the night. First off there was Bootuz (Russia), Ducky (Korea), Flo-Master (USA), Katsu (Japan), and Kujo (USA). After the introductions of the judges we got to see the teams participating. A lot of the teams are very normal and they are always at the show. However a few of the teams are fairly new like Kazakhstan and Netherlands.

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Each team got to show their skills in a pre-choreographed routine. First up was Australia they did a pretty good job but nothing remember-able about them.

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Next up Korea, they always have a great group routine it was interesting and fun to watch with a lot of challenging moves.

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Third team of the night China, I have to admit last year their team performance was amazing and i thought they got robbed. However this year i was really bored by them and though that they didn’t do anything to deserve to win the routine match.

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Next up was Holland (Netherlands) They actually had 8 members instead of 7. And one of their members looked like he was 12. Their routine was funny and comical but also interesting to watch and i enjoyed it.

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Fifth team of the night Kazakhstan, I really enjoyed them the day before we saw two twins (B-boys Create and Illuminate) showing off outside at the break dancing mats and we wondered where they were from! Their routine was very interesting to watch but a little too choreographed for my taste.

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Sixth team was team Russia, don’t really remember their performance.

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Seventh team was USA. Now i am american and i am proud to be one but WOW.. I thought team USA had no hope for this final with their routine. They kept falling out of their moves, the song choice was super unappropriated, and they just didn’t work well as a team.

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Last team of the night was Taiwan. Honestly i don’t remember much about them or their routine either.

First Round!

First Battle of the night was Russia vs china. One thing i remember i hated about the crews from China is they love to hog the floor and don’t back up for the other team. Between China and Russia i didn’t really care who won. Neither team impressed me too much. However the judges scored that Russia swept the categories winning all 5. Russia Wins

Next battle was between the Netherlands vs Kazakhstan. I really liked Both teams from watching the choreographed routines and both during battle were so much fun to watch. I hated that they had to g against each other. In the end you can even tell by the scoring it was a hard call. The Netherlands ended up winning 2 categories, Kazakhstan won 1, and they Tied 2 times. Netherlands Wins

Third battle was USA vs Taiwan. Taiwan did more team stuff and tricks as a team however as a whole the USA was just more impressive individually. They really made a difference from the first routine i saw and i was coming around to liking them slowly. (They just should not be allowed to pick their own music) Final score USA 4 categories, and Tied 1. USA Wins

Next up Korea vs Australia. Korea dominated the floor. They functioned well as a team and individually. No matter what Australia came out with Korea responded with an even better trick. Korea swept all 5 categories. Korea Wins

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Before the next round their was a performance from Lock’n’Lol crew. I never knew crews could be that HUGE. It was pretty fun to watch though but i just wanted the second round to start!

Second Round!

The first team up was Netherlands vs Russia. Netherlands fun to watch and i really enjoy their energy, but they seemed to be dominated by the skill of Russia. Also Netherlands had the kid which was fun to watch however without him i think they are just pretty average. Netherlands won 1 category, Russia won 4. Russia Wins

This ended up being the best battle of the night between USA vs Korea. You could tell it was going to be good. You just watched and got swept up in the battle. Both teams came out strong and gave it everything they had. When the scoring came up it became the biggest shock of the night. USA won 2 categories, Korea won 2 categories, and Tied 1 time. So it came down to point totals which was USA 146 and Korea 145. 1 Point determined the winner! USA Wins

Before the final round they had the presentation for the best Crew routine that they judged in the beginning while they were introducing each team. I wasn’t surprised when Korea won (I think it had to have been a hands down win)

Final Round!

The final round came down to Russia vs USA. It was actually a pretty close battle. Also being American i had to support USA. However the functioned better as a team but team Russia had 1 b-boy who was beyond impressive. You could tell it was going to be close. The score ended up being USA 2 categories, Russia 3. Making Russia the 2015 World R-16 Champions.

In all i was glad i got to go again this year. And i am excited to see the Crew battled for next year. You know that every year they keep improving!

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2015 Korea Elimination Round R16 (B-Boy)

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So a few months ago around June there was suppose to be the elimination round for the R16 Bboy competition. However due to MERS outbreak that pretty much threw the country into mass panic everything was canceled and delayed including the competition.  If you haven’t noticed from my blog i love B-Boy shows. I think they are amazingly talented. So yet again i got a chance to go to another! So on August 16th (Sunday) i was able to make it to Shinhan Univer. Bethel Center (In Uijeongbu).

11928590This event was only an elimination round which was to pick the people who will represent Korea in the R-16 Finals late this year. The MC’s for the event were GO, Snipa, Jo-Tee, and Rookie (all from Korea). As well as 3 Korean DJ’s B-boy Spray, Phynxxx, and Funkyman. With guest performance from Just Jerk.

I actually was getting ready to go on vacation the very next day and was a little late so had my friend Lee pick up my ticket. Thankfully i was only a few minutes late. However i realized out of all my years going to these performances this year was just a horrible mess for seats. We could see nothing and it was just a horrible start. I admit we considered just leaving we could barely see anything. We started noticing people moving around and decided to do it too. I moved kind of really far back. However i didn’t mind because i at least could see what was happening.

10501872I admit we kind of missed a lot of the first half of the show due to having crummy seats but after I moved i got to see y favorite arts of the show the individual B-Boys and the crews. The crew battles are 100% my favorite!. I love watching them try to make their pre-planned moves fit into the rhyme of the song. As well as trying to diss each other playfully. You can tell each dancer and group really respected each other and their craft.

The scoring is pretty much the same that it has always has been scored by Foundation, Originality, Dynamics, Execution, and Battle (they called it something weird like Cypher).  Each Round has different judges, For locking was Crazy Sun (Korea), Locker Hwa (Korea), and Fire Lock (USA). The judges for popping were Crazy Kyo (Korea), The Mighty (Korea), and Slim Boogie (USA). Lastly the B-Boy and crew judges are Virus (Korea), Baek (Korea), Mounir (France), and Moy (USA).

11924228I learned that this year instead of it being a crew vs crew it will be nation vs nation. Meaning that they have to build a dream team of 7 members. Which is the Crew who originally one, the solo b-boy and the 2 wild cards that were picked by the judges and audience. So Korea’s dream team is :

 

  1. Crew: FUSION MC (Lunatic / Flex / Leon / Dynast)
  2. Solo Bboy: VERO (Jinjo Crew)
  3. Wild Card 1: GOBLIN (Rivers Crew)
  4. Wild Card 2: DOL (MB Crew)

I kind of admit i am a little wondering how this is going to work out because not all 7 members have worked long together obviously but we will see. It will either be a huge amazing performance, or a complete disaster.

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Seoul ‘Slide the City’ & ‘Korea In Motion Festival Show Case’ 2015

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water4On July 18th, I got an opportunity to be able to participate in ‘Slide the City.’ and ‘Korea In Motion Festival Show Case’ which means watching some really great performances.  The shows were: Painters Hero, Fanta-stick, Sachoom, Nanta (actually i will admit somehow i missed this one)  Bibap, Drumcat, Jump (missed this one too) and the Pang Show.

The water slide itself was 350-meters long. That is about a quarter of  a mile long. (pictures don’t do it justice and when you’re standing up at the top your heart is beating just a little faster)  It was set up in front of Yonsei University campus in Sinchon. The event was held on both Saturday and Sunday.  This event has been held all round the world like in Paris, Sydney, New York, London and finally came to Korea this year! Korea decided to entertain throughout this event with some great non-verbal performances!

Thankfully the day we went it wasn’t so cold. It was actually really nice weather out except for the on and off sprinkling of rain. I actually would have preferred to have some sun though it got chilly after going down the water slide. During Saturday night, singer and DJ Koo Jun-yup and singer Kim So-ri performed club music. While a semi interesting performance by the cabaret show “Le Crazy Horse de Paris” performed on Sunday night (Not really child appropriate).

waterI admit it was hard to pay attention to the shows 100% while using the water slide. This is how i apparently missed one of the shows on Saturday. I thought it was just really late and i was so tired that i didn’t want to wait anymore. Instead, it turns out they did it really early :/

I am glad I always get the opportunity to be able to participate in these things. The shows themselves are always an added bonus. I do love that Korean Performances are very interactive.

The first show was Painters Hero, this show is always great the first time you see it, but i admit after seeing it 2-3 times it isn’t as interesting (unless you are a girl who likes watching pretty buff men, my boyfriend wasn’t as interested). The Painters Hero show is a non-verbal performance. They usually use different forms of art such as painting, chalk, and ink. They also interact with the audience by mixing miming, comedy, and dance. Don’t get me wrong i think they have horribly amazing talent! But they do the same paintings every-time now. During this show they did a Michael Jackson’s picture. In other words they had 4 different canvases and painted in time with music while alternating. Then put them all together to make one picture. I have to admit it took me a minute to figure out what it was while they were drawing. Then they did Bruce Lee, a dragon and a tiger (they also took of their shirts to do this, wahoo!).

water3I think my favorite show Saturday had to be “Fanta-Stick”. They always mix traditional Korean instruments with upbeat high pace drumming and music. The story of Fanta-Stick starts out that there was a man and a woman who loved each other. God loved them so much that he gave a Heavenly drum to the man and a Heavenly flute to the woman. But the woman become super jealous of the man and tore apart the drum, because the man became obsessed with it. As a result, God hid the Heavenly flute and turned her family into ghosts. (Sounds creepy but was pretty cute). The only way to turn back into human is to play ‘Fanta-Stick’ (get it fantastic, haha) music with the lost heavenly flute. Dunt Dunt Duuuunnnnn..

When the concert actually started i lost track of time and was in line for the slide. I had to wait for my boyfriend and his friend to get back from the bathroom before i could run to the stage so i could take a picture. (It’s why my video is from sooooo far away haha) Thankfully i got there in time for the drumming part of the show. The beginning was very traditional with girls wearing very modern version of a hanbok. Then came out the drumming squad wearing blue one piece mechanic suits. (Their suits make sense during the show because they work in a car garage). I admit through out the show i was a little annoyed at the announcer. I know he was trying to get people to  dance along or hype them up but he was mostly just distracting with his “Yeah… Wahooo” comments every now and again. But at least more shirtless men again made up for the announcer 😉 (Honestly i got to see the Fanta-Stick performance in Sinchon when they were filming the promo video about 2 months ago, they played in the end of the water slide and splashed water everywhere. I was kind of hoping they would do that again it was so fun!)

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I finally got to use the water slide right before the 3rd performance started, Sachoom. An all around b-boy type of show which is my favorite of all the dancing styles. “Sachoom” is also a nonverbal dance musical (can you start seeing a theme of Korean musicals?) The show is full of many different dance styles hip-hop, jazz, contemporary dance, break dancing, fan dance, and more. My favorite dancer is the girl in white shorts. She always has so much attitude when dancing. They did a couple dance, some individual dancing and well as a fan dance. I admit I love watching the fan dance, this is very traditional Korean and i see my kids do it all the time in school assemblies. Yet I love the boys and their b-boy style dancing so much more! It is just so complicating and interesting to watch!

One thing i really enjoy about the groups during these short shows is that at the end they usually pose for pictures, normally if you go to the regular show they do not pose and you have no pictures from the event other then the ticket stub or the posters. It’s really hard sometimes taking photos when they are moving, because it mostly comes out blurry. So hip-hip-hurray for photos!

water21The last show on Saturday that i actually missed was Nanta. It’s a story about a kind of hard driving manager who makes his cooks work really hard. They need extra help in the kitchen due to a big wedding feast he offered them to cook. So he enlist his bumbeling nephew to help. The cooks are kind of annoyed at the prospect of him being the helping chef, but they need him because they can’t finish in time. They did a short segment from the their show. I actually really like Nanta as a short or long show. It is one of those non-verbals that work well with or without a plot. Anyways I realized later looking through my pictures that i missed them by maybe 5-10 minutes. (At the time totally didn’t realize this!) They ended up performing earlier then their scheduled time due to the chance they thought it might rain (and to give them credit, there was some sprinkling). I didn’t realize this was happening so i ended up missing it. When i finally went down the slide and finally reached the end i took a picture of my boyfriend and his friend playing in the kitty pool. I was looking at the pictures later and i saw that they were cleaning the equipment off the stage for Nanta. *sigh*

I’m actually a little upset that i missed the performance, because i sat around waiting for it for about an hour. I even had my boyfriend ask why it was so late. The guy said due to rain. We realized later that he wasn’t talking about Nanta he was talking about DJ Koo Jun-yup. However in the end i did find a video of them performing (totally not my video, 100 don’t claim it) during the event! I admit every time i see them i wonder. Are their knives sharp?? Oh i hope they never mess up! I also love that they make music using normal everyday objects. This is every little kids dream growing up!

I went back again on Sunday to see a few more of the shows. I got to see DrumCat, Bibap and the Pang Show (I missed Jump because i was starving and wanted lunch first). They actually organized the staging much better the second day. They sectioned off the kiddy pool and allowed people to stand in front of the stage. (during Saturday it was mostly only for press) They also had a walk way in between the slide and the pools so you could walk in between both instead of going all the way around the slide (unlike on Saturday).

Anyways the first show that i saw was Bibap it is one of my favorite shows. Another food show named after the famous Korean dish Bibimbap. I usually love everything about this show except one part.. Want to guess what part they picked.. yep the one i hate the semi opera version of the one of the main cooks singing ‘That’s Amore’ (It’s kind of slow paced and brings the shows rhythm down i feel), for the first act. But they ended the show with their normal high pace food making show. I almost think that Bibap is better then Nanta (i thought Nanta was interactive with audiences but Bibap is so much more). Yet honestly both are amazing and  recommend for anyone to see them!

Drumcat is a very interesting show, actually when i saw them at the performance at the theater I really didn’t like them (you can read my review on it, the sound system was soooo loud the show was long and the theme was just weird)! I mean who doesn’t like powerful female roles, they are suppose to be inspiring to girls (but for some reason during their real show it becomes less inspiring more women in short skirts :/).. However when they do their short live performance they are really good and fun to watch! It’s exciting, interesting, makes you want to dance, and it’s just amazing that you can watch an all female cast play drums amazingly well! If they are playing a short set i recommend them 100 percent! If they are playing the whole show i would give it a miss!

The last one i saw on Sunday was the Pang Show. The Pang Show is also another cooking show (I think Korean shows like cooking or drums). It’s super interactive with audiences and has them help make ‘pang’ (bread). The one thing i love about this show the most at the end of their theater performance is the audience gets to eat fresh baked bread! (Yummy!). Anyways during their short show they pulled a little girl up on the stage during the show and have her help with putting the ingredients into the bread however instead of really helping they are performed magic tricks. (they weren’t real magic tricks more like look the ball went away, because i threw it over my head!) I could tell a lot of the little kids seemed to enjoy this show the most, they also all wanted to be the one picked to go on the stage. I think honestly outfit wise it was also the most appropriate for little kids, (No half naked anyone!).

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In all Slide the City and Korea In Motion Festival Show Case was a ton of fun! You got to slide down a 2 1/2 floor slide, see some great performances, and make some amazing memories. The prices for the event wasn’t too bad either. Watching the shows was FREE and open to anyone, however the sliding you had to pay for. For morning tickets it was 15,000 (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.), 18,000 won for the afternoon (2-5:30 p.m.) (However during the event Saturday they had problems putting up the slide and they didn’t get it fully set up till about 12:40 even though it was suppose to start at 10) so they turned morning and afternoon day tickets into all day tickets. The last ticket price was 20,000 won for evening (6-9:30 p.m.). A whole day pass is 30,000 won. For residents who lived in Seodaemun-gu district, morning or evening passes were all 10,000 won. Rental for the rafts were 3,000 won (they had many to pick from regular tubes, airplanes, whales, sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, rafts, crabs, giraffes, etc.). And last was 1,000 won for a bag sticker. (the one thing that i didn’t like was that to buy the tickets, rentals, and bag sticker was the complete opposite direction of the rentals and bag check place)

11692652_10101499486329593_5380784827784020765_nTo be honest the whole event was actually pretty well organized! I did wish they would give you a little bit of a warning before they started a performance. Sometimes the groups would practice and you could see that, other times they started right away and you had to just know. Yet, it was a great way to see tiny parts of each performance and determine if you would like to see the rest of it.

The area is also really great it is in Sinchon which is in the middle of 4 really big universities. There is tons of food and coffee shops around as well as many places to run off and use the bathroom, thankfully! (However finding trashcans is still a treasure hunt.. ‘Dear Korea why do you hide your trash cans?’) But in all they did such a great job and i would definitely do it again next year.  (PS I also made the Korean news. For some reason my boyfriend figured i would so he looked for my picture through the news stations.)

 

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Lussoso Suits

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This year me and my boyfriend both decided that he should probably get a new suit for his upcoming cello performances as well as all his presentations and graduation. So off we went exploring the internet for somewhere to buy a suit in Seoul.

I can tell you right not that my boyfriend, as wonderful as he is, has no idea about anything fashion. When I asked what kind of suit did he want he said.. Not black. Well that isn’t exactly the most helpful of answers when you are looking for a suit but it is a start. We did our research over a 2-3 week time frame. Mostly me showing him designs and asking what he likes and doesn’t like about them. As well as some terminology about the suit design in itself.

He finally got the idea in his head of what he wanted now to find a place that was able to do this. He looked up shops that Korean’s recommended. I looked up shops that Westerner’s recommended and we compared. We had one shop that seemed to be liked by both western and Korean men, Lussoso.

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We went with the Lussoso branch located in Hannam. I thought for being so close to Itaewon that they would be able to speak a little bit of English. However I was wrong. We had to call and make an appointment for a fitting. Was fairly straight forward. However it was mostly just my boyfriend talking. I could understand what was being said but couldn’t communicate back. (However there are a few Lussoso in other places that do have English speaking staff memebers, just not this one).

fabricWe started out picking a fabric the suit would be made out of first. As well as the dress shirt’s fabric. We got two things out of the way. He picked a deep navy colored suit. With a white dress shirt with off white pinstripes. (The sales clerk recommended lavender an i vetoed that before we even got to see.. Not because i have the color, but not my favorite color for a dress shirt and if you are sweating you can see it.)

Next was picking out the style, the cuff of the pants (no cuff), lapels of the jacket (notched) the width of your lapel (should be about same size as the style of ties they like), the length of the jacket, 1 button, 2, 3, or double breasted (2 buttons), placement of buttons high, middle, low (middle), sleeves buttons fixed or surgeons cuff (fixed), have the jacket with darts or without (darts makes it more fitted), pants pleated of flat front (flat, pleated is very old man) the pockets of the pants, the collar design of the dress shirt, vents of the jacket (double vented). It was a lot to decided upon and i have to admit i love White Collar Crime and Neal Caffrey looks pretty damn good in a suit so i already had my boyfriend suit picked out if he knew it or not.

But we got everything to work out the suit and the dress shirt came to a total of 350,000 won ($320). Which for both a custom made suit, as many fitting sessions as you wanted, and dress shirt, was a pretty good deal.

The suit isn’t made in store. they take the measurements and send that away. It takes 1 week for the suit to come back for it’s first fitting. during the first fitting it’s not completely  finished you can still see the tailors guide lines. They just want to make sure it is adjusted enough and to your liking. I admitted the first fitting i didn’t like. Everything was a little baggy, but they said they would fix that and started pinning and reworking their magic.

Our second fitting was the finish product. Well kind of. It ended up having a few problems with it. for some reason the pants were too baggy, the coat was a little too big and long, and for some weird reason the pockets on his pants kept doing the weird batwing thing. I was not happy and i could tell that neither was my boyfriend. So we talked about it with the tailor. The head tailor of the shop even came over and discussed a few ways to improve things and they started re-pinning a bit.

1We left the shot a little defeated the second time. But we just had to wait and see what it would come back like the following week. Well we made our way the the tailor again a week later (We were pushing on time his cello performance was 1 day away and it had to be finished). We got into the job and the suit was perfect! My boyfriend really wanted it fitted (not tight) and i wanted it to look nice (not like a 60 year old vacuum salesman).

In all they were happy to keep modifying the suit until we thought it was perfect. I loved this about the tailor. Sometimes you get the people who charge you per fitting. Others expect you to pay more to have it sent off and redone again. But we are both happy with how the suit turned out.

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