HELLO FRIENDS! Doesn’t it feel like it’s been forever? Because it has!!! I’m sort of on this roller coaster experience over here: playing that how-many-different-ways-can-you-describe-this-forgotten-vocab-word game with store clerks, losing grasp of English grammatical structure in pursuit of the Korean one, meeting and re-meeting tons of people, making my way around the city, exploring new dish and drink territory, and getting ridiculous KPOP songs stuck in my head (can’t help it, seriously).
I won’t overwhelm you all at once, so here’s a small piece of my past week and a half…
This is one of the restaurants of one of my Dad’s friends who owns restaurants. It’s on one of my favoritefavoritefavorite streets in Seoul called 가로수길 (Ga-roh-soo-gil) that you can walk the length of in maybe 15 minutes and is packed with fabulous cafes and stores and street-side handmade jewelry stands.
But even more awesome? Being friends with a lovely little girl named Yun-ae, the daughter of my Dad’s friend (the owner of Corner Cafe). So whenever we meet, it’s often here at this bright second-story spot. It’s wonderful. Especially because we’re kind of at the same level of Korean language-learning. …HA, WOW. Who am I kidding. I actually rely on her to correct everything I say. (Often she just asks me to speak in English since she has no idea what I’m trying to say in Korean.) And she likes helping me with my homework, which is kind of a sweet deal.
On this particular beautiful warm sunny Korean summer day, models were all over 가로수길. I mean, lots of girls walking around Seoul look like they could be models. (A lot of them look extremely unhealthy, too, actually, but maybe I’ll save that for another post…) But you could tell these ones were models because there were people with cameras in front of them. Consequently, I would like to give a brief, probably biased and un-researched delineation of Korea’s current definition of beauty:
- thiiin: though at the same time there’s an “S-line” beauty campaign that’s supposed to define a woman’s curves, which just doesn’t match up with straight-up skinniness;
- whitewhite skin: this means that most lotions are promoted as having whitening effects; and
- supernarrow faces: imagine a V-shaped face.
Obviously, every country will have their of-the-moment image of beauty, and this is just what I’ve increasingly noticed in Korea over the years.
Oh, also, the biggest boy bands in Korea right now are way too pretty. It honestly freaks me out. I’ll listen to their songs on the radio, okay. But it’s not enjoyable to see eyeliner-ed faces on the subway poster ads/variety television shows/commercials/anywhere where vision is utilized. Feminine guys are in right now or something.
Alright, I’m out! Tomorrow is July 1, which means I can go to the Ewha University FITNESS CENTER for the first time with my awesome colorful new Fitness Center MEMBERSHIP CARD at 7 in the morning! YAY.
I hope you all are doing well, too! And that some of all this rings interesting. Every day I’m here I feel like I see and understand something new about this culture. It’s a phenomenon I want you to see some of, too. South Korea is SO NEW, really!