I spent the last two years in Korea and just recently got back to Toronto. The most frequently asked question I get is “what’s life like in Korea?” and it’s one of the hardest to answer. I love my two years spent in Korea – at this point it’s the highlight of my life, but sometimes I find it hard to explain why I’ve loved it so much.
It’s hard to explain how I could walk down the street in a wolf hat with attached paws as gloves with my Konglish t-shirt, short shorts and tights and not have people wonder what planet I’ve come from. The oddities of having a bathroom which also doubled as a shower stall, having the windows opened in school during the middle of winter, or eating pizza with sweet potato-filled crust are all things I learned to embrace.
The one thing though that took me a while to get used to seeing but didn’t take me that long to embrace was the partying/drinking culture. For a more extensive review of my take on that, I had written a post about it on my old blog: 5mysausage: drinking culture. Also on that post is when I first found out about a show called K-Town. For a brief synopsis, it’s claim is that it is the Korean version of Jersey Shore. It’s filmed in Los Angeles’ Korea Town, and this would be my response to anyone wanting to find out what the party culture is like in Korea.
The good thing about the show is that it’s available on YouTube and about twenty minutes an episode. It features a bunch of twenty-something year old Koreans trying to put together a huge event. They drink soju-bombs, eat Korean BBQ and talk about various parts of Korean culture.
I should remind you it is a reality show, and while it is based in LA, it is not reflective of all Koreans, but as I watch each episode I am reminded of various happenstances in Korea. While I don’t agree with the level of drunkeness and some of the behaviour on the show, it still brings me back to my years in Korea.
My thoughts about the show when word first leaked about it is also on my old blog post (linked above). Having watched the show, it’s nice to see Koreans popping up more in mainstream media. Typical stereotypes of Asians in the media are the taxi drivers, piano players and people in finance, so it is refreshing to see Asians – in this case, Koreans – being put into a different light. However, I digress, I didn’t design this post to become a commentary on how race is viewed in the media.
For a look into the nightlife in LA’s Korea Town, you can click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rhDjxDLyjk to watch the first episode.
It is currently on the second season.