Jeong (n.) Human warmth and mutual sacrifice.
This word comes from Ask a North Korean, which I’m currently reading. It’s in a section describing the economic conditions. When you’re poor, people value jeong as the way to help others and to have the right attitude to band together and survive.
ESL Watch is a very useful website for teachers looking for jobs. Like Yelp or Trip Advisor it offers reviews of employers worldwide in the field of English as a Second Language. If you want to avoid a horrible job, checking this site can help you steer clear of the dodgy employers.
Like anything, you have to discern whether the reviewer is a hot head or the employer pretending to be a satisfied teacher. Despite this, it’s a step in the right direction.
The Last Princess (2016) captivated me with its dramatic history. It’s a film about a Korean Princess named Deok Hye, who lived from 1912 to 1989. Her father was Emperor when Japan was invading most of Asia. The Japanese wanted to control him, but couldn’t so they poisoned him. A few years later when Deok Hye was 13 she was sent to Japan to be educated. Though she didn’t want to go, she did to protect her mother.
As she grew, she realized she would never be allowed to return to Korea. The Japanese feared that this young, determined woman would stir up rebellion. When she was young, her father had hoped she’d marry Jang-Han Kim comes to Japan hoping to find a way to save her. He’s an officer in the Japanese army, but works with a group of underground rebels, who’re plotting to get the princess and her uncle back to Korea and to attack the core leaders of the Japanese army.
Throughout the film, the main villain isn’t a Japanese officer, but rather a Korean turncoat, Han Taek-soo, who was behind the emperor’s poisoning and will stop at nothing to please the Japanese by manipulating and spying on the Korean royals.
It’s decades before Deok Hye has a real chance to return to her home country. Along the way she bravely faces hardship, sorrow and betrayal.
Ice cream is a summer delight, but somehow Japan adds its own spins, usually cute ones, to icy treats. I just happened upon Simon and Martin because YouTube thought I’d like them. Maybe because I’ve been watching 2Hearts1Seoul videos by a couple in Korea.
I just read that in a given week more video minutes are uploaded than were produced in the last 30 years of television. I’m not sure whether they’re counting all the television produced worldwide, while counting all worldwide YouTube videos. (Statistical problem there if they are.)
It’d be cool if a couple or family in China had a YouTube channel, but how could they with the sanctions and censorship?
When I went to Seoul a couple weeks ago with my friend Tanis, she really noticed the Koreans’ beautiful, bright and clear skin. She was awfully impressed and made me notice.
Back in Jinan I did some investigating and this article in the Wall St. Journal caught my eye as did an article in Allure. Intrigued, I’ve been scouting around for shops that sell Korean skin care products. It’s something of a challenge and new hobby. So far I’ve found seven. I’ve been to Tony Moly where I started with a purchase of 3 sheet masks. I didn’t think I’d like them, but wow, my skin is so soft after I use them. My new routine is to use them on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.
After reading the Wall St. Journal article and checking out some blogs like Soko Glam, I figured I ought to try this two-step cleansing. The idea is you need to use an oil-based cleaner to really get your skin clean and follow up with an ordinary cleaner. So I went back to Tony Moly, which is in Parc 66 downtown and got their Lemon Oil cleaner, mainly because I figured it would smell good and it wasn’t too expensive. That’s a great thing about a lot of these Korean products — they’re easy on the wallet. (Though you can get some pricey department store items that cost $159 for a 4 ounce jar. No, thank you.)
On my second trip to Parc 66 I found banila.co down the way from Tony Moly. There I got Clean it, another kind of cleanser, which I alternate with the lemon cleanser. What’s great about banila co is they give samples. Bravo!
I knew I needed or wanted something to exfoliate so I’m trying Skin Food’s Rice Mask Wash Off. I found Skin Food at Shinmao International Mall.
I’m not up to a 10-step regimen and doubt I’ll go that far, but I’m sure there will be more. In the mean time I’m educating myself with videos like this one by Joan Kim. I like that she does these in Korean and English. I admire anyone who’s bilingual. Watch with subtitles.
For the long Qing Ming weekend, I’ve come to Seoul. My friend and I arrived at 9:15 pm and I figured it would take an hour to get through immigration (which turned out to take much longer) so we opted for a the Grand Hyatt Incheon which promised a 24 hour shuttle and was just a short distance from the airport.
The problem was the lines in immigration were so long and we didn’t get through till about 11:30pm. The lack of signage at Incheon airport caused a short delay in finding where the Hyatt shuttle stop was. At the Information Desk we were told that the shuttle stopped at 11 so we should use the free airport shuttle. Once we found that stop we saw that the next shuttle would be at 12:12. Ugh!
Had I known, I’d have done something different. We considered getting a cab, but were tired and the idea of changing money and sorting through the touts and cheats seemed too much.
The bus appeared on time and several of us got on board. A few minutes later we were dropped a few blocks, yes a few blocks away from the hotel. The driver who spoke little English just pointed in the distance. We got out and searched for a hotel sign. It was dark and desolated. Not what we wanted upon arrival. We eventually saw what looked like might be our Hyatt. Then the bus approached and the driver, who’d just been waiting for his next run, pointed across the street. That’s the Hyatt.
We crossed and entered a building that had a dark sign that you couldn’t read from the sidewalk. Inside we determined we were in the back of the hotel amidst the restaurants. Eventually, we found the lobby without the aid of a sign.
The receptionist was graceful and apologetic but offered little to make our unpleasant feelings dissipate. She told us we could have called them and we’d have been picked up. Well, then instruct the staff at the airport Information Desk to tell your guests that. We just did what made sense — asked Information and followed their directions.
We had expected that since our booking was done by a friend with Diamond status that we’d get access to breakfast in the lounge. That’s what happened in the past. The receptionist said we didn’t and that he didn’t have Diamond status, which I know is wrong. In the end we got newer room, but it was a long unpleasant experience. It was really odd that a staff member offered to assist us with our bags and then took us to the elevator put our bags on it and left saying goodbye.
Now I do feel guilty for whinging about “First World problems” but we did pay for this hotel room and chose it based on the 24 hour shuttle promise on the website. Just change the website to state what actually is offered. 6am to 11pm is not 24 hours. Every 15 minutes is not twice an hour.
Dear EFL Professional,
If you’re wondering whether to take a job with Yucui “Education” Consultancy, Xiang Jiang High School, or Korea National University of Education, contact me. I can give you the low down. Not just my opinion, but that of others.
Remember I’m here to help.