Maybe you’ve been looking around on Facebook and seen the ads for the company called “Ask Ajumma.” What is Ask Ajumma? Or better yet, WHO is Ask Ajumma? Café Seoul leaves no stone unturned in our quest to find out one of the biggest mysteries of expat life…. (Okay, we actually just Asked Ajumma). Ask Ajumma is in fact an actual person, Maria Lee.
News of the Weird w/ Eugene
On the Pulse w/ Rob
All about Maria Lee and the Ask Ajumma Concierge Service. In a nutshell, the service helps those with language or cultural barriers or those who just don’t want to deal with ordering or finding things. It will find anything you want and find a way to deliver it to you.
Eugene and Rob finally break the sausage party habit for good… with our third straight female guest. Never mind that it’s Eugene’s mom on the show. Eugene’s stepfather is also there to discuss what it is like to have a loved one move away to Korea long term.
Image stolen from fineartamerica.com
News of the Weird:
On the Pulse
Eugene’s Mom and Pop discuss what it’s like to have a loved one gone long term in a foreign country. For many of us expats, we say we are going away temporarily and that we’ll be back eventually. Oh sure, I’ll be back tomorrow! So how do the folks back home feel when tomorrow never dies? We discuss with Eugene’s mom and stepfather how things are back home without Eugene, and how everyone involved has been coping.
Special Thanks to Jen Lee for illustrating this awesome title card for this episode!
How can we get the most awesome guests on our show. There’s this one webcomic artist that I’ve had my goldeneye on for the longest time, but she lives in Gwangju and that’s really far. It would be really cool if we could get her in on Café Seoul.
Well it turns out that in order to get Jen Lee, the creator of Dear Korea on our podcast, she had to write a book and host an event to promote said book in Seoul, and we were able to snag her with an unconventional Sunday morning recording in our not usual spot. She bought us croissants and as you can tell from the picture, she was unable to match Eugene’s mad defensive skills as he blocked shot after shot into Rob’s coffee cup! Just kidding! It’s such an honor to be Dear Koreafied! Thanks Jen!
News of the Weird
- Chinese detergent company makes “racist” TV ad
Ask Rob & Eugene: What is the best way to be critical of Korea without being insulting?
On the Pulse
We discuss the Dear Korea webcomic and book with creator Jen Lee. The discussion goes from how she got started, to what her motivations are, why she wanted to make a book, how some of the reaction to the book has been, plans for the future and the like. We were very honored to have her on the show. We’re true fanboys!
When you come to Korea to find yourself… is it actually possible that you weren’t looking in the right way, for the right thing?
This episode is the second appearance of Sharon Heit, who we last saw in episode 3 of this season. She’s got her newly minted yoga instructor’s license, to kill her students by putting them in difficult yoga positions. Just kidding, she wouldn’t be killing them. Sharon was a pleasure to have in this episode and it’s kind of sad that she’s actually leaving Korea.
News of the Weird w/Rob
On the Pulse w/ Eugene
As we mentioned before Sharon was soon to leave Korea, and we wanted to discuss what she’s learned from her time in Korea. Now a lot of times when you ask an expat what they have learned from their time in another culture, they will give you their assessment of the country as succinctly as possible, but this discussion is different, because Sharon explains how her time in Korea has taught her more about herself, and helped her grow. I don’t think we need to say it again, but I will anyway. We are so going to miss Sharon. Man, is it getting dusty in here?
This episode also used a short segment from this song about earwax, and the Seoul subway song:
There comes a time in the expat experience where long-timers begin to realize that they aren’t ever leaving. In the second half of the show we discuss that in depth, but it was a real pleasure to have longtime fan Paul Matthews in the “studio” with us. He made a play to get ahead of Sky for #1 fan status.
Stolen from spectorspector.com
News of the Weird w/Eugene
The scene at Gwangalli Waterside Park after Children’s Day.
Reverse Culture Shock it to Me w/ Olivia – Paying in cash to get discounts
On the Pulse w/Rob
Stolen from Paul’s facebook page with his permission.
Paul Ajossi discusses how some immigrants have been in Korea long enough to know that they will probably be here forever, and they’ve made peace with that. For some, this might be a realization that might scare the living daylights out of you, but it seems that Rob and Paul are totally okay with living here the rest of their lives. Eugene says he isn’t quite a lifer yet, but Paul says he is already. You can find Paul on the radio every morning on tbs eFM, as well as on his blog or on his twitter.
Special Thanks go out to Sky for making these really cool logos! He really really is making his case as #1 fan, and Sky, we’d really love to have you come into our studio and shoot the breeze with us.
Finally! The fabled, long awaited Baby Box episode! I’m sure you listeners out there have had enough of the discussions about which superhero films are good and which aren’t, or who’s a cool expat doing cool stuff, so this episode is a bit of a serious one. Perhaps you found your way here as you were linked from somewhere else to either defend or argue against the baby box. If so, welcome. This writeup will get to the baby box soon enough.
News of the Weird w/Eugene
- Korean Girls Try American Pizza
Ask Rob and Eugene
- Why do both Rob and Eugene care about adoptee issues if neither of us are adoptees?
On the Pulse w/Rob
The baby box…
And this is where the show gets a bit on the heavy side. We were put in touch with Ross Oke who is a human rights activist to discuss the baby box. Admittedly, going into the conversation, all three of us are very much against the baby box and view it as a violation of human rights of children who are being abandoned in these boxes. The discussion is great and Ross expertly answered all of our questions and then some, but there is so much more information that exists out there and I encourage you all to do your own research and develop your own conclusions. Here
are some sources
for your perusal
. There did use to be a lot more readily available hard statistics on the matter but the website they are contained on is not currently available, but in short, a common defense of the baby box is that it prevents infanticide, which statistically is not the case. In fact, infanticides slightly increased once the baby box arrived on the scene in Korea, showing that there is little to no correlation between baby boxes and infanticides (as a causal relationship would show infanticides on the decrease once the box appeared, but the statistics show otherwise.)
Special thanks in this episode:
Other show notes:
We mentioned Jen Lee, the brilliant mind behind the Dear Korea comic released her first book. It can be purchased here. Jen also has confirmed that she will appear on an upcoming episode of Café Seoul! YAY! We should get a view to a kill or two out of that episode!
I guess I need to clarify that this IS a Korea related podcast, but a certain chemistry and passion comes out when Rob and Eugene are geeking out. So in this episode, we have a debate about the somewhat controversial film Batman vs. Superman. We also have a special guest nerd, longtime listener Jae Choi joins us to help shed some light on this film.
If Superman’s symbol means hope, what does Batman’s mean?
This is one of the few times you will see Eugene and Rob disagree about something. Rob was very unhappy with this film, while Eugene thought it was good. Response to the film is overwhelmingly negative out there. If we were to compare it to James Bond films, Rob would probably say it’s on par with something as terrible as Octopussy, whereas Eugene would choose one of the Dalton films.. hideously underrated.
And once again.. this IS a Korea related podcast.. Honest!