Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 21: Reverse Reverse Culture Shock

Ever felt like a kid in a chocolate factory? Things are pretty awesome at first but then you see what happens when you lose sight of what's important. So then you go home and things are great at first but you feel out of place because nobody else has been living in a chocolate factory like you. So you return and it's just.. not... the same... RIP Gene Wilder

Oh lookie! Eugene made a meme out of a meme he made out of a meme he made.  RIP Gene Wilder

Ever felt like a kid in a chocolate factory? Things are pretty awesome at first but then you see what happens when you lose sight of what’s important. So then you go home and things are great at first but you feel out of place because nobody else has been living in a chocolate factory like you. So you return and it’s just.. not… the same… Is reverse reverse culture shock a thing? I suppose it’s possible that one could be dealing with a veritable roulette table of emotions. But in the casino royale of globalism, it’s quite possible that there’s a class of people that just don’t really feel comfortable in either country A or country B… and that is why we have invited former longtime expat Joe Mondello to this episode. Joe lived in Korea for most of the ’00s and early ’10s. He’s since returned to the US, but is back here for a short visit.

News of the Weird

On the Pulse – Joe Mondello, Rob, and Eugene discuss reverse reverse culture shock.

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 20: The Only Goth in Korea

Neil Gaiman's Death. From

Neil Gaiman’s Death. From here.

Do you ever feel…

Strewn with times’s dead flowers

Bereft in deathly boom

Alone in a darkened room

Who doesn’t? If you went to high school in the West in the 90s, if films like The Crow, or bands like The Cure moved your deepest heart, you might have a little Goth in you. Though Bela Lugosi is still dead, you get to die another day, and today, you can meet Hyunsu, a university student who is “The Only Goth in Korea.”

Is she really the only goth in Korea? Is it easy to find black nail polish in Seoul? And how do the fantasy works of Rick Riordan fit into the picture? Click “play” and find out!

Also this episode:

News of the Weird

Ask Rob & Eugene – Why do Korean products cost more in Korea than overseas?

On the Pulse – Discussing Korean goth culture with Hyunsu, the ONLY goth in Korea

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 19: Ask Ajumma

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

Ask Away!!!

Ask Away!!!

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. They go above and beyond to get you what you want, even if you’re the type of person for whom the world is not enough. Try them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 18: While You’re Gone

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

Image stolen from


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.



Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 17: Dear Korea

Special Thanks to Jen Lee for illustrating this awesome title card for this episode!

Special Thanks to Jen Lee for illustrating this awesome title card for this episode!

Dear Korea,

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!

Café Seoul Season 4, Episode 16: Full Circle

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?

Full Circle!

Full Circle!

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:

Café Seoul Season 4 Episode 15: You’re a Lifer!

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

Stolen from

News of the Weird w/Eugene


The scene at Gwangalli Waterside Park after Children's Day.

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.

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.