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.



3 responses to “Café Seoul Season 4 Episode 15: You’re a Lifer!

  1. I have to disagree with the “get into the food” comment when it comes to enjoying life in Korea. I’ve been here for 10 years, have learned Korean, and have felt perfectly content with eating a largely international diet of food. I eat Korean food, but it is hilarious meeting expats who brag about “Hey man, I only eat Korean food, because like, I’m going for the FULL experience..” Another mind-boggling situation is when foreigners who are not fluent in Korean, tell me (a person who has taken the time and put forth the effort to learn Korean and meet/interact with Koreans) that I am somehow not ‘assimilated’ because I don’t eat mostly Korean food. Sorry dudes, it’s not for everyone, just as we shouldn’t expect immigrants to the UK to enjoy local food over their countries’ native foods either.

    Food is food. Pick and choose what suits you. Korea is unique in that it (government/interest groups) propagandizes local food to the point where it can sometimes feel like they are pushing it on you. Food is part of culture, but is not culture in an of itself. Large numbers of Koreans do not subside solely on Korean food and would think it was ridiculous to see a foreigner who refuses to eat nothing but Korean food. One host of another podcast continually boasts about eating nothing but Korean food. What’s the point? Out-Koreaning the Koreans?

    • This is a valid point. I (Eugene) actually do agree with you that your degree of assimilation shouldn’t quite be measured on how often one consumes Korean food. I think what I would say about getting into the food is that you should be open to trying new things, and its perfectly okay once you’ve tried it to decide that you don’t like it. In fact, if given the option of Korean food or good non-Korean food, I’ll take the non-Korean option simply because I like a little variety.

      Thank you for the comment!

      • Rob here. I think it’s a stretch to interpret “get into the food” as “consume only Korean food” — as with everything, “YMMV” — your mileage may vary. Personally, food is an important enough part of the way I enjoy my life that it helps me to enjoy living in Korea when I put in the time to find Korean foods I like, and then go out and eat them. It’s certainly not all I eat, but if I disliked it enough that I actively avoided it, I can’t imagine any way I could have lived here this long.

        Ability to find and enjoy good non-Korean food is also quite contingent on where one lives — it’s much easier to survive on good international foods while living in Haebangchon than, say, Gimhae.

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