Category Archives: Blogs – Korea Expats

Zero to One Million hits (+35,377)

one million plus hitsStarting in February of 2007, I started this little blog with very little in terms of expectations.  At the end of the month, I had a total of 27 views to the blog.  Most of them were probably mine. 😉

The month after, I had a whopping 50% increase and jumped to 37 views.  Well, it looks like I increased, but actually I decreased from two hits a day down to one because the month of February was only a short month of blogging.  I think I started somewhere in the middle of the month averaging my views per day to being 2/day.  So, yes, a total of 30 days of work got me a total of a view a day basically.  It was depressing and like many who blog, I’m sure I was wondering “what am I doing?”

Somehow, the 3rd month gave me a little inspiration.  Thanks to wordpress, our posts are not just optimized for the internet, but they also show up in some categories on the blog site where other “wanna be bloggers” are able to see our posts and give their support, if not just their curious fingers clicking on our well thought out post titles.  😉

It took me another 4 months (yes 7 months total) before I hit the 1000 views+ mark.  In September, I had almost doubled what I had in terms of website traffic in one month.  The google sandbox is reality.  It takes a while to get a blog (and a lot of hard work & energy spent) to get it more traffic.  Just a few months after in December, I increased my traffic 800%!!!

increase website traffic 800% Continue reading


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“Live from Busan, South Korea, it’s…”

efm logoSome of you already know, but I’ve accepted a job as the Evening Host of Busan’s English Radio station eFM.   The station is at 90.5 on the FM dial and the website is (where you can also listen off the Internet).

I’ll be starting on Monday, July 6th (2009). It’s definitely not something I had planned on doing for this juncture in life, but it’s a welcome change to the relatively stressful life that I was living the past 3 years with Chungdahm Learning (in the Busan region). I may blog about my time at Injoong Education (the parent company of the Busan+ branches of Chungdahm Learning & April English), but that will take a bit of time to write…

I’m looking incredibly forward to this experience and thus far, I’ve learned:

  • I have some REALLY cool coworkers like my sweet & awesome Producer Hana Jo and stylish and kewl writer Ji-wook.  Other cool foreign coworkers like Matthew, Petra and Dennis also prove I’m simply lucky in finding quality coworkers.  Sohee & Haejin along with our cool Team Leader Mikyung also make the days extra special and of course our Executive Director Mr. Koo (General Manager) as well who seems very cool for Korean management. Continue reading


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Talk about sh*t hitting the fan…

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Is it me?  Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”  

Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends.  It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).

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Possible switch in focus for the The Real South Korea…

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14 yo Park Seo Jin

14 yo Park Seo Jin

So, I’m just writing my latest post & I see what looks to be a new feature in the dashboard in WordPress called “Random hot post” which is titled: Semi-Nude Photos of 14-Year Old Draw Controversy.  I seem to recall the title from an article in one of the English Korean newspapers and click on it.  The link takes me to this blog I’ve seen a couple of times & I believe I may have even emailed the writer because he (I believe) is a fellow Busan resident.  His blog is called The Grand Narrative.  His goals of his blog are “providing an in-depth, often irreverent look at Korean social issues…examining issues in depth takes time, and so while this blog is not a daily source of news on Korea, it is ultimately a better means to understanding Korea than most of those sources provide…”  His purpose sounds basically academic and if you read the posts, he writes like an academic for the most part.  Continue reading

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A real update to my life

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Bike crash photo

Bike crash photo

Most days, I don’t feel this is a REAL personal blog — writing about my life and about me.  The posts here are usually about what I’m thinking or what others are thinking & I find interesting.  However, I thought I’d write a tad about ME today…

Why all of a sudden?  Well, I just got the wind knocked out of me riding down the driveway of my building’s parking lot.  I thought to myself “Who in this world right now cares?”  Fortunately, the nice security guard/parking lot attendant came to my rescue and tried to help me.  After catching my breath, checking my leg to see if I was gushing out blood and if I could stand straight up despite what it felt to be a puncture into my rib cage, I told him I was o.k.  The point is that when things like this happen in our life, who ends up hearing about it?  Well, if we’re humble, very few learn about it.  Instead, you want your friends and family to at least hear about your well being.  So, I want the people who care to read about it now.  Continue reading


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Eclipsing the previous visitors and visits record

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Just passed 10,000 views this month (with more than 11 days to go)…

I would have never imagined close to 10,000 people a month would visit this blog.  The keys: a bit of controversy stirred up by a little unfortunate event that happened a couple weeks ago, posts about Korean women & Korean music videos, a few posts about some handy Korean language phrases & an image about a dog that was attacked by a porcupine.  Oh, and maybe the other 450+ posts over the past 18 months.  Continue reading

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Just short of 600 views…

Like I said “porcupines,” “Korean women” and many others like “how to say hello (or thank you) in Korean” are dominating the traffic on the blog these days.  For a snippet of the rest of the popular posts, check out the following WordPress stats for The Real “South” Korea: Continue reading


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These can be useful for the expats in Korea…

U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
July 2008

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know. Continue reading

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Soo-pyo or “checks” in Korean

So, I’m at the “Homeplus” in my building which is like a Walmart in Korea.  It’s actually what’s caused Walmart to go bankrupt in this country along with Emart who I believe ended up buying up some of the old Walmart locations…and potentially Homeplus buying up some of them as well.

Anyway, they are usually great with customer service.  At any time, I’ll get 3 or 4 people scouring the entire store to help me find something.  There were times I was wondering how they got their work done in contrast to the grocery clerk who finds ways to avoid the customer in the states.  I remember clearly when I felt like I was asked many things I didn’t know, but the effort that these Koreans take on in the grocery stores are simply amazing.

Nevertheless, the problem I did face was something in terms of the money system.  I heard or read something briefly that FINALLY, the country is going to create 100,000 won bills instead of the 10,000 bills which are the highest valued currency outside of “checks” which are in the form of 100,000 or 1,000,000 won, but require your signature, phone number and ID number.  Most of the times, after you provide the details I just mentioned, there are no problems.  The checks “look official”, but I’m sure I can understand how someone might also counterfeit it.  On the flip side, like I’ve seen in casinos, they have some ultraviolet light device that can detect if they are authentic or not.  So, at 12:03a one night, I’m buying some groceries and right after the total is accumulated, I give her my “Soo-pyo” or check.  She looks at it funny & then processes it in her cash register.  It says “no way to confirm.”  She basically looks at me, apologizes and says, “Sorry, I can’t accept this.”  I’m looking at her like “what can I do?”  I’ll go up to the bank, but she says we’re closing.  I tell her I have 5 others of these & that she can check any one of these.  Well, all of them fail on her machine, but we go back and forth on her accepting it or not.

After a long ordeal lasting about 10-15 minutes and other customers lining up behind me, she gets a coworker to find out it doesn’t work on the main offices’ machines as well.  Well, I only carry these stupid things because I’m not going to carry around 50 – 10,000 won bills.  It’s just way too bulky.  However, I can’t even use these stupid things at times.

I PRAY the 100,000 won bill comes out soon!


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