Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I wasn't expecting to enjoy traveling alone as much as I did, but there were some lonely moments--some times when I felt really alienated visiting such a homogeneous culture that I wasn't a part of, and some nights where I felt a little scared to be alone so far from home. Thank god for television! It really is like an electric friend--and I left my friend on whenever I was home.

The commercials on Korean television are often hilarious and always super-annoying. I saw a bunch that used American pop songs in really incongruous and unintentionally funny ways--like using "You Had a Bad Day" to advertise a scary zombie show.

There was always at least one channel playing American movies or television--luckily I like police procedurals. A lot of "Sex and the City" (which has apparently ushered in the practice of having brunch to the Land of Morning Calm) and "America's Funniest Home Videos". There were also some Spanish-language soaps.

On the Korean-language channels there always seemed to be playing some serious-looking Josean-era palace soap opera that seemed really excrutiating to watch.

And some positively terrifying cooking shows.

There was always at least one channel broadcasting English lessons. There was a channel that always showed someone explaining how to play video games, and three golf channels (wow).

Any images on television of people smoking, drinking, or doing drugs were pixelated or blurred out, but there was always this comical period-piece soft-core porn set in traditional hanok playing at 5 or 6 a.m.--a time slot I tend to associate with the "Sesame Street" set.

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