First impressions of Seoul

My first day in Seoul took memail to Insadong where I am staying in a traditional style Hanok.

The first thing I noticed was how quiet public spaces were. Especially open spaces such as cafés. I didn’t hear a single person shouting into a mobile phone.

Second, the streets areally very clean and I didn’t see any rubbish on the ground.

You can buy hot food anywhere and the snack food carts are really popular.

Although the weather hit below freezing, people were carrying on as usual without being overly wrapped-up against the cold.

I’ve been able to practise speaking Korean and have had good responses sof far.

It might be slightly more rule based than in London and I have noticed there are signs everywhere regarding how and where to board a bus.

I have eaten only in one restaurant and the standard was very high.that’s it for now.

3 years in Koreatown

It’s now been more than three years since I moved from East London to London’s Koreatown and although I occasionally think about leaving, I have never made any serious attempts to do so.

I’ve lived in many different places since I left home. But the first time I managed to feel that I lived in somewhere I could call my own was when I moved to this charming London suburb.

The question I sometimes ask myself is, if I hadn’t have moved to New Malden, would I still be interested in Korea? True, I had liked Korean movies ever since 2005, and I thought that the food was good too. But when I moved to New Malden, which has approximately 10,000 Koreans living here, I realised that food and films were just a few of the things that I would love about Korea.

It was after a few months living here that I began to consider learning the language. It seemed ridiculous at first, but I started to build a list of basic phrases that I could use in the local shops and restaurants.

Korean is a dreadfully complicated language. But I can hold a basic conversation with people and I have a bookshelf crammed with Korean textbooks. I can still remember the first words I learned in Korean. No doubt I was aware of what a big journey I was going on even at the time back then.

As for the people, they have been another reason why I have been learning the language with such enthusiasm.

From the time I first started meeting Korean women, I have been  near-obsessed with talking, getting to know them, and spending time with them. In the last three years I have gone on more dates than I had in my life up until that point.

I still feel a pang of something when I think back to the first time I went out with a Korean woman. Although she was older than me (and married) we had an electric connection. Without doing anything physical, she turned me on completely, just because of her attitude and her aura. I’ve been looking for this in other women but I’ve never managed to find it.

I had to wait a several months before my first Korean girlfriend, but when it happened it was completely worth it.

I see that I’m not the only one in my town who likes Korean women. And to be honest, it’s not hard to see why men would prefer them to other women. Not only are they (usually) very smart, they are super-sexy, without being trashy or slutty.

As for now, I’m blissfully happy living in New Malden with Korea on my doorstep, but I want more. That’s why I’m travelling to South Korea on the Tuesday after Christmas.  I’ve waited three years for this moment and it’s finally approaching. Part of me wishes I had been able to travel earlier, before the birth of Korean cool that has seen the numbers of foreign visitors go up from 9 million in 2012 to 13 million in 2015.  But there is no right time, I guess.

It’s going to be one amazing adventure and you can follow it all on here. I just wish you could come along too.

What kind of men do Asian women go for?

If you’re a western guy and you’re interested in dating a girl from Asia, what are they looking for? I believe that all women are different but there are a few characteristics in Western men that I think Asian women are attracted to.

Number one: kindness. The ‘nice guys finish last’ concept doesn’t apply to Asian women. In fact, it would be a real disadvantage if you tried to treat them with a lack of decency. Most western women will play games, deliberately making men wait before calling or texting back. But Asian women will be constantly in touch with you and will expect you to call them frequently. The more you call them, or be in communication, the more they will like you.

Number two: men with a normal body shape. I mean, not the kind of gym-toned physique that is held up as the ideal shape amongst western men. I’m basing this solely on the guys I see dating Asian women. Now, maybe they are as attracted to these gym rats as Western women are, but it doesn’t seem this way, and I very rarely see someone with bulging biceps with an Asian woman.

Number three: unattractive, or plain, homely looking men. Maybe Asian women have  a different aesthetic when it comes to standards of male attractiveness, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve noticed the imbalance of physical attractiveness in a White male/Asian female couple. The kind of guys who get nowhere with women from their own country are able to get with out and out knockouts. I’ll keep talking about this until I start seeing a less attractive Asian woman with a more attractive white guy, but I haven’t yet. By the way, Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho has a great gag about very attractive Asian women with ugly white guys. You can watch it here:  

Number four: being an intellectual. In other words, you can be a geek, and it won’t be held against you. Why it would be a problem I don’t know. But most western women are idiots, so what can you expect? I feel that I’m not judged by Asian women if I prefer to stay in and read or learn a language instead of going out.


Why I don’t like Korea fans

What’s your passion? Is it an interest that you enjoy sharing with others or is it an activity that you pursue alone? Maybe you enjoy meeting up with people who also share your passion.

Or is it difficult to find someone who likes the same things as you? I am a huge fan of Korea and if I wanted to I could attend many meet-ups for fans of Korea. But I choose not to. Here’s why. I already know what I like about Korea. I’m not really interested in listening to what others have to say about it. Maybe they know more than I do, or maybe they don’t. But I know from painful experience that it can be frustrating to listen to others drone on about something which you care about. It’s also why I don’t enjoy book groups because I find myself disagreeing when ever someone shares their opinions on the book, or I can’t understand why they don’t like it for the same reasons I do.

That’s why I don’t bother attending any fan meet-ups that I see advertised on Facebook. I’m very happy watching Korean films whenever there is a festival, but I’m not interested in hearing what any non-Korean has to say about them. Sometimes a passion shared is a passion weakened.

I went to a Korean language class and it was terrible, because it was full of people talking about Korea but they didn’t know anything. If I want to learn about Korea I will do it by getting to know other Koreans. It’s the only way as far as I’m concerned.

This year, I will be visiting Korea for the first time. I heard that it’s really cold in winter. So maybe there will be fewer foreign tourists. Well, I can only hope…