So I have been getting an increasing amount of mails lately all asking the same things, so it is time for a FAQ I suppose to cut down on that!
Check here before you mail me a general question please!! Ones in red annoy me the most :/
Why do you live in Korea
Because my Fiance is Korean and we had to move here so he could fulfill his 2 year required military service with the ROK
Why did you make this blog?
I made this blog because I could not relate to any of the other blogs/bloggers on Korea or from Korea, I just cant! Most blogs based in Korea are usually touristy, jaded, teachers talking about teaching, or hardcore Korea fangirls and this is some new and exotic experience for them, the magic and wonders of chopsticks, kimchi, everyone is Asian, the toilet seats are heated!!
I wanted to know more about fun events, places, foods, brands etc here as a local looking to do things VS as a foreigner in Korea-land but Naver is very annoying to navigate in general (even if you speak Korean) and anything awesome required lots of hunting for addresses and internet digging, so I decided to finally make a place to share what I do, like, and discover with others + provide as much info as possible. I want to share a side of Korea that I personally enjoy and also educate readers when I can from a different perspective and approach ♥ hopefully you guys will find it interesting!
How are you able to see your Fiance if he is in the ROK military service?
Nara has an injury that allowed him to be exempt from the normal service, he works in a government office 9-5pm to fulfill his obligation now… so it is just like a normal job, only he does not get paid lol
How did you meet Nara?
We met our first year of school at Ringling College of Art and Design, Nara came to the USA from Korea to major in Animation. We have been together about 10 years now.
What do you do for a living?
I have a BFA in art and freelance full-time as an illustrator from a home office. This was a career I had before I moved here, but I also have experience working as a staff artist with companies~ freelance is great for me atm because I can work with clients all over the world, while living physically here in Seoul. My website is http://www.misskika.com I work with the girls/youth market mainly. Yes, artists can actually make money lol.
Where did you live before Korea?
I was born and raised in South West Florida, studied for a year in Nagoya Japan when I was 16, went to college in Florida for Illustration where I met Nara, and after graduation we moved out to San Fransisco, California for 4 years before we finally came here to Seoul. Nara lived in Korea till he was 5, moved to London till he was around 10, back to Korea till he was 13, lived in Russia till he was 17, and went to college in the USA where he remained to work~ so he is quite a mixture of backgrounds lol!
How are you able to stay in Korea? What visa do you have?
I have enrolled in language class a few times and been given a student visa, but currently I am here on a tourist visa till I get married and can apply for a residents visa as Nara’s wife. Tourist visa’s last 90 days if you are an American, and before they expire Nara and I just take a vacation to Japan or something to renew it since Japan is awesome and super close. You just have to exit and re-enter the country to get a new 90 days.
How do I move to Korea to live?
Why do people keep asking me this? Get a job here and buy a plane ticket or marry a Korean… it is just like any other country, you need to be a student, have a job sponsor your a visa, or marry a citizen in order to LIVE here, but you can always visit here for a length of time on a tourist visa. Mainly the only jobs a foreigner can get that will sponsor your visa are teaching in English, other jobs exists (like models, working for a company, etc) but they are a bit few and far between. 90% of the people walking around here are English teachers for a reason… its pretty much the main job they want foreigners here for.
I want to move to Korea because I love K-pop and Dramas
I get lots of E-mails with people saying this… hard to me to understand I guess since I am not a die-hard fan or either really. If you want to come here because you think it will be like dramas and K-pop and I assure you it is not :/ lol That is like wanting to move to Japan because you think it is like Anime. Heck, I WISH it was like the dramas~ but you have to understand that Dramas and K-pop are products that are just made here. Would you think a Korean person was a bit silly for wanting to move to America because they liked Lady Gaga and Gossip Girl? Same thing ^^
Can you buy me XXX and mail it to me?
NOPE~ sorry I am not a shopping service nor do I have an online store at this time.
Can you blog about XXX?
I am always looking for suggestions on what to blog about next, I still have so much to cover! If you have a request PLEASE post it HERE on my request page so its online for others to see and agree with if they wish. If it goes to my e-mail the chances I will loose or forget it are very high lol.
Can you help me write a blog/essay/post about XXX?
No. Articles I post here I spend a LOT of time on digging all over the internet and Nara spends a lot of time helping me translate information I dig up that I think would be interesting for readers to know that may not be available in English. Korean brands, shop info, etc I try to make sure if the info I want is not online in English (or Korean) that I find it or call places to find it out myself. I am here to inform MY readers, not assist you with your work. I would post soooo much more often if I just slapped photos up here without any details on what it is, where to buy, who made it, etc.
If you are going to use this site as a resource, it would be very nice (and appreciated) to give us a link & credit on your post.
How do you find out what to blog about? Where do you find all this cute stuff and places?
I have lived here a while, so some things are personal discoveries and others are things I find on the Korean internet through a lot of deep digging. Now that I am better at navigating around the Korean blogs I have started to unearth a lot more cool finds~ still though, just like with any internet searching it can be very time-consuming for me personally!
Can you tell me how to get to XXX or other specific details/ special requests just for me?
I am NOT a tour guide, I am posting to share my info with you to help you here… but please do not ask for extra specific things unless my instructions are lacking. In the future I may make a few trip schedules up for people to follow if they want, but I am getting so many e-mails now from people asking me to essentially plan and write out details just for them. Please use the info I have on this site to help you make choices, and if you have a request about a location or place I have not covered you can post a request on the request page~ but I am not here to plan your trip and hold your hand through the vacation process.
How do I buy tickets? How do I find XXXX? How do I do this and that and whatever?
If it is not posted and is something you think would be of value to others if I made a post about it, please write to me on the requests page! If I have not posted about it yet you can assume I do not know though. I’m just one person of course ^^ I dont know everything here~ and what I do know I am sharing with you on the blog.
Can you speak and/or read Korean?
I can read (but its quite slow atm, not fast enough for Karaoke yet) and I can communicate on a basic level, but it is mainly one-sided conversations. I can say what I need, feel, want, etc but I cant have a proper conversation in length for long because I am still learning a lot vocab at this stage. Nara + his parents speak English fluently so I only really use Korean when I am out on my own ^^ Need to study more!
I have taken Korean classes at Sogang and Edae, I highly recommend the Edae classes~ Sogang moved too fast and I hated the structure and reading materials so much.
Where do you live?
In Seoul~ close to the Green Line which is great because I am in between Gangnam and Hongdae.
How long have you lived in Korea? How long do you plan to stay?
Since 2011, but since I have been with Nara 10 years I have been coming to Korea for quite come time for vacations. One summer I stayed here 2 months and lived in “student housing” which is basically a closet-sized room you can rent here. Nara finishes his service in May 2013, we like Korea and don’t mind staying~ but that depends on if we can find jobs here that work with our degrees. We both left fairly high-paying jobs to come here and get his service done, so we are getting to the point that was are ready to work again and live comfortably once more. Nara has an animation degree and worked for Dreamworks animation (Shrek, Dragons, Madagascar, etc) before moving here, and I was at Zynga games~ so unless we can find something that good we will have to move where we make the most money. Korea just does not pay artists or animators enough it seems~ who knows though! We are looking around and deciding what to do at this point ^^
Who made your site, logo, etc?
I did! Advantages of being an artist/designer I guess. The blog is made with WordPress, but hosted on my own domain.
What camera do you use?
I have a Canon S100 Power Shot~ I wanted something that would get the job done, but be very light and small so I could have it in my bag every day. I use Photoshop to edit. Nara’s photos (which look much more sophisticated) are taken with a Canon 5D Mark II, but he also has a 60D that he uses from time to time as well. I’m not sure about his lenses…he has a bunch :/
What is your favorite Korean XXX?
Favorite Korean food- Samguypsal
Favorite Korean makeup brand- Etude House,
Favorite Korean clothing brand- SOUP, Codes Combine, Plastic Island,
Favorite Korean Singer/Group- Orange Caramel, Insooni
Did you write about XXX yet?
I have a search bar on the top right of my site~ It does a fairly good job locating posts here on my page related or containing the keyword you type! Please give it a try or check out the drop down menus at the top of my site, I have tried to organize and group them for you to find what you want easily.
Can we be pen-pals?
Sorry, I am really busy and have zero free time for penpals~ any free time I get goes into answering comments here on the site!
Do you read other Korea blogs or watch Korea vloggers?
No, most I cant even stand because I simply can not relate to them or the things they say usually. The only ones I read on a regular basis are “The Grand Narrative” and “Korea Bang” for news, topics, and social commentaries or issues. In terms of fun content like what I post, I only read (lol well more like browse) Korean blogs because I want to find new things.