Tag Archives: lists

TWD WonderJournalism Exclusive: Dangerous Flavor Combinations Drive Expats to the Very Edge of Sanity!

BREAKING NEWS: Your favorite internet journalists are back, Readers, and we’re hungry for truth. Hungry….for donuts. First, we brought you the word on Korean gas station triangle food, now we’ve shifted our focus to circles. Specifically, the circles of the oddly prolific chain Dunkin Donuts. How did these American tongues react to Korean twists on classic pastries? How did they manage to eat this many donuts? How did they cope with surprising fillings? This and so much more, below!

For your convenience, donuts were rated on a .5-5 chopsticks scale.

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Weird Shit on Korean TV: Movies that Inexplicably Speak to Erin

I would guess that most foreigners in Korea don’t spend much time in front of their Samsung TVs because our homes are little English islands full of English books, English music and English TV/movies on the internet. Sometimes, though, you just don’t want to lay in bed with your laptop resting on your stomach, the screen 6 inches from your face. (Read: you are hungover.) This is the critical time when you turn on your TV and hope to God there’s an American/British film on NOT starring Steven Seagal. (Although his website is the most amazing combination of martial arts, arrogance and energy drinks you’ve ever seen.)

Steven Seagal, pandering to his audience

It is this precise circumstance that has brought you this list – a list of 5 inexplicably overplayed English-language films on Korean TV. And why I can’t stop watching them.

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Korean Konveniences

The whole ‘Let’s live abroad!’ experience is rife with change, this isn’t news. And on this blog we make sure everyone knows which big changes are not appreciated (beer and toilets, thank you). But what makes living in different countries such a unique experience is not simply the radical, life-changing, culture shock differences, but the minor ones, the fun ones that are often overlooked but always awesome to recall in some inane bar conversation years later. Continue reading

The Humans Are Dead

It’s old – but endlessly amusing – news. English teachers in South Korea are being replaced by robots. This robot, in fact:


I kid, I kid. Meet Engkey:


Shit got real last fall in Daegu with 29 robots entering elementary school classrooms. You can read more about it at Weird Asian News and CNN (Honestly, the CNN one is more outrageous, with a super-obvious “But what will this DO to our CHILDREN?” fear-mongering bit toward the end. I highly suggest it.). Anyway, I’m not personally offended that the ESL job market is getting smaller due to machines, but this seemed like an opportune time to point out what a real live person can do that a machine cannot. Without further ado, I give you 10 Reasons Erin is Better Than a Robot:

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Swiss Miss

Guys! It’s vacation time! Yes yes, potential EPIK employees take note: winter vacation comes with 2 weeks of paid leave. This is way more rad than all the other lame job benefits  I’ve had in the past. (You can keep that 20% off select entrees, Applebee’s. Jerks.)  While other people have decide to take this opportunity to go somewhere warm like Bali or Thailand, I, friends, am taking the road less traveled and less thought-thru – I fly to Switzerland tomorrow.

My feelings are neutral. *rim shot* <cartwheels off stage>

Why? I guess it’s because I really like hating snow and making myself miserable. Also, my friend is living there (Hi, Hayes!) and I will go anywhere that I don’t have to pay for lodging. I’m stoked, and I’m going to tell you why.

In Switzerland, things that should be made of wheat will be made of wheat: Things like bread, noodles, beer, grain alcohol, beer, BEER, flour, beer, bagels, cookies and assorted pastries, beer, and certain petroleum products used in plastics. (Beer!)

In Switzerland, there are white people the size of grizzly bears: Holy crap am I excited to feel small and anonymous. I’ve come to grips with being Completely Obvious the last few months, but it’s a lot of work to know you’re being looked at all the time, especially when you can practically see the exclamation marks over people’s heads as you walk past. “How the hell did that get here?!” has become the logical response to my face. So not eliciting that  reaction for a week will be great. And I’m not exactly a monstrous person, size-wise, but the Korean population is slight – a bunch of fine-boned, lovely bird-people. That means I kind of feel like a socially awkward Tyrannosaurus Rex. Self-esteem, you’re about to make a comeback.

In Switzerland, I will go beard watching: Damn do I miss facial hair on men. I realize that I’m in danger of sounding like a beatnik hipster type, but in this regard, I can’t help it. I remember last winter watching a friend’s band play (oh god, ouch, hipster, ouch) at a shady bar in Chicago. At some point I looked around the dark music hall and every. single. man. present had a full beard. I swooned. Megan was there, ask her. I also have extraordinary hopes that I will run into Pascal Baffert, the sole Swiss member of the Handlebar Mustache Club…just click on that link. Experience the magic for yourselves.

In Switzerland, there is cheese:

Erin: Man, I really underestimated how much I miss cheese.

Coteach: Korea has cheese. Korea has two kinds of cheese.

Erin: Yeah, but France has like, 500 national cheeses.

Coteach: The yellow cheese? Cheddar, you know it?

Erin: You mean those plastic-y Kraft-singles-looking-things at the store?

Coteach: What?

Erin: Nevermind.

Coteach: And we have white cheese too. It’s called….cream cheese?

Erin: <sigh>

Switzerland has it’s very own national cheese, just like America! Any country who takes the time to give their people a personalized dairy product is awesome in my book.

In Switzerland, I will sacrifice myself on the altar of travel: Like I said, I’ve been here a few months so the novelty has begun to fade. This vacation comes at the perfect time to throw myself back into the cold water of a language barrier and up against the wall of cultural differences (though after Asia, Europe seems really really mild, as far as cultural differences go.). When you travel, you’re forced to be the best version of yourself, trust people in an unquestioning way that in ordinary life doesn’t come so easy. I’m ready to be extravagantly uncomfortable again.

So peace out, homes. I will try and send you a line from the Alps, but I might also be lying dead in a cheese and beer coma. One can only hope.

My most favorite lesson ever

This week my 6th grade students finished a lesson called, “What do you want to do?”  Those of you in Korea teaching 6th grade are familiar with this lesson, and may even know where I’m going with this post, as you might have had a similarly memorable experience with “What do you want to do?”.

One of the activities the students had to do was fill out a little questionairre and then share it with their partners. For whatever reason, this task had my students speaking more English and asking me more questions than they ever have before and it was awesome. It made me a happy Megan teacher. But beyond being sort of sentimental, this activity was also freakin hilarious. Here are the questions along with a few choice answers supplied by my students.

Q. What do you want to do this weekend?

  • sleep.
  • study English. (lying asskissers)
  • apply eyelashes. (um..haha)

Q. Where do you want to go?

  • home.
  • to the space.
  • to inside Megan’s house. (creeeepy)

Q. What do you want to buy?

  • mp3.
  • rainbow cat.
  • eyelashes.

Q. What do you want to learn?

  • Japanese.
  • how to drive.
  • secrets.

Q. What do you want to eat?

  • hamburger.
  • chicken.
  • rise. (really kid? can’t spell rice? weak)

Q. What do you want to be?

  • a princess.
  • a UN ambassador.
  • a smart human being. (me too)

Q. Bucket list: What do you want to do before you die?

  • I want to sing. (?)
  • I want to have all the countries. (Hitler?)
  • to shoot a gun. (you, sir, have been flagged)
  • to have all the gold coins. (like Mario?)
  • I want to chase a bus like a maniac. (I checked and that is what he meant. Nothing was lost in translation here.)

Awesome, right?



Saw It In A Movie…

Apparently Martin Scorcese’s new movie is out today. You might have heard of it: Shutter Island. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t say one way or another if it’s cinematic gold or trash, but I do know that movies are spectacular ways to get me interested in a place. Casablanca makes me feverish for Morocco and cigarettes.

That said, movies are also great for telling me where I shouldn’t be going, often in gruesome ways.  I will forever stick to the roads and beware the moors because of An American Werewolf in London.

Go here for a list of bad vacation spots, brought to you by Hollywood. They’re pretty spot on.