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Lotte World Tower Scrapes The Sky

It’s finally done – Lotte World Tower in Jamsil (southeast of Seoul) shines bright as Seoul’s newly opened land mark! Back in 2014 when I visited Korea, the skeleton of Lotte World Tower was already built – only some stories missing – and last year, it almost seemed Lotte World Tower only missed out details. On Monday (April, 3) Lotte World Tower was presented as the world’s 5th highest building and Korea’s highest skyscraper (leaving Incheon’s Northeast Asia Trade Tower and Buran’s residential tower Haeundae Doosan Zenith Tower A now behind) to the public with a bombastic firework. And boy, was that a fire work! Articles say about 30,000 fireworks were lit for the opening ceremony and pyrotechnics worked for days to compose this fantastic sight.

 

Lotte World Tower is 555 meters high, counts 123 stories and took six years for construction. If you’re in Seoul and Continue reading

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Welcome to Tteokbokki Town

 
It’s time to take a closer look at my favorite Korean dish: tteokbokki (떡볶이). Tteok are little stir-fried rice cake rolls which can be served sweet or spicy. Strolling around Korea you can buy the red-orange tteokbokki as part of the famous Korean street food everywhere. Usually they offer you the simple version of tteokbokki with red chili paste (고추장 – gochujang) and fish cake (오뎅 – odeng). It’s a pretty delicious snack on the go.

However, I want to introduce you to the best way of serving tteokbokki, in my opinion, at the best place one can eat tteokbokki in Seoul: in Tteokbokki Town. Yes, there is actually a place called Tteokbokki Town. The area is famous for its tteokbokki restaurants since the 80s and they serve stomach filling tteokbokki dishes there.

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Why Koreans take WHAM seriously

Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away.

This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special.

If Germans hear Last Christmas by WHAM! in September they know the awful commercial Christmas time is on the way and try to avoid it until Christmas Eve. If Koreans hear the song in September it is the start signal for the most irritating sport ever: grab yourself a lover for Christmas Day.

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…the Mystery of the Yellow Stripe

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Ever wondered about the mysterious yellow stripes on the pavements of Seoul? Sometimes they are white, a little faded and have odd patterns like the crop circles of Nazca. They wind their ways along subway stations, Hangang park, malls, schools and crocked pavements. People cross them carelessly every day, but the yellow stripe hides its true porpose from ordinary pedestrians. Can you unveil its mystery? Continue reading

The Ice Cream Bouquet

It is getting warm in Seoul and during the day it constantly has 30-33°C and about 25°C at night. This wouldn’t be that bad if the humidity wasn’t that high, too. Still, it is not as worse as it can be for example in Thailand or Singapore. Yet, I am always happy for getting a possibility to cool down a little and still be out and about exploring.

So my friend decided to go to a special ice cream shop called Gemello near 정자역 (Jeong-Ja-Station). Now, ice cream parlors are not that unusual to Germans as we have them everywhere and it is unimaginable to spend a summer whithout sitting in one and enjoying ice cream. However, in big meteroplitan (Asian?) cities like Seoul, Bangkok, Hong-Kong or Tokyo it is more difficult to find these kind of shops.

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…Weird Korea Beauty Products – Part 1


Beauty and good-looks are important to Korean* which can be observed in various situations. May it be the countless Koreans (girls and guys) admiring themselves in their pocket mirror, correcting their hairstyle in a window screen, checking their make-up on their mobile phones or tidying their clothes in front of the full-body-mirror in the metro – you will always see them fiddling around their looks. But this is just the obvious possibility to watch Korean dolling themselves up. The secret for Koreans’ beauty lies behind the big cosmetic stores. Countless beauty products promote eternal beauty for him and for her. Especially the younger generation feels the pressure of being pretty. The Korean pop and beauty industry promotes perfection and displays the Korean ideal through a squillion of advertisements. It is therefore not surprising that Korea is considered as the kingdom of plastic surgery. Continue reading

Off to Korea! – How to survive a 10 hour flight


To sit in a plane for several hours can be very tiring and uncomfortable. That is way it is good to prepare beforehand and keep some tips in mind. My Korean friend Minji was joining me on the flight which made things for me easier, but also sometimes a little difficult. The flight from Germany to Korea took about 10 hours – most of the time you just fly over Russia – and depending on the airline they offer you already sufficient entertainment. Continue reading

Preparing for Korea


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How to prepare for a field trip? What to take with you for a six-month-stay in an unknown country? Hm… I still do not have a clue. Staying among “the natives” from February until August 2014, I desperatly tried to figure out what essentials to take with me. Asking my teacher or friends who have already been to Korea, however, did not give me a clear hint about what to pack. As my stay includes winter, spring and summer, it seemed difficult to anybody to give me good advice. “How cold is the winter in Korea?” – “It’s really cold. Oh, but you’re there in March? So, it’ll be warmer.” – “And how will the weather be like in summer?” – “It’s really hot.” Continue reading