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Books Film Korea Travel

Too Much of a Good Thing

It seemed like a good idea at the time. To read as much as I could before we left on our round-the-world trip. In some cases, I chose our stops based on the novels I had read or movies we had seen. Four novels and three films dictated my choices in South Korea. Looking back […]

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Chinese-American Japan Korea Taiwan Travel Vietnam

My People

I think a lot about my identity as an Asian, though usually only when circumstances force me. Chinatown attacks on elderly Asian-Americans. Asian women shot for being too sexy. Even life in the Low Lands sometimes reminds me I am an Other. How would these experiences compare when traveling while Asian through Asia? Old School […]

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Korea Travel

Seoul

A year ago today, I was in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This was month 2 of a round-the-world trip that lasted 7 months. My husband and I were following an itinerary I had crafted using novels I had read and upended by whatever happened to cross our path. That trip feels like a […]

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Food Korea Travel

On the Condiment Ledge

Every self-respecting Korean cook has a condiment ledge. Any sunny place will do: in the garden, a parking lot or on your roof. On that ledge, you keep your onggi. These earthenware jars are made from clay fired at 1200 degrees, which allows the jar to breathe. Onggi earthenware makes the best container for traditional […]

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Korea Revolution Travel

Gwangju Spring

Our hotel is mere steps away from Geumnam-ro, the main thoroughfare in Gwangju, South Korea. We’re in this city because of a novel written by Han Kang. Human Acts documents 9 days in May 1980 when a student-led democracy movement was brutally suppressed by the military junta then in power. 7 years later, in 1987, […]

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China Film Korea Taiwan Tibet

Fun in the Dark

Every year, CinemAsia puts on a film festival. For five days, you can take refuge inside an art house theater and binge on Asian films. This year, the festival featured movies from 14 countries and regions. Why? Here’s their mission statement. CinemAsia weaves Asian stories that help to enhance Asian visibility in culture and media, […]

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Japan Korea Shanghai

Korea

In high school, I took a history class called China, Japan and Korea. Or maybe that was the title of our textbook. The salient details have escaped me. I had forgotten how close these countries are and how long their history of meddling in each other’s affairs. two korea’s In a recent interview by the Financial […]