Traveling During a MERS Outbreak and a Nuclear Crisis

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | Leave a comment

Traveling During a MERS Outbreak

Before my departure for Korea, I had randomly tuned into the news, forever out of it after Colbert left the tube. The report had announced a MERS outbreak in Korea. It was a few weeks before my departure and already a number of people had died. Was I really going to go to Korea?

Read more

Koreans and Jews

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Lost In Translation, Or Bust | 4 Comments

Koreans and Jews

I once had a Korean tour guide in Toronto who, after showing us the old Jewish district, said, “We Koreans are the Jews of the Asians.” It was a funny statement at the time, but after traveling to Korea, I sort of see what he means. First, it’s in the name of the people. For the better part of a millennium, the Koreans were part of the Chosun Dynasty, so, I think it’s fair to say that they are also the Chosun people.

Read more

Jeju Island Love Land and the Teddy Bear Museums

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Lost In Translation, Or Bust, Somewhere | Leave a comment

Jeju Island Love Land Museum In my last post about Jeju Island, I went into slight detail about Love Land, the sex museum, and the Teddy Bear Museum. That post was pretty PG-13. Now we’re going NC-17; (though the bit about the Teddy Bears is still PG). So if you’re one of those people who get a bit wheezy when someone says “heck” in church or synagogue or in the dairy section of the supermarket, I suggest skipping this one. (Or at least skip past all the penises until you start seeing Teddy Bears.) Consider yourself warned, though feel free to read on… Read more

The Best Things to do on Jeju Island: From the Beautiful to the Strange

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 8 Comments

The Best Things to do on Jeju Island

Jeju Island can best be symbolized by the yin and the yang. Everything beautiful on this Korean island, which sits off the tip of the mainland peninsula, is counterbalanced by something incredibly not. As I toured around searching for the best things to do on Jeju Island, I found myself simultaneously impressed and baffled. Read more

The Top Ten Foods in Korea: A Return to Specialization

Posted on by Noah Lederman in I Ate What? | 2 Comments

Eating Live Eel

Before heading to Korea, all I knew about Korean food was that you could order bi bim bap and bulgogi and jap jae noodles at any Korean restaurant in the United States. But when I arrived in South Korea, no restaurant served every dish; they specialized. There weren’t many Korean restaurants; there were bi bim bap establishments or ginseng chicken soup specialists. As one eater I met said, “If a place doesn’t specialize, they probably aren’t good.” Here’s a look at the top ten foods in Korea, the best banchan that accompanied said dishes, and some stories behind black pig and videos of still-living octopus and live eel:

Read more