Page 1

issue 130

October 2017

Vietnam

Restaurant chains take on the Korean palette

Wars

HBC Fest

Rock out at the HBC Music Fest

All that jazz in Jarasum

Korea's chillest music fest returns

Revenge of the Nerds!

Adultish casts its web on Korea

Summering in China

Revelations from the Land of the Red Dragon

groovekorea.com

/ groovekorea


04 contents

32

OCTOBER 2017 issue 130

October 2017

Vietnam Restaurant chains take on the Korean palette

community

Wars

22

Get Your Rock On Enjoy an autumn weekend of music, beer, and food

HBC Fest

Rock out at the HBC Music Fest

All that jazz in Jarasum

Korea's chillest music fest returns

Revenge of the Nerds!

Adultish casts its web on Korea

26

Summering in China

Revelations from the Land of the Red Dragon

Mental Running the Jeju International Peace Marathon

food&drink

Cover 08

32

Key People Meet Groove’s editorial team and a few of our talented contributors

34

What's on Festivals, concerts, happy hours, networking and events for every day of the month

A Slice of Busan in Bucheon Popular Slice of Life pizza restaurant finds home in Hyundai Department Store

The New Vietnam (Food) War Franchises heat up and shows no signs of slowing down

12

Bun Cha Ra Boom in Itaewon is regularly packed full of hungry customers on most nights so you’ll have to patiently wait to get your hands on this Pho, but it’s worth it. Check out Monica Williams’ thoughts on the Vietnamese offerings in the Seoul food scene. Photo by Robert Michael Evans


6 contents

58

OCTOBER 2017 film 42

Korean Movie Preview: October Resurrection, Insurrection, and Self-Reflection

46

BIFF 2017 Announces Thrilling Showcase 22nd Busan Film Festival to Screen Array of Big Titles v

52

Taking nerdom global U.S. web series Adultish redefines adulthood

music 58

Picnics and jazz Jarasum International Jazz Fest returns

travel 64

Summering in China China and its highs, lows, and in-betweens


8 key people

Monica Williams is an American expat who moved to Gwanghwamun from New York for a quieter lifestyle. That was before the weekly Park Geun-hye demonstrations. She worked as a journalist in New York, where her duties included reviewing restaurants and editing stories about corporate America for The Wall Street Journal. Now, she spends much of her time tracking down Seoul’s best restaurants. She’ll eat just about anything once.

Daniel Kim

OCTOBER 2017

started her journey into music reporting whilst slaving away as a copy-editor for an Englishlanguage news media outlet in Seoul way back in 2009. Now she is the music editor of Groove, and still slaving away as a copy-editor for a different English-language news outlet, though will soon leave the land of office jobs behind. If she’s not at the computer writing music articles, she’s out catching a live show in Hongdae, getting a glass of wine (or beer) with friends, filming music interviews for a YouTube channel, daydreaming about her next project or playing with the world’s most adorable pup, Morgan.

Rocio Cadena unknowingly embarked on the writing path at age 9, when she read The Alchemist and claimed it a masterpiece despite not comprehending very much of it. Obsessive reading naturally led to writing, but it took Rocio 24 years to come to terms with pursuing—and fully committing—to this path. She is constantly battling the deep desire to complete writing assignments on time and her fantasy of becoming Gudetama to stay in bed all day and binge-watch Netflix. Like many writers, Rocio hates writing but loves having written.

Christopher Saint Germain served as a Photojournalist for the Washington National Guard and is a full time photographer here in Korea. He has lived in Korea for more than 13 years. His other passions besides photography are his family, travel and music. He is a Past Master for Lodge Harry S Truman in Pyeongtaek Korea and the Bass Player in the Bluetooth Blues Band. You can find him on Instagram @DaVinciPhoto or @ChristopherSaintGermain and on Facebook under the same name. His favorite photographic style is Travel Portraiture, and he is always in search of new and interesting people and places to add to his collection. All of these things describe him, but do they truly describe him? Yes, they do.

Zev D. Blumenfeld was somewhere between the Northern Michigan backwoods and the beaches of Southern California when the floor of reality suddenly dropped out from under his feet. "At that ugly moment, I knew the only thing left to do was to toss my fucking belongings into a storage locker and get as far away as possible," he recounts. "So I rode the aftershocks to Seoul." It's been weeks or years since the whole incident--nobody, including Blumenfeld, really knows for sure. He writes and edits on a freelance basis for the demonic spirits of the entertainment industry and saintly, non-native English speakers. Blumenfeld occasionally updates "(The) Circus," a (not) blog located somewhere in the far reaches of the giant cyber slick known as the Internet. "(The) Circus" was last spotted at: itsthecircus.com.


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KOREA

Advertising General inquiries

ads@groovekorea.com info@groovekorea.com

EDITORIAL GIL COOMBE ROB SHELLEY EMMA KALKA ZEV D. BLUMENFELD HADRIEN DIEZ CHRISTOPHER ST. GERMAIN

gil@groovekorea.com rob@groovekorea.com music@groovekorea.com zev@groovekorea.com art@groovekorea.com photo@groovekorea.com

ART & DESIGN A-GRID WORK design@a-grid.net

WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS MONICA WILLIAMS, ROBERT EVANS, JOHN DUNPHY, JUSTIN HOWARD, SIMON MCENTEGGART, JENNA KUNZE, DANIEL KIM, ROCIO CADENA, JORDAN REDMOND, STEVE SMITH, NEIL KIRBY, SOO CHOI, DIANNE KIM AND LANCE REEGAN-DIEHL

Special thanks to JARASUM INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL, HANCINEMA, GREVIN MUSEUM, BUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, SUNCHANG INTERNATIONAL SAUCE EXPO, HBC FEST, MERRIMENT SNAP, BANHPHO 6, EMOI AND BUN CHA RA BOOM

Special Advisor Prof. JUHAN KIM zhungrea@groovekorea.com

PUBLISHER SEAN CHOI sean@groovekorea.com

To contribute to Groove Korea, email submissions@groovekorea.com or the appropriate editor. To have Groove Korea delivered to your home or business, email subscribe@groovekorea.com To contribute to groovekorea, promote an event or share your opinions, please email info@groovekorea.com or the appropriate editor. The articles are the sole property of GROOVE KOREA No reproduction is permitted without the express written consent of GROOVE KOREA The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. © All rights reserved Groove Korea Magazine 2006


12 what's on OCTOBER 2017

concert

Jarasum International Jazz Festival when October 20 -22 where Jasasum Island in Gapyeong Asia’s largest jazz festival taking place on the beautiful island of Gapyeong in fall every year, attracting over 100,000 visitors from home and abroad and the world’s biggest names in jazz music. This year’s line ups include Lee Ritenour And Dave Grusin, Chucho Valdes And Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Avishai Cohen Trio, Joshua Redman Trio With Reuben Rogers And Kendrick Scott And Mike Stern Band Feat. Dave Weckl, Randy Brecker And Tom Kennedy and many more.


concert

Mr.Big

when October 8 | where YES24 Live Hall

concert

Ed Sheeran

when October 29 | where Olympic Park


14 what's on OCTOBER 2017

Festival

Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival

when October 1-15 | where Namgang in Jinju-si

Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originates from the lantern lighting custom used during the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese invasion, 1592) as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading the Namgang River. The highlights of the festival are the floating of lanterns carrying personal wishes of the citizens along the Namgang River, and the parade of lanterns created by the students themselves. In addition, the festival features GAEJESIK (lighting of lanterns in remembrance of the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle veterans), an exhibition of the world’s traditional lanterns, and many more participatory cultural programs.

Festival

Seosan Haemieupseong Festival

when October 6 -8 | where Haemieupseong Fortress

Haemieupseong Festival takes place in the city of Seosan, a central city of history and culture along Korea's western coast. Haemieupseong Fortress is a great place to learn about Korea's historical past because of the many cultural heritage items that can be found at the site.

Festival

Gangneung Coffee Festival

when October 6 - 8 | where Gangneung Green City Experience Center

The festival showcases baristas from across the country with amid atmosphere in the mountains, rocks, beaches, and the many large and small coffee shops of Gangneung.


Festival

Jeongseon Arirang Festival

when October 0000 | where Arirang Park in Jeongseon

Jeongseon Arirang Festival is held every October with the aim to preserve and promote Jeongseon Arirang, a regional intangible cultural asset. During the festival period, visitors will be able to watch performances of not only Jeongseon Arirang but also arirang from other regions in Korea and overseas. Among various programs in the festival, in particular, the performance “Ttetmok Arirang� is not to be missed, showing both the sadness and joy found within this classic Korean folk song.


16 what's on OCTOBER 2017

Festival

Busan Fireworks Festival

when October 28 | where Gwanganri in Busan

The festival’s diverse programs of cultural events, high-tech laser light shows, and myriad of unique and colorful fireworks make this one of the area’s most popular festivals, drawing crowds of over 1 million visitors each year.

Sunchang International Sauce Expo Festival

when October 20 -22 | where Sunchang

Sunchang, a village famous for its citizens’ longevity and for the production of JANG (food paste), holds Sunchang International Sauce Expo every year. Sunchang gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) has recently been recognized for its excellent health benefits.

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Festival

when October 12 - 21 | where Busan

298 films from 75 countries, 129 world and international premieres and 32 screens at 5 theaters.


18 what's on

The Art of Dissonance Exhibition

when Until November 12 where SeMA / Seosomun

OCTOBER 2017

To celebrate UK/Korea 2017–18 Creative Futures, The Art of Dissonance brings together 26 artworks from the British Council Collection by 16 contemporary artists from a diversity of backgrounds and generations. The works in this exhibition examine the social, political and cultural events that have shaped British artistic practice since the 1980s. Rather than focusing on historic narrative, participating artists explore the differences derived from social class and identity, and the negotiation of political and social division, through their individual practices, voices and artworks.

Abbas Kiarostami “Kiarostami’s Snow Series”

Fabio Calvetti “Consolazione”

when Until October 21 | where Seoul Art Space / Busan

when October 3 – 28 | where Seoul Arts Center

Exhibition

Exhibition


20 what's on

Gwangju Design Biennale Exhibition

when Until October 23 where Gwangju

OCTOBER 2017

The Gwangju Design Biennale 2017 primarily seeks to reflect the power of design in the future creative society. Exploring the theme of “FUTURES” the exhibitions and installations will touch on contemporary hot-topics ranging from sustainable, eco-friendly, future-oriented design with emphasis on sympathy, distribution/sharing and consideration. It explores the future life, design value and its vision under new paradigm of the 4th Industrial Revolution. As the world’s first design biennale, the Gwangju Design Biennale is held to celebrate and to promote Gwangju as the design capital of the world.

Exhibition

Michael Craig-Martin “All in All”

when Until November 5 | where Gallery Hyundai

Michael Craig-Martin explores the borderline between everyday objects and art as his subject. The artist’s unique style of simplified forms and re-composition of common objects brings deconstruction of traditional language of painting. Craig-Martin’s objects are used as basic elements in art such as line, plane, and color with its meaning eliminated, and intense stimulation given by vivid colors allows the audience to fall into a sensational experience. All in All will showcase paintings that continue to depict a series of common objects found in daily life—iPhone, memory stick, laptop—reflecting on today’s fast moving consumer culture in a renowned unique style of the Irish-British artist.


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22 community Story by Lance Reegan-Diehl Photos by Alecia Janerio

Get Your Rock On A Weekend of Music, Beer, and Food

T

he Hae Bang Chon Fall Music Festival will take place on October 20th and 21st. This is the fall installment of the HBC Fest, which is in its 12th year of ushering us into a new decade for independent music. The festival is made up entirely of independent music artists and performers from Korea and a host of other countries. It began in 2006 as a showcase for expat musicians in the Seoul to perform for larger crowds. The fest was originally started by Lance Reegan-Diehl and James Gaynor, which led to the birth of DEELEEBOB Music Company. Lance still currently owns the company.

HBC is located on one main street in Youngsan-gu (Sinheung-ro) where the action happens from the bottom all the way up to the top where the pub, Hair of the Dog, sits. The HBC area became very famous as a local expat hangout starting in 1998. The Hae Bang Chon Festival has made the entire area blossom into a bubbly and busy place for all kinds of businesses to open, as more people find it an attractive neighborhood to visit. The festival has always adapted to the demands of both musicians and venues. This fall festival features the following venues and supporters: Hair Of The Dog, Chimac Life, Phillies

Pub, Bedrock, The Cave, Bonny’s Pizza Pub, Al Matto Terrace, Camarata Music, Genie Pub, Living Room, Leo’s, Rabbit Hole, Casablanca Sandwiches, Marakesh, Thunderhorse Tavern, The Workshop, Boogie Woogie, and Hidden Cellar. Phillies Pub, Camarata Music, Bedrock, Boogie Woogie, and Thunderhorse Tavern host the bands where the music is located on medium-sized stages. Sounds range from blues, to rock, to jazz, and all points funky in-between. The festival is known for its up close and personal venues, and the intimate feeling audience-goers get from watching musicians perform.


23

The festival is made up entirely of independent music artists and performers from Korea and a host of other countries


24 community Local bands performing include: Kimchi Cowboys, L.A. Galbi, Cicada State, Rooftop Stray, Wooden Lucy, Bluetooth Blues Band. A host of solo and smaller acoustic acts will be onstage at Hair of the Dog, Hidden Cellar, Workshop, Phillies

Balcony, The Cave, and Genie Pub. Keep the music and the party inside the bars. The police are here to help people move and keep the traffic flowing. Local business owners who support this music festival and give independent artists a place to play help sponsor the festival. The HBC Festival is a DEELEEBOB Music Production, with Lance Reegan-Diehl being the central point between artists, venues, and business owners.

The festival is known for its up close and personal venues, and the intimate feeling audience-goers get from watching musicians perform

Music sponsors include Sound Drive Amplifiers, Swing Guitars, Graphtech Guitar Parts, Olympia Strings and Straps, along with all participating business owners and beer vendors. The festival begins on Friday, October 20th with the infamous “BAD HORSIE� night performed by festival guest musicians and L.R.D. Band. Friday also has a performance in a few venues. The music starts at 9:00 pm and runs until 12:00 am Saturday the 21st features an entire day of music from about 5:00 pm until 2:00 am with a variety of styles and stages to choose from. On Sunday at 7:00 pm, the Hidden Cellar will feature ongoing acoustic performances. ADD DEELEEBOB Music - HBC Festival, 47-B1, Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea EMAIL sales@deeleebob.com CONTACT Lance Reegan-Diehl tel 070 7538 4716 more info Entry to this music festival is free. You may buy a T-shirt for KRW 15,000 to support the festival. For more details, including an updated schedule and list of performers, please visit the main website: www.hbcfest.com. There is an event page on Facebook, which will direct you to the schedule on the website.


FRI, October 20th THUNDERHORSE TAVERN Bad horsie presents LRD Band (with special guests) PHILLIES PUB 10:00 pm Cicada State Genie Pub Acoustic Stage Hidden Cellar Acoustic stage SAT, October 21st CAMARATA STUDIO 8:00 pm Kimchi Cowboys / 10:00 pm Doors Tribute PHILLIES PUB 8:00 pm EARL / 7:00 pm June of Gypsy / 10:00 pm Tallula Bankhead / 11:00 pm Lance Reegan-Diehl Band / Hair of the Dog / Winston Lee / Brett Elliott Genie Pub Maggie Crossett / Mia Zepeda Bedrock Wooden Lucy / PshyceMoon / Cicada State The Cave Old Money Green / Jonathan Hunt The Workshop Matty Grols / Tim Gilmour Hidden Cellar Richie Madewell / Jordan Stewart Thunderhorse Tavern Cargo Cut / Aircraft Of The Month Boogie Woogie Bluetooth Blues Band / Park’s Blues Band SUN, October 22nd HIDDEN CELLAR Acoustic Sunday’s

Venues and supporters

Hair of the Dog / Chimac Life / Al Matto Terrace / Camarata Studio / Genie Pub / Bedrock / Phillies Pub / The Cave / Bonnys Pizza / Casablanca Sandwiches Marakesh / The Concorde / Leo’s / Living Room / The Workshop / Hidden Cellar / Thunderhorse Tavern / Boogie Woogie

A SELECTION OF PERFORMERS THIS YEAR AT FALL FESTIVAL 2017 Lance Reegan-Diehl Band / Cargo Cut / Wooden Lucy / Reasco / Aircraft Of The Month / Sweet Side Birds / Cicada State / Rough Cuts / Soul City / Rooftop Stray / Gory Murgy / Kimchi Cowboys/ The 120’s /Bluetooth Blues Band / Park’s Blues Band / MadDogs / Tim Gilmour / Jordan Stewart / EARL / Winston Lee / Maggie Crossett / Mia Zepeda / Jonathan Hunt / Brett Elliott / Matty Grols / Richie Madewell / Old Money Green / Just In Time

25

FEATURED PERFORMANCES


26 community

Mental I

Story by Jenna Kunze Photos by Jenna Kunze

mmediately after my payment was accepted for the 2017 Jeju International Peace Marathon (40,000 KRW) I opened a new tab on my browser, googling the distance of a marathon. 42 kilometers. 26.2 miles. I knew it was in the twenties, though, so this didn’t startle me too much. Plus, the full marathon was only the equivalent of ten dollars more than the half marathon, so I felt I was being economical with my decision. I am a runner the same way some people are alcoholics, in that I’d never define myself as such, but it’s something I do frequently and for a while now. “Tell me the truth,” my friend Sarah, always a skeptic, responded when I told her I was signing off our conversation to go for my mandatory run. “Do you honestly like running?” I do, I think. Though the “like” has been a slow-growing mold that metastasized in college. I ran track in high school, though “ran” is a generous term. Instead of completing my coach’s mandated bi-weekly long runs, I’d join a small pack of the lazy elite and go to Kristen Chiafullo’s house in the neighborhood next to our school, where we’d eat Nutella and play with her dog, Boomer, for a believable amount of time. In the four weeks I had leading up to the Jeju race on March 26, I trained six days a week based on my brother’s prescribed recommendations. He instructed me to download Strava, an app that would allow him to monitor my runs once uploaded

Running the Jeju International Peace Marathon

from my GPS watch. He’d give me daily “kudos” on each run, and never once mentioned that my 40 miles a week paled in comparison to his 100. Jarrett committed to the psychosis of running years ago, and it has long since become more than a passion for him, becoming something of a mood stabilizer. He does things for running the way some people do for love. Natural deterrents like extreme weather, darkness, or fatigue do not stop

I wanted to run this marathon as a challenge. As an experience, and a test of my own will. I wanted to run it to prove what I already knew, that I could run it his compulsive routine. For years now, I’ve seen him with icicles blooming from his facial hair on Christmas mornings, as my parents and I look on from the couch in pjs. While he lived at home, and now when he visits, he has the same argument with my

dad, who insists he not run at midnight on the winding back roads in New Jersey, with only a headlight to announce himself to passing cars. He does it anyway. I flew to Jeju Island, the “Hawaii of Korea,” on the Saturday morning before the race. I carried a backpack with one change of clothes, and wore the Adidas trekking sneakers I bought for a trip to Costa Rica the year before, and that I’d wear for the race (to the horror of my entire family) on Sunday. I’d arranged two different couchsurfers for my two night stay in Jeju, and the first was due to pick me up from a meeting point at 11 a.m. I saw him before he saw me. He was pacing back and forth at a bus stop across the street, wearing a beanie and taking needy sips from a plastic bottle of makkeolli, Korea’s rice wine. Islam, from Egypt, was reviewed as being a vivacious and fun-loving guy, which was immediately apparent to me. “Oh sorry, should I know you?” he deadpanned as I moved in front of him to announce myself. Before I got on the back of his motor bike, I lectured him on the importance of my legs and my life for the marathon the next day. He laughed and handed me an earbud blaring Edith Piaf, which made me feel calm and nervous at the same time. “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” was dulled only slightly by the whipping winds. The whole thing is an ever-building symphony thats meaning is obscured in French, which


quickly by, “Why would I sign up for this by myself?” But then, I wasn’t really alone. The whole marathon was a family affair. As a kid, I slept in my dad’s old NY marathon t-shirts I dug out from the bottom drawer of his pine dresser. I had four to choose from, each with some variation of cityscape design. He goads Alison, Jarrett’s fiance who has run three marathons herself, by declaring he could out-run her in any race. He hasn’t run one since 1986. I had instructed all family members to send me inspirational texts throughout the multi-hour ordeal, and my mom complied with a sweetness that drives her success at motherhood. She showed up with quotes I’d never even heard before. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anais Nin,” she sent me first. I was reading them through half-closed eyes at 5 a.m., until moments before the pack began moving. It was like hearing “Good luck” said in a different language, the way the quotes struck me. I tread on them, exploring their depth and weight, instead of floating past them as I would any form of encouragement I’d heard before. Outside of our family chat, Alison and Jarrett sent me equally motivating, but more profane, messages. The race course followed the north western coastline of the island, so I had lots of distractions while I ran. Distractions were really important. Once the 5kers and half milers turned back on their own loops, the pack thinned significantly. The path took us along the translucent beach, wove through villages, wheat fields, past the countless grandfather statues that are Jeju’s trademark. Though this marathon is called the Jeju International Peace Marathon, there was

27

underlines the swinging crescendos. It was one of those instances where music paired with life cinematically. We listened to the same soundtrack the following morning at 5 a.m. when Islam sent me to my race in an extra layer of his clothing, almonds brimming in my pockets. He had forced me to eat an egg he prepared, deaf to my whines of nausea, nerves, and cramping. Aside from his paranoia about my temperature and dietary habits, I appreciated how lax he was about my impending challenge. “I’d run it with you,” he told me, like he was tentatively agreeing to a beach day. “I just don’t have running shoes.” So, from the shuttle bus onward, I was completely on my own. Which I’d wanted. I just couldn’t remember why. I arrived at the sports complex two hours before race time and couldn’t think of anything to do after picking up my shirt and number. I extended the question to Jarrett, who suggested I go for a warmup run. Instead, I asked a shuttle driver if I could sleep on his bus until 8:30. The race began at 9. And so it began. Overcast, about 9 degrees. I lined up under a banner written in hangul and listened to the MC pandering to the crowd of Koreans that laughed at all the same breaks in his speech. A countdown began, and fireworks spurred the mass of a few hundred runners forward. We moved like a parade with no room for passing, only pleasantly jogging next to your neighbor, for the first two miles. Throughout the race, I fluctuated between a drug-like buoyancy brought about by adrenaline, and thoughts about whether or not I was chemically imbalanced. “Why,” I thought (I had so much time to think), “would I sign myself up for this?” Followed


28 community

nothing international about it. I noted three other non-Koreans. In terms of encouragement, this really worked to my advantage. I was a triple threat: under 30, white, and female. Even discounting ethnicity, my age and gender already rendered me an anomaly in Korea. “You will never see a young person doing any sort of physical activity,” someone told me when I first moved to Seoul. Seven months later, in all my hiking, biking and running, this has been distinctly and almost eerily true. There were snack stations every 2.5 km, generally run by high school student volunteers. The girls all wore identical haircuts centered on their bangs and momentarily shocked expressions. They offered cheers and small sips of water or Pocari Sweat for runners along the way. As the race got longer, there were also bananas broken up into pieces (nobody could stomach a whole one at once) and these round cakes called chocolate pies. A few strides after every water station, there were rejected pies with single bites taken out of them, and a graveyard of paper cups. I soon learned it wasn’t rude to litter because, since I was runner, I should be concerned about my time. Which I wasn’t. “It’s ok,” I reassured a volunteer who pounded on the Porta Potty, lambasting her friend who had slipped in without noticing my swift beeline for the door. I didn’t mind waiting. Running up to and away from each water station was like strutting down a runway. From 100 meters away, the standard cheering volume would increase at the sight of my ponytail. They’d reel me to them with full throated shouts of “Ooooh!” (the recognition I was female and young) followed by “OOOOH!!!!!” (the recognition I wasn’t Korean). “Beautiful! Excellent! Yes!” I heard at every station. “Yeppeoyo!!” They’d remark to each other in Korean, never looking away while I drank a foot in front of them. They called me pretty, but I knew what they really meant was “white.” At high school, a girlfriend of Jarrett’s was gifted a full body (and head) gorilla suit for two days of use. It was a graduation present from her father, a preacher, who

had received the same when he finished high school. We took turns wearing it around Princeton, making a list of things to do in it and divvying it up. Jarrett chased runners we saw along the winding paths of the university’s campus during his turn. Meg’s sister wore it at the train station with a sign we made: “Will dance for bananas.” We had businessmen put down their briefcases to run quickly to the convenience store. I elected to wear the suit in the front seat of our mother’s top-down convertible. The reactions were unanimously hilarious, ranging from shock to fear to laughter, but were mostly grounded in fascination.

It was a solo endeavour. I flew there alone, ran it alone. Though, with the encouragement of my family and the Koreans there, I wasn’t really alone. The Gorilla Project, we called it. It was an overwhelming success. Living in Korea, a shockingly homogeneous society, I often feel like I’m wearing a gorilla suit. Misplaced, ogled. Which is not to say the attention is negative. Short of a higher cover charge at clubs, the attention Westerners glean in Korea is largely positive. The spectators made me run faster. In the villages that the trail snaked through, the crossing-guard-like volunteers who held out their arms in exaggerated gestures as a double-insurance that I wouldn’t go astray were pleasantly surprised by me. A few times, running through a village speckled with locals that looked on from their stoop led to generous offers to drink from personal water bottles. They’d hold them up like a toast, gesturing for me to drink. I’d bow, mid-run, “Gwenchanhayo” It’s okay!! Each time I felt myself wilting, there would be another wave of hands held out for high-fives, or locals alerting one another of the pony-tailed waygook, then crowding for a sequence of photos of me running by: waving, smiling, bowing. Circling back after the first 13 miles, though, I aggressively fought off dread. The halfway mark finished at the way way end of a pier, with a line of traditionally dressed Koreans bang-

ing drums, both voices and instruments clamoring. It was such a to-do, it felt like the completion of an act, not the middle of it. They congratulated me in whooping cheers, snapped photos with their iPhones while I ate a banana, wound me back up, and spun me in the opposite direction. In the blank stretches of solidarity, I clung instead to the beat of music through my headphones. I was made high by Drake’s new album ‘More Life’ I bought the week before in preparation for this very event. Hell, at some points I felt like I was Drake. Everyone says running is a mental sport, and this is especially true with distance running. At the half marathon, I was like, “Huh, tough but doable.” But two times? I actively refused to think about it. I switched from Drake to podcasts shortly after the mid-way point, when it started raining. I had to trick myself, to divert attention, to blink through the rain. I focused hard on Pod Save America, and thought critically about Trump’s repeal of Obamacare. I hung on every word. The wall that runners talk about, where your body is depleted of glycogen and you are overcome with fatigue, is poorly named. It’s not something you see coming, like you would with any other wall. Sixteen miles in, it materialized as it would in a video game, and came with the intensity of all the pain my body had not yet allowed in. It was like an awful breakup with no interlude, no warning signs, none. My quadriceps felt stuck in between growing pains and the sensation of pressing on a bruise. I had a blister in full bloom on my left foot that, out of nowhere, wanted center-stage in my central nervous system. My spine felt compressed. I kept running to settle the pain faster, although, at later points, there was almost no difference between the speed of my running and pedestrians walking. I’d stop to pee at Porta Potties along the way and sort of fall into a sitting position. The transition from standing to sitting had to happen this way, as I was no longer in control of my legs. When I was six miles from finishing, my watch died. Blinked off. I cursed aloud to no one, if only because there was nobody in earshot. My time was the only way I could gauge how much longer I had to go. For the entire second half, the marathoners were so dispersed, I rarely passed or was passed by anyone. I’d place 16th overall, though I have no idea how many runners ran the full marathon. What I can only presume were the winners lapped me in under two hours, running in stride like a motorized gang.


30 community

If a car had stopped within the final six miles and offered to drive me to the finish line, I wouldn’t have hesitated to accept. Bringing my foot down each time against pavement was so immediately awful, I could visualize the anatomical pressure, the tearing of bone tissue into shin splints on an x-ray image. The photographer waiting in the last mile was the first person, aside from water station girls, I’d seen in miles, and I was so thrilled that my photos picture me looking exuberant and without anguish. The final 100 meters finished on the track where we started. The arena, once bustling with people, was now a largely empty field with tumbling snack wrappers. The afternoon had passed, a storm had come, and runners had gone home (probably even flown home) in the time that my body was in motion. The spectators that were there were ready for me, notified via walkie-talkie from a crossing guard in town. They spread themselves along the track on either side, extending their stances wide in either direction to fill the spaces. People walking towards their cars beside the track stopped at the sudden noise and came to join in. They were solid walls of sound and motion, hurriedly pointing, jumping and guiding me back under the hangul banner. It was a homecoming. I ran across the finish line and into the open arms of a volunteer holding out a towel like a mother would at the beach for her toddler. The pink garment was emblazoned with “Jeju International Peace Marathon” and I brought it with me to the ground where I lay like a stargazer. I never asked my time, and didn’t look for it on the counter next to the finish line. I found out via email a week later (4:46), and swiftly passed the information to Jarrett, who cared more than I did. I picked up my medal, guzzled two waters, and peed blood. Though I had trouble walking the day of the race, my body forgot the pain of the marathon with impressive speed. If I hadn’t taken notes in the immediate aftermath on the lines I literally wrote in my head throughout, I wouldn’t have been able to recall the specific pain. Which, I guess, is how people are tricked into running marathons more than once. I flew home to Seoul on Monday morning. On the subway back from the airport, I called my dad. Unprompted, he suggested I go on a run to release the lactic acid buildup in my muscles. “Isn’t that what I just did?” I asked him. I couldn’t even hear his response, I was laughing through it. Runners are psychotic.


32 food&drink

A Slice of Busan in Bucheon

Popular Slice of Life pizza restaurant finds home in Hyundai Department Store

Story by John Dunphy Photos by Merriment Snap


chef who has worked for several years in Naples, Italy, with helping him build his pizzeria toolbox. Kim decided Slice of Life would be born in Busan, his mother's hometown. Slice of Life flourished in the Kyungsung University/Pukyeong National University area in 2014 and 2015, attracting not only expats already familiar with New York-style pizza but also locals looking for something different. In 2016, Kim expanded to the popular Gwangalli beachside area, opening Slice of Life Taphouse, which added a dozen local and international craft beers to the mix.

Even though it's a new branch in a new city, I want to keep everything the way it is now Kim credits consistent quality, specifically in Slice of Life's dough, for what has become its signature, popular taste. "The quality of the dough, the ratio of water and flour, the fermentation of dough and its management. These things make my pizza better,” he says. Earlier this year, an employee at the Bucheon Hyundai Department Store ate

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slice of New York by way of Busan has finally made its way north to Bucheon. Slice of Life, which has enjoyed enormous popularity in Korea's second largest city since opening in 2014, opened its first pizza shop outside Busan on September 5 in the Hyundai Department Store food court at their Jung-dong location in Bucheon. For owner Chanwoo Kim, the Seoul opening brings his first restaurant venture full-circle. It was in Seoul where Kim decided to invest in pizza. “I just wasn't satisfied with the taste,” Kim says of the pizza he ate in the capital city. “I knew I could do better.” Kim's strong feelings about pizza originated in New York City, specifically Flushing, Queens, where he spent several years during college living with his father and enjoying authentic New York pizza. Years later, in Korea, Kim worked in multiple, non-restaurant-related fields, including importing toys for dogs. Meanwhile, he kept busy in the kitchen. When he finally decided he wanted to open a pizza restaurant, he returned to New York for “research.” “I researched, researched, researched,” he laughs. That research included consuming large volumes of pizza and taking copious notes at his three favorite pizzerias, Joe's in Greenwich Village, DiFara in Brooklyn, and Luzzo's in Manhattan. Kim also credits his friend Kwan Hyuk Jin, a pizza

at the Gwangalli location and made Kim an offer he couldn't refuse. “She wanted us to open a new branch in Bucheon,” he says. Kim decided Slice of Life's original KSU/ PKNU location would close instead of having three locations. He says this was because he has seen too many businesses open, get popular, and then expand too much too quickly, resulting in a drop-off in quality. While further expansion is not completely off the table, Kim remains wary. "It's the most important thing, keeping that consistency, keeping that quality. We don't want to get too big," he says. "I don't want to change the taste or the quality. Even though it's a new branch in a new city, I want to keep everything the way it is now." ADD Hyundai Department Store, B1F, 180, Gilju-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Bucheon 14546 HOUR Daily, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. tel 032-623-2044 FACEBOOK @pizzeriasol


m a n ba tt

at e h le

Vi et

Af ran ch ise Story by Monica Williams Photos by Robert Evans, Christopher Saint Germain, Justin Howard

ew

no s w ho s nd a p su

34 food&drink

The N

wn. o d g win o l s s of n g i s

r a W ) d o o F (


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ietnamese food franchises have been sprouting all over the peninsula this year, with cuisine from the northern part of the Southeast Asian country changing the food culture in Korea. Pho has long been popular here but the arrival of Emoi in 2015 brought long lines of Koreans with a new appetite for Hanoi-style pho and bun cha. The second-generation eateries have sparked a food war between established Korean parent companies like Tasty Company and SF Innovation. In neighborhoods like Itaewon and Gwanghwamun, the chains are steps from each other. They come as Korea’s restaurant industry is recording record revenue. According to the government, sales in the restaurant sector have doubled in the last decade to 108 trillion won ($95.4 billion) in 2015, led by a growth in franchises and single-person households.


36 food&drink

Emoi

Established May 2015 locations 81

At Emoi, the piping hot pho comes in three varieties. All have the right ingredients: a rich and flavorful broth, generous slices of beef, fresh rice noodles, and toppings of cilantro and scallions. The standard bulgogi pho (11,000 KRW) contains a leaner cut of beef than the premium, offered for 1,000 won KRW, but it’s no less tasty. The broth, boiled for 24 hours, is chock-full of meat but light and almost clear, and is the most flavorful I’ve had in Seoul. When the restaurant opened in late 2015, both foreign and Korean foodies heralded it as an improvement over the established chains serving food from the southern part of the country. For starters, the place “felt” authentic, with tea served on arrival, red chopsticks, imported plates and Vietnamese art and lighting serving as a contrast to the wooden walls. My companion and I were comfortable here. The food wasn’t entirely unfamiliar as pho has been served throughout Seoul for a while, but there’s a difference. One of the secret weapons to Emoi’s success is likely its in-house noodle machine, which churns out wide noodles daily. There’s no mistake about their freshness; you see and taste it. The bun cha (13,000 KRW), made with grilled pork, is served with the same wide noodle as the pho, and may be a turnoff for purists used to the thinner white rice noodle. Perhaps the dunking sauce will make up for it, with its fish-based flavoring that’s pungent but not overpowering. Both dishes come with bird’s eye chili, pickled garlic and cilantro; if you’re aren’t sure where to mix what, there’s instructions on the menu but the empty bowls are designed for experimentation. Diners can spice up their noodle dishes with a squirt or two from the Sriracha or hoisin bottles at the table, but it’s better to use the accompanying chilies or the fresh garlic. There’s not much else on the menu, but in Hanoi pho for breakfast and bun cha for lunch go a long way. In Vietnam, pho is the quintessential hangover cure, said corporate manager Park Jeong An. Fittingly, the Itaewon branch, open 24 hours, draws crowds in the wee hours of the morning. Rau muong, or morning glory, a stir-fried water spinach (9,000 KRW) is a complement to either of the entrées. In Vietnam it’s served with most meals. At Emoi, it’s seasoned with chili, fish, and soy sauces, and sautéed in garlic, to give it a flavorful saltiness. It was perfect for me, but a bit salty for my companion’s taste. Nem and com rang, which is fried rice with vegetables, shrimp, egg and fish sauce (9,000 KRW), round out the food menu. The Vietnamese brands of beer (Hanoi, Saigon and Saigon Special) all have low alcohol content and pair nicely with the food, costing 5,000 to 6,000 KRW.

One of the secret weapons to Emoi’s success is likely its inhouse noodle machine, which churns out wide noodles daily

Emoi Itaewon ADD 180 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul TEL 02-3785-0588 hours Open 24 hours


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38 food&drink

Bun Cha Ra Boom There’s almost always a line of people under the bright-yellow sign outside Bun Cha Ra Boom in Hannam-dong, waiting patiently in the cordoned-off area to get in. Demand for the northern Vietnamese cuisine has been high since the franchise entered the market this summer with its first location. Its fourth branch, in Gwanghwamun, is the latest and opened last month. The restaurant’s claim to fame is its bun cha (12,000 KRW), Hanoi’s second most favored dish after pho. The bun cha, or charcoal-grilled roasted beef, meatballs and white homemade vermicelli, is served in two separate dishes with fresh lime, mint, cilantro, bird’s eye chili, pickled garlic, and herbs in smaller containers on the side. The meat is grilled with charcoal from the Vietnamese coffee tree. Barbecuing the beef sets Bu Cha Ra Boom apart from its competitors as you can taste the smokiness. Bun Cha Ra Boom is generous with its portions of meat but on one occasion, it tasted slightly overdone and the charcoal taste was overpowering. Overall, the bun cha is a flavorful dish, but has no hint of fish sauce, an ingredient commonly used as a flavoring. The dunking sauce has just the right amount of sweet and sour, which makes up for the absence of fish sauce. The menu, which is printed in Korean and English, also includes three types of pho. A standard bowl (9,000 KRW) includes a beef broth that has been boiled for 24 hours while meat and seafood sauce are additions to the premium Hanoi Pho Cao Cap (12,500 KRW). The Pho Cay, a pork and chicken broth soup that’s a bit spicy (9,500 KRW), has recently been added to the Korean-language menu per customers’ requests. All of the pho comes with a healthy dose of bean sprouts. A chef’s tip on the menu smartly suggests that lime be drizzled on both noodle dishes. They come with a few slices on the side but any extra will cost 1,000 KRW. The nem dumplings are stuffed with chopped pork, shrimp, and mushrooms and are neatly wrapped in rice papers before being deep fried. Light, crispy and not the least bit oily, they make a perfect appetizer for only 6,000 KRW. For a side dish that’s a bit healthier, choose rau muong, or water spinach (7,000 KRW) which is stir-fried in

Established Summer 2017 locations 4

just enough garlic. Take a friend and order everything on the small menu as a set for 37,000 KRW. Three beers (333, Tiger and Saigon) and NepMoi, an imported vodka billed as “Vietnamese soju” are among the drink offerings. The standout is the traditional Vietnamese iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. You won’t find it on the menu and that’s intentional. Given its heated market and long lines, the restaurant wants to ensure it’s seen as a hotspot for noodles, not a café to linger. Order the coffee on the way out. Rice noodles are the star of the show here, said Kim Bum Seok, an assistant manager with parent company SF Innovation, and customers are eating them up. Market saturation isn’t a concern, he says, as SF Innovation, owners of School Food and April Market, are veterans in food innovation. The southern Vietnamese food chains like Pho Mein and Little Saigon have had staying power. Northern cuisine can too, he said.

Sure, the coffee is good, but rice noodles are the star of the show

Bun Cha Ra Boom Itaewon ADD 247 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul tel 02-749-4993 hours Open 11 AM - 2 AM Mon-Thurs / 11 AM - 6 AM Fri & Sat more Valet parking available


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40 food&drink

Banh Pho 6

Established 2013 locations 17

The Banh Pho6 in Gwanghwamun caught the eyes of passersby before it even officially opened in September. It wasn’t the look of the exterior, per se, but the sign at the top of the two-story building claiming it offered the “No. 1 Asian cuisine in New York” and “The Best Pho in New York.” It seemed like the perfect slogan—for a restaurant in New York. But the motto is aspirational and meaningful, said Grace Jun, marketing manager of the Tasty Company, owner of Banh Pho6. The nod to New York is also a reference to the style of Banh Pho6’s food, she said, which is more fusion and family-friendly than other chains. While a college student studying in New York, Kim Hyung Woo, founder and CEO, worked at Saigon Grill, a popular Vietnamese fusion restaurant in Manhattan and loved the taste and atmosphere there. He collaborated with a chef at Saigon Grill on a menu, developing recipes with a combination of spices that would appeal to a Korean audience. The flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine are pungent, he surmised, and equally loved and disdained in Seoul. He spent six years laboring on the recipes that he had in mind for Banh Pho6.

Banh means “bread” and pho means “rice noodle” in Vietnamese, so Kim did have Saigon in mind. The six signals the number of spices that were mixed in the recipes. The name and number in the restaurant have additional significance, as the chain’s first eatery in 2013 was located near Exit 6 of Banpo Subway Station in Seoul. Today, there are 17 Banh Pho6 restaurants in Seoul and Gyeonggi province. Banh Pho6 has won over Korean customers with menu items like its its pho (from 9,000 KRW), which is made by boiling the broth with seasoning for more than 12 hours. The summer roll, which is stuffed with sautéed beef, onion and vermicelli, is offered as a platter big enough for a family for 29,000 KRW. The flavor of the dishes, more southern Vietnamese than northern and understated, will delight Korean palates, and the vegetables all are organic. The restaurant may say “Vietnam,” but the menu is a mélange of flavors from Thailand, Indonesia, and India. Fans of southern Vietnamese or Indian food in Seoul won’t be disappointed. The dishes aren’t too spicy, too oily, or too aromatic. The banh xeo came without the greasiness you’d find if you ordered it from the streets

The founder spent six years laboring on the recipes that he had in mind


41

of Vietnam, but was forgettable. The creamy coconut shrimp was surprisingly good, with the seafood covered in a layer of crunchy noodles. The shrimp pad thai, which had a healthy serving of shrimp, seafood and vegetables, was also a hit, but my favorite was the phoo phad phong curry, a yellow Thai-style dish with jumbo soft-shell fried crabs. Kim seems to be onto something with fusion restaurants. A sign on the door touts that the restaurant serves five of the 50 dishes on a “best foods” list (nasi goreng from Indonesia, pad thai from Thailand, pho, fried rice and goi cuon). Since 2013, when the company was founded, Tasty has expanded to encompass 47 restaurants under seven brands, including Grill Thai, Tasty Market, and Bird’s Kimbap. During the week, the Gwanghwamun establishment was filled with office workers after dark. On the weekend, the place proved family friendly, with parents and children filling the bright space, what’d you expect at a family-friendly casual chain. Banh Pho6 Gwanghwamun ADD 2 fl., 9-gil 9 Saemunan-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul tel 02-725-6661 hours 11 AM - 10 PM


42 film

Resurrection, Insurrection, Self-Reflection

Korean Movie Preview: OCTOBER

Story by Gil Coombe Photos courtesy of HanCinema

I

t took a while, but Korea finally found its first massive hit of the year, with A Taxi Driver bounding quickly to the top of the yearly box office on a wave of bittersweet nostalgia, leaving previous leader Confidential Assignment in the dust. It has also been chosen as South Korea’s submission for the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film category, though this has provoked grumbles that the selection committee has done what it normally does and chosen the safest, least

artistically challenging option, such as last year, when The Handmaiden was overlooked in favor of the turgid but handsome-looking The Age of Shadows. (To be fair, Pieta was submitted in 2012, and that is as far as possible from your typical generic Oscar-bait.) Still, many in the industry will look on with interest to see whether Korea can finally get its first Academy Award nomination in this category, something that really should have happened by now. In the meantime, October offers up three very different

films that are looking to make their own mark on the cultural landscape – or at the very least, rake in some won. Film fans - remember to check The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) website regularly for updates on English subtitled screenings of Korean films occurring in Seoul. (www.koreanfilm.or.kr/ jsp/schedule/subtitMovie. jsp) support the independent cinemas around Seoul KU Cinematrap (www.kucinetrap.kr) Seoul Art Cinema (www.cinematheque.seoul.kr), CGV Arthouse (www.cgv.co.kr/arthouse) Emu Artspace (emuartspace.com)


43 Much will be made of Song Seung-heon playing the bad guy for the first time, but the draw here is the versatile lead Cho Jin-woong

Man of Will

RELEASE DATE October 19 DIRECTED BY Lee Won-tae STARRING Cho Jin-woong, Seong Seung-heon, Jeong Man-sik, Jung Jin-young DISTRIBUTED BY Kidari Entertainment

Another day, another historical depiction of the Japanese occupation and the brave men and women who fought to bring freedom back to the peninsula. Following closely in the footsteps of Anarchist from Colony, Man of Will (literal title Commander Kim Chang-Soo) tells the story of Kim Koo, a key figure in the Korean Independence Movement, who lived an incredibly

storied life: government rebel, army leader, Buddhist priest in training, school principal, politician. The film focuses more narrowly on the period of his life when he was known as Kim Chang-soo, in particular in 1896, when he was arrested for murdering who he claimed to be a Japanese assassin tasked with killing the Queen. Tortured and sentenced to death, Kim spends his time in prison reading textbooks and starting to understand the need to protect the Korean people from the encroachment of foreign powers. One jailbreak later, he reemerges as Commander Kim Chang-soo in the fight against the Japanese. Man of Will marks the directorial debut of Lee Won-tae, who has chosen a well-worn

subject to test out his cinematic chops. It helps then that he has a strong cast at hand to sell the story. Much will be made of Song Seung-heon (A Wonderful Nightmare, Obsessed) playing the bad guy for the first time as Chang-soo’s chief tormentor, but the draw here is the versatile lead Cho Jinwoong, who, even when he doesn’t get the best material (such as the dull and muddled Bluebeard), still brings his A game to every role. In supporting roles are the powerhouse character actors Jeong Man-sik (The Battleship Island, The Tiger, Inside Men) and Jung Jin-young (A Taxi Driver, Ode to My Father, Miracle in Cell 7). Films set during Japanese colonization tend to do well with audiences (The Battleship Island did okay but underperformed compared to expectations, and the big budget The Age of Shadows ranked fourth last year at the box office), but straight-forward biographies are more hit and miss (Anarchist did not make many waves while The Last Princess was a strong hit), so it remains to be seen whether star power can create another hit.


44 film

RV: Resurrected Victims RELEASE DATE October 12 DIRECTED BY Kwak Kyung-taek STARRING Kim Rae-won, Kim Hae-sook, Sung Dong-il, Jeon Hye-jin DISTRIBUTED BY Showbox

Imagine you are a killer. (Just go with this.) Everything goes smoothly, you don’t get caught, and you go back to living your life safe in the knowledge that your horrific act will go unpunished. But then, 7 years later, your previously dead victim turns up and kills you out of revenge. Now that’s just bad luck. And it is also the premise of RV: Resurrected Victims (keeping the Korean film industry tradition of slightly weird English titles alive), the latest mystery-thriller off the conveyor belt. Based on a novel by Park Ha-ik, the movie follows Seo Jin-hong (Kim Rae-won, The

Director Kwak Kyung-taek will be hoping that his down and dirty genre picture will get him back in the box office game

Glass Garden

RELEASE DATE October 25 DIRECTED BY Shin Su-won STARRING Moon Geun-young, Kim Tae-hoon, Seo Tae-hwa, Park Ji-soo DISTRIBUTED BY Little Big Pictures

Scheduled to open the Busan International Film Festival on October 12, before getting a nationwide release just under two weeks later, director Shin Su-won’s Glass Garden sees former child star Moon Geun-young (Lover’s Concerto, A Tale of Two Sisters,

My Little Bride) continuing her tentative steps back into the cinematic spotlight. Moon took a break from acting when she entered university in 2006, and since her return has stuck mainly to TV, with a supporting role in The Throne two years ago her only movie work in over 10 years. As such, it will be interesting to see how she handles the heavy duty lifting required of headlining what appears to be a strongly character-based, emotional film. Information released so far – both press releases and the trailer - has been rather

vague about the plot. What is known is that Moon plays Jae-yeon, a medical researcher who has withdrawn from society to live in a forest, where she continues to work on artificial blood as part of her studies. Her solitude is interrupted by the appearance of Ji-hoon (Kim Tae-hun, The Long Way Home, Roaring Currents, South Bound), a novelist who has been ostracized by the writing community for accusing a fellow writer of plagiarism and who is looking to turn Jae-yeon’s story into his next book. The trailer sells the film as something quiet and deliberative, but with a central mystery lurking at its heart. Director Shin has been active in the festival circuit before, with Pluto having its premiere at Busan in 2012 and Madonna making it to Cannes in 2015, so she has the artistic sensibilities to make it work. All that remains to be seen is how Moon transitions into more adult roles and whether the indie spirit of this project can transcend the lingering remnants of her past, more innocent image.


45

Prison, Gangnam Blues) as he struggles to come to terms with the fact that his mother (Kim Hae-sook, The Handmaiden, Thirst), who he witnessed first-hand being murdered seven years earlier, has returned – and not as a tiresome ghost that only he can see, but as flesh and blood. This comes at a time when various reports have surfaced of other murder victims (nicknamed the “RV”) coming back from the dead to extract revenge on their killers before disappearing again. It is up to Park to figure out what is going on, as a government official trying to cover up the existence of the RV (Sung Dong-il, The King, Thread of Lies) and a detective on the case (Jeon Hye-jin, having a busy year with Merciless, A Taxi Driver, and The Poet and the Boy) circle around. It’s certainly an interesting foundation to build a film around, though how far it gets will depend a lot on the extent to which it can avoid mumbo-jumbo over-explanation and craft tense set-pieces. Director Kwak Kyung-taek has been working steadily in recent years with a string of mid-budget action dramas (The Classified File, An Eye for an Eye, Typhoon), but has yet to really make the same splash that he did way back in 2001 with his gangster pic Friend. (He has even tried returning to the well, directing the sequel Friend: The Great Legacy in 2013.) He will be hoping that this down and dirty genre picture will get him back in the box office game.

film

Blade Runner 2049

when October 12 | who Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford

film

Geostorm

when October 19 | who Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess and Abbie Cornish

film

Mother!

when October 19 | who Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem

film

Marjorie Prime

when October 19 | who Lois Smith, Jon Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins

film

Thor: Ragnarok

when October 25 | who Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett


46 film Story by Simon McEnteggart Photos courtesy of Busan International Film Festival

BIFF 2017 Announces Thrilling Showcase 22nd Busan Film Festival to Screen Array of Big Titles

F

rom October 12-21, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will showcase an incredible 298 films from 75 countries, screening big budget fare from established directors through to world premieres of up-andcoming talent. Throughout its 10-day run, the port city will play host to a variety of programs highlighting the latest and best cinematic endeavours from around the world, with guests both international and domestic attending Q&A sessions after select screenings, the BIFF Cinema Centre, and the stage at Haeundae Beach. With the large number of films being presented, it’s a great opportunity for casual filmgoers and cinephiles alike to discover new stories. Here are 10 of the biggest films to be screened at BIFF: When October 12-21, 2017 Where Busan City (Centum City, Haeundae) Times Screening times vary. Check the website for details. Cost Ticket prices vary per screening. Website www.biff.kr Transport Shuttle buses transport visitors between locations.


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Korea

Glass Garden Opening BIFF 2017 is Glass Garden. Blending themes of fantasy, societal injustice, and revenge, Glass Garden depicts the story of a scientist who takes refuge in a forest to focus on her work after being hurt by the modern world and rejected by a lover. An aspiring writer, in need of inspiration, hears of the scientist’s tragedy and decides to follow her, yet discovers shocking secrets he is ill-prepared for. Director Shin Suwon has proven herself to be a talented filmmaker to watch, displaying a keen sense of social injustice throughout her filmography in Passerby #3 (2010), Pluto (2012), and Madonna (2015). Glass Garden is the director’s highest profile work to date and is one to watch out for.

Mother! Both Jennifer Lawrence and director Darren Aronofsky are due to attend BIFF to promote Mother!, and their high profile status is undoubtedly going to generate huge interest. Mother! presents the story of a couple who have their lives turned upside down when some uninvited guests arrive in their home. The film explores provocative themes - as to be expected from the director behind Black Swan (2010) and Requiem for a Dream (2000) - and is certain to be one of the most talked about works at the festival.

Throughout its 10-day run, the port city will play host to a variety of programs highlighting the latest and best cinematic endeavours from around the world


48 film usa

Manhunt

Hong Kong China

Action maestro John Woo returns to the big screen with Manhunt. When a lawyer is framed for murder, he sets out to prove his innocence, while the detective assigned to the case tries to hunt him down. The film sees Korean actress Ha Ji-won star alongside the Chinese cast. As with all John Woo films, expect to see lots of kinetic action sequences, a brotherly bond develop between the two lead protagonists, and slow-motion doves.

The Third Murder

japan

Director Koreeda Hirokazu is renowned as a filmmaker whose sensitive approach to dramatic storytelling has won critical acclaim. His latest effort is a surprising change of pace as the director tackles the thriller genre for The Third Murder. When a killer confesses to a brutal murder, a successful lawyer is tasked with reducing the death penalty to a life sentence yet, as the truth of the case comes to light, it appears that the situation is far more complex than previously thought.


Battle of the Sexes Based on the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, Battle of the Sexes stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the lead roles. Despite its status as an exhibition match, the event became one of the most renowned sports events of all time as the match became symbolic of the gender politics of the era.

usa

Downsizing Featuring an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Laura Dern, Neil Patrick Harris, and more, Downsizing is a science-fiction comedy drama that follows a team of scientists who embark on an extreme solution to solve the world’s over-population crisis - to shrink humans to 5 inches tall. A couple decide to take part in the experiment in order to escape their stressful lives, yet encounter more than they bargained for.

uk

Victoria and Abdul The latest offering from director Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Launderette, High Fidelity) is the British colonial—era set Victoria and Abdul, based on the real-life relationship between the Queen and a servant. Abdul Karim is a young Indian clerk taken from his homeland and brought to England for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, yet is surprised to find that he is to directly serve her. As time passes, Victoria and Adbul develop a friendship that grants the monarch a new perspective, one that those around them are intent on destroying.

usa

The Shape of Water Director Guillermo Del Toro’s filmography is full of stories that combine captivating fantasy with emotional drama - Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and more - and early reports regarding The Shape of Water have been encouragingly positive. Set in 1962 during the Cold War period, a mute janitor discovers a huge government secret - the existence of an amphibious humanoid creature. Both lonely and isolated, the duo form a powerful friendship, one that becomes tested when outside forces interfere.


50 film China Taiwan

Love Education The closing film at BIFF 2017, Love Education is a drama that explores generational differences through the relationships issues between three women. When a step-mother and daughter come into conflict over moving a grave site, the whole town begins gossiping and it isn’t long before it hits the local news. The film also acts as a metaphor for the complexity of Chinese history, looking at the issues of the past in order to move forward into the future, and is a fitting finale to the festival.

usa

The Mountain Between Us Starring Kate Winslet and Idri Elba and based on the novel by Charles Martin, The Mountain Between Us depicts a doctor and photojournalist whose plane crashes mid-flight in the High Uintas Wilderness in Utah. Facing incredibly harsh weather conditions and sporting injuries, the duo must work together to reach civilisation before their time runs out. While on the journey, their relationship deepens, becoming something of a love story set against an epic tale of survival.


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52 film Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Daniel Kim

Taking nerdom global U.S. web series Adultish redefines adulthood

W

hat exactly does it mean to be an adult? It’s an age-old question that transcends country and culture. Adults pay bills. Adults are responsible. They don’t nerd out over comics or movies. Or wear Batman socks. Or do they? Popular U.S. web series Adultish has been exploring the notion of what it is to be an adult for millennials today since 2014. Now starting work on its fourth season, the cast and crew say the show’s concept is something that can appeal to audiences outside the U.S., including Korea.


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“Adultish is giving you permission to redefine what adult even means. There’s this stigma that when you’re an adult, you have to behave a certain way. And our show is saying, ‘No. I’m 30 and I’m going to pay bills and such, but I’m also going to fan out over The Lord of the Rings. And I’m going to watch cartoons. And I’m going to feel proud of that,’” said Victoria Cheri Bennett, who plays Bevin and is one of the show’s co-creators It’s the Journey, Not the Destination Web series are a relative newcomer to the entertainment industry. Unlike in other countries, there’s not much drive to fund

them in the U.S. Mostly the focus is on shooting a pilot and attempting to sell it to a major TV network. “Web series is a very new term there because the entertainment industry has been changing significantly,” said Jordan Elizabeth Gelber, CEO of Starbaby Enterprises, which helps with the production and management of Adultish. However, people love to binge-watch shows, which is feeding the market for web series, not only in the U.S. but internationally as well, according to Justin Morck, who directs Adultish as well as plays the character Roommate. “They want these short-form, creative, episodic shows nowadays, so I think it’s a

good opportunity for shows like Adultish to be able to gain some exposure and get some attention too,” he said. “There are a lot of shows in America that are like Adultish, so we’re not trying to pitch this to NBC.” While ensemble-based, the show revolves around three comic-book-loving friends Bevin, Handsome Eric, and Michael. All are nearing 30 and trying to make it through life and survive the transition into adulthood in their own ways. Funny and often hitting close to home for anyone in their late 20s/ early 30s, the show cashes in on 90s nostalgia - and Batman. Set in New York City, the show started in 2014 and each season has brought with it new lessons.


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“Adultish is basically one giant textbook of what to do and what not to do,” Victoria said. “When we started the first season, it was not scripted and there was no budget we didn’t know what we were doing.” However, co-star Brandon Scott Hughes (Handsome Eric) said not having a script that first season helped develop the second season. They knew what would and wouldn’t work for the characters, which helped as Brandon and Victoria began to write the script for season two.

I knew we were going to Seoul, even if we had no money. Even if we didn’t talk to Footprint about getting more involved. I was like, this is something that needs to happen because that just seems like the natural progression for these people - Jordan Elizabeth Gelber, CEO of Starbaby Enterprises

“I still think of the first season as just one giant pilot for the show. And we encourage everyone to watch all of Adultish, but I always say, if you started from season two and you worked your way up, going back and then watching season one and seeing where our roots started, I think it’s really fascinating for anybody that’s a filmmaker,” Justin said. Season three has garnered a lot of attention. For starters, it pushed Jordan to approach Victoria, who she had met before, about getting her company Starbaby Enterprise working with the show. Jordan said she was drawn in by the passion she saw in in the people working on the show as well as the show itself. Having heard of Footprint from a previous series that she and her partner Tom Kohut had produced, she thought it would be a good fit for Adultish. “These web series, they’re purely run on the fact that people are passionate about it. All of these virtual OTT platforms, they are

ensemble-based, so you’re working with people who are extremely hands on… that’s why Footprint jumped on it,” Jordan said. Victoria added that she was genuinely blown away by Footprint’s involvement. As soon as the show received nominations at the Seoul Web Fest, the company set to work figuring out a way to get a posse to the festival, with Jordan taking point on a lot of the planning. Seoul Web Fest 2017 This was the first international festival that Adultish attended, though they were at the LA Web Festival just four months ago in April. It was an exciting opportunity, though Justin admitted that at first that he didn’t even think they would be able to come. He said it’s been encouraging having people

and companies wanting to help out with the show. “People were coming to us and saying they wanted more and how can we help and how can we donate and, it was really mind-blowing. That only fueled our desire to keep doing it and keep doing it right,” he said. It took about two weeks, a lot of phone calls, little sleep, lots of coffee, and lots of songs sung by Victoria, but Jordan and Victoria worked out the details and made it happen. “I knew we were going to Seoul, even if we had no money. Even if we didn’t talk to Footprint about getting more involved. I was like, this is something that needs to happen because that just seems like the natural progression for these people,” Jordan said.


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Six people from the show made it to Seoul in the end - Victoria, Brandon, Justin, and one of the show’s producers Chris Rogus, along with Jordan and Tom from Starbaby with a huge thanks to Footprint for helping to make it possible. The group said they were very humbled by the invitation and nominations, adding that the founder of the Seoul Web Fest, Kang Yong-man, has been a fan of the show for years. “And he was very impressed with the marketing of it,” Victoria said. “That was one of the things he was reaching out to us about, saying, ‘I love you guys. Your marketing, your branding, your show. You have a specific niche brand that you’re going with and I love that. I want you guys out here.’” Adultish was nominated for Best Actress, Best Director, Best Overall Web Series,

Best Comedy and Best Ensemble at the awards ceremony that took place at Kookmin University. Justin said that Best Ensemble - which they won at the LA Web Fest - was most important to them because Adultish is such an ensemble show. Victoria added that, when they didn’t win that, at that point she had figured they were just going to go home empty-handed. Which is why it came as a surprise when she won Best Actress. “They lumped the drama and comedy actresses together,” she said, before adding that usually drama actresses win because they are perceived to work harder. Justin added that Bevin, Victoria’s character, is central to the show and everything branches off from her. “So she’s being humble by saying that

because she’s had to do a lot of work. And Bevin truly had to be a part of every little aspect of the show. So, she was well deserving,” he said. More than that, the group was beyond shocked to win overall Best Web Series. So much so that, according to producer Chris Rogus, when they called out Adultish, everyone stood and started screaming then ran up to the stage to accept the award rather than sending one designated person. “We had seven people in a row and we just shot up and started screaming. And I will admit to a little bit of swearing,” he said with a laugh. “I believe it was the president of the university who made the comment. He was like, ‘You guys are from America, right?’” Justin added.


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“I’m pretty sure we were the only ones… well, there was one Korean group that jumped up out of their chairs like us,” Chris finished.

here in Asia. And I think the Asian market contains a large number of nerds itself…. There’s a lot of fandom here and I think the branding of our show resonates,” she said. “So, we should be in this community.”

Moving into Korea Journey to the Future With the series’ success at Seoul Web Fest, they have “We each have our own personal goals for the show, now set their sights on moving into the Korean and and I think we’re never going to be truly satisfied unless Asian market. Tom, Jordan’s partner at Starbaby, said we touch upon all of them. Or at least address them. he was impressed by the amount of support creators in Or at least attempt to achieve them. It’s one big learning Korea receive from locals and the government. Speaking process and we learn these things the hard way, but at the with Korean web series creators at the festival, he was same time, I think the hard way is the fun way,” Justin said. shocked to hear that many had received funding from “It’s the journey, not the destination,” Victoria quipped various government agencies such as the Korea Tourism semi-seriously, causing the entire group to burst into Organization. laughter. “Culture is a big thing. Without art, without food, withThe group is currently about to start working on season out movies and music, what do you have to work with as four of Adultish. As each season has proven to be a step people?” he said. “And the fact that it’s promoted, it was forward, the latest is no different. super cool.” This season, they have multiple He continued that he is ready to producers and a bigger crew, do something elsewhere, getting according to Victoria. away from the “gatekeeping” in They also have a great script the U.S., a sentiment that others writer and are working to get a in the group seem to share. few celebrity cameos this season, Justin added that in the U.S., art Justin added. is mostly put in a box, whereas “Now we’re aiming for that. in Korea and Asia, creators We’re like, okay, so now let’s get are more willing to artistically names,” Victoria said. “Who do explore what’s out there. we know that we could sit there “You can only do this. And if and say, ‘Hey, so are you a fan of you take that risk, you could be Batman? Do you want to be on a absolutely wrong, so it’s best show?’” not to take that risk,” Brandon One such cameo could possibly said, further explaining the U.S. be Mike Quinn, one of the origimentality. “And a lot of web nal Jim Henson puppeteers who series that were here, that won, still works with The Muppets actually took those risks.” today. Victoria is friends with Jordan said for her, a big thing him - after fangirling over him that convinced her that coming at Comic Con - and said he was to Seoul was important was interested in appearing in the seeing her friend - New York fourth season. rapper Koncept - come here, Justin continued that he didn’t grow, and gain success. It showed think the show would have as her there is an appreciation of many connections if Victoria other cultures in South Korea. hadn’t been such a nerd about She added that the “appreciation pop culture. “That’s where we’ve of the melding of technology and - Victoria Cheri Bennett, Bevin gotten so much of our friendships art is really intriguing.” and co-creator of Adultish and our camaraderie and our Plus, Asia is working to be a flagclout that we’ve developed with ship for web series development the show. It’s through people and growth. Not to mention, who are into the same times as we are and who are into creators should be looking beyond their homes regardAdultish just because, again, we’re not hiding how geeky less. and nerdy we are. We’re really throwing it out there in “If you’re making music today or making movies or the world.” writing poems or being an author - whatever kind of Starbaby plans to continue seeking to get the show up creator you are, fashion as well - you should be looking on more platforms outside Footprint. everywhere,” she said. “You should be wanting to touch Jordan and Victoria also believe the next step for every single person with what you create. Creativity is Adultish beyond all of this is Comic Cons, as the people an action, but it’s also a human emotion.” who usually attend them are the show’s target audience. Victoria continued that creativity is also a way of comJordan said she didn’t see why Adultish - a now internamunication and a bond, which is why it was so amazing tionally successful web series - couldn’t travel around the to be at an international web festival where there are world and do panels at various Comic Cons, saying “We people from all over the world relating to your work. are nerds who love being nerds and who are also trying “I had somebody from the U.K tell me that they thought to grow up being true to our nerdom.” the show was relatable, someone from Australia, from

Adultish is giving you permission to redefine what adult even means. There’s this stigma that when you’re an adult, you have to behave a certain way. And our show is saying, ‘No. I’m 30 and I’m going to pay bills and such, but I’m also going to fan out over The Lord of the Rings. And I’m going to watch cartoons. And I’m going to feel proud of that


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Picnics and jazz Jarasum International Jazz Fest returns

Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Jarasum International Jazz Festival

It is the role of Jarasum Jazz to introduce music that falls under the umbrella of jazz in Korea and diversify the Korean music ecosystem


Jarasum calls itself international not only because of the many artists from other countries it invites, but also because of the international exchanges that take place. This year is no different, with Israel selected for the “Country Focus.” This program chooses a different country every year to introduce to the Korean audience and is carried out in close coordination with the countries’ embassies or cultural centers located in South Korea. Under the program, groups such as the Eli Degibri Quartet and Gilad Ephrat Ensemble will be performing this year. Other events and programs taking place at this year’s festival are All Night Cinema, Midnight Jazzcafe, Jarasum Music Class, Youth Program, and Family Program. Jarasum International Jazz Festival started in 2004; at the time, the concept of music festivals, much less a jazz music festival, was unfamiliar in Korea. And while the organizers admit that people were originally wary about the genre and the festival, the organizers have continued to stick to jazz in order to introduce it to more Koreans. “Jazz is an unusual type of music that can be divided into many sub-categories,

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nown as one of the chillest music festivals in Korea, Jarasum Jazz Festival is back for another round this fall. In its 14th edition, the three-day festival is set to bring in more international and local musicians for jazz fans. Set on the quaint and picturesque island of Jara in Gapyeong, the festival will take place on October 20-22 on five stages Jazz Island, Party Stage, Festival Lounge, Jazz Palette, and Jazz Cube. This year’s line up includes over 40 international artists and local acts, performing various genres of jazz, ranging from Latin jazz to classical, reggae, bossa nova and even artists who push boundaries. Gracing the stage are the likes of Grammy-winning piano duo Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Norwegian Boi Akih Duo, Dock in Absolute, Fabrizio Bosso Quartet, the Jacob Young Band, JazzyBIT, and many more. Some of the local artists include Howan University Jazz Big Band, the Hyungyu Kang’s Quartet, Eunmi Kim Quartet, Divas: Sungyeon Park and Malo, and the Joonghwa Jung Quintet.


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including swing, fusion, bossa nova, bebop, world music, and others,” organizers said. “It is the role of Jarasum Jazz to introduce music that falls under the umbrella of jazz in Korea and diversify the Korean music ecosystem.” Over the past 13 editions, it has attracted a total 2 million people and has been designated a representative festival of Korea by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as well as a Promising Festival from 2008-2010, an Excellent Festival from 2011-2013, and a Best Festival in 2014 and 2015. On top of that, the environment ministry named it a Green Life Promotion Ambassador for five consecutive years. According to organizers, the festival

prides itself on its approach to nature, creating a “picnic atmosphere” where visitors can enjoy music they may be unfamiliar with. “Jarasum Jazz does not compromise on music, but takes the lead in popularizing jazz in a way that gives a more enjoyable experience to a larger audience.” However, one change this year is that tents will not be allowed on the festival grounds, though there will be auto and caravan camping available at campsites outside. The organizers also highlighted the fact that the festival aims to help local communities. It provides a local restaurant guide as well as selling jazz makgeolli and other food items using local produce from the surrounding Gapyeong area.

“Apart from these numbers and facts, Jarasum is a special place where you can leave your daily life and have a wonderful and relaxing break by laying on the lawn, taking in the stars, and listening to the best music with your loved ones,” organizers said. Advanced tickets are 50,000 KRW for one day, 80,000 KRW for two days and 100,000 KRW for three days on Yes24. com. Tickets are also available at the festival sight for 55,000 KRW per day. Getting to Gapyeong from Seoul: Subway - Using the Gyeongchun line, it is roughly 50-60 minutes from Sangbong Station to Gapyeong Station and costs about 2,000 KRW, depending on the starting point.

Apart from these numbers and facts, Jarasum is a special place where you can leave your daily life and have a wonderful and relaxing break by laying on the lawn, taking in the stars, and listening to the best music with your loved ones


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ITX Train - From Yongsan Station, it is 60 minutes and 5,200 KRW to Gapyeong. From Cheongnyangi Station, it is 40 minutes and 4,300 KRW. Bus - There are three main buses from Seoul to Gapyeong - #7000 from Jamsil Station, #1330-2 from Cheongnyangi Transfer Bus Stop, and the intercity bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. To get to the festival from Gapyeong Station: From the train station, take the only exit and go left and walk about 500 meters. At the 7-11, take a right. Stay on that road until you reach the festival From the bus station, exit and turn left. Take the street in front of the CU convenience store. Walk about 20 minutes and then take a right at the three-way intersection. Keep walking about 1 kilometer until you reach the festival.


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Summering in China 64 travel

The highs, lows, and in-betweens

Story by Rocio Cadena Photos by Rocio Cadena


BEIJING We started off at the Great Wall, located in the Chinese capital, Beijing. We joined the tour our hostel offered out of sheer convenience, but somewhat regretted it since it turned out we visited the most popular (and most crowded) part, Mutianyu. Originally, we intended to visit the Jinshanling section--a less touristy area due to its distance from Beijing. But unfortunately Jinshanling was closed for renovations. Despite the crowds, the Wall was magnificent and totally worth it. As far as impressions of this city, we found it to be surprisingly chill and green. Again, I thought chaos and madness would occur, but was taken aback when instead we encountered peace, order, and calmness. Beijing had a biking culture, featured plenty

of parks, and exuded a mixture of charming and traditional vibes--none of which I expected. My friend and I decided to forego most major attractions to avoid spending time in a sea of people like we did at the Wall, and because a friendly local advised us to do so. The only tourist attraction she recommended was the Temple of Heaven. Off we went and found that the temple actually sits in a lush park in the middle of the city. We love parks and picnics, so this was perfect. We found Beijing’s true charm in its Hutongs, traditional neighborhoods made up of close-knit alleyways and courtyards where families share communal areas. The many times we meandered through and got lost, we were able to glimpse a more authentic Beijing.

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’ll admit that whenever I thought of China-before going on this trip-my mind conjured images of chaotic crowd; dull, grey cities; polluted air; and rude locals. This conception is what I presume many other non-Chinese people hold about the country, but I couldn't have been more wrong. My holiday in China proved to be a pleasant surprise; and the negative expectations I had never materialized. Shocking to some, my favorite part about China was its people. They were warm, inviting, helpful, and friendly. Whenever we approached a local who didn’t speak English, we’d receive a smile and an amused look. In all honesty, the real reason for traveling to the often stereotyped country was to experience the beauty contained in some of its rural areas--and that we did.


66travel Shocking to some, my favorite part about China was its people. They were warm, inviting, helpful, and friendly

CHENGDU Ah, Chengdu….The pace of life here is considerably slower. The locals in Chengdu seem to have mastered the art of chilling. I never thought I’d be writing this about any Chinese city, but a lot of misconceptions I held were relinquished during this trip. Chengdu is part of the Sichuan province, which is famous for its spicy cuisine. One of the most popular dishes to eat here is called hot pot, a simmering hot soup where ingredients are cooked by dunking them into the broth. On our first night, we eagerly went to try it out but mistakenly ordered the spiciest level. This proved to be a major mistake. I've never sweated more profusely in my life, all the while feeling light headed and wondering how patrons seemed to be enjoying this. The next day our hostel was

hosting a free hot pot party and we were happy to actually enjoy the milder, “edible” version. The highlight of our stay was seeing the adorable pandas. Chengdu has many panda bases, which breed giant pandas to conserve their once endangered species. We visited Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and saw about 50 painfully cute furry animals. This is a must-do. Our time in this lesser-known Chinese metropolis was refreshing and restorative. We chose the perfect city to unwind in. From our day spent at the spa (very similar to a Korean jjimjilbang) to the afternoon dedicated to strolling through Wangjiang Pavilion Park admiring some of the oldest architecture in the city, Chengdu proved to be a gem.


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68 travel

My holiday in China proved to be a pleasant surprise; and the negative expectations I had never materialized

Story by Nicole Arnott Photos by Nicole Arnott


69 GUILIN Guilin is the main city in Guanxi, an autonomous region in southern China. This city is mostly known for the Li River, which straddles Guilin and runs down to Yangshuo, a town surrounded by towering karst formations. The breathtaking river scenery is featured on the 20RMB note, which contributes to the popularity of this destination. To say that I was looking forward to seeing this landscape is an understatement. But unfortunately things didn’t pan out the way I would have hoped. Guilin is still a sore topic because we went about it the wrong way. We intended to use Guilin as a base to travel to Yangshuo and other nearby attractions. My friend and I naïvely believed that we could see a good amount of Yangshuo’s sky-high rock towers in a day. But we didn’t realize how far from Guilin it is, nor how big and sprawling the town turned out to be. Although the Li River cruise is very popular, we wanted to bike around instead. However, we showed up in the sweltering, late afternoon and realized it was far too late to rent bikes. Instead, we hired local ladies to chauffeur us around on their scooters for three hours, which was not long enough. The first few hours we spent there seemed like a mere tease and I was deeply disappointed. In hindsight, we should have stayed in Yangshuo a few days to explore a different section of the town each day. But there’s always next time, right? The following day we went to the Longji Rice Terraces situated in the countryside, a few hours north of Guilin. This was by far one of the most stunning sights I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. We got there in the early morning and peacefully hiked the area with minimal tourists around.


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HONG KONG This glitzy, global and trendy city was fantastic. Our time here was very limited and we enjoyed hiking Victoria’s Peak, the vibrant nightlife, the tasty food, and Kowloon Park. Yet, getting in and out was nearly traumatic. Arriving was a nightmare due to Typhoon Hato. We got in a full 24 hours later than anticipated due to cancelled, delayed, and missed trains. Departing would prove to be an even worse headache, as I experienced a 10-hour delay due to yet another tropical storm, which resulted in me getting stranded in Jeju. My arrival in Daegu was a full day later than expected. It was definitely the most frustrating travel tale to date, but despite these setbacks, Hong Kong and China were stellar.


72 listings

HOTELS & RESORTS

EMERGENCY MEDICAL CENTERS

FAMILY & KIDS

American Embassy (02) 397-4114 • 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Novotel Ambassador Gangnam (02) 567-1101 • 603 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Seoul Samsung Hospital 1599-3114 • 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

Canadian Embassy (02) 3783-6000 • (613) 996-8885 (Emergency Operations Center) Jeongdonggil (Jeong-dong) 21, Jung-gu, Seoul

Grand Hilton Seoul (02) 3216-5656 • 353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Asan Medical Center 1688-7575 • 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul

Somerset Palace Seoul (02) 6730-8888 • 85 Susong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) • 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu

EMBASSIES

British Embassy (02) 3210-5500 • Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Jung-gu, Seoul Australian Embassy (02) 2003-0100 • 19th fl, Kyobo bldg., 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul Philippine Embassy (02) 796-7387~9 • 5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Spanish Embassy (02) 794-3581 • 726-52 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul French Embassy (02) 3149-4300 • 30 Hap-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

HOTELS & RESORTS Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul (02) 2250-8080 • San 5-5, Jangchungdong 2-ga Jung-gu, Seoul

Park Hyatt Seoul (02) 2016-1244 • 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Lotte Hotel Busan (051) 810-1000 • 772 Gaya-daero, Busanjin-gu, Busan Park Hyatt Busan (051) 990-1244 • 51, Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan 612-824, Korea

Airlines Korean Air 1588-2001 Asiana Airlines 1588-8000 Lufthansa (02) 2019-0180 Garuda Indonesia (02) 773-2092 • garuda-indonesia.co.kr

EMERGENCY MEDICAL CENTERS

Jeju Air 1599-1500

Gangnam St-Mary’s Hospital 1588-1511 • 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul

T’way Air 1688-8686

Yonsei Severance Hospital (Sinchon) (02) 2227-7777 • 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

British Airways (02) 774-5511

Seoul National University Hospital 1339 • 28-2 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Delta Airlines (02) 754-1921

Jin Air 1600-6200

Yongsan Intl. School (02) 797-5104 • San 10-213 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Seoul Intl. School (031) 750-1200 • 388-14 Bokjeong-dong, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Branksome Hall Asia (02) 6456-8405 • Daejung-eup, Seogipo-si, Jeju Island Daegu Intl. School (053) 980-2100 • 1555 Bongmu-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu \

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Cathay Pacific Airways (02) 311-2700

Emirates Airlines (02) 2022-8400

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NDO


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FAMILY & KIDS Eton House Prep (02) 749-8011 • 68-3 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul A unique British-style Prep School for children of all nationalities from 2-13 years of age. A broad, challenging and innovative curriculum preparing pupils for senior school and life beyond. / www.etonhouseprep.com AMUSEMENT PARKS Everland Resort (031) 320-5000 • 310 Jeondae-ri, Pogokeup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Lotte World (02) 411-2000 0 • 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul Pororo Park (D-Cube city) 1661-6340 • 360-51 Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul Children’s Grand Park (zoo) (02) 450-9311 • 216 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Seoul Zoo (02) 500-7338 • 159-1 Makgye-dong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do BOOKSTORES What the Book? (02) 797-2342 • 176-2, Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • whatthebook.com Located in Itaewon, this English bookstore has new books, used books and children’s books. Kim & Johnson 1566-0549 • B2 fl-1317-20 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

HEALTH Tower Urology (02) 2277-6699 • 5th fl. 119 Jongno 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul DENTAL CLINIC Boston Dental Clinic General dentistry / Periodontics / Orthodontics (02) 3482-0028 • 92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul Ophthalmology Dream Eye Center The best eye clinic for LASIK and LASEK. 3,000+ foreign patients over 20+ years of experience with 0 complaints. If you're considering getting this, make sure to choose the best. • 1588 9881 • 14 fl., Mijin Plaza, 825 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Animal hospitals Chunghwa Animal Hospital / Korea Animal Transport (02) 792-7602 • 21-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / www.cwhospital.com

MUSEUM & GALLERIES National Museum of Korea (02) 2077-9000 • 168-6 Yongsandong 6-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • The NMK offers educational programs on Korean history and culture in English and Korean. National Palace Museum of Korea (02) 3701-7500 • 12 Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul • This museum has a program called Experiencing Royal Culture designed for English teachers to help learn about Joseon royal culture.

Seodaemun Museum of Natural History (02) 330-8899 • 141-52 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul ORIENTAL MEDICINE Lee Moon Won Korean Medicine Clinic Don’t know where to take your kids on weekends? This museum exhibits a (02) 511-1079 • 3rd fl., Lee&You bldg. 69-5 snapshot of the world and animals. Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Specializes in hair loss and scalp problems and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea offers comprehensive treatments and services (02) 2188-6000 • 313 Gwangmyeong-ro, including aesthetic and hair care products. Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

HEALTH

Hair & Joy Trained at Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon Academy in UK Color, Perm, Magic Straight, Treatment and more English Spoken For more info, call Johnny Tel 02.363.4253 Mobile 010.5586.0243 3rd fl. 168-3 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu Hair & Joy

www.hairandjoy.com

Lotte Cinema Samsung Plaza

Qunohair Gangnam / Apgujeong Branch Tel 02.549.0335 10-6, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul www.qunohair.com

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Hongik Univ. Station

Line Line #2 #2

Cosmetic surgery Leeum Samsung Museum of Art MIZAIN plastic surgery (02) 2014-6901• 747-18 Hannam-dong, Seoul National University College of Yongsan-gu, Seoul • 10:30 am-6 pm Medicine graduate doctors offer the best Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar quality medical services • (02) 515 6199 • New Year and Chuseok holidays. Dosan-daero 423 (Cheongdam-dong 91-11), Gallery Hyundai Gangnam-gu, Seoul • www.mizainps.com (02) 734-6111~3 • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, MVP plastic surgery Seoul • The first specialized art gallery in Welcoming environment for foreigners and Korea and accommodates contemporary art. • friendly staff guarantees a pleasant visit for 10 am-6 pm Closed on Mondays, New Year’s cosmetic surgery related consultations. Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. (02) 3442 6669 •Nonhyeon-ro 819, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Plateau JK plastic surgery center (02) 1577-7595 • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Experience the best medical system in Korea. Seoul • 10 am-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. Its superb system allows the minimum efforts National Museum of Modern and for your medical experiences.• (02) 777 0337 Contemporary Art, Seoul • 584-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (MMCA SEOUL) FITNESS (02) 3701-9500 • 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Exxl Fitness Gangnam Finance Center, 737 YeoksamDaegu Art Museum dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul • www.exxl.co.kr (053) 790-3000 • 374 Samdeok-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu • Art space for local UROLOGY & OB culture presenting Daegu’s contemporary fine Sewum Urology arts and internationally renowned artists. (02) 3482-8575 • 10th fl., Dongil bldg., 429 Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul


The first and only government accredited plastic surgery center

JK PLASTIC SURGERY CENTER

jkmedicalgroup jkplasticsurgery

+8210 97384053

+8210 97384053

www. jkplastic.com english@jkplastic.com +82-2-777-0337 by Taxi Tell the taxi driver to come to Apgujeong Station in Seoul. 584-2, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea 서울시 강남구 신사동 584-2번지, JK성형외과 (압구정역 4번출구)

by Subway Line No.3 Apgujeong station. Exit No.4 and walk toward Kookmin bank for 300m.

Breast l Body l Anti-aging l Eyes l Nose l Botox & Filler l Facial-Contouring l Hair-Transplant l SPA & Esthetic


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