22Aug/20

Where Are the Women?

A few years after moving to Manhattan, I decided to upgrade my social network and maybe also meet a girlfriend by joining a local Ultimate Frisbee league. One thing to love about

Read More...
09Aug/20
Image source: https://greenfactorylab.com/article/stories/8/8/

Fermented Plums, Pine Needles, and Mugwort: Innovative Korean Teas

“Don’t you want to see what’s inside?” I reluctantly tore my eyes from my problem set and glanced over at my boyfriend. He was looming in the doorway of our dormitory over

Read More...
09Aug/20

Putting the ‘Pa’ in Pajeon: Not Just Cutting Onions

My first brush with Korean food was in 2007, at a small restaurant on the outskirts of Harvard Square, sandwiched between an Indian buffet and a boba tea shop. The restaurant was infamous

Read More...
09Aug/20

The Dark Side of Korean Hagwons

Whether you’re a domestic or foreign resident of Korea, chances are the word “hagwon (학원/學院)” carries with it some emotionally laden connotations. According to the “Laws Regarding the Institution and Management of

Read More...
09Aug/20

Jokgu, the Insane National Sport You May Have Ignored

I have to admit that when I was asked to write an article about a Korean game called jokgu (족구/足球), I was a bit less than enthused. Vague images of hanbok-clad adolescents

Read More...
09Aug/20

Not Taekwondo: The Real Korean Martial Art

What would you say if I told you that there was a martial art more authentically Korean than Taekwondo? That it is the only martial art officially recognized by the Korean government as one of the

Read More...
09Aug/20

Hangang: Witness to the Best and Worst of South Korea

Within a bustling city like Seoul, the few places untouched by the pernicious hand of human activity seem to be those rendered inaccessible by accident of their geography: mountains, lakes, and rivers.

Read More...
09Aug/20

COEX, Gangnam Style

On Saturday I took a rare trip to Gangnam with my boyfriend for a leisurely stroll around COEX Mall, the largest underground mall in the world—nope, sorry, just Asia (darn you, Canada).

Read More...
09Aug/20

Seoul Apartment Life in a (Very Small) Nutshell

Cram half the population of a country of 50 million people into a single metropolitan area of a mere ten thousand square kilometers, and personal space becomes a precious commodity [1]. So precious,

Read More...
09Aug/20

Five Traditional Characteristics of Modern Korean Apartments

Korean architectural tradition is dead, a fact to which any modern Korean city like Seoul will attest. Homogeneous growths of board-approved steel and concrete stretch high into the urban smog over a

Read More...
01Aug/20

Hot, Steamy, and Naked Korean Health Maintenance

One night in Beijing, I took off all my clothes and spent an hour bathing with dozens of naked women. The situation was not nearly as scandalous as it sounds, for I

Read More...
01Aug/20

Five Techniques to Make Learning A Foreign Language Less Impressive

“What did you eat for breakfast as a child?” asked a wide-eyed woman from across the conference table. My friend had just introduced me to her clinical research group as “Kelley from Korea who

Read More...
01Aug/20

A Woman, A Drum, and Maybe Some Blood

“Real pansori performers practice so hard that they spit up blood,” my Korean teacher, who tended to be exceptionally interested and well versed in art and history, asserted in class one day in

Read More...
01Aug/20

Drinking in Korea: Soju and Makgeolli

One can hardly presume to understand much about Korean culture without knowing at least a little about its alcohol. And one can hardly proclaim an understanding of Korean alcohol without knowing some

Read More...
01Aug/20

The Love That Some Love to Hate

aegyo (애교) /āgyō/ (noun): The act of being overly cute [1] The Silk Road’s raison d’être is to bring diverse people together in mutual understanding. As such, we do not stop at attempting

Read More...
11Aug/19

At the Dog Park

At the dog park, this thousand-odd-square-meter oasis of chewing, chasing, digging, loping, barking, nipping, pouncing, and rolling canine friends, neural nets wearied by endless curbside crowds may relax in the luxury of

Read More...
07Feb/19

First Position

As an academic who tends to the introverted pole of the MBTI, I find my social circle to be rather finite and reasons to venture beyond the metaphorical university gates somewhat infrequent

Read More...
12Jan/19

Still on Bergensbanen

The overland railway from Oslo to Bergen was supposed to be the most beautiful train route in Europe, and I did not have a window seat. This unfortunate turn of events was

Read More...
30Dec/18

Juniper Latte, No Berries

  The woman two spots in front of me in line at the Seattle-mermaid airport coffee shop moved slowly, deliberately. Her hand searched the air beside her, eventually finding a wallet in

Read More...
17Aug/18

The Growing Garden of Death

  I This story starts with cockroaches. The American Cockroach, to be more precise. Periplaneta americana. Water bugs. Coffee-colored, segmented vermin of various proportions, some as long as a grown woman’s ring

Read More...