What is the Korean study room?

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This is the one of the common place where Korean students study. Mostly high school students use this study room, but also the middle school students, the adult who are preparing the test and few elementary students use the study room.

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In the study room there is a front desk that people charge the money and get the seat to study. After you assigned the seat you go to the passage which seems as the right picture.
독서실1In each room there are many desks and when the high school, middle school exam day comes these seats get all full. As you can see in the left photo, there are curtain in each desk. When students study many of them draw a curtain and study. For my experience, it blocks the back and side of the view that it is good for concentrating.:)

 

I started using the study room when I was 13years old that I usually did homework, prepare and review the class. The cost is about 7K~10K KRW($7-10) for one day and 140K~200K KRW($140-200) for one month. But it is depends on the place where it is.

I think there are 2 main reasons why this kind of the study room has been developed in Korea.

First, Korean students study hard and they need some place to study until midnight.

The Korean high school life is quite hard for studying. Normally they wake up at 6:30am and leave the house an study until 12-2am. The common students’ daily life cycle is study in school until 4-5pm and then go to the Hagwon(private after-school academies). When the Hagwon is finished, they go to the public or privates study room. Finally come home at12-2am. So the study room is one of the popular place for students to study after the school and the Hagwon are finished. Accordingly, there are many Korean study room and running the study room is the one of the well known business in Korea.

Second, EXAM EXAM

In Korea, many things are determined only with exam and we call this “Gosi system”. Gosi is the difficult civil servant examinations that if someone want to be a lawyer, middle, high school teacher, public institution employees…etc, they all need to pass the hard test. Normally these test has 2steps and it only has once in a year. If someone failed the test, they should wait another one year to take a test. The number of selecting is decided that some test only select 10-20 people in a year and the competition goes to 100:1 or more than that. Because of this reason, passing the exam is really hard that normally it took 2-3years. Accordingly, students study 13-16hours in one day and many of them study in Korea study room. In Seoul there are special towns for studying the national exam which are called Sinlimdong and Noryangjin that in these towns there are lots of study room.

Exotic type of the Study room

1. One room for one person(Study cube)

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 9.21.11 PMWhat you can see in the left photo is the study room for one person and it is called ‘study cube’. In some of the study room it is also prepared that people can use it. But the price is little more expensive than other common study room which you saw in the above picture. When you are studying, you can close the door that it is free in the noise and good for concentrating. However for some of the students this place gives the feeling of stuck that they don’t prefer this place to study.

 

2. Study room in home

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This is the common desk which is in the Korean students’ room. But Some of them prefer the below one that they put the study room in home.

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One of my friend had this study table in home and I asked “why you bought and put in home?”. Then she said “It is good for concentrating”.

Pros and cons of study room

I used the private study place for more than 10 years in my life and I will explain the pros and cons depends on my experience.

Pros

  1. Good for concentrating:

Blocks are both side of your seat that there is nothing to disturb your sight, and there is no TV, computer which can interrupt your study.

2. Get good effect from others:

Other people are studying in the same study room, and you can get the desire to study. When other people are studying hard, you will feel that I should study hard too.

Cons

  1. Can feel stuffy:

The study room’s table and the space are small. In my case, sometimes I felt stuffy that couldn’t study in study room anymore in that day. The blocks in side of the table can good for concentrating, but sometimes that can make you feel stuffy

  1. Have to pay money:

If you study in home or in public library, you don’t have to pay money. But this place cost money for everyday. 140K~200K KRW($140-200) for month can be a big money for students.

3. Except the study table, it is dark:

In the first picture in this article, you can see the study room is dark. Personally I don’t like this dark. This is because it made me sleepy and for me this environment made my eyes to have astigmatism. After I entered the university and stopped studying in study room, astigmatism of my eyes got disappeared.:)

Thanks for reading and if you have some exotic table in your country, it would be grateful to leave the comment about this or the link.

 

Do you know the Korea “Coffee mix”?

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There are many types of coffee such as coffee shop’s coffee, can coffee, capsule coffee, filter coffee..etc. The coffee mix is popular in Korea that it was sold more than a rice in a market. Korean eats the rice every day but recently we drink 7billion mix coffee in a year. Haha 7 billion is the word population.

Then what is in Mix coffee?

People usually call the coffee mix as ‘mix coffee’ or ‘stick coffee’ in Korea. The ingredient of the mix coffee is grind coffee beans, sugar, creamer…etc.

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The first instant mixed coffee pocket was invented by the Korean Dong Shu Food company in December, 1976. Korean has “Pali-Pali” culture which means “Hurry-up!” or “Faster!” that we also prefer to eat fast, drink fast. Accordingly Korean are addicted to the mix coffee, which can quickly make and drink, that it is easily seen in everywhere such as home, office, school, coffee machine in public place.

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How to make delicious mix coffee?

You can see how to drink mix coffee in the Maxim Mocha Gold Mild article.

Also I will give you the tips for making delicious mix coffee.:)

1. When pouring the mix in a cup, you can control the sugar content! Because the sugar is in the back of the mix pocket, you can control by holding the end of it. Want less sugar? Pinch the end! Then less sugar will be poured into your cup.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 8.52.24 PM2. Use the paper cup. It is easier to put the right amount of water. The proper amount of water in a one mix coffee package is 90ml and the paper cup is 195ml. So fill only half of the cup with the water. So the total amount of water and the coffee powder will be 80% in the paper cup as you can see in the right side of the picture.

 

 

3. Pour the hot water two times separately.

: Put the coffee, creamer, sugar first which is in the max coffee package, and then just pour the small amount of the water to melt those ingredient, After the coffee powder is melt, put the rest of the water. It will help for melting the sugar totally and the taste will be smooth.

  1. Put the fresh milk instead of the creamer.

: There are ‘black mix’ which is one type of the mix coffee, but doesn’t have the creamer inside. Make the coffee strong with this black mix, and then put the milk instead of the creamer. The good amount of the milk is the double of the coffee. Then instant coffee latte completed.

 

When you stir the coffee, you can do with small spoon or with the coffee pocket. Many Korean stirs with coffee pocket. However I don’t recommend stirring with coffee pocket as the harmful ingredient can came out from the plastic pocket when it is in the hot water.

Mix coffee is delicious and easy to make, but also has weakness. Pros and cons of the mix coffee are as below.

Pros

  1. It is really cheap! Only $0.1 for one pocket.

2. Mix coffee has the sweet taste that it helps the people to relieve the stress with cheap cost.

  1. You can make and drink the coffee easily. Just put the mix pocket in the cup and pour the hot water. You don’t have to put coffee, prime, sugar separately.

Cons

  1. High calories: Mix coffee has quite a lot of sugar inside that one mix pocket is 55~69kalories.

Starbucks’ ham& sandwich is 246kcal, so if you drink 4-5mix coffee pockets, that means you are having a one meal.

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In my experience, mix coffee is quite addictive and I drank 3-4 cups of mix coffee everyday. This is common in Korea that there are many Korean who drink 3~4 cups of mix coffee in each day as me.

2. If you make the coffee with the mix coffee powder, the coffee amount is the 80% of the paper cup. Accordingly, the coffee amount can be lack for you.

Even if the mix coffee has cons, I assume you should try this at least once in your life. Probably you will like the taste and the easy way of making it.

Thanks for reading:)

All about the Korea Hamburger

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McDonald’s restaurants are all round the world, and burger has been localized.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 9.57.43 PMThere are hamburger which you can only order in special countries: McBcon Rolls in U.K, Quiche de Queijo(cheese quiche) in Brazil, McArabia in Arab,..etc. If you want to know more about the exotic McDonald’s dishes around the world click here.

 

Today, I will introduce about the Korea localised Hamburger which you can hardly see in other countries, not only the McDonald’s burger but also the burger sold in other restaurant in Korea.

  1. McDonald’s Bulgogi(1997~)

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Macdonald made the Bulgogi burger what applied the traditional Korean bulgogi food in 1997. This menu did a hit in Korea that as many as 35% of the Macdonald Korea income was the Bulgogi bugger.

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Bulgogi,which is in the right picture, is a Korean dish what is sliced and seasoned barbequed beef. Traditionally Korean eat this with rice and other side dishes which is included the Kimchi.

 

 

 

 

2. Ramen burger(2015~)

Lotteria is a Korea fast food company and have the most stores in Korea. Second is McDonald, Third is Burger King. Lotteria made the fusion Korean hamburger which is the “Ramen burger”.

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Korea ranked top 1 of eating the most ramen in the world that Lotteria had an idea to make the Ramen burger. They released the half million amount of limited sale of the new “Ramen burger”on Jan 12, 2015. If people like this burger, they are planning to put it in to the regular burger menu. In the first week , Ramen burger ran out of stock in some of the store.

In last year, Lotteria also released the “Ramen burger” in Japan. But the difference is in the location of the Ramen. Japan’s Ramen burger has the ramen inside the burger instead of the patty. Meanwhile, Ramen burger in Korea has the ramen in outside of the burger instead of the bread.

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3. Kimchi burger(2001~2003)

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The left one is Lotteria’s “Rice Kimchi Burger”, and the right one is McDonald’s “Kimchi Burger”.

“Rice Kimchi Burger”  used the Kimchi fried rice instead of bread and  Kimchi, cheese, pickle, Kimchi souse are inside and no patty. At the fist time it was popular among the Korean, but only the few people prefer this burger that soon this menu has disappeared.

Against the Lotteria, McDonald also lunched the Kimchi burger in 2002 for limit selling burger. They sold only for 2months that, I even didn’t know there was a Kimchi burger in McDonald.

4. Diverse type of rice burger

Lotteria released many kinds of rice burger. Right now menus are in sell as you can see in below pictures.

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Vegi Rice Bulgogi Burger                 Egg Rice Burger                        Ham Cheese Rice Burger

People said the taste is quite good, but it took long time to cook that customers have to wait more than ordering other burger. Also it is small than other burger that you can be still hungry after eating this rice burger.

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These two menus are new released, but the people’s evaluation is  So-so. Because the ingredient is only the fried rice, fried eggs, also don’t have the sauce inside that the taste is too bland. I didn’t eat the egg rice and ham cheese rice burger yet, but I think I will not like it. Especially because I never ate rice with coffee and I assume the taste will be strange for me.

Thanks for reading and it would be appreciated if you leave the comment about your countries’ localised special burger. 🙂

 

About Korean military-What Korean girlfriend send to the soldier boyfriend?

As the all Korean men have to go to the military for 2 years, many girlfriends have the soldier boyfriend. When the boyfriend is in a military, Korean girlfriends frequently send the present for him.

Today I want to introduce about the popular winter items which Korean girl friends commonly send to the soldier boyfriend. Korea winter is very cold(January is -2.4C(28)) that winter is the most hard time for soldiers.  Accordingly, stuff for keeping warm is a popular item to send.

 

1. Items for keeping warm

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Hot pack

Army supplies the hot pack for soldiers, but this amount is lack for them. Also it is in P.X(Post Exchange which is the grocery in military),but the soldiers common think is “Outside product quality is better than P.X’ military product”. Because of this reason, soldiers prefer to get the Hot pack for presents.

Hot pack is the essential item in warming the cold hands and foot and it helps the soldiers to survive in cold weather training.

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Gloves, woolen socks, earmuffs are the common items for sending to the soldier.

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But the fur shoe insole is the recently popular items for soldiers. Soldiers are doing a training in a cold weather and it is possible to suffer from frostbite. Fur shoe insole is not only good for preventing the frostbite but also make the foot tired less.

2. Skin Moisturizer

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Korea winter is cold and dry that solders are easy to have cracked hands and foot. Accordingly, body lotion,Vaseline and lip balm are popular items for solders’ present.

3. Underwear(Heattech)

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Heattech is the underwear which is made from UNIQLO(Japanese company). It is light but makes the body warm that in 2014 and 2015 it is sold a lot in Korea. Even many similar products came out in a market. The advantage of Heattech  is light and warm that it is also the popular item for sending to the soldiers.

The interesting thing is in Korea there are many companies which people use  when sending presents to the soldiers. The type of the companies  are not only online shopping but also stores. Usually, soldier’s girlfriends, soldier’s family use these shops. The advantage of using these shops is that people can easily select the items which to send or set of the present which is already prepared. People usually send presents to soldiers in birthday, Seollal(Korean lunar calendar’s new year day),Chuseok(Korean thanks giving day)…etc. This kind of companies will consistently grow in Korea until the Korean men’s mandatory military service exists as now.

Thanks for reading.:)

 

 

 

How Korean eat sweet potato?

Few months ago, my American friend asked me “what is it?” after he saw the roasted sweet potatoes.

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In Korea eating the roasted sweet potatoes is common, but he said “eating the sweet potatoes like this way is not common in US”. After that time, I got on idea to write the article for introducing, how the Korean people eat sweet potatoes.

Korean eat sweet potato not only for a snack and also for a diet. Especially for young Korean women “Sweet potato diet” is popular that many of them are trying it. I’ve also tired once:)

There are few ways of Korean commonly eat the sweet potato.

  1. Roast the sweet potato and eat with Kimchi or milk.

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This is the most common way of eating sweet potato in Korea. I also enjoy the combination of Sweet potato and Kimchi or sweet potato and milk. You will be curious about the taste of eating sweet potato with Kimchi. For me it is delicious! Sweet, soft taste in sweet potato and the spicy taste in Kimchi are in good combination. 

  1. Dry the sweet potato

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This is the ‘food dehydrator’ that people usually dry sweet potato, apple and persimmon with it. After this machine got popular, many Korean dry these food and eat for snack. As you know, chips, chocolate, bread are enemy for dieting.  Because of this, especially the women who are doing diet use food dehydrator for making snack.

  1. Just itself without roast

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First,  eating just after peel the sweet potato. I used to eat like this for snack and the taste is little sweet and crisp.

고구마 깎두기생고구마

Second, make the Kimchi or the  pickles with sweet potatoes. When people make sweet potato pickles , they put  purple onion, apple,chili,cabbage together. Kimchi is one of the main side dishes when having Korean meal that normally rice, soup, 3~4 side dishes are in one meal. Also Korean prefer to eat pickles with western food such as pizza, spaghetti, risotto. 

4. Make food with sweet potatoes

The fusion food which is made with sweet potatoes is popular in Korea. These are easily seen in restaurant and also be made as the side dish for home meal. Foods which you can see in below are commonly eaten in Korea.

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Sweet potatoes honey pizza              Not fried sugar glazed sweet                                                          potato wedges

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Sweet potato glutinousrice                    Sweet potatoes backed in microwave

              flour donut       

Thanks for reading.:)

Banchangage-Korean side dish market

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This is the typical Korean restaurant meal picture. Lots of side dishes!!

Korean normally has every lunch and dinner like this. When Korean eating in home, just the average side dishes numbers are little less than above picture. In general Korean home ,people usually eat meal with “3-5side dishes, rice, soup”.

Making just one of the side dishes is hard for me! But the Korean housewife have to prepare about 4-5 kinds of foods for each meal. Because of this difficulty, from 2000s new type of market, which is called Banchangage(Side dish market) appeared.

This market sells the food but it is not a restaurant nor Take-out restaurant. It sells food for eating at home, but need some easy cook after buying. 😉 It is heating the food and displacing the food in plates as the food seems just made in home. The amount of the food they sell in one time is more than a once meal that normally Korean eat the side dish food about 2-3times after they bought.

Many Korean men have a romantic ideas about marriage that the wife cooks the food for him, and of course they want it.

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However nowadays many Korean women have a job also after the marriage that the women’s life style have changed. They prefer eating meal in restaurant and some of them frequently use the Banchangage(side-dish market) for preparing meal in home.

The below screen shot is part of the “Honey;Son-in-law-Guest” TV program (“자기야 백년손님”in Korean). This is talk show program which the guest are Korean celebrity couples. In below screen shot, they talked about their opinion of wife’s buying side dishes act in Banchangage when preparing dinner in home.

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Men: “The skill of warming the food is really improved”.(It is a sarcastic comment of wife’s act of buying food in Banchangage)

 

 

Women: “Going a Banchangage(Side-dish market) for buying a food is a great effort”.

 

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Men: (the husband talked to his wife)”Why we even buy the soup from the Banchangage(Side-dish market)?”->This means “Buying other side dishes is ok. But why you even not make the soup in home and buy?”

 

In this TV program called Jagiya(자기야)”, Some of the husbands complained that their wife are not making food but buying the side dish. However most of the women are positive for buying food that they say it is hard to make all the side dishes in every meal. They think “we should assign making side dishes to the professional(side dish market) who can make well”.:)

In my opinion, the growth of the Banchangage(Side dish market) in Korea, reflects the change of the Korean society. Only 15~20years ago, many Korean thought women should prepare the meal in home and they should do the household affair by themselves.

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But today, Korean thinking of wife role has changed that many of them think husband should also do the household affair with their wife. Accordingly,Banchangage’s(Side-dish market) growth is the one of the social phenomenon of more Korean women do work in society.

Thanks for reading.:)