Category Archives: Korea

YG Family Auditions!

So as some of you may know, I am an aspiring singer and a major YG Fan! So when I heard YG Family were having auditions right here in Sydney, I grabbed the opportunity!

I won’t bore you with the minor details but basically, we got to Chatswood very early (mind you I live almost two hours away) and I got to be the 14th Auditionee (is that even a word?) !!

Lucky Number 14!

Like my haircut? 🙂

I sang 아파 (slow) by 2NE1. I knew it was a popular song…. but I didn’t think it was that popular… I was Number 14, and I met two other people who sang the same song before me. Can you imagine how many other people would have sung it after?

Anyway, here’s a little snippet from my audition….

The night before I had completely lost my voice from recording with my band, but thanks to steam inhalations, ginger, honey, lemon and prayers I got my voice back long enough to sing!

Did you audition for YG? Or any other Korean companies such as JYP last year? Rumour has it that SM Town will be having auditions in Sydney later on in the year, so for you Sydney siders out there, keep your eyes peeled!

Anyway, I’m keeping positive but if I don’t get it this time around, YG, you’ll be seeing me again. I’ll be auditioning in Seoul next year. 🙂 I’ll leave you guys with Park Bom’s audition for YG Family!

Extra trivia: Did you know Park Bom was rejected from YG multiple times before finally being accepted after three years? (So to everyone who auditioned, stay positive!)

안녕~!

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Korean Pastimes: Noraebang! 노래방 (Karaoke Time!)

It’s a Friday night, you’re tired from work, you don’t want to go home yet but you just want to wind down… So what do you do??

YOU GO TO NORAEBANG OF COURSE!

What exactly is a Noraebang you ask? The Noraebang is translated into English as literally meaning the “singing room” or “the song room”. And don’t mix your Noraebang with Western Karaoke! It’s two completely different things. Koreans take their karaoke seriously! (As do most other Asian cultures, amirite?)

In the past week alone I have gone to Noraebang twice! TWICE! (I take my karaoke very seriously, too.)

Sydney Noraebang @ Town Hall

There are many Karaoke rooms in the Sydney CBD. Most of which are great establishments. The two I went to this past week was 시드니 느래방 (Sydney Noraebang – pictured above) and Mizuya (A Japanese Karaoke Room). So obviously, in this post I’ll be talking about the Korean one. ㅋㅋㅋ

Korean Noraebang’s are next level shiz. You get the whole shebang when you go and that’s why I love it so much! Think of your average karaoke… now add some fancy lights, tambourines, shakers, alcohol, food and even costumes and you’ve got a Noraebang. Scared that you’ll embarrass yourself? Don’t be! You don’t even need to be able to sing in tune! Just as long as you’re having a good time (which you will) and hitting all the notes (whether right or wrong)!

Isn't that right, Cat? Hahaha!

Sydney Noraebang can be found near Town Hall Station next to Hungry Jacks. It’s quite a quaint place and it’s fairly hard to find but that’s what makes it more exciting. If you ever go, just look out for the neon sign above and just take the lift to Level 2. And don’t worry! Songs are not only in Korean, but also English, Japanese and Chinese. What I love most about 시드니 노래방 is that songs are updated very regularly so most of your favourite new tunes will be available for singing at your next visit.

In comparison to most other Karaoke Boxes, Sydney Noraebang is fairly cheap ($15 per hour on weekdays) and it’s great quality, too.

Can you read that??

Anyway, enjoy your noraebang experience!

안양~!

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K-Talk Tuesdays: Hangeul 한글 – The Korean Alphabet

I hope you guys have been learning a lot these past few weeks. I’ve got to say I’ve been learning quite a bit and I’m fairly proud of myself.

However, if you’re going to learn to speak Korean, you might as well go all the way and learn the Korean Alphabet, too. I’ve just picked up hangeul over the past week and it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. I used to think there were hundreds of Korean characters, but it turns out Korea has a fairly similar amount of characters in their alphabet to english. It’s just that they build their words in “boxes” – so instead of writing from left to right, they write each syllable in the form of a box (but still writing from left to right).

I wrote hangeul on my laptop. :3

In the past week, I’ve enabled the Korean Keyboard on my laptop so now with the click of the “alt” button I can go from typing in English to 한글 (Hangeul). It’s so exciting! But as you can see above, I’ve scribbled all over my keyboard because I just can’t memorise all the characters on the keyboard off by heart yet.

If you want to practice your Hangeul, what I’ve been doing is looking up romanisations of Korean songs on the internet, then from there I’ll rewrite it in Hangeul. Of course, I can’t really check if what I’ve written is right so a Korean friend would come in really handy right about now to proof read.

Trying to proof read my own hangeul.

Anyway, here are two charts I made of Hangeul Characters below along with what they’re called and how they are pronounced. (I’m not sure if they’re completely right so if you are a fluent reader of Hangeul, please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes).

Consonants in Hangeul.

I’m not sure if vowels have any character names:

Vowels in Hangeul

Anyway, I hope you enjoy learning hangeul! Good luck!

:)

Annyeong~!

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Food for the Seoul: Korean Barbecue

맛있어요!!!

Imagine the scent of a barbecue wafting through the air. Sticking to your clothes and staying in your hair. I don’t know about you but i am absolutely enamored with that scent. The scent of a barbecue gets me in very high spirits. Even more so when I can barbecue with my mates at a Korean Barbecue!

If you’ve never gone, I suggest you cancel all your plans this weekend and make the trip.

There are many great KBBQ’s in Sydney. I don’t know how popular they are elsewhere in the world but they’re starting to gain hype here in Sydney along with other Korean dishes like Bibimbap and Kimbap. I’m sure if you look hard enough, there will be one near you and it’s definitely worth it.

My friends and I went to the Charcoal Mine BBQ House in Parramatta the other night just for fun as a way to celebrate before they go back to uni. According to their website, Charcoal Mine was the first smorgasbord KBBQ in Australia. As a matter of fact, my first KBBQ experience in 2007 was here and I’ve been to many other KBBQ’s since then and this place is still my absolute favourite and I highly recommend it.

Korean Barbecue, also known as 고기구이 (Gogigui), is different to Western Styled barbecues because other than the fact that it is grilled indoors, it is served fairly differently.

Banchan!

First of all, usually when you order your meal, appetisers will be brought out to you straight away. These appetisers are called Banchan and are typically eaten on their own. I know people usually make the mistake of trying to make a K-Barbecue “Taco” by eating their banchan together with the meat, using the provided lettuce as sandwiching. Banchan is just meant to be enjoyed on it’s own as a separate side dish.

Also, as I mentioned above, lettuce is served with your barbecue. The lettuce is there to create a wrapping for your freshly cooked meat. What you have to do is tear a little bit of lettuce and wrap the meat. You can also add other things to your little wrap such as bean paste and grilled garlic but make sure you don’t overdo it! I don’t know if you’re meant to but I love adding a bit of Kim Chi to mine. Omnomnom!

My friends and I had a great time at KBBQ (as we always do). We left absolutely satisfied and the $30-something we spent was well worth it. We couldn’t even walk after our meal because we were that stuffed (mind you, Ian sprained his ankle beforehand so he couldn’t walk either way).

Anyway, after writing this blog my mouth is now watering and since I don’t have anything KBBQ-like here, I guess I’ll go grill some bacon… Can’t wait until I go to Korea!

Annyeong~!

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Major setback

Bring the boys out!

So unfortunately my keyboard decided to die this afternoon. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a music student so having a keyboard is vital to my education. Because of this, I had to dig out some $$$ from my Korea Kitty to buy a new keyboard ASAP.

This sucks terribly because it has placed a massive dent in my savings.

But in other news, I have applied for a job to help speed savings up a bit faster so hopefully I get hired so I can check-out chick my way into Korea.

Fighting~!

(Also, the song I was charting out when my old Casio died was The Boys by Girls’  Generation. Ha! I just thought you should know!)

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Meet Piggy!

My piggy bank got an upgrade! She’s actually a piggy now, and she’s huge! YAY! More space for saving for Korea!

Oink~!

Meet Piggy! (Moomoo will be moving to my bedroom to adorn my bookcase and to be the holder of smaller change I find lying around.)

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Why Korea?

Over the past few weeks, this has been the most common question I’ve received from my colleagues, my family, friends and just everyone really.

Of all the places in the world, why Korea?

Even the Koreans are asking why.

Initially, Korea wasn’t high up on my list. I just got back from a 3 month holiday in the Philippines and during that time I brainstormed a few places my friends and I could visit next year. Top on my list were Boracay (Philippines) or the Gold Coast in Sunny Brisvegas. Both beautiful places with tropical climates. Neither one too far from home and both well within our price ranges.

So I messaged my friends on facebook to suggest my ideas… turns out since I was gone for such a long period of time (2 and a half months at that point), there were already ruminations about going to Korea! So there goes Boracay and the Gold Coast… but at the end of the day this was actually a lot more exciting for me. It’s a lot different to what I’m used to in terms of holidays. I’ve already been to both Boracay and the Gold Coast, both of which are summery beach places. I’m from Sydney so I could easily just drive down the coast to Bondi, but how often do I see snow?? Never! We’re going in February which most probably means snow! YAY!

Anyhoo…

My friends have been massive fans of Korean culture for a long time. Kpop, Kdrama, Kfashion – you name it.

Btw, Happy Valentines Day 😉

I was fairly late to the entire Korean Culture boom when I got into it in 2009. Chantel introduced me to f(x)’s songs “Chu” and “La Chata”, and Cat introduced me to the Kdrama “My Girl” and I guess that’s what got the ball rolling for me. Also, during this time was the massive WONDERGIRLS boom and  fortunately (or unfortunately?) for me I was holidaying in the Philippines (read: Asia) at this point and “Nobody” was playing on the radio, on TV, in shopping centres and everywhere, constantly. You’d think the radio DJ had fallen asleep and left “Nobody” on repeat.

Anyway, I guess from that point my interest in Korean culture started to grow. From there I started discovering my own favourite Korean related things (2NE1 and Big Bang anybody??) and basically, I developed an interest in all things Korean (which was fed by my slightly K-obsessed friends).

So now you know a little about my background in regards to Korean culture, still, why Korea?

Personally, I am going because I want a change. Korea is very different in terms of what I’m used to in terms of culture,  climate and latitude/longitude. Korea will be my first holiday as an adult and by that I mean it’ll pretty much be the first time I’ll be away from Mommy and Daddy (aww) for such a period of time, and it’ll be my first non-family oriented holiday. I’ve been to other places but I’ve always gone with my family and I guess this upcoming holiday will be testing  my independence and my ability to hold myself as an adult in the big wide world. This is my main reason for going.

Otherwise, other than the fact that my friends are going, I have many reasons for going… especially after discovering Eat Your Kimchi’s youtube channel last year singing praises for Korean life. If you haven’t met Simon and Martina of Eat Your Kimchi yet, I suggest you head over to their website now. NOW! (Just make sure you don’t have any work to do because I can assure you that you’ll be there for awhile.)

Simon, Martina & the Spudgy!

Anyway, Eat Your Kimchi have started a segment recently called W.A.N.K. (Wonderful Adventure Now Korea!) where they travel to different places to review it so I suggest you check that out if you intend to travel there anytime soon. Other than that, they have K-Pop Mondays where they review songs and they also have TL;DR for any of your (mostly) Korea related questions.

In their blogs they make Korea look so amazing, which I’m very sure it is! Pretty much everything they have reviewed is on our itinerary from Namsan tower to Se7en’s restaurant.

So I’m going to wrap this blog up now and in my upcoming posts I guess I’ll write a little about the places my friends and I plan to visit.

Are there any places in Korea that you recommend? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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