Tuesday, March 3, 2009

도장 Discovery

My departure is imminent and I'm goofing off. NOW I want to read other K-blogs ;)

Actually, that's not fair to me. I was looking into the process of getting a 도장, dojang, at the last minute. A dojang is the official and legally binding Korean stamp that Koreans use for official documents. Someone suggested I get one today, so I was seeing what info was out there on the net about them to see if the process of getting one is worth it for me. (Probably not, BTW.)

What I found was Surviving Korea, a blog written by a Filipina who is married to a Korean, and her post on registering a dojang at the local district office. It was great to find and, honestly, a pleasure to read because it was minus the whine-quotient you find on so many expat blogs from people from the West. Yes, I know, I've had my bitchtastic "hatin' on Korea" moments too. However, I have tried to keep that to a minimum or, at least, balance it out by blogging about the good or fun stuff that happens here too. There is some really practical survivor advice out there. One of the first friends I made in Korea was a young Filipina who'd met and married a Korean man. We've grown apart because she's still in Yeosu, which is a small city down in Jeollanamdo, and I've been gradually migrating north to Seoul as a huge number of people seem to do in South Korea.

Anyway, it occurred to me reading her blog and seeing what she's writing about is that there are at least three strains of K-bloggers out there: the Koreans, the English-speaking expats and, at least, one more, the immigrant housewives. Yes, I know there are definitely other types too, but these are the types I'm most likely to trip over.

These wives come from mostly Asian countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and China. However, of course, they have their own networks, tricks and survival tips. It was there that I got enough info on a dojang that I decided, eh, screw it. It's different when you're married to a Korean I'm sure.

I don't have the time right now, but I'm going take the time to find a few more and link to them. I'm sure they've got some interesting stories and probably very practical advice.

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