Saturday, October 6, 2012

A booze cruise of K-Blogs

Depending on how adventurous you are, you may or may not have started reading K-blogs (blogs about foreigners in Korea) to prepare you for your upcoming trip. I think going into Korea with no idea whatsoever of what to expect is incredibly brave, but I also like to be prepared.  I have been a regular reader of some K-blogs for years now, whereas I have only recently discovered others that are so amazing, I feel I need to share them with you.

A brief introduction to K-blogging:  

So far, I've found that K-blogs mostly fall into one of four* categories:

1. The Shout-out-To-The-Folks-At-Home:
These are made by teachers who have just arrived in Korea and want to reassure their parents/friends/family  that North Korea has not yet nuked them. The bloggers are sometimes couples, sometimes single, and the tone is chatty, personal and intimate. The language of the blogs is clear, direct and can feel very honest. Short and sweet, most of them have a very similar flavour, and they're nice for a quick read or to answer a quick question you may have.

If I could drink this, it would be: 

Blog of choice: Maggie Moo Does Korea

2. The Journalist-in-Teacher's-Clothing (to borrow a term from Deva)
The first thing you'll notice with these blogs is that they are beautifully written. These read more like the sort of article one might find on the Matador Network, with poetically descriptive prose that puts you right in the experience. The posts are longer, and a lot more planning, research and editing has gone into them. They also tackle a range of different attitudes and ideas about Korean life, culture and the experiences of expats in Korea. The journalistic experience of the bloggers also means that each writer has a subtle, yet distinctly different style.

By the glass, or by the bottle:

Blog of choice: The Culture Muncher

3. The right-here-right-now webzine
These are collections of contributions from bloggers all over Korea. Most of those bloggers have their own personal blogs (which fall into the 2nd category). The webzines, however, also have a lot more current information and hold a bunch of different points of view and sources in one place. Good to get to know a particular area (of interest or geographical) from a bunch of different angles.

Punchy, vibey and immediate:

Blog of choice: Chincha 

4. The unique-little-snowflake 
Of course, there are some blogs that just don't fit into the other categories neatly, or at all. These are startlingly brilliant and creative responses to living in South Korea and may be in the form of a web-comic, or, um, other stuff. Yeah. I can't really describe this category other than 'misc'. I guess you just need to take a sip and risk it.

Some interesting ones I like to dip into:

In summary, there are bazillions of expat blogs all over the place, and they come in many different shapes and forms. If I really like one, I tend to link to it from this blog so I can find it later - the links are in the nav bar on the right. If you know of a fantastic (and I mean FANTASTIC) k-blog that you think I should check out, leave your suggestion in a comment below.

*I have chosen not to include video blogs in this, for the sake of my rubbish South African bandwidth. K-vlogging is a whole n'uther story

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