The Spirit of Kahoidong

Bukchon (북촌), a genuine old part of Seoul, a haven of peace preserved between the two major palaces. A little bit of old Seoul carefully preserved and nurtured, saved from the twenty-first century metropolis below. Stroll around the quaint streets of Kahoidong, one of the most protected parts of Bukchon, and if you’re not looking […]

Next week’s football

Next week’s friendly between Korea and Greece will be my first ever football match, would you believe. I know many of the Korean supporters will be behind the goal at the Putney end, but I’d rather get a better overview of the game and sit as near the half way mark as I can, and […]

The Rise of the Korean Art Market

The Korea Times records how the Korean Art market is beginning to boom. Perhaps carried on the coat-tails of the ebullient Chinese art market, prices for major Korean artists are edging up. Lee Ufan is one of the hot artists, and also Park Soo-keun, Kim Whanki and Chang Uc-chin. And last year Elton John made […]

An offer he could refuse

The Japan Times discloses Kim Jong-il’s love of Western classical music, and of one interpreter thereof in particular. Seiji Ozawa, formerly chief conductor of the prestigious Boston Symphony Orchestra, and now at the Vienna State Opera, received an approach from the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun), at Kim’s request, to become conductor […]

In-flight entertainment

No marks to British Airways for assuming that all their customers, regardless of flight origin and destination, are British or American and have no interest in the culture of wherever they’re flying to or from. The in-flight entertainment provides mainly Hollywood stuff and a bit of British TV, while the audio channels are western classical […]

Farewell to Seoul

Some of the highlights and not-so-highlights of my visit to Seoul. First the good. Soundday in Hongdae Gwacheon’s National Museum of Contemporary Arts The Leeum Gallery (post to come soon once I’ve done a bit of research. Now done. Post is here) Insadong. Yes, there’s some touristy tat for sale, but there’s also some really […]

Hacker and WordPress 2.1 update

I figured out that if I change the blog templates the hacker problem goes away. So maybe I’ve isolated where my Iranian friends have done their damage, and possibly I’m on the way to fixing it. In the meanwhile, please bear with the slight shortcomings in the visuals. Then it’s just a question of working […]


If you click on any of the article category links, or monthly archive links, you will get a friendly message from some Iranian hackers. I’m working on remedying this, but in the meanwhile browsing through the site will be a bit more difficult. You can still use the search tool.

Some pictures of Insadong

As I’ve been on a plane for what feels like the last 24 hours, a lazy post today. Insadong on a Sunday morning, before it gets busy: One of the products for sale: Question: If the diary is designed for the Japanese market, why is the writing in English? And a British style icon somehow […]

Book Review: Patti Kim — A cab called Reliable

Patti Kim: A cab called Reliable St Martins Press, New York, 1997 “A novel about growing up in America” reads the bland strapline to this book’s title. A novel about ironies, about mistaken stereotypes, about the travails of multicultural American and the Korean diaspora, would be more accurate, if less catchy. Presumably semi- if not […]

SoundDay in Hongdae

I’m glad no-one volunteered to chaparone me round the music clubs of the Hongdae area last night. I wouldn’t have had half so much fun. For starters, if you’re with someone else or with a group of people, you have to go at the speed of the most vocal or you probably end up staying […]

Jump returns to the Peacock

Ye-gam Inc’s hit martial arts slapstick show returns to the Peacock Theatre in London for a 10-week run in February. Do go along and take your friends. You don’t have to be a Korean culture buff to enjoy it. In fact, it probably helps if you’re not. Even if you aren’t a fan of Jackie […]


To celebrate my impending arrival in Seoul, a controversial topic prompted by a chance conversation with a work colleague in Hong Kong, where four men were recently jailed for slaughtering two dogs for food. The Letter from China blog helpfully provides extracts from the relevant Hong Kong law banning the practice: Dogs and Cats Regulations […]

Your help needed in Hongdae

My spies tell me that this Friday night (19 Jan) is a good time to be in Hongdae. Go to up to 10 live music clubs and it only costs you 15,000 Won for the lot, as part of the SoundDay event, which isn’t bad value. But for a pretty un-hip Brit who doesn’t speak […]