A last look back at 2010

We’ve digested the albums, films, sporting events and books of the year, and reviewed some of the memorable stories of 2010 in our Quiz of the Year. Here are some of the other things we noted in 2010 which didn’t quite make it into any of those articles. 2010: a year of anniversaries It was […]

Korean marries his pillow

From the Metro: Lee Jin-gyu fell for his ‘dakimakura’ – a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, which has a picture of his favourite anime character, Fate Testarossa, on it. And married it. http://bit.ly/98lDK6 # “He is completely obsessed with this pillow and takes it everywhere,” said one friend. “They go out to the […]

Pleasure Squad defector tells all

Dear Leader’s Pleasure Squad defector tells all: “His favourite delicacy contains the reproductive organ of sharks.” Interesting article from Sunny Lee in The National. Pleasure Squad candidates over 165cm tall are excluded because Kim Jong Il is short, says the defector


The Korean Toilet Association makes it into the news again. If you’re looking for an innovative public-hygiene-themed mini-break in Korea you could do worse than rent a toilet-shaped house for the night. All proceeds will go to support that splendid and worthwhile organisation. HT to Jim Hoare. Links: World’s first toilet house to be built […]

Another industry in which Korea leads the world

We all knew Korea had some world-beating industries: ships, chips, LCD screens. Add to that the manufacture of condoms, where three Korean companies – Unidus, Dongkuk Trading and Hankook Latex – account for 30% of the global market, according to the Chosun. Maybe there’s a big domestic demand – for example for high school field […]

Banish your Monday blues

Two little items to brighten your Monday. First, if ever you thought the TV in your particular country was trashy, just be thankful they haven’t plumbed the depths of “Racing Model Billiard Championship”. “This is a sport I really would like to see catch on,” comments the Party Pooper1. “Some geniuses over at the Xports […]

International Toilet Rescue

Revealing my schoolboy sense of humour, I couldn’t resist posting this link to an article about the Korea-based World Toilet Association “racing to rescue Cambodia” Toilets are no longer a space for excretion only; they are becoming the central place in our daily lives where cleanness, relaxation, and aesthetics are important. Read on at expat-advisory.com. […]

Cleanliness is next to godliness

A post by Mark Russell over at Korea Pop Wars about a particular piece of junk mail he got recently – the first issue of Toilet World – prompts me to link to two other toilet-related articles which I’ve had in my inbox for a while. Links: Korea Poop Wars – Mark Russell at Korea […]

Cosmetic surgery to get tax breaks

As if there wasn’t enough plastic surgery in Korea already, the Government has just made it tax deductible. According to the Chosun Ilbo: The costs of plastic surgery, cosmetic tooth reshaping, corrective laser eye surgery, and “boyak”, or traditional Korean health supplements, will be eligible for income deductions in the year-end tax adjustment from this […]