About a year and a half ago, my husband and I were running errands in New York’s Korean Town. A whiff of Korean BBQ tickled our noses and we simultaneously put the breaks on our steps. We were in front of Miss Korea. A rambunctious crowd was lining up outside.
One of our restaurant rules is: if there is a line coiling from an establishment, we must join the passionate food-ship and never become meek spectators. It had been ages since we had devoured that BBQ cozily wrapped in crisp lettuce with spicy peppers, slivers of garlic and miso paste. We waited about 30 minutes, salivating and trying to ignore the beasty growling of our tummies. We could see that inside, the restaurant was full of BBQ smoke and happy faces eating and drinking.
Since I am Korean-American, I captained the order. The server repeatedly asked, “Excuse me?” and alarm bells went off in my head. To my horror, my Korean had acquired a thick, curly-tongued American accent that resembled my American-born nephews. My husband noticed and looked at me, wide-eyed and with an elevated brow. I mentally shouted to myself, “WTF just happened to me?!”
When we opened our lounges, I spoke Korean daily with my managers and nail technicians. It’s been several years since then and it seems that I’ve become a Korean version of a gringo. But as soon as the food arrived served with iced-chilled soju, we stuffed ourselves and the incident faded to black. * (wide smile, slightly tipsy face)*
Now that I’m living in Paris part-time, I’m trying to learn French. In fact, whenever I’m in New York, I’m usually fighting with my Duolingo APP, struggling with French whenever I commute on the subway. Somewhere between me wanting to smash my phone or violently shaking it like it was a live person I wanted to choke (I loathe that owl), something hit me. Being bilingual is a privilege, not something I should nonchalantly toss out. But how in the world was I going to learn French as well as practice my Korean? I can practically feel my gray hairs accumulating in volumes. *(Tear drop face with knitted frown-y brows)*
During one rainy weekend in New York while my husband was away, I set up my schedule for a binge-worthy Netflixathon. I stumbled upon the Korean drama “Boys Over Flowers.” As soon as I hit the play button, I was done—game over. This melodrama takes place in high school; it resembles “Gossip Girl” as it is also full of well-dressed bullies. I have not been to Korea in nearly twenty years and it was almost like taking a trip to my motherland in real-time. In one single weekend I managed to watch all 25 episodes without leaving my apartment, rotating between my two iPads and a laptop (using my desktop meant leaving my bed or couch—gasp!). I ordered in and didn’t leave my apartment the entire weekend.
Empty takeout containers peppered my kitchen counters along with two large empty Doritos bags (I remember nothing). I got myself together and took a shower on Sunday night. I felt empty as I readied my fatigued self for work. *(Devastated face) *
I had withdrawal. I was so enraptured and fascinated by the modern Korean slang I learned that I’ve watched “Boys Over Flowers” again. In total, I’ve watched it five times. And if that’s not enough, I downloaded the soundtrack. The boys were too fashionably hot and the twisted plots crazy. In fact, even during my fourth viewing, I peed a little in my pants because, holy shit, can these people cry, and I’m not only talking about the girls—I’m kind of a goner when boys and men cry—and dang it—these guys do it so well. If there were an award for “The Best Crying Scene,” there would be blackout riots in South Korea, it would be worse than the European Soccer riots. Like any addict—I needed more! I found a huge community of Korean drama fans from all over the world on the Internet. I downloaded the Viki APP and I have not stopped. To make matters worse, there is another APP called Drama Fever (commercial free) that I subscribed to—I convince myself it’s worth every penny. *(I’m so lying face)*
(My vote for “The Best Crying Scene” would be for “Heirs,” when the two main characters stare at each other for what seems like hours. They don’t speak, they just communicate though streams of shiny tears—I still get goose bumps and, you’ve guessed it, I’ve watched this series three times, and am planning one more binge this summer. Lee Min-ho—*(kissy face*).
I must say, the Korean melodrama-marketing machine is genius. The boys are so much prettier than the girls (after all, we’re a female audience) and they eat so much instant ramen and drink so much soju that sometimes when I’m watching at 3AM, I wonder if I should leave my apartment to buy a bag of instant ramen from the corner bodega—thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet. I have even enabled my girlfriends in their own addictions, we now text each other if a new episode is posted, and of course we all convince ourselves it’s all for learning the language. But even this has happened! I am now able to string Korean words more fluidly. (Who knew I could even joke in Korean?)
When it comes to food, my husband and I need our fixes (how can he dare to eat spicier foods then I do?!). There is nothing like a bubbling kimchi-jigae after traveling, we blow our noses without any shame whatsoever while devouring the stew. My new Korean fluency gives me the confidence that bonds me with my fellow Koreans around the world, even in Paris. They don’t speak English and I certainly do not speak French, but it doesn’t matter because I can actually make reservations in Korean now and this makes my husband super envious, he actually said, “Who knew Korean would be so useful?” He even tells me that I’m now showing off my Korean, in fact, he had never, ever seen me hold such long conversations. *(wink face) *
Now I must tell you all about how #KDrama works. Picture this: an Anatomy #KDrama marathon, this one is about a really hot, rich boy (his parents practically own the country—think Samsung!), who falls in love with a plain Jane, a pitifully poor girl whose family was financially ruined by loan sharks. Her relatives gamble and there is always a sick relation with huge hospital bills to pay. The boy’s equally wealthy best friend (Think LG!) falls in love with her too, they punch each other out over the girl, but she is without a clue since she works her ass off and is often too exhausted from taking care of her family—and working two or three jobs (But she always has the latest bad-ass smart phone—in white of course). It takes about 8 episodes for this couple to hold hands; we don’t know which of the boys will actually get the girl because she may have held hands with both of them (the slut!). They both profess their love for her. They give her makeovers by reaching into their bottomless wallets—his family owns the department store too! (Oh Snap!)
Enter his no-nonsense Korean tiger mom who has a rich girl for him to marry (company merger), someone he loathes. There are loads of schemes to get rid of the poor girl, even if the mother has to hire a hit man. Yes, there will be a kidnapping and injuries, you name it—I’m scared for her too, no lie. It takes about 16 episodes for these two to kiss and overcome her accidents, hospital recoveries, etc. They promise never to part. But wait! Something else surfaces, after digging up her family history, it seems that they are exactly like Romeo and Juliet, their ancestors were enemies and his family is responsible for the fact that her family is destitute.
What will she do? His friend hired the PI who found unearthed this family feud—will she honor her family and reclaim their wealth? Or does she abandon ship?! * ( suspense #KDrama face)
Things are heating up in #KDrama land. I just finished “Secret Love Affair” and it has a racy plot, which is unusual for #KDrama. A 22-year-old piano prodigy falls in love with his professor’s wife (who is in her mid-40s?) who also happens to be the school artistic director and his piano coach –they practically make love when they play four hands together. She falls hard for him too –not that there are any naked scenes, but they are blatantly open about their affair and often spend nights together. This scandalous drama has the Korean community on fire (my mother especially). Immediately after “Secret Love Affair” ended, they showed “A Thousand Day’s Promise.” *Palm face* In this #KDrama, the couple were in bed naked (blanket covered of course, but they showed some skin) by the first episode! It was pretty smutty for a first episode—but can it get better than that? It’s like upping a dosage to an addict. I’m seriously giving myself a #KDrama cleansing diet this summer to read my beloved books which are gathering virtual dust in my Kindle APP. *(fear, lost and Ionging face)*
Now back to Anatomy Of A #KDrama Nail Polish Collection:
This is the perfectly neutral balance between fawn and taupe, a lofty palate cleanser with a tinge of attitude. Its flawless beauty is infused with flutters of silver, green, and pink shimmer. Once you wear it, Instant Amnesia will erase your memory of all the bad nail polish colors from your past.
The quintessential flushed cheeks for your nails, Oh Slap! goes on as a sheer pink in one coat with opaque coverage in two coats. This is THE PERFECT PINK; the formula is flawless and streak-free and is not pastel or white-based. You can practically apply it with your eyes closed.
Will They Won’t They
Will They Won’t They catches the sun’s rays as it glides on your nails. A gentle cascade of the tiniest silvery, blue-green micro glitter softly flows on a pool of doleful lavender. Sheer coverage in one coat, and opaque in two.
Cue The Montage
Yellow chartreuse is the most difficult color to wear; it was a daring task to try to create one that would be suitable for all skin tones. Cue the Montage has a different texture than any other RBL nail polish. It dries matte and textured, so you must apply a basecoat and topcoat for the full effect. This color has glittery silver that peaks through in glorified harmony.
Warning: The glitter in this bottle does not appear the same when applied to nails; it has a sandwiched effect.
Not Your Baby
A deceitfully, mysterious brown-bronzy-sage-green duo chrome, Not Your Baby is a classic RBL chameleon nail polish—its identity changes depending on the light. Trickery plays. This color may appear to be brown with a cast of sage-green shimmer in a certain light, and yet bronze the next moment.
Burn The Evidence
Burn The Evidence has a finely milled panache glitter that is not only jammed-packed with a mélange of red, gold, orange and copper glitters, but it also provides that dash of ash-black brilliance. This color fully covers in two full coats and has a flaming three-dimensional depth: Your hot nails will look like they’re on fire.
Virtuously inky, Monologue’s navy blue base is embedded with a soliloquy of elegant light-blue shimmer. Even in low light, this solitary dark blue retains its color and does not appear to be black. Monologue has a smooth, undemanding application; this color is darkly pigmented yet calmingly engaging.
If you are interested in viewing some #KDrama, here is a list of my recommendations I usually give to non-Korean friends as well and they’re hooked!
Boys Over Flowers (I would start with this released in 1998)
You’re Beautiful (Girl disguises herself as a boy in a boy band)
Heir (If you have Lee Min Ho withdrawal and compare Korea 2014-SO good! )
Dream High (think Glee meets Fame)
Shining Inheritance (title says all)
My Love From Another Star (If Alien was this charming and cute)
Winter Sonata (SOB!!!)
The King of Dramas (comedy)
The Fashion King (hot!)
The Women Who Married Three Times
Secret Love Affair (read above)
***I have tons more, but I do not want to become a pusher, leave me comments if you’re interested and I will give you more recommendations.