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  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1843

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« on: July 11, 2019, 03:14:32 pm »
Surfing:

In my youth, I participated in a few comps back home and I'm still a pretty solid shortboarder.
Yes, there are surf spots in the ROK, but after spending years trying to keep up the hobby, I've decided to suspend it as long as I'm in Korea. The waves here are incredibly inconsistent, sub-par, at best, unpredictable and very far from where I stay. I'd say a good 85% of my surf trips end in disappointment. I've resigned to focusing on track and gym to get a bit of an adrenaline fix and keep myself strong and conditioned for when I go home.

Tennis:

I live in a small city where the foreigners aren't interested in tennis and the only way to play regularly would be to join a club. I tried a few places and found it to be filled with some of the most arrogant, cliquey, snobs
I've ever come across. They're also old farts and not interested in playing singles . What makes things worse is that the membership fee is about 300k a month! 300k a month to play on a crappy piece of astroturf. No thanks.

Fishkeeping:

I've recently discovered how relaxing watching aquascaping videos are and I decided to buy a little 30lit tank
to take up the hobby again, I kept fish as a kid. I'd love to get a 120 gallon high-tech tank, but obviously that's not practical right now and will have to wait till I buy a place back home. I found a nice little local aquarium shop and while it's a bit pricey, the customer service is top-notch, the guys happy to give me some pretty valuable advice on fishkeeping, c02 systems, plants etc.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 03:29:39 pm »
for me it's been playing bass, snowboarding, and doing any kind of martial arts

i COULD buy a bass or go snowboarding or go to the nearest muay that gym or w.e, but... idk for various reasons i just haven't. i bought a (six string) guitar and i've been going to the gym and that's been sufficient... but i do miss those other hobbies


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1439

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 11:28:54 pm »
1. Perusing the library. I could get lost for hours dipping into a book or books i came across in a library, spending half a day easily there before signing anything out.

2. Diving. Outside the biggest metro areas, it's hard in Korea to find a deep pool, let alone one with a board. I took for granted back home the local YMCA.

3. Playing catch in the park. Mitt and ball, football or frisbee, it was easy back home to find someone EAGER to do it. Heck, one would fall into a pickup game of softball or ball hockey!

4. Hanging out in a sports bar and actually having others watch and cheer during the games. In my twenties it was easy to strike up conversations over sports in Windsor/Detroit, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Oakland, Alameda.

5. Playing chess. Back home there was often someone who plays well around. Here i have to settle for online - not the same fun experience. I recall a great Christmas Eve spent in Gatineau, Quebec at a French home, drinking French wine and playing the party host's older brother all night in the corner of the living room, at least four bottles between us.  Here, i have had old men and children play Korean/Asian chess, with elephant and cannon, but that's a pretty different thing.

6. Dancing. Gawd, back home we had sock hops in elementary school, dances in middle and high school and clubs to go to in uni. I may be getting older but i know back home my aunts still go dancing and there are various opportunities to do it socially.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 07:55:50 am »
Swimming in lakes.  Or snorkelling in the sea.  Not sure of the legality of swimming in the lakes here anyway, but wouldn't want to because they are always grim.  Most of the ones near me seem to be reservoirs as well, so I'm not sure you're even allowed to.  Snorkelling in the sea is also pretty pointless here because the sea is so murky.  Nothing to see there. 

Music.  Techno and DnB to be more precise.  Before I came to Korea, I would go out to listen to DJs playing and was in the know with it all.  Which also included vinyl and cd shopping, but I suppose that is more of a sign of the times that those are being phased out.  When I worked in Sheffield, my lunch-time would consist of buying a sandwich and heading up to the vinyl shop and listening to the white labels and if they were good, buy them for my older brother for our music nights in.  My older bro lives in Berlin now and the music scene there is ace.  Korea is a techno and DnB desert. 

Working on my car.  I bought a brand new car a few years ago here so there is no real need to work on it.  But I loved to be tinkering around with my old bangers ages ago.  It's also like decorating and general DIY.  I have an apartment now that was built last year so I can't touch it or alter it.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 08:22:22 am »
Martial arts. I know they have a lot of options for these here, but I haven't been able to find a place in my town that has classes specifically for adults during times that I can actually attend.

Swimming. Like, real swimming, none of that wading around and kicking at the waves crap. They don't have accessible pools in my area.

Bouldering.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 08:32:15 am »
I think this should be more "what hobbies do you miss in RURAL Korea" because a lot of these things are readily available in big cities.

The same problems would be evident in a rural setting in your home country.

I done martial arts when I was in Korea and the clubs were not bad. Not excellent but not bad.

I also swam as well at a full size olympic swimming pool. It was an excellent swimming pool with competitive masters classes. I have never had a swimming experience like that since.


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1549

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 08:48:10 am »
for me it's been playing bass, snowboarding, and doing any kind of martial arts

i COULD buy a bass or go snowboarding or go to the nearest muay that gym or w.e, but... idk for various reasons i just haven't. i bought a (six string) guitar and i've been going to the gym and that's been sufficient... but i do miss those other hobbies

I actually switched from guitar to bass after moving to Korea, because it's much easier to find bands as a bassist, haha. Everyone and their brother plays guitar.  If you REALLY want to up your chances of finding people to jam with, though, take up the drums.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 11:09:57 am »
Tennis:

I live in a small city where the foreigners aren't interested in tennis and the only way to play regularly would be to join a club. I tried a few places and found it to be filled with some of the most arrogant, cliquey, snobs
I've ever come across. They're also old farts and not interested in playing singles . What makes things worse is that the membership fee is about 300k a month! 300k a month to play on a crappy piece of astroturf. No thanks.
I had this problem in my previous (suuuuper rural) town, only one set of dirt courts. Luckily I was loitering around the courts one day and some dude rocked up for his afternoon knock. He approached me with perfect English and asked if I was interested in knocking with him on a regular basis. No brainer really.

Then I moved to a bigger town (small city) and got even luckier. Our sports center has a set of pristine cement courts that are open 24/7. EVEN LUCKIER is that I have a foreign mate here who's a keen tennis player. We've been playing about once a week for the last year or so. Good times. 

Anyone been watching wimbledon? Channel 135 on BTV. Semis tonight.

As for my other hobby (drone flying), Korea couldn't be better. Decent scenery, and restrictions are minimal. I haven't received a single complaint.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 01:03:06 pm »
1) Almost non-existent general aviation.  I understand, given the whole quasi-state of war thing as well as rather difficult conditions, what with all the mountains and overcast skies.
2) Guns. Back home you could just pick up a couple boxes of ammo, go over to someone's house with a big backyard outside of the city and plink away.  Here you have to pay stupid money to go shoot.
3) Trail Riding. All the riding here is English and by people who either want to be jockeys or do dressage. Everyone here has a stick up their ass about it. Outside of Jeju, hard to find anywhere you can just ride a trail in relaxed comfort without paying a ton.
4) RVing. RVs are simply too big and clumsy for here. Sucks.
5) Yachting. Not like back home where you could just hop in your uncle's or friend's yacht and party on the lake.
6) Certain hobbies/nerddoms that are foreigner-heavy (which is fine, but it would be nice to have some locals in the mix too). Stuff like Star Trek cons, certain board games, etc.
7) As someone mentioned, fixing cars. Sucks you can't spend an afternoon doing some work while listening to some music or whatever.


Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 01:15:29 pm »
5. Playing chess. Back home there was often someone who plays well around. Here i have to settle for online - not the same fun experience. I recall a great Christmas Eve spent in Gatineau, Quebec at a French home, drinking French wine and playing the party host's older brother all night in the corner of the living room, at least four bottles between us.  Here, i have had old men and children play Korean/Asian chess, with elephant and cannon, but that's a pretty different thing.
I think the scene in Seoul at least is getting a little better. I've seen some people in a few cafes playing serious chess (timed matches, keeping notation, post-match analysis, etc.) and I think there are a few clubs around.

Interestingly, a fair number of elementary-aged kids are somewhat into it. Most of them aren't great, but a couple are. It's fun if you play a kid who knows changqi well and see how they do, as they kind of understand some fundamentals and the patience required to select a move and how to calculate things, so they can definitely be more fun than the normal ones who are clueless.


  • SPQR
  • Veteran

    • 225

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Canada
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 02:02:08 pm »
I think this should be more "what hobbies do you miss in RURAL Korea" because a lot of these things are readily available in big cities.

Haha, no shit.  You won't be doing most of the things listed above living in some place
like Asswipe, Kansas either.

But some are legitimate:

1/ Shooting. Especially black powder. (But I understand why. A 30-06 would probably travel
clear across Korea before it stopped.

2/ Smoking dope.

3/ Boating.


  • plan b
  • Super Waygook

    • 262

    • March 22, 2013, 11:53:06 am
    • Korea
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 02:33:15 pm »
1. Watching live theater like small independent plays and musicals.

2. Taking classes at night and on the weekend. Not necessarily for ones career, but just interesting classes that would pertain to interests, or future plans.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2335

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 04:21:04 pm »
decent live music


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4675

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 04:29:19 pm »
decent live music
Agreed. When I lived in Toronto I thought about how cool it would be to live in the UK and see all my favourite bands all the time and in different cities.

Now? TORONTO WAS ****.

(or "baps," if you will.)
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2335

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 04:40:31 pm »
yep. or even going down the local pub. always decent bands playing, whichever night of the week


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 618

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2019, 08:52:53 pm »
1.  420
2.  Camping/fishing in the summer (just to miserable here to do that)
3.  Being able to walk into a normal pub/bar and NOT have to endure some STUPID K-drama on the TV.


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4675

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2019, 10:31:37 pm »
3.  Being able to walk into a normal pub/bar and NOT have to endure some STUPID K-drama on the TV.
I don't get this. I don't even like sports, but I get it. You look up every once in a while and check the score. OR if it's a really important game, 80% of the people are watching the game.

But a Kdrama? Is anyone really watching season 3 episode 6 of "The Kim's Family struggles in an overlit 45pyeong apt?"

No. And the volume is usually not on anyway.

SO WHAT'S THE POINT?
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1439

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2019, 10:38:22 pm »
5. Playing chess. Back home there was often someone who plays well around. Here i have to settle for online - not the same fun experience. I recall a great Christmas Eve spent in Gatineau, Quebec at a French home, drinking French wine and playing the party host's older brother all night in the corner of the living room, at least four bottles between us.  Here, i have had old men and children play Korean/Asian chess, with elephant and cannon, but that's a pretty different thing.
I think the scene in Seoul at least is getting a little better. I've seen some people in a few cafes playing serious chess (timed matches, keeping notation, post-match analysis, etc.) ...
On Jeju the foreigners (and one local twentysomething who had gone overseas) had a chess club meeting at Gecho's in Jungmun i think it was 2010 or 2011 and i joined them and beat their champ in 15 minutes. He wanted a re-match and ALL other six players wanted to help him ( i was up a rook and two pawns in the 2nd game) and asked me if that was ok and i, aghast and disappointed at their fandom and lack of support of the new guy, said okay, ended up losing my lead and 7 vs. 1 conceded, smiled, left, and never returned.

I mean, i haven't in my many years here came across chess that was QUALITY and FUN, relaxed, let's just have a good game without geek clocks or stress of titles, just some happening gameplay and rapport.

I had a better experience playing the ragged park dwelling supposed homeless of San Francisco back in the 90's than i ever have in my years in South Korea.

Anyways...

The baduk i've learned from old guys here has been fun, though i never win at that game. Even 6 chess championships doesn't prepare you so well for the game of Go.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 10:43:11 pm by VanIslander »


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1843

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2019, 10:14:10 am »
5. Playing chess. Back home there was often someone who plays well around. Here i have to settle for online - not the same fun experience. I recall a great Christmas Eve spent in Gatineau, Quebec at a French home, drinking French wine and playing the party host's older brother all night in the corner of the living room, at least four bottles between us.  Here, i have had old men and children play Korean/Asian chess, with elephant and cannon, but that's a pretty different thing.
I think the scene in Seoul at least is getting a little better. I've seen some people in a few cafes playing serious chess (timed matches, keeping notation, post-match analysis, etc.) ...
On Jeju the foreigners (and one local twentysomething who had gone overseas) had a chess club meeting at Gecho's in Jungmun i think it was 2010 or 2011 and i joined them and beat their champ in 15 minutes. He wanted a re-match and ALL other six players wanted to help him ( i was up a rook and two pawns in the 2nd game) and asked me if that was ok and i, aghast and disappointed at their fandom and lack of support of the new guy, said okay, ended up losing my lead and 7 vs. 1 conceded, smiled, left, and never returned.

I mean, i haven't in my many years here came across chess that was QUALITY and FUN, relaxed, let's just have a good game without geek clocks or stress of titles, just some happening gameplay and rapport.

I had a better experience playing the ragged park dwelling supposed homeless of San Francisco back in the 90's than i ever have in my years in South Korea.

Anyways...

The baduk i've learned from old guys here has been fun, though i never win at that game. Even 6 chess championships doesn't prepare you so well for the game of Go.

That's a common thing I've noticed, take a fun hobby that should otherwise be chilled, social and laid-back and turn it into a serious, rigid and competitive stress pot. Don't get me wrong, I love competition and always pursue to improve my skills, but at some point you've just got to take it easy, by gracious in defeat and humble in victory.

My first year in Korea, I tried entering a few surf contests, just for the fun of it and to get myself involved. I cancelled my plans when I learned that the organizers were putting foreigners and Koreans in separate divisions (never heard of a surf contest separated by nationality)... meaning I'd be surfing against, at most, one other guy, when there were at least a dozen Korean guys entering the contest. Apparently, somebody complained that it was unfair to put foreigners and Koreans in the same division because we, potentially, had more practice in our home countries and are more experienced... Yeah, well, most of the Korean surfers live 5min from the beach and surf everyday, I'm lucky to get 5 sessions a year. Is winning really that important to them?





  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3521

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Hobbies you miss/can't do while in Korea
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2019, 10:25:46 am »
Even 6 chess championships doesn't prepare you so well for the game of Go.

You're a six time chess champion? Where at?