Tag Archives: design

I Got A New Job

I got a new part time job a few weeks ago, and I’m excited about it. I am the English-language marketing manager for Yooii Studios (pronounced You-ee). Yooii is a small startup based in Seoul that produces smartphone apps. The studio was founded by Robert Song, an experienced mobile game designer and former director of EA Games Asia.

Yooii Studios Banner

My primary responsibility is handling SNS (Social Network Service) marketing for the United States and Europe. I’ll spend a lot of time spreading the word about Yooii and our apps to all English-speaking markets. I’m excited about getting involved in marketing! I completed an MBA a few years ago, but this is my first chance to put that knowledge to use in a small business environment.

Most of my work is done over the internet, but I’ve had the pleasure of spending a few hours in the Daegu studio with the designers. The programming and design teams are comprised of students and recent graduates from Kyungpook National University. They are all young, but surprisingly talented. There are some great apps in the pipeline and I can’t wait to share them with you as they come out. But don’t worry, this blog won’t become a running advertisement – I am in the process of creating a Yooii Studios blog for that. There’s not much there yet, but feel free to take a look at my opening post.

Until next time.

-Taft

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Do You See What I See?

There is  tattoo parlor in the East Gate neighborhood, which is near my apartment, called “Lemon Art.” Apparently they were too lazy to take down the old sign and simply put their new sign right on top of it. It isn’t too noticeable until night time, when they turn the light on inside the sign. I just had to share it with you:

That totally says "Lemon Fart", right???

That totally says “Lemon Fart”, right???

Until next time.

-Taft

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A Piece of Korean Culture – For Free

I have been trying to think of ways to expand my readership and thank current readers for sticking with me for over a year. My roommate suggested that I give something away for free. Great idea – everybody loves free stuff! So this week, I will hold a raffle. The details are explained below. All you need to know now is that it’s free. And when I say free, I really mean FREE. You don’t have to pay anything to play or to win. I won’t ask for any information other than an email address in case you win. I won’t bombard you with emails for participating or share your email with anyone.

If this is your first time at A Southerner Abroad, be sure to check out my Top Ten posts list. It’s a great way to jump right to the posts that everyone is talking about. If you like what you find here, please spread the word by liking and sharing on Facebook.

I’ve been searching high and low for weeks to find the perfect raffle prize. I wanted something something beautiful, unique to Korea. Most importantly, I wanted something with an interesting story. It took a while, but I finally found it. For a chance to win an interesting and beautiful piece of Korean culture, read on.

One of my favorite pastimes in Korea is visiting historical sites – especially the traditional markets. Seomun Market in Daegu, for example, is a huge traditional market that has been operating for hundreds of years. Last year I visited and wrote a post about it. Although these markets are inundated with cheap t-shirts and socks, there are a few hidden gems – places that sell interesting items. I stumbled upon one of those places yesterday.

Seomun Market Cultural Shop

The old woman pictured above is a third-generation shop owner at Seomun Market. Her stand is tucked into the corner of a large building that is dominated by fabric shops. My Korean friend explained to her that I was looking for something special, not the typical touristy items like key chains and postcards. I told her that I wanted something handmade in Korea. She pointed out several items that were interesting, but nothing was quite special enough. I decided to move on. As we were leaving, the woman called us back and pointed out some wooden ducks.

The ducks, which were reminiscent of hunting decoys, were carved from wood and painted in bright colors. Most of the pairs were wrapped side-by-side in brightly colored cloth. I wasn’t sure what to make of these dolls.

Korean Wooden Ducks

My Korean friend explained that these ducks are part of an ancient Korean tradition. When a couple is married, ducks are a traditional wedding gift. Koreans believe that ducks bring peace, many children and good luck. But they have another, more interesting purpose. In Korea’s uber-conservative culture, the ducks are a way for husbands and wives to communicate to one another about sex without openly discussing it. They are displayed somewhere in the home – often on top of a TV or on a bookshelf.

Korean Wedding Ducks 2

If the ducks are displayed face-to-face, then sex is on that night.

Korean Wedding Ducks 4

If the female duck is facing away from the male duck, it means that the woman is upset with her husband or is not feeling well. No sex.

Every time I leave the room, somebody keeps putting the ducks like this....

Every time I leave the room, somebody rearranges the ducks like this. I’m pretty sure this is not one of the traditional Korean displays.

I told the shop owner that I was intrigued by the ducks, but that I didn’t want something that was made in a factory. I wanted a pair of ducks that were hand-carved and hand-painted in Korea. She reached behind the counter and produced two ducks that looked different than those on display. She told me that the ducks were made by her relative who lives in a town outside of Daegu. He has been making ducks his whole life. He personally carves and paints each one. He even makes the paint with which he decorates the ducks. Bingo! They were more expensive than the other ducks, of course, but you’re worth it!

Korean Wedding Ducks 1

The duck on the right is the female. Orange is a traditional female wedding color. The strings around the beak are a reminder to remain silent and obedient to her husband.

Korean Wedding Ducks 5

The stamp is the craftsman’s personal stamp that he places on every duck.

Those ducks are beautiful – I want them!

These ducks would be a great decoration for your home or office. They are also a wonderful conversation piece. Best of all, I will send them to one lucky person absolutely free. I’ll even pay the shipping. This time next week, I’ll hold a raffle and choose one person to receive these ducks. If you want to be included in the raffle, then you only have to do two things:

Step 1: “Like” this post. Simply go to the bottom of the post and click the “Like” button. If you already have a WordPress, then your contact information will automatically be forwarded to me. If not, then be sure to include your email address when prompted so that I can contact you if you win.

Step 2: Share this post on Facebook. Tell your friends about my amazing blog! As I mentioned above, I want find more readers. By sharing this post, you’ll help me do just that. I hope you’ll be so kind as to share more of your favorite posts in the future.

Remember – I will not send you emails. I will not ask you for money. This is a no-strings-attached offer!

Instructions

It’s so easy! Just do those two things and you could win!

Until next time.

-Taft

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