Tag Archives: free

Time’s Up. Winner Number 2!

I’m afraid the time’s up on my first winner of my Korean culture giveaway. I’m a bit disappointed, because SkinnyWench has been a long time reader and I was really looking forward to sending these beautiful ducks to an avid reader. The bad news is that, despite allowing two extra days, she hasn’t collected. (SkinnyWench, if you email me this week, I’ll still send a set of ducks to you. But please, don’t tell anyone I’m doing this for you. People will start to think I’m soft.)

The good news is that we’ve selected a new winner! I’m happy to report that it’s another long-time reader and resident of my hometown in North Carolina! BHMauser will be the proud new owner of some super cool sex ducks.

While we’re on the subject of giving stuff away, I have even more good news. I found another shop in Daegu with lots of interesting handmade Korean items. I picked out the perfect free gift for my next giveaway. I’ll post all of the info soon.

Mystery Gift

Be sure to check in regularly so you don’t miss the announcement and the details on how you can win an amazing free gift. The best way to stay up to date is to follow my blog. When you follow A Southerner Abroad, WordPress will send you an email whenever I publish a post so you never miss another story, love motel review or free giveaway.

Until next time.

-Taft

P.S. Since these raffles may become a regular event, I need a better name than “Korean culture giveaway.” If you have a good idea, leave a comment.

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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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Koreans Love Free S%!t

Seriously, they love it!  I thought Americans loved free stuff, but we don’t hold a candle to the Koreans.  Every time I go downtown on the weekend, I see at least one ridiculously long line of Koreans waiting patiently in the sweltering heat for a chance to win a free small drink at Burger King (or something equally exciting).

I first noticed this phenomenon in my neighborhood a month or so ago when a new restaurant opened.  As I was walking home from school, I saw a line of people that started inside the restaurant, continued outside and turned the corner at the end of the block.

I told a Korean friend about what I saw.  I said that the line reminded me of my hometown, where hordes of dumbasses will wait for hours to eat at any new restaurant (no matter which restaurant it is).  They will spend an eternity waiting to try the new Wendy’s (Newsflash: it’s the same as every other Wendy’s, morons!).  But my Korean friend said that I was wrong – they weren’t waiting because it was new.  They were there because at the grand opening, every customer gets a free side dish with their meal.

This must mean that the side dishes are expensive and delicious, right?  Wrong!  The most expensive one was 1,800 won (about $1.70).  It turns out that the new restaurant is an inexpensive fast food chicken place that is part of a large chain in Daegu.

Yesterday, I had to push my way through a long line of people just to walk down the sidewalk near the downtown subway station.  Despite the fact that every pedestrian on that (very busy) side of the road was forced to push their way through this line, the people still waited patiently.  This piqued my curiosity, of course.  If people are willing to be bumped and pushed for such a long time, there must be something pretty damn good at the end – right?

Wrong!  It was some high-school aged kid holding a foam dart board while people threw little plastic darts at it.  Each person hoping to hit the bulls-eye and win the grand prize of….(wait for it)….50% off at Bennigans.  Really, Korea?  Really?

If I ever start a business in Korea, I know that the key to success is free junk.

Until next time.

-Taft

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