onsdag den 29. august 2012

Starcraft in Korea - SlayerSBoxeR and Bisu!!!

(To people who do not know what Starcraft is, look in the bottom of this post)

Like the title suggests, I perhaps met the Greatest Starcraft player of all time, SlayerSBoxeR, shook his hand, got his picture with me in it, and also his autograph.

Likewise I perhaps also met the best Starcraft Brood War Protoss player of all time, Bisu from SK Telecom T1, shook his hand, got his autograph and a picture.

Last Sunday (08/26) some of my friends and I went to watch the Proleague, and besides that I also got to meet a legend, SlayerSBoxeR.

Through a friend I got in contact with a girl who helped arrange all this. Since Starcraft Brood War (Starcraft 1), is only played one more season, it was last chance for some of them to go, so I brought (some would argue and say forced) them along.
I have for almost two years only watched Proleague on stream or heard/read about it through TeamLiquid, and never in my wildest dreams I thought I would be able to watch it live.

Like I told you, I usually watched this on streams on the Internet, but it is also broadcasted on regular Korean TV. This means that it was actually a Studio we watched it in, and that everything was broadcasted live to Korean television, Youtube and other re-streams around on the Internet.

To spare you the troubles of finding it. 3 minutes in.

The two teams that were playing was "SK Telecom T1" and "Air Force ACE". We got to the studio early to get tickets (free distributed tickets) since our host, the girl who helped me arrange it, wanted us to have the best possible experience, which my friends and I thank her very much for.

The games are played in a best of five format.  The first two games are Starcraft 1, and the following three games are Starcraft 2.  The games started, and as expected T1 was smashing ACE in the first two matches.

During the first and second match I got help to get Bisu's autograph and picture!

T1 has for a long time been one of the dominating teams in Starcraft 1. ACE on the other hand has never really been that good. Since ACE is the official Korean Air Force's Starcraft team (true story), they also have to work with military related stuff, as compared to T1 players who only has to play Starcraft. So naturally T1 players can practice more.

Even though it might sound as it T1 had it, ACE went ahead and to win the two following matches, one of them really close though. It then came down to the last game, the ace-match.

The last match was a Protoss vs. Protoss match. This means that both players have the exact same means to use against each other. Luckily these matches tend to be full of tension, and when sitting in an audience that sighs when ever something bad happens, and cheer when ever something good happens, it really creates a special mood - an exciting mood!

Here you have it, the ace-match.

T1 won!

Right after T1 won we hurried outside to get a glimpse of BoxeR and hopefully an autograph. After  waiting recklessly for 15 minutes, BoxeR came out and lucky me got to meet a living legend.

All in all this has been a really awesome experience, and I recommend everyone to go and watch this live if they have the possibility to do so. Being in a room full of people cheering for their respective teams and players, listening to overly hyped casters commentating and shouting, is just something that everyone with just the slightest interest in Korean culture or gaming should experience.

This you can only find certain places in the world, so if you have the possibility to do so, try and go. My friends do not even care about the game, but they still found it fascinating and exciting to experience.

Credit to  나니 for taking pictures, even though I kinda had to remind her to bring the camera ^^

It is a computer game, and one of the most popular real time strategy games of all time. So popular that there are professional players and sponsored leagues with lots of money to win. Professional players have screaming fan-girls and the best of the best are sometimes just as popular as regular sports stars. SlayerSBoxeR with the biggest official fan club to ever have existed in E-sports (electronic sports), 600.000 members.

To explain it quickly it is kinda like chess, but you do not have turns, which means that everything is controlled in real time. If you cannot relate to this, then try to imagine a war game with to armies that are controlled by each respective player. When a player gets attacked he has to react then and there, since there will not be a "turn" for him to consider what to do next. In short, the faster you are, the more you can to at once, and thereby outplay your opponent.

You start out with a base and some workers. You use the workers to gather resources to build up your infrastructure and army. This can be done in thousands of different ways which is the strategy element in the game.

This video gives an okay idea of what it is

lørdag den 25. august 2012

The Korean cuisine

 (So yeah. In my mind is has only been two days since the last blog post, even though that might not add up with reality)

I am no expert on this subject, but this is my first impression of Korean cuisine. I have written a list of the most eaten things in Korea (according to what I have experienced)

 - Rice: (Mostly) Little white things you eat when you cannot afford potatoes.

 - Noodles and Ddeok: The reason why Koreans do not bake cakes and stuff. They use all the flour here.

 - Kimchi: Wikipedia explains it better than me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimchi

 - Mandu: A wannabe spring roll (actually it is a dumpling, but that is still a wannabe spring roll).

 - Stew: Flavored water with stuff in it.

 - Soup: Water with flavor.

 - Barbecue: Throw meat on grill, eat meat and be happy!


I know that this is different ways of cooking a meal, and also regular food, but these things are the characteristics in my opinion in terms of ingredients and ways of cooking.

Some of the things in Korean cooking is continually used for a lot of meals. You WILL get side dishes for almost every meal. This is nicely shown on the barbecue picture. It will mostly be Kimchi and vegetables, but it can be accompanied by eggs, pancakes and different kinds of chili paste called gochujang (고추장). And also a lot of other different stuff, but these I have seen the most.

Mandu, Ddeok, Kimchi and some other things are in a lot of places used as main ingredients. This could be Mandu soup, Ddeok soup or Kimchi soup. The same goes for stews. Regarding barbecues I just use it as an excuse for eating more meat than usual.

Some of the things I have eaten so far

참치찌개 (Kimchi Jjigae) - Tuna, kimchi and vegetable stew served with rice

설농탕 (Seolleongtang) - Boiled ox brisket and bones into a soup served with rice

This one also contains Mandu*

닭갈비 (Dak galbi) - Stir-fried marinated chicken with vegetables and noodles or rice.

* the first picture from the left also contains Ddeok

삼겹살 (Samgyeopsal) - Fat slices of pork (bigger than bacon pieces, similar to "stegt flæsk" in Denmark.

비빔밥 (Bibimbab) - Litterally "mixed meal". Rice, vegetables mostly an egg plus maybe some meat.

만두국 (Manduguk) - Dumpling soup. Soup with dumplings and some vegetables.

떡볶이 (Ddeokbokki) - rice cake (NOT THE ONES YOU THINK!) and chili sauce.

EDIT!!!: Forgot to add a really important thing! 

김밥 (Kimbab) - Rice and random stuff in seaweed, one of the most typical meals in Korea

I like all of these things very much, and I am not picky about my food, but I am fearing that this might not last forever.

The question is when I will start missing food from Denmark. I am especially talking about rye-bread and everything that follows.

This was it for now. I hope you got hungry.

(I joke a lot)

fredag den 17. august 2012

The Trip

Let me tell you people something

I have traveled a lot during my life. From Denmark to France, Germany, USA, but going from Denmark to Singapore and thereafter Korea is one long trip. You might think that, "Hey you got to see some of Singapore also, lucky you!", but that is most definitely not the case. The trip was 21 hours long. In 21 hours I could have played more than a hundred games of Starcraft. Yes, that is one perfectly fine way to compare to real life situations.

I did actually not complain that much during the travel, but when I look back on it and think about how much time it actually was, I feel like I have to complain a little. Especially because some of my friends who also came here to study only had to travel for 12-ish hours. I guess I will keep this in mind for when I will be leaving in a year.

The trip in short was like this:

Denmark -> Singapore:                       12 h 30 m
Singapore airport:                                 2 h
Singapore -> Korea:                             6 h 30 m
Incheon airport -> Sinchon hostel:          1 h

And this does not include the 1 hour waiting at the airport because Kat's luggage was missing.

Since that I actually am in Korea I have started writing random stuff down on a piece of paper. Random stuff that I as a foreigner find funny or strange in the Korean society.

Stuff like this:
 - Mother and son holding hand in had on the street (yes, the son is more than 15 years old)
 - People in the metro and their cell phones (people without cell phones in the metro do not exist, trust me)

Kinda weird I would say. But what do I know, I am not Korean.

"You looking for someone else with
blond hair Annemette?"

I could have written a million things about the trip, but since I would find it boring to read about, I have no intention of making you fine gentlemen and -women do so. Just writing about this was boring, but I felt I kinda had to start somewhere.

The only thing worth mentioning is that I feel like someone that is not supposed to be here. Tall, white and with typical western looks, make me stand out very easily - very weird feeling indeed!

tirsdag den 14. august 2012


Hey there!

As a part of my 1-year study trip to Korea, both friends and family have encouraged me to write and to some extend document what might happen, while I am adventuring in these foreign lands. This blog will contain everything I find interesting enough to tell you fancy readers about, and hopefully you will find it just as interesting as me. It can be everything from traditional culture stuff, to cyberspace related geek stuff, to modern pop-culture stuff.

First a bit about me.
I normally live in Denmark, Copenhagen, but because I had the opportunity to go to Korea for a year as a part of my study, I chose to just jump and make the best of it. I study Korean and have done so for a year now.

You may ask: "why Korean?"
Which leads to the simple answer: "why not?"
And because of my answer you might ask: "but what are your plans with Korean, what can you do with it?"

I do not have any specific plans with my education. I am just doing it because I enjoy doing it.

I have always been into sports and physical activity, and hopefully I will also be able to enjoy stuff like that when settling in Korea, but for now time will show. To counteract my liking for physical activities I also like gaming. To specific I like Starcraft. If you as a reader find interest in Korea and still know nothing about Starcraft, then shame on you.

I guess this briefly sums up some things about me.

I know I wrote "first" and that a "second" always follows, but that will not be today. Instead I will give you two links with this awesome guy:

He is still awesome

See you guys next time!