Things the Same: The Movie Theatre Edition

There is a surprisingly large amount of movies from the US that come to our area, but sometimes it feels like disappointingly few. (First world problem)

We were so excited to see the new Bond movie and after a few weeks of it out, we went into Suwon to see it. But guess what was playing… not Bond, no, no. It was Twilight! Noooooooo! Common! Twilight!? Bond was taken out early for that?


Anyways, we were not going to let that happen again, so we were set on seeing The Hobbit as soon as it came out. Plus, we were pretty excited  to see it (okay, very, very excited).

Hobbit size!

Fun facts about movie theatres in Korea:

1. They serve beer. They do look at you strange when you buy one in the afternoon though. What? If you can buy beer, you have to buy it at least once! No? Just me?

Can you see? That’s 2 beer and 2 hot dogs for your movie going pleasure. $9 well spent

2. No lines! Okay, well, there are a lot of people but everyone takes a number and kind of mills around until their number comes up. It’s nicer than being confined to a line, though.

You can wait about 5 min to buy tickets from a person. Or you can use the machine (with an English option) for your convienence

You can wait about 5 min to buy tickets from a person. Or you can use the machine that has an English option

3. When you buy your ticket you will notice that there is a seat number! All tickets are reserve seating which I think is pretty awesome. But, it has its down side, too. If you want to go to a popular movie spur of the moment, there may not be any good seats left. I think the reserve seating is related to the next fun fact:

4. You are not allowed to go into the theatre until 10 minutes before show time. Rather, you wait outside in the lobby area where they have seating and a big screen with trailers/ads. When it’s time to go in, it will show up on the sign (yellow and green in the picture) in Korean and English. Reserve seating helps prevent a mad rush for good seats.

Waiting at the theatre

5. They have ‘Sweet Heart’ seats which are essentially love seats with cup holders. They cost about $34 in total, but you get a wickedly comfortable movie spot that has great views and no arm rests digging into you when you try to hold hands.

6. There are Korean subtitles! Not surprising of course. All the big Hollywood movies are subtitled but have original audio. I have heard that you may come across dubbed Korean movies but we haven’t stumbled onto any except for childrens movies which we can only find dubbed (we wanted to see Wreck-it Ralph!) but that seems pretty reasonable.

7. Tickets are cheaper than in Canada! A typical movie will cost around $8 and only slightly higher for 3D or Imax. If you want to go Sweet Heart seats though, those tickets bump up to $17.

I hope you enjoyed learning about movies in Korea!


Canada Day!

Well, this comes a little late doesn’t it? Well, let’s just say I am posting this in light of the patriotism one may feel during the Olympics… yeah…

We headed into Seoul on the Saturday before Canada Day to celebrate with some fellow Canadians. We went to the foreigner district called Itaewon. We wanted to celebrate in true Canadian style: with other Canadians and with some Canadian beverages and food!

We went to Rocky Mountain Tavern, a Canadian themed bar.

It really has the feel of a Canadian pub like Hudsons. It was dimly lit, had a bunch of sports and Canada stuff on the walls, had good beer on tap and familiar food on the menu. To Sandy’s delight, they played TSN on every TV. It was funny, but also very necessary, how explicit they were when it came to the ingredients of their Caesars!

Sandy had to investigate.

They had 4 live bands that night. Two were tribute bands: one for Great Big Sea and the other for The Tragically Hip. It was a blast!

Next we went to Gold Bar. A quirky place nearby. I will leave you with a few pics. (I apologize for the quality of all these photos, my camera does not do well without perfect light!)

Happy (very belated) Canada Day Everyone!

How things are really just… the same? Pub food part II

In some areas of Osan the restaurants close relatively early, around 8 for some places. After that, you have to go to a 호프 hof to get food. A hof is a pub/bar that serves drinks and 안주 anju. We had an interesting dish a couple weekends ago.

 That is a hof fruit platter (with a yogurt sauce)! Notice that there are olives and tomatos. Tomatos are totally treated as the fruit that they are whereas in Canada they are seen and used more as vegetables. The olives… not sure about that one.

Anyways, a fruit platter is not something you would generally expect of a pub, but a pleasant surprise as one bad thing about hofs is that they don’t really have meals but just pub snack food like fried chicken and fries which makes for a rather unhealthy dinner. We had originally ordered two deep fried dishes but the server came back and suggested that those choices had ‘too much oil’ to be consumed whilst enjoying a brewsky. You may be thinking, “What? Greasy food is the right choice for a pub!” Well, many dishes are served with specific types of alcohol in mind and, as I understand, greasy food is often paired with soju (a popular rice alcohol), not beer. So, she suggested a fruit platter, and what a good suggestion that was! Mmmmm, delicious fruit.

Now, if only we could read Korean and could see what other healthy dishes are on those menus! ‘till then, we will stick with golden deep fried goodness!

How things are really just the same – Korean pizza edition

Sandy and I, in Edmonton, would treat ourselves to pizza on an almost weekly basis so it wasn’t a surprise that a craving for pizza came early in our adventure in Osan. (Plus, we lived across the street from a Dominos, and down the block from a Pizza Hut). Here is what it looked like:



With a nice little ribbon, it came with a garlic-y mayo type sauce, some hot sauce, and what I expected would be dill pickle pizza dip (mmmm) but turned out to be some sweet pickles (meh).

Here is what it looked like:


Looks good right!?


You can see some good looking cheese, some broccoli, beef, potato and some olives. There seemed to be some pizza sauce as well as a red pepper sauce. Corn is a popular topping but did not grace our pizza this time.

The verdict: Good!

It wasn’t the best pizza ever, but it was enough for our craving. Since then, we have tried a sweet potato pizza from our grocery store’s little pizza place; it was a potato pizza with a sweet sauce drizzled on top. It was pretty good too. I think we will have to go all out and get some corn on our next pizza!

How things are really just the same –Korean pub food edition

The director of our hogwan had some real words of wisdom for us the first day we arrived in Osan. ‘At first, everything seems really different, but soon you will realise, everything is really just the same’. It is so true! Tonight we had some 안주 (anju) – Korean food served with alcohol. Some bars have the policy that if you want to drink, you must also buy some anju. Fine with me, I like snacking anyways!

What were the dishes? Essentially, chips, fried chicken, and poutine-ish dish (instead of fries, cheese and gravy there was potatoes, chicken and cheese with a thick somewhat spicy sauce)! All tasty too.

We saw these mini kegs that were excessively tall! Like, I am going to tip over if you bump the table tall – like 3 feet! Seriously, seems to me simply a tipping hazard.

Speaking of tipping, but in this case, the tipping your server kind, there is no tipping in Korea and taxes are always included in the posted price so what you see is what you pay. Nice and easy for those less inclined in math (I am thinking of you and me D!)