From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

Not Chili, Silly!

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My father-in-law is a sucker for chili. Our fridge never runs out of chilies, because he eats them as appetizers. Whenever I go to the Philippines, he always asks me to bring him siling labuyo (wild chili). He says he prefers wild chili from the Philippines because they are spicier than Korean chili.

About a week ago, he found what appeared to be small chili peppers outside our apartment. He was so excited that he picked some and ate them as a side dish without consulting me first if they were indeed siling labuyo.

When hubby and I got home and joined his parents for dinner, my father-in-law complained about his harvest: “These chili pepper is not spicy at all. It tastes strange.”

In a bowl, there were some 풋고추 (green chili pepper), which he usually eats with 고추장 (hot pepper paste) and a few pieces of fruit that look like red wild chili from my country. As I don’t eat chili, I didn’t taste them. My husband did. It turns out that they are not chili. We have no idea what they are, but they really look like siling labuyo.

Poor 아버님 (father-in-law)! He was so disappointed, but good thing he wasn’t poisoned.

I know that he has been craving siling labuyo, but I couldn’t bring him some when I got back from vacation.

What do you think these are?

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This is how the plant looks like.

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This is how Philippine wild chili looks like.

Don’t they look similar?

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Filipina Wife vs. Korean Husband (Part 1)

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2As a couple who lives in a marriage with two different cultures, my husband and I don’t usually see eye to eye on many things. Our hobbies are quite different and our personalities are incompatible. He’s got some habits that I’m not crazy about, and I’m certain that some of my habits also drive him bonkers.

Pettifogging used to be a normal thing for us, but now we usually just laugh off little misunderstandings.

Below is a short video of some of my Korean husband’s habits that irk me.

Do you know anyone who has the same habit?

I will attempt to explain why some Korean husbands behave the way they do, but on this post, I will talk about only three habits that may be true about some Korean husbands or husbands in general.

Help me with the chores, please.

In Korea, husbands rarely help with household chores.

According to a report issued by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), South Korea got the lowest rank among 29 countries in a survey of how many hours husbands spend on performing household chores. Korean men are often overworked that even until the age of 71, they continue working to fend for their families. Because of this, most Korean men refuse to participate in housework.

How about husbands who are unemployed?

According to an article I have read in the Korea Times a few years ago, even jobless men are reluctant to do household chores. Statistics revealed that unemployed husbands spent 1.6 to 3.2 hours doing household tasks, while their wives spent 3.1 to 4.8 hours. While it is common for men to evade housework, Korea’s patriarchal society  may be the main reason why most Korean men spend less time helping their wives at home. As my father-in-law once said, “Housework is for women. Men should not be in the kitchen washing dishes.”

Nowadays, more younger couples in Korea are changing this belief. I am grateful that my husband can be easily swayed to help me at home when housework is too much for me. Of course, he complains, but in the end, he helps out, as I always put my “nagging skills” to use. Sometimes I don’t even have to ask him for help. He’ll cook dinner, wash the dishes or take out the trash when he knows how exhausted I am.

Don’t overfeed me!

Recently, muk-bang or ‘eating broadcasts’ have become a trend in South Korea, but before there were TV shows and livestreams of Koreans eating gluttonously while chatting with their viewers, Koreans had long been gourmands (lovers of good food or people who eat too much). Why not? There are tons of delectable dishes to enjoy in Korea.

I love Korean food, but no matter how I love, let’s say Korean garlic chicken, don’t expect me to wolf it down when I just finished dinner and I’m still feeling stuffed. This may seem too trivial, but my husband’s habit of “eating again” after we’ve just eaten drives me nuts! I don’t think it’s only my husband or his family who does this. I’ve noticed other Koreans do it, too. This is one Korean habit that my husband can’t change, which gives me a legit excuse for gaining weight. ^^

It’s time to change that stinky shirt!

All right, before I talk about this, please know that I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT ALL KOREAN MEN. I repeat, NOT ALL KOREAN MEN… so I hope no Korean will be offended. ^^V

My husband has the habit of wearing the same clothes for days, and this gives me a migraine! He doesn’t smell like a skunk, but being an OC, I just can’t tolerate it. My mother-in-law explained to me that some Koreans don’t change clothes everyday, especially in winter, for the following reasons 1.) they don’t sweat much, because it’s freezing 2.) winter clothes are heavy and take a long time to dry after they are washed  3.) they are busy and have no time to think about what clothes to wear the next day 4.) older Koreans don’t care much about fashion.

I asked my husband why he just can’t part with his three-day (sometimes four/five-day) old shirts and his answer was: “I’m lazy!” ^^

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