So today Stephanie posted on her blog Crazy for Kdrama a post titled Gift Ideas for the Kdrama Lover. In it, she suggests gift ideas that would make a kdrama lover happy. Specifically, a kdrama lover living far away from Korean food and other stuff, and that really got me thinking.
Living outside of the US, I used to think how great it would be if we could get DramaFever here too. They’ve got most of the new Korean shows, English subs are fast and good, what’s not to love? So I was always a little disappointed that where I live is a DramaFever-free zone.
So where do I live? In Asia. Singapore, to be exact.
And today, reading Stephanie’s post, I realized that I have got it so good – like, really, SO good – here, as a kdrama lover.
First of all, THE FOOD.
Korean food is so easily available. Korean restaurants are everywhere, serving good, delicious Korean food. This photo is of a meal that I shared with a friend – just the 2 of us! And it was so satisfying.
Even food courts offer Korean food, and some stalls are run by actual Korean ahjummas and ahjusshis who entertain me when I practice my limited Korean on them. I even have a stall that sells very decent kimchi pancake just a 10 minute walk from my doorstep.
Living in a food paradise, it’s easy to take for granted that we have all kinds of food easily available. But for a kdrama lover, it’s pretty special to have access to all kinds of Korean food, and to have the option of having them at low food court prices is such a bonus.
And then there’s Korean foodstuffs in supermarkets.
Korean ramyun is everywhere. In all the major supermarkets and even the mini marts. Not only do the supermarkets carry ramyun, they also offer other stuff like Korean hot pepper paste, soybean paste and even the individually-packaged cooked rice that we see on our screens all the time. Some supermarkets even have a Korean corner.
And of course, there are also little Korean mini marts scattered among selected malls, where you can even get different kinds of kimchi, not just the cabbage type.
And then there are the BEAUTY PRODUCTS.
Korean beauty products are everywhere too. Personal care stores, pharmacies and beauty shops carry a plethora of Korean brands, and we get full ranges of not just BB creams, but moisturizers, lotions and sheet masks.
There are also more and more standalone stores from Korean brands like Missha, The Face Shop, Tony Moly, Skinfood and more. Major departments stores also feature more and more counters by Korean brands. Now we even have Sulwhasoo available.
All this means that a kdrama lover on any budget can get his or her Korean beauty fix. And usually conveniently too.
And then there are the BOX SETS.
There is literally a DVD store in every mall. Sometimes you get several DVD stores in a single mall. And Singapore is full of malls. The DVD stores are especially prevalent in the suburban malls, which support the residential masses. Most people have a suburban mall minutes away from their doorstep. And there is a DVD store like this one, in practically every one of those malls.
All of these DVD stores stock shelves and shelves of kdrama. Most sets come with good English subs. Some sets come with Chinese subs. Some stores even offer rental options.
See. Even the technology-challenged kdrama lover who doesn’t know how to get his or her drama fix online can easily get their hands on good kdrama.
Finally, there are the K-EVENTS & CONCERTS.
Ok, so I’m not exactly a kpop fangirl. But hey, those idols are crossing over in droves, and a kdrama fangirl quickly becomes able to appreciate the kpop idols in their primary arena where they really shine.
Singapore’s become a popular place for kpop groups to hold their concerts, and we recently had a monster concert last month when SMTOWN Live Tour III came to town. Over 40 Korean pop stars from top K-pop acts like SNSD, SHINee and Super Junior, ALL IN ONE CONCERT??
Any kpop fan’s dream.
And let’s not forget that the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) were held in Singapore last year too, and the Hallyu stars all descended on our little island in a dizzying drove.
All the k-fangirls and fanboys went out in stalkery droves. And those who couldn’t go out got to see the whole thing telecast live on local TV.
How’s that for a national effort in supporting k-lovers?
Well. I gotta say, after that long reflection on how good I have it as a kdrama lover here, I am more grateful than ever.
Don’t be jealous.. I feel your pain. Come visit! We’ll go for kimchi pancakes and have a good squee over our favorite k-people 🙂