Category Archives: South Korea

Santa Meets the Teddy Bears

Santa had been invited by the Teddy Bear Nation to bring good cheer to the nation. Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa Hugh Fox Santa

Photo album at:

Teddy Island Museum (Pattaya, Thailand)
038-411285 fax 033-672058-59

Santa’s Adventures

Santa in Bangkok: The Comic Book!

Santa in Taipei

Santa Meets the Teddy Bears

Santa Photos






Santa in Bangkok

Santa at Art in Paradise in Pattaya

Santa Meets the Teddy Bears

Burapha Christmas Party 2012

Hugh Fox III - Birdy

You can also download my autobiography of my struggle with a bipolar condition on  Am I Kitsune on my Google Drive.

WereVerse Universe Baby!

The Only Place to Find a 19-Inch Computer Bag in Korea!

Good news for all those people who bought a 19-inch notebook computer  in Korea but couldn’t find a computer bag.  In response to the ruckus caused by my prior post (NO 19-INCH COMPUTER BAGS IN KOREA) the following store in South Korea now carries 19-inch computer bags:

Hyojin System

I Park Mall – next to Yongsan Station

7th Floor – next to the I Park Mall bookstore

Mobile 016-223-4398

Seoul, South Korea

As you can see in the photo above, my Samsung Sens 25 19-Inch Desktop Replacement system fits snug as a bug!


The bag itself is manufactured by Manhattan and says “Fits most Widescreen Notebook Computers” on the label but as you can see from the above picture, the bag can handle a 19-Inch notebook computer without any problem.  The official name of the bag is Big Apple Notebook Computer Briefcase and the product number is 433723.  The bag includes pen loops, ID/business card holder, digital device storage and file pockets.  There is an adjustable storage strap.  The bag is 100% polyester.  The exterior dimensions are 36 x 46 x 11 cm (14 x 18.25 x 4.25 in).  The bag has adjustable interior dimensions.  The bag sells for 49,000 won which is around 50 bucks.  50 bucks is a good price for any computer bag much less one that is basically the only game in town.

According to the manager this computer bag is his best seller!

Congrats to Hyogin Systems for responding to the needs of the consumer.

WereVerse Universe Baby!

Korean Food

Hugh B. Fox III Clam Barbecue

I prefer Chinese food to Korean food overall but there are a few Korean specialties I do like.  Barbecued clams are common at sea side or river side restaurants and a lot of fun to heat up and eat.  The above picture was taken along the side of the Gapcheon river in Daejeon.  We also had raw octopus.

More korean food photos at:

WereVerse Universe Baby!

Daejeon Expo Park

Daejeon has a very unique topography.  There are several giant rivers that run through the city and generally the city has walk ways and bike ways on either side of the rivers.  This creates giant patches of green that criss cross the city for miles and miles.  Like most cities in South Korea and unlike Seoul, Daejeon has  shopping areas surrounded by miles and miles of rows and rows of apartment complexes.  The shopping centers are not special and just serve the daily needs of the persons in the surrounding area.  Kind of like giant convenience stores.  The rivers and river walks are set below the street level.  You take stairs to go down to the river so you have this very strange experience of being surrounded by green but looking up concrete towers on either side.  At one point of the river walk there were reeds as tall as me to my right and tons of dragon flies around me.  The river walk itself was totally clear of plants and debris and an easy walk.  There were tons of wild flowers.  I saw giant storks. There were birds in formation flying over head.  The river itself was probably at least 500 feet wide and the expanse of green on either side was at least a couple of thousand feet but just above the concrete aparment complexes looking down at the river with disdain.  There was an extreme contrast between the river walk and the surrounding concrete apartment complexes.

I walked all the way to the Daejeon Expo Park.  In the picture above you can make out a giant yellow ballon and that is one of the exhibitions of the park.  From where I started walking the yellow ballon was a speck that was barely visible.  I had often seen the Expo Park from the bridge near my house but realized it would be quite hike.  The weather was cooler tonight than usual so I went for it and glad I did.

I am writing this post from Han’s Diner at the entrance of the Expo Park!  I guess I will get a taxi home.

WereVerse Universe Baby!


Bye Bye Korea!

Hugh B. Fox III Daejeon

I had a very pleasant dinner with the students of my TESOL class.  This is pretty much the last class I will teach in Korea before going to Japan.  The dinner was at an expat pub called the Santa Claus pub in Daejeon and I had a really good burrito with some Guiness.  I will miss Korea and who knows?  Maybe I will be back someday.  More photos of this happy event can be found at:

WereVerse Universe Baby!

Modernistic Teenage Buddha

I ran into the following modernistic teenage buddha statue that is very interesting!

I bought the statue in a Buddhist store near Daejeon Station.  I have gotten so many positive e-mails about my art ( that I might take it up again but focus on modernistic painting about the Buddha and his life using a fusion style the combines elements of modern painting and Japanese/Chinese painting.  Oh who are we kidding!  I will be so busy in Japan that I will barely have time to breathe!

WereVerse Universe Baby!


I bought a 19-inch Samsung Sens 25 Desktop Replacement Computer a few months ago in Seoul.  Samsung has labeled this computer a desktop replacement rather than a lap top because of its size and the lack of a battery.  A battery was deemed impractical for a computer of this size and I agree.  I have gone ahead and put a CD next to the screen to give the reader some idea of how big this computer is.  The computer is impressive.  When people walk into the office tel I live in Daejeon, the first thing they notice is the computer and always the comment is “The computer is so big!”  I thought it might be fun to take the behemoth to the local coffee house and hopefully get a little attention.  So I started shopping for a computer bag.  Common sense suggested that the place I bought the computer would have a computer bag for the computer.  Nope!  I then checked out every electronic store in Daejeon where I live in Korea. 


The largest bag I could find in Daejeon was a 17-inch bag in Costco.  No luck in Daejeon!   


I checked out the COEX Mall (  One store had a huge variety of computer bags but the largest one was a 17-inch bag.  I then checked out Yongsan Electronics Arcade (, the largest electronic market in Seoul and actually gigantic.  5,000 shops but no luck!  One thing I have noticed in Seoul, the larger markets like Yongsan, Dongdaemun ( and Namdaemun ( have tons and tons of stores but they all sell the same things for more or less the same price.  I have lived in Taipei for seven years and much smaller markets in Taipei will in fact have more consumer options.  The area around Taipei Station has all sorts of nooks and crannies where stuff you didn’t even know existed is sold.  I would say the variety of consumer goods in and around Taipei Station is much greater than Dongdaemun and Namdaemun put together despite the fact that each of these Korean markets alone is in fact much larger than the market place area around Taipei Station.  I got online and found there is a US based online store that does offer the bag but does not deliver to Korea where the computers are made.  Talk about irony! 


I think my experience is illustrative of a larger observation I have of Korea from a consumer point of view.  Samsung is into housing, fashion, you name it but they don’t make a computer bag for their core product, computers.  Companies in other countries focus on their core products.  Can you imagine Hewlet Packard running an apartment complex or selling suits?  Can you also imagine Hewlet Packard creating a computer but forgetting to make a computer bag to go with the computer?  There is another giant conglomerate in Korea called Lotte that does the same thing as Samsung.  Lotte runs everything from malls to hamburger joints and also runs apartment complexes just like Samsung. 


There is vertical integration at the expense of horizontal invention.  Secondly, there is an illusion of consumer choice in Korea that upon closer examination is false.  There is size without variety.  I think you can make more money by selling something no one else sells rather than selling something everyone sells.  Koreans prefer copying to invention.


There are two giant hypermart chains in Korea: Homever ( and E-mart ( but they basically sell the same stuff.  The hypermarts are huge but the international section is in fact much smaller than what you would find in a medium sized store in any number of other Asian countries such as Thailand and Taiwan much less Japan.  For example, you can’t get canned beans in either chain.  There is a rumor that E-Mart is slightly cheaper but this is debated among Koreans. 


There is no attempt by the two hypermart chains to carve out a niche market.  This would be the equivalent of Walmart and Target being almost identical in price and goods offered.  Target is up market compared to Walmart but there is no such differentiation in the Korean retail market.  This is something long time expats to Korea express over and over again in many different ways.  You can get also get a lot of international stuff in other Asian cities such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai and even Taipei that are not available in Seoul much less smaller cities in Korea.  Koreans that have not lived abroad have a very hard time understanding what the expats in Korea are talking about.  Koreans who have lived abroad get it.  One saying you do hear over and over again among expats in Korea is “Korea is very Korean”.

More photos at:

WereVerse Universe Baby!

Minis in Daejeon!

After much searching I have finally found the second minis store in Daejeon!

The first one I ran into told me about this store.  Even this store is pretty substandard by international standards.  There are only Japanese minis and no Western minis such as Dungeons and Dragons miniatures.  See my post about my hobbies for more on this:

I am absolutely amazed that a city the size of Daejeon only has two minis stores!  There are literally dozens of these stores in Taipei and at least a dozen of these stores in Taichung ( which should be comparable in terms of consumer choices to Daejeon but actually there is no comparison.  Overall I like Koreans a lot more than Taiwanese but have to say Koreans outside of Seoul seem to live in a much narrower consumer world in terms of hobbies and food compared to Taiwanese outside of Taipei.  Seoul is the heart of Korea in every way, much more so than Taipei relative to Taiwan.

WereVerse Universe Baby!

Krazy Korean Ties

One of the pecularities of Korean fashion are ties with really wild patterns that are also bejeweled.  Major brands such as Gucci seem to make a Korean version that is not available elsewhere.  The source of my international tie information is:

I promise you that the wildest tie on this site does not begin to compete with what is going on in Korea!  Below are some pictures I took in Daejeon, South Korea today:

The red ones at the top are filled with rhinestones in addition to their wild pattern!  You really need to click on the picture to get the full effect.  This weekend I plan to do a hard target search to find the Kraziest Korean Tie!

WereVerse Universe Baby!

The Current President of South Korea is a Real Friend of the US

I doubt that many Americans even know the name of the current President of South Korea.  His name is Lee Myung-bak (  Furthermore, I think even less Americans realize President Lee Myung-bak is talking all sorts of domestic flax in order to strengthen the relationship between South Korea and the US.  The opposition party has managed a propaganda campaign filled with half truths, innuendos and out right lies to continue the ban of US beef in South Korea due to supposed mad cow disease.  This in turn could affect the proposed FTA between South Korea and the US which is a win-win for both sides.  I had a talk with my Korean students over lunch yesterday and some of the stuff being propagated in the Korean media, not the English version, is pretty incredible.Did you know that? 1) Americans actually eat Australian beef because we are scared of American beef?  A visit to any supermarket in the US will quickly dispell this lie.2) Viruses in American beef will crawl to other beef on display such as Korean and Australian beef and infect that beef as well?  Viruses are particularily weak in this regards or we would all have AIDS.3) Korean are genetically 95% more likely to get mad cow disease than any other group?  Koreans are not a race and given that they are at the cross roads between China and Japan probably are more genetically diverse than many other Asian groups.4) The government plans to feed US beef to Korean children and soldiers in order to save money and doesn’t care if they get mad cow disease?  Well this last one may or may not be true and the answer is to make a very small regulation that fixes this “problem” rather than banning US beef altogether.


My students are pretty astute in general and the fact that they have fallen for such heavy handed propaganda saddens me greatly.  I tried to deal with these ridicolous claims one by one but I am sorry to report I think I failed.  You cannot combat hundreds of years of xenophobia over a single lunch.  I have been reading a great deal of Korean history lately and the meme of “foreign contamination” is deeply ingrained in Korean culture.


The fact is that most Koreans do want US beef on the Korean market(  I tried to point out that if an individual Korean had concerns about US beef then they should exercise their right as a consumer and not eat US beef.  The students countered that the crawling mad cow virus would contaminate the beef next to it!  Against such lies what chance does the truth have?


The opposition is using every dirty xenophobic trick to derail beef sales and the FTA deal and ultimately the relationship between South Korea and the US.  President Lee Myung-bak has paid a heavy domestic price for his actions and his approval ratings have plummeted.  The US has to be very clever and adroit in the handling of this situation or ultimately Anti-American leftists in South Korea are the ultimate winners.