SantaCon Seoul 2013

Last weekend myself and about 8 friends from Paju attended SantaCon in Seoul, which is a gathering of 100’s of people all dressed as Santa Claus, his elves and everything in between parading around Seoul’s nightlife district singing Christmas Carols and simply being merry.

I ordered 3 elf costumes off ebay and was delighted when they arrived just in time. I also got creative with some fairy lights, colored paper and a giant piece of black foam and made myself a YouTube video / photo booth which I must say I was fairly proud of!

Sadly I didnt take as many pictures as I would have liked  (cause I was having too much fun!) but here is a quick glimpse of the shenanigans had on the night.



















Top 10 Halloween Costume Ideas

If you are like me, you are probably pretty excited about Halloween (less than 2 weeks to go!) but are also a bit worried/confused/frustrated as you have no clue about what you are going to dress up as and are in desperate need of some halloween costume ideas!

Fear not…I have come up with 10 great topical costumes for this Halloween. Be warned though, it is HIGHLY possible that you will not be the only person wearing many of these costumes. The key is to put your own twist on the costume or how well you pull off the character. If you have any other novel ideas, please comment!

I have also included some online costume sites and some shops in Seoul where you can browse for costumes at the bottom of this post. Happy shopping! 

Number 10: Walter White/Heisenberg from Breaking Bad

This is an obvious choice considering the popularity of the show and the fact that it only ended a few weeks ago. There are countless different ways you could pull off this character, copying any one of his outfits from any of the 5 seasons. The easiest costume would be to copy walt when he wore a green apron and nothing else while cooking meth in his caravan-come-meth lab.

walt breaking bad costume

Number 9 : Korean K-Pop band ‘Crayon Pop’

You can’t live in Korea in 2013 and NOT know this K-Pop group. Their song, “Bar, Bar, Bar” has me jumping out of my seat and boping around the dance floor every time it comes on. My students sing it, all the bars play it, and no doubt every radio station in the country is sick of it by now. What makes the band unique and quirky, however, is their hilarious matching outfits in their music videos which include matching helmets. Grab a  group of friends this halloween and dress up like crayon pop…to get into character just bop around your bedroom/apartment with cheesy music in the background and you are good to go!

crayon pop halloween

Number 8: Miley Cyrus and her wacky VMA performance.

For this all you need is a giant foam hand, your hair in pig tails tied in a bun on top of your head and VERY skimpy beige under wear, preferable 1 size too tight for you. Sticking your tongue our like a sick giraffe is also compulsory for the duration of the festivities! Be warned…you may catch a cold or worse…

miley vma costume

Number 7: The Fox from “What does the fox say”

I think this would be a really funny costume especially considering the recent popularity of the song among expats in Korea and Koreans alike. There is an abundance of place to buy animal costumes in Korea, both online and in person, so you could either dress up as the fox alone or you could get a group together and pick a different animal each! Make a sign that says, “What does the fox say?!” or “Wa paw paw paw paw paw POW”and stick it to your back just in case people don’t get straight away who you are!

fox costume halloween

Number 6: Psy in his Gentlemen outfit

I admit most people are pretty sick of Psy by now and I know his second song “Gentlemen” did not catch on the way Gangnam style did internationally, but the song is still very popular here. This would be a real easy outfit to put together for a guy who already owns a suit and could be fun to play the character on the  night.

psy korea



Number 5: Korean School Boy/ Girl

This is the good old reliable. An easy costume that always looks pretty cool. All you need is clothes resembling a school uniform and a black “school girl” wig. That means a wig with a black bob hair cut and a fringe which is pretty much the hair cut of every single middle school or high school student in Korea. If you want to stand out, you could always be a ZOMBIE Korean school girl by adding some scars and some fake blood.

korean school girl


Number 4: Post Plastic Surgery costume.

With 1 in every 5 women in Korea admitting to have had some form of plastic surgery done, this seems like a pretty topical costume this Halloween. Sure, it might be a bit disturbing and a bit offensive, but most good costumes are! You can either buy a mask like the one below or play around with your make-up and see what you can come up with!

plastic surgery halloween mask


Number 3: A GIANT squid.

For some strange and unknown reason Koreans LOVE squid. As in they love squid the way most of the rest of the world loves chocolate! My students waltz into my classroom day in day out with a packet of vile smelling squid in their hands munching away as if its the best treat in the world. The smell alone is enough to make me want to vomit, let alone eat the stuff! In honour of this overly popular snack food, why not dress like a giant squid for Halloween. Heck, if you copy this woman you can even make a squid look sexy!



Number 2: Dress like your favourite Korean beverage!

Be in Cass, Hite or Soju, why not get creative next week and try make your own costume that resembles a giant beer can or giant Soju bottle. I bet you won’t find too many other people with the same costume as you, that’s for sure! One Halloween I saw a guy who looked like he had escaped/ran away from hospital and he was still attached to a drip. However instead of water or blood, the plastic bag feeding into him was attached to a bottle of soju and a bowl of Kimchi. Classic Korean costume and the best of the night by far!



Number 1: Government Shutdown Costume

This one is obviously for all you Americans out there. Granted it seems your wonderful Government has actually decided to open for business again today but I still think this is way too good a costume idea to blow off that easily. There are so many slants you could take on this be it dressing up as national monuments, politicians sleeping, Obama on vacation…and many more! Make yourself a funny “Closed for Business” sign and Hey Presto, you have yourself a pretty awesome and very topical halloween costume for 2013!

government shutdown costume



Where to start looking for your costume: The best place is on this Korean fancy dress website but failing that there are also costume stores in Hongdae and Gangnam where you can browse freely until you find the perfect outfit!


Dressing Up in Seoul: Princess Diary Cafe

On Sunday, I decided to return to one of my favorite theme cafes in Seoul; The Princess Diary Cafe.  Conveniently located near Ewha Women’s University (an area with 100’s and 100’s of Wedding Dress shops!), and hope skip and a jump from the circle line subway, it’s super easy to find and can provide hours of entertainment!

Princess Diary Cafe is pretty much a dress up cafe where, depending on how much money you would like to spend (between 15,000 and 40,000 depending on which dress you choose), you can chill out in very cutesy booths with a group of your girlfriends, sip on delicious smoothies and ice-teas…and try on a wide variety of “princess” dresses! Random, I know!

While most of the dresses are long, flowing, white wedding gowns, there are also some traditional Korean Hanboks and also some very cheesy and over-the-top party dresses that we steered clear of!

princess diary cafe seoul

princess diary cafe seoul

dress up cafe seoul

As this was my second time in this “unique” place, I opted for a traditional Korean dress while one of my friends chose a full length wedding gown and 2 of the others decided to suit up in Tuxedos!

You can keep your chosen outfit on for up to an hour while you prance around the cafe striking different poses (there is a variety of props to use such as a piano, a fake tiger skin blanket, bunny ears, geisha hats…) and taking a ridiculous amount of photos!

janet korean hanbok

korean traditional dress hanbok

awkward photo

I do think it is a *little* overpriced but as you decide yourself which dress you want to wear, it’s up to you how much money you spend. You can also go to the cafe, purchase a drink and take pictures with al the crazy props without trying on any dress. This will set you back around 12,000 won, and could be a fun option if you are low on cash.

I really enjoyed the 2 hours we spent here, and while I would not go back for a 3rd time, I will cherish the great photos we took and memories made for quite some time.

wedding dress shop seoul

dress up cafe seoul korea

princess diary dress up cafe seoul

How to get to the Princess Diary Cafe: Take green circle line (line 2) to Ewha Women’s Univ. Station and walk out of exit 3. Walk down the street to your right when you exit the station then turn left at the Juno Hair alley. The Princess Cafe is on the 3rd floor of the building to your right.


Zombie, Zombie, Zombie!

Some photos I took at the Dublin Zombie Walk today, where about 10,000 people, both young and old, dressed like the living dead and took to the streets in search of brains! Such a crazy, fun experience with amazingly creative people! And…all in support of charity!

Zombie Official

Zombies in Dublin

Zombie Nurse

A rainbow of color at the Dublin Zombie Walk


Clowning Around Dublin

How would you like to dress up as a clown for the day, prance around Dublin city and promote International Children’s Day by doing some free face painting?“,was the question that started it all.

“Ummm of course I want to dress up like a clown and prance around the streets of Dublin!!”, was my speedy reply!

And so started our plans for International Children’s Day in Dublin! We recruited a few other active, fun-loving couchsurfers and some of my friends from Uni until we had a sizable troupe of clowns. We put a load of bottles of bubbles, face paints and raided our wardrobes for the most eye-catching, vibrant, and colorful clothes we could possibly find!

Clown Troupe Marching to Work

Riding the Bull...entertaining ourselves!

On that fateful saturday morning, we all gathered on Henry streets, outside the early leaning centre (we were aiming at kids, so seemed appropriate!!) and set up camp. We had bubble blowers, jugglers, face painters and a general carnival atmosphere all around us. We put up a little sign that said “Free Face painting” and waited….

Slowly but surely parents with their young offspring in tow approached us to enquire about what we were doing. They kept asking, “How much does it cost”, or “How much is the face painting?”. They simply couldn’t digest what we were saying, “It’s FREE!” They kept trying to find the catch. Were we some religious group? Were we going to start handing out leaflets and forcing customers to take them? Nope. Just free face painting. Just spreading the love and putting a smile on as many people’s face as possible, which is payment enough in my mind.

Out dedicated Bubble Blowers; Linda and Betsy

Our little tigers

 Soon enough word spread, and we had queues forming from all angles to avail of the free face painting. Some people were so chuffed with the end result that they kept offering to give a few Euro, which he politely declined. It was such a great feeling just to do something for FREE and know that your making loads of people, both parents and children happy!

It was one of the most fun days I have ever had, but after hours of jumping about, surrounded by hyper activity, shoutings, laughing, the clowns were exhausted. So around 6pm, as things quietened down, we decided we deserved a well over due pint!! We set off towards Grogans on South William Street but not without some hilarious tangents along the way! 

Tired clowns at Break Time

Busy beavers

 We formed a train and danced our way in and out of random bars and restaurants. We stopped to take a picture with our mate Bob The Builder and even stopped traffic as we marched across Dublin’s busy streets!

One of the funniest moments came as we were waiting to cross a street and 4 of us clowns stood alongside 2 local Guards. One of them turned to us and said, “What have we got here? 3 clowns?” And I looked down the row at us and at them, and cheekily said, “Try 6!“. Luckily at that moment the light turned green and away we ran, in search of more smiles and some long over due pints! An amazing day!

Six Clowns standing in a row!!!

Relaxing with a pint after a long day at work!!

More clown friends!