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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Chimes, Birds & Koreans Are Still Falling In Love In Croatia

Well, I was just watching some tv and was going to do a post about a few of the celebrities (aka "celebs") being discussed here and there and then add a few of their social media photos (aka "acties/posies") and add some personal commentary, but then all of a sudden remembered that I really don't give a fuck gosh-darn about what they say, wear, pose or think or who they think they are. So then I turned the channel and came across some local sports show, the sports guys were all excited about some players or teams or some guy in a jersey anyway, spit was coming out of their mouths practically, almost foaming, getting red in the face all excited in their chairs twitching, huffing and puffing about how some player is better than something and absolutely sure that some team was going to win because some guy said so and that you would have to be a moron not to bet on what's his jersey or face, homo-erotically praising their ball catching and scratching wisdom words and antics. Then I turned the channel and it was one of the usual Sunday televangelists shows, he was all excited too, yelling about stuff hitting his bible, demanding that you send him money for his jacuzzi and new bus and that he will send you sand and pieces of cloth or shiny gumball machine coins or artifacts or pebbles, the people in the stadium were all excited too in their weird clothes in a trance and dancing and jumping and foaming at the mouths, hyperventilating, yelling because they were going to get the holy ghost in them to become the best holy dancers ever and kill grimy evil wiry haired demons and their lying stories, truly big fans of their jerseys and team just like the sports gurus, so I naturally turned the tv off (gasp!) and put on a movie and some satellite radio. (I like to watch a movie and listen to the radio at the same time because that's the crazy way I roll)

Then this Korean story showed up again while doing something else entirely. That was weird because I already touched upon this topic quite some time ago though, yet there it was. It seems Koreans are still flocking to Croatia even these days to fall in love and go shopping and that it's still a popular reality show. You see, they're Koreans leaving Korea where there are tons and millions of Koreans who speak Korean already to instead fall in love in Croatia where nobody speaks Korean. It makes perfect sense and that's probably why the reality show is so popular and why recently a "Korean Love Hostel" was opened in Zagreb. So anyway, I'm not going to comment much here because I did all my observational commentary at that post. (link below) I actually rambled on there about a bunch of stuff.

I still to this day haven't seen an episode of this show and don't know what the hell they're talking about because it's all in Korean, (In a way it makes you feel like you're at the library or a Korean restaurant or one of those artsy chic boutiques that they shop at most of the time. I've never seen a Korean at Walmart yet when I go to buy fruits and vegetables either) and this is not a tourism post or anything like that all. Just putting it out there because lots of people these days like the sound of chimes and Korean food. I'm not implying that you should go to Croatia to fall in love or that you actually will fall in love in Croatia or that you should get a hairstyle or dress like them, nothing like that at all, this is not a fashion or hairstyle post after all. (All I know is that the Harley-Davidson Korea types probably wouldn't go for the facials, just a hunch, also wouldn't it have been a cool idea for one of them to get a "love tattoo" while in Croatia? I know they have plenty of tattoo shops in Korea. example)...Because if you go to Croatia you'll probably just get mugged in one of the favelas, a case of flesh eating disease or most likely eaten by some wild animal or the cannibal voodoo cults roaming in the nearby forests, most likely even food poisoning from some kind of undercooked sausage or shrimp. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the video footage is that it wasn't filmed during the summer tourist season, that's rare. I will just briefly add though what I wrote about at that previous post. It's the chimes man, it's those diabolical chimes chiming while you feel like a bird flying around the rooftops, a magical bird leaving pixie dust everywhere you fly, like a magic Disney wizard's wand is chiming while you're a bird flying and gliding around. A chimey magical bird flying adventure. I'll leave it at that, make of it what you will.


Previous post: reality-show-romantic-sends-south-koreans

Why Koreans are falling in love with Croatia


by Lajla Veselica, Agence France-Presse

Posted at 02/28/2015 1:43 PM

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Koreans finding love and adventure travelling through Croatia in reality TV shows have put the Balkan nation on the map, making it a popular tourist destination for the Asian market.

It all started back in 2012 with the filming of the South Korean show "Romantic", featuring Koreans in their 20s and 30s visiting Croatia's highlights, from the capital Zagreb to the stunning Plitvice lakes national park and onto UNESCO World Heritage site Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast.

Get ready to feel like a bird...

It became a perfect TV advertisement to visit Croatia.

"Eventually the romantic search of a group of young Koreans for love in several Croatian destinations became a great commercial for our tourism," the head of the national tourist board Ratomir Ivicic told AFP.

South Korean TV then produced another travel-reality show called "Noonas Over Flowers" -- noonas meaning older sisters -- that had several well-known Korean actresses backpacking their way through Croatia.

"It had a huge impact on the popularity of Croatia and improving the knowledge of our country," said Ivicic of the shows that aired in 2013-14.

Last year more than 252,000 South Koreans visited Croatia, around five times more than in 2012.

"'Noonas Over Flowers' firmly put Croatia on the map for South Korean travellers," said Cho Il-Sang, spokesman for the country's top travel agency Hana Tour.

The whole eastern Europe region had been off bounds for most South Korean travellers due to a lack direct flights and short holidays.

"But the TV show changed all that.... Croatia is emerging as one of the most promising travel destinations for South Koreans who visit Europe," Cho added.

Tourism accounts for about 15 percent of Croatia's gross domestic product (GDP), around seven billion euros ($8 billion) annually. For the first nine months of 2014, official figures show tourism brought in 6.7 billion euros or 2.5 percent more than the same period a year earlier.

In 2014 Croatia welcomed more than 12 million visitors, triple the number of its 4.2 million inhabitants. Although tourists come mainly from Europe, Croatia has turned its attention also to Asian markets.

Late last year Tourism Minister Dario Lorenzin visited China, Japan and South Korea to promote the industry.

Most Koreans stay for 12 days visiting also neighbouring countries -- Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic or Slovenia.

Park do-Hyeong heard about Croatia for the first time when he watched "Romantic" and became interested in the far-away country.

"People are kind, one really feels safe and it is not expensive," said the 29-year-old on a recent visit to Zagreb.

'Swamped with emails'

Korean tourists have also spurred some new services in Croatia and more business ties between Zagreb and Seoul.

In mid-2014 Kim Seoung-Hoon opened a hostel for Koreans in the Croatian capital, the first one in this region of Europe.

In the entrance to his Love Croatia hostel in downtown Zagreb there's a giant map on the wall with pinned destinations -- all places featured in the reality shows. Guests in the 27-room facility are Korean only.

"This is a family-style hostel where people feel close, comfortable, and last but not least, can eat a Korean meal," the 30-year-old owner from Seoul told AFP.

The idea to start the business came when he watched the popular Korean TV shows.

"I realised it was a really beautiful country," Kim told AFP. He also has ambitions to expand his Korean-only hostels to Split and Dubrovnik, where he opened a Korean restaurant last year.

Other businesses saw the opportunities stemming from product placement in television shows.

Croatia's Zagrebacka Pivovara brewery, which has about 45 percent of the market, signed a deal in October with South Korea's CKB to export a popular beer sipped by the stars of "Noonas Over Flowers".

"We were swamped with emails from South Koreans interested in the Ozujsko beer," export manager Marko Turicic told AFP.

So why the fascination with this particular Balkan country?

Croatia was chosen for the TV shows because it was a destination not widely known in Korea and a place with "beautiful landscapes and cultural heritage", according to producer Na Young-suk -- the perfect backdrop for his "Noonas Over Flowers" actresses.

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

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