Hello, k-entertainment fans! I am starting a new post because I love how Abnormal Summit has evolved into a full-fledged show of its own after a shaky start back in 2014. Remember when they celebrated their tenth show with a cake because it marked the halfway point of what they thought would only be a 20-episode run? Apparently it is a bigger hit than the producers, cast, MCs, guests, and viewers ever imagined. So, here’s a thread where we can share our thoughts about the topics, summit representatives, and guests on Abnormal Summit.
episode 113 ~ City Mouse or Country Mouse (highlights and mini-cap)
I’m excited to jump right in with this week’s big news – Alberto is a father! The MCs announced the happy event of the first child born to an Abnormal Summit member.
Alberto was all grins as he told about the birth of his son, Leonardo. “I cried a lot,” he admitted. What a big little guy weighing 4.4 kg and 56 cm long! Congratulations, Alberto and family and welcome baby Leonardo Mondi.
Naturally, the teasing turns to Hyun-Moo and Guillaume – girlfriends first and then…marriage? What about it, guys?
The show’s new trend is to bring in a weekly guest panelist member (or two) for a wider range of input. This week Nadia from the Netherlands joins in. Today’s Korean representative is actress Kim Hyun-Joo. She is known for her catch phrase, “The soup is amazing!” and has a lead role in the upcoming drama, Fantastic. Wang Simlin, representative from China, can’t contain his enthusiasm; it turns out he is a big, big fan and says she is loved in China. Hyun-Joo’s agenda for the summit: “I want to leave the city. Am I abnormal?” This prompts a lively discussion on the countryside versus the city and not everyone agrees on what aspects are pro and con.
For Simlin, opportunity, pay, and living conditions are a negative in the country in China. Alberto counters that it is how you look at it – what you give up and what you gain depends on what you are looking for. It can depend on the country, too.
Switzerland has it all with an abundance of beautiful views whether you live whether in Zürich, Geneva, or Lugano – Alex’s hometown. He says Lugano is known as The Monte Carlo of Switzerland. To preserve the beautiful scenery one cannot block another’s view when building a home or business. You don’t have to convince me that Switzerland’s scenic beauty and low-key lifestyle are desirable. I would love to visit there!
Mark Tetto, US representative from New York, describes the look and feel of the city. Every building has its own character – not like the complexes in Korea where everything looks the same. Mark seems to have the best of both worlds. He lives in a hanok in Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul – a traditional Korean village where history is preserved right in the middle of the city. Mark’s house has been remodeled with modern conveniences while maintaining its old architecture style and charm. Mark’s solution: bring nature to the city. With a garden surrounding his hanok, Mark has done just that. And when asked if he prefers NYC or Seoul his answer is that he likes his life right now in Korea best.
Various living space and lifestyles include complexes in Korea and cubicle or capsule hotel rooms in Japan, yikes! Also, earthquake resistant housing is a concern in Japan, Oogi (Japanese representative) says, considering the frequency and large-scale damage and loss from recent ones.
For Indians, how the house faces (feng shui) is important as is being close to markets.”You could even call the who country a market,” says jovial Lucky, “with vendors everywhere.” He gives a festive, laid back impression of his country.
Nadia informs the panel that 25% of the land in the Netherlands is below sea level which has made floating homes popular. Very cool! Of course, its famous tulips are a must-see. Every place has its own charms and unique features that provide incentives to visit. Makes me want to get out and travel and experience such diverse cities!
What are some of their favorite places to visit/live? Hawaii (Guillaume, of course, and Oogi), Holland (Hyun-Joo), and Songdo International Business District (Christian and Hyun-Moo) are mentioned.
Conservative and gentle Oogi commented on how startled he was when his Realtor in Korea pounded on the door of the apartment they were looking at. He said that is how Yakuza – Japanese gangsters – pound on the door to collect debts. It’s scary. He was teased by the others at his still shocked expression of the whole ordeal.
“Do Koreans like moving?” asks Aureilien (France’s representative). He isn’t the only one who wonders what’s with the frequent moving in Korea. It has to do with contracts that are often for a two-year term and leave the tenant up for renewal or moving to something cheaper. But everyone is impressed with the efficiency and competency of movers in Korea. They are the best at packing and putting things in place, Alberto chimes in. Mark is impressed by the ladder truck that can even move a piano or sofa straight to the 14th floor.
Lucky gives a tip: there are special loans in Korea for foreign couples (listen up eligible panel bachelors).
Speaking of hanok, who would like to visit Mark’s? Hyun-Joo shows interest; will she visit him at his home in Korea?
A visit to Mark’s hanok
Bukchon Hanok Village is a time machine in the city linking past to present. Mark’s hanok boasts a lovely garden for this New Yorker who loves his Korean home. He prepares for his guests’ arrival, cautiously expecting actress Hyun-Joo to be among those visiting. “I have to set a nicer table,” he says, with expectation. When they knock at his door he must wonder if she is finally here.
Looks like the troupe includes Alberto, Christian, Lucky, Simlin and…that’s it. They’re fanning themselves like crazy, must be hot. Sorry, Mark, Hyun-Joo isn’t’ coming. I feel a little disappointed for him.
His guests are wowed and take in his amazing home with its pine beams, wooden floors, peaceful garden, roof that frames the sky, and minimalist furniture to emphasize the space.
They’ve brought housewarming gifts, too: toilet paper (I don’t get this Korean housewarming staple), watermelon, and Lucky hangs a traditional Indian gift of chili peppers and lemon. It represents India’s love of spicy and salty foods and the seven peppers represent the seven days in a week. Simlin reads the Chinese characters inscribed on the beams and points out the dragon symbol.
Mark gives them a tour and it shows that he has put a lot of care and keeping into his home. Not only that, he collects rare Korean antiques such as vases and medallions called sumaksae. His love of Korean beauty is apparent.
Simlin is the most impressed by the large expensive Samsung TV! The carved goose couple is especially Korean and lovely. Alberto tells the meaning: they represent that goose couples mate for life and it is a wish for a lifelong marriage for a couple.
Such a spotless, pristine house brings teasing that Mark is too perfect and orderly and it will make a woman uncomfortable. The guys toss around a few items and encourage him to loosen up. (But he can’t leave his socks around, it’s too much.) Such silly but adorable camaraderie among these friends!
They enjoy a meal together around the table and take in the incredible view of the roof lines of Hanok Village. Amazingly, the construction of the house is made with pieces that fit together using no nails. Something like a Lego concept, one of them points out.
Mark is surprisingly poetic and romantic as he comments, “I feel like this place heals me.” He shares that, unlike Gangnam, everyone knows everyone by name is this charming hanok village. Alberto notices that Mark’s Korean name, Tae Hyun-jun, is not inscribed on the doorway like so many of the other houses. Will he put it up?
The visit to Mark’s hanok is a mini Where is My Friend’s House? episode, a show that I miss terribly. I wonder if there are new episodes of that (but, I rely completely on subbers who are invaluable to those of us who love Korean shows but don’t know Korean.)
More fun stuff:
Here are a couple of links to current shows that feature Abnormal Summit members. (I am happy that Alberto and Guillaume have continued to be on the Abnormal Summit panel as two of the original members. And, of course, our three MCs have remained faithful constants and have grown with the show’s concept and flow). Fighting!
Thanks for the Food: episode with Guillaume, Sam, and Alberto at
Real Men: episode with Julian (there are several) at http://dramacool.io/real-men-episode-173.html
Trivia tidbit: Did you know that Sam and Daniel had roles in the drama, Moorim School? Recaps at:
Moorim School Recaps
Comments are welcome below!