A Simple Swedish Life
September 29, 2020 11:59 PM   Subscribe

A Korean man living in Sweden documents his paternity leave with carefully crafted short videos. Using only subtitles, he reflects, narrates and tells stories from his daily life. The cinematography is excellent and he is a master of Swedish-Korean fusion cuisine.
posted by serathen (18 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Two episodes in and I'm hooked.

Wonderful, thanks for sharing.
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:44 AM on September 30, 2020

Yes, this is perfect.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:23 AM on September 30, 2020

Thank you, this is lovely and calming.
posted by InkaLomax at 5:09 AM on September 30, 2020

More Swedish-Asian fusion cuisine is something I can get behind. Stockholm is by far the least authentically Asian place I've lived, down to the eateries with names like “Thai Sushi Wok”.
posted by acb at 6:08 AM on September 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by groda at 6:46 AM on September 30, 2020

I remember how baffled I was that Chinese restaurants in Sweden tend to have Swedish pancakes on the menu for the kids. Then I remembered that every restaurant needs to serve its local customers and pancakes for kids are a thing here. I have been confused as well by take out places that purport to be Thai and have sushi on the menu. But then, New York has (had?) Cuban-Chinese (or maybe Chinese-Cuban) restaurants. I have never lived in NYC, I was just excited, as a tourist, by that notion. Anyway, thanks for the great FPP, serathen!
posted by Bella Donna at 7:21 AM on September 30, 2020

That Udon looked so good. One of the side effects of generous leave policies has got to be better, more frequent home-cooked meals. My husband and I both worked full time during my daughter's first year and I would have been so lovely to have more time cooking and eating together.

(And Chinese Cuban is a thing because there is/was a large Chinese community in Cuba and the fusion happened over there. Peru also has darn good Chifa, too.)
posted by Alison at 7:33 AM on September 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

Wow those tattoos are serious business. Tattoos are still harshly frowned upon in Korea. Despite that, some of my absolute favorite tattoo artists are based out of Seoul. Hen does pop culture and scenes as dynamic pop art, and Gong Greem does oil-pastel like abstracts and florals.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:50 AM on September 30, 2020 [8 favorites]

I've also wondered about the tattoos. He hasn't explained them yet, though he mentions that he grew up very poor.

When I lived in Sweden a decade ago, I knew a fellow masters student who was Thai, and had been hired to manage a Thai restaurant. Apparently all the other employees were actually Filipino. Thai food seemed to have taken the niche of the default cheap Asian takeout that Chinese food does in the U.S.
posted by serathen at 8:08 AM on September 30, 2020

Very cool. Feels very much like reading a comic book memoir, with all the still frame shots, and subtitles with subtitles like "is 3 oysters really worth saving?".
posted by Corduroy at 8:51 AM on September 30, 2020 [5 favorites]

I want his life so bad I can taste it.
posted by aramaic at 10:33 AM on September 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thank you for sharing this! kind of want to ration it out one or two a day so I don't run out right away. It doesn't seem right to me to binge a video series that has a deliberate slow pace.
posted by kimberussell at 1:07 PM on September 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Here in my small town in Norway the sushi place is run by a Vietnamese family, and the Indian resturant by a Pakistani, I think.
posted by Harald74 at 12:09 AM on October 1, 2020

That was really sweet. Thanks for sharing.
posted by nikoniko at 12:14 AM on October 1, 2020

Mr Nat points out that the videos use lots of camera angles. I wonder how much time he spends on setting up each video, or if we are seeing more than one morning of udon.

Udon in the morning, that sounds lovely. (The window scene does look a lot like Stockholm, to me; do they ever tell us which suburbs they are in? It reminds me of the area around an apartment hotel I used to stay in there in the beforetimes..)
posted by nat at 4:12 PM on October 1, 2020

Thai food seemed to have taken the niche of the default cheap Asian takeout that Chinese food does in the U.S.
posted by jmertiness at 2:39 PM on October 2, 2020

It's strange, that's not normaly my type of thing, especially because I'm not interested in kids and babies creep me out, but I found his videos very soothing and watchable. Even the baby was ok.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:59 PM on October 2, 2020

Swedes love Thailand. For a few years I used to be there every year in January or February and it seemed like half the people on any beach were Swedish.

Apparently there's a coastal resort town in Thailand which is particularly popular with Swedish tourists, to the point that the Thais who work there speak reasonable Swedish.
posted by acb at 6:57 AM on October 5, 2020

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