Appearing on 2.5 Oyajis

This Wednesday evening at 10:30pm, Asia News Weekly host Steve Miller will appear on the popular netcast 2.5 Oyajis. The live show will touch on a variety of Asia News topics.

To watch live, tune in to Hikosaemon’s YouTube channel.

The new QuikPod SPORT

Over the past two years, I’ve really changed the way I’ve shot my videos. Everything used to be handheld, but that changed a couple of years ago. When I started using my GoPro more, I knew I wanted to take advantage of its action cam settings, but needed a better way to hold on it. So I reached out to QuikPod. They were kind enough to send me their POV/DSLR model to review.

I loved it.

It really changed the way I filmed with a GoPro. The original DSLR/POV wasn’t perfect, but was pretty damn close. In my review, I outlined a number of improvements. A year later, an updated model was released. This new version was just about as close to perfect as one could get. Everything I had concerns about with the original were addressed, and it became my go-to monopod for extreme sport activities.

At the same time, QuikPod sent me their new Explorer 3. It instantaneously became my favorite. It’s small, it works incredibly well with my GoPro, and light. This means I can carry it with me where ever I go… and I do. When you see me walking in Seoul, I have the GoPro and the Explorer 3 in my bag and ready to go.

While the Explorer 3 is great for normal selfies and filming activities, it just doesn’t have a feel I’m comfortable with when going SCUBA diving, bungee jumping, or sailing through the air on a zip line. For those activities, I still use the new DSLR/POV model. But as you can expect, a mono pod geared towards holding a 2kg camera is bit on the heavy side. So what to do?

Well, QuikPod has THE answer. They’ve just launched a new product called the Sport.

So what is the QuikPod Sport? It’s a hybrid between the Explorer 3 and DSLR/POV. It will carry a camera over a pound, anodized aluminum with locking cams, fully weather proof, light, and sturdy. It’s not as small as the Explorer 3, meaning I can’t keep it in my daily bag; however, when traveling, I’d much rather have this with me since it weighs just over 200g.

I’ve taken it out to test and have to report back this is an awesome product and one I fully endorse. If you’re looking for a monopod for extreme sports and you use an action cam – this is the one to get. Seriously. It’s that good.

If you’re going to pick up the Sport or any of the other QuikPods, I’d like to make one recommendation. Spend a few extra bucks and pick up the tripod legs. These screw into the bottom of the monopod, allowing it to stand. I’ve been using this for a while and love the ability not to have to carry around multiple devices.

How to eat stroopwafels

A few weeks ago while discussing Amsterdam on my radio segment, I mentioned that my favorite treat from The Netherlands was stroopwafels or Dutch waffles. As soon as that VLOG went live, Daelmans reached out to me on twitter and thanked me for introducing stroopwafels to an international audience.

Here’s a little about Daelmans: Enjoy a Dutch classic – Connoisseurs are simply wild about them: authentic Dutch caramel wafers made by Daelmans family bakery (Est. 1909). Enjoy the refined wafers and their characteristic caramel filling. Experience the contemporary taste of honest tradition.

I was more than happy to introduce the food on my segment, because I honestly feel it is the best complement to coffee. Daelmans was so thankful, they offered to send me some stroopwafels. What I got in the mail was a large parcel containing two 36-count boxes.

In today’s video, you not only see my sheer excitement at receiving this amazing gift, but how to eat stroopwafels properly. To make this video a little more special, I even dusted off my Amsterdam Starbucks mug.

In case you’re not watching the video and just want the TL;DR on how to eat a stroopafel here’s how you do it. Place your stroopwafel on top of your coffee-filled cup (tea or hot water also works) and let it sit for a minute or so. The bottom wafer will soften, as will the caramel filling. When it’s soft, remove it and enjoy.

The Ultimate Vocabulary Game

The school year has just started in Korea and will be starting shortly in Japan. That means one thing – time to pull out your bag of tricks and get everyone excited to learn. In the classroom, we usually conduct a number of different activities and then try to pull everything back together again. One of my favorite ways to do that is with a special type of vocabulary game that was inspired from The Family Feud. Here’s how you play:

  • Divide the class into two teams (for larger classes, you can do three teams, but it gets a little complicated at that point). Try best to make the combined level of the teams equal.
  • Identify one person on each team to be the official writer. Explain that you will assign a topic and the team must tell the writer what to put on the paper. If it isn’t on the paper, it doesn’t count. Option: You can make correct spelling optional. I usually count spelling only for higher level classes or for bonus points.
  • Set a time limit (usually 5 minutes) and then let the teams use that time to list as many relevant things to that topic on the paper. For example, if the topic is Activities At The Beach, items may be surfing, swimming, tanning, playing volleyball, building sand castles, etc. You get the idea.
  • At the end of five minutes, ask each team to total up their lists. Most classes will be able to get at least 10 items or more. It’s at this time you explain that this game is not about how many items are on the list, but how many unique items are on the list.
  • The game is usually conducted in five rounds, with the final round being worth double points. Teams score points by picking one item on their list. If the opposing team has the same item, then no points are scored. If the opposing team doesn’t have the item, then points are scored.
    • TEAM 1: Sun tanning, TEAM 2: Sun Tanning = No points
    • TEAM 1: Searching for Seashells, TEAM 2: —- = SCORE!
  • This is a game that can be used over and over again. For example, if teaching nouns, you could specify that each round is a different type of noun (person, place, thing, idea, proper noun).

I’ve used this game with 1st graders (elementary school), college seniors, and everyone in between. Everyone loves it.

Speed Eating Spicy Ramyun

So last week, I made a video about the Korean Spicy Ramyun making the rounds. I wasn’t all that impressed with them, but several people called me out for making them wrong. So since I did that, I thought I would give it a go. In today’s video, I make up for my mistake and try to eat the noodles as fast as I can.

Super Spicy Korean Ramyun

I’ve seen this particular brand of ramyun making the rounds. Since I do like all things spicy, I decided to give it a try. While this spicy Korean ramyun (불낙 볶음왕컵) can be bought in packs, I opted to get a cup (mainly since I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d want to finish and clean-up was on my mind). Peeling back the lid you’ll find two packets. One had only a few dried vegetables. Seriously, it had about half of what you’d typically find in a package of Shin Ramyun.The other was a thick paste of chili sauce. That’s where the heat comes from. Add hot water and in just a few minutes, you’ll have some really spicy Korean ramyun.

How does it taste? To be honest, that’s really what’s lacking here. The noodles themselves aren’t anything special. They’re not bad, but really bland. The ensuing broth has no flavor other than that of the chili sauce. Even then, there’s no flavor aside from the chili. In short, it tastes like you’re drinking chili flakes. For a challenge, I can see people buying the ramyun and seeing who can get though it the fastest, but for a tasty snack – forget about it. I won’t be buying it again.

Let’s go to EBS Radio

Come along with me as I hit the road early Friday morning and make my way into Seoul. Why? Well, beginning March 7th, I’ve started a travel segment on EBS Radio’s Morning Special. It airs about 9:20am. If you have access to the internet, you can listen via Just search for EBS!

Travel Tip: The Gyeonggi 120 Line

Today’s video is a helpful travel tip for those working and living in Gyeonggi Province. It’s a 24/7 office and call center designed to help with every facet of life in South Korea. During regular business hours they offer support in Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, and Vietnamese. Those that are hearing impaired can also call in via video phones to receive sign language support. After hours that support continues through a partnership with the BBB Volunteer network.

While on-site, I had the opportunity to test one of the English operators with a travel request. To my surprise and enjoyment, she was able to get me the information within a minute I got my answer.

The 120 Call Center bolsters a 97.6% positive customer service rating, which is amazing. One of the reasons for the high rating is because of the center’s director, Lee, Se-jong (이세정). He’s focused on making 120 the best it can be and to achieve that, he volunteers on the floor one day a week to better understand the needs of the operators and callers.

If you’re living in Gyeonggi-do or traveling in the area, I honestly feel this service can benefit you. Simply pick up the phone and dial 120 within Gyeonggi Province. Outside the area, dial 031-120 to reach the call center.

Crap Korean News

On my way into school today, I saw two really bad articles in the Korean Press. You can see them here and here. This video is about a 6 minute rant on what I think is bad journalism. This is being passed off as news rather than opinion. At least that’s my take on it. It is pretty fear mongering in some regards. If you like these types of discussion, be sure to check out my podcast, Asia News Weekly launching this Sunday.