As previously announced, ottoKWORLD is going to Seoul!!! We thought it would be best to introduce ourselves for those of you at all curious about the crazy people you will be seeing on entertaining excursions all over Korea this summer. As Rara already introduced herself, here are some Q&As to help you get to know Ash!
Q&A with Ash of ottoKWORLD
Ash (aka Ash.Won)
Creative Content Mastermind and Editornim
What are you most looking forward to on this trip?
Finally being reunited with my one true love—KOREAN FOOD! Just kidding (not really… Korean food and I were meant to be, don't judge our love 😁)
How long have you studied Korean?
I have studied Korean intensively for the past two semesters in school. I am currently working on getting my M.A. in Korea and China Studies, and my school is requiring me to have a working fluency in Korean by this coming December 2017 (I only have six months left to reach proficiency level… *sobs*) This is why studying in Seoul this summer is really important to me (besides experiencing ALLLLLL the Korean food and K-pop concerts, of course). Hwaiting!!
What other languages do you know?
I LOVE languages. They are my passion and my hobby ☺️ so whenever I am not busy with schoolwork or keeping up with everything that is going on in the Korean entertainment industry, I am usually teaching myself a language. I’m a nerd, I know, hehe.
As of now, I speak Mandarin Chinese at a professional fluency level, having intensively studied the language for four years and lived abroad in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Nanjing throughout college.
I also learned Japanese and Spanish for fun, being at an intermediate level in both languages, but I was sidetracked when I started studying Korean this past year. Priorities~
Have you been to Korea before?
Yup, I spent two weeks in Seoul in January of 2016 on my way home from Nanjing, China for the Chinese New Year holiday. While it was an amazing experience, I am really excited to go back and explore more of South Korea. You see, when I went to Seoul, it was also the MOST RIDICULOUSLY COLD TIME OF THE YEAR IN KOREA EVER. My eyelashes froze… It’s hard to spot your idol on the street when your eyes are frozen, trust me.
What were you doing before this trip to Korea?
Dying. In grad school. Seriously, all I did was study in the library or my apartment in Washington, D.C., all while listening to K-pop, the one thing keeping me motivated through all the papers and tests this past year! 그 손을 내밀어줘 save me save me, I need your love before I fall, fall~
How did you get interested in Korean culture and learning Korean?
I have been interested in Asian languages and cultures for a long time now, ever since studying martial arts and reading my first manga as a child, so when my college started offering Mandarin language classes, I was one of the first to sign up!
Through studying Chinese language, I was exposed to Chinese dramas, which led to Taiwanese dramas, which led to Korean dramas, haha. I learned of K-pop through dramas (Dream High) and my Chinese friends who would sing EXO-M’s “Overdose” and “Baby Don’t Cry” every time we went to karaoke. It’s really all karaoke’s fault. Now I’m trapped in the K-pop blackhole. Beware of karaoke, everyone~
Goals for the rest of 2017:
What is one strange thing that you MUST take with you on your trip to Korea:
My hats, light sticks (BTS ARMY Bomb & B.A.P Matoki), and a lint roller. Really, I wear a lot of black clothing, so I never leave home without my lint roller.
Spending five minutes in the sun without wearing a gallon of sunscreen will immediately lead to ridiculous sunburns and overall suffering and pain. Sunshine is evil. Except for J-Hope. Our BTS sunshine is never evil ☀️💜
Favorite Korean Word:
B.A.B.Y (forever with you~) and A.R.M.Y (strong power thank you~)
Proudest Fangirl Moment:
Singing “With You” to B.A.P at their concerts and watching BTS win their first daesang while live-streaming the 2016 MMAs at 5AM
First K-pop Concert:
2016 EXO’luXion in Nanjing
Favorite Ice Cream:
ALL OF THEM. Ice cream is a gift from the gods.
Underappreciated K-pop group you support:
24K (Go watch the "Only You" music video right now. You're welcome, keke)
Thanks for reading <3
I hope this interview wasn't too boring, keke! Be sure to check in for more updates from our adventures in Korea!!!
See what we hope to do while in Korea HERE!