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Jae-Ha Kim
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Columnist, Chicago Tribune. Blogger (travel, celebs, racism, K-pop, food). Followed by Olympians, rock stars, my husband & (hopefully) YOU!
Columnist, Chicago Tribune. Blogger (travel, celebs, racism, K-pop, food). Followed by Olympians, rock stars, my husband & (hopefully) YOU!

746 followers
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I knew that when BTS won a Billboard Music Award this weekend that there would be xenophobic, stupid comments from idiots. The most common was from helpful citizens who pointed out that this is an American show made for Americans and therefore should only feature American artists.

Funny, but they had no problem with these other "American" performers and nominees from Sunday's awards show:

Adele (England)
Alessia Cara (Canada)
Calvin Harris (Scotland)
Céline Dion (Canada)
Coldplay (England)
Drake (Canada)
Justin Bieber (Canada)
Lukas Graham (Denmark)
Rihanna (Barbados)
Sean Paul (Jamaica)
Shawn Mendes (Canada)
Sia (Australia)
Zayn (England)

The oddest comment was by a woman (I guess. It's the internet, so who really knows) who said she couldn't understand a word that they said. Which means she must not understand English, because #RapMonster's 1-minute acceptance speech was in perfect, unaccented English. She must've meant she didn't understand him saying "thank you" in Korean at the end. Yeah, I'm sure that's it...
Be sure to come back next Tuesday when my interview with the band runs!
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The series finale of "Pretty Little Liars" is fast approaching. But Shay Mitchell has her next projects -- including a film, book and reality series -- lined up already. One of the elements of travel that she found so important was that it broadened her outlook and made her want to make a difference in bettering other people's lives.

Q: Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your life?

Shay Mitchell: Cambodia. I traveled to Cambodia and was connected with an organization that's sole mission is to end slavery and sex trafficking. That trip changed my soul and shaped who I am today.

Read more of my column in outlets such as the +Chicago Tribune and +Los Angeles Times. (Syndicated by the Tribune Content Agency)

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+BTS 방탄소년단 beat Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande last night at the Billboard Music Awards​. They became the first Korean group to win a Billboard Award. (The first Korean solo artist was +PSY for "Gangnam Style.") +Vogue also singled out the band members as the evening's Best Dressed musicians.👍Get ready for my interview with the group's RapMonster​ -- coming soon.🇰🇷

#bts #bangtonboys #rapmonster

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I have always loved Seattle. The crisp climate reminds me of my travels in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.

And, as a coincidence, my husband and one of my nieces were born in the same Seattle hospital — just a couple decades apart.

I know that it’s cool to say that you don’t like to visit tourist traps. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I enjoy tourist traps, which is why when we took my mother on her first trip to Hawaii, we went to Honolulu. And when you’re traveling with a little kid, it’s fun to re-visit attractions through their eyes.

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Carve out some time to read this compelling essay in Atlantic Magazine:

Her name was Eudocia Tomas Pulido. We called her Lola. She was 4 foot 11, with mocha-brown skin and almond eyes that I can still see looking into mine—my first memory. She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been. So many nights, on my way to the bathroom, I’d spot her sleeping in a corner, slumped against a mound of laundry, her fingers clutching a garment she was in the middle of folding.

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I knew that Grammy-nominated DJ White Shadow is besties with +Lady Gaga ✔️ is a restaurateur at Honey's ✔️ and is the North American music director for +W Hotels Worldwide. ✔️ But until I sat down with him for our interview in Seattle, I had no idea that he grew up with #kimchi in his house.

Q. Where do you return to consistently?

A. I love Asia as a whole (continent), but I try to make it to Korea at least once a year. My sisters are adopted from Korea and my mom and dad were very big on making them aware of their Korean culture. We had kimchi in the house all the time and ate Korean food. I love it. The spicier the better.

Read more about him in our interview in outlets such as the +Chicago Tribune and the +Los Angeles Times Syndicated by the +Tribune Content Agency.

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Ian Harding ("Pretty Little Liars") had some great stories to share with me, including a trip he took to Iceland with his girlfriend. It was his best -- and worst -- vacation memory:

"I should start by saying it's a beautiful country and I would love to go back. My girlfriend and I stayed at the Ion Adventure Hotel. The food was marvelous and it's a comfortable outpost for getting out into the wild. The staff is also first class, as I learned when they repeatedly helped us get to the emergency room in Reykjavík, Iceland.

We caught the Norovirus during a layover in Frankfurt, Germany. I managed to get it out of my system rather quickly, but Sophia had to be hospitalized. Twice. What I learned from the experience -- apart from never to eat Italian food in a German airport -- was that people often have expectations of how life is supposed to be, especially on vacation -- "I'm supposed to be having fun ... an adventure ... be relaxed" -- and when things go awry, especially on holiday, all of your inner demons are brought to the foreground, perhaps more vividly than if you were back home.

I found myself in the same position. I was becoming bitter and resentful toward my girlfriend when she could barely stand for more than 20 seconds without becoming nauseous. The question posed by the dilemma was, what's more important? My vacation in Iceland, or the person I love? If the answer was the former, then perhaps I shouldn't continue living and loving her. No vacation, trip, car, house, job, meal or wristwatch is worth the person you share your life with."
My column is syndicated nationally by the Tribune Content Solutions. Read more of our interview in publications such as the +Chicago Tribune and +Los Angeles Times.

#pll #OddBirds +St. Martin's Press +Pretty Little Liars

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There was real-life drama when "Boys Over Flowers" debuted. One of the secondary actresses in the series committed suicide. In her suicide note, she left a long list of the names of "important" men in the entertainment industry who had sexually and physically abused her. Without wealthy parents to protect her, it was basically her word against theirs, and the abuse took a huge toll on her psyche.

Watching the series, I felt almost ashamed that I enjoyed it. There is such an immoral message that was touted -- that the rich can do whatever they want and that even if you don't like it, that's the way it is. I also didn't like the message that a group of good-looking bullies could redeem themselves simply by being nice to one, poor girl.

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We bought our son subscriptions to +Sports Illustrated and +Sports Illustrated Kids as part of his birthday gift. He enjoys getting mail every week, collecting the trading cards that come with the kid version and reading about +Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant and all his other favorite basketball players. But the story I want him to read is the cover story on Hunter Greene, 17.

An academic, violinist and baseball wunderkind, he is a kid who turns rejection into a learning experience. When, as a 7th grade student, he was turned down by "an exclusive private school, Hunter wiped away his tears and took up Korean so he’d never be confused for a dumb ballplayer." FWIW, Hunter isn't Korean.

What really impressed me is how he dealt with life when his younger sibling was diagnosed with leukemia. He helped his sister by spending almost all his free time at the hospital -- doing his homework next to her, keeping her company while they watched her favorite shows and sleeping on chairs in her room before heading off to school. I look forward to watching him grow in the Major Leagues.
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