The Low Down

My name is Eli Schwimmer. I live in Seattle and work at a radio station.  This is blog started as a way to keep in touch with friends and family while I was living abroad, but has now morphed into place for my photos, my terrible cartoons, and the occasional random rambling thought. The blog’s title is a reference to my dad’s one and only decent joke.

I’m also here:





21 responses to “The Low Down

  1. I live and work in Korea as well. Just discovered your blog; really enjoy it, particularly your photos and the comics.

  2. Eli…I love your observations! I’ve been in Korea 11 months and thought I had passed on a lot of really practical stuff my friends like to read about…but you have it totally covered!!
    I loved your post about it taking 3 days to get hot water!! SO true and really funny! I’m a regular reader now! Your pictures are great!!

  3. Hi Eli, Nice to read your posts. I use to teach in nearby Taean (94-95)while my friend was in Seosan. Did a lot swimming at the Seosan pool. Too bad about the oil and scenery to the coast. It was such an underdeveloped treasure while I was there. -Joe

  4. Eli,

    My name is Roger Wellor and I’m doing a study of the successes and failures of Korean International Tourism Marketing (I found your blog on the Korean blogs list). I have a brief survey online that I invite you to take. It is designed to be answered by Korean/US bloggers and to give a slight outline of how these cross-cultural thinkers evaluate Korea’s International Marketing.

    Sorry to do this in comments, but I didn’t see an email link.

    Your email will not be used for anything other than this survey (in fact it is not a required field in the survey) and if you have any questions, I can be contacted here at

    Here is the link:

    thank you,


  5. I enjoy the way that you write; very funny. You’ve linked some very interesting items as well.

  6. So, what’s the joke?

  7. I guess there’s no real joke, more just a clever turn of phrase, but for my dad that’s still pretty good.

  8. hi, i got to your site through the tag surfer and just wanted to say hi. love the blog 🙂

  9. Dear Eli

    Hope all is well.
    We always enjoy reading your blog.
    Just wanted to let you know that we have just launched new website (
    Please take a look and hope you have a good day.

    Many thanks and kind regards,

    Hyung Wook Lee
    Managing Director / Editor in Chief

    THE EAST, The East Asian Monthly Business Newspaper,
    Elephant Consulting Limited, 160 Central Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 8HQ, UK
    Tel : + 44 (0) 7912 608 321 / Web site: / E mail :
    Registered in England & Wales, Company No. 6254454

  10. Dear Eli,

    I am an English teacher in Seosan, where I arrived two weeks ago. I like your blog a lot, your photography is really great. Most of all, thanks for posting about that IP shield, so I can once again enjoy my precious Conan O’Brien.

    I hope you enjoy your bike trip, please let me know if you have any tips for me about Seosan, or Korea in general.



  11. I’ve been perusing FT Korea blogs for about a month now, and am pleased to say your blog has won first place in my rankings. It’s not a huge feat (I haven’t read that many, and most aren’t half as humorous), and I can’t offer a prize, but it was serendipitous to stumble across your blog mere hours after accepting an EFL position in Seosan. I hope my stay is as amusing as yours, though I somehow doubt my ability to make a blog nearly as interesting. If you have any tips on living and teaching in Seosan which are absent from these posts, please share! Thanks to your advice, I intend to walk around in search of foreigners at random, and am relieved to hear that such an excursion might be successful at corralling new friends. Also, I’m planning to bring my bike to Korea – good idea or bad? No one has given a definite answer, but I figure you biked across Europe so you’re a good bet. Oh, and any chance I’ll be able to learn Korean folk music in Seosan area? I hope to hear from you, but if not, thanks for the blog nonetheless : )

    • Glad you like the blog. It was a lot of fun to write. Seosan is an amazing place to live and teach. It’s small, so you can really get to know the people and place very well. I would DEFINITELY get a bike to Korea. It’s very handy for getting around the city and you can take it out into the countryside for some longer rides. You can also buy a decent bike in Seosan for about 100-200 won. Don’t know much about the Korean folk music scene in Seosan, but I’m sure there is one.

      • Thanks so much for the reply, glad to have a definite answer on the bike – most of my friends have lived in Seoul and couldn’t help me. I’m pretty excited overall, and feel reassured now!

  12. Steve Erickson

    Hey, I am Brian Schulkin’s cousin and live in China teaching as well. I enjoyed reading your blog and continue to do so even after wordpress joined the growing list of sites blocked here including facebook and youtube. Recently though I have been requested to enlighten a girl about what she should bring to Korea where she will teach in the fall. I have not been there and thought you might have some insight. She says the village does not show up on maps but it is about an hour and a half outside Seoul. Not sure what her options are there and I have made some suggestions already from things that I found useful and scarse in Shenzhen. What suggestions would you make to her about things to bring as well as things to leave in Seattle? Thank you for your help and wishing you luck in your job search.


    • I noticed your post, and thought I’d pass on the list I’ve been using – I found 2, one at Footprints Recruiting and one on another blog. The Footprints one has specifics for women, too.

      • Nevermind, I can’t post links here. Just tell your friend to google footprints recruiting packing list, and the daily kimchee packing list. Those should help her : )

  13. Hi Eli, great blog! Is there any way to reach you via email? You can reach me at



  14. Good Afternoon,

    I just came across your blog and
    really like it. Would you like to trade links with me? You can see my site

    I will add your link on my links page at Please let me know if you
    have any questions or comments.


    Travel And Teach Recruiting Inc.

  15. Hi Eli, I will be moving to Seosan next month. I am not nervous about moving to South Korea, however I am just curious as to what I can expect while living and teaching in Seosan. Take care.

    • Seosan is an awesome place to live. It’s small, but not too small. The people are friendly, and there is a small but tight-knit foreigner community there. I haven’t been there in a while but I think you can still expect to get a great experience. I suggest buying a bike to get around. It will probably take you a few weeks to get acquainted with the people and places, but once you do it will be smooth sailing. If you want to meet other foreigners I suggest visiting places like R&B Club, C&B Movie Theater, Lotte Mart, Roma, and Bike Bar. Have fun and if you have any other questions let me know. -E

  16. Hey Eli, great blog, this is the most information I have been able to find on Seosan so far. I am going there in a few weeks and even teaching at the same school you were at judging from the Wiz English van haha. Any tips on the school?

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