Name: Ryne Aquino Santos
Occupation: Music Teacher / Professional Musician
Hometown: San Diego, CA, USA
Length of time in Gwangju: 1.5 years
My hometown is famous for . . . beaches, California burritos, Ron Burgundy, and extra hoppy IPA beers
I have never been able to . . . beat the motorcycle level in Battletoads for NES
If I could have any superpower it would be . . . to manipulate time; speed it up, slow it down, reverse it, etc.
A great book I would recommend is . . . Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
The show I am most likely to binge watch is . . . It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
My favorite sport to play is . . . it’s tough to pick between soccer, tennis, and golf
The food I make that I am best known for is . . . a dish concocted with chicken, swiss cheese, and mushrooms.
The best discovery I have made in Gwangju is . . . Mr. Donut, only found at the Songjeong train station.
On my days off I like to . . . Write lists, sometimes cross things off said lists.
My favorite movie is . . . Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
What is your best tip for living in Korea?
Keep an open mind and try everything! There are festivals nearly every weekend it seems, check those out!
What is your surefire way to beat the blues when you are feeling homesick?
With the convenience of the internet and social networks, it’s like I’ve never left home chatting with friends from back in California! Though, when that bug does bite hard, I go and cook a meal that takes at least my tastebuds back home.
What is the oddest job you have ever had?
I was an election day polling place clerk. That wasn’t odd, but the location of a retirement home was.
What is your favorite game to play?
My favorite video game of all time is Chrono Trigger on the Super Nintendo. Board game, I’ll probably have to say Scrabble.
Tell us a strange or interesting fact about you.
I aspire to have one of my personally constructed crossword puzzles edited by Will Shortz and published in The New York Times one day.
Describe your favorite travel destination.
Hong Kong is one of my most favorite places in the world. There’s so much to see and photograph. Denmark is pretty amazing too (if it weren’t so expensive to visit).
How did you end up in Gwangju?
I was an English kindergarten teacher in Guangzhou, China and they didn’t renew my contract. I wasn’t quite ready to leave Asia and some friends helped me with a job search site. I’ve already lived in Japan as well as China, why not finish the far east trifecta and move to Korea? So, I ended up moving from Guangzhou to Gwangju. I also went from teaching English to what I’m certified to teach, music!
Do you belong to any clubs or community organizations in Gwangju?
I attend the Language Lounge once in awhile which happens on Saturdays, I helped to organize the 2015 edition of Alleycon, and I work camera and audio for Argle Bargle Productions.
What event do you organize in Gwangju?
I run the event PechaKucha, a simple presentation format that uses 20 PowerPoint slides at 20 seconds each. It started in Tokyo in 2003, and now 13 years later, PechaKucha are hosted in 893 cities around the world!
What is the best advice or explanation you can give about why someone should go?
You should go to PechaKucha Night to learn, to laugh, and to be inspired by what other people have to share. Don’t expect some mind-blowing TED Talk caliber presentation, but do expect your community members to share six minutes and forty seconds of interesting topics they’re passionate to present.
PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format. It’s a simple presentation where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. The First-Ever Gwangju PechaKucha Night will be held Saturday, February 13, from 8:20-11:00 P.M. at Salt Art Gallery.
Salt Art Gallery