Interesting Things About Korea (That I Like or Dislike)

this is like a grab-bag post of my thoughts about Korea.  many of them were first originated from previous trips to the Motherland.

1) “Koreans are the best at…” – Whenever you talk to korean people about anything and the issue of comparing comes up, they always say, “Koreans are the best at ____.”  Whether it’s the subway system to airlines to traditional dress (cough cough, YOONJEE and SUSANNA) to cell phone design to food, Koreans claim to be the BEST at it. (Although i must admit, the subway system, food, airlines are pretty awesome. .)

2) Option to Deselect Elevator Floors – if Serendipity were filmed in Korea, the movie would be about 5 minutes long.  On most elevators here, if you press the floor button a second time, it will deselect the floor.  Man, Koreans are the BEST at designing elevators.

3) Obesity PANDEMIC – So in previous visits, i was always shocked by how anorexic thin everybody in korea looks.  While there are still quite a few such people still around, it seems like there are more chubby people around than before.  I think high fructose corn syrup and larger portions are being exported to Korea.  U-S-A! U-S-A! Make everybody fat!  Oh, and pandemic as opposed to epidemic because pandemic refers to larger populations like the WORLD.  Ryan Chan and David Yun (both MPH’s) would be proud of me.

4) FOB Fashion? – in previous visits, i’ve had a fob day where i buy an outfit of fobby clothes and then where it for a day.  Not sure if it will happen here because yoonjee and susanna unintentionally celebrated fob day yesterday.  HAHA.  but anyways, i’ve noticed that the fashion (esp guys) is not so far removed from American dress.  Although i do see quite a bit more skinny jeans on guys here, and i’ve noticed more flamboyant shoes (with the pants tucked into them) on some people.

5) Toilet Hole Squatter Things – So there are very few toilet hole squatter things in the ground these days (at least in seoul), so praise God!  however, i did come across something interesting yesterday.  At a rest stop on the way to Gyung-joo yesterday, in the men’s bathroom, there were over 10 toilet stalls, all marked with the picture of a western style porcelain seat toilet.  BUT, the last one was marked with the ominous and threatening hole picture.  If the ratio of seat to hole bathrooms was 1:1 or 2:1, i would understand that maybe they couldn’t afford to switch all the toilets.  But 10:1 makes me think some people prefer the hole.  What!? Koreans are NOT the best at designing toilets.

6) Korean hygiene – so it turns out i am more Korean than i thought.  So some of you may know that i’m not the most hygienic of people (but in the hospital i am!).  I would fit in perfectly here!  There are rarely any toilet seat covers (sorry Richard).  And… more people don’t wash their hands after they go to the bathroom.

7) Food – seriously… i just love having korean food, drinks, ice cream at every street corner.  nothing profound or original, i know, but it’s just… so… beautiful.  koreans are the best at FOOD.

8) Korean modesty? – koreans are not known at all for their modesty, and are rather known for their massive amounts of pride.  But i’m not talking about THAT type of modesty.  I’ve noticed that purity and lustful thinking are much easier here because the way the ladies dress here.  Obviously, we all know Korea is a super superficial (heh heh, super x 2) society, but walking around makes me realize how scandalous some people dress back in the US.  This modesty might be exaggerated by the fact that the weather is relatively cold (50’s) and that we haven’t been hanging out in Gang-Nam much, which is the more rich and clubbin’ population.  (it also helps that i don’t find the native korean fob look very attractive)

9) Shiny Suits – i’ve noticed a significant amount of people wearing shiny suits around.  it’s like suit material that has a reflective shean to it.  like halfway between normal suit and polyester.  i can’t tell if it’s just because the suits are cheap or if it’s intentional.  i think it might be intentional, though, because i notice quite a few of them.  Maybe this is already popular in the US.  I’m not so fashionable.  Steven Hong, thoughts? (not because you’re fashionable, but because you THINK you’re fashionable)

10) Man Purses – Seriously… So many man purses abound here.  Actually, my prediction is that the iPad will make the man-purse acceptable.  I actually think i’m gonna rock one in the hospital and church.  iPad, a few papers, some adapters/cables.  That’s it!


7 Responses to Interesting Things About Korea (That I Like or Dislike)

  1. AJ says:

    glad you are having a blast David. Keep the updates coming.

  2. Steven Hong says:

    Since I “think” I’m fashionable, I’ll say:
    Yeah, i’ve seen those shiny suits on korean dramas; not that I watch many of those, but from the few I’ve seen. And actually, those were at least a few years old, so I guess the fad has some persistence over there.

    Can’t say I’ve seen it too often here though. It might still need a year or two before it crosses overseas.

  3. Ash-Lee says:

    David!! You are so funny! wow….this was so interesting …the elevators, toilets… to shiny suits! Sounds like you are enjoying your trip. Are you going to post any pictures??

    Tell Sus and Yoonj I said HI! AND tell them to find a FOB outfit for Mason! 😉

  4. Tia says:

    haha, welcome to wordpress!

    not quite like hearing you talk in person, with your qualifications and self-interruptions, but close! 😀

  5. Ed Yip says:

    Dude, Koreans are the BEST at modesty!

  6. Ed Yip says:

    also, typo in your fob day section: i’ve had a fob day where i buy an outfit of fobby clothes and then ==> where <== it for a day. you can delete this comment after you fix it, if you want

  7. Yoonjee says:

    omg david, sus and I saw a guy holding THE BEST manpurse on the subway. I wish i had taken a picture. :T it was a green canvas bag with flowers. and no, he was not holding it for his girlfriend. I’ll get you one! hahaha

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