Posted by: evedlewis | April 24, 2010

Kiana in Korea + KOREAN FACTS

My best friend, Kiana Dancie, came to visit me in Korea last week. YAYYY!!!!  I met her in Seoul over the weekend, she stayed in Jeonju for a week, and then we stayed in Seoul again before she left.  We had a great time and took many photos while she was here.  I was glad that she had a chance to visit me, and I think we covered enough ground for her to really have a great experience.  During the first weekend, we stayed in Itaewon and we partied at Helios.  We met with a wonderful older couple and Preston for Brunch on Sunday and had a great long conversation with them. 

During the week, I took Kiana to Hanok Village and Gaeksa in Jeonju.  She also went to Osan to go shopping for purses, and she went to Seoul Land with Preston.  During the final weekend, we went to Music Bank in Jeonju, the S Club in Hongdae and the UN Club in Itaewon.  Kiana went to the Coex Mall, and we also went to the shopping area in Myeondong, which was a new spot for me in Seoul.  Kiana was searching for a certain dress from H & M – but, we didn’t find it there – they had already sold out of the dress she wanted.  I really enjoyed looking around in the Myeongdong area, because I had never been there before.  We had a WONDERFUL time, and she made comments about certain things about Korea while she was here.  I have mentioned most of these things in past posts, but I decided to compile a list in her honor.  We will call these things “Korean Facts”.  So, here are the top 10 Korean Facts that any tourist is bound to notice when visiting Korea.

Korean Fact #1: The men wear purses and get their hair DONE.  They go to the hair salon and get their hair permed, pressed and curled just like women.  Not the gay men – but the men with girlfriends.  Kiana was amazed at all the male hairstyles and “MURSES” (Man Purses)!!!!!!!!

Korean Fact #2: Fried Chicken is a staple food here.  Even though we are in the land of Kimchi and “healthy-living” – Fried Chicken is served everywhere!!!!!  Even in the corner stores!!!!!

Korean Fact #3: SHOES RULE!!!  Korea has a wonderful fashion scene – and the perfect shoe is a must-have to top off the perfect outfit.  There are gazillions of shoe stores filled with sexy and exotic high-heels.  Korean women wear their heels EVERYWHERE!!!!  On the streets, in the grocery stores, on the beach, in the mountains – no matter where you are – You will see Korean women wearing their heels!!!!!!

Korean Fact #4: “Squatting Toilets” and “Squirting Toilets” are customary.  In America, you sit on a toilet – use the bathroom and wash your hands – simple.  In Korea, however, you have options.  You can use the squatting toilet, where you squat down and go to the bathroom as if you are in the jungle and need to move quickly.  Or, you can choose the fancy “western-style” bidet toilet with several options, including heating your seat and washing yourself when finished.  The choice is yours!!!!!!!!! 

Korean Fact #5: People push and spit in Korea.  It’s not rude – it just happens.  Get used to it if you ever come to visit.

Korean Fact #6: TAXIS – not pedestrians – Always have the “right-of-way”.  TAXIS run red lights, drive on sidewalks, make illegal turns and break all traffic rules.  But – it’s okay – they have every right to do all these things.  They clearly own the roads here.

Korean Fact #7: Several people wear masks in Korea – like – the surgical masks – to cover their faces.  They sell decorated masks also, so it’s like a fashionable clothing accessory.  My students wear masks in school, and people wear masks on the streets daily.  I would say about 75% of Koreans wear a mask while out on the streets.  I’m not sure if this practice decreases any chances of getting sick or spreading illness, but I think that is the idea.  Actually – about 25% of all Koreans wear masks – but it seems like more sometimes.

Korean Fact #8:  In addition to wearing masks, many people also wear visors or carry umbrellas to block the sun from their faces.  Koreans are not interested in tanning or having brown skin.  In fact, most seem to despise the sun and many also use “whitening creams”.  They are more interested in having a smooth, white complexion with no blemishes. 

Korean Fact #9: This is NOT an English-Speaking country!!!!  Even though parents send their children to academies to learn English, and spend thousands of dollars on English schooling, most people in Korea CANNOT speak English very fluently!!!!!!!!  Most of the signs in Korea are in Korean or Konglish (Korean/English).  When English is used on signs, it is typically not used correctly.  I was actually surprised by this when I first arrived.  I assumed that I would be in more of a bi-lingual atmosphere, since so much time, energy and money is spent on learning English.  Kiana quickly pointed out signs that made NO SENSE at all – and to this I said – “Welcome To Korea!” 

Korean Fact #10: The food is SPICY – ALL OF IT!!!!!  Even the condiments!!!!!!  Kiana was shocked when she tasted her “Ranch” dressing at Outback, which had a typical Korean spicy kick!!!!! 😉   You can FIND mild food items, but in most cases, there will be a spicy sauce, relish or broth with all of the meals!!!!!!!  Even things that SHOULD NOT be spicy by American standards have a spicy taste or sauce added.  AND THEN – things that are typically NOT SWEET in America are sweet here.  For example, their GARLIC bread tends to have a sweet taste.  WTFFFF????!?!?!  Kiana also got a SWEET raspberry flavored butter with her Baked Potato – WTFFF???!?!??!  Very strange for American taste buds.

Life in Korea is very interesting indeed, and I’m glad my best friend could come over and enjoy it with me for a little while – 😉

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Responses

  1. just blog walking ,, and i find u’r blog 😀 i really like u’r post abot korean ^^

    • Thank you!! Glad you are enjoying my blog. 😉


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