Daily Archives: August 19, 2009

Advice and Anecdotes: What I Was Told to Expect in South Korea

Below is a list of the kinds of advice people often offer when they hear you are going to South Korea:

  1. Pack a year’s worth of deodorant; you won’t be able to easily find deodorant in South Korea, and if you do find any, it won’t be your brand and it will be expensive. (People in south Korea don’t wear deodorant/the deodorant you buy won’t work.)
  2. Take lots of day trips; the country-side is beautiful and easy to get to.
  3. All of Seoul smells of garlic and kimchi.
  4. Seoul is a great place to be; full of activity, culture, shopping…a city that never sleeps.
  5. Seoul has excellent public transportation.
  6. If you have blue eyes, strangers may try to touch your eyeballs because they don’t believe they are real.
  7. If you have hair on your arms, strangers may try and touch your arms.
  8. Old Korean women will pinch/grab your ass, especially if you are dressed “provocatively.” Old Korean women feel entitled to do such things to young women.
  9. The Korean language is easy to pick up.
  10. The Korean language is difficult.
  11. Don’t plan on buying clothes in Korea; you won’t find anything that fits (Korean people are much more petite than are Americans).
  12. Korean students are well disciplined and very polite.
  13. Everyone in Korea has a servant.
  14. Korean women coddle their men/husbands; if you do not coddle your man/husband, Korean women will harass you for it.
  15. “Dog” is a viable meat dish in Korea.
  16. Korean food is spicy.
  17. For many Koreans, the Korean war is not over.
  18. Koreans embrace westerners and their customs.
  19. Koreans hate westerners and their customs.
  20. Many South Koreans still feel “they” should have gone with the North.
  21. Most Asian people are xenophobic.
  22. Korean people discriminate against homosexual persons.

Check back for updates as I discover whether or not any of these statements prove true.