Koreans have some aspects of their culture that at this point I am resigned to just never understand.

1. Fan death. A very large majority of Koreans really and truly believe that if you have a fan on and you sleep you must crack a window.  You can’t sleep in a closed room and a fan on.  Clearly you will die because the fan cuts all the air molecules up and then you can’t breath so even though A/C is on you must crack your window. Fan death, totally logical right?

2. Couple things. It is very ridiculously common for Korean couples to be ‘same same’ You will see high school and university couples walking and you know they are a couple because they have on matching everything head to toe. They buy same same shoes, same same clothes, and jackets, and sometimes the girls even make them wear these ridiculous bows. They have matching rings because they have been dating a whole six months. What better way to let people know you are dating than same same clothes. right.

3. If you talk to a Korean boy as a foreigner and he gives you a drink clearly this means you are instantly his girlfriend. Totally makes sense! How could I think this is crazy? If you just look at Korean men they literally thinks this means you want to date them.  Oh and dating in Korea means spending a majority of your day texting about what you ate for breakfast and how you walked to work…and then you have been dating six months which clearly means you’re going to be getting married like…tomorrow? yeah, sorry not sure how I thought this was crazy it makes tooootal sense now. but no.

4. Ajummas. Seriously I don’t get the ajumma. They are so mean. just plain mean. They hate foreigners and will go out of their way to elbow us on the street or on the metro. They are middle aged or older women who just hate life.  They have really pointy elbows too which is unfortunate.  I had one so desperate to get off a train last week she elbowed me so hard she literally bruised my side.  They are worst when they travel in packs giving us all judgy eyes. I am convinced that because they hate to get sun, they wear head to toe coverage including gloves and these huuuuuuge visors so they never get any sun or in turn vitamin D and that is where the real problem lies.  If they would just get some sun maybe they wouldn’t be so hateful.

5. The level of acceptable public drunkness in Korea.  Drinking here knows no day of the week.  It can be a Tuesday and if you walk down your block it will be nooooo surprise to see a Korean man passed out on the sidewalk somewhere. It doesn’t even have to be late it can be 9pm and there will be a group of stumbling ajashis (men become an ajashi once they have served in the army, which is required of all men in Korea.) In fact it is so common there is a website devoted to this called Blackout Korea.  They fall asleep in the the streets, restaurants, wherever, doesn’t matter.  I know people get drunk in America, but I feel like there is a definite level of functionality about it, where as here it’s just a complete shut down.  I blame the soju. It’s the Korean vodka and of course it’s made from rice.

This is all for now, but don’t worry there are still many ridiculous things I don’t understand about Korea and will keep them coming as I encounter them.

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