Two years ago, our little potato bodies hopped on a plane and flew over to South Korea with our lives squashed into two suitcases. We didn’t know anything about the country, except that there’s kimchi, it’s next door to one of the most dangerous countries on Earth, and it’s the size of Idaho.
Little did we know, there was a lot to learn about the Land of the Morning Calm. We both planned on staying here for six months but with so much to see, explore, and gobble up, we ended up braving a whole 25 months here.
In “25 in 25”, we explore 25 different things we’ve learned during our, you guessed it; 25 months in Korea. Clever, no? We hope to make this a series of tons of different topics, so if you like it let us know in the comments! The first one is 25 things we’ve learned about Korea that many people may not know. So without further ado, please gather some knowledge on this land of spicy food, karaoke and unlimited wi-fi.
Koreans are the reigning champions of the World Stew Series (WSS).
Where did the Croc industry go? South Korea
Nobody’s actually freaking out about North Korea
Korea is nothing like the K-dramas
Rice is really eaten every day. And hulking amounts of it too.
There’s a superstition that if you sleep with the fan on, you’ll die.
There are no umbrellas anywhere until it’s raining, then umbrellas come out of nowhere.
Everyone freaks out about drinking the tap water.
There are mega-clean public restrooms in every nook and cranny.
Looking for salty snacks requires a thrice-approved visa to the Dead Sea. Only to be denied and handed a loaf of garlic bread doused in brown sugar once you get there. Don’t even try me, snacks in Korea are damn sweet.
If one person jumps on a trend, everyone else will too. And that Gucci gondola is non-stop.
I never thought Spam could be such a crucial ingredient.
No one takes the phrase “work hard, play harder” more seriously than Koreans. You’ll see people passed out drunk on a Tuesday.
Singing is a religion, and you’ll get addicted.
The chances of something getting stolen are slim to none and if you lose something, it’ll probably be returned.
Socially, Korea lives in the 1950s. Technologically, they’re living in the Year 3000.
Appearances to the Koreans is like intelligence to the West. If you can pay to improve it, why not?
Sharing is caring and teamwork makes the dream work in Korean society.
People are everywhere at all times like someone’s giving out free wings on Super Bowl night.
삘리삘리 (palli palli) culture: meaning “quickly” is massive and very real. If you blink, you’ll miss three days, two job opportunities, and the next world war.
Ahh… the Korean surprise. Your plans will change every zeptosecond so buckle in for a wild ride of “company dinner tonight” and “you have to give a speech in 5 minutes”.
Dating culture here is bountiful and incredibly unique. Why get to know someone when you can start brushing their hair and wear matching outfits right off the bat?
Social hierarchy is real and alive. You obey, respect, and don’t question your elders.
People smoke enough to create a country-wide signal fire. So much so that I’m surprised a rescue plane hasn’t landed here.
Food is available around the clock. There’s nothing like McDonald’s fries delivered to your doorstep at 4 AM or street side honey pancakes on your lunch break.
Of course, we could write a ton more and we hope to do that soon as we really enjoyed writing this post. After doing a bit of brainstorming, these were the first 25 things that stuck out to us about Korea.
Korea’s an incredibly fascinating place with a unique culture, confusing experiences, and loads of sun-brellas. The hardest thing about living here has been adapting to the drastically different culture but it’s been a wild ride. After a few months, you get used to it but the experiences never cease to be mindboggling.
Stay tuned as we share more “25 in 25” over the next few months on:
25 Things We Loved
25 Things We Hated
25 Lessons Learned
25 Types of Expats
25 Tips for Living Alone
25 Best Korean Foods
25 Worst Korean Foods
25 Cutest Kids
25 Annoying Things Kids Do
Will we do all of them? Maybe. Maybe not. Have a suggestion? Let us know!
Have you been to Korea? What’s the biggest thing you learned during your time there? If not, what’s something you would like to experience there? Leave a comment below or email at firstname.lastname@example.org!