Sunday, April 17, 2011

More Korean wtfs, for your entertainment...

Yes, more weird and fascinating things I've discovered about Korea...

1. Some Koreans enjoy painting their dogs. Orange-tipped ears. Pink tails. Lime green ears. I’ve seen it all.

2. Despite the fact that Koreans literally drive like bats out of Hell, there are never any wrecks. Ever! You haven’t seen crazy until you’ve seen a street full of Korean drivers. But ironically, you’re probably a lot less likely to die by car here. I don’t understand it. (oh, and they hardly ever wear seat belts either, even though driving towards oncoming traffic is nothing out of the ordinary here)

3. Christmas is year round! OK, not really, but so many bars and restaurants I've visited still have Christmas decorations up. Merry Christmas signs, Santa sitting on a window sill, a blinking Christmas tree. There seems to be more Christmas spirit here year-round than there is during actual Christmas time back home.

4. Whenever the KTX train gets to the end of the line, an acoustic version of the Beatles song, “Let it Be” plays from the speakers as you exit the train. It’s pretty cool. Actually, I hear Beatles songs quite often in various places. Koreans love the Beatles, I guess.

5. Video game sounds and cute songs are built into appliances and many things around Korea. Examples: My washing machine plays an adorable 20-second song when the load is done; Alex’s TV and A/C make awesome video game sounds when you power them on; My door bell plays “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” as well as three or four other tunes; Some vehicles play songs when they are in reverse, as to alert those around. These things just make life a little bit happier, I think. :)

6. Maxim isn’t just a mag of half-naked girls in Korea… it’s an instant coffee brand that everyone uses! Yep, it gives new meaning to when man says, "I start my day with Maxim."

7. In fact, I saw a REAL Maxim on a newsstand and –surprisingly—the girl on the cover was fully clothed and wearing a turtleneck or some sort of high-necked blouse, and looked very classy. Koreans, for the most part, are extremely classy and I like it.

8. There is always a line of taxi drivers outside of the Andong Bus Terminal and it’s so funny to watch them, because as they move up the line, the drivers get out and push their taxis along towards the front, so that they don’t waste gas. It’s genius, really. I’ve gotten used to it now. But the first time I saw a taxi driver doing this, I was worried, because I thought he was having car trouble. And then I noticed they were ALL doing the same thing…haha.

9. I know it’s just a cultural sign of respect, but I don’t understand it – wearing slippers at school. There are cabinets at the entrances of the school where you store your shoes and change into slippers. At first I thought, Well, at least it keeps the floors clean. And then I noticed how all the students and teachers wore their slippers outside on the dirt and to the bathroom and in the cafeteria… And…yeah.

10. And finally, it is not acceptable to enter the back seat of a taxi from the driver's side. I've never done it, I don't know what happens to you when you do... but you probably die.

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