What facts about South Korea do foreigners not believe until they visit South Korea?


6ft4. geomaxxed. moneymaxxed. catmaxxed.get mogged
Sep 1, 2022
I have lived in South Korea for some months, and still visited there often.
  1. K-dramas are often thought to make girls raise their boyfriend standard. In reality, most of South Korean teenage boys act in accordance to the actions in K-dramas, as most of the girls in South Korea have exposed to the expectations.
  2. Manners (except in subways where there are seldom people who let elders sit). They turn their head to the right and hold the glass with 2 hands when drinking with older party. They pour the other person’s glass. They are willing to help you picking your luggages at Yongsan Station if the wave at the station’s not busy. They’ll show the way to the lost strangers. (Because most Koreans have the “lousy and unhelpful” image. I tell you, as a Chinese-Indonesian, I am fascinated with South Koreans)
  3. Relationship is taken seriously in Korea. Lots of couple activities, and of course, lots of special days invented for the couple.
  4. K-pops are one of the economy driver in South Korea. They are the most impactful influencer to market most of products sold in South Korea. Once your product’s being worn by a top-class artist, get ready to put “sold out” sign the next day.
  5. Teenage boys wearing BB cream is not weird. It’s kind of common in South Korea. Korean boys tend to take care of their body and face (and their faces are better than mine. I’m kinda jealous)
  6. Eating convenience store is very common (and once you do it, there’s no way to escape from the addiction)
  7. Plastic surgeons draw their patient’s face before they conduct the surgery. And most of people still go out after their faces were drawn.
  8. University students busk (by singing and dancing) around the university’s alley (the university’s alley is BIG, Hongdae area is one of them). They do it for the fun, money is a plus. And they’re famous in their university by doing this. Once you graduate with the reputation, you’ll be treated like an idol when you’re back at the alley.
  9. Americano + hazelnut syrup is good. I learned the recipe from my stay in South Korea and Indonesian Starbucks baristas still think my taste is kinda weird.
  10. Idols, even famous trainees don’t have their free spaces. Fans wait in front of their respected entertainment building and will chase them once they’re emerged from the building (just to grab a coffee at a cafe next to their entertainment building). The fans WILL leave their things (this includes phone, wallet and others) behind and chase their beloved idols. For girl idols, they mostly shouted and waved “hi”, and they can walk quite leisurely.
  11. In reality, most of South Korean teenagers dream to be an idol. Probably 60% of them. I might say 40–60% of Korean teenagers are trainee under an entertainment company. Big or small, there are hundreds of entertainments in South Korea.
  12. Street casting is real. However, this is also a form of scamming.
  13. South Koreans are mostly religious. You’ll occasionally get a pack of wet tissue from random people on the street. That means the people invited you to visit the church.
  14. In Korea, age matters. They use Chinese year style to measure your age (means you’re 1 when you’re born, and the year is counted by the chinese year. The chinese new year is the borderline. Easier way, chinese zodiac sign’s hierarchy matters). You must address the person who has the elder chinese zodiac sign with honorifics, even if you are born on the same year
  15. South Korean girls looks pretty everyday because make ups are cheap. They even brush their teeth immediately after they eat.
  16. There are a lot of duty free stalls with chaebol (riches family. e.g. Samsung and Hyundai group) names on it. Easier way, there are a lot of VAT refund provider, provided by these chaebols.
  17. Did not bring wipe tissue? Don’t worry. There are tissue vending machines in front of public places’ toilets in Seoul.
  18. If you use to live with heat every summer (or you live in tropical country), South Korea’s summer is not hot at all. However, all prefectures in South Korea, even Seoul have extreme degrees and climates during winter.
  19. People might think that Gangnam is the only “heart” in Seoul. Matter of fact, foreigners in South Korea usually hang out in Itaewon area. I also consider Itaewon as one of the “hearts” in Seoul.
  20. Entering Seoul National University? Great! Means you’re not entering Seoul’s university system with Kpop on mind (as there’s only a little percent of artists graduating from this #1 uni). You’ll be treated like a god(dess) of knowledge (as the acceptance rate is only less than 5%) and your future’s will be bright like a diamond.
That might be enought for now. I don’t know if it’s common in other country, as those 20 are what most people ask to me about Korea."

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