Alright, so we’re going to try a new thing here at Seoulistic. We know you got questions on Korea and so we asked you on Seoulistic’s Facebook Page. We got a bunch, and now your homie Keith will give you the answers! Here we go!
Melissa Watkins asks:
I see all these tasty-looking restaurant delivery flyers on my door everyday and I get almost run over by a delivery guy on a motor scooter every time I go outside…but…I’ve never ordered anything because I’m not sure how! Things that would be helpful would be phrases you can use, payment methods, and um…what’s the deal with the dishes I see outside my neighbor’s house when they get delivery?
Keith: We got you homegirl! If you’re not sure what Melissa’s talking about with the dishes, take a look the picture we got from our Facebook page. Basically many places that deliver in Korea use the same bowls and silverware they use in their restaurants. And they want it back! So when people are finished eating, they’ll leave the bowls outside and the delivery people will come back a few hours later to pick it up! No garbage for you, and just a bit more eco-friendly :). As for payment, most places offer the ability to pay with both cash and credit card (they have portable readers), but some of the smaller mom and pop shops might not. When ordering, you’ll have to know some rudimentary Korean (basically saying your address in Korean and the food you want). Here’s an example conversation:
Restaurant: 네? (ne?) – yes?
You: 육개장 하나요 (yukgaejang hanayo) – 1 yukgaejang please.
[no formalities needed, the first thing you say can be your order and it won’t be rude]
Restaurant: 어디세요? (eodiseyo?) – where are you? / 주소 어떻게 되세요? (juso eotteoke doeseyo?) – what’s your address?
You: 압구정동 20-32 303호 (apgujeongdong 20-32 303ho).
[since the restaurant will most likely be close to you, you basically need to only tell your neighborhood (dong), building number and apartment number]
Restaurant: 감사합니다! (gamsahamnida!) – thank you!
Other useful phrases:
카드 되요? (kadeu doeyo?) – do you accept card?
Tip: Large chains like Pizza Hut or McDonalds will keep your phone number on record so that they know the exact address every time you call from the same phone. Pretty convenient huh? There is a lot more Korean, though. You know, with the coupons and all that other stuff :).
Whew! That was a lot of. Hope it was helpful. Now give me some love! Like my Facebook page… mmmkay??
Yuki Babycakes asks:
Hum many things I guess! How they perceive foreigners ( All kind includes)
Keith: Uhmm… there’s kinda a lot of people in Korea, and kinda a lot of different kinds of foreigners. Whatever I say will be wrong somehow, someway to someone… so… moving on!
What are the nice place to hang out at night
Keith: Korea’s huge on night time. There are TONS of things open very late: restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, even shopping. The two busiest areas are Hongdae and Gangnam station, and those places have tons of things open late. Of course there’s the usual bars and clubs that are open, but there are also things like cafes, batting cages, noraebang and even shopping. For late night shopping, go to Dongdaemun.
Ressources and tips to find a part time job as a foreign student per example
Keith: Since I’ve never been a student in Korea, I’m not sure on this one. Any help friends?
Why beauty or physical appearences is a hot issue in Korea
Keith: See next question.
How to shop and enjoy Seoul with a tight budget…
Keith: Girl… We got mad posts on that! Here’s 11 Best Places to Go for Seoul Shopping (including cheap), 5 Tips on Shopping for Cheap, How Not to Get Ripped Off, 4 Quality Things to Get on the Cheap, and Flea Markets and 2nd Hand Shops. You’re welcome :).
Arnau Fombuena Valero asks:
Why is appearance and success so important in Korea?? It is in other countries as well but in Korea it seems to be much much more. What is the relation of Korean confucianism and the importance of appearances and success? Is it related at all?
Keith: Ok so this one’s a toughie, but I’ll give it a shot in bullet format:
- Korea is an extremely competitive society, including appearance. I’m from New York, and I think this place blows New York out the water!
- Many Koreans are very honest (even about appearance). My uncle once asked my cousin why he was so fat and smiled. Yea, it didn’t go over well.
- There was the ancient Korean art of face reading, which judged a persons character by their physical looks. Although it’s not widely practiced today, I think it’s deeply rooted in society.
I have no idea if I’m right, and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of stuff too, but I made a related video on why Koreans get so much plastic surgery. See what’s up:
Sadea Sadisfied Driessen asks:
Keith recently made a blog post how South Korean people think about North Korea´s threats. It would be great if you made that into a video. Everyone in the world seems to worry about it.
Keith: I made a video the Monday right after you posted this! Perfect timing
Kin-Ching Tang asks:
Why do Koreans love their chicken and beer so much? And why chicken and beer?
Keith: I don’t know you. But I think you’re crazy, man. First off, Korean fried chicken is crazy delicious; it’s always juicy and never super greasy. Even the New York Times thinks it’s bomb! And why beer you ask? It’s like pizza and coke, cigars and scotch, milk and cereal. Some food/drink combos are just ordained by the gods. Dude… get with the program!
Cari Nelson asks:
I have a young Korean friend who is about 14 yrs old and I just found out he lives in a dorm during the week and only comes home on the weekends. I get the impression this is not uncommon in Korea? Also just wondering more about what the experience is like… it sounds like what only rich kids do here in the U.S. when Mummy and Daddy send them off to boarding school But it sounds like in Korea this doesn’t happen to just rich kids, correct?
Keith: Actually, this is very common. Many salarymen in Korea will commute to different cities, leaving their families in their hometowns. The kids usually stay because of educational reasons. I once met a guy who worked and lived in Seoul on the weekdays but would go back to his family in Daegu every weekend (a 4 hour drive!). Also, this guy wasn’t poor, but he wasn’t the richest guy either. I just felt real bad for him because he looked kind of lonely. He also looked tired all the time because he drank a lot with his salarymen buddies. Rough stuff, but I hope you’re doing better salaryman!
David Kotar asks:
Keith, when i was in seoul.. i couldn’t find a deodorant for men?! What’s up with that? I mostly visited 7eleven or similar shops. They had hair gels, shampoos, everything else actually. I also think koreans didn’t smell, which is unusual in a crowded metro train… lol
Keith: Ahh yes… the number one complaint of smelly foreigners living in Korea. Worry not, homie! Korea started to sell deodorant in the past year or so! You’ll find them at stores that specialize in personal hygiene products like Watsons or Olive Young. But don’t get too excited. You’ll find two to three brands at most. That’s because it’s still not a big part of a typical Korean’s morning routine. But if they don’t smell, even on a crowded metro, maybe the deodorant is for you? :X
Jocelyn Quintanilla asks:
Is everyone in Seoul so fashionable? Lol
Keith: Of course not! If you’re basing this question solely from what you see from Kpop or Korean dramas, you can stab me in the eye with a fork right now. I’m guessing you’re referring to people you see in places that are specifically meant for hanging out, like Gangnam, Hongdae, Apgujeong, Itaewon, etc. All these places are for hanging out with friends, going to a restaurant, flirting at bars, whatevs. And if you’re going out, wouldn’t you want to look nice and presentable, too? There are definitely non-fashionable Koreans, but you’ll see them more in non-hang out areas. If you want to see the most ghetto Koreans head to the poorer areas of the cities or some places in the countryside. Just don’t act like you’re going to a zoo to watch poor people, ok?
Ok, that’s about it for this week’s first Q&A segment! That was fun wasn’t it? Hopefully it was helpful, too.
If you want to ask a question, please ask it on the Seoulistic Facebook page (not on this post)! If you see a question you like, vote it up! Thanks!