There’s a customer service motto in Korea that says, “the customer is king.” And there’s no way to feel more like royalty than free stuff. When you live in Korea, you will eventually experience the actual word, service. Business owners give customers service, the Konglish (Korean + English) term for “free stuff.” That might include free drinks at a bar, free time at a noraebang (karaoke), or free dessert at a cafe. And the longer you live in Korea, the more service you’ll get it. Get it and love it.
Want to up your chances? Here’s our guide on How to Get Free Stuff in Korea (Service)!
Korea’s ppalli-ppalli (빨리빨리) culture means doing things as fast as possible. And when you’re living in Korea, that usually equals fast service at restaurants and stores. Also, your expectations for food delivery usually shorten after living here for a few years. Waiting more than 20 minutes for chinese food delivery in Korea becomes an annoyance. Order something online and it’ll be at your door the next day. If you live in Korea, you’ll wait much less, and that means more time to watch Kpop music videos.
Seoul is one of the night capitals of the world. Go to any popular area in Seoul and you’ll find 24 hour cafes for those of you with a laptop and a deadline. If you’re hungry, you can have fried chicken delivered 2 in the morning, or go to the 24 hour neighborhood seolleongtang restaurant. Being bored at home is not really a valid excuse when there are 24 hour entertainment options, including things like noraebang (karaoke), pcbang (internet cafes), screen golf (live golf video game). Korea knows the value of convenience, and there’s no better convenience than the 7eleven effect.
Some of you might wonder why nightlife isn’t included in the above section, 24 hours. Well the reason is, it’s so good, it deserves its own section. Domestic Korean alcohols (i.e. Korean beers, soju, makgeolli) are supremely affordable and are available at nearly any restaurant. If you prefer drinking on the cheap, convenience stores act as makeshift pregame gathering halls. If you have a more refined taste for cocktails, there are plenty of bars with killer ambiance and professional mixologists. And there are no shortage of clubs (some even open until the 10AM!).
You’ll notice it right away. But once you decide to live in Korea, you’ll quickly learn that Korea is a couples paradise. And if you’re active in the dating scene, you’ll be happy with all the options Korea has to offer. There are special deals for couples at restaurants and cafes. “Romantic” is a concept many interior designs aspire to. And there are no shortage of date places to go. Dating in Korea can be exciting. We suggest you do it. (Unless you’re already taken. Then come together ;)).
Taking someone on a date? See our Seoul date spot suggestions here!
This button totally deserves its own section. Have you ever needed a waiter’s attention? You don’t want to be rude and shout (although, it is culturally acceptable in Korea). Instead of looking like rude customer of the year, just press the button. Just press, and they will come. It’s a simple but ingenious concept. And if you live in Korea, you’ll definitely miss the convenience of this whenever you move back home.
Note: ajumma (아줌마) – married Korean woman / ajeossi (아저씨) – middle aged man.
Ajummas and ajeossis are the people that make the very fabric of Korean society. Of course it’s impossible to love them all, but as a group, they do pretty good. Ajummas and ajeossis are the people that give you free stuff. They might just like you for being you and throw a free coffee in just to be nice. They’re the ones that make your food and driver your taxis. And there’s usually no shortage of interesting conversations. Some of them you might want to avoid, but live here long enough and you’ll learn to love them as you start to see that they’re the thread that holds this entire thing together.