We went over the really Korean way of paying for stuff (taking turns). But you can’t be doing that for parties of 10 every time. That’s just crazy. Instead, split the bill and just pay for what you eat. Makes total sense. But if you’re going to do that, here’s a tip: don’t be so exact!
Example: Myunghee owes Taemin 1,500 won for when they split the bill at lunch because she didn’t have change. When they head back to the office, Myunghee heads to her desk and gives him 2,000 won. Taemin goes back to his desk to get a 500 won coin to make sure everyone’s even, fair and happy.
Depending on where you’re from, this might seem like a very common occurrence. But in Korea, many people don’t pay attention to such exact details. It’s probably part of that really complicated concept of Jeong, but if you’re keeping track of every little amount of money and making sure everything is exact and perfect, you might seem to lack “jeong.” Here are some suggested solutions for the example above:
This will definitely stop people from talking about how cheap you are behind your back. But more importantly, you’ll fit in better in Korea. And don’t worry about the change. The universe will get you back some day friend. #zen 🙂
Koreans businesses aren’t always so “exact” either, and they may give you free stuff (called service). Find out:
How to Get Free Stuff in Korea (Service)