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i don’t understand

January 22, 2012

I’m not sure I could go through life without laughing. Or even a day.

I LOVE laughing and I espeically love people who make me laugh. Or movies or comics, etc. I’m glad that my roommate makes me laugh.

In Korea there are always things that make me chuckle, mostly because I don’t want to be upset, because I don’t understand it or it’s just so different. Here are a few…

Korea is a night culture. Wake up early in the morning and you will not find any businesses open– espeically coffee shops! They only open around 10am. Yup. Only after you need the coffee!

During the day, I looked out my window and all was quiet, and all was still here in our little neighborhood. Come the setting sun and suddenly there is bustling in every direction. Lights, sounds, movement. The night culture of Korea.

I call it the city that never sleeps. Because, really, it never does. But, it is most certainly more of a night culture than a morning or even day culture.

The pitter patter of children’s feet in the apartment above you at ten to midnight is very telling… or the little children sitting at a restaurant or the GS 25 (a little convenient store with tables outside) at 10pm while their parents drink Soju (the korean alcohol)… or the Adjuma playing tennis with her grandchild in the park at 11pm… or the kids getting off of the bus after 10pm… And we wonder why the kids are falling asleep in class the next day… hmmmm.

I always laugh when we get the apartment announcements– it’s a little scary the first time you hear it. You wonder who is in your house and talking to you, but then you realize that it’s over the speaker.

Or how about the fully covered women walking by the river– not an inch of their skin is showing– gloves, hat, long sleeves, pants, face mask… and even when you travel you can always spot the Korean with her high heels, umbrella and long sleeves by the beach (at least Semy and I could!^^)

Or the toilet paper freebie attached to a box of cereal. Free with purchase. Hey, it’s weird, but I’ll take free stuff.

Or how not washing your hands after you use the bathroom and sneezing and coughing without covering your mouth is acceptable but not picking up a piece of paper off the floor or wearing your shoes inside.

Or the pickles that come with the pizza… or the corn that is always mixed in with the sauce and cheese (and salads and sandwiches).

High heels all the time: ice, snow, beach…it doesn’t matter.

It’s okay to wear short skirts that almost show your butt, though it’s not okay to show your shoulders or anything below your neck line.

Or how a simple thing like an oscillating fan can become a death trap. And that they’re not even joking. Really, I promise I won’t die if I sleep with my fan on.

Or how Kimchi some how prevents all sickness, including H1N1– but only for Koreans.

Or how rain in the Spring can make your hair fall out.

And the 4th floor means death.

Or how you can NEVER change the menu (like asking for something extra or exchanging something for something else). The menu’s perfect; of course we can’t change it.

hmm,… the little idiosyncrasies of Korealand.

These are just a few of the things that make me chuckle, and sometimes ask, WHY?

I don’t always understand the things that go on here or why they happen the way they do… but it does keep my day interesting at least. There is always something new to learn or witness.

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