12 things you’ll only see in Korea

Sanne van Oosten

What characterizes Korea? I went to Korea to get this question answered. I asked all kinds of people, but the answers I got were usually something like “we’re not like China and not like Japan.” Korea feels as if it is in the shadow of their big bad neighbors Japan and China, but is still very proud to be Korean, and not Japanese or Chinese. It seems that Korea is having trouble defining themselves in terms of what they are, instead of in terms of what they are not. But that is totally unnecessary. Korea does have its own character. It has plenty of things that are Korea’s own. Here are just 12 examples of this, but there is so much more!

Having trouble eating with chopsticks? Try the Korean silver/metal ones, those are only for pros! Historically, silver-tipped chopsticks were used as a precaution by wealthy people, as it was believed that the silver would turn black upon contact with poison. Only in Korea!

Where else do people from the South of a country stare at people from the North with binoculars? Only in Korea.

And where else can you find rice from a the most highly secured border area in the world? Only in Korea!

Koreans think cleanliness is very important, even when it comes to the sidewalk.

What is the most efficient way you can make cups for at a water cooler? That’s right, just poor it in an envelope! After a few times of using it it get kinds of floppy but for the rest it works great.

This list could definitely not be complete without Kimchi, the most famous Korean dish. It’ll alway be the content of one of the many dishes you get with a typical Korean meal. When walking over the street, however, do watch out for Kimchi-flowers…

Where else would you ever see an awesome bike parked without a lock than in Korea? Some Koreans might not agree, but Korea is an extremely safe place to be. But why is it so safe? Because the people are so kind? Probably, but I think it also has to do with the fact that every inch of urban Korea is filmed with CCTV. You’d think twice before steeling something.

The public toilets in Korea are the cleanest and most comfortable I’ve ever come across in the whole world! Not only that, they can come with some patriotism as well.

Everything is to be recycled in Korea. No other place takes recycling this seriously. Very good!

Every Asian city has a subway, but nowhere is the subway so widely used as in Seoul.

Sashes are everywhere, but why? Can anybody explain this to me?

Another thing I just can’t understand. We spotted this in a subway station in Seoul. Why? What is happening here? What is hanging on there noses? Only in unique Korea, a country that keeps on amazing for what it is, and NOT for what it is not!

5 responses to “12 things you’ll only see in Korea”

  1. Da Ye says :

    People(mostly elders) wearing sashes in subway stations are volunteers who catch the stowaways(:D) and help other people when they get lost.. As for the last picture, I’m sorry but have no idea what that is about….Probably a lecture for elders? I dont know..

  2. Corrie Speelman says :

    Today, at James Spencer Rodaways (Catherine Van Oosten’s baby) baptism, I met her sister-in-law Daphne, who was home for a few weeks holiday from her job in Korea, where she teaches English. She absolutely loves it there. One of the things she mentioned was Kimchi, and the metal chop sticks. Daphne can’t wait to get back to Korea.

    • Sanne says :

      Oh, that is so fun that you went to his baptism! It is really like this. We loved Korea as well. Seoul has the most Soul of all the cities in Asia that we went to.

  3. Aneesa & Faraaz says :

    Wow, I LOVE this post! All these things are so true

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