So, I just visiting Seoul, South Korea last month (second week of October 2018) for vacation. I did not visiting many places to sightseeing like other tourists, instead I went to their city center to experience their lifestyle. For me, learning culture from other countries is much more interesting instead of taking pictures in beautiful scenery. And these are 10 things that I noticed about Seoul, South Korea.
Points bellow consist of personal judgement and also maybe not very accurate due to my short period of visiting. Pardon me if I write something that not very relevant.
- South Korea was very clean, but surprisingly you could not find trash bin easily.
This was one of the most uncomfortable things for me, personally. You know, when you visiting new country, you usually like to try their traditional snack or enjoy a cup of coffee while enjoying the city. But in South Korea, I tend to enjoy the snack or beverage on the spot I bought it instead of bring it around. Why? Because trash bin were very rare! I could only find them in subway station and it's kinda hard to find one. Of course littering was not a good thing there, so the only options were either enjoyed it on the spot or kept the waste inside my bag first.
- Korean eat a lot!
Almost all foods were in huge portion. You only need to order main dish(s), and full table of side dishes will also be provided. And it's not surprising to find people to order more than 1 main dish to her/himself. Although Koreans eat a lot, they also tend to leave food without finishing it because they were full. It's kinda wasting tho for me.
- Chicken stores everywhere!
KPOP lovers must be familiar with fried chicken. Yes, Koreans is crazy about fried chicken and all of them are very good. They sell various kind of chicken: unseasoned/seasoned chicken, chicken with/without bone. I can say, friend chickens there are different from fried chickens in Indonesia. I tried Lotteria (which actually available in Indonesia), and the chicken meat was much more tender and juicy. The best Lotteria that I ever ate.
- Same building, different businesses in each floor
If you go to shopping street like Myeong-dong, you need to watch the building from ground floor to the top, because they are different. They share the building to several business and sometimes it's not noticeable because the brand was not eye-catchy enough.
- You can differentiate which ones are couple, which ones are in courting phase, and which ones are friends easily.
Couple item, matching clothes, PDA! Almost all couples, especially young couples do these. They hold hands while using matching items casually, and surprisingly it's not awkward to their surrounding. South Korea also quite known for their conservativeness, but surprisingly it's not hard to find same sex couples around, doing PDA and using matching items too like heterosexual couples. No one judged them (as far I observed).
For those who were in courting phase, usually they were dating without physical contact and without using matching items. They look more shy to each other.
For friends, they acted more casual. Using informal speech to each other and speak more loudly.
- Almost all women use make up. Some men also use make up.
Walk to public area and look at surrounding! You will not find one women without a make up on. If you pay more attention, you can also find out that most of them use eyelash extension or have eyebrow tattoo. I am not sure it's true or not, but my friend said that Korean tend to use make up to go outside because they feel it's more appropriate. Well, it's good thing tho.
- Koreans always use shoes
Yes. All of them use shoes! During my visit, I never seen someone use sandal walking around on the street. In my opinion, maybe it's because shoes are more fashionable. On other hand, my friend said that Koreans feel not appropriate to show their toes to public. So, even if they want to use sandals, they will use their socks on to cover the toes. Maybe that's the reason many variety shows' stars laugh whenever they see naked feet.
- You can find cosmetics and accessories stores everywhere!
This is why South Korea has became a dream country for women. You can find high quality cosmetics and accessories stores everywhere and it's kinda cheap. They provide many variants too (I don't understand about cosmetics, but my friend bought many variants). You will also find your favourite idols' faces like BTS, EXO, Red Velvet, ect here, they're literally the faces of the stores.
- They sell free size tops and you cannot try it.
So if you like Kpop, especially girl groups, you might notice that your favourites like to use big size of tees or sweaters for their casual outfits. In fact, many stores in South Korea (not all of them) sell tops without size (free size) and they usually don't permit the customers to try it on first before purchasing it.
- Fansite? I am not sure all of them are real!
So I shared a same flight with a boy group. I know they're celebrities from their appearance, but I did not know their name. I guess they were not very popular. (I am a veteran KPOP fan, I have been enjoying K-show for 10s years. I know almost all of celebrities in South Korea). But, once I arrived and went out from the airport, some people with high technology camera start taking pictures of them. They were literally waiting in front of the gate and start taking the picture without expression. A few minutes later, another celebrity walked in front of me and he was followed by same people from before. This time they acted more aggressive, they follow the celebrity around.
After seeing the scenes, I thought they literally waited at airport whole day and took pictures of all celebrities that passing by. It seems like their job/professional career. It's possible that they just take pictures and sell it to fansites, or maybe they're the admins of multiple fansites and somehow can earn money with their results. This might explain why fansites can know the idol's flight schedules and we can get update from them directly. They literally stay there from day until night.
OK. That are 10 points that I noticed from my last visit to Seoul, South Korea. If you planned to go to South Korea, recommended you to go around October - November because you can see autumn there. It's very beautiful. Don't forget to bring thick outwears too, sometimes it can reach <10 degrees.
(Sorry, too lazy to translate this)