Friday, May 20, 2011


Remember me?

I apologize for yet another blogging hiatus, but oh man, I've been busy lately! We're nearing the end of another semester at work, so I've been stuck doing extra paperwork, grading, and classroom management which leaves me just drained at the end of the day. Add to that the TEFL certification class I've been working on, and a recent custody battle I've been thrust into over this one for apparently barking too much and throwing crazy parties (진짜!?!) while I'm away. Which is almost certainly not the case, seeing as I, unlike many of the Korean dog-owners I've met, have trained my dog to do things like sit, stay (and not bark). Let's just say it's been a frustrating week...

But you know what makes frustrating weeks all better? Burger King, and Korea Lists. Assa!

Now when I was in college, I took a class about Intercultural Communication. Without going into too many specifics about any individual cultures, the course as a whole taught us to be aware of the fact that different cultures are, well, different, and that crazy as they may seem to us, they really do work out just fine.

Obviously, Korea and the USA are fundamentally different in a number of ways, and that my friends, is the theme of today's third official Korea List. USA v. ROK.

In the USA, if you go to a baseball game, you will probably expect to find hot dog and peanut vendors walking up and down the aisles of the stadium. In the ROK, you can expect to see them selling dried squid.

In the USA, if you are dashing onto a subway and the doors start to close on you, they will probably stop. In the ROK, they will crush you. K-doors are merciless.

In the USA, women can wear cleavage-showing tops, and no one will care, but if you wear short shorts and heels, people will think you're a slut. In the ROK, short shorts and heels are no big deal, but if you show any more cleavage than Hilary Clinton, watch out. They'll think you're Russian.

In the USA, we try to save energy by turning off unnecessary lights at night. In the ROK, not so much.

In the USA, at least half of young Americans can't find Iraq on a map. In Korea, my students can not only find, but also spell Liechtenstein.

In the USA, coffee shops open early in the morning, so you start caffeinating before the sun comes up. In the ROK, the bars are still open at that time, why in the world would you have a coffee shop open before 10am?

In the USA, Boy Bands stopped being popular in the 90's. In the ROK, they're still going strong.

In the USA, candy and flowers might be appropriate gifts for a favorite teacher. In the ROK, designer socks are acceptable.

In the USA, the -> <- elevator button is really just there to make you feel better, but never actually does anything. In the ROK, the button works every time, and is great for not only barring creepy people from getting into your elevator, but also crushing them. Remember, K-doors are vicious.

In the USA, people make fun of Cleveland almost as much as they make fun of Detroit. In the ROK, people think Cleveland is awesome and wear Cleveland gear proudly. Thank you Choo Shin- Soo. Sorry, Detroit, they still haven't heard of you...

In the USA, you do your makeup and hair in the morning, and then maybe check it once or twice throughout the day. In the ROK, you should carry a mirror and comb around with you at all times, just to make sure you're always looking good. Classrooms and crowded subways are especially good places to do this.

In the USA, we mark the start of a new school period with a bell/annoying buzzer. In the ROK, they play a little song.

To be continued... Have I ever mentioned I still love Korea!

- Christine -

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