More things in Korea that you’ll never see in the west

Some things I have seen here are like “wow, why the heck haven’t we done that yet?” and others are like “I hope to God they never do that!”  This is one of those “Huh?” things.

Motion Sensitive Symphonic Music player.

I was in a Dunkin’ Donuts in Itaewon and had to use the washroom.  In I go and I hear this symphony playing over head.  I look up and see this.  At first I thought it was just a cute speaker cover and paid it no further attention.  After my sit-down business was done, I noticed that the music had stopped.  When I got up and moved to the sink, the music came back.  That’s when I noticed the little sensor on it.  This is a ‘motion sensor so that your washroom experience makes you feel better’ sound device.  At least, that’s what it said in the catalogue ;)

Now, if you are easily offended, don’t’ read past this line.

I read a North Korean joke a couple of weeks ago.  It went something like this:

“During the winter time, does the North Korean soccer team practice inside or outside?”




“Trick question.  There is no heat so it doesn’t matter.”

As amusing as this might be, even somewhat gruesome deep down, there is some truth to that statement.  Koreans go well beyond conservatism when it comes to home comforts in public places.  In public schools, only the classrooms are heated.  The hallways and bathrooms are the same temperature as outside.  When you go to small owner cafe shops, you get personal heaters.  Don’t believe me?

Small heater while we drank coffee

So, despite the joke that could be construed as seemingly cruel, there is a spark of truth to it.  This is reversed in the summer sorta.  Despite GOVERNMENT HEAT WARNINGS, they will still keep school open, along with the windows, and not run the AC.  They just take conservatism too far IMNSHO.

Apps for your smartphone that keep track of how long you have been dating, pictures of you and special events.  A friend of mine showed me one such app and I was stunned.  The younger generation really takes their dating seriously.  I’d call it OCD in many cases.  OH the stories I have heard.  One guy came home to find her girlfriend in his apartment.  When he asked what she was doing there she replied “I just cleaned up the place and was going to make supper.”  Sure, this all sounds great but when he told me “I then asked her how she got the door code, she said she just watched me punch it in.” along with “I’ve cleaned up many times.” Anyone else currently hearing the psycho dramatic music right about now?

Author: DragonDon

Having a love of travel has lead me to move to South Korea in 2010. Moving to an Eastern culture from a Western culture is a wild experience and there is never a dull day!

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