Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Korea, please explain, volume one.

Anywhere in the world, you're bound to see things that just baffle you. I'm talking about the small, mundane things that are just a little off or unexpected. I could easily rattle off a list of things like this from the U.S., and I'm from there -- these things should be somewhat normal to me, and yet they still catch my eye. Being on the other side of the world though? Completely different assortment of perplexing and, as my students say, "strange-ee."

To show you what I mean, here's (the first installment of) a photographic journey through some of the more... unique things from Korea that I just really, really need someone to explain.

This is ice cream. You peel it like a banana. It's kind of like mochi on the outside, with ice cream on the inside, and it's entirely banana flavored. A+ for creativity.

Chew this lady gum while you write with your BIC "For Her" pens.

Because who doesn't want a box of chocolates with Korean men printed on them? For the record: these were "service," or free, from a chocolate vendor when I purchased a ton of the cactus chocolate and stuff to send back to family and friends. Also, let the record show that I was highly disappointed to find that the faces were not edible.

Kakao is the most popular free messaging app in this country, and they have some of the strangest emoticons... Most of the time, the peach looks more like a butt. Also, I spy something racist? 

Stay classy, Korea. 

Underwear bomb? On display at the airport? 

"Blood Diamonds." Nice jacket, bro.

In the winter, walking to work is kind of like ice skating, but the super dangerous kind where you don't have any ice skates and it's awful. The sidewalks aren't cleared here, so all the heavy snowfall just gets packed down until it starts to melt and then freezes again overnight into solid ice! Fun times for all.

This was one of those moments where I felt like the kind ajummas at our local gimbap house were trolling us. The banchan, or free side dishes, are often a little different when we go in there, so I always get excited when there's something I've never had before. When this was placed in front of us, I didn't think twice before trying it, not knowing what it was exactly. Can you guess from the picture? Because it was definitely sliced hotdogs in ketchup. Well played, gimbap house ajummas. Well played.

One of the strangest things in Korea for me is this: the soap on a stick that's in most public bathrooms. It both grosses me out and amuses me. It's so logical, and yet so absurd. 

I love this country, but sometimes... what?


  1. Join my giveaway, dear!

  2. aaaaaaaaaaaahahahahah to everything except for the soap. OH HELL NO.

    1. I KNOW, RIGHT? whenever i see that soap in the bathroom, i die a little inside. it's just so weird.

    2. It's there to make sure that soap isn't lost, or dropped on the floor. It also prevents the soap melting away.