Just for fun i’ll give you some facts about South Korea that might be pretty funny for some of you … So here we go 😉
1. When the first night of the new year comes everybody hides their shoes. This is because there is a belief that a ghost will come down and try on everyone’s shoes. If the ghost finds a pair it likes it will take it. It is thought that the owner of the shoes will then have bad luck for the whole year.
2. Fruit is a luxury item. Fruit in Korea is already absurdly expensive, but especially due to the high levels of rain as of late, it’s costing Koreans even more than normal. (What is one of the most expensive fruits? WATERMELON – at about 30,000 won, which is equal to about $30.00 in Canada.)
3. Korean taxis are color coded and each color is an indicator of the type of services you can avail. For example, gray and white taxis offer basic comfort, whereas a black colored cab is a luxurious car and a veteran driver. The Korean drivers are notorious for watching TV in the can while driving passengers around.
4. Koreans eat SPAM like it’s going out of style. Why is it so popular? Well, during the war, soldiers were supplied with a lot of canned foods, so they ended up creating something we know now as Military Stew, which has water and spices as broth, with all of the various canned foods and vegetables boiled together to make a hearty feast. The population ended up picking up on the SPAM after this creation and starting adding it to other soups and recipes. It ended up becoming somewhat of a staple, and is now essential in most homes. Expect to see a lot of SPAM gift sets during important holidays, too. It’s a strange sight, but a common one in Korea.
5. South Korea boasts of some of the biggest shopping malls in the world, in fact, some of the malls are bigger than a European town.
6. Koreans LOVE sweet potato and sweet potato-flavoured things. Just to give you an idea, here are a few varities of sweet potato snacks, desserts and main courses. Deep fried sweet potato, sweet potato cake, sweet potato crackers, sweet potato chips, sweet potato bread, sweet potato latte, sweet potato salad, sweet potato pizza. You get the idea? Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not knocking it. I actually happen to love all of the Korean sweet potato creations… except the latte – that’s just gross.
7. The first cloned dog in the world was “manufactured” at the Seoul National University.
8. Tipping is not required in Korea. If you tip a server or the owner of a restaurant, they are more likely to chase you down the street with your change, than to think that you left it behind for them as a token of your appreciation.
9. Koreans are known to throughly enjoy singing. Karaoke is very popular in Korea. They have Karaoke halls called noraebang or “singing rooms.”
10. Stores, shops and services are open considerably later than in North America. Most stores are open until at least 10:30 or 11:00 pm. Restaurants, Bars, Cafes and Street Food vendors stay open even later. Koreans LOVE drinking until all hours of the night, so there is ALWAYS a place to grab a bite to eat if you’re craving something delicious at 3 or 4 am.
11. They sleep together as a family on a mattress on the floor, similar to a Futon mattress, called a yo. It is rolled up during the day and cleared away when it’s not being used.
12. Drinking in Public is one-hundred percent legal. You’re allowed to sit in the park, by the river, on a University campus and have a few drinks and some snacks with friends. Don’t think you’re being a rebel, though, a lot of other people indulge in this, as well.
13. Public Transit is clean, fast and extremely affordable. In Korea, you have the option to take the subway, a bus or even the KTX train to help you arrive to your destination in a quick, timely manner. At about 1000 won per ride ($1.00 Canadian), it’s common to see most people taking advantage of the cost-efficient, organized public transit system in South Korea.
14. Most homes in Korea are equipped with heated floors. An ondol, in Korean traditional architecture, is underfloor heating which uses direct heat transfer from wood smoke to the underside of a thick masonry floor. The more modern versions of ondol floors are heated by circulating hot water from water heaters, or an electrical heating system of dielectric heating or induction heating.