8 Uncool Things I Won’t Miss About Korea (Cause They F**kin’ Suck!)


blog drunk koreanKorea really is a great place. That said, all great places have uncool elements. Think about Oz for instance: awesome midgets, very colorful, flying monkeys. Those were all great things, but then there was the wicked witch, and she sucked. In essence, every place on earth has its own wicked witch. Korea is no exception. Here are 8 things from the Land of Milkis and Kimchi that I certainly will not miss:

blog cab driver1. Cab Drivers – Not as if cab drivers in other countries are the bees knees, but I particularly disliked the cabbies in Korea. They’re all old and grumpy, and if you’re with your friend and having a nice pleasant conversation in the backseat, the cabbie will pump the radio up really loud because he doesn’t dig English and is trying to tell you to shut up. Also, cabbies are so nice, they treat foreigners (when they’re desperate enough to stop and pick them up) to the lovely scenic route to whatever the destination is. On the meter, of course. Which makes for more conversation, and hence louder Korean traditional music.

blog cass2. Cass/Hite/Max – Korea has three staple beers, and they all taste like watered down versions of Coors Light. What’s that you say? Coors Light tastes like water to begin with? Exactly. Just imagine drinking Coors Light, urinating it out, then drinking the Coors Light-urine-toilet-water mixture. That is about what Korean beer tastes like. Perhaps that’s a bit of a gross analogy, but if it frightens anyone away from Cass, then it’s okay because it’s served a greater good.

blog breaking news3. Breaking News at Work – In Korea, any information at your job is always breaking news, delivered at the last possible minute. Have an extra class added? They will tell you this two minutes before it begins. When will winter and summer camps be held? Don’t bother asking, nobody knows until the answer is ‘tomorrow.’ Korean schools just really, really love surprises. Especially when they involve you getting extra work.

blog plastic4. Plastic Surgery – Call me old fashioned, but I just can’t get behind plastic surgery. It’s very common in Korea, where advertisements for it are ubiquitous. For every subway car in Seoul, there’s at  least one plastic surgery advert. And forgive me for liking ugly people too much, but I find the idea of plastic surgery icky and depressing. Yes, she looks better in the after picture than the before one. I don’t care. I don’t want to sleep with the post-op transsexual, and I don’t want to kiss any lady who runs the risk of transforming into Korean Joan Rivers.

You don't wanna read! You want rockin' abs!

You don’t wanna read! You want rockin’ abs!

5. Han’s Deli – I could rip on Han’s Deli because the food is inedible and it’s one of the worst restaurant chains in the universe (it makes the 7-11 hot dog kiosk look like fine dining). However, I choose to go a different route. I loathe Han’s Deli simply because it is not a deli, as its name would suggest. They serve spaghetti and pork cutlets. Where are the sandwiches? Where’s the pastrami and the mesquite smoked turkey breast? Nowhere. It would be like if I opened up a store called “Bill’s Book Store,” and I only sold Taebo DVDs. Please, somebody take Han on a trip to New York, so he can learn what a deli is.

The ice toilet is pretty cool though.

The ice toilet is pretty cool though.

6. Ice – Currently, all of Seoul is covered in one thick sheet of ice. Korea seems to have no idea how to handle ice. There’s no salt, sand, or kitty litter being used to combat it’s slippery power. Instead, there are hundreds of girls in high heels falling. And if they aren’t gorgeous, men won’t help them up, but instead will give them a great shove, so they will slide in the direction of the nearest plastic surgery center.

blog bip7. Having an Alias – Yes, names can lead to cultural confusion. When I received my Alien Residence card back from immigration, I was a little concerned that I had been registered as “William Robert.” Robert is my middle name, but, as it would turn out, pretty much all Korean institutions would make the same mistake, believing it was my last name. Bank account – William Robert. At the doctor – I was again the singular Mr. Robert. Not Roberts, with an s, like Julia or Bip. Robert. It wasn’t a big deal; I took it as Korea’s revenge against the western world for thinking they all have ‘Kim’ for a first name.

blog gangnam8. Gangnam Style – I know, I know, it’s inescapable everywhere. Gangnam Style will go down in history as proof that North Korea waited to long to drop its nuke. Sure, it would’ve caused misery and devastation to many…but if it rid the world of that song and that ridiculous horse dance…just press the red button and make sure Psy isn’t in a bomb shelter.

Ah, Korea, I shall always love thee. If I could marry you, the whole country, I would. Without any doubt. I would be proud to have you on my arm, my one and only Kim Robert.



28 thoughts on “8 Uncool Things I Won’t Miss About Korea (Cause They F**kin’ Suck!)

  1. Michael

    Haha, the work surprise isn’t just a teaching thing in Korea. We’d find out at about 6pm that tomorrow was a national holiday (or company sports day!), that the project you were working on is being delayed for three weeks, or that the CEO was taking us all to dinner. Or, often, a combination of the above.

    • Yeah, someone said “it’s the Korean way.” What an odd way to do stuff…why don’t they fix it? And yes, there were a lot of dinner surprises (“Principal will take staff for dinner…we will leave in two minutes”), so I thought it was really funny that you said that. They really keep you on your toes, eh? Oh Korea!

  2. It would be plastic surgery for me, Oppa. Do you know that their candidates for international beauty pageants are always suspected as cheaters, that, that’s not the face they were born with? They are so concerned with their physical appearance they will go to the extent of actually changing it. Korean girls are all over the Internet, Oppa, being made fun of. They show the before and after, and the comments are just so horrible . My cousin who is a derma doctor says these girls will have to continously go under the knife. After a few years, say 5 years, let’s say 25 years old, their eyelids will be the first thing to sag, and if they don’t have plastic surgery to correct the sagging, they will look even more horrible than their original face. That is just sad.

    • Wow, yeah, you don’t really think of that…that the surgery will sort of wear off eventually, or need to be continuously corrected. Another sad thing is that most of these girls are really beautiful to begin with, but there’s such an emphasis on looks, combined with the encouragement to get surgery, that they don’t think they’re good enough and so they go under the knife. That sucks. Plus little kids getting surgery because they’re not good looking enough…the whole thing is disturbing.

      Well sis, I guess not everyone is born with natural beauty like we were. : D

      • Right. Like those photos here…. the first and second girls look okay…. with proper make-up, they’ll look gorgeous. Uhm, the third photo…. I guess she needs surgery, ahahahaha ! Kidding !

      • Bahahaha. I think the message is that they can take a decent looking chick and make her gorgeous. I think the third girl could be okay with a better haircut and a little makeup. She just needs a makeover. Not her face rearranged. Maybe that’s what Korea needs – less surgery, more makeover shows. Queer Eye for the Straight Korean Girl. Something like that.

    • Yeah, it’s interesting how the outlook is so different. “What? She’s very beautiful now…what’s the problem?” They really don’t see it as an ethical issue. In a way, I guess I can understand it. I mean, in all truthfulness, wouldn’t everyone want to be good looking and attractive to the opposite sex? What’s the nobility in staying the same and being sad about it?

      But I agree with you that the whole thing is ‘yuck.’ Well said, Kayla Dean. There’s nothing super about being superficial, right?

      Peace girl! Thanks for the comment. : )

      • I’m sorry I’m randomly piggy-backing onto your comment above, but for some reason the “post comment” button for the comment box is missing! It’s not you, it’s me. My compy has been wonky lately.

        Anyhoo. Agreed, especially on the Gangnam Style thing. It was 100% outta control in the US so I can only imagine how oversaturated it was in Korea where if something is somewhat catchy, then you will hear it nonstop for several years. Hubs and I often joked with each other, “Do you think that maybe Gangnam Style is being blasted outside a cell phone store or the Face Shop? Maybe?”

      • Gangnam Style sucks! I wasn’t into it from the get-go. How long ago did you leave, Emily? Were you here when Itaewon Freedom was a big thing? Like around two years ago maybe. That song was awesome. (Hmm, I’m guessing you were more “Sorry Sorry” time period?) Gangnam Style…if it didn’t have the cool video, it would have tanked. And speaking of things that suck,, Gangnam sucks too. It’s okay…but I don’t think I’ve had many awesome nights there.

        Btw, I absolutely love the new-ish gravatar pick. You look really happy! Yay happiness! Okay, enough of that. Peace Waiting!

  3. Cabs: that’s what happens when you move to Seoul. Incheon cabs were still the bomb — I never had a problem with them, and they were the oldest, meanest, crunchiest bunch of fuckers in Korea.

    But whenever I was in Seoul, it was a different story. Ugh, you want to go there? But there’s traffic! Ugh, why didn’t you get a cab on the other side of the street? If you want to go there, it’s at least three times the meter price, because I hate you.

    • I HATE when they make you go get a cab on the other side of the street. Just, like, make a turn, dude! It’s not that hard!

      And calling they crunchy fuckers is very accurate. Good call!

  4. Oh.My.Goodness. I’m laughing to death here, Bill! This is definitely one of the best posts! Now I know that Vietnamese and Korean cabbies will be best friends as they both love taking passengers the longer routes. Vietnamese cabbies even do that to local people — they don’t play loud music though. I personally can’t agree with you more on what you wrote about plastic surgery and Gangnam Style. The idea of seeing people with the same features on the street is somehow pretty creepy to me, and I would do anything to rid the world of that song, even press the button if they let me.

    • Thanks homegirl! Yeah, actually, when I was in Hanoi, the cabbie took us on a ridiculously long scenic route, and when we got to our destination, we paid him like a third of what the meter said. He didn’t even argue, which was kind of surprising. I guess it was THAT obvious. And plastic surgery is boring. It’s the same as having to wear a niqab. Let your faces free, womens!

      Peace Lan!

  5. Hi there Bill! How are you doing? This post just made me remember my days in Singapore. For the cabs, oh I have experienced a few times the part where the cab drivers ask me which way to where I am going. And I was like, hey uncle that is why I took the cab because there is no bus going to that route or that I am in a hurry or that I don’t know the way.

    That breaking news about work is hilarious. I had a few of those in SG as well. Maybe Singaporeans and Koreans are related. Haha… And they’re used to always cramming and busy or to accomplish things in the shortest possible time. Sometimes, I think some of them just pretend to be busy. I, on the other hand, is used to being efficient but very cool and calm so everything is you know done smoothly and almost perfect. And they think I am like doing nothing! Argh!

    For the plastic surgery, I don’t know if I would call them brave or cowards. I mean yeah they are brave enough to face the scalpel but they aren’t brave enough to face the reality that that is the face they were born with. I mean..get over it right?

    And that Alias thing…haha. It turns out that Singaporeans also include the middle name or my mom’s maiden name on every paper or document. And the funny thing is, they can’t pronounce my lastname so they end up saying my first name and middle name (which they are also having difficulty with since my middle and last name are like spanish names) and try omitting my lastname. Haha

    And that Gangnam…oh…I’m fed up with that. Our neighbors here are playing that song every morning. And to top that with, my niece loves it!

    • Hi Jeps! I’m in Hong Kong right now, and I was just talking to a guy about Singapore. He was saying it’s expensive but much better than Hong Kong. In truth, I never really wanted to go to Singapore, but since I’m hearing good stuffs about it, maybe one day I’ll venture over there. Of course I would avoid the cabbies best I could…damn con men!

      Glad you could relate to this stuff. Always great hearing from you. : )

      Have an awesome weekend Jeps!

    • Well, yes and no. I was there for 2 1/2 years, about. For the first year, year and a half, it was pretty cool and awesome. Then after awhile I think it starts to wear one down; a lot of the people I know who have been there over a year have expressed the same thing. It’s almost as though you need the spectacles to stay on, or else it gets kind of sad and depressing. Sort of like reverse ignorance – growing to dislike something due to overexposure.

      Just an opinion. I hear you, I hear you. Peace Popcorns!

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