I have been living in Korea for the past 1 year and 6 months while studying my MBA. The culture here was unfamiliar at first, but I am learning a lot and really love it so far! Korea is full of some luscious landscapes, delicious delicacies and extremely friendly folks. The Korean people have been some of the nicest and most friendly people I have ever met. Since moving here in August I have learned some mind-boggling, neat and intriguing things about Korea and decided to compile a list of the most interesting.
So here are 10 things you didn’t know about South Korea….
1. They Deliver McDonalds!
And many other things like beer, groceries, and just about anything you can think of. It puts a whole new meaning to fast food. Speaking of fast food, check out this article about the Fast Food Spaghetti Challenge!
2. Penis Land
Not to be confused with Pen Island. The name sums it up enough. There is a park here that is full of Penis statues. (Trust me I’m not making this up!) The park is called Haesindang Park. Want to plan a trip around Korea? Then click here to check out some great tours. (Nicole and Will surfing a massive Bush Wave on their Penis Surf Board)
3. Blood type matters:
In Korea many believe your blood type reflects your personality. This philosophy is similar to people’s beliefs in horoscopes. Instead of asking your ‘sign’ some will discuss your type of blood.
Here are the general beliefs related to blood types:
· Blood type A: reserved, perfectionist, obsessive, secretive, considerate.
· Blood type B: creative, flexible, forgetful, lazy, negative reputation in Korea as “players.”
· Type AB: empathic, rational, critical, They think with their head not their heart.
· Type O:Athletic, confident, arrogant, Outgoing and passionate
4. Korean Kimchi is likely to join UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Food List this year.
Kimchi is a fermented vegetable side dish and it is served EVERYWHERE! Every restaurant serves it and I think its delicious and some varieties can be a bit spicy. If you aren’t familiar with UNESCO, it is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO is a committee of 195+ countries; their job is to preserve the most important culture around the world whether it is food, natural wonders, or man-made architecture around the world. The pyramids of Egypt, Mount Fuji, and leaning tower of Pisa are a few World Heritage Sites. Curious on how to make Kimchi? You can take a cultural class, just click here and search “kimchi Korea”
5. Group blind dating is very common:
Blind dates are called a “Meeting” or “So-getting.” These blind dates normally take place over dinner and drinks. They are very popular for some University students. Actually, a few of my Korean friends met their wives this way.
6. The fastest internet in the world.
Korea is a technology powerhouse, it makes sense that they are ahead on internet speeds. South Korea’s internet speed is almost four times faster than the world average of 7.0 Mbit/s.
7. Most plastic surgery’s in the world (per capita).
Around 1 in 77 people have had plastic surgery. (Korea Herald). Don’t worry America, by sheer numbers the US is winning this superficial race, but when you consider number of surgeries per person, Korea takes the lead.
8. Age Matters!
When you are born you start at age 1 not 0. It’s the only country that follows this method. But when you visit Korea, be prepared to get asked how old you are. Often times it is one of the first few questions when meeting a new acquaintance. Age and the elder are treated with a huge amount of respect. Also, when dining or drinking out it is common for the eldest person to pay for the bill.
9. Korea is one of the highest paying countries in the World to teach English.
Teachers can save up a lot of money here. Almost all teaching contracts include your flight to and from the USA, a free apartment, and generous salaries with some good bonuses. If you want to travel, have a college degree and are a native English speaker then you are qualified for practically all English teaching jobs in Korea.
10. Samsung runs this country.
20% of South Korea’s GDP is from Samsung. Everyone knows Samsung from their quality TVs and Cellphones. But did you know they have an extensive line of products such as vacuums, construction equipment, door locks, medical equipment, and much more.
Well I hope you enjoyed my list and there are still plenty of new things I am learning every day which I will do my best to share these at a later time. One thing I am certain of though is how friendly and caring South Koreans are. It has been a great experience thus far and I look forward to the rest of my Korean adventure!
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