Can we please take a moment of silence for MY VERY FIRST AND VERY LAST PRESENTATION in my MA program??? I am sososo happy!! I did 17 presentations in 13 months which, thinking of it now, is pretty crazy. There was always some presentation to be worked on and prepared. Only 2 of them were conducted in German, almost all of the rest were held in Japanese. All presentations were 20-40 minutes long, needed a 2-4 pages long handout and, well… were conducted in Japanese! I am proud to say that at this point, I don’t mind Japanese at all. If someone asks me can you write a report/do a presentation/talk to Japanese people I’m like „Yeah sure, when do you need it, tomorrow?“ Although it was stressful my Japanese is really really good at this point. I’m not trying to brag here. I really don’t. It’s just, it took me YEARS of hard work to get where I am at the moment and I intend to keep it that way. Thanks to all my friends who supported me and special thanks to my boyfriend who endured being shoved away when I was having an incredible idea that I NEEDED to work on even though we planned something. I am sorry. I will make it up to you. So now, I will finally be going back to my thesis and focus all my energy on that.
On a less serious note, the longer I live in Korea, the more things I recognize. Being from Germany and a major in (mainly) Japanese Studies I do compare a lot in my head to either one or both of these two. Surprisingly, Korea is a very exciting mix of „German“ and „Japanese“ culture in my opinion. I love reading facts about other cultural spheres or weird observations so here is round one of curious facts about Korea!
#1 Instead of „cute“ things like in Japan, most Koreans prefer „weird“ accessoires and stationary
(I got a badge with a chicken + bible verse on it from a friend.)
You’ve seen cute little Molang bunnies and Alice in Wonderland themed stuff on the internet? Incredibly hard to come by. This is what Korean youth loves. The weirder the better.
#2 Approximately 90% of the female population wears lipstick. Flawless lipstick.
All the time. I still haven’t figured out how they do it.
Most popular seems to be orange but as long as there’s color on your lips you will blend just in!
#3 Teeth hygiene is serious business.
It’s impossible to go to the toilet between class breaks because the whole campus is brushing teeth there. At least the females, not so sure about the male population. I think this shocked me the most because most Japanese have quite bad teeth so I did not expect this at all here in Korea. Koreans do everything they do quite excessively, I must say.
#4 There are special thin straws at every coffee shop so that no one has to ruin their lipstick while drinking coffee.
Me trying to still look sexy while not ruining my lipstick.
#5 Koreans are GLUED to their smartphones.
Without a smartphone, survival in Korea is almost impossible. If you think your country is the same, you probably haven’t been to Korea yet. No matter how bad it is there, it is probably worse here.
This is what it feels like on a Korean subway. They can do magic with their phones here.
#6 Flawless skin. EVERYWHERE.
People’s skins actually looks like that, no joke. It’s depressing. My friends don’t have a single pore.
#7 Bad hair days don’t seem to exist in Korea.
I was wondering about this for the longest time when I realized they actually perm they hair in place. So if you have a bob, you get a partial perm to make sure your bob cut always look gorgeous. Ain’t nobody got time for flat or curling irons!
#8 Koreans hate cash for some reason.
Almost every little thing is paid for by credit card, even the 2$ coffee.
Oh yeah, and instead of actual cards, they use their phone. For everything. Paying? Phone. Membership card? Special app for that. Change the world? Phone, goddammit!
#9 There is always a sale.
There are actually more sales and special deals than normal business days.
#10 If your skincare routine has less than 8/10/12 steps your Korean friends will probably think you’re bat-shit crazy.
And irresponsible. And illogical. When I declined the eyecream of my friend I thought she was going to stab me first and apply the cream on me herself.
With all that being said, I really like it here in Korea. They have some amazing services that we probably won’t have before 2020(30?) in Germany. I will get a kilo (or two..) of skincare items back home and I think I can never go back to just cleansing and moisturizing. What did I do before?! I am actually looking forward every evening to my evening routine because it is quite relaxing and it can never be bad to dedicate some special time to your skin, you only have one!
Hope you enjoyed this little fun post! I’ll be in university all Friday polishing my Korean, possibly meeting friends on the weekend and watching the new Hunger Games movie, woho! 😀 Not sure if I’ll have time to post so in case I don’t: Happy early weekend everyone!