“More Observations” – Day 27 (6/13)

I know that I done these observations before but as I’ve stayed in this country for roughly over a month, I’ll list out the things that annoy me or found interesting so far during my stay.

1. The North Farce

I know that Koreans really like to go out and enjoy the mountain air and what not. It’s important to be properly dressed and whatnot. But what I cannot seem to comprehend is that is it really necessary to buy the colorful North Face, Columbia branded items to go “hiking”? What the hell is it about all these hardcore looking back packs, hiking boots, retractable climbing sticks, big ass water bottles with rope attached. I see all these things everywhere I go whether it is at Namdaemun Market or at Yongmasan Station. I mean, Christ’s sakes! You’re just climbing a small mountain for a day and most of these “trails” are paved roads. Namsan Mountain is an example. It’s like these people are prepared to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or something. Is there even enough “wind” for a  wind breaker?? Don’t get me wrong. Back at home, I have a North Face but I use it as my raincoat. But for my entire time in Korea, it drizzled twice! And when it rains, people just use umbrellas. I just don’t understand. Do people wear this stuff to look like they just came back or are planning to do some hardcore trekking? I guess it looks expensive.

It’s not the NORTHface. It’s the REDface!

2. “It’s not a man purse! It’s satchel!”

So I noticed that many Korean males carry backpacks and briefcases and stuff. But I also noticed the abundance of feminine looking man purses slung on shoulders or crossing bodies. First, I thought some of these guys were holding these purses for their girlfriend or mother. And I was right in some cases. Then I got to realize that some guys holding purses have no lady friend walking around them. I guess it’s my American upbringing of what defines a man. But … wow

Man purse

  3. Ass and titties, ass ass and titties… and gore and entrails

I’ve been watching Korean television and the channels range from CSI:Miami to K-drama to comedy. Korea has a very interesting choice of what should be filtered or not. Things that are blurred: ass (covered and uncovered), knives used for killing, cigarettes, and gore and entrails from CSI shows. Things that are not blurred: exposed breasts and drugs. I guess I’m ok with it. I just thought it was an interesting choice of censorship. Are Asians just comfortable around bare breasts? Cultural thing? Oh yea, Korean t.v. on late weekend nights sometimes shows some weird ass Japanese movies. That’s when you know it’s time to stop and go to sleep.

4.If the Internet and electricity were to go out for a day in Seoul, there will be riots and people killing themselves

The rumors are pretty true. South Korea is wired in and I mean WIRED IN. There is accessible wi-fi practically everywhere. I say everywhere because coffee shops are everywhere. The technology is pretty advanced compared to what we got in the States. People watching drama or baseball on their Samsung Galaxy while riding the subway is a common sight. I hate rush hour especially when it rains. Koreans are so wired in that any moment that they stand still for more than 3 seconds, they need to be watching something or playing a game. It annoys the shit out of me because I’m trying to get up the exit stairway just like the one hundred other people are. The only problem is that instead of concentrating  on walking up, I see people just staring into phones and not fuckin’ moving! It’s like they can’t tear themselves away from their beloved Galaxy or Iphone

5. Sleeping beauty

It’s also a common sight to see Koreans sleeping or closing their eyes whether it be in a subway or transit bus. Heads going limp. Eyes closed and dreaming. Headphones plugged in ears. It’s a comical thing to see when half the people are dozing off in a bus with heads hitting each others shoulders. To my surprise, their bodies just wake up when it’s about to be their stop. Personal space ain’t a big deal.

Until next time!

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