01 April 2010

Korea As I See It

This is my 2nd trip to Seoul, Korea. My first trip was somewhere 3 years ago and it was just a short 3 days trip. So, nothing much can I achieved during such a period though I still managed to set foot at Namdaemun market – well, that’s one of those strong determination in women when it comes to shopping.

This time around, I had a chance to be in Seoul for a solid 7 days, with 2 weekends. That has of course given me a better opportunity to get to know not only the place and culture but also the Koreans themselves.

Koreans are generally nice people- kind hearted, respectful & polite. The most significant quality I observed in Koreans is that they are very hardworking community – too hardworking, I would say. They devoted 3/4 of their life at the workplace. They will only leave the office after 10 pm – everyday.

Being hardworking is part of their culture & strength. We, Malaysians are totally nothing as compared to them. That explains how successful their country is. Perseverance is the word – no gain obtained without a pain.

Another interesting fact about Koreans is that they love coffee very much. Walking in their city, you’ll bumped into coffee shops every 10 meters of a distance – ranging from the international labels to their own local brands, you have them all.

Below are some observation I managed to pen down while being in this country – something you’ll never get in Malaysia that I find quite amusing :

a) I’m not sure about other parts of the country, but in Seoul the bus & subway service are available 24-7 ( 24 hours, 7 days a week). Not only the transportation, they also have a 24 hours shop and mind you, it’s not 7-11 I’m referring to here. I guess, since the Koreans will be working the whole entire day, these kind of services can be really helpful.

b) In most restaurants, when you came in a group of minimum 3 person, your drinks will be served with an extra straw. You’ll have 1 straw in the glass and another clean, unused ones by the glass. Reason being – in case you wanna share your drinks with your friends. I’m so touched by their thoughtfulness. So sweet !

c) The ladies toilet at our office is equipped with an electronic lock where a password is required to enter. This is mainly for security purposes – that’s why they only have it for the ladies.

Doesnt looks like a toilet door, isnt it?

d) Toilet story again……hehehe. I am so amazed with the toilet in Samsung office – it really resembles the company’s reputation very well. It’s a very high-tech toilet which offers variety of functions. The toilet seat will be heated after about 30 seconds you sit on it. They have 2 types of water sprinkler depending on your needs – one will spray warm water onto your “front exit” whereas the other will take care of your “rear exit”. Not only that, you can complete the process by pushing the “wind” button where a soft breeze of air will dry up your wet exits. Isnt it cool?

e) In most big Koreans companies, the lights will be turned off during lunch time. These are of course for energy conservation but it’s not the electrical energy they’re conserving here. It’s their people’s energy they’re concerned of. The employees are encouraged to rest during the break in order to optimize their strength & energy later.

f) During my 7 days observations, I couldnt see any fat Koreans around. Seriously, I cant detect any – be it the ladies nor the men! When I asked my colleague about it, I’ve been told that they does exist but most of them are hiding in the house. They are too shy to go out in the public due to their physical looks. Very sad, isnt it? This is one thing Malaysians won over the Koreans – higher confidence level !

I wonder when can I see the same toilet installed here in Malaysia?

g) Korean men love to wear suits. Not only they wear suits to work they also put them on while sightseeing……on Sundays. I’ve not only seen one, but many of them that makes me decided to put it in this list. I know it’s cold but wearing a suit for sightseeing on weekends is obviously a fashion crime !

Actual photo taken on Sunday evening @ Insa-dong market !

g) Last but not least, is the most shocking fact ever. There’s this one night, I was scrolling the TV channels searching for nice movies to watch. Then suddenly I saw this real shocking scene on the TV screen – a Korean couple on the bed having sex! Yes, they have porns on Korean TV – the local porns it seems. Can you imagine that, a TV porn channel in Asia? Anyway, this porn channel is only available after 12 midnight. I didnt know whether it’s only available in the hotel or they actually have it as part of their standard channels. All I know is it’s there & it’s free!


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