Cultural Musings · Korea

Korean Culture 101 Episode 2

I have been slacking with the blogs lately, sorry folks.  Theoretically, now that I am unemployed I should have more time on my hands but this week was not the case.   In my effort to meet some new people here and get more involved on base I attended my first Osan Enlisted Spouses Club meeting this week.  It was a fun and interesting meeting, I learned more about what the club does on base and how they give back to the military.  By the end of the meeting I had won 2 door prizes and been nominated for Secretary.  Pretty productive if you ask me.

I have also been getting together more with some of the girls that I met at the Spouse Orientation, we went to dinner on Thursday to a wonderful Indian restaurant in town, Chakraa.   We are planning some day trips to Seoul and in April we’re going to take a class at a little pottery studio near my apt.

Now onto your dose of Korean culture:

1) Koreans post their cell phone numbers in the front windshield of their cars.  In fact, it is common practice to crosstitch someone ‘s number on a little pillow when they get a new car.  They sell crosstitch kits for this such occasion everywhere in Korea.

Here is Ally showing her little cell phone pillow.  One night Ally and I went out to dinner and she parked about 4 cars into the alley we stopped on.  She said, “Don’t worry, Mel, if someone needs to get out, they’ll call me.”  I thought she was joking but she wasn’t.  I think it’s amazing that Koreans don’t misuse the fact that they have access to hundreds of strangers’ cell phone numbers everyday.  In America, the number of solicitation calls we would get would multiply by the hundreds if we did this.  Koreans also use the cell numbers when they hit someone in a parking lot.  How neighborly and convenient!

2) It’s not only common but sometimes expected to give a short English lesson to cab drivers.  Just the other day, Ally and I were taking a cab on base after lunch at Chili’s and during the 4 minute ride from Chili’s back to the front gate Ally had successfully taught the cab driver to say “It’s a beautiful day,” “Did you have breakfast?” and “Did you have lunch?”  I’m not sure why a cab driver would be asking their fare if they had eaten breakfast or lunch but hey, any English is good English to Koreans.

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