1. You Can Now “Fall Asleep” on Public Transit
Your senses are no longer hyperactive/hypersensitive during your commute. You can now close your eyes and know exactly where the bus is, without worrying you will miss your stop. I realize this isn’t technically falling asleep, BUT this one time I had to stand on a bus ride from Gwangju to Mokpo (1 hour) and I definitely fell asleep standing up. It was probably less than a minute until I got jerked awake, but it made me feel more Korean. They can literally sleep anywhere.
2. You Own a Second Toothbrush That You Keep At School
You now routinely most of the time brush your teeth will your fellow co-workers after lunch, (without feeling silly walking around school with a toothbrush in your mouth!)
3. You Are Now An Ambidextrous Eater
Believe it or not, Koreans do not eat rice with chopsticks. Yes, (we?) they use spoons! More often than not, the spoon is in the left hand and chopsticks in the right hand, and you use the chopsticks to push the rice onto the spoon. During school lunches, there is always a type of soup. So, because of this, I always hold both a spoon and chopsticks while eating. Much easier to hold both at the same time, rather than switching between the two!
4. K-POP Is Taking Over Your iTunes
For those who don’t know, K-POP is basically the pop(ular) music in Korea. A lot of the time it’s over the top dramatic and extremely hypersexualized, to a level even shocking by Western media standards. My students are always showing me new songs and music videos, the majority of which I question their appropriateness in the school……….however I digress.
The songs are damn catchy. Not only do I catch myself singing along (meaning mumbling what I think they are saying in Korean with the occasional one English line) but I have also gone out of my way to download them, and listen to them in my free time. I know. Who would of thought K-POP would be taking over my iTunes?!
You can listen to some of my favourites here and here. These are definitely much more tame than the majority of the other music videos out there!
If you find yourself easily falling asleep on public transit, with K-POP slowly filling up your iTunes- you too, may be assimilating to Korean culture.
As they say, when in Korea.