2.5 months in Seoul, South Korea
 
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sexy, Eggy Americans
It's funny how people rely on stereotypes in tough situations. In Psych we learned that stereotypes are actually a survival mechanism.. in the majority of situations, our stereotypes are true, and so having them helps us act quickly when we need to.

Well, Koreans have some strange stereotypes of Americans! For example, a Korean friend told me that most people from a certain nation have a defining scent. Apparently the Japanese have a briny, oceany smell; Indians have a pungent, spicy smell; and Koreans have a alcohol-y, garlic-y smell (Okay, she didn't actually say alcohol-y smell, but it's true!).

"What about Americans? Do we have a particular smell?" I asked, curious.
She replied (in Korean, of course), "Ahh, yes! It's hard to describe, but they have this vague odor sometimes...smells just like eggs!"













EGGS?
I was expecting maybe grease, sugar, sweat? But...eggs.. I guess it could be worse.


The other thing I keep hearing is that Americans are very "opposite of conservative". Yeah... this was clarified when I bought a Korean magazine one day. It had a special called "Vacance Sex Report".

It was one of those spreads where they do a whole bunch of polls about what percentage of people wait to have sex before marriage, the preferred location of most couples to have sex, what they like to do afterwards, all that TMI stuff.















Well, this magazine is obviously a Korean magazine and 95% of the models in it are, understandably, Korean.
But when you get to the sex section, everyone suddenly switches to white. Not a single Korean or Asian-looking model in the entire spread. Just a wholleee bunch of white couples kissing, making out, and seducing each other.




















C'mon.. are Americans just that sexy? I mean, eggs are hardly considered an aphrodisiac. (Not to mention the fact that white does not equal American.. I mean, what happened to all the blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. I guess they don't have sex either)


Despite America's reputation for romance, I have NEVER seen as many couples walking around on the streets as I have in Seoul. If you're walking on the street in Sinchon, I guarantee that you will be behind a giggling, hand-holding couple who will stop at EVERY stall to look at items and unapologetically take up the entire sidewalk.

Seoul is the city for lovers. Forget Paris or Milan. Here there are multitudes of activities for you and your significant other to bond over. For example, if you want to go to a cafe-- why not go to the popular "Twosome Place"? Or a cozy wine and cake cafe. Even if you want ice cream or patbingsoo, everything comes in "Couple" sizes on the menus.

"Couple" is pretty much a theme here, and one of the English words that every Korean you speak to will know. (Some of the other ones are "complex" as in psychological complex, "multiplayer", "fighting", and "oh my god!").

You can buy "Couple" cell phone charms and from every other street vendor.





"Couple" outfits are coming into fashion too-- basically you wear the same design of clothing as your boyfriend/girlfriend, usually of a bright, fluorescent color with some distinctive image on the front.

Girls are pretty much set here too. Koreans consider it rude to pay Dutch, even when out with friends or relatives. So basically the guy always pays for meals, transportation, etc.
Also, Seoul is literally the only place where I regularly see guys ENTHUSIASTICALLY helping their girlfriends pick out makeup! You will see almost as many guys as girls if you go inside a beauty store. ^_^;; Sometimes the guys even try some of the makeup for themselves..
Guys holding their girlfriends' purses is taken for granted as well. And everywhere you will see couples taking photos of themselves in cute poses together on their cell phones. Haha, these later become cell phone backgrounds.

I think it's cute. 나도 남자 친구를 생기면 서울에 데려가 야될거야! ;)

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posted by Jane @ 5:01 AM  
4 Comments:
  • At 1:03 PM, Anonymous An American said…

    Jane...
    I smell like eggs.
    Ewww.
    Need perfume stat, haha.

     
  • At 3:06 AM, Anonymous Paul said…

    Hey Jane, your blog's pretty interesting, much more entertaining than the typical non-Janeized blog.
    Korea sounds like fun, fun enough for me to figure out how to get there.

    Ok, first I'll teach myself Korean in record time, a year max, then I'll get an internship with a company in Korea that interns foreigners, and then...I'll submerse myself in Korean culture!

     
  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger shaun said…

    Seoul is the city for lovers????
    Your joking right ? Korea may becoming less conservative but no one who is not Korean would ever compare Seoul to Milan or Paris. Also most waygooks view couple shirts (pink on a guy?) as one of the funniest things Koreans have to offer. Also for Koreans to think Americans are not conservative shows theri lack of knowledge about westerners. 90% of Westerners would view Americans as VERY conservative. I mean what 90% still beleive in GOD, that is really conservative by western standards who mostly left behind such primitive beleifs decades or centureis ago

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger shaun said…

    Seoul is the city for lovers????
    Your joking right ? Korea may becoming less conservative but no one who is not Korean would ever compare Seoul to Milan or Paris. Also most waygooks view couple shirts (pink on a guy?) as one of the funniest things Koreans have to offer. Also for Koreans to think Americans are not conservative shows theri lack of knowledge about westerners. 90% of Westerners would view Americans as VERY conservative. I mean what 90% still beleive in GOD, that is really conservative by western standards who mostly left behind such primitive beleifs decades or centureis ago

     
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Name: Jane
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