I’ve never said this on my blog before.. but I am a huge fan of Rocketnews24. and this time around, I read an article that I can truly relate to and I would like to share my experience on how I’m turning Korean after living here for years.

living in a new country where the culture is so different might not be easy at first, but now.. I can’t get out of it.

1. that button attached on the table to call for the waiter.
HOW CONVENIENT! no need to yell at the top of my lungs and listen to weird sounds created by customers just to get the attention of the waiter. now when I go to a huge restaurant without a button (unless it’s some high class restaurant of course haha), it feels weird and I’d find myself looking for it.

2. getting naked in front of the same sex.
I used to be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO shy. I still remembered how I went to the Jimjilbang (sauna) for the first time and I headed straight for the sauna rooms and skipped the bath because I was too embarrassed to wear only my birthday suit in front of strangers. but the 2nd time.. I decided to strip everything and stop thinking about it because I’ve already paid and it isn’t cheap. and it seems like it is the best decision I’ve ever made because Jimjilbangs and Onsen (in Japan) is like.. heaven on earth. it releases all my stress and it makes me feel amazing. so now? I can’t wait to get naked in front of other ladies so I can go for a nice warm dip.

3. drive…? come pick me up!
This don’t apply to everyone since many people DO DRIVE after living here hahaha. it’s just me maybe.. and a few of my friends. I bet I annoy my friends in Malaysia a lot every time I went back to Malaysia. I got so used to taking the public transport here I became lazy to drive. I don’t even want to reapply for my license after my mom forget to update my old license (reminded her like 5 times. sigh.) because I just don’t feel the need to drive. I can go almost ANYWHERE in Seoul and public transports don’t exactly cost a bomb.

4. why do we have to pay for water? that should be illegal!
meals are indeed more expensive than those back home but heck, at least I don’t get dehydrated as I can get as much water as I want in any restaurant for FREE! I find myself reluctant to order another glass of water or something to drink because I’ll have to pay and even if it doesn’t cost a lot, I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. whereas in Korea, I feel healthier because I don’t have to bother about having to sip my drink slowly so I wouldn’t finish it halfway through my meal.

5. I LOVE walking.
I remembered how I’d dread to walk a 500meter distance and always ask my mom to drive me even if it’s near. although safety is another reason, I was really lazy. but in Korea, everyone walks. and walking for 1km? no problem. that’s pretty near in fact. I stopped complaining about the distance and it seems like when I told my friends “it’s near”, they all end up thinking that it’s only 100meters away but it is in fact around 1km away hahaha. and in the end? I got scolded =X.

6. sleep? who needs them?
okay I need it if not I will just look like a horrible zombie. but if you work or study in Korea, chances are you only sleep after a long hangover. during the exam period, I think I sleep for around 3-4 hours and when it’s just during the semester.. around 5hours. because it’s normal like that.

7. being like everyone else is cool. no need to be special.
not really for me since I don’t have the money to look like everyone else but I’d actually love to. but it’s true how being like everyone else means you’re trendy. you gotta keep up with the current trends which everyone think is cool. =S. that reddish eye shadow. that orange tint that you only apply in the middle of your lips. that no blush look. cruciani bracelets. sport shoes. jeans jacket with dress in the summer. that’s how we live.

8. looks are important. I’m becoming shallow D=!!!!!
Malaysian guys are 95% very sloppy to me right now when I think back. you can’t just wear t-shirt and shorts out, boys. dress up! I haven’t been back to Malaysia for a while I hope its better now. well in Korea, there are dresses I used to wear in Malaysia to go to malls and all but in Korea….. my friend once asked me why did I wear my PJs to uni. ._. and after that I paid more attention to what I wear. although I occasionally end up like a fashion disaster but most of the time I take an effort to match my clothings not because I want to look good, but because I don’t want to look different. need to blend in!!! also, my standards got very high after coming here T_T. I only think guys with a decent face and good sense of style are hot now. the style thingy is very important hahaha. and I still can’t seem to find any Malaysian guys whom I think is really good looking. mmmmm.

9. respect for the elderly/older people.
I’m not saying that people from other countries don’t. but here, younger people will automatically stand up and offer their seats to the elderly and it’s perfectly normal if they don’t say thank you or even smile. because you should do that. because you’re younger. speaking to people older than you in a polite way is also very important. it doesn’t matter if they are only 1-2 years older, adding the -yo behind every sentence is crucial. it’s a form of respect. and if you don’t do so, you’ll be seen as rude and uneducated. hahahaha. I didn’t seem to have this barrier with older people but with older Koreans.. it seems like I just built this wall in between with just language.

10. surfing Korean websites? always use Internet Explorer.
I deleted IE from my computer years ago but after coming to Korea, IE is like.. the life saver. and it isn’t even that bad to use. because it makes my life easier for research, naver, uni websites, banking, registering etc. you’ll get what I mean if you start living here because Firefox will not allow you to do a lot of things in Korea. >_>. and now I’ll make a fuss when I use a friend’s laptop without IE because I can’t access to the sites I go to in Korean. again, this doesn’t apply to everyone. not everyone buys their groceries online like me hahahaha.

okay so this is how I changed in 10 different ways. I bet there’s more but.. oh well.. I don’t want to write about how I’ve became a complete thrifty ajumma since the currency got super expensive. and how I think plastic surgery is completely fine. and how is it very difficult for me to talk for a minute without slipping in at least a Korean word or two. okay I shall stop! =P. leave me a comment below and tell me what you think about my change!

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6 years ago

Agree with everything except the last one… IE is dead.. Microsoft kills it already…
Although I do understand with what u mean using all the banking and stuff I just use chrome with ie extension… save my waiting time if you know what I mean…

Turson mun
Turson mun
6 years ago

Wonderful every day:)

6 years ago

U so funny la~ ur post made my day 🙂

6 years ago

I also read rocketnews24.. XD Sleeping for 3-5 hours is a hard adjustment for me. Great that you don’t get any eyebags Jamie. XD

6 years ago

Indeed you really have a Korean look right now! 🙂

6 years ago

Awesome post! Haha. I’ve only been to Korea twice but the public transport system awed me so much that when I get back to Malaysia I can’t help but wonder when will the country’s public transport system be as good as Korea’s.
And I totally agree on Korean guys being able to dress better than ours. I mean, they don’t have to specifically be good looking but they could’ve at least put some effort into how they dress rather than looking like they just woke up and walked out of the house.
Anyway, keep up the awesome posts Jamie! ^^

5 years ago

I love your blog and your posts^^ so interesting…