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Author Topic: Fun stories about living in Korea!  (Read 3463 times)

Offline tazz

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2013, 04:10:55 PM »
One Sunday I went down to the local river to read my book while my boyfriend went running. I was sitting reading, and before I knew it 3 older ladies (60 odd) were sitting next to me and insisting that I eat their picnic with them. They couldn't speak a word of English and I couldn't speak any Korean, so they just force fed me their food. Kimbap, soup, tomatoes, sweet potato, kimchi, the works.

When my boyfriend got back from running they decided to feed him aswell, he thought this was hilarious and spoke to the ladies for awhile. (He can speak Korean)

Online iamrhart

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2013, 04:19:54 PM »
My funny story about Korea....

My very first year here, i taught in a Public Elementary school. The students were (mostly) well behaved. The older grades seemed to be most cooperative.  Grade 6, was fun.
One day, i had an After School class with my Grade 6 Girls. I assigned them a task, "Find an English Speaking Country, and research it. Tell me about it. things like "why is it interesting? What language(s) do they speak, brief history, economy, etc.". nothing "college level". just basic research and knowledge finding.

well, i didnt tell them NOT to use a translator. So, one girl uses her resources and goes on Naver or Google, and types in her report/sentences.

yeah....comedic reading/hilarity/smiles ensued (for me).

one sentence, i find hard to forget, was about her country (Netherlands).
she WANTED to say something like "The Netherlands people love nature and are very close to nature".  but the translator said "The Netherlands people quite freely f^cked nature". 

even today, i find it funny. though she didnt get it, and i couldnt explain it to her. but she did a good job regardless.



Online Mezoti97

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2013, 04:51:08 PM »
- when i first arrived (first night)in Korea i was in a pizza place and the heavens opened, the lady saw my concern and gave me an umbrella although she had never met me before

A similar thing happened to me and my friend once, about a year ago. We went to a kimbap cheon-guk to get some takeout to bring back home for dinner, and it started raining while we were there waiting for our food. Since we didn't know it was going to rain, we didn't bring an umbrella. One of the ladies working at the kimbap cheon-guk insisted that we borrow her umbrella, which we did. It was very nice (and we brought the umbrella back the next day, of course).

There's a Paris Baguette in my current town, and the ladies that work there always remember me and my friend. If one of us goes there alone, they usually ask where the other one is. If we haven't been there for a while (for example, when we went back to our home country last winter vacation for a couple of weeks), when we come back, they tell us that they thought we moved back to our home country. Also, if we forget to bring our point card, they offer to type in one of our ARC numbers in order for us to still get the points.

The point card is actually a funny story. For a long time, we had accumulated a lot of points but we never registered the point card online. There was an error every time I had tried to register it online in the past, so I was never able to successfully register it. Anyhow, we had a lot of points on our card, but we couldn't redeem them because we weren't able to register it online. The Paris Baguette ladies were really concerned about this and even offered to call the point card customer service number and register our card for us.  In the end, I asked someone I know who's Korean to call and register it for me. Once the card was registered and we were able to finally redeem our points, the Paris Baguette ladies seemed really happy about it. Haha.

Also, there is a homeroom teacher at one of my country schools who started working at my country school last March. She doesn't really speak English that well, but she's always been extremely friendly and kind to me -- always makes an effort to say hello to me and say something nice to me whenever she sees me, etc. Last weekend, she even offered to take me out to do some sight-seeing around our rural area, because she always asks me which places I've seen around our rural area, and she's always surprised when I tell her that I haven't really seen anything in our rural area yet. She treated me to lunch and we visited a really beautiful temple. Both were great, since the food was the exact kind of Korean meal that I like (lots of vegetable side dishes) and I really enjoy visiting temples. We also had tea at a traditional tea house afterward, which was also really lovely and the tea was delicious. It was a really pleasant day and I had such a great time. It's kind of funny to me how this Korean homeroom teacher at one of my small country schools has gone out of her way to reach out to me and be so kind to me, whereas my co-teacher would never do something like this, much less make any effort for me or help me at all.  It almost makes me wish that this homeroom teacher were my co-teacher instead.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 05:05:14 PM by Mezoti97 »

Offline sd43n4

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2013, 04:56:20 PM »
I've taught students from over 50 different countries (ESL teacher in America) and I found Koreans are the most hospitable people I've ever met. When I first came to Korea, I met this nice Korean couple at a local church I joined. We became friends and I invited them for a meal at my tiny apartment. They looked around and commented that the apartment was rather empty. A week or 2 later they came over again... and brought a bunch of furniture for me. Table, wardrobe, blinds, rice cooker, mirror... I was overwhelmed by the generosity of these 2 people I'd only recently met.

Online sejongthefabulous

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2013, 05:06:54 PM »
Once missed a bus in the countryside. Ask a local when the next bus would come. He said hope in my bongo truck and drove me about 20 minutes into a decent sized town with buses. I tried to give him some money for gas he refused. So I said wait here while I run into the shop, he was gone by the time I came out. I was a little said because he was very interesting and would have loved to grab a beer with the guy.
Over 99% of people worldwide are foreigners...chilling thought

Offline dachiza727

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2013, 05:53:47 PM »
I was eating at a restaurant with a friend, we must've had that new in Korea glaze over us because we were approached by two older Korean males.  They joined our table and drank with us.  The older gentlemen that sat next to my buddy seemed very pleased to meet us.  He had a huge grin as he was caressing my friends inner thigh.  He held my buddies hand for a good portion of the dinner, it was truly a magical moment! 
"Iíll have a vanilla...one of those vanilla bullshit things. You know, whatever you want, some vanilla bullshit latte cappa thing. Whatever you got."

true dat.

Online iamrhart

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2013, 05:56:18 PM »
I was eating at a restaurant with a friend, we must've had that new in Korea glaze over us because we were approached by two older Korean males.  They joined our table and drank with us.  The older gentlemen that sat next to my buddy seemed very pleased to meet us.  He had a huge grin as he was caressing my friends inner thigh.  He held my buddies hand for a good portion of the dinner, it was truly a magical moment!

Yeah, the old men do like the younger ones. Did you have a happy ending to your magic moment?

Online Chicagohotdog

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2013, 06:10:23 PM »
I have the nicest landlord and landlady.  They don't really speak English (though they proudly pronounce my name now) but they are incredibly helpful and just generally lovely people.

They also run a butcher shop out of our building, so fairly regularly I am given free samgyupsal or greatly discounted beef.  It's lovely. 

Last winter I went home to Chicago to see the family and left my boiler on that "don't freeze my pipes" setting.  Now my building is old and still uses oil to heat it so the oil must have run out before I returned.  I didn't get back to my apartment until 11PM and ended up just having to suffer the night in the cold.  First thing the next morning, I went to them and they called up the oil company and when they said it would be at least 4 hours until they could get to the building, I was put up in their shop for a while and even fed a lovely lunch (she is a REALLY good cook!) while waiting for the tank to get filled.

Just after I got here I came down with a bad case of food poisoning (5 days laid up) and I tried to get myself to the hospital in town, but I ended up collapsed on the sidewalk because my legs were shaking too bad to hold me up.  A cabbie saw me, pulled over and got me into his cab, drove me to the hospital, got me inside and talked to the nurses for me.  He left without my ever getting a name or paying or even getting to say thank you.

There are so many little moments that just make your heart sing...unfortunately it seems that the bad ones seem to stick out more.
"We need not fear North Korea, for we have 2nd grade middle school students."

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Offline Swinny

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2013, 06:31:26 PM »
My story involves an Ajoshi (of course)

One day I was cycling home from school when I saw a guy sitting in the middle of the right hand lane of a two lane busy street, there was a woman next to him so I assumed they were doing something to the road or picking something up. When I got closer I saw that the woman was trying to coax this ajoshi off the street. The street was such a busy one that I stopped and offered my help, I expected the standard no no we don't need your help but the woman looked at me as if to say "go on give it a try" so I basically bear hugged the ajoshi and lifted him off the street.

At this point I smelled the cause of the problem and bearing in mind my sense of smell is fairly limited this guy must have injected at least 2 litres of the Sojay. So in my bear hug the guy decided to have a nap on me so I kept him upright and kept hugging him because I'm too nice and waited for a taxi to come by, eventually one came and I carried him and placed him gently into the back seat so he wouldn't wake up and the lady told the taxi driver where to go. Then the lady asked me if I wanted to come for a free meal in her restaurant, my instinctive thought was "Yes, free meal" until I saw the sign 순대국 and quickly made an excuse and cycled away.

A few days later I was bombing down the road on my bike and she jumped out of her restaurant, I had to tell her again that I had a plan already so she gave me a bottle coffee and a can of coke and sent me on my way.

Happy times

Also to echo the sentiment of the original poster, there is so much negativity all the time here. When I worked in customer service we were told that every time 1 person has a negative experience on average they will tell 10 people. But when people have a positive experience 1 out of 3 people will tell 1 person about it. bear that in mind next time something goes wrong or right.

Peace.

Offline potblackettle

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2013, 10:43:50 PM »
Once missed a bus in the countryside. Ask a local when the next bus would come. He said hope in my bongo truck and drove me about 20 minutes into a decent sized town with buses. I tried to give him some money for gas he refused. So I said wait here while I run into the shop, he was gone by the time I came out. I was a little said because he was very interesting and would have loved to grab a beer with the guy.

Haha, this happened to my husband and a friend in Jeju.  They missed a bus back from somewhere pretty far out.  A couple of college kids drive up and my friends ask if they know when the next bus is coming.  Kids gave them a ride back to town and then sat and had a few beers with them. 

Apparently one of the kids was a big fan of the Sopranos so he was hugely excited when my husband said he was from Jersey.

Offline cheezsteakwit

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2013, 11:21:33 AM »
I flew into Korea on a Saturday & had a free Monday to explore Seoul before my orientation training started.
My new friends (all Brits & a S. African) & I packed into the subway, like sardines & I found myself face to face with an elderly white haired gentleman. (looked to be in his 70's)

He says to me "American ??" ... & I replied " uuuhhh, yeah. "  (Not really sure what kind of reaction I'd get.)

He then says, " Your president's wife is called 'First Lady' ?  " .. I replied , " uuuhh , yeah. "

He then says, "What IF your president was a woman , what would her husband be called ??? "   

I didn't know what to say, to be honest.  I'd never given that any thought before & was surprised by the question.

I replied, "I don't think we'll ever have a woman president, but if we do, her husband would be called , 'the First Man', maybe ? "

He then made a comment about how he liked America.

It was only later, after I thought about some more, it occurred to me  - "First Gentleman" was probably the better answer.
But, yeah, it was a bizarre introduction to Korea.  It's been a good 16 months so far.  No complaints.

Offline Shinsegae

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2013, 01:19:52 PM »
What a heart warming thread. Its so nice to be able to come into school on a monday morning and be able to read something positive on waygook.

-I was waiting at the bus stop after school one day when a taxi driver pulls over and wants  me to get in. I explain that I dont have enough money to take a taxi and that I only have 1200 for a bus ride.  It turns out that he lives in the apartment across the street from me and recognised me. He drove me home for free.

-I went to a small restaurant with my Korean girlfriend and the owner was so impressed that I "could eat spicey food well" that we ate for free.

-My sister came to Korea for a vacation (she is really skinny and weak) and was having a lot of trouble with her suitcases. A couple of soldiers asked where she was going and got the ticket for her and carried her bags all the way through the bus station. Can't imagine a soldier being such a gentleman back home.
내가제일잘나가

Offline miljennifer

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2013, 04:33:17 PM »
I have had lots of great, uplifting moments in my 11 months in Korea so far. I have found people here to be really kind for the most part.

One that stands out: My husband and I were visiting Gangneung for the weekend and were trying to get to a new cafe serving Western-style breakfast that was recommended by a friend. Two taxi fails later (nobody seemed to know where this place was, even though we had address, phone number and name of a well-known landmark nearby), we were wandering around looking for the cafe and pretty much lost.

So we went into a CU to ask for directions. There were a couple of guys sitting outside the CU drinking coffee and smoking, and the lady working at the store asked them if they knew where the place was. The guys looked up some stuff on their phones, made a couple of calls, and next thing you know they're giving us a ride to the cafe.

We were just so blown away that a couple of strangers would stub out their smokes and abandon their leisurely Saturday coffee session to drive a couple of lost foreigners to their destination. Awesome!

Offline gender8

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2013, 06:17:21 PM »
nice posts, keep em coming!

will add another of my own.  went home for a siblings wedding this year. Once word got out in my school, a whole bunch of staff members, some of whom i rarely spoke to, if at all,  started giving me traditional and korean style gifts to give to my sister as wedding presents, and some items were pretty pricey for someone they'e never met. Thought it was a pretty cool gesture, especially considering its not Korean custom to give wedding presents.

Offline 0mnslnd

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2013, 10:29:10 AM »
At the shoe store:

store owner ajeossi: " ighe... made in Korea. Johwa. Good

Me:  "Kighe boyo juseyo. Show me that other one please."

Ajeossi: " Okay. Made in Korea.... made in Korea.... good.
(Pointing at all the pairs of shoes nearby) - "Made in Korea."

Then the ajeossi points at himself and says:
" (me).... "Made in Korea. "
Then points and me: "You??"



Out. Never been happier

Offline Dagger

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2013, 10:40:41 AM »
my first couple weeks in korea i had all my stuff stolen, literally everything! clothes, laptop, glasses, everything that i didnt have on me at school that day. there was a communication error between my co teacher and myself as to where to leave my luggage as someone from the school was coming to get my stuff and move me into my new apartment. needless to say i was bummed, but thought i'll look back on this someday and laugh. anyways, i go into work on monday and the principal and vice principal call me in for a meeting with a couple other english teachers. they got donations from other teachers that totaled around 250,000 won. i was pretty taken back as i would never expect this to happen back home. it was just a really kind gesture and certainly something they didn't have to do, but was something i obviously appreciated very much!

Online specter13

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2013, 10:47:09 AM »
I was in Korea when my dad passed away, it was a pretty rough time. Well I told my head co teacher and he gave me the day off which is pretty nice. The next day they told me that they wanted to me to go home right away for one week. I found this pretty amazing since missing work here is a big no no.

The thing that absolutely blew me away though was that the teachers in the school got together and gave me around $900 to take home. The principal of the school went out of his way to go to the bank and actually get me a $100 bill.

It really meant a lot to me to have that kind of support at my school after something like that happened.

Offline stemarty

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2013, 11:27:23 AM »
A friend and I went to a pharmacy to get some pain killers for her leg.
None of the workers there could speak much English so my friend and I started doing charades and really poor Korean to explain that we wanted painkillers but Tylenol was too weak.

After about 5 minutes of acting a young woman looked up and said in a perfect foreigner accent: "what exactly are you looking for?" Turns out she was from Calgary (visiting her mother who worked at the pharmacy) and just couldn't hold a straight face anymore.
The mother gave my friend some "nice-uh pills" and a bowl of peaches.

Offline Yellowtree77

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2013, 01:06:55 PM »
My parents and I were travelling on the subway in Seoul and I gave up my seat for an old man who reluctantly accepted. Next stop I feel a tugging on my backpack, the old man wanted me to sit next to him. Next he starts speaking in pretty good English and tells me he is 83 years old and that he is "very sad".
 "Why" I asked.
"Because I am too old to make love" :shocked:

Offline MoneyMike

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Re: Fun stories about living in Korea!
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2013, 02:09:19 PM »
When I first got to Korea (after orientation) there was a meeting for lunch with our new co-teachers, then the co-teachers took each student to that teachers assigned apartment. Anyways, get there, chat with the co-teacher for a bit, then she leaves. Kind of intimidating being left alone in a foreign country for the first time. (Though I'd lived in other countries before)

About 2 or 3 minutes later there's a knock on the door. I open it, and there's a guy about my age with a plate of fruit. Turned out he was the landlords son and wanted to welcome the new foreigner. That was definitely a nice welcome to the neighborhood.

Hah, and another story that just happened last week.

I was at Homeplus in the vegetable section, putting some different kinds of greens into a bag. The guy who was weighing and pricing the bags is a guy who I sometimes chat with while I'm there. (in Korean, had never heard him speak English) So he weighs it, puts on the price, then opens the bag again and says "Go get more, service!" in English. Thought that was pretty nice, can't usually get service at Homeplus.

 

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