Pizza in a cup!

12 Dec

I’ve been in Korea almost three months now and I’ve witnessed some good, some bad and some down right ugly ‘cultural differences’…

I’ll start with ‘The Good’:

– Rock, Paper, Scissors settles EVERYTHING in Korea. From disputes in the playground to who’s doing the dishes after dinner, I’m sure even political elections and wars are settled in this way. Every country should try this ‘chance-democracy’.

– Koreans ALWAYS share their food. No matter what it is or how little they have , they will offer it around. The school kids are constantly throwing snacks at me and i’m not complaining.

– Pizza in a cup. There are all sorts of food stalls on any given street in Korea selling cheap food from anything like tubs of potatoes and kebabs to cups of bugs and hotdogs in cups. A pizza in a cup is one of these options – tasty AND practical, what more do you need?

Pizza in a cup

– Tesco is in Korea! Under the pseudonym of Homeplus that is. I can get Shredded wheat, Coco Pops, Kitkats, Campbells Soup, plum tomatoes, shortbread, Capri-suns and Lurpak! I just wish I could get some square sausage and tattie scones…

– McDonald’s deliever! I know, I know, it’s making a bad social epidemic worse – but you’ve gotta cater for your market!

McDonalds Delivery Service

– Generally you don’t put toilet paper down the toilet. It takes a bit of getting used to, to break a life long habit, but it saves on the horrible sewage plants and ruining beaches like you see in the UK.

– Tipping isn’t customary. And neither it should be. Result!

The Bad:

– Motorbikes ride on the pavements here. Mental I know.

– Running a red light is the norm/ jaywalking is not. Not good for the impatient road crossers among us.

– 90% of Koreans wear dust masks. They have been scared shitless by the government about air borne killers such as SAARS and bird flu. My pet hate is when the kids wear them in the classroom. However, they also wear them when they have colds to stop spreading the germs – which I thought that was very considerate of them.

Dust masks

– It’s not custom to pour your own drink. It’s considered impolite. Not good for people who drink like a fish.

– It is impossible to buy a single piece of fruit. I.e. no less than 15 tangerines or 10 bananas. I tend to eat about 5 and then they go off – what a waste.

– Deodorant in the form of an aerosol is hard to find and expensive when you do. Annoying to say the least.

– It’s impossible to find reasonable priced bedding. Why? I don’t know.

The Ugly:

– It’s normal to gob in the street. WTF right? It’s not uncommon to see a 80-year-old ajumma (old woman) spit out her phlegm whilst strolling past.

– Corporal punishment is still widely used in schools here. I was completely gobsmacked when I first realised this. I have to admit though it keeps the kids in line, you won’t see a Korean kid swearing at a teacher or throwing a chair at them.

– Koreans eat dog meat. Yes it’s true. It’s not as popular as I was first led to believe, but it does happen. In recent years there has been some attempts by the government to shut down the boshingtang (dog meat soup) restaurants, in order to improve the country’s “international image.”

I’ll continue to add to this list as and when I come across them – no doubt there will be many more in the months ahead. Also, foreigners in Korea – please feel free to add your own!


11 Responses to “Pizza in a cup!”

  1. Gillian Harman December 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM #

    Loving your blog Lauren – just came on to it from your link on FB. Looks like you’re having a fab time – will need to keep up-to-date with your blog from now on!

    Take care xx

    • LiveLauren December 12, 2011 at 11:03 PM #

      Thanks Gillian, I thought it would be a good way to document my experiences 🙂 xx

  2. Ian Hamilton December 13, 2011 at 7:39 AM #

    How about the ease of cosmetic surgery for women ? You can get a nip and tuck, new nose or double eyelid just as easy as a hair do !!

    Also how each meal must have as many small side dishes as possible. Great for choice but must be murder for people who end up washing the dishes…..

    • LiveLauren December 13, 2011 at 8:40 AM #

      The availability of cosmetic surgery warrants a whole post to itself! I’m amazed at how cheap and readily advertised it is, but i’m even more surprised at the amount of women who want to change their appearance to a more ‘western’ look – why aren’t they happy with the way they look? What has made so many Korean women want to go under the knife? It’s not uncommon for a 16 year old girl to get a nose job for her birthday! Crazy!

  3. Sharon McLeish December 15, 2011 at 11:12 PM #

    Ola meatball!!! I heart yer blog!!!!! MORE PLEASE!!!!!


    • LiveLauren December 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM #

      I’m glad you approve chihuahua! 😀 xx

  4. Debbie Snyder March 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM #

    Hi Lauren!

    I’ve been looking for blogs about South Korea (mainly Daegu) as we are moving there this summer (currently living in Singapore) and I have found your blog informative and entertaining! I visited Daegu a few years ago while my husband was working there for a year but never saw or heard of the pizza in a cup and I have to say…I can’t wait to try one! Thanks for sharing!!

    • LiveLauren March 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM #

      HI Debbie, thanks for your kind words! What are you moving to Daegu to do? I love Singapore! Pizza in a cup can be found downtown and should only be eaten after one to many soju’s! 😛

      • Debbie Snyder March 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM #

        My husband works for The Boeing Company as a Field Service Rep and he’ll work at the Korean Air Force Base. His assigment there will be for 5 years or longer if he wants it. I will try to fill my days with this and that and exploring Korea. We love Singapore as well! We have enjoyed our 2 years here and it will be tough to leave this beautiful place and the friends we’ve made. But time to move on to a new adventure and having 4 seasons to enjoy will be nice. I will remember your advice when trying the pizza in a cup!

      • LiveLauren March 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM #

        That all sounds very exciting! Korea is a great place to have an adventure! Do you know where abouts in Daegu you will be living? Will it be near the Air Force Base? Is that Camp Walker? Well i’m here until September if you’re ever looking for a friendly face 🙂

  5. Michael Johnstone June 9, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

    I love how no matter what western country you come from, it’s the same good and bad list for everyone! My feelings exactly.

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