I would like to try a brief weekly update on horrible sweeping generalizations about South Korea so you can get a sense of what weirdness I’m experience. It’s kind of like FanFicFriday over on Topless Robot. (Trust me, you will hate yourself for reading it.) I can only hope to horrify you less while being equally entertaining.
So for my first stab at awfulness. Let’s talk about things in miniature.
1. Korea. South Korea by itself is hardly larger than the state of Utah. Which really messes with my sense of space and size, as there are about 25 times as many people here.
2. Apartments. I love my apartment. It is adorable-ness, but 90% of the cuteness is attributed directly to it’s tininess.
3. Ads. I have no idea why, but most companies seem to believe if they just stick a cute, mini tiger, elephant, cat, dog or whatever by their name you will instantly buy whatever it is the sale. I mean this, almost every ad has a mini animal of some kind on it.
4. Babies. Really. I mean this. You know the whole “children are the future” weirdness you’ve heard. It seems like people take that extra seriously around these parts. Really. My boss quit so she could have a baby. She isn’t pregnant, but she’s picked out his wardrobe. The most important thing a Korean woman can do is make babies, preferably boy ones. (Trust me I have a whole other post in me about women in South Korea.) In effect, this means there are baby stores and babies everywhere.
5. Grown-ups. I know this is an awful stereotype you’ve heard before. But umm…it’s kind of true. I only really noticed this one once, but it was an all around frightening experience.
I had to go to the hospital (to keep my visa) and prove I am healthy and disease free when I first got here. So my boss dragged me to the nearest one. It was packed! There were people everywhere. For a hospital, it also seemed kind of dirty which just added to the existing scariness that is any hospital on this planet.
But more to the point, I felt like a freakin’ giant! I’m 5’6″ so I’m slightly taller than the average woman, but I felt huge. I suspect this may have been helped by the fact that the hospital was mostly full of older people, but still it’s weird feeling like the tallest person every. where. you. go.