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COMMENTS

Wow! It feels like forever since we filmed this video! We made it before we went on our Mexico/California trip, because we planned on putting some stuff up while we were gone. Turns out that we put up our Mexico trip video instead, and wanted to save this (and another) video for the week when we got back from our trips, when we’d be jet-lagged and exhausted. Hooray! Turns out that it’s actually quite good timing, because now we’re getting over some nasty pink-eye as well, and if we had to film something now we’d look like vampires: not the sexy, True Blood kind, with pushup bras and six packs. More like, the dirty, just got turned into a vampire kind, with our eyes glowing red from hunger for blood. Except our eyes would be glowing red from pink-eye.

Side note: having pink eye makes looking at the screen as we type very, very difficult, so we’re typing most of this with our eyes closed. WE GOT SICK WICKED TYPING SKILLLLZZZZ. At the same time, if we have a lot of errors here, forgive us. We’re not really doing a lot of editing in our blog post this time.

Aaaaanyhow, CRIME IN KOREA! I think we mentioned before how completely safe we feel here compared to how we feel back in Toronto. Again, we don’t want to make it seem that because we feel so safe here that we didn’t feel safe in Toronto, or that anyone should draw the conclusion that because Korea feels safer to us that Toronto is a wild jungle of crime and murder and mugging. That’s not the case at all. We lived perfectly fine and content in Toronto. We just feel like there are things we don’t have to worry about here in Korea like we did in Toronto. Here in Korea, we haven’t seen any Rob-Me-Please ATMs. Don’t know what those are? Those are ATM machines in public that you feel like, well, maybe taking money out at this spot right here…maybe that isn’t the best idea. We don’t see vandalism here in Korea as well. Graffiti is barely anywhere. Things aren’t broken or smashed randomly. And we just never hear about gun-crime in the news, like a random person going into the mall and shooting it up. Sure, that’s exceptionally rare in Canada as well, but here in Korea, we just never hear about it at all.

I hope Canadians don’t get offended by this. We’re not trying to paint it in a negative light, though its contrast with Korea might make it seem that way. We still love Canada and all. We feel a lot safer in cars in Canada and don’t feel like we’re going to get mowed down every time we cross the street, like we do in Korea. And we’re sure there’s organized crime here in Korea that’s mega-nasty. We…just haven’t experienced anything like it at all here, and haven’t even seen traces of it in public.

Yeah! Hopefully that made sense. And if we said anything off, we blame the pink-eye! Also, we’re sure that your experiences are muuuuch different than ours, so let us know in the comments what your experiences in Korea or in your home country are like. Our own personal experiences are by no means definitive, but hopefully we can get a bunch of people here talking about what their experiences are like :D

ToFebruary
  1. HAHA, omg, I thought I was the only one that did the Wolverine key thing!

  2. Teresa McAllister

    Now that I think bout it when I read some school life manga’s there will sometimes be a cooking class or something in which the girls normally make cookies or other foods and give them to friends. Is this an actual thing or is this just bogus?

  3. Teresa McAllister

    This was interesting and educational.

  4. I know that Korea is safer than the United States, but recently I have been watching videos of foreign girls talking about being sexually harassed and stalked by strangers in Korea and it’s kind of making me scared since I plan to study in Korea in the future. I’m wondering if Martina and other women you know have experienced any of this and how do they fight against and try to prevent it?

  5. Freddy Solis

    Haha y’all are hilarious!!! I’m seriously laughing so hard!

  6. Where I live pretty much all that is on the news is robberies and the like because it is more exciting and more people will watch that. I also feel like people already have an idea of which countries are safer than others? Do you think there is a specific reason that Korea seems to have a lower crime rate than Canada?

  7. I’m relying on your video on crime to convince my parents I’m not going to die overseas.

  8. Thanks guys! I completely agree. I too am from Canada and have lived mostly in smaller cities, but I feel much, much safer in big cities in Korea than I do in smaller cities and towns in Canada. It isn’t like I am afraid in Canada, not at all, but, like you said, there is a stronger sense of overall caution or consciousness of the possibility of crime. I don’t feel like that here even a tiny bit. It’s actually a little weird.

  9. Hey there! I’m a senior and foreign exchange student from America~! (currently living in the Mapo/Gongdok area of Seoul) Unfortunately I am not able to completely agree with you on this one. Recently there have been some cases of kidnapping and rape that occurred at the elementary school across the street from my apartment complex. Also a few weeks ago, one of the apartments in my complex was robbed! I would like to remind all that while generally Korea is very safe, walk with a bit of caution at night, especially if you are unfamiliar to the area!

  10. In korea, (i am a christian) how many christians do you see around korea when you are walking around and you know like right away and in your mind is like ‘oh! that person is not christian… he is bad or something like that..’

  11. kaynauxious

    In Korea,do people criticize you because of your blog?

  12. Ashlyn930

    How did you guys get into kpop? Where you already into it when you moved to Korea, or did you discover it when you got to Korea?

  13. deathofyouandme

    here’s Germany and I’m planning to visit Korea. One of my friend from Korea who works in my land took military service for about 2 years! I just want to know about the relationship between South and North Korea. And sometimes Korean feel uncomfortable when they get talked about Japan. I’ve heard that there were historical conflict between Korea and Japan! I want to know about those things! XD

  14. ryansgirl050400

    Something to share. I am in S. Korea for the first time. I have been traveling around and I was only a bit freaked out looking down dark side streets. At Seoul Tower, I saw that a lady left her purse in the bathroom and it was brought to the counter right way. Nothing was stolen. :D Awesome. I am heading to Busan next. :D Wish me luck

  15. Irene Bondar

    What is the health care like in Korea?

  16. So, I know a lot of parents are strict and mine aren’t really that strict at all but it seems that they’ve got this burden on Korean music, I don’t know. I wasn’t really accepted into both my school and my family because that of listening to kpop. School gradually loosened up but at home my parents always told me to turn of my music and to listen to something else.
    After a while I wasn’t allowed to hang posters of my favourite groups on the wall, or set them as background pictures on my computer or even buy albums.
    I don’t know if my parents hate Kpop or just want me to act “normally”.
    So, how can I make my mummy and daddy kind of take what I like seriuously :P and did you guys have any trouble like this

  17. I’d like your opinion on the battle between B.A.P and Exo ? :P

  18. Tiffany Stevenson

    Since Halloween is coming up, do you have any good Korean ghost stories to share?

  19. Julie Morgan

    Hahaha I have a corolla and I blast Super Junior!!

  20. Korea is generally safe. There’s no random gun man shooting at you… but there’s a chance that a random guy with a knife wants your money in the shady hour. A lot of manual labors from other countries cause more robberies and rapes, so Koreans are voicing stricter background checks on the immigrants from certain countries like China. There was a huge news few month ago, when a young woman called the police asking for help that a stranger’s breaking into her house. Later the police found the chinese immigrant guy chopping off her body to sell as human meat. Ewwww… so… be careful! It’s not like crime never happen in Korea, it does happen but a lot less than other big cities like NYC or LA, since not many people do drugs and allowed to own guns.

  21. TheYoonEunHye

    Ooh guuuise it’s so hilarious how you pronounce Ngoc Tran Le :D YOU ARE GENIUS!~ ♥

  22. South Korea ranks 108th in gender equality, while Canada is at 21. Do you personally feel that there is less equality in South Korea?

  23. Im really curious about; Drugs and Smoking in korea? :3
    Is smoking common in korea?
    Do you know where usually they get drugs or use drugs?

  24. megustadoritos

    Hi Simon & Martina! Hope you’re doing well. ^.^)/ Is it common to see Koreans of any age wear any type of orthodontic treatment? Like braces? If they do, do they like to embrace it? Or keep it hidden from the public?

  25. disqus_92km5sNL9h

    Tim Hortons REPRESENT!
    Freakin’ iced caps…

  26. Lindsey~!

    hajj~ simon and martina,I have a problem with talking, because I stutter. And have been bullied format in the past. Now is my question if people stutter there, are they also bullied and how do they help them??

  27. I’ve been teaching Koreans in Canada for a few years now and I was shocked to find such a high level of, shall we say, antipathy toward the Japanese. Even the younger children seem to be totally on board with this and very open about this feeling. Have you had similar experiences in Korea?

  28. Zoe McKeown

    What is the anime/manga scene like in Korea? Is it a really big thing or is it not very popular? If so, what are the more popular mangas/animes?

  29. Do your Korean friends think that the spreading of interest in Korean culture is in some way changing their daily life and maybe general impression of other countries? And if so, in which way?
    I’m really interested in the intercultural point of this “k-wave”!
    Greetings from Italy!

  30. I recently came back from a trip to Korea and as a woman traveling alone I felt pretty safe most of the time. I think I felt more safe in my hotel and hostel than I do at home sometimes. (There’s a lot of baby-mama-drama on my street.)

    The only time I felt unsafe was when a friend took me booking. She said it was one of those things you need to experience when you visit Korea along with going to a noreabang and the palaces. The first thing she said we needed to do was to a guy in a suit with a head set or walkie talkie and tell him we want to go booking. Ok, that’s a little weird but we find one and he puts us in a car that takes us to a club. On the way to the club my friend tells me to make sure I have my wallet on me because they’re going to take my bag and my money might not be safe. Alright, this is my second clue that this is a weird and possibly unsafe thing to do. So, before we get to the club I make sure that my money, my passport, and other valuables are hidden in various places on my person. When we get in (we didn’t have to pay for the car by the way) we’re seated at a table and given a platter of fruit and free drinks. Then a waitress comes up to us and drags us by the wrist to various tables of guys (at one point I tried to go back to get my scarf and she wouldn’t let me go). We kept bouncing around tables for various reasons (they wanted to meet Korean girls rather than foriengers or my friend wanted to meet a Korean guy) and would always end up back at our table. Then, when my friend goes to the bathroom, I’m dragged into a private room with two gentleman in their 40’s or 50’s (I’m in my late 20’s). One leaves, giving a knowing nod to his companion on the way out, and now I’m alone with this older Korean businessman. Before he can even say or do anything I hightail it out of the room and find my friend. We end the night talking to two guys our age, part ways with them, and going home. Luckily, nothing bad happened and I made it back to my hostel safely but it definitely showed me a skeevier side of Seoul and I least I got an interesting story out of it.

    TLDR; Seoul felt safe overall but booking is less innocent than it sounds.

  31. Sorry in advance for the long comment, but I looked up the crime rate in your hometown vs mine. According to the site I went on, the crime index for Toronto is 28.73 as opposed to 60.16 in my town (so less than half). In fact, I just found out my city is in the top 5 cities in the US for the most gang-related crimes. Pretty crazy! So I totally understand what you mean about being nervous! I was walking through a dark parking lot getting to my car last night and was really, really nervous. It made me think of this video of yours! One of the many reasons I’m so excited about moving to South Korea is not having to be so nervous walking around by myself. I can’t wait to get there! It’ll probably take me forever to not be jumpy at nighttime over there though since I’m not used to it lol I’m used to constantly having to avoid creepers lurking in dark corners where I live!

    • I’m not quite sure if the site I went on was reputable or not by the way. But I do know that my city is one of the top 5 cities in the US for gang violence. I hate to say bad things about my own country but the US can seriously be a pretty scary place to live at times!

  32. What’s it like for people with disabilities in Korea? I’m interested specifically in students with disabilities. What’s school’s accommodations like?

    And in restaurants where there’s low-table seating (the ones where Simon has trouble placing his legs under the table), how do they accommodate for people in wheelchairs? How does the viewpoint of disabled people differ from North American vs. Korean perspective?

    Any general experiences or knowledge would be welcome! Thanks! :D

  33. Totally agree about feeling safe here. Though as I watched this video I wondered if you guys ever have contact with the US military here in Korea. The only times I’ve had issues with safety in Korea were in some parts of Itaewon or the ‘villes’ in places like Dongducheon and Uijeongbu, both of which cater to GI’s.

  34. walking late at night alone is super dangerous for women.
    Also it depends on where you live. place full of apartment, that is one of the most safe place. There’s security, cameras everywhere, and even the attitude of police in that area is different. But when you are not rich enough to get an apartment or nice house, live in somewhere full of small and old houses, narrow alleys.. you are more exposed to crime. I think it is same as everywhere else… also I think downtown and urban area, apartment area is safer because there are A LOT of people till the late night time.

  35. Is there a strong counter culture in South Korea? Perhaps with values in environment, activism, art, social justice? aka are there hippies?

  36. fruitsnsweets

    I think Simons shirt is really appropriated for this topic.

  37. What is their entertainment industry like?  I’ve watched
    a couple of korean movies and they are so violent/disturbing. Eg old
    boy. I saw the devil.

    Like the music it seems Korean movies seem to be ‘in’ underground thing. Why? Tell me. :-)

    • My and my cousin actually had this discussion with a mutual friend before who thought Korean entertainment was mostly the violent/disturbing movies… because that’s all they saw on Netflix. But actually most Koreans watch variety tv shows and dramas… not usually the dark and disturbing movies. The dark/disturbing Korean films are just what’s found a niche market in places like the US and grew popular.

      But recently, because of the Hallyu wave, more dramas are getting onto Netflix, so people are seeing more true Korean entertainment of what people usually watch on a daily basis. There are also a lot of comedic or sappy movies in Korea… like “Sunny” is a popular newer one. There’s a popular film industry in Korea that is thriving, but it seems like the main entertainment revolves more around variety tv & dramas.

      A great resource for looking up Korean movies & tv shows, actors, etc… is http://www.hancinema.net which is sort of like imdb for Korean entertainment.

      I’m not sure if you’ve seen any other Korean films or dramas or tv shows, but some great places to watch them are:

      http://www.dramafever.com
      http://www.viki.com
      http://www.dramacrazy.net

      And a Korean variety show that’s really awesome & super popular in Korea right now is called Running Man, which you can watch at http://runningmanclub.blogspot.com

      Hope I helped answer your question, even though I’m not Simon & Martina. Lol.

  38. Yeah, I feel the same. I mean, NZ is a very safe country, comparatively… but I have had a few terrible encounters in NZ, which I could never see happening in Korea.

  39. Having lived, studied, and taught in Brazil, where robberies in broad daylight were common, I agree that I feel comfortable BY FAR living and teaching here in South Korea. However, I almost feel as if because nothing ever “happens” here on a regular basis, even the most simple happenings are causes for true alarm and that the “crazies” are REALLY CRAZIES. As in psychopaths.. And that, Simon and Martina, really is scary!

  40. I feel you simon and martina !! When i came to visit korea last year, the only safety issue i had about korea was the driving. Honestly i had almost gotten run over by a car while crossing the street even though the pedestrians had the right of way. But other than that i felt totally safe walking around daejon area at 2 or 3am. :p

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