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Forever Alone in Korea

May 28, 2014

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So, in our video we talked a bit about what it’s like to come to Korea without a partner, and how Korea is a very social place with not that many things you can do on your own. There are a few things you can do on your own, like – errr…batting cages? – but for social outings, winging it on your own isn’t really that doable.

We’ve talked about Dating in Korea for a TL;DR a while ago as well, but that was more about what you do when you’re in a relationship. For finding someone with whom you can get into a relationship, though, we didn’t really talk about that. On that note, our single friends have been using Tindr a lot. Tinder? Tindrr? TNDR? I’m not sure. I know it’s cool for tech companies to get rid of the second last “e” in their brand name. Whatever. Point is, supposedly it’s really growing here in Korea. We’ve never used it, but our friends have shown us how they flip through pictures and stuff to hook up with people. So, there you go. Check that out. I wish I could tell you more info about it but that’s all we know!

I’d also recommend, err, not going to English speaking forums in Korea. They’re mostly filled with embittered expats. Steer clear. They sometimes offers useful information, but the balance of vitriol to usefulness heavily weighs in favour of the former. Steer clear.

We know people that are involved in lots of Facebook groups in Korea, and that’s how they get involved in different communities. We don’t use Facebook enough to recommend any of its services, though. We talk to you guise on our Facebook page, but Martina doesn’t own a Facebook account and I only use mine to talk to you guise. It sounds odd, I know. I just never got why Facebook became such a big deal.

Anyhoodledoodle, so, what’s it like flying solo where you’re from? Though there are some things in Canada that it’s a bit weird to do alone, like dine at a fine restaurant, for example, it does seem like you could do more alone in Canada than you could in Korea. I’ve never seen anyone go to a movie alone here, for example. What’s it like where you’re from?

Anyhow, we’re publishing this now as we’re waiting in Incheon airport for our flight. We’re boarding in an hour! We’re gonna try to comment as much as we can here before we get behind the Great Firewall of China. Hopefully we won’t have any issues publishing our FAPFAP tomorrow. Hopefully!

Side note: potential friends in Beijing, wanna, umm, hang out? I’m not sure how or where or when. We’ll get our schedule tomorrow after we land. We have our presentation Thursday morning, but I’m not sure what we’re up to after then till Saturday night. There’s a Korea festival happening, supposedly? Anyone going?

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Forever Alone in Korea

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  1. Ooh Martina doesn’t have a Facebook account?! *high five* I’ve had one before but it really wasn’t worth it for all the bad there was. Felt like a lot of people I knew were copping out of actual friendships in favour of creeping photos online. Like that provided them with the satisfaction of actually having seen and interacted with the person… and that creeped me out. xD

    Thanks for the info guys! I’ve moved almost every other year of my life, but mostly within Canada. Though people do seem weary of people approaching them randomly, I’ve managed to pull it off (probably helped that I am female and wasn’t carrying one of those clipboards, ha). So most of my first friends in any new place are made that way. :3

    2 years ago
  2. There are definitely other people like this. I’m one of then! Ohaaaiiii!

    2 years ago
    • Martina here. I am very social and chatty but there are some things I LOVE doing alone. Shopping for clothing? YUP. I know what I want and I don’t need anyone’s opinion so I prefer doing it by myself. I like getting my hair cut alone and just sitting in total silence while my hair is washed, brushed, cut, blow dried. I am NOT a social talker with my hairdresser at a hair salon, I just want to enjoy the happy scalp feels. OH OH and I LOVE taking public transportation with headphones and music on and just watching everyone. :D

      2 years ago
  3. Hey…
    If anybody is living in Seoul and wants to meet new people I suggest joining PLUR (Peace Love Unitiy Respect), a volunteer group. It’s a great way to meet other expats and Koreans while helping others. They meet every Friday and Sunday evening to feed the homeless; and Saturdays they visit an orphanage.

    2 years ago
  4. Traveling on vacation to Korea sounds like it will be a bit daunting. Any tips on people just visiting? I am sure I can probably figure out a way to, “Hey guys, be my friend!” on the fly but man I dunno.
    I also don’t see the deal with Facebook. I had one and then got rid of it cause it was a buncha mindless dribble. But a few years of being married I suddenly found myself attached to my husbands Facebook. Yeah we are one of THOSE couples… I think aside from peeking a family photo from time to time, I skip it entirely. I keep contact with my loved ones IRL, scary I know.

    2 years ago
  5. While you guise know what it’s like to do stuff along in Canada, it can be…..lonely. You *can* do it, but wouldn’t you *prefer* to do stuff with other people? Sometimes? As a person that lived for years by myself in Toronto (too many bad roomies in uni – could afford to live alone so did it), it can be hard to meet people your age if you’re over 23 if you are not from Toronto. Now, Montreal – dress up, go out, go out to all the free festivals, talk to people – people are super friendly and makes friends – it’s easier than you think! But Toronto, it can be kind of socially cold. My best advice to people is what Simon and Martina said – go meet people at course/clubs (not dance clubs)/groups/etc. – no one ever made friends alone in their apartment or their parents’ basement. A lot of online forums have meetups in real life – GO TO THESE! Try to have an escape plan if you feel nervous, but they are generally worth it. I used to frequent an online forum for anime. There was a meetup organized in Toronto and though I knew no one, I went. I had taxi fare in my pocket and knew where the closest pay phone was just in case. There was one creep there but everyone else was super lovely and nice and whoa! good looking! I actually met my husband for the first time there and he wasn’t even invited, he just crashed it! My husband also made friends this way when he found himself lonely- though he was 25, he wanted to be part of an anime club so he asked and joined the local uni club and made lots of lifetime friends this way, even though he was a little older. Once you’re over 18, your age is (usually) moot when it comes to friends.

    I have to ask Martina – How do you want k-dramas without melting your brain?!!!!!!!!!!! I watched “Let’s Eat” on viki at your suggestion and it was really great (though the kissing was ultra-lame!) and I was encouraged to watch more. I picked one called “A Thousand Kisses” – thinking there would be more kisses and well, I then recalled why I don’t watch t-dramas, j-drama, k-dramas, etc. any more – drama diva to the max! And k-dramas are just so……..miserable!!!! Everyone is totally tragic!!!! Even manwha has turned me off this. They all start out great and interesting and then after the second cliche reason to have a misunderstanding and massive tear-jerking – my brain just melts – MELTS! I can’t stand them! Are there ANY k-dramas with happy endings? Really?

    This next question is kind of…..nasty? But since Simon mentions it SO much……Simon, do you really hate having you neepers tweaked? I mean, I personally would regard this as more as a private getting down and dirty foreplay kind of move so I could understand if you didn’t like Martina doing it in public (I wouldn’t think it was appropriate if you went around tweaking Martina’s neepers in the videos either) but I have never met a guy who didn’t like it in the bedroom before so now I am inappropriately curious.

    The video was great as always guys and you were both so cute at the end (why was the kissing part mosaic-ed? too much spit flying?)

    Cyber_3 – carries a hockey stick to fend off the ladies who dare to approach my husband with ulterior motives!

    2 years ago
  6. In Australia its generally the same as the US but I really haven’t seen any stigma against either eating alone or watching a movie alone. It doesn’t happen that often but even so people don’t act any different towards you if you were to do something alone lol

    2 years ago
  7. Oh my goodness haha~ You guys can read my mind XD I got used to eating lunch/dinner alone, because it’s really no big deal in Austria~ Eating your lunch (during lunchbreak from work) is just common and no one will look weirdly at you. Even eating dinner is ok and nothing uncommen. After two months of going out every day with friends, I wanted to have some ‘loner’ times (I’m not really introvert but I like my lonely times haha) by my own, but after what happened to me in Hongdae, I really don’t dare going out to eat dinner by my own anymore hahaha! It was actually the time when I followed your Hongdae map to check out Hongdae (and stalk your studio wahaha *insert evil laugh*) before going to Soundholic for the Hongdae Fest. Since I went there alone, I needed to eat dinner alone at around 7pm-ish and when I went into a restaurant (which was obviously not that crowded, and had a lot of free seats) and told the ajummah that I’m by myself, she asked the boss “If they had space for 1 person” and they -didn’t-. I wished the ground would’ve opened and swallowed me up XD Sometimes they don’t even serve you a dish if you don’t buy at least 2 portions OTL
    So yes, it -is- really important to make connections in korea, which is why I try to take every opportunity to get to know people :)
    Think of all the discounts you get when you are more than 2 people!
    There’s this app called ‘Meet Up’ and seriously, it’s the best thing ever! *^* You get to discover Korea/Seoul or just have a dinner or gathering with koreans as well as expats and I’ve enjoyed going there to meet new people and improve my korean :D

    2 years ago
  8. This TL;DR is resonating painfully with my own experience. When I lived in Japan, I went with one of my best friends (who went on to be my flatmate so she’s like a sister now) and I made tons of friends in the university because I was a student. But the few months I spent in Malaysia were a completely different experience. I went for an internship, and I knew only a couple people there, which was already lucky. But I was exceptionnally lonely the first month. I’m responsible and independent, I don’t mind having to do a lot of things alone and I actually enjoy my alone time a lot, especially when I’m in a period of stress. But when I have a lot of free time and no one to hang out with, after a few days, I feel gradually depressed. And since I’m pathologically lazy, making myself do stuff and meet people requires a lot of effort. I’ll give you time to appreciate the irony that is my life.
    But thankfully, I’m also an outgoing and resourceful person so when I realised I could not go on like that for 6 more months I took matters in my own hands and decided to take yoga classes for the first time. Killing two birds with one stone, I met an incredible woman who took me everywhere in the city, taught me about her culture and shared life stories and I found a healthy as heck way to evacuate anxiety. I also made the effort to befriend my friends’ friends, go to parties and be nicer to people than usual. And it worked. Once you meet a few people and make a good impression, you’re then introduced to other people, invited to parties and getaways, and the circle goes on. All you need to know is that one first person.
    I will say this though. You will not get along with everyone. You will find people to do stuff with and it’s better than being alone, but only a few, if at all, will become your BFFs. Or all of them will, if you’re lucky. But they might not. And you will find yourself missing your family and friends a lot.
    Moving to a new place, let alone a new country, is scary. And it’s lonely. Knowing that, my dream of living in different countries throughout my life took a different colour. I’m not giving up on it, but I’m more aware of the risks, and it will help orient my life decisions.
    I’m going to Australia soon. Thankfully, I’ll be in a university, so I’ll probably make friends easily. But rest assured that I will still join all the clubs and group activities I can!

    2 years ago
  9. What are the qualities you need to be a popular high school student in South Korea?
    For example, do you have to be smart, nice, pretty, rich, fashionable, ect?

    2 years ago
  10. Ahh Soo Zee, I’ll go to the movies with you! ❤ We can be besties! Also, that proposal was really cute.

    2 years ago
  11. Are you going for the summer study abroad this summer?

    2 years ago
  12. About the WHITENING In Philippines, YES it’s true. There are tons of whitening soap, whitening lotion, whitening facial wash, etc. There are also a product called a Glutathione, in capsule or injection, that makes your skin whiter. Personally, I also use a whitening soap not to LITERALLY whiten my skin but lighten my skin a little bit. Here are some pics of the products I’m talking about.

    Also, in Philippines, you could go somewhere alone even if you’re a foreigner or not. I go to another city or to the mall all by myself sometimes. A lot of people are willing to help you with directions if you ask one. And everyone here pretty much understands English so its easy to communicate to the locals. You could even ask if there’s a good restaurant somewhere, people will probably still answer you. And I usually see some foreigners here in my city eating in Dunkin Donuts alone or buying stuff in the department store alone. It’s usually foreigner-friendly here in Philippines.

    2 years ago
    • What about Spanish? Could I get away with that?

      2 years ago
      • Personally, I don’t know Spanish. But some of our words sounds like or is derived from Spanish, so I can understand a little (maybe?!). I can’t say in other places though. In short, I’m not sure. :)

        2 years ago
  13. I’ve been told that there is no social life in Vancouver unless you go to those special groups or clubs… Not sure if that’s true though…

    Eating alone… I think is awkward wherever you are though… I’ve been to many restaurants by myself (when the bf is busy or away, and I have nothing to do) but even then I still feel awkward…

    2 years ago
  14. wow now im sacred! lol. Im moving to korea this semptember completely on my own and I dont know anyone there! T.T anyone wants to be my firend??

    2 years ago
  15. My name is grace. I will go to prom. (I live in australia hahaha!)

    2 years ago
    • Did your parents take pic. Post a pic of you and your date!!!!! I’m sure people would love to see what you wore.

      2 years ago
  16. I think the whole process of being alone and making friends from scratch isn’t as foreign as some of us (myself included) worry it to be. It sounds pretty similar to moving out for college, except you’re going to a VERY big college campus very far away from home. That’s what I did, and I literally knew no one from my old high school that I might have fallen back on. All of the college freshman in the first few weeks were in the same place and scrambling to make friends, but I am quiet in social group settings, and I can see how very easy it would have been for someone to stay in their room and study (or “study”) all day and never meet anyone. It’s a large campus with 30,000+ students, and it would have been very easy to feel alone. I intended to enjoy my first year and the three years thereafter though, so whenever I saw an opportunity, I pushed myself to get out and attend the event, just to get a feel for different clubs and organizations and sports, to see where I might mesh with the people the best. (sidenote: It’s astonishing how just regularly attending events can help you connect with people. People notice, and I was surprised that upperclassmen I hadn’t talked to knew my name, and it was easy to be included then.) I was incredibly involved my first year, but before all the extracurriculars started, in maybe the first week or so of class, I remember seeing one girl in my math class who seemed really nice and also a first-year without a preset group to hang out with. It took an incredibly amount of courage, but I walked up to her one day in lecture, and this is how it went:

    Me: Hi, I think I’m in your math discussion?
    Her: *very confused look*
    Me: Er, never mind. I’m [so-and-so], nice to meet you.
    Her: Oh, hi, nice to meet you.
    Me: *sits in the seat next to her*
    Me: …
    Her: …
    Her: Isn’t it impossible to hear our TA talk? He literally WHISPERS.
    Me: YES, can you believe that was our first college class? OH MY GOD, how can he expect us to follow those proofs?
    Her: I KNOW-

    I can count her now as one of my best friends. I had to get out of my circle of comfort, but I feel like making friends in Korea is the same way. It might start off awkwardly, but you can always eventually find friends.

    2 years ago
  17. It’s definitely different than foreigners living in the city. I live in the countryside of Korea. You won’t be able to do a lot of things as opposed to if you were living in a city. So you would most likely commute to the nearest city in order to do something. It’s hard to find English speaking people (whether they are foreigners or Korean) and usually the vast majority of foreigners are migrant workers. Also, most of the people in the countryside are old people since the younger generation tends to move into the city after they graduate high school. The atmosphere is totally different from the city also. The city has a fast pace atmosphere where everyone is on the move, but the countryside is more laid back and chill. I do like how much more friendlier the people in the countryside and it feels more safer. Korea in general is pretty safe, but the country side is really safe. People leave their cars running and unlock and go into an establishment (whether it be a store or a restaurant) and leave their car running for a while (I mean 10 minutes or more). And no one has come up to the car and tried to steal it or do something with the car. And the countryside has market days where people can bring in their goods and sell them. Market days are determined by the numbers. For example, my town’s Market Day always lands on a day with the number 3 or 8, so today is the 28th here so it’s Market Day here. Anyways, sorry for the long post. :/

    2 years ago
  18. Hello! I wanted to comment on the Hagwon vs. Public school comments mentioned towards the beginning with the video.
    I’m in a public school, and I am most certainly the only foreigner in the entire school. I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with a few of my Korean co-workers, though this has been a difficult process. Most of the Hagwon teachers I’ve met have had a pack of foreigner co-workers to guide them through their first few weeks of awkward transition.
    BUT I think it’s important to also note one really important advantage that the public school teachers have. I came here through English Program in Korea (EPIK), and unlike Hagwon teachers, I didn’t start teaching until a week after I arrived. Instead, I spent 8 days at a university in Korea at an orientation for the program.
    Though the training was nice, the most helpful thing was being introduced to about 300 other English teachers in the program. Imagine being thrown into a new country surrounded by people from all over the world who are just as confused as you are. Instant bonding! I made a lot of good foreigner friends through that orientation, and the best part is that they’re teaching all over the country. I met people teaching in the big cities, the countryside, and Jeju!
    So for those looking to apply to public schools, keep that in mind if the thought of being alone at your school scares you a bit.

    2 years ago
    • Hi, I was wondering how you liked the EPIK program. I was looking into the program, but I wasn’t finding a ton of information (maybe I’m looking into the wrong place). I realize you posted this about 500 years ago, but hopefully, you can answer my question!
      Thanks!

      2 years ago
  19. I do a lot of things in Korea by myself! :) I shop by myself, I eat out by myself, I go to the movies by myself, etc. I’m pretty independent so I am use to doing things by myself and I don’t really care what the Korean people think as long as I am being a good public citizen and not disturbing anyone, it’s no problem with me. :)

    2 years ago
    • That’s a great attitude to have. So long as you’re comfortable with yourself and not offending anyone or breaking any rules, run with it!

      2 years ago
  20. So I live in St Louis Missouri USA, single mom of a 13 year old and I do EVERYTHING by myself! Movies, shopping, dining out…you name it. And it is not weird at all! I like watching funny movies with others so I’m not the only one laughing but it is totally acceptable to do whatever you want by yourself!

    2 years ago
    • Hey! Shout-out to a fellow St. Louisan! :) It’s definitely not strange to do things by yourself here. If my friends are busy I’ll often wander around to festivals, movies, or food places by myself. But maybe that’s because in general people are so friendly and chatty here it’s not like you ever feel isolated or awkward? :)

      2 years ago
      • AAAAHHHHH!! Fellow St. Louis Nasties!!!

        2 years ago
        • St. Louis kpopper 4 life, son! I also write kpop articles on kBeat.net and one was about international fans and I met a lot of kpoppers from St. Louis who are also fans of EYK, naturally! It is probably safe to say that if you are an international kpop fan you know and love Mom & Pop Nasty!

          2 years ago
  21. DItto *raises hand* I’ll to go to the movies with SooZee :)

    2 years ago
  22. hmm I see some people saying it is difficult to do some things alone in Korea, I plan on going on vacation to Seoul in the fall and my friend can no longer meet me there. I am already a pretty shy person so, will it feel really awkward traveling around alone? I didn’t think it would be a problem since, I would just be shopping xD

    2 years ago
  23. totally unrelated question: Do you know why all the roof patios in Seoul seem to be painted green? At least all the ones I see in Kdramas, and the ones I noticed during my visit.

    2 years ago
  24. I went to Seoul for vacation alone. I did notice I got some weird looks when I ate alone, but no one said anything to me. I met some women at church and we went to lunch together once after church, but other then that it was just me. At one restaurant, I was kinda hidden in a side room all by myself – I wasn’t sure why, but the food was excellent, so I didn’t care.
    However, that being said I always ate during the non-busy times so maybe someone would have Xed me if they thought they needed the table.
    In the US, I find it very uncomfortable to eat alone at a restaurant (fast food etc doesn’t count); you kinda feel like you’re on display or that people will pity you. So I order food to go. One exception: I will eat alone at one of the local Korean restaurants and study Korean while I eat (or talk to the owner). I don’t study at the other Korean restaurant because they have fewer tables and are busier. They also aren’t as welcoming.
    I do go to the movies alone in the US when I go.

    2 years ago
  25. You should check out MyKoreanHusband! They would definatly know because they live in the countryside :)

    2 years ago
  26. Thank you for this very informative TLDR guise ^_^! It seems like a lot of people have been wondering about this subject including myself. I think that even those who are slightly introverted shouldn’t worry about finding friends because once you get there you will have the urge to push yourself out of your social comfort zone for the need of human companionship. Also, of course you can still meet great people without being able to speak a word of Korean most likely, however if you choose not too, you are limiting yourself to many many awesome Koreans because of the language barrier. When I was in Korea for a couple of weeks, I was able to meet many people that I was very compatible with and most of which I am still in regular contact with and since I knew some Korean they felt more comfortable around me. I guess what I am trying to say is that making friends in Korea might be difficult at first but no one should loss hope because there always is someone else out there looking for a friend too.

    2 years ago
  27. I’m surprised there wasn’t an update in this post about how the cafe is coming along! It would’ve been the perfect tie-in to be like “…and by the way you can totally come to our new place and hang out and meet people there!”

    2 years ago
  28. Have you tried Meetup? I don’t know what it’s like in Korea since I live in Japan, but I assume a big city like Seoul will have quite a few interest groups ^^ I’ve had fun at the one I went to here; my city isn’t even that big but we had over 100 members at one point.

    2 years ago
  29. I’m headed to Korea this summer to teach in Daegu. I have been in Korea before and while it’s really nice to have group activities some of the time I will say don’t be afraid to hang back and do something alone once in a while, especially around holidays. Btdubs, Incheon airport used to hold free concerts on the eve of Xmas Eve, Xmas Eve, and Xmas Day with a symphony and famous Korean opera singers that really hit the spot in the midst of ‘Last Xmas I gave you my heart,’ which is apparently the only English Xmas song retailers know.

    2 years ago
  30. haha the flirting incident was when we were with you right? Those drunk girls. We could have saved you! But we just thought it was fans. Martina was chatting with some nasties and when girls approached you we thought “oh some more eyk nasties” and we stepped back and to the side to let them talk. Next time give us a signal and we’ll step in!

    Note to people: don’t flirt with Simon! It traumatizes him. I do wonder if those girls will eventually see you in a youtube video and be like, “omg that was that guy!”

    I’m almost never alone in Korea, not only because I’m married but Hugh is also very protective and worried about me if he is not with me. I get big warnings about not riding too far on my bike. Which makes me want to push the limits, so I ride really far and then send him photos of the random places I end up.

    2 years ago
  31. I’m an introvert and was considering going to Korea to teach. Now I’m a little worried…

    2 years ago
    • Being shy is good. I think South Koreans will definitely get you out of your shell. Go and explore the world! Have fun and do it while you are young!

      2 years ago
  32. Tell us if Grace says yes. Must know!!!!!

    2 years ago
    • Ooooo. Do you think you can get him to send you pictures so we can see them on their prom night. You know, the kind of posed pictures that your parents usually take. I think it would be super cool to see them.

      And when they invite you to the wedding, you could make a big toast and say you got them together.

      BTW, thanks for letting me know. Glad it went well.

      2 years ago
  33. Girl, I feel you with the partying thing. 90% of the foreigners I know like to spend their free time and weekends at bars or clubs. Not my cup of tea at allll.
    Maybe we should be friends!!!! Haha! I come to Seoul relatively often!

    2 years ago
    • IKR!!! I mean, I understand that I am one of the few that doesn’t like partying, and if that’s what you like to do, than cool, but….it’s nearly everyyyyyoneee!! I’m not opposed to the occasional alcoholic beverage at a party but…I personally just don’t particularly enjoy that scene. Glad to know there are others in Korea who feel the same. Ha!
      Ah, I live in the other direction, also about an hour from Seoul. Do you have fb or somethin? we should get connected somehow haha

      2 years ago
      • I cant find you on fb! :/ Here’s my kakao: meggles.
        There now anyone can kakao me! (uh oh….)

        2 years ago
  34. So, I’m a pretty introverted person and don’t really like to be in a crowded social scene, but I DO like to make connections with the people around me. In Korea, would it be weird to do the whole “bake cookies (or make something yummy) and introduce yourself to your neighbors/co-workers” thing? I swear I’m not actually 80, I’m just old on the inside, lol.

    2 years ago
    • Actually, that is exactly what Korean people do/used to do when they move into a new neighborhood. They go to their neighbors with rice cakes (usually ordered, not homemade, cause few actually knows how to make rice cakes these days) and introduce themselves. I think it’s a well-established tradition, social ettiquette in more rural areas (i.e. places where you do live for a long time estabilishing relationships with your neighbors), but in more metro, busier places like Seoul, I think it’s a practice increasingly less observed, since people in the city sometimes just want to be left alone and don’t want to know their neighbors. But I bet there will be at least a few that will very much appreciate your effort, and you would be leaving a good impression in any case.
      However, since you are a foreignor, they probably will be a little “scared” of you (mainly because they wouldn’t know how to talk to you), so it could be a bit awkward. Finding some ways to break the language barrier (i.e. you speak korean, or they speak english, or you bring an interpreter, etc) would obviously be very helpful.

      2 years ago
    • It’s a little weird in Korea to do that. Or at least in the area I am in. I don’t know any of my neighbors because they don’t “live” in the apartments. And especially I am the only foreigner in the apartment building, they try to avoid me. :(

      2 years ago
    • Girl, I do the same thing!

      Then I moved to Korea and learned that most apartments lack ovens due to space. I bought an oven, and it’s like a toaster oven… I make about four cookies at a time. :”'(

      2 years ago
  35. As described in the classic piece of British literature known as Bridget Jones’ Diary…Smug Marrieds! Smug Marrieds! I go to the movies alone all of the time SIMON. Soozee, don’t you worry about it girl! It’s not always easy to get people to want to see the movies you want to see, but why does that mean you should miss it? IT SHOULDN’T! Fine dining alone can be awkward, but if you are in a city for only one night, and you only have that one opportunity to eat at a restaurant, suck it up and go! Sometimes they get nervous and think you’re a food critic and treat you really nicely.

    2 years ago
  36. First off: I am applying to teach English in Korea at the moment, anyone wanna be my friend in Korea?! (And yes, my dog will be coming with me!!)

    I live in Oregon in the US, we have a lot of weird….REALLY WEIRD people here. So doing something socially abnormal is not uncommon. I have gone to bars alone (but I take my dog….he’s pretty popular) and movies alone. If I go out to eat alone and don’t take my dog, it’s a bit more awkward, but I’m never the only one eating alone. Ordering delivery, however, is very awkward because you can never get 1-person servings so you have to order something that feeds at least 2 people…. T_T
    I might be more oblivious to judgement about doing stuff alone because I bring my dog everywhere with me and that makes me less conscious of my 1-person party.

    Side note: In Alaska, it is extremely normal to go to the bar by yourself. All the time. And every bar has 5+ regulars who do just that. Even on a Tuesday at 2pm. If you go to a bar in Alaska, talk to the regulars, they have lots of awesome stories! (If you’re a girl, do not go to a military bar in Alaska! It’s like being a filet mignon in a crowd of starving men….)

    P.S. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets go to the movies when I come to Korea!

    2 years ago
    • I was just accepted to teach for the 2014-2015 school year in South Korea!!!! Let’s be friends! Haha :)

      2 years ago
      • Not yet.. I think we find out where our providence is in late July- and then our city in August :)

        2 years ago
    • Having a dog here is really great as far as I know. It’s easy to talk to other dog lovers, and people who don’t have dogs get jealous and ask to play.

      My friend drops her corgi off at the dog cafe in the Hapjeong area whenever she travels since it’s cheap lodging and her pup loves it. One time when she came back from a trip a few years ago, the staff told her that the boys from INFINITE came in a few times and cuddled/took selcas with her dog.

      So, uh, really, it’s probably better to just BE a dog, but getting one is the second best option.

      2 years ago
      • I’ve been very curious about all that as well. I ran across a blog somewhere about a girl that brought her border collie mix to Korea with her. She stopped posting a long time ago, but I know she arrived just fine and was able to go on some local hikes with her dog. I’m being optimistic (with a grain of salt) about the acceptance of my dog – his main vices are that he goes potty outside and he’s 48 lbs. I’m hoping his outgoing personality and his ability to do a bunch of tricks will win him favors.
        Are you planning to move to Korea? And if so, when?

        2 years ago
      • Really? I find its the opposite. I live in a small town near Jeonju and my observation is that most people severely dislike dogs. They seem to dislike pets in general but they believe dogs are dangerous. My friend who lives around Busan says the same thing. I see some people with small dogs but I feel like its more of an ‘act’… like for show. Here is the perfect family with a cute little dog to top it off. And don’t even bother with big dogs because people will complain.
        I was really hoping to bring my dog here when I first moved but after seeing how a lot of people treat their dogs here I’m happy I didn’t.

        2 years ago
      • WHAT. If that ever happened to my pet I would seriously stop washing him.

        2 years ago
      • omg, say what?! I’m gonna sign my dog up to go there every day I’m at work….

        …maybe I could just make a contract with an entertainment business to rent my dog so their talents can de-stress by playing with my dog. It’d be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

        2 years ago
    • Whoot! Oregonians! I’m from Hillsboro :)
      I’ll be teaching in Korea next year! I don’t know exactly where yet, but I’m told I’ll probably be in the countryside… so I will probably never have the chance to meet you. But I hope you and your dog have a blast, my fellow Oregonian!

      2 years ago
      • Woah! Hey! I will probably be in the countryside next year as well. I have been accepted through TaLK for next year! What program are you going with!? This is awesome :)

        2 years ago
      • Hillsburrito!!!! I used to live there! now I’m in Portland near PSU :)
        How exciting!! I’m still selecting companies that’ll work with me bringing my dog (it’s like a significant other, so they should assume I’m more likely to stay! haha) and finishing my TOEFL certification.
        If I have access and you are in the country, I will totally come visit!

        2 years ago
    • Amy

      I live and teach in Ilsan. I’d love to be friends with you and your dog!

      2 years ago
      • Amy

        LOL it’s ok. Let me know what’s up when you finally get here.

        2 years ago
  37. I remember in high school and middle school, I was very independent. I didn’t really have friends to hang out with, still don’t really, so I’d go to the mall or library by myself and eat food. Now that I’m in my early 20s, I don’t even leave the house. Then again I have no money to even catch the bus and I got the internet. Thankfully summer is coming and my best friends are going to be free so fingers crossed we can hang out~ Anyway, I’d say that it’s not too surprising to see people do things alone here, but still people are in groups usually. Even for me, I always hung out with one of my best friends all the time.

    2 years ago
  38. I’d say that there are A LOT of things to do as couples in Korea. Being a single person in Korea, I’m always seeing couple deals on things. Ex. At Namsan Tower, they had a discounted package for couples, that included the cable car, a meal at the restaurant, and the observation deck. I was like….can I just do that with my friend?..
    All the pretty spring festivals are over run with couples, people ask you if you have a boyfriend all the time, and then when you say no, they’re like “Why??” “…Umm, cuz I want to be single and lonely my whole life.”-_- To me, it seems like the trendy thing to do to have boyfriend/girlfriend often times. THUS, it’s brought to your attention a lot more that you are single.

    I guess that’s more the relationship side of coming to Korea alone. I came with a small program in Cheonan, and there are about 60 other foreigners in my program and we all live more or less in close proximity to one another, AND I did come with my bff from college, soooo I’m not really lonely at all in terms of other foreign friends in Korea.

    I would also like to recommend another app for meeting friends! Idk if anyone has already posted about this or not, but its called “Meetup”. We were actually told about this in Japan, and I think it’s still maybe somewhat on the DL in Korea, but it seems promising! Basically, you put in your interests and area, and it will find “meet ups” and events for you to go to and meet people.
    I actually haven’t used it a lot, but it brought up a lot of options in the Seoul area. I haven’t searched for Busan or other places much yet…

    2 years ago
    • So I just downloaded this Meetup app and there’s a TON of stuff in my hometown in Florida, but I didn’t see a whole lot in Korea. It’s a really great idea though so I hope it gets bigger before I go there :D

      2 years ago
    • Amy

      Wow. That meetup app sounds great! Thanks for mentioning it. I live outside of Seoul and I only have a small group of friends right now. Hopefully it’ll help me make some more friends.

      2 years ago
  39. Peace Corps has the same policy about married couples for certain countries. Most volunteers are single, but for some Pacific Island countries, they disproportionately hire married volunteers because they handle the extreme isolation better. “We can’t put someone alone on that island. It does things to you.” Funny how Korea, with the ubiquitous internets and technology, favors the same hiring practices in the their foreign teachers.

    2 years ago
  40. Ill go to the movies with you Suzy!!

    2 years ago