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COMMENTS

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?

ToFebruary
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  1. I go to Korea once (or twice) every year for two weeks with my family since I’m Korean but the thing is since my family moved away when I was 4, I didn’t get the opportunity to make friends. So when we go to Korea I have nothing to do and usually end up following someone in my family around to a place where they usually meet their friends and I sit quietly twiddling my thumbs. Even though I want to make friends I usually can’t because a) kids my age (14) are usually not even visible when I go outside since they are usually in school b) I’m in Korea for a short period of time and c) I can’t speak Korean well enough to have conversations comfortably with Koreans outside of my immediate family because I use a mixture of English and Korean to my family. I’m going to Korea again in three days for two weeks and I know that I’ll be bored out of my mind even though there are so many places to visit or go to. (╥﹏╥)

  2. The first six months I spent in Korea were probably the most difficult six months of my life. I ended up leaving (after giving adequate notice and forfeiting my severance/flight home) halfway through my contract period. Although I’m an introvert, I very much dislike spending too much time alone and really rely on friends/known company in social situations to feel comfortable. I decided to go to Korea to escape a bad break up, and took a job at a hagwon in a city where two of my friends from university lived and worked. After I arrived, however, they decided to cut their contracts short as well and returned home just a week after I landed. I went from living and working in a dorm to living by myself and working alone as the only foreign teacher. I lived in a very isolated part of a city, so was largely unable to find familiar food or figure things out for myself. Buses didn’t come frequently to my area, and I struggled to make friends with people that lived away from my area. Many of the people I did meet I had trouble relating too – I was a fresh graduate on a gap year, and most of the other foreigners were older and at different places in their lives. I was frustrated with how shallow the language barrier made my conversations with the Korean friends I managed to make. My body was physically reacting to my depression, and I started to gain a lot of weight, lose hair in clumps, and break out in acne for the first time in my life. Going home was probably the best decision I could have made for myself. My Korea story doesn’t end there, though. I returned to work at an international school in Jeju, and this experience was extremely positive. I again was able to live and work in a dorm, was surrounded by fluent English speakers from all different parts of the world, and lived/worked with around 70 North American staff. The kids I worked with were similarly fluent in English, the water and air were cleaner, the food was recognizable, and I was able to pursue hobbies and activities I once loved again freely. For those concerned about being lonely in Korea (or for those struggling that don’t feel ready to leave but need a change), I HIGHLY recommend going the international school route. It really made a world of difference for me! :)

  3. just wanted to let you guys know i like watching ur sheet!

  4. I know you guys did a brief TL;DR on the difference between your humor vs Korean humor, but I still had more questions. For example, I know that there are gag concerts, but are there any stand up comics? Do they have abstract humor? Also, I’m very curious as to what Koreans think of North American humor. For example do they like/dislike raunchy comedy. Does North American humor translate well, like for example something like Pineapple Express.

  5. Intricate

    I was in Seoul for 10 days towards the end of may. I stayed in a cheap hotel near namdaemun market and it was quite fun. I had a few friends I could hang out with but one of them was only for an evening and the other friend was only for an afternoon, and I couldn’t even get in touch with a 3rd friend, so I had to get dinner by myself 8 times.

    Having dinner by myself during my little holiday definitely was the hardest part of being alone. Even though I didn’t have any problems getting in restaurants. I was mostly greeted with a surprised waiter once they realized I was alone, but other than that they were quite smiley and okay with receiving my patronage.

  6. Dystro92

    You guys should make a forum section for the website so fellow Nasties can meet-up ^.^

  7. TooKyute

    Drive-Thruuuuuuuu. It’s okay SooZee, single appreciation up in here!

  8. I go to the movies by myself ALLL the time. I go to the very first showings at like 9am-11am when tickets are only $5.50USD.
    And eating alone isn’t really weird here as long as you are confident in yourself. Like if you be lookin all shifty people are going to stare. With people being busy with school/work/life it seems normal to have people eating alone. Well I eat alone a lot cause I don’t feel like waiting for someone else to be in the mood to eat what i want to or do something that i want to do.
    I would never go to a fancy restaurant by myself though. Rule of thumb…if the restaurant has a “dress code” don’t dine alone.

  9. I actually know what is to be alone in Korea. I came one week ago to work and my co-workers are not that open to me, maybe because they don’t speak english well. And yes, it really sucks go everywhere alone!! But I’m loving being here.

  10. galaxshi

    hey guys! does travelling alone in South Korea makes it less fun then? since all the perks goes to groups especially couples. hmm well that’s too bad since I’m planning to go alone but that would be like years from now but yeah still. I want to go alone because I only want to go to kpop hotspots like the nasty studio and gobble as much legit korean food as I can but my family doesn’t really approve of all that so yeaaah it sucks. should I go for it or shall I find a victim to tag along with me hahaha

  11. yehet_ohora

    Hey guise! Since this tl:dr talks about being lonely, I have a question related to that. My apologies if this is not what you meant. I think that being lonely in Korea kinda sucks…. So does that mean that many Koreans want to find dates, get married and have children? If that was the case, then Korea should have a high fertility rate?? Thankiew if you ever see this… ;)

  12. Hey guys!! I think it was a few videos back that you were talking about ordering pizza online but you can’t if you don’t have a 3 syllable name. WHICH MADE ME THINK: How do you guys write your name in hangul? =O

  13. Bubalooy

    So I just went to the movies today (alone) and everyone else there apart from one pair of guys was alone. So all up there was about six or seven people alone and one pair. I just thought it was interesting after this TLDR. I’m Australian BTW so obviously here it is A OK to go to the movies alone. :)

  14. ItsJustMars

    okay so I really didn’t find a spot to put this comment but I was kind of curious if this touchy subject could ever be discussed on one of your vidEos. now I know that most kpop idols need to remain single to respect the fans and they go in training for very long periods of time some very young. so I’m quite curious are we talking about kpop idols to put it lightly none have “entered adulthood “. I read an article about a jpop idol was caught with a guy and she was scolded for the issue and penalized and she shaved her head as a response to the way she was treated afterwards. I know that’s kind of an odd question but I was just curious and if so I wonder if there’s any interaction with other members of the band. Some do seem quite touchy with each other when it comes to some of the males in kpop bands and the videos they have of them acting normal such as very close brotherly hug and so forth. Now I have nothing against this I actually have friends that are into guys and girls that are into girls so no problem there. Its just a question that’s always urked me what’s your opinion on the subject and if so I can see where all the fan fiction comes from.

    • I think in one of their other videos they talk about it, but there is a lot of skinship in Korea! Guys can hug each other, hold hands and whatnot and it’s not seen as homosexual at all. Same with girls, they can walk down the street holding hands or linking arms and it’s not really a big deal. But you don’t have that interaction between a guy and a girl – they can only hold hands and hug if they are dating. So Kpop guys might be super lovey-dovey but it doesn’t really mean that they are into each other, they are just super close and being affectionate~! That’s how I understand it, anyways. ~^.^~

  15. Cloud

    I will come to Korea in late July to all of August, and I have virtually no one to meet (I will be able to speak some moderate Korean; but if I don’t need to, I will communicate in English). If anyone is in the Seoul/Hongdae/Dongnimmun area, then maybe we could have a meetup? Please reply to this post if you’re interested ^^

    • chloekloee

      Hi ^^ I’m heading to Korea 2nd week of Aug! You want to make plans? :D I need some recommendations for accommodation.

      • Cloud

        Sure! I’m not sure how to help you there with the accommodation, as I’m staying with family. I’ll be touring on the week of the 11th, but I’m available before and after that! If you want to get in touch off of here, I’d recommend we exchange emails, facebook or tumblr :p

  16. It’s funny because I was just watching episode 4 of Beast Showtime and it was about members trying to solve things they are uncomfortable with I guess. Doojoon’s was eating alone (he says it’s awkward but the maknae Dongwoon can eat alone a lot) so he had to do a mission where he had to go to a restaurant and grill meat alone. It was funny to me even though I know I would be awkward too eating alone in any kind of restaurant and I live in Canada.

  17. QUESTION!: How is S. Korea with random acts of kindness? for example, just paying for someone’s meal or randomly giving someone a flower (small things like that). It’s pretty normal here in America, but how would it be like in S. Korea? Would they think that it’s weird?

  18. Its so fitting that I see this video today because Ive been feeling very lonely in Korea lately. I live in a very small town where I am the only foreigner. Ive been here for 8 months now so I have made some friends in neighboring cities/towns but the closest town is an hour bus ride away. My first couple of months here were very rough though. For the first month The only people I saw were people at my school. I tried desperately to find people in my area but since theres no one in my area it was a fruitless effort. I would spend hours online trying to find any sort of information of things to do near me. Eventually I found people offering free korean classes. I was sooo happy. I would finally be able to meet people and learn some korean as well. Around this time I also started meeting people in the town next to mine. I finally had friends and I was so happy. Unfortunately all the friends I made left at the same time in February. I was back to where I started. At least I still had my Korean classes to look forward to. I met some other people in the neighbor town but most of them are married and more interested in saving money than traveling. The real kicker happened a couple weeks ago when I found out that the people offering the free korean classes are part of a cult (mannam). I feel so embarrassed that some of the only “friends” ive made in korea were only using me as part of their propaganda for their cult. I wish soo much that I was in Seoul. I feel that my location in korea has made my whole experience here so much worse. Excuse the massive amount of text lol it feels nice to let everything out

  19. CosmicCat

    Here in UK I’ve never really seen people dining in restaurants alone. Fast food and coffee shops I have. Infact yesterday I dined alone at a coffee shop. But I would never dine alone at a restaurant. Something that has surprised me about pub culture here, when I first started going I thought you could meet new people at the bar or people would approach you but that doesn’t happen. The only times I have met new people at a pub is if they are friends of friends. Idk if it’s just me being unapproachable though xD At clubs I have met random people but the music’s so loud you can hardly have a conversation.

    • matchacakes

      Yeah, I just moved to London and I’ve noticed it’s harder to meet people here. I haven’t done the clubbing thing (not really what I’m super into) but it almost seems like if you’re not in Uni here it’s pretty difficult to make friends. Maybe it’s just the borough I live in though. I keep checking Meet Up but all the meetings seem to be at least and hour and a half away. I thought people were joking when they said 3 mi was a long distance here, but it can take forever to get places.

  20. HI EYK Crew! I, like Martina have EDS TYPE 3 and even though I haven’t broke any bones. I can’t walk far and have to use a wheelchair for moving outside the house. I know that the subject may be boring or useless for some nasties but PLEASE do a tl;dr on disability in korea. Things like, are places accessible to wheelchairs, would it affect getting a job and peoples reactions. Love from Victorique in the uk!

  21. I have a TL;DR question for SOOOOOZEEEEEE.

    How has working at the Eatyourkimchi Nasty Studios affected your perspective of Korea? How differently do you act around your current co-workers than you would around Korean co-workers? Are there any Korean customs about which your opinion has changed significantly since joining the EYK Crew?

    If this isn’t where I’m supposed to leave TL;DR questions… oops. I’ll move it.

  22. Hey Guise.

    My best friend is flying to Seoul next week and we were both really excited when we saw you were opening up a coffee shop that I think you said might be opened later this year. I was wondering if maybe you could provide anymore updates about how its coming a long like in a blog post. If not I completely understand as you are both very busy people! On that note I was also wondering if it would be possible to make a TL:DR about what being a business owner in Korea is like as opposed to America, the paperwork requirements, and work involved and any huge unnecessary challenges you’ve noticed while living here.

    Thank you!

  23. Sazzy

    I am a teacher in North Japan and its similar to Korea. As long as you have a support group near you, life is much easier. In the city I live in, there are 5 other foreigners and we meet up regularly and enjoy just being able to speak proper English for a change. I have been out eating and drinking alone here. But I’ve gotten to know the owners of the bars so they talk to me when they can. I’ve noticed that people are really friendly and if they see you alone, they will try to start a conversation with you.

    I would like to know what is the language situation is like in Korea. Here in Japan, even wants to speak to you in English and then the language barrier becomes a problem. It was horrible for me when I arrived because my Japanese was really poor and I needed help a lot. Did people speak to you in most English or Korean when you arrived??

    • What’s the attitude towards learning English where you are, Sazzy? I’ve heard from other English teachers in Japan that their students were never serious about being fluent in English. They just wanted to know the bare minimum to get a good grade, and have the “street cred” of being able to say they were English students.

      • Sazzy

        sorry I just saw your reply.

        I only have a few students who want to be fluent and they are the ones who talk to me the most outside of class. The rest, don’t even want to study and try to sleep during English class. Its a big range between the two. But those who want to speak English really try and I’m surprised by their progress.

  24. AliTheBae

    Hey Simon and Martina! I don’t know if you’ve already talked about this but I was wondering what life as an average Korean teenager is like. What is it like to go to highschool in Korea? Are there any social stereotypes like there are in North America (jock, nerd, emo, etc.)? And what is like to go to a Korean highschool as a foreigner? Thank you so much! I love your videos by the way! (⌒▽⌒)

  25. Baby, I’m so lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, LONNNEELLLYYY.

    When I visited Korea a few weeks ago I noticed about a handful of young Koreans who went to the movies by themselves, but because of the seating system in the movie theaters they all ended up sitting either next or very close to you so no one ever looked like they were by themselves at the movies haha!
    But yes the biggest most difficult challenge was eating alone. When my travel partner left me & I was alone in Korea, finding a place to eat by myself was super tough. Ramen became my best friend. :P

  26. I go to university in Korea and the social desperation (or rather, the culture) of Korean students has really surprised me. The “Korean-korean” students arrange to meet up at a certain location and walk to a classroom together via kakaotalk… people ALWAYS arrange to eat with other people and those without eating buddies generally finish their food hastily/look at their phones while eating/choose to eat a less proper meal in their own rooms. It almost seems pathetic to be frank, but I guess it could just be a way of life in Korea too ^^

  27. I have lived in Daegu for about ten months now. I have to say that going to the movies alone is something I do pretty regularly and I have hardly ever felt the judgmental gaze being lowered upon me by the locals. If anything, I shame myself far more than any person around me, but even then I have become more confident and independent through the experience and don’t really have any inhabitions about going alone anymore. On top of that, I have observed a number of Koreans also going to the movies by themselves. It is certainly the exception rather than the rule, but I don’t think it is as severe as Simon claims.

    I agree with everything they say about restaurants, though. 삼겹살 would be uber-awkward by oneself.

    • Sorry if we got that across the wrong way: the “going to the movies alone” stigma is from our experiences in North America not in Korea! I don’t really think people care about that here as much as they do in North America. I would say eating alone in Korea is way more stigmatized! And how’s Daegu treating you? : )

  28. I’m from the Philippines and actually it doesn’t really matter if you’re alone or not doing activities in a group but unfortunately there is a double standard when it comes to that subject matter (well,this is based on my experience.) I can see people walking around the mall alone or eating in a restaurant alone& even watching movies alone but some people usually those in huge groups notice these people and look at them like what they’re doing is not a normal thing, that its weird that they’re alone or they’ll say that they are EMO people/ loners. And I wish that people who want to be alone doesn’t have to worry about those people who’ll look at them like that.
    And Soozee if ever I visit Korea can I we watch a movie together? :)

  29. I never go out to eat by myself. If I wanted to eat alone I would have stayed home. I don’t think there is a stigma with it in the U.S. but it can be kind of lonely. There’s no stigma about being by yourself when doing public stuff because no one really cares if a random stranger is by themselves or not.

  30. I thought that dining by yourself was impossible until I encountered this girl sitting alone in a table smoking and eating cheesecake while talking on the cellphone for HOURS! I guess since she’s talking on the phone it doesn’t count as dining alone :S

  31. Hi so I have a TL;DR topic for you guise next week…. Korean Age. I understand it for the most-part but I know a lot of people I know don’t get it. So can you guise please talk about it. (also maybe mention the side note of the drinking “year” thing….I still confused with that.) Thank-you so much
    -MarinaBre<3 (Lullaby)

  32. Any Nasties in Incheon?! More specifically the Seogu area? It’s weird but it’s been a bit harder for me to make Kpop loving friends here in Korea, than it was back in the States. Let’s hangout!

  33. The one thing I don’t understand is people are saying it’s weird to go to the movies by yourself. If anything, it is the most normal solitary activity because you’re sitting in a dark room silently! You can’t talk to the person you’re with and no one is paying attention to you. If you’re chatting with a group of friends during the movie, you’re doing it wrong!

  34. Going to movie alone in korea is very subtle
    girl and a guy – ok
    girl and girl -ok
    girl alone – kind of ok
    guy alone – not ok
    guy and a guy – will get death stares
    conclusion: guys in korea cannot go to movie
    I’m sorry guys

  35. Martina, could you do a video talking about the best beauty bits from korea?? Like what nasties should check out if we visit. Thanks :)

  36. Do you think you guys could do a TL;DR on the female only parking spots that are now in Korea? I think it’s an interesting topic, and would love to learn more!

  37. It’s super easy to be a loner in the US, at least in Wisconsin. I see people going to movies alone, going to restaurants

    alone, going to the mall alone, going for a walk downtown alone, going anywhere really, you can go there alone and it’s not seen as weird. You’re just seen as being really comfortable with yourself.

    • squishykimchi

      YEAHHH a fellow Wisconsiner!! That’s totally true– people hang out alone just fine, it kind of depends on yourself whether or not you end up feeling self conscious.

  38. First: i would go to movies with you Soozee xD As I’m sure tons of people on here have commented.
    Second: I have gone to the movies alone, both in the US and in Korea. I may go alone on Friday. (though I usually don’t /have/ to go alone because I have made so many friends who wanna go see the same movies with me ^^ which is nice)
    Third: My friend has gone to eat samgyupsal alone. The shop owner didn’t look too happy with her, she said. But they will serve you!* (*if you are a foreigner and they can’t speak english to tell you no. Maybe. Iunno. My guess).
    Fourth: I eat alone a lot at the ‘food courts’ they have in the department stores and stuff.

    Lastly! For those living in Korea! (and anywhere really) the app “Meet Up” is great to use, I feel, because it puts you in contact with other people with the same interests with you. I go to the same meet up every other Sunday called “Stitchers”. We meet in Gangnam and sit at a StarBucks just knitting/crochetting/cross stitching. Whatever is your choice to be doing. Just . handicrafts~
    It’s really great fun. I know people who do yoga, zumba, language exchange cafes, hiking, biking, walking, drinking, partying. Anything.

  39. Whoa! Here I am commenting from Beijing. I can’t view the video or the YouTube comments, but I can at least access the site. Success!

  40. In Norway doing things alone is pretty normal. But it is wierd, making small talk while in line or at the bus stop is fine, but if you walk up to a someone say at a cafe and try to strike up a conversation they will think you are crazy. So making new friends can be tricky. New friends are usually made through work, school and acquaintance (and alkohol) Going to the movies by yourself is still a little strange to most as well. But I love it, and do it all the time. Even when I was in Korea i went fairly often beause a lot of things close early so it was perfect to go see a movie and rest my legs after walking all day. And movies in korea is CHEAP!

    And yes, norwegians (and swedes and fins) will sunbathe in the snow. That is how desperate we are for the sun in winter. So much darkness….

  41. With the world championship football coming up, in my country people are going crazy about anything that has to do with it: the colours of our flag can be seen everywhere and every shop has some kind of action going on involving our national team. Are people in Korea big sports fans? In my country, almost every teenager practices some kind of sport/goes to a sporting club, is it also like this in Korea?

  42. Laura Donnelly

    I like having time to myself but at the same time, watching movies and going out to eat on my own makes me feel sad. I actually read somewhere that people who travel often or don’t have consistent access to others(i.e. ppl in old folk homes) will actually go to a site called rentafriend.com to find a buddy to hang out with. Its actually a sweet job for college kids or people who are naturally outgoing but are looking for any easy way to make some dough

  43. So I live in Germany and I think it’s normal here to go do things alone. I often see people eat alone at like fast food (like Kebab or Burgers or whatever) alone at the restaurants itself or they take it with them and eat it on their way back home (like I do ._. ). But if you’re about to go to a ‘real’ restaurant you need to be at least 2 people because it would be very weird sitting there by yourself. In cafés many people sit alone and they just drink their coffee and leave or they do some homework or something like that and enjoy their coffee. BUT we are very nice to foreigners or just people who look like they’re lost. I always ask if I can help them and if I don’t know something I just simply google it and show them the route they have to go. I started doing this since I was like 8 years old. But I also got help often because I live in a small town and I was in Dusseldorf one day and a really nice woman came up to me and asked if I need help (I was looking for a restaurant) and she was in a hurry but also took the time for me and was really nice.

  44. PunkyPrincess92

    i’ve noticed quite a few times, characters in dramas at a bar or eating place all by their lonely self…

    i think it is a little odd to go to the movies by yourself, but i feel more sad for the person!
    but it’s TOTALLY weird when it’s a kids movie…and an adult comes in with no child….i have seen that… and not even the moves you can get away with like some Disney ones….it was the Moshi Monsters movie!
    aw i’ll go to the movies with Soozee!!

  45. I can totally relate to Martina’s comment about seeing a movie alone. XD Sometimes, there’s a movie I wanna see, that NONE of my friends or family are interested in seeing, so I’m like, you know what? I’m going by myself, I don’t care! And I always get that weird look and, OMG why are you gonna go by yourself?!

    Funny story time! So I remember one day, I think it was like a Tuesday that I had off of work, I went to the movies in the early afternoon to see Insidious. I’d gone by myself, since everyone else was either working or didn’t want to go. So the creepy thing, was that I was the only. one. in. the. entire. show. room! Seeing a super scary movie, by myself at first, without another person in the room with me… super creepy! By the middle of the movie, I had my hood up and was sitting in the fetal position on my chair with my legs up and sucking my thumb… okay, that’s a little dramatic but.. you get the idea. XD I kept checking around me too, just in case there was some kinda creeper hiding out in the rows behind me, waiting to come out and kill me. Scariest movie experience ever!

    Then again, when The Avengers came out in theaters, I wanted to see it soooo many times! I ended up seeing it like 10 times in the theater, 8 of those times by myself, cause my friends had all already seen it and didn’t love it as much as me and ended up being all, omgggg~ you’re so obsessed with that movie~~~ T_T I can’t help it, I love it! XD

  46. Honestly, the whole thing with having to make an effort to meet people and develop social support is pretty much the same anywhere. I moved to Alberta, Canada from wayyyyy over on the east coast and I only knew like, two people who are actually family. It’s been really hard trying to adjust here without friends. Sometimes I just want to pack up and move again. I’ve switched jobs since being up here and work in a small company so I don’t even have friends at work. :( I know I need to go out and try and join some clubs or take part in events or something but…. mehhhh. I miss my friends from home.
    If any other Nasties live in Northern Alberta, please come be my friend. *sobsobhicksob*

  47. In Israel it is not strange to eat alone. I’m not sure how the situation in bars, but I imagine you can go there alone. To go watch a movie alone is strange though, but I’m sure there are people who do it.
    It is quite easy to socialize here, because people are mostly friendly and like to talk.

  48. I 100% recommend meetup.com for finding people in Korea with similar interests. Just type in your location and interest and BAM! instant friends. I’ve gone to language exchanges, pickup volleyball and ultimate frisbee games, and other random groups like a rational thinkers group, an honesty group, and a bitcoin group. I do most things with my hubs, but as a lot of our friends have come and gone over our the last three years in Korea, meetup.com is a cool way to meet new friends!

  49. 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

  50. I Love to hear that there are so many opportunities for foreigners to mingle and be active.

  51. 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.

  52. Ugh this saddened me quite a bit… no, like a lot. I really, really like going out alone. Look, yes, I tend to be socially awkward at times but I wouldn’t say I am anti-social because I’m not. But I just really love being on my own – dining out alone, watching movies alone, shopping alone. I’m sure some people are like this too, right? RIGHT!?!? :P

    I was planning to visit Korea alone in the near future but after watching this TL;DR, I’m not too sure and not too excited now. Oh well, time to make some K-culture-loving friends I guess…

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

      • Ohaaaiiii! I’m not THAT weird after all. *ugly sobs*

        • 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

  53. I’m from Miami and while there is stigma and awkwardness over going out on your own I definitely think its a lot easier to do than here in Korea. Like S&M said, going out to eat a lot of places only have huge booths for bigger groups of people to sit in and when you order food the portion is usually intended for 2 or more people. It’s supposed to be cooked on the grill or hotplate that is built in the middle of the table and shared among friends.
    Ever since I got settled into my town I have made a lot of friends (I’ve been here since January) but most of the people I know have been here for a few years. I can rely on them to go to parties and do other low-key things but when it comes to doing bigger trips like flying out to Jeju or doing ‘touristy’ stuff in Busan it’s hard to find someone that hasn’t done it already. Not that it wouldn’t be great either way, but most people have their own lives to attend to and they don’t want to stop and show people around Korea every time a new foreigner comes to town (or they’d spend every other weekend doing just that). I’ve tried using Tindr but its mostly for hook ups which I’m not interested in right now so I’m focusing more on just making friends with fellow young teachers in my school. Thankfully, most of the teachers around my age seem to have a good grasp on conversational English.

  54. 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.

  55. Cyber_3

    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!

  56. 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

  57. 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

  58. 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!

  59. In Australia, it is semi-socially unacceptable (strong word but couldn’t think of something better haha) to out to eat/watch movies/go to bars etc by yourself, at least in my personal experience. Maybe I’m just not very good at being independent though, because I do have friends who actually have done all the mentioned activities, one of my friends even went to Korean karaoke (noraebang yes?) by herself when she had a spare hour to kill lol. Guess it comes down to how much confidence you have :)

    Oh and Simon, good deflector for unwanted flirtational vibes: talk with a feminine lisp and flouncy hand gestures. I know, it’s perpetuating stereotypes, but my boyfriend uses it for quick and effective extraction from awkward situations (maybe I should be questioning why he is so good at coming across as gay…)

  60. 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?

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

  62. So I live way out in the countryside in Korea (so country that all the people here are old and all the dogs are chained up outside…). Anyway, I prefer being alone most of the time. HOWEVER, I’m SO isolated that sometimes I wish I lived in one of the cities, not just so I could meet other expats, but just…ANY PEOPLE.

    YOUNG PEOPLE.

    I happen to like old people, but for the most part, they just like to stare at me because I look different. I sometimes take a bus into Gwangju…but it takes several buses and it takes forever. It’s even difficult to get to a grocery store around here.

    So I usually just end up making friends (and feeding) all the dogs chained up on their short leashes. Yep. My Korea life.

  63. Hey, nasties! I’m living in Korea at the moment (I’m from England) doing the usual teaching thing, and after watching EYK’s video on meeting people whilst here, I thought it was a great idea to introduce myself in the comments section! I’m close enough to Seoul to hang out anyways. So, yeah, if you wanna chat or anything feel free to message me :)

  64. 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.

  65. lady_kire

    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…

  66. 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??

  67. My name is grace. I will go to prom. (I live in australia hahaha!)

  68. 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.

  69. Joseph Steven Van Dorn

    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.

    • ermk

      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!

  70. Happyjoy2

    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. :)

  71. madisch

    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!

    • 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? :)

      • AAAAHHHHH!! Fellow St. Louis Nasties!!!

        • Ms. D

          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!

  72. DItto *raises hand* I’ll to go to the movies with SooZee :)

  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

    • You can also just go from the approach of toturing… conversing with Koreans in English… like an ESL (English as Second Language) instructor. A good way to meet people?

      Do they have somelike a Craigslist? In the US craigslist is where one can go and post up something for sale or class or almost anything.

  77. You two may not know the answer to this, but what is it like for foreigners in the countryside?

    • You should check out MyKoreanHusband! They would definatly know because they live in the countryside :)

    • They have addressed this in a few episodes.
      Basically sounds like it’s really isolated. You will be like the only foreigner and non Korean speaker. Just depends on where and how far into the “countryside”

      The MyKoreanHusband.com is a blast (funny). +1 for them too.

    • Happyjoy2

      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. :/

  78. Well, that put me off of going to Korea quite a bit… I’m 19 and have never had friends in real life (lots online, though) and making friends is near impossible because I’m considered to be weird because of how I look and what my interests are, because I’m transgender, and because I suffer from crippling depression and social anxiety. As much as I hate feeling lonely and being alone, I’d rather be able to just do stuff alone than be reminded that I should have friends. I’ve been reminded enough times. It doesn’t change a thing. I guess now I’ll look for a different country to go to.

    • You have to take the risk and be “out there”

      If you don’t risk… you don’t gain anything. Failure or should I say the trial and error of life is not one of being safe. So take the risk and be yourself. You are the only one holding yourself back.

      Life is short and no one knows how long you are on here. Don’t waste it being lonely my friend. Take the plunge.

  79. 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!”

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. I’m an introvert and was considering going to Korea to teach. Now I’m a little worried…

  83. The Japanese single seating cubicles are in some ramen restaurants only. The idea is you focus on enjoying the ramen experience rather than the cubicles being for people all by themselves.

  84. Tell us if Grace says yes. Must know!!!!!

    • Just got an email from Zhang!

      “It went well! she said yeses!”

      Yay!

      • 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.

  85. Are there any useful links to those facebook groups or websites that list foreigner friendly hobby groups? I’ve been here since february and even thou th I have a couple of friends I’d like to expand my group of friends. Sadly a lot of people seem to only want to stay out and party all night on the weekends which isnt my scene.

    I have yet to go to the movies though, so hit me up Suzy if you want someone to go with.

    • 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!

      • Hello there friend! We should totally hang out! I work at a hagwon and all of the other foreign teachers spend every weekend out at bars, cruising chicks, getting wasted. I feel like I’m in college again. Well, I live in ilsan but seoul is only an hour or so away.

        • 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

        • I dont mind going out for a drink but I feel like if you reeeaaally want to go out and party in Hongdae or Itaewon its all or nothing. Especially if you dont have a place to crash nearby. It’s because the trains dont run all night. So you either dont go at all or you have to stay out until the first train the next day. I’d rather stay home.
          High fives for having the same train of thought. I have a facebook and kakao. My full name is Amy Federico.

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

    • 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.

    • If I may be so bold as to creep on your conversation about a month after it happened (so hopefully this is seen eventually) I am also not a drinker/partyer/etc and would love to join in on the connectivity if you will have me! :D

      • Acinorevganutti

        Since somebody else boldy went into the conversation about hanging in Seoul withouth the hard party style….. I’ll be arriving in seoul later this fall ( 3 weeks testrun) Would love to join in too =) And I’ve already downloaded the Meetup app, Looks very promising.

  86. 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.

    • 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. :”’(

    • Happyjoy2

      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. :(

    • 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.

  87. Ah, this make me hope that’ll I make some friends quickly when I get to Korea! I’ll be spending only 1 month in Seoul to study korean so it’d be a shame to spend all this time at my place by myself…But the school I’m going to seems to offer a whole bunch of activities, so I guess I’ll have to get out of my comfort zone a bit and get involved :) Oh and *raises hand* I want to go to the movies with you Suzy!! I’ll be there in a couple of days :P

  88. irritablevowel

    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.

  89. Fellow Canadian here, from Calgary! I feel like being able to see a movie in the theatre alone and being able to dine alone in a restaurant are parts of the maturation process everyone should experience. It’s about being comfortable with yourself – comfortable enough that you forgo social judgement to spend some quality alone-time. I only recently saw the second Hunger Games movie by myself and ate alone at The Bicycle Thief in Halifax when I was visiting. It’s an incredibly liberating experience knowing you can enjoy film or a nice meal without needing to be with another person! Everyone should try it at least once!

    • I agree. As much as I like hanging out with people and being sociable, sometimes I just like to be by myself. Seeing a movie with a friend/date is great, because you’re sharing the experience together. Seeing one by yourself is great, too, b because you’re escaping from your everyday life with a movie. (At least, that’s how it is with me.) I don’t want to miss a movie because I have no one to see it with.

  90. *Raises Hand* I’ll go to the movies with Soozee

  91. 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!

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

    • 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!

      • 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!

      • 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 :)

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • I’ve been very curious to learn about how easy or difficult it may be to be a dog owner in South Korea, and that is cool insight on connecting with other dog owners as well your friend’s experience with the dog cafe!
        I have been curious about the availability of places like dog sitters and dog parks, but I’ve also wondered if it’s difficult to have a dog that prefers to pee outside, instead of a littler box. I have two italian greyhounds and I’m wondering if we’d be able to make the move to South Korea, and how neighbors in a building would feel about it.

        • 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?

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

  92. hapagirl

    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.

  93. 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…

    • 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.

    • 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

  94. Mariam Watt

    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.

  95. ✋ clear enough?

  96. I live in the US but I come from an Indian family. In India, most people (cough cough) are told to get married starting from 18-20ish? There’s always pressure to get married to someone who’s from the same caste, religion as you are. The candidate also has to have a nice family, education, and house. They should ideally be pretty wealthy as well. There aren’t many things you have do with a partner, but there are certain religious holidays for married women. Teej, for example, is a holiday where the women fast for the long life of their husbands. However, many unmarried women also fast in the hopes of finding a good husband. In terms of going out with people, most just go out with friends. Even at clubs, you’ll see couples only 30% of the time; there are mostly just groups of friends.

  97. Ill go to the movies with you Suzy!!

    • Me too! Or, I would if I were in Korea…but, not very often…there aren’t a lot of movies I’m interested in seeing-most seem pretty lame…I also don’t like other people much soooo…..yeah, nevermind.

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