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?

  1. Do you think you would meet more people if you stay in a hostel instead? I’m planning on visting South Korea next summer for a few weeks by myself and I want this as an opprotunity to meet others and see how well I like Korea!

  2. I’m a Swedish girl living in Daegu here in Korea, anyone else out there? Wanna meet some people – and it’s difficult. :(

  3. Yay, more Norwegian Nasties =)

  4. 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. (╥﹏╥)

  5. 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! :)

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

  7. 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

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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… ;)

  17. 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

  18. 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. :)

  19. 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. ~^.^~

  20. 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 ^^

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

      • 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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

  24. 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.

    • 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.

  25. 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!

  26. WOOHOO! Great advice with Meet Up! We’ve never used it but your handicrafts party in Gangnam sounds pretty badass. One day I hope you can hold it at our coffee shop? I’ll bring my knitting!!! :D -Martina

  27. We’ve gotten lots of emails from people moving to Incheon! But it is a pretty huge city so it depends on where you are in Incheon. Closer to the airport or closer to Bucheon? You should check to see if they have an Incheon Teacher’s page on Facebook! FIGHTING~

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

      • 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.

  31. 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! (⌒▽⌒)

  32. 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

  33. 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 ^^

  34. 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? : )

  35. 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? :)

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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

  39. 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.

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