Woohoo! TLDRs! Haven’t done these for a while! We were supposed to do one last week, since we do them every second week, but with Martina’s busted ankle she needed to rest, so we postponed it until this week. Sorry guise! We’re back to our normal schedule now!

Anyhow, this week’s TL;DR question was quite easy, and we had lots of things that we excluded from the video, which we’ll talk about a bit here:

1) The X-arm crossing: whenever we go to a store and they don’t have something in stock, they cross their forearms and say “no.” Saying no would have been enough, but the arm gestures are just overkill; wonderful, wonderful overkill, that we have at first adopted in jest, but now do regularly, unfortunately, to which our friends give us the same confused look we gave the store clerks when we first met them.

2) Hand Phone: We call our cellphones handphones now. WHAT THE EFF?!?! Why call it a handphone? Is there a foot phone? Using the word “hand” is totally redundant. Like “this is mouthfood.” Anyhow, even though we hate the word, we use it all the time, and confuse the bajesus out of our Canadian friends. Thanks Korea! ARGH!

3) Intolerance of Salty Food: Now, this isn’t really a habit as much as a taste. We find that whenever we travel back to Canada, we can barely eat anything for the first few days, because it’s so overwhelmingly salty that we gag. No joke here. It’s really, really salty. Korean food doesn’t use a lot of salt, it seems, while North American food uses too much. So, after living here for a few years, our taste buds have totally changed.

4) Looking both ways before crossing a one-way street: Gotta be done. Or you die.

5) Momomo instead of blahblahblah: Korea’s version of “blah blah blah” is “momomo” We say it all the time now. Again, quite awkward when you slip up in front of your non-Korean friends.

6) Forks are awkward: We’ve been using chopsticks with everything now, and whenever we’re given forks to use we’re so…confused. Not that they’re confusing to use. They’re a lot easier than chopsticks. Forks are just so…barbaric. I don’t want to stab my food anymore. I want to pick it up. Chopsticks let you do that. It’s like, the more humane way to eat food. Sometimes we go to Korean restaurants and they won’t give us chopsticks, probably because they think we can’t use them, but we’re so much more comfortable with them now!

That’s it for now, I think. We could go on for a long time, but we already wrote a MASSIVE blog post today about Engrish in Kpop. We’ll try to keep this of reasonable length. Let us know if there’s anything we missed. Any habits you dropped or adopted since coming to Korea? I’m sure we’ll read the comments and be like “OH MY GOD HOW DID WE FORGET THAT?!?!” Ha!

On a side note: did anyone notice the new lighting? We got new lights and we’re totally stoked. We look so much crisper now, I think. Sorry. Nerd comment there. Carry on!

  1. oh the hand phone….. i love it when you said “is there a food phone?”
    i myself lived in canada for a looong time and i got used to saying cellphone.
    so whenever i go back to korea to visit my family, people are like, ‘what is a cellphone?’

  2. Hemahng Yeong

    Since my grandmother is korean and is teaching me, i have a habit of bowing and shaking hands with my hand on my arm and i live in america so they think im weird considering i dont look foriegn at all

  3. I feel so weird….because I haven’t spend any time in Korea or any other Asian countries and I have the habit of bowing :/

    I did that when I received my certificate at graduation and my friends pointed it out and laughed at me.

    I think I may have picked up the habit from Taekwon-Do practice. >.<

  4. I’ve never been to ANY Asian country but I DO kinda bowing thing (not exactly front bow Asians do but sort of turning-my-head-to-the-side-a-bit-and-low-it-down *weired*) all the time for saying “hello”, “bye” or “sorry”. LOL

  5. I bow to people I meet or greet, even though I have never been to Korea. When I apologize to people, I’m like, “I’m *bow* sorry! *bow*” I think I just picked it up from K-Dramas and variety shows and when I do it, people give me weird looks. Also when I talk to people, I say “Ne” and when I see people I know, I started waving, yelling, “Annyeong!”

    I also pick up random Korean words and phrases and when I’m irritated or panicking, I suddenly blurt out all sorts of Korean words I know and nobody understands what I’m saying. Since my friends are also K-Pop fans, they can pick out a couple of words they understand like “Ya!” “Aigoo!” “Babo” and common phrases. But most of the time, it’s like I’m talking to myself.

    Nowadays, I’ve also began to think about how convenient the Korean language is. I mean, you could just bow while saying sorry so you don’t have to look the person in the eye. There are a lot of stuff you can say in Korea without sounding as cheesy as you would if you said it in English.
    I’ve also started using chopsticks and mumbling in Korean at home and … My dad hates it. I wanna go to South Korea so I can blend in…

  6. so you hating to say “handphone” in turkey we are calling them “pocket phone” =_=

  7. Before I was with my husband—he’s Thai—I’d already picked up the habit of bowing from watching Korean dramas. What I specifically picked up from ze hubby is:
    1) Taking off my shoes at the front door. I now cringe when non-Asians guests don’t do it.
    2) What I like to call the “Asian squat.” Hm, know what I’m referring to?
    3) Eating ze “Thai” way which is generally with a spoon in my right hand and a fork in the left. Thai folk only use chopsticks with noodles and sushi (pretty much).
    4) When I’m surprised by something I’ll say “oi!” Not sure how to spell the sound.
    5) I’m learning Thai so sometimes I’ll think in Thai… There have been many times I’ll want to respond to someone in Thai, but stop myself before doing so, haha.
    6) This goes for the taste buds, but I far prefer Asian food over American.
    Phew, I think that’s it–or at least what I could think of off the top of my head. =)

  8. I hold doors for people all the time… and I would say my parents taught me to be polite(all the time and I like being nice) and all but the fact is that I’ve been doing it way before I became accustomed to Korean stuff and mannerisms. I did it isn’t all my previous schools and I still do it now. I stand there and I’m like “Go ahead, why are you looking at me so weirdly?” But Korean dramas and reality shows have made me so much more aware of the fact that I do it so often and subconsciously. Also I’ve always been sort of uncomfortable when people hold the door for ME, it makes me feel like I’m forcing them to do something which annoy me a bit because I’m known to be the nicest person ever. 
    In school especially when guys(the usual people who I see in through my everyday passing) hold doors open for me I walk really quickly through it sort of thinking to myself, “Now you think I’m lazy” or “He thinks I can’t do anything for myself” and “You didn’t have to do that”…and yeah that’s basically it. Along with saying “예” and acting so…so formal to people I don’t know well. There are so many things that peole have mentioned here that I do but sometimes it’s just to confuse people XD

  9. I’m not korean or live in korea and I say aigoo all the time.

  10. “There’s a party over here, a party over there, wave your hands in the air, shake your derrière . . . “

  11. Cell phones/hand phones are called mobiles or mobile phones here in Australia. I have a feeling that it’ll take me a while to not call mine a mobile lol.

  12. Haha, handphone xD First time I hear this, but it’s similar to the Germans saying ‘Handy’. Where did this word come from O_Ö
    And I have to agree with the salt amount of Western countries from Asian countries. My parents are like this, too. They don’t like too sweet or salty food: Maybe because they once lived in Asia for a long while, but now their tast buds still are not used to this …
    Or one of my friends used to bow to people like my parents e.g. greeting someone and in other situations. So I think this is adapted in some regions of Vietnam, too.

    I often use interjections like aish, aigoo, omo unintentionally, too.
    Or when I’m sometimes talking with a quiet voice to Germans, but this would lead them into thinking that I’m not confident enough to speak with a clear and loud voice. Though my parents taught me to speak with a soft voice because I’m a girl. You know what I mean? Asian versus Western countries proprieties.

    Well, I think there are more things, but I can’t remember them xD

  13. when and how did you guys get into K POP :)

  14. Can you do a TLDR on Religion in Korea? It mentions in your FAQ that you both minored in Religion and I’ve heard Christianity is BIG in Korea so I was wondering how big it actually is, have you been to any Korean churches or have Korean Christian friends and how (if at all) Christianity affects the drinking culture in Korea? Drinking/getting drunk is taboo to alot of Christians in the Americas- how different is that in Korea (do you still seem unsociable if you don’t drink if you say you are Christian)?
    Also – what religion are you guys? Just curiosity… maybe you don’t want to talk about something so private online :)

    • although i am not martina, i can answer that for you, except for simon and martina’s religion part (i am convinced that they are either atheists or agnostics…?)
      all i can say as a korean is that only 10% of the population is korean.
      remember just because a person says he is a christian doesn’t mean he’s devout. a lot of church goers
      drink alcohol and rarely but have pre-marital sex.
      don’t forget that korea is NOT a country founded on christianity like europe.

  15. I’m 16 and I recognize the “Woot, there it is!” The hip it hop it etc thing I’ve also heard before. I also do the arm-in-a-circle-above-shoulder-thing while saying whoot-whoot! “Raise the roof” with the raise-the-roof-arm-waving is just normal to me…

    The slow-talking-and-extreme-hand/arm-gestures is also something I do normally… I talk with my hands (I swear I was born to speak in sign-language) but the slow-mo talking really only happens when I meet new people because I talk really fast. I mean really, really fast. My family has to stop me sometimes and they’ll just be like “Whaaat?”

    Now, loud talking? I think I only speak loudly when I get really caught up in a conversation because I get so focused on the topic at hand and stop paying attention to my surroundings.

    The x-arm crossing… I don’t remember when or where I picked that up, but I did. It just sort of happens now… Bowing I know I picked up from watching WAAAAY too many K/J-Dramas and variety shows. Opening and closing doors is a bit of pet-peeve of mine. Manners, people, manners! Though I think it’s more of a romance-type thing? Holding a door open or pulling out someone’s chair is something you only do when you have a crush on someone or you’re in a relationship, I think.

    Whew, that was long! (and late but I was grounded so…) I think my favorite segment besides WANKing has to be your TL;DR’s! I hope you ankle gets better, Martina!

  16. Haha totally agree with the bowing and the thing about touching your elbow when you hand something to someone!! I just returned home from Korea and been doing that a lot. And the speaking really slowly and using hand gestures for everything lol!

  17. can anyone explain how to get to the page with the questions to vote up and down and to ask your own question? ive been trying to find it…

  18. LOL enjoyed reading it and related many things to my own experience. My colleague frm Bhutan visited Korea and she asked for direction, one man did  the ” X arm crossing ” poor girl ,thought he meant go straight and turn left and then go straight and turn right, she could never find her destination ;)

  19. What’s the name of the song that martina sings in the video?
    she said it was one of eminem’s song as i remember.
    i really wanna know the name. :)

    Ps. i’m a korean student and living in seoul right now
    and i’m 19 in korean age so it’s a tough time for me because you know
    the huge test whatever ㅋㅋ
    i live near 이화 university and i really hope we can meet someday

  20. I keep saying 응… 응…. as I listen to a friends story.

  21. Wow, talking loudly.  My Japanese wife scolds me about that constantly, and I never understood why.  I guess it must be something about Korea/Japan and the volume of your voice.

    Glad I watched this video. :)

  22. Where did you guys get you wall decals , i really like those .i just moved and i cant paint my room so i think wall decals would look nice too .

  23. I love the way you did your eye makeup Martina.Brings out your eye color ! 

  24. How about saying excuse me or sorry when you bump into someone? 

  25. Well, I can’t comment on habits formed in Korea, but I have been in New Zealand since I was 19 (I’m American, now 25) because of my kiwi husband. On a recent trip back home everyone was hassling me about my ‘British-ness’ (they’re not too educated on NZ obviously..). I say ‘aye?’ instead of ‘huh?’ I intonate on almost every sentence instead of a quick ‘ya know?’ I say Kiwi instead of New Zealander and call kiwis kiwifruits. I know how to pronounce Maori and now ‘think’ in Maori pronounciation style. Example: my father was driving us in VA and a sign said ‘To Powhite Parkway’ and I thought it was ‘Toe-poe-fit-ee’, as Maori would pronounce it. There are way too many things to name, but suffice it to say it happens and there’s almost nothing you can do about it! 3rd culture peeps we are :) Love your TLDR’s btw.

  26. Bowing. I started doing this mainly when I got back from Japan, but I never notice it. I never think it’s weird, and my family and friends never say anything about it. Then I meet someone new and I bow and I either get weird looks or they literally laugh. While I stand there, totally confused, my parents or friends usually have to make up some excuse like “Oh, she studies Asia, so she does weird things sometimes.”
    I’ve also realized that after returning from Korea, I have a habit of using Konglish. Especially saying “진짜” when ever I’m really excited or upset. One of my uni friends finally asked me the other day why I always cuss in Korean, and I had no clue what she was talking about. Then I had to explain I was really just saying “really”. . . .Ahhhhh Konglish ♥

  27. I used handphone all the time instead of cellphone. It’s weird using cellphone. So it’s an Asian thing? lol

  28. Definitely have been stuck holding the door open for the masses before. Never again.

  29. I use straws to drink coffee in America too. It’s supposed to help keep your teeth white…….. supposed to…….

  30. lol at using chopsticks, more humane way t eat food XD
    Mine is bowing, Using Omo&Aigoo, Covering my mouth when I laugh and passing food by holding my elbow.

  31. The covering your mouth, speaking softer, bowing, not making direct eye contact and making random korean exclamations and saying thank you for every little courtesy came from a mix of watching lots of korean dramas, music videos, and growing up with korean godparents and a korean best friend. When we were little, they were always shhhing us so now, naturally, I speak softly, and so when I speak with my family, I feel like I’m yelling all the time because they say I speak all soft and try to be cute. I definitely cover my mouth when I laugh or speak and when I’m eating. It’s been so trained into me, I can just remember my mama coco across the table “Cover your mouth, no one want to see you eat” lol

  32. omg we do that ‘touch ur arm’ thing in india 2! like, wen we’re taking or accepting sth, we have 2 hold our right arm with our left arm.

  33. Oh yea, forgot to mention: I don’t live/have never been to Korea. I actually live in Phoenix AZ. We don’t really have very many..Asians, period, so people really have no idea why I do some of the things I do that isn’t very normal for people around here…

  34. now the korean blood is getting on to you~ muhahahahahahah~!!!

  35. This was definitely the funniest TLDR so far!

  36. Ok well, hope I don’t offend anybody but I’ve been having this thought for a long time, Is it common for koreans to eat dogs, what do younger generations think of this? 

    • First of all, eating dog is not very popular in Korea. It goes long way back to ancient times. Since beef, pork and even chicken was very very expensive and hard to get for most people, dogs are the easiest and sole provider of protein which people could get around them. That’s how people started eating dogs, but it’s neither that popular nor inexpensive now.  Besides, we, Koreans, do not eat house pets. There are particular breeds for eating, though. (Hmm… sounds weird, but true…) So here are answers to your questions:

      1. Eating dog is not common though it is huge part of  restaurant business in Korea.
      2. Younger generations in Korea mostly consider eating dog a part of the culture and they think it’s just an individual taste although they don’t eat dog meat.

      Hope this helps. :) 

  37. Even though I like all your videos, for me TL:DR is by far my favorite.

    You guys rock!

  38. Haha..You guys are hilarious! XD

  39. I’ve never been to Korea before (but I’d really like 2 one day) so I have no experience on this topic, but what I’d like to say is that I really, really like your makeup here Martina lol :)

  40. I was a door holder too in my past. Except, I was that girl who held it for everyone in the subway station because I didn’t want to seem rude. Thank you, Korea, for breaking that habit. The fact that it was weird to hold the door broke it for me within a couple of days.

    Also, I’m often ridiculed for the bowing. When I come back to New York, it’s often to meet new people (often those older than me) and to hold small retreats (I’m a missionary in Korea)… Oh the bowing… 

  41. I’ve picked up some things just by watching korean shows. When i’m walking into my school and someone opens the door for me, i bow a little instead of saying thanks. i try stopping myself~ I also clap when i laugh or if something is funny. And when i forget something, i go ashhh~ i thnk i got tht from kdramas xD

    • Oh my god, me too! Whenever anyone does something for me I bow a little, even when I’m crossing the street and a car waves for me to go. Everyone that sees me do it looks at me a bit weird XD I also have found myself clapping when I laugh. And when I get surprised I say “Omo” and I’ve found myself doing a lot of other things I have seen in Kdrama and other Korean shows I have watched, and without noticing it until someone says something about it XD

      • I’m so glad i’m not the only one :D People look at me funny sometimes because i also say omo if i’m surprised, or i say it instead of ‘oh my god’. I live in Georgia, so it’s pretty weird to do these things here too becuase most people hv never heard of kpop.

        •  I live in Georgia! And yeah… unless you have Korean acquaintances, the majority of people just nod and, more or less, avoid me after asking what type of music I listen to or shows I like to watch… *sigh* I can’t wait until I go to South Korea.

        • Finally some people who live on the S.E. side of US, i’m in Florida and everyone looks at me weird whenever I do these actions or sayings. I’ve only met one other person who knew about kpop and kdramas, everyone else looks at me like i’m retarded.  -_-

        • Hi from Jax. Glad to know my sister and I don’t form the only kpop&kdrama fans here!

    • Oh yea, forgot to mention: I don’t live/have never been to Korea. I
      actually live in Phoenix AZ. We don’t really have very many..Asians,
      period, so people really have no idea why I do some of the things I do
      that isn’t very normal for people around here…

  42. I totally get the salty thing. I cook a lot of recipes submitted by American/Canadians from Food.com, and so many of the recipes include 1-1/2 tspn of salt that makes whatever I’m cooking taste like a bowl of salt. Seriously, imagine Cinnamon Sugar cookies that taste like salt cookies! So I only add a dash of salt now.

    American and Canadian tourists sound loud to us over here in Australia. You can hear them before you see them on the street!

    Oh and I’ve picked up saying ‘Eh~?’ (wtf?) from anime, and ‘Nani?’ (what?) which I seem to say when I can’t find something for a recipe.

  43. I sometimes feel really awkward for picking up habits just by being interested in Korean culture and having Korean friends around. So thanks to this, I tend to cover my mouth when I’m eating and my mouth is really full or when I’m laughing (I also clap while laughing…) say things non-Korean people won’t understand, bow slightly when I apologise or greet someone, use ‘strange’ gestures and use chopsticks for everything. Aaah, I don’t really mind. I sometimes get weird looks, but that would happen anyway :D

  44. Oh, I can imagine how you felt eating salty food lol. When I first came to the states like six years ago, I remember not being able to eat any food from the buffet I went for the first time. Everything was just overwhelmingly salty. Since I have no problem eating American food, I’m slightly worried about my health due to a large amount of salt intake.

  45. When I was in Korea, I held the door for a couple with a newborn baby in the pram. Prior to entering, the father stopped, gave me a 90-degree bow and smiled whilst the mother kept bowing her head multiple times as she walked in. It made me wonder whether the act of holding a door for someone was a rarity there which I now understand after this video. Luckily I was met with a sign of gratitude rather than bewilderment.

    And I was wondering if it was normal for ajummas running street vendors to actually link arms with you or grab your shoulder then drag you to their stall? I had a few instances where that had happened (and my poor baby brother feeling clueless as the ajummas pestered him with menus).

  46. Hahaha I think exactly the same about Chopstick and fork. Fork is… barbaric haha

  47. I took on the ‘aigoo’, ‘eotteokhae’ and ‘omo’ habit as well!! also sometimes instead of saying haha i say keke. I pour drinks for people when im in chinese restaurants or eating with my relatives.. But one thing I took on from k-pop idols is covering my mouth when laughing or eating a big piece of food?! I feel like uncomfortable when people just laugh opening their mouths really wide of chewing freely and LOUDLY! that really annoys me now! :P

  48. I definitely do the “look both ways thing” because I live in Shanghai and I have literally almost been hit 4 times. You guys didn’t mention this, but I do the hamster hand gesture to call someone over. And I now say “hao de” ALL the time (it means “yes” or “OK” or “good” in Chinese). I will most likely have severe problems breaking habits (the chopsticks thing as well) when I return to America. 

  49. well i do bow, say aigoo or clap my hands when i laugh XDD it’s weird how it became such a natural habits for me XD even if my mum complains abt it (for ex the clapping – she says is way to childish…) i can’t stop doin that, cuz it’s… just became natural to me xD maan XDD

    anyways – another useful vid (: i might be wrong but u’ve made some vid about korean customs… didn’t u? coz i think i’ve seen it… or maybe not xD whatever xD will gotta check xD

    ok. i start to feel a bit bad about it, but from the other hand i know i’ll regret it if i won’t try to get the answer. so. maybe u’ve already seen the question, but me & my friend will be goin to seoul in may and i’d love to meet u guys :D i don’t intend to organize some special fan meet, coz i know u r busy. just… let me know where & when  u’ll be so i can go there & greet u P:

  50. Heh, funny… all true for me too! That and I say “ahigo” or “ummah” all too naturally when I drop or bump into something! Your new lighting seems to work well for the crispyness! Whites a bit blown though I think!?

  51. I totally relate to your bowing habit! After living in Japan for three years, I couldn’t stop bowing when I met people. And I went, “Eh to…..” all the time. I also started speaking in weird English because of the “simple” English I was using with students! 

  52. O Lord. Since i cam back from Japan, every time i meet someone i bow, every time i bump into someone i bow and say “sumimasen” (excuse me  in Japanese). My sisters and i have been slowly spreading Japanese phrases into our various workplaces just cuz we forget that we are in Canada now. I’ve also always hated getting my coffee mug rim wet or my milk carton soggy so i use a straw or mixing stick as well. And finally, what is this thing you call fork? So funny that everyone stares at you weird!

  53. I say “Aigoo” every time  when I realize I made a mistake or done something silly. All thanks to Korea… >.>

  54. Laughing so hard at the slow talking bit. After extended stays in Japan I always come home speaking slowly, clearly, and with lots of hand gestures.  I also tend to forget basic English words because I like the Japanese one so much better (half the time I can’t remember vending machine b/c I think of them as jidohanbaiki). 

  55. OMG! Martina said my name! Jackee! XDD

  56. KATHyphenTUN

    As a fellow Canadian I was curious as to what you miss the most about Canada? (….besides ranch and cheese, which I would die without as well!)

  57. S&M… Speaking of forks. How are the Western style restaurants in Korea. Like for example, VIPS and their version of Outback Steakhouse? Ever been to any of those?

  58. thatssumgoodcurry

    So, you’re telling me that when I go to Korea I’m going to need to bring my own salt stash? Because I. Put salt. On EVERYTHING. Like seriously, I don’t know how I don’t have chronic dehydration, I LOVE salty food.

    And not holding doors open pisses me off so bad. I live in America and I just can’t stand it. Like, I can understand when girls don’t wait by the door to hold it open for other people, but even then most girls will do that awkward look-behind-while-continuously-pushing-the-door thing. People not doing that would just make me so…URGH!

    When I go to Korea, I’m holding the door open. Screw everyone else.


  60. do you guys have any videos where you teach us any korean? if not, could you make one? ^^ thanks! love the show :D

  61. jeje I also drink the coffee with a straw I find it more comfortable, I’m from El Salvador and I ‘ve never been in Korea XD 

  62. I have an issue with the bowing thing. Due to the fact i had a Korean/ Chinese language teacher in high school for 4 years, she instilled us to do the slight bow whenever we would meet new people or just in general. Unfortunately i live in Texas. No one does this, but i still do it out of habit. Im not sure if its noticeable but i have caught myself doing it when i meet new people at my college. Is that odd? :/

  63. kawaii_candie

    eheheh… we do the X hand gesture in japan too… and i do it ALL THE TIME too (especially) … it is usually accompanied with a big “dame!” which means “no” or “wrong” or “don’t do it!!!” yeah… i do it when i go home too… also i tend to always bow to people (a little, nothing crazy) when i go home and it’s really hard to stop myself! lol.

    those things are funny! ^_^

  64. Just from watching waaaaaaay too many kdramas and kreality shows I have started to say YA! When I get annoyed at something….people look at me weirdly…..maybe I should stop…..o-O

    • yeah, i knew i watch more Korean tv than American when i started rubbing my hands together in supplication–like for “i’m sorry”, or “please please please with a cherry on top”…  “ya!” comes out, too.  but i get you—it’s not on purpose or anything, it’s just what comes out when my brain wants to convey that mood!  

  65. I’ve picked up the “Ne” habit, everytime someone is telling me something I tend to say “Ne” every certain time and nod my head a little to show I’m listening to them.
    Also, when someone tells my name to call my atention or when I don’t understand something I say “Ne?” instead of “what?”

  66. They left out saying ung and yeyeye, those are my big ones

  67. I live in São Paulo, so I wouldn’t have the problem of looking both ways before crossing a street hahaha
    But it must be sooo funny you guys doing these korean habits out of Korea hahahaha
    Actually, this “little bow” thing I do with my father-in-law… He’s grandson of Japanese, and say hi bowing, so I’ve just kept this habit. But only with him and his family (thanks God)

    Buuuut since you haven’t done TLDR last week, I think you should do another one to the next week, and then go back to the normal :DDDDDDDDD

  68. The bowing thing would be troublesome, since it’s against my religion. I always had a problem with it during karate, so I’d just nod my head or tap my thighs.

    The loud voices is funny. I think I might have to take my family there so they can lower their volume.

  69. I don’t know where I picked it (maybe from my judo classes when I was a kid?) but sometimes I do bow slightly. 

  70. ” 4) Looking both ways before crossing a one-way street: Gotta be done. Or you die”
    Same in Argentina.. or you die. jajaja so sad!!

  71. Haha I don’t think the straw thing is Korean, I did it all the time as a kid when I made coffee in 7-11, plus it feels like it lasts longer.

  72. “Korean food doesn’t use a lot of salt”
    You’ve been avoiding the side dishes and red soups, haven’t you? Those are LOEADERD wtih salt. They’re so loaded with salt it made me spell LOADED wrong. Yesterday I saw a link on facebook (lost it now) saying that one bowl of kimchi jigae, by itself, meets the maximum daily recommended amount of salt, and jambbong is even higher.

    I totally agree about chopsticks. They’re like little, more dextrous fingers. And eating salad with a fork is stupid.

    •  I just wanted to say that I LOVE your username. xD ♥

    • I think what Simon should have said was,”the food doesn’t taste as salty” but it still has salt in it.  After all, Kimchi and almost all the other side dishes, are made in salt shrimp brine. BTW, just to make you jelly, I just made my own homemade breakfast sausages and they were DIVINE! *Martina wafts her sausage in Roboseyo’s face* Wait…that didn’t sound right….

      • Well, you know how I love sausage…
        awkward pause…. hoping simon doesn’t remember that time I grabbed his butt as a joke…

        Thanks, Vicky!

    • you’re correct. the best way to eat korean food is not eat the soup itself, but whatever is floating in it.
      as long as you don’t drink the liquid part, you won’t take in too much salt

  73. I developed some “Korean habits” long time ago… but after almost 7 months in Seoul it definitely became stronger. Seriously, bowing and using two hands is totally automatic now. Not to mention some Korean words and expressions which half of my friends (thanks God the rest are also interested in Korea) have no idea about…
    Sometimes I even don’t know which thing/habit/behavior is not Polish/European… For me it’s just all natural xP

  74. haha do you say “handeu-pone” and not hand phone?  I don’t even say cellphone, I just say cell or phone.  I totally picked up the aish/aigoo thing when I started watching dramas :/

  75. I spent two weeks in korea during the summer. And boy did i become accustomed to the whole bowing thing. I bowed after; buying clothes, being served in a restaurents, and meeting new people. I did it so often there, that when i came back to canada, I bowed at every single thing even when saying thank you. And when saying thank you I even had to think for a few seconds, because i forgot what “kamsamnida” was in english . lol ;P

  76. omg you talk fast XDD surprised i understand :p  it’s weird because I have never been anywhere (forever stuck in Canada) and yet I have picked up different gestures, like slight bowing or nodding or the way I wave someone over or how i point to things…i think i watch too many Japanese and Korean shows/dramas ^^;

  77. i picked up the habit of bowing from watching korean/japanese dramas.
    I need to hang out with english people. 

  78. Oh! I also say aish and aigoo all the time.

  79. At last year’s election I bowed to the ballot taker when she gave me a sticker that said, “I voted!”. I have never been to Korea but I did pick up the habit in my taekwondo class. I also bowed to the bank teller when she gave me money. And I took the money and the sticker with both hands too. Embarrassing!

  80. I have totally picked up the habit of bowing. Or, well, not really bowing. It’s like I nod my head in a half-bow whenever I say ‘thank you’ or similar things to anyone who is not a friend or family member. I do it unconsciously, but I notice if I don’t do it, because then I feel really rude, lol XD

  81. Simon and Martina (well, mostly Martina) where do you watch Kdramas with english subs and is there a best place to do so?  I love watching them but some are on websites that are slow or I don’t feel safe using them.  

    • Go to mysoju.com  That has Korean, Japanese, and Chinese dramas with English subs.  It has about every drama you can think of.  I highly recommend it!

    • Where do you live?  Not sure if other areas have access, but if you live in North America, DramaFever & Viki are safe and have good quality.  DF’s subs are more professionally done, and viki is mostly fan sub, which I prefer actually.  If you have access to Hulu, they combine access to DF/Viki dramas.  DF/Viki/Hulu have ads while watching, and I don’t have a problem with speed.  I feel mysoju/dramacrazy have too many pop ups, not good quality, and you can’t guarantee all parts of the episodes are there.  
      Also, if a drama you want to watch is not licensed you can probably even find it on youtube and there’s also kimchidrama.

    • Or try downloading o-o asiatorrents.com d-addicts.com also viki’s subs suck they leave out parts the whole time seriously i got so friggin annoyed.

    •  epdrama.com and mysoju.com tend to be the best for me

  82. Because I watched so many Korean dramas, I picked up the bowing habit so now people look at me weird because I bow every time I say hi to someone

  83. i picked up bowing habit too…from mangas, manhwas and animes…so everytime i met adults n had to show respect i would bow (not 90 degrees though)…i did it even with my frens..
    but i dropped doing it with my frens cuz they thought i was swinging and being childish…

  84. i don’t even live in korea but a few words have already infiltrated my vocabulary via dramas and kpop so i answer the phone with yoboseyo or ne (which creates a nice awkward silence where im like: hello? o.o and he/she is like …oh hi), i also say kamsamnida, which again has the person awkwardly like smiling and nodding, guessing that it ‘proabably’ means thank you aaaand sometimes i use mianhae too… i once almost sang the birthday song in korean also O.o

  85.  Just from Japanese class (and the dramas, of course, as well) I have the bowing habit, and I haven’t even been abroad yet. It’s quite awkward, I often have to catch myself when I do just about anything or I end up bowing to everyone and making them think I’m weird…

  86. I’ve been working in a Korean company for 3  years now and my co-workers are mostly Koreans. Naturally I’ve adapted some of their gestures and expressions which is REALLY embarrassing when I unwittingly apply them to random people.  As mentioned in your blog, bowing and  putting-your-hand-under-the-other-extended-hand are just a few of the habits I’ve been using..and in the last family reunion we had?? yeah..AWKWARD! They were like,WHY are you bowing?? LOL!

    Also, OMO!, DAEEEBAK!, JJANG!  are just a few of the expressions that is now a part of my usual conversation~ 

  87. Well… When I lived in Australia we called it a ‘Mobile’ @_@ Here in Canada we just say Phone.. i think?

  88. omg i was only in Korea for one month and i still touch my arm everytime i hand something over.. because i have to do it in class and at work (i work with Korean people) ,,, all my friends are like what are you doing…??? lol

  89. I noticed the lighting, it’s really quite pristine and aesthetically pleasing.

  90. Kekeke, I’ve also developed some strange habits… even though I live in Toronto, and am a young teen. I recieved a gift card from a teacher at my school and I accidently bowed after saying thank you… and all of my white- washed friends were like, “wtf? did you just bow?” Also I added kekeke to my vocab (as seen at the top) and whenever my friends call my name I respond with “ne?” xD And I answered the phone with “yeoboseyo” instead of hello one time : that was quite awkward… but I just can’t help it I’m Korean- washed !

  91. Okay, love this one! We’ve only been here a month, and I am already doing most of this! haha!

  92. is martina’s “momomo” intended?  :)

  93. I have a habit of bowing too, even though I haven’t been to Korea before. It’s just that I see people doing this in KDramas and I began doing it without knowing.

  94. punkyprincess92

    recently a childhood word i starting saying again was boom shakalaka!!!! all thanks to Big Bang!!!

  95. Yesterday, I bought a new cd player for my daughter’s room and the box called it a “portable CD boombox.”  I thought that the term went out with hammer pants :)

  96. (This is posted on the Juno Hair Salon video but I didn’t think it would get answered there since its an old video!)
    Hey Simon and Martina! I love your show. I recently discovered it.

    I noticed a lot of people asked about African-American hair in Korea
    but you guys answered none of those questions. Now I know you wouldn’t
    really know because you yourselves are not of that ethnicity.  What I
    would like to know is if you perhaps saw an Afro-American in the Juno
    Hair Salon at some point in time or if you have any friends who would
    know about this hair in Korea.

    I myself speak zero Korean and never got a phone as a student in
    Korea, so would it be possible that if you do not have the answer to
    this question, that you could ask the people in Juno, perhaps, Cheri,
    when you return there again?

    I would really really appreciate it!

    Thank you guys!

    Signed,Concern Citizen (lol)

    • Hey Mangoxo! I would really strongly recommend heading to Itaewon.  Our friends that were living in Korea that had either naturally very curly hair or were African-American, had terrible experiences with all the normal walk in hair salons because they just didn’t know how to handle their hair.

      All in Itaewon: I’ve heard “Family Hair Salon” has a great reputation, and I don’t know if these two are still around or of their reputation, but I’ve heard of “Ebony Hair” and “Reggae Hair”. Try googling them + Itaewon and hopefully you can find them! I hope this helps! :D

  97. I will be moving to Korea in a couple years so I have been studying the language and culture as much as possible. I have picked up a lot of different habits and tend to say random stuff in Korean without realizing it (that is until I see the look on the other person’s face…). I ride a scooter (yay scooters!) and one thing that is big (at least in the US, I’m not sure about other countries) is sticking your hand out or nodding at another rider. Sometimes it is easier to nod but my nodding has somehow evolved into bowing. Yes, I bow at other riders. It will make my day if someone bows back :)

  98. Kanee11

    I heard that they only hold the door open for their girlfriend/boyfriend or someone they have a crush on, so that might explain why they are looking at you weirdly.

  99. Just this week, after several years of studying Japanese, I did the equivalent of your ‘momomo’ – I said ‘nani nani’ to my English Lit teacher at uni. Her ‘WTF?’ expression was one of the best I’ve ever seen.
    Embarrassed much? (-_- ;)

  100. It’s really interesting the types of gestures you pick up! I do kendo and since it’s Canada, it’s so multi-cultural; there’s Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, African, etc. But when we go out drinking afterwards (omg koreans and their drinking!!!!) I’ve picked up a couple of habits, like bowing when the sensei leave or when pouring/ accepting beer, forcing myself to drink because my senpais tell me too… Thank goodness for your vids! There’ve been a couple moments when, for example, my korean friends like turn away from the sensei to drink or other gestures and I’m like ‘wth… ?’ Now I understand more and with things that especially involve in gestures towards the sensei, I try to copy them.

  101. I don’t live in Korea, but I’ve developed the bowing from years of watching anime (since I was like….8?) and most recently from watching kdramas all year long. It can get really awkward here in the states; one time I had an interview for a job, and I very nearly bowed instead of shaking the manager’s outstretched hand. I wound up doing  a combo with a the handshake and a small bow…..

  102. been stuck with the Koreanwaybug alwell… been watching a lot of of Kpop, Kdrama, Jdrama… so yeah, omo, kekeke are in my vocabulary as well as dorama.. and I live in Montreal kekeke…

  103. I love languages, although I prefer just learning a little bit of  EVERY language. I did the same with Japanese, and what it is, is that I will phonetically say English words in Korean. Not in sentence, but on it’s own. Often under my breath.

  104. bc of watching Korean dramas I now say wae and omo. You hear that a lot in Korean dramas. 

  105. the hand gesture thing actually is not just custom in S. Korea. its pretty much in asia country but its rarely practice unlike in S. Korea.

    In Malaysia too they call it handphone instead of cellphone 

  106. This is off topic, but what airline do you use to get to and from Korea to Canada? My sister and I are planning a trip, but we don’t know what airline to go with.

  107. I similarly do the bowing thing, but I’ve never been to any country outside of the US. My habit came from taking Japanese classes in high school and having to do the traditional greeting and ending of class. Now people think it’s because I’m not from the US…but I am…but I’m not….melting pot confusionnnn!

  108. The handing over thing we do in Africa but with your elbow touching hand up.  It was in the past to prove that you were not holding a weapon in your other hand (sign of dishonesty, mistrustful etc.)  I still do it in America sometimes.

  109. cell phones are commonly known as handphones in Singapore too. and regarding how Korean food does not use much salt… i just read this article yesterday which suggests otherwise lol. 


  110. Uh oh, Martina busted out the Rapper’s Delight, w00t w00t!

    Uh oh… I’m realizing this is going to be a long response thing, so I apologize for my TL;DR comment. xD;;

    I do the “elbow thing” when I’m eating or sharing food/drinks, but that’s an under-the-elbow thing. This started happening when I saw this on a food show about Korea, and a woman in a hanbok did it to serve tea. When I catch myself doing it, I’m just like… WTF, Vicky… You’re serving mac & cheese (or something).

    Bowing just comes naturally. I bow all the time to people when I’m apologizing for something simple like almost running into them. At times I bow in greeting as well.

    We’re usually quiet in public anyway, so that wasn’t new for us when we were on trains and such. There were times when big group of kids/teens were “loud,” but it was due to seeing us very foreign people, thus an opportunity to practice English. LoL. There was one instance when an older man was loud on a train… and was apparently saying racist things in regards to my friend, who is white/blonde/blue-eyed. Everyone around him felt so uncomfortable, but we just kind of looked at him briefly – though I continued to do so with a smile and smiled at those who felt bad and met eyes with me. Another older Korean eventually got him to quiet down, and he ended up leaving.

    I’m pretty sure I giggled the first time someone in Korea x-armed me – at the Paris bakery place, but I completely understood since, well, there I was, unable to speak in their language and vice versa. The second time was more rude since I was ignored up until the eventual x-arming. :P

  111. gaahhhh forks are awkward! I went to my sister’s for dinner recently and was handed a fork, I remember looking at it like “huh? what do I do with this?” Silly I know….I now carry chopsticks in my purse at all times ^^

  112. I got that habit of bowing as well after living for 6 months in Japan… And awkwardly, I still do it at random times even though I’ve been back for almost a year now xD

  113. I think the straw/stirrer is great because it’s clumsy to drink it directly (for me, at least ><). But maybe it's because Starbxxks in Hong Kong don't make their coffee that hot…

  114. Ok, I gotta say.. I love hearing the coffee-straw thing. Every time I purchase myself my cuppa joe, NO JOKE, I spill it on myself. The lid my be secure, and technically safe to use, but no matter what, boiling hot coffee spills onto my body. Straws FTW!!!

    •  I (Martina) worked at a coffee shop for 3 years so I know the art of sealing the coffee lid. It’s a sweeping zip-lock bag movement. <–Imagine some snobby classical music behind that comment, like NA NA NA NA NA NAAAAA NA NA NA NA NAAAAA.

  115. i don’t think i seen a video that has dated you more than this one. whop there it is good times

  116. in malaysia, we call it handphone too! keke~ even though in stores the sign says mobile phone, but the store person will always say, “looking for a handphone?” haha! it’s like ingrained! only now we’re slowly starting to say cellphone or mobile phone or just simply phone. lol. but handphone is still used for like our local language when they mix english in.

  117. ithink the ‘handphone’ applicable not only in korea but in all asia as well coz here, in Indonesia, we called it handphone too, and so does my friend from japan and malaysia

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