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Ok super generic title here, and – we realize – this isn’t necessarily true of what everyone does. One part of the video we cut out was when Martina asked her students – back when she was teaching – what they did on their free time, a lot of them would just say “sleep” or “watch dramas.” It’s not like, the moment a holiday or weekend starts, everyone packs into the parks. Though, it’s so crowded that it feels that way.

You know, that’s one thing that still surprises us about Korea: how crowded it can get. A few weeks ago, the first Saturday in which the temperature broke 20 degrees, the two of us decided to go to Samchungdong for a date-day. Turns out that EVERY OTHER COUPLE IN KOREA DID THE SAME THING. Though, I’m sure this isn’t true. Tons of people stayed home or did something different. It didn’t feel that way to us, though, because there were so many couples walking around, holding hands, that it felt like the crowds that leave concert halls after the show’s over. It’s overwhelming. Then again, when we go back to Toronto, we look around and ask ourselves where did all the people go. Feels like a ghost-town to us now, though I’m sure that it’s not. In comparison to Korea’s really high population density, it feels that way.

Another thing we didn’t really talk about in this video: I think the urban sprawl that we’re used to in North America really prevents people from doing a lot on their weekends. Where we grew up, you couldn’t really walk anywhere. You have to drive, since everything’s so spread out. In Korea, though, we can easily walk to a park, a movie theatre, a few coffee shops, a bunch of restaurants, a hospital, and a shopping mall, all within 20 minutes of walking. Things are so condensed here, which makes it easier for people to do things. While, if you’ve gotta drive for an hour to get somewhere, you might not be as motivated. No? Thoughts?

Back to free time in Korea: there is something else that we forgot to mention: Pensions! Though, our experience of pensions is really limited, since we’ve only been a couple of times A LONG TIME AGO, we do know about them:

Pensions, from our experiences, are kind of like cottages that you rent for the weekend. They’re far away from the city. They’re not really like those log-cabins by the lake and whatnot. The pensions we went to were old schools that aren’t schools anymore. Hell, you know, I just thought of something brilliant: the Eatyourkimchi crew should all go to a Pension and make a movie out of it. That’d be awesome! Though, one thing I do remember about pensions that sucks: sleeping on the floor. You have a mat on which to sleep on the ground, but those aren’t comfortable for us, aka, first world problems. Ok: just emailed Soo Zee about this. Gonna get something planned for one of these weekends. We should also go to Busan. Hell. Lots of things we should do.

Ok I realize the point of the last paragraph was to talk about pensions, but we didn’t talk about them. We just remembered them vaguely from a couple of years ago, so now we decided to go to one. We’ll be able to tell you a lot more about them once our video on them is done. YAY! We’re super stoked for this. Or it could be the 3AM crazies kicking in now, in which we think every idea is a great idea, and maybe this is a lot lamer than I’m making it out to be.

IF there’s anything we missed out on in this post and video, let us know. I’m sure we’re missing a bunch, and as soon as someone suggests it, we’ll be like “OH HELL HOW DID WE FORGET?!” It’s really the public park tent culture that surprises us the most. So many tents! Are you used to seeing that where you’re from?

ToFebruary
  1. oh, the tents. So many tents. Everywhere. Tents are expensive though! the only one you can get for $30 dollars is that iron man one from homeplus which my Husband and I were totally…not….contemplating buying.

  2. Hi Simon / Martina / Dr M / The Spudge,

    A while ago you did a video about how to teach in Korea, and now I’m scared of Hagwons. BUT what what do you do if you want to teach in a public school? How did you get involved? Are there any recruitment agencies that are better than others, or should I just contact the schools directly?

    I’m studying for an education degree at the moment. In September I’m going to Daegu to do a 6 month internship at one of the universities, but I’m already looking into coming back to teach once I graduate :)

  3. Where I live most things are within walking distance too. Apart from friends! My friends all live in different towns so organizing get-togethers is a pain >_<

  4. i figured the tents were the Korean way of picnic-ing in the park while also not getting tanned and keeping cool since tanning not so popular… oh and to ward away insane bugs and such

  5. Based on watching the “Truth Is..” Australian tv show on kpop that you were featured in, I have two potential questions for a TL;DR:
    1 – How do you see the “Korean Wave”? Is it working? Is it worth it?
    2 – How do you feel about the conditions the kpop groups live under and is one of your goals (perhaps not an original goal) now to try to highlight the situation so that maybe the situation can improve for them?

    Either one would be awesome but……kinda political I guess. I hope that’s ok?

  6. Funny that there’s a tent culture in Korea. My Chinese grandparents view camping as backwards. “We work so hard to give you a good life. Why would you want to sleep on the ground?”

  7. with so many people in one area, how would the delivery guy know which person ordered it?

  8. I live in Kansas and oh man you definetly need to drive to go anywhere! We don’t have such a dense population as Korea or even other cities in the U.S. If my family wants to go to a mall that actually has good stores we drive out to Wichita which is 3 hrs away!!! A decent amusement park is 5 hrs away! Yes we have driven 5 hrs to go to an amusement park! And when driving you can go a long time without passing any cities. The ones you do pass are just tiny little towns that you wonder why people live there. Sometimes I’m jealous of bigger cities that have everything a few minutes away but then again I don’t love crowded places, so little towns have their benefits! Like cleaner air! And big backyards! :)

  9. Oh Simon – Flin Flon isn’t in the middle of nowhere…it’s actually in Manitoba.

  10. You guys have mentioned your creepy room that is off the kitchen in your studio, why is it creepy? What happened in there? You said you would tell us one day, it should be that day :)

  11. Is the Birthday song still copyrighted?

  12. In the spirit of Simon’s tent puns. Winter is the best time to buy a tent. Because:

    Now is the winter of our discount tent.

    Something for the Shakespeare fans.

  13. Hahaha that Jimmy thing made me laugh! My boyfriends parents almost gave him Jimmy as his “english” name, but they decided against it because it was too popular as an english name in asia!

  14. Aww that was such a cute birthday message! Simon’s got some made flute skills!

  15. You should get the Iron Man tent! Then go to the park, set up your tent (because pitching it in public would be wrong), order up some fried chicken, Onew will find his way there automatically, and then Simon and Onew can spend the day getting wasted on chicken. Martin hopefully Taemin will tag along and you and he can dance while those other two indulge in their shared chicken love. Man now I want chicken!

  16. I think you guys should go to G-Dragon’s father’s pension, wherever it is and tell us about it.

  17. Can you guys go camping for a WANK??? :D cuz that would be cool.

  18. I’m envious, I really wish I lived in an area that had more things…heck anything with walking distance. Then again it is 104º degrees (that’s 40º in celsius I believe) outside right now and I don’t even want to walk the three minutes from my office doors to my car. In the winter though, things within walking distance would be wonderful to have.

  19. Haha, the malls! I’m so used to two-story and one-story malls, and so when my grandparents brought me to a Korean mall I was like , “Why… are there… so many… floors…”

  20. Hi you lovely people! So I’m planning my 25+5 birthday adventure [I can’t bare to say the real number yet] for next year, and it has always been a dream to go to South Korea and explore. Is there a better time of year to travel to Seoul or one that I should avoid all together and why? I’m super excited to take the adventure and I want to make the best of it, so any advice would be totes fab and helpful!

    • Thanks so much for your helpful tips. My birthday is in September so I’m thinking of making it a Fall trip, but maybe I’ll travel during the summer prior. Thanks for all of the hints on the places to see. Maybe I should just have you plan my trip.

  21. Now I want to go tent camping in a park and have food delivered to me. That sounds like so much fun!

    Even though it was a total coincidence, June 12 (aka the day this video was uploaded) happens to be my birthday, so the shout-out at the end made my day a little better! Thanks Simon & Martina!

  22. Was that Barbra Streisand at the end of the vid?

  23. WHAT ARE THESE PERK PACKAGE I KEEP HEARING ABOUT???? DX I only know about the ones on Indiegogo where you could get Polaroids or Music (I got the music). But now there were Make-up ones, and other stuffs. I’m sad now. Sad face!!! :-(

  24. I was wondering why I hadn’t seen any of these shout outs yet!

    Martina, did Hyori’s make-up inspire you that much? ^^

  25. IT’s a multi-level coffee shop that is filled with people coupling together..hmm…I thought that that sort of thing was NOT accepted in Korea. (Mark that one up as; things that make you go ‘hmmm’ (there is a earworm for ya!))

  26. Hi, Simon and Martina! I’m currently watching a lot of k-dramas lately and I wanted to ask Martina, since Simon doesn’t watch them that much, how popular are they in Korea? Since you said that k-pop wasn’t that popular in Korea, I’ve been wondering about this. Give some tummy touches to Spudgy on my behalf and some treats to Meems. Thanks =)

    • Pretty sure k-pop is popular music in korea, just that some groups that are popular internationally aren’t that popular in korea, personally I’d compare k-dramas to spanish telenovelas or north american shows like pretty little liars/glee/soap operas or whatever, not everyone watches them, but alot of people do.

      • Though I have several Korean friends who aren’t at all into to kpop, I don’t know any Korean person (at any age) who doesn’t watch k-dramas kkkk. Just like I’ve never met anyone, man or woman, who doesn’t like Hyun Bin! He’s so popular <3

  27. I have a question about not wearing shoes outside. Here in the Pacific Northwest you can see many people from young to old take off their shoes and just walk around. Usually this happens at parks, events, fairs, ect. Many Korean dramas portray being shoeless as shocking (for a lack of a better word). Is going barefoot in public a taboo in Korea or is it just a TV/Movie industry? Thanks!

  28. Where are the top 5 places a person visiting Korea just HAS to go? Restaurant, store, garden, whatever. Also, here’s a picture of my doggie!

  29. Aah tent culture, or what we’d call camping here in Australia. Every long weekend or even if the public holiday is on a Thursday/Tuesday, people (mostly Caucasian) will take time off, cram their kids into a car, shove their camping equipment into their trailer, on top of the car, or attach a caravan on the end and drive off to the national parks or near the secluded beaches and camp. Just beware the dingos, mosquitos, and if you’re really unlucky, the weather.

  30. You should definitely do a video about Busan. I only got to spend one day last time I visited Korea and I wish I had more time to explore.

  31. D: ARE YOU GUYS NOT GONNA GIVE AWAY THAT BLOCK B ALBUM ( Even if i missed it xD ) ? :( I WANT IT D: I SERIOUSLY WANT TO GRAB IT AND HUG IT I WANT IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D:

  32. I heard that many younger Korean females dream of wanting to own a coffee shop…at least that is what I got when I was talking to people in Seoul (in coffee shops hehe)

  33. make a video showing us the vertical mall thingie ? :P

  34. I was looking at Simon’s chest hair…its so distracting…all i could think about was Kevin >.< BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  35. GET THE IRON MAN TENT!!!! Even if it is so tiny that your feet are sticking way out, that is just too cool to pass on! We only have dull mono-colored options around here. Don’t waste this chance. It’s frickin IRON MAN!

  36. How many coffee shops are there exactly in Korea? o.O Also, I’m not sure if our ideas of “a lot” of coffee shops match, since here in Vancouver we say that if we throw a rock it will hit three Starbucks XD I heard Tim’s is more popular in Toronto and Starbucks in Vancouver :) Also, Martina said “P Shi Bang” hehe more Koreanification! (Yes, I made that word up…)

  37. Hahahaha drink some food and eat some drinks XD

  38. Do you guys ever feel like people in Korea usually don’t hang out in their houses? Sometimes I don’t want to leave the house just to spend money but in Korea they always feel the need to go out and do stuff. Additionally, if you want to go like hiking somewhere in North America not only is it an activity but also a chance to get away from people but in Korea a lot of times you end up hiking in a line with hundreds of other people. haha. Thoughts? Opinions?

  39. Hi guise! You have mentioned that the music that is popular in Korea is quite different from what the international audience likes or what you review for KPop Music Mondays. What music is popular in Korea, and what bands aren’t listened to as much in Korea as outside of Korea? :)

  40. Hi Simon and Martina!
    I have a bit more free time in …. 2 weeks, and I was thinking I would spend my monies on sending you a package. Is there any British food that you would like? Anything you particularly wan to try? Thanks :)

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