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Korea vs Europe

October 24, 2013

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We figured we’d take over this week’s TL;DR to say our last few thoughts about Europe and share some stories about what we found interesting, but didn’t really get a chance to show in our HUGE BARRAGE OF TRAVEL VIDEOS. You’d think we’d have said enough, but there are a few last things that interested us that we didn’t get to mention.

Vikings Don’t Have Horns

So, we learned this in Norway. Someone told us that Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets. It’d be extremely impractical, and that the horns were only put on in Hollywoodization of Vikings. I wasn’t sure if this was true or not, so then, at our event in Norway, when we mentioned this, the crowd all agreed with it. Totally blew our freaking minds! Or is that something that everyone knows? We can’t be the only ones that are surprised by this.

European Architecture

We say this from time to time, but it really hit us hard when we were in Europe. We don’t like Seoul’s architecture. It’s so incoherent. A big box building beside an older Victorian style house, beside a building covered in mirrors, beside an older Korean style home, beside a new building popping up that looks nothing like any of them. There’s no consistency, no continuity, no spirit. Every building has its own agenda here in Seoul. Sure: there’s lots of cool buildings popping up with cool architecture, but they have nothing to do with the other buildings around them.

In Europe, though, we’d go to some areas that have been around for 600 years, and are solid and beautiful. Hell: our studio’s been around for less than 50 and it’s falling apart. We’ve spent farrrr too much time dealing with our maintenance guy in trying to fix the leak in our ceiling. But in Stockholm, for example, those 600 year old buildings were damn near immaculate.

At the same time, we understand that Korea was devastated from the war, and a lot of its architecture was razed, so it’s not a fair comparison when you talk about traditional buildings. Agreed. It’s Seoul’s newer buildings that look a bit too rushed and not thought out, and it was spending time in Europe that really brought that out for us.

The Bread Is Freaking Amazing And Has Made Us Fat

If you can’t tell from our chubby faces, we really enjoyed eating in Europe. The being said, we might have overdone it regarding our love of bread. We really hate Korean bread, and yes, I know Korea is a rice based country thus why would they be interested in bread making, but considering all the many, many bakeries that are all of Korea, you’d think there would be some differences in how people have learned to make bread. Sure, you can find a handful of bakeries that create good old fashion whole wheat or rustic loaves of bread, but that’s only useful if you’re lucky enough to live very close to one.

From our experiences in Europe we didn’t even know just how different the process of making bread can be from country to country. The bread in Norway was different that what Sweden had to offer us, which was totally different in France, and even MORE different in Poland!

While we understand the lack of land for cow pastures it’s hard to understand why Korean bread hasn’t progressed. I mean, it’s really really bad. I don’t know about around the world, but in Canada and USA there is a cheap white loaf of bread that’s really soft and you can buy it in a supermarket or convenience store. Well Korean bread is 23048834792847398 sweeter than that. It’s SOOOO SUGARY! Korean bread isn’t really bread made for savoury food but dessert. Which is why there is a bread dessert which is literally a giant thick slice of white bread covered in ice cream, caramel, and whipped cream. We ate a really bad version of that dessert, which is called Toast, on one of our FAPFAPs.

Anyhoo the point of this rant is that we’re kind of happy that Korea has such crap bread because otherwise we’d just keep getting fatter. Yay?

Final Coffee Thoughts

You know how we mentioned good coffee near our studio? It’s Zombie Coffee. It’s a small shop that opened a short while ago, after our studio opened, and it’s a husband and wife that run the place. We love their stuff, and we go there all the time. We even share candy with them sometimes :D Check it out. Here’s a picture.

Zombie Coffee

Point being: we were expected to go to Europe and be blown away at how much better their coffee is than Korea’s coffee, but we were wrong. Indie coffee shops, like Zombie Coffee and others, make some of the best coffee we’ve ever had, and we drink it by the buckets. Korea might not be up to speed on cheese and bread, but it’s doing great with coffee.

So, long story short, Europe made us realize that we’d be a lot fatter if we lived there.

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  1. Face it, outside of Asia convenience stores aren’t that that convenient.

    2 years ago
  2. *waves hands frantically* I can answer your question revolving the Viking helmet with horns!! (Well, this is technically what my Classics professor mentioned in lecture a few semesters ago, but I think this is cool information~)

    It’s true, Vikings did not wear helmets with horns or wings… if you think about it, they’d be pretty disadvantageous. Enemies could use those horns as leverage to slit throats, drag bodies along the ground [if the helmets were strapped]. It isn’t completely basless, however, to say that they didn’t exist: there are helmets with horns found, but according to historians they were most likely used by priests for religious ceremonies and the like. Those helmets with horns often had different emblems, jewels, and carvings–descriptions most definitely not suitable for battle.

    The origins of the horns/wings on the helmets for the Vikings stemmed from Ancient Greece in their writings about foreign lands. You can look at Diodorus Siculus’ “Bibliotheca Historia,” which had accounts of warriors from the northeast-ish with helmets of horned animals. The Thracians, a group of people described in Homer’s “Iliad,” were the kind-of-Hollywood-y barbarians the rest of the world is used to seeing today. (Pliny the Elder takes this a step further and talks about people with animal heads, hehehe.)

    Move forward a few centuries, and we have the actual birth of the horned–well, technically wings–Vikings: the Romantic period. Moving out of the Classics constraints, artists jumped into the Celtic and Germanic mythology and history. It wasn’t until the 1800s that a Swedish painter switched it up and created horns instead of wings. The reason why no one really stopped the movement in the first place was because no one really had a clue of what the helmets were really used for… artists built upon the past artists and then when it came to the motion picture adaptation and special effects and all that wonderful jazz…….yeah.

    TL;DR – It started off with ~artistic expression~

    2 years ago
  3. I’m probably not going to comment properly until the troll is banned. My husband is getting really really angry reading those comments. He is really embarrassed at those troll posts trying to be pro Korea, and thinks it’s just embarrassing Korea. Whoever is doing it is not doing it for Korea, they are doing it for themselves.

    2 years ago
    • Ah. Sorry about that. We posted this and went to sleep, and then woke up and saw the commenter. He’s gone now. We were warned about him before, but we didn’t know exactly how big of an ass he’d be. Sorry :(

      2 years ago
      • Hi we’d like to inform you that the above article will be translated into Korean and shared on various Korean blogs like Daum and Naver. It would be interesting to hear what Koreans have to say about it =)

        2 years ago
      • Don’t worry, we ended up just laughing at how big of an idiot he made himself seem. No one to blame except him.

        2 years ago
      • What are you apologising for? It’s my own fault for not being strict enough :/

        2 years ago
        • I’m sorry that one guy is ruining the conversation for other people. It makes me sad, because I like the comment section a lot, and for one asshat to blare his trumpet and make everyone uncomfortable ruins the environment and – in this case – dampens the conversations that we’re having and could be having.

          2 years ago
        • Simon and Martina – never ever let people like him get to you – do you here me! (?) Your are really fun, cute and adorable people!! <3

          … If he's that stupid not to notice it – then there is something seriously wrong with him.

          Love your comments, videos and always hopes you doing what you do :D

          2 years ago
    • People who don’t make it to universities in the US / UK go to Australia and NZ but Korean companies / institutions no longer accept Australian / NZ degrees. If you have one and want to find a job in Korea, try taking it to one of the Hagwons and maybe you can teach kids for a little more than 2 million Won / month.

      2 years ago
    • What is there to be EMBARRASSED about? I don’t give a FLYING F*** what your UNINFORMED husband thinks. If he is Korean, he should know how offensive things that the EATYOURKIMCHI couple posted here can be to some Koreans. Not only am I entitled to my opinions, as a FUTURE Korean citizen, I have every right to be here to inform the uninformed and make dumb, irresponsible people own up to their mistakes and answer for their actions. I’m going to be a Korean citizen very soon and I’m EXTREMELY proud that I will be a citizen of one of the most powerful, developed countries in the world. STOP BADMOUTHING MY COUNTRY!

      BTW, my girlfriend told me that most Koreans in Australia are a disgrace to Korea; only losers who fail to achieve what they want in Korea move to Australia / NZ.

      2 years ago
    • If it makes you feel better, he isn’t Korean. His girlfriend is Korean, and I think he’s trying to fight for her country on her behalf (although it kinda backfired). I did warn him 3 times in the last 24 hours, but his behaviour just escalated. Sorry for not handling it better.

      2 years ago
      • fuuko, you know that you work for a VERY DISHONEST, CORRUPT, RACIST couple? Have you read OTHER blogs or posts about them? I know we tend to see or hear things that we ONLY WANT to hear or see but I think need start being more aware of people around you and pay attention to the opinions of EYK haters. I mean when people dislike something, there’s a REASON for it. Make sure the COUPLE you are working for is using their donated money wisely. =) I’ve heard rumors that they are not spending it on things they are supposed to be spending it on.

        PS> I came across another website where this girl was complaining of the EYK couple STEALING her art work or something? I don’t know the details. Just google it.

        YOU GUYS ARE JUST DISGUSTING. Pretentious evil bastards

        2 years ago
        • I don’t know why I’m even bothering to reply to this… but you have your facts wrong. EYK haters are a very small group compared to all the people that love them. Everything that is popular has haters as well. Haters often have their information wrong as well and spread rumours. For example, that artwork issue is resolved, and it wasn’t stolen. If you’d just googled a little harder you would have found that out.

          2 years ago
      • Yeah saw the girlfriend bit. It’s hard to deal with these types of people. Has he been on other pages as well? Since he is outright calling Simon and Martina names can he just be banned completely?

        2 years ago
        • Oh boy. You know, your first post was alright, but now you’re just going around insulting everyone.

          As to all those hate posts about Eat Your Kimchi, I am aware of them; I know who the people are and why they dislike EYK, and if there are any changes that can be made to improve this site, I pass it on to Simon and Matina. The issue about the artwork has been resolved. Also, I know exactly how they use their money, because I’ve been working for them for many years. I’ve also hung out with them, and can say that they are some of the loveliest, down to earth, and most honest people I’ve ever met. I’m sorry that you don’t feel the same.

          Anyway, until you can somehow articulate yourself in a way that is respectful to the other people on this site, I’m afraid I’ll have to keep banning you. It’s just the rules of this forum.

          2 years ago
        • “they are some of the loveliest, down to earth, and most honest people I’ve ever met” -> YES THEY ARE – I don’t know them as well as you do, obviously ~ but they impressed me with their kindnes & sincerity at our fanmeet in Poland!

          2 years ago
        • You go Glen Coco.

          2 years ago
        • Yea…he posted 30 comments on the Korea vs Australia page yesteday. You wouldn’t like it.

          2 years ago
        • Haha yeah….. I bet his girlfriend must be so proud to have such a keyboard warrior as a boyfriend…………

          2 years ago
      • *hugs* It’s okay, fuuko! You mods can only do so much!! I think I speak for a lot of us here on EYK that we appreciate you and the other nasty mods’ efforts to make the interwebz environment as pretty and awesome as possible. <3

        2 years ago
  4. It’s funny because I spent 5 weeks in France during the summer and I thought they were much more fashionable in Paris (compared to here in Canada). I spent four weeks in Lyon and one week in Paris and there were a lot of differences between the two cities. People in Lyon were a lot more polite and friendly, most everyone smiled and said hi even when we were just walking passed them. People invited us to go eat with them and made delicious food and showed us around. People in Paris were nice as well but a lot colder. I think it’s part of being in such a huge touristic city, versus a smaller city or village. Even in Canada people tend to be more friendly in smaller towns. We also spent a day in Geneva and it was similar but different as well! So many things going on everywhere, it felt like everyone was in a rush. We didn’t have time to interact a lot with people over there but they were always really nice when we asked for directions (the bus/tram system was so complicated!) I really wish I could travel more!

    2 years ago
    • It’s funny that you found people friendly in Lyon, because compared to people in the North of France I find them really cold! It’s all relative! ^^

      2 years ago
  5. You asked what I noticed about traveling to other countries. I spent 3 months in Switzerland, and I learned that each country has its stereotypes for what we consider people from other countries to fit into. (And is typical for the US too) I found that the people I spoke with believed/accepted the media’s representation of events as purely factual without taking into account any bias from the media outlet.
    Also,typically Europeans tend to dress in darker colors – especially in the winter (at least this is what i noticed in Switzerland, France, and Germany one December). Hope this helps.

    2 years ago
  6. A few years ago, I traveled to the Netherlands and stayed with a family there. The family culture was way different than I was used to. I’m used to families eating one meal with each other, but when I was there we had 4 meals together a day. In the evenings, we’d go walking and see the sheep (so many fluffy fluffy sheep that I am horribly allergic to!). Actually, we walked a lot. The only few instances that we didn’t walk were when we rode the bus into the nearest city.

    The city wasn’t anything I’m used to either. When I think of a city I think of grungy litter strewn streets that made you try not to breathe through your nose. In the Netherlands, the city was MUCH older and was impeccable… Well, almost. What I litter I found were cigarette butts. Everywhere. There was no where in the city that had smoke free air. I stayed for 2wks and went used up my emergency inhaler. Other than that? Beautiful. I have about 100 pictures of just the architecture. My host family thought I was nuts for taking pictures of buildings. *shrug*

    Another thing that is different between the US and the Netherlands is that almost all the younger generation are multilingual. The daughter of my host family spoke 5 languages. O_O Woah. Unfortunately, the only English that I could understand was from that daughter. Lip reading different accents is HARD. But everyone there was really polite even though I felt really embarrassed when I had to have someone translate English for me. Politeness went beyond the language barrier though. I had just stepped off the train and was carrying my baggage down the stairs when someone came up beside me and took my bag. I was Shocked. I thought the guy was going to run off with my bag! But it turns out that he had decided I was a damsel in distress and wanted to be a gentleman. He walked me down the stairs and carried my heavy bag the whole way. It was very sweet. I watched him like a hawk the whole way and kept my hand on my bag as he carried it.. but still sweet.

    2 years ago
  7. Kim

    i’ve just spent the last six months in New Zealand as an exchange student and all I can say is that the cheese thing is totally true! I went to a lot of grocery stores in NZ and the most popular cheese i found was Tasty and Colby cheese. They sell it in 1 kg blocks which was soooo weird for me. (And they almost taste the same??????) And before that I used to live in Turkey for three years and it was just the same over there. I mean, every time we flew back to Germany to visit our Family my mom would bring an entire empty suitcase just to fill it with cheese for us and our friends in Turkey. So now that I think about it, maybe Europe has just a very unhealthy cheese obsession :D

    Also they sold milk in two or three liter bottles which was also new for me. I only know those 1 liter packs.
    And also the bread is sooooo different outside of Europe. Which really upsets me because I love German bread. For me the Kiwi bread is just like our toast. If you know what I mean?
    Hahaha, I keep on rambling over food. I’ll better stop now

    Anyways, I hope you guys had fun and come to Germany some time!

    2 years ago
  8. I am so glad that kpop has ruined my mind. Anytime I hear “What does the fox say?” I start going “Ring Ding Ding Dong Ding Ding Dong” Thank you SHINee.

    2 years ago
  9. WHERE’S THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON?? MY LIFE IS LIE!!!

    2 years ago
  10. i’ve just spent the last six months in New Zealand as an exchange student and all I can say is that the cheese thing is totally true! I went to a lot of grocery stores in NZ and the most popular cheese i found was Tasty and Colby cheese. They sell it in 1 kg blocks which was soooo weird for me. (And they almost taste the same??????) And before that I used to live in Turkey for three years and it was just the same over there. I mean, every time we flew back to Germany to visit our Family my mom would bring an entire empty suitcase just to fill it with cheese for us and our friends in Turkey. So now that I think about it, maybe Europe has just a very unhealthy cheese obsession :D
    Also they sold milk in two or three liter bottles which was also new for me. I only know those 1 liter packs.

    Anyways, I hope you guys had fun and come to Germany some time!

    2 years ago
  11. They’ve done a TLDR on homosexuality in Korea :)
    I think it’s old enough that it’s on their bonus channel though, http://www.youtube.com/simonandmartinabonus
    hope it’s able to answer some of your questions :D

    2 years ago
  12. Asian bread tends to be really sweet! Bread from Chinese bakeries tend to be deserts for me just because I find the sweetness sickening after a while. I can’t eat it like I would with American bread. I’ve also had the thick toast, which I call brick toast since that’s what I’ve seen it called in Taiwanese Cafes. Mine just had one topping and I’ve tried the chocolate and condensed milk. It’s really sweet after a while so it’s kind of hard to swallow, but I’m pretty use to that. I can see why others aren’t though. It’s just that bread isn’t a staple food like it is to Westerners, but a desert. So it’s a cultural thing.

    As for Europe, it’s so pretty! Omg. When I went to Europe, I loved, loved, loved the architecture! There’s something about old European architecture that is just amazing. I see the same thing when I go to China, which has pretty flat architecture. It’s just so boring after a while.

    2 years ago
  13. Alright, differences between Finland and Korea! I was born and raised in Finland, and have lived in South Korea for two months now, so I feel somewhat comfortable making some observations.

    #1 WHOA Finland is… clinical? I mean, it’s so clean and orderly. Nothing like Heukseok, my current neighborhood, could rise in Finland as the construction boards would block it right away. This is a good and a bad thing as I like the look of Finnish cities, but on the other hand I feel this relates to a certain lack of spontaneous happenings in Finland – at least in Seoul you can pretty much walk through a district and find something happening.

    #2 Finland is so small! My hometown has about 300 000 inhabitans (and it’s one of the large cities). Our capital, Helsinki, has about 1 000 000 in the “metro”politan area. Seoul has about 10 000 000 just in the special city area. I’m pretty sure that when I go back the place will feel like a ghost town.

    #3 Finland is more equal. South Korea is rapidly going away from the Confucian relationship model, but some features still linger. It’d actually be nice to get input on this (especially between equality between sexes) from people who’ve been to South Korea for longer periods.

    Tried to keep it compact, but I guess these kind of comparisons by their very nature take a lot of space O.o

    //edit: OH YEAH SMOKING. I’ll be so happy when my clothes won’t smell of cigarettes after club night. Or just eating out on fridays. C’mon Korea, respect my right to smoke-free air >:|

    2 years ago
    • Agreed about the ghost town. I had the chance to visit Finland very recently, and after living in Shanghai and Seoul, Helsinki just felt…empty. It was a wonderful city and I had some of the best food there, but it was bizarrely quiet.

      2 years ago
  14. I’m guessing you were offered the weed in Paris..lol. A few of my friends actually went to Paris to study abroad and they all said that once they started speaking english someone asked them if they liked to smoke. Haha. But hey, I could be wrong.

    Ahahahaa. What does the fox say!! That started out in Norway didn’t it? It doesnt surprise me that you heard that in Europe.

    2 years ago
  15. What Does the Fox Say is also really big in the U.S. :)

    2 years ago
  16. I studied abroad in England (& traveled to Paris and Portugal during two weekends), and the first thing I realized that had changed was that I was so freaking polite! Not that I was in any way impolite in the U.S. (currently a student at UCLA, hailing from the San Francisco area), but I think it was just everyone in England was very polite. Also, I had read all these travel tips and blogs about visiting France/Portugal and they all really stressed manners, which really was helpful because it really did help me out. In France, every person I talked to was so nice to me and smiled all the time – since I’m Chinese, I think it was pretty obvious that I wouldn’t know French but I studied really hard before I visited so I tried to use all the right words and everyone was, at the very worst, dismissive if not super nice (okay, super nice might be stretching it, but they definitely always paid attention to me, which I thought was good enough).

    ON THE FLIP SIDE, WOW ARE EUROPEAN GUYS FORWARD. In the four days I was in Paris, I was hit on at least once a day and even the guard who told me I couldn’t spend the night at the train station (long story) started asking for my number!! WHAT?! English guys, too. And I’m not like drop dead gorgeous in any way, so it was super uncomfortable – I remember very well that I was at a grocery store in London (yes, I lurve me some international grocery stores) and I said “Excuse me” and one of the guys I was moving past replied, “Ex-squeeeeeze me!” -____-”

    Anyway, I love travel! Hopefully I can really travel around Canada some day because ya’ll seem so wonderfully nice and have such BEAUTIFUL GARDENS GAWEAWGIALFKBNA SDB VANCOUVER. *eyes glaze over* Hey! You should do a TL;DR about your favorite places in Canada X]

    2 years ago
  17. Normal Reasons to go to Korea: blahblahblah culture blah blah teaching blah blah family
    New, PASSIONATE Reason to go to Korea: COFFEE
    o.0

    2 years ago
  18. It’s not exactly “overseas” but when I travelled from Canada down to San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and NYC, I was blown away by the differences in restaurants and malls. You would think that they would be similar but food and clothes in America were way more expensive and many of the malls were kind of skanky, not the malls themselves, more like the people and attitudes? Also, compared with Toronto, all of them rolled up the rugs DAMNED early. Even San Fran – all the restaurants and shops – hell even the McD’s were all closed by 10pm? It was like a ghost town.

    I do agree with you that kpop has made me more fashionable and it’s definitely on the leading edge world-wide, it’s part of what got me into kpop in the first place. I can’t speak for the rest of the world in general, but if you want to go where the people EVERYWHERE are fashionable at all times, try Montreal. Even grandma going grocery shopping is dressed to the nines and in stilettos. And cheap? Whoa mama! If you are looking for tours next summer, I would seriously suggest going there from at least late-June to mid-July. All the big holiday weekends and Jazz and Comedy fests are on (FREE! – not crappy free but I-can’t-believe-this-awesome-sh*t-is-f***ing-free free!) and the shopping for clothes is to die for (both men and women). Bring your own wine to the restaurant too…..If you know how to work it, you could rent an apartment (fully furnished) for a month for ~$600 within easy walking distance of everything. Oh – and bagels! Even if you don’t like ’em, you will after you try them in Montreal at 4am fresh from the fire. Don’t worry about the French, most people speak English very well, especially in the service industries. Yeah, I would totally live there again given the opportunity. If you go, I’ll find a way to go there too ;)

    P.S. Great TL;DR. It was the “skinny” aspect ratio but to be honest, after seeing so many vids from you guys lately and all the fan photos from the European tour, I think that it is the correct/realistic aspect ratio. So, use this one and don’t make yourselves look fat when you’re not? Glad that you are working on vids again but don’t burn out so soon…..livechat Friday?

    2 years ago
  19. I usually travel to big cities in other countries and Canadian big cities just don’t have that bustling vibe to me. Whenever I come back to Canada it feels like a ghost town. There’s so much space here that you could walk down the street and not cross a single human being, but you can be sure to see several animals. It sounds stereotypical but most of the time I find this to be accurate.

    2 years ago
  20. About the infrastructure bit..

    I remember watching a documentary about how a departmental store in South Korea kind of just collapsed and killed a lot of people (it was a pink building I think) and they were explaining about how South Korea had a super economic boom which led to the fast-paced construction of buildings all over the cities.. to the extent that a lot of safety and construction procedures would be overlooked to save money/time etc.

    So that probably explains the general of a lot of the newer buildings in Seoul… and your ceiling leaks…

    2 years ago
  21. I learnt a lot about my own culture and how weird it is. I’m Australian and the strong sarcasm sense of humour does not translate at all in other countries! Australians also have a very big thing about never “cutting in line” as it is as socially acceptable as taking off your pants and crapping in the middle of the street (meaning people will tell you off if you go in front of them, they will tell to you to F**k off and get to the back…I think that also explains the road rage problem we have here too). Also I think every culture claims to have the most heaviest/craziest drinking culture compared to every other country. Finally Australia is so expensive! It is cheaper for me to travel overseas for a holiday compared to staying in Australia (shame really as I never been close to the outback nor left the East coast).

    Best experience for me was going to North Korea and seeing how people live in a total different system. Changed my life and my whole life perspective.

    2 years ago
    • Yeah there are many countries more developed than Australia. Considering there are only 23 Million citizens, that doesn’t surprise me at all. Korea is one of the main economies discussed in my international business classes along with other East Asian countries. Seoul is my second home and I love Seoul and Korea.

      2 years ago
  22. I spent a year studying in France and there are definitely a lot of things that I had taken for granted in Canada! I think it’s an English culture thing that staring is seen as impolite because in France and in Quebec too apparently it’s completely fine. You catch someone staring at you because you’re speaking in English or don’t look like everyone else and they just keep on staring! It’s just something you have to get used to. Martina you’re definitely about the monochromatic fashion, France loves black, grey, white, beige, etc. They’re not big on bright colours but it’s part of their fashion. They’re really not quirky in their style but much more effortlessly cool in a grungy but refined kind of way. I’ll always remember after landing in Toronto after my time in France when I had just passed through security to catch my connecting flight this lady who touches me on the shoulder and whispers to me, “I’m sorry honey, but your belt is twisted! I just thought I’d let you know!”. Canadians are so sweet and polite. The French are polite but not necessarily friendly to strangers. It’s much more of a cold politeness. Breaking that wall is seriously difficult and I never managed with anyone my age but as I experienced with my host family, once you do, they’re great. I think you’re right in that visiting other countries really changes your perception on your own and what is seen as acceptable or proper behaviour and what the societal expectations are in different places. Accepting those changes in expectations can be tricky sometimes – require a lot of patience!

    2 years ago
  23. I lived in Fukuoka, Japan for a while. Some issues I ran into were taking pictures in stores (not allowed) & smoking sections for restaurants. Being from CA – the smoking section part really annoyed me at this one restaurant. We went in & we were asked if we wanted smoking or non-smoking – we went for non-smoking. So the waiter took the smoking sign off of our table & moved to the next table while the guy at the table after that was smoking a cigar. Smoking in public places is illegal in California & basically has been my whole life.

    What was cool was that there was the “nimoca” card (or at least i think that’s what it was) that worked as a bus/subway/train pass but you could also load money onto it to use as a debit card in stores around the stations or convenience stores in general.

    Other great things about Japan is how convenient it is. Vending machines are everywhere & outside of the hot summer time – they are well stocked. There are so many different types of vending machines for drinks, food, or many other things. Then there’s the massive amount of convenient stores which offer a great variety of snack foods, bentous (which they even offer to microwave for you), & desserts. If you budget well enough then even people who can’t cook can easily get by in Japan food wise which is especially great for people who live in dorms which have shared kitchens (or don’t know how to use the appliances due to lack of language skills for us foreigners.)

    Something weird was when my host family came home with a “rental dog” – this was very awkward. The idea of renting a pet overnight or something just seems so odd. The poor dog also never made any noise, no barking, whimpering, not even from it moving around on the wooden floor. It made me fear just what kind of training the place had to do to insure the dogs would be silent. It also sounds so sad, a dog going to a new person’s home all of the time but never actually getting a place to call their own home where they could have a family to love them.

    It was weird in Fukuoka because a lot of places were basically down back alleys & such rather than on main streets. In the U.S. we’re taught to fear back alleys & not go in them alone (cause bad things seem to always happen there in our tv shows & movies) so it was awkward to have so many things in such places.

    2 years ago
  24. Coming from Alaska, when I was living in Japan the thing that most shocked me, even though I already knew it was going to happen, was the difference in daylight. I live close to the arctic circle and i have almost complete daylight during the summer and almost complete darkness by the winter solstice… so living in a place that had things like summer stars or sunny winter mornings continually confused my perception of the time of year…

    2 years ago
  25. GERING-DING-DING-DING-DING-GERING-GERING!

    2 years ago
  26. What is the tortilla situation like in Korea?

    Honestly, as much bread is staple food, I eat way more tortillas and wonder if that’s something you can find readily in other countries. Heck it’s hard sometimes going to another city in the US and finding them in the quantity you do in my home town.

    2 years ago
    • Tortillas are pretty simple to make, and probably healthier if you make your own as they wont have so many preservatives.

      2 years ago
    • We’ve seen tortillas here in supermarkets, so they’re pretty easy to come by. Not a lot of varieties in tortillas, though.

      2 years ago
      • Awesome, thanks for the answer :)

        Hopefully they aren’t sweet like the Korean bread you described. Although I’m thinking the tortillas may be imported and cost a pretty penny.

        Between seeing your beautiful European footage and my nieces pictures from her semester in Germany, I’m itching to go the Europe now. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

        2 years ago
        • Not sure why you felt the need to be unnecessarily rude to me being that I wasn’t even discussing the topic you called me “uneducated” about. Simon and Martina, as well as everyone here, always welcome knowledge but not when it’s delivered in a rude disrespectful manner. Please consider what you say and who you are saying it to before you post next time.

          2 years ago
        • You’re a angry little rage machine, aren’t you?

          2 years ago
  27. Come to Germany and taste the bread there, they have HUNDREDS of
    different kinds – I would say this country KNOWS HOW to make perfect
    beer AND bread!!!

    2 years ago
  28. Hey Martina where did you get that hat? I’ve seen you with the black one and the tan one….and I seriously love them…

    2 years ago
  29. ..Vikings don’t have horns?

    I was lied to my whole life. Will never watch How to Train your Dragon the same way D;

    2 years ago
    • Yeah I actually learned that when I went to Ireland. But still they sell helmets with horns at the gift shop at the museum lol.

      2 years ago
  30. My family in Poland is from farmland. Being from a bustling city where I live near one of the biggest malls in the country, it was a shock to live such a simple, farm life for three months (the first time).
    I feel like this experience definitely could translate wherever, but I felt so connected. I had a basic phone for communication with limited mins./texts so it was for emergencies and I used the computer for about an hour a day to check mail and skype with friends. I’m always surrounded by technology at home, but here I found myself doing traditional daily chores in tending to the farm. I found myself making dinner for the men in the family who were all working hard all day.

    But being around a group of people my age was fantastic! After they came home from work, we’d eat dinner together and just walk to our favorite convenience store to sit down, have a few drinks and talk. This ritual happened every night and somehow we’d manage to talk for five hours into the night.
    It’s a shame that I can’t this home-y feeling here. I feel like a completely different person in America and in Poland.

    2 years ago
  31. I literally spent the past three days at work randomly saying “Blow your mind BIWOO BIWOO BIWOO” and then just doing the BIWOO part. I’m pretty sure I annoyed my shift manager XD

    2 years ago
    • RANDOM HUG BECAUSE I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN FOREVER~!!!!!
      (And I read the continuations of the MYNAME story too and loved them~!!!)

      2 years ago
      • *hugs back*~!!!!!!
        I’ve been okay; mostly really, really busy between work and school and I don’t come on here often because the comment section likes to give me trouble when I’m on my phone, so I lurk around a little here and try to keep up with the K-pop world via Twitter.
        How have you been~?!?! <3

        2 years ago
        • O_O You can play Pokemon on your phone~?!?? That is awesome~!!!!!! Is this an app or something?

          2 years ago
        • It’s a ROM haha. But I lost my physical copy many years ago on the move either to or from Washington state.

          2 years ago
        • Dawwww…… :(
          *hugs chingu*~~

          2 years ago
        • Eh, it’s not so bad. Like I said, I found a way to still play it ^^ So how have you been?

          2 years ago
        • I’m alright. I’m spazzing all over the U-KISS -She’s Mine and Miss A – Hush pages because they’re both pretty gosh darned AMAZING~!!!!!! I really shouldn’t be spending so much time on it (Essay due tomorrow that I haven’t started yet…. “”””>.> ) but….. It’s Miss A and U-KISS~!!!! You should join me~ ^.^

          2 years ago
        • Ah, I want to join you, but I’ve agreed to beta read three stories for someone and it’s taking all of my time D: That, and work. And sleep XD I’ll be sure to vote every day, though!

          2 years ago
        • Dawww….. *hugs*
          be sure to sleep. Sleep is mucho important~!!!!!! It’s okay. I can understand being busy. I’ve pretty much been on a hiatus from the whole EYK world before this because school has been all like AHHHhhhhh~!!! but i think i’ve got most of it under control for now. ^.^
          HWAITING CHINGU~!!!!!

          2 years ago
        • I sleep late. Always. But it’s come in handy recently because I’ve agreed to beta for a writer on AFF and since I work during my awake hours during the day, not sleeping until later gives me time to work on editing for them.

          2 years ago
  32. PK

    Jealous of the cheese, so jealous, but you should come to NY for coffee (and for the love of everything, avoid starbucks), and jealous of the bread as well. All the videos you posted has so much food I want to try. ><

    2 years ago
  33. The hornless vikings blows my mind! I hope I get to travel as much as you guise do. One day, it shall happen! #USNasties #EYKinUSA

    2 years ago
  34. OH MY DOG! PLEASE YES!can you really make What does the Spudgy say?:D
    That will be SOOOO AMAZING<3

    P.D.i glad you´re back guys:)

    2 years ago
  35. Lack of cheese and beef doesn’t deter me from wanting to visit Korea, but I seriously don’t think I could live there. That would be too much of a shock to my poor digestive track. And “What does the fox say” is very big here in the US as well. So no escaping it here. But I hope that doesn’t deter you from wanting to come visit us…especially those of us in the Southwestern US…Please…I will give lots of hugs… :)

    2 years ago
    • The food is really good here in Korea. Not a deterrent to living here.

      2 years ago
      • I am sure whenever I manage to make a trip there, I will find so many wonderful things to try that I will take a totally different view of things. I guess I am just a total foodie and have a hard time imagining life without some of the most common comforts from home.

        2 years ago
  36. I like your comment on English. I had a Serbian foreign exchange student live with my family. She learned all her English from watching American Television and studying it on her own. She was amazing at it. She also said a lot of her fluent English speaking friends learned the same way.

    2 years ago
    • I think it helps that the grammar of European languages are a lot more similar to English than Asian grammar is. If you read literal, word-for-word translations of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, you’d think Yoda was penning his memoirs.

      2 years ago
    • Television seems to be a major English teacher. Every single one of my friends who’s first language is Spanish learned English watching American Television. Even my Korean friend said the same thing as well, she learned English watching General Hospital.

      2 years ago
      • She watched Friends!

        2 years ago
      • My mom learned English watching Sesame Street with me when I was a kid :D

        2 years ago
        • samesies with me and my halmoni in california. :)

          2 years ago
        • When I was a little kid I moved from Honduras (Central America) to the USA, and my ESL homework was to watch American television for an hour each day with captions. The goal was to see how words were properly pronounced and spelled. BEST HOMEWORK EVER! So I mostly watched old sitcoms like, I dream of Jeannie, The Munster, I love Lucy and et al.

          2 years ago
        • Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers were also the ways I learned to speak English when I first moved to the states. When Big Bird would look right through the screen and ask a question, I knew I wanted to answer. I felt like he wanted to be my friend, so the 7 year old me would yammer and repear whatever I could until English words came out. I did find that most of the muppets cheered and continued despite whatever language I spoke, but darn tootin, I learned how to speak English. Today’s comment is brought to you by the letter B and the number 8.

          2 years ago
        • Fun Story: My Korean friend learned English through watching the cartoon Digimon. He’s in his 20’s now but even now when he gets really mad, instead of cursing he shouts out different Digimon characters.
          EX: “ARIDRAMON! I missed the bus. Son of a Barbamon!”

          2 years ago
        • That is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard with regards to learning English language. :D

          2 years ago
        • Wow, this unnecessarily got out of hand.

          2 years ago
        • Dude you need to stop being so rude to everyone on here all right. I’m not even part of this site and I know better than to call others stupid. There are better ways of getting your point across without being so mean. Like for instance you could have said. “I seems that the information that you have given isn’t quite correct and here is a link to show you.” Rather than calling someone uneducated.

          2 years ago
  37. I come from New Zealand and for christmas, I went over to Europe last year for christmas to spend time with my mother. A lot of things were similar but there were some major differences.

    1) – Every-freaking-body wears tracksuits or onesies. I was so surprised to walk down to Tescos and there’s a middle aged woman in PJs. Wierd……

    2)- Double decker everything. In Germany, they have double decker trains and busses and god knows what else when in New Zealand, you rarely see that kind of thing.

    3)- I was disappointed that it didn’t snow. :( It’s summer in December in NZ.

    2 years ago
  38. Come to Wisconsin and eat our cheese. You know you want to! #UsNasties #EYKinUSA

    Also, I LOVE that you mentioned the “What Does the Fox Say?!” song! That song is GOLD!

    2 years ago
  39. Martiiinaaaaa~ …we’re going to need a hair tutorial <3 :B

    2 years ago
  40. I really want to go to Europe now D: I’ve never been a huge cheese fan (DON’T BURN ME), but bread..oh yes. I want some of that.

    2 years ago
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