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COMMENTS

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.

ToFebruary
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Sogang
  1. Re-watching old videos, yay! I’m sure someone else pointed this out, but the reason bottled water is so expensive in Norway is because the tap water is drink-clean all over the country. In my home town we have some of the cleanest mountain water in the world. Buying water is not neccessairy, so the prices for it are very high. I only buy water at the airport, for example.
    Just wanted to make sure you guys knew this before returning to Norway and wasting money on buying water again! Just buy something really cheap(not water, buy it for the bottle) and fill the bottle at any place. My experience is that you can go to any Narvesen or 7-eleven and ask them to fill your bottle for you – for free.
    Have a nice new tour of Europe guys!

  2. If you guys are addicted to bread you HAVE TO COME TO GERMANY!!! :D We have the largest range of bread here! And we would love to welcome you here ^^

  3. But your studio is next to Publique and the bear bakery (ursa
    something something something…) is right next to that…you can keep
    the fatness coming!!! http://blog.daum.net/misangu/17024091

  4. oh my god your studio is next to Publique and the bear bakery (ursa something something something…) is right next to that…you can keep the fatness coming!!! http://blog.daum.net/misangu/17024091

  5. Oh my god, Martina! Where is that hat from?! I live near Daejeon and have been searching the city for a hat like that haha! *Sobs* I need one!

  6. I’m dutch and the other main reason that we can speak it so well is because we don’t dub things. if we want to see something we watch it in english and if you grow older you watch it whitout the sub

  7. Do I need to mention how bad the rice in Europe?
    I live in Europe for 15 years and I agree that some plain bread (like baguette) are much X 1000 better !!
    but it doesn’t make any sense that you compare bread which the staple food of European between Asia and Europe.

  8. kpopfan123

    …about English… I think that watching untranslated cartoons and, at the same time, learning English at school boosted, a lot, my English skills…… I remember we had to do a lot of compositions and projects and had to present them in class…but we didn’t use to have that many conversations…

    Great work! :)

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  9. Sherry Skinner
    Sherry Skinner

    My question does s.korea have thirft or second hand stores, like they do in the usa?

  10. bingulicious

    So interesting to hear your views on Europe, I really do believe we’re the most different people in such a “small” continent, but of course that’s because we have the most countries in one continent.. So therefore, like many others below me has stated, there are many differences between Northern/Western Europe and Southern/Eastern Europe.. In the countries you visited, people are pretty much fluent in English and understand it by both reading, listening and talking, but in the South/East, being fluent in English is not so common.. Also the prices are crazy different, like Norway (as you experienced).. I’m Norwegian, and for example Slovakia is a dream place for me because the costs there are so low compared to what I’m used to.. Each country are known for their own special thing, and I love that about us Europeans! ^_^ Please visit next year too! ♥

  11. hey guys! This was a very interesting video. I´m spanish but I have been also in Seoul for a time, and you are totally right saying the AMAZING coffee culture that´s in there. One of my korean friends ask me while we were walking at Bukchon “hey this coffee shops must be like in Europe, right?” I was surprise by this comment because in here we don´t have so many trendy-cool-stylish-greatcoffee shops. Average coffee taste is soooo bad I always end up with stomachache! The only european country with such huge coffee culture is maybe Italy. It´s a religion!

    hehehe and yep, Amsterdam is popular because of…you know..”coffee shops”…hahaha it was so funny to see your surprise! XD

  12. Julie Elizabeth Ballaron
    Julie Elizabeth Ballaron

    One thing about going abroad that just flabbergasted me was that you had to pay to use public restrooms. I mean, it seems like going to the bathroom is something that everybody does (right? RIGHT?), so how can you make people pay to use public restrooms. I was in Venice and had to go to the bathroom, and there’s weren’t any public restrooms around, so I asked a bunch of different restaurants and cafes if I could pay to use their bathroom, and all of them said no. Surprisingly one of the nicest restaurants near Saint Marco was the only one that let me in…

  13. Brea Jwow Kroehler

    When i went to Europe and visited Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Scotland with my mom and sister. I loved how laid back everyone seemed and how i noticed there were no police sirens every 10 minutes or something. This could be attributed to the MJ, but still i loved how everyone was so relaxed versus uptight and cranky. I also loved the bike culture there too minus almost getting hit by a car. Being over in Europe changed my view on american culture SOOOOO much because I never really saw a fat European person only fat tourists! Now i am even more conscious of what I eat, I exercise more, and ride my bike more while looking around at everyone else thinking “you lazy fat people…your the reason why american’s are made fun of so much. stop ordering your 30000 oz. drink you got from McDonald’s or Chikfila while driving your hummer and go exercise..please!”. This train of thought though could also be attributed to the fact that every European person we asked for directions kept telling us everything was only a 10 min. walk……………LIES, but effective! It was also a bit of a shock to have men come up to my face and tell me I am beautiful and try to pursue me and ask me on a date considering men where I am in america are reserved for the most part about doing that in public. At least in a acceptable way while walking down the street.

  14. OK, some corrections:

    – First of all, not all europeans are good at english, that is just on the north. Go to spain, italy or france for more days and you’ll realize that. Also, the fact that people on the north of europe have pretty good level of english is not due to their education but to the fact that they’re exposed to american/english tv since an early age and that their languages are more similar to english. People in korea have to learn a whole new alphabet, use completly different grammar and learn new vocabulary from scratch.

    – Second: about the bread and the cheese. Holland is smaller than korea so it has nothing to do with how much land there is in korea. It’s very simple, actually: those two ingredients are not common in korea’s traditional cusine. You won’t find kimchi in holland and if you do, it won’t be as good as the one made in sk. When countries export different types of food from other countries they tend to adecuate it to their palate to make it markatable, that might explain sweet bread in korea.

    – Nothing to say about the coffe of France. I agree.

    – European Architecture might be a very pretty sight but it becomes boring after so many years. Your description of korea actually makes it sound fun and interesting.

  15. Milan Pospech

    “…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.”- Well depends…some cities like Warsaw were basically destroyed and built again unlike Prague for example.

  16. Adam Bowen

    Simon and Martina, on the subject of fashion in Europe, I remember multiple fashion realms from my two weeks in Spain. In Madrid, every fourth person you see on the street has colorful hair, a model’s strut, and some of the highest and best fashion outfits. And I observed the people of Madrid for a week. In Segovia (for only a day), which in a bit north of Madrid and is considerably smaller, yet still urban, I did not see nearly as many fashionable people. Then, in a much smaller (yet still urban) city on the northern coast, called Gijon, I found that I (being a Nasty) was the most fashionable male I saw in the entire city for a week. Yet, there was a decent deal of women who were fashionable and chic. Then, I went to a city called Oviedo (slightly inland of Gijon) and AGAIN, I was the most fashionable male I saw all day, and there were a good deal of chic, fashionable women. So, as I found it, Madrid is a very vibrant, colorful, and fashionable city. The clothes shopping there is unreal too, and anywhere I went other than Madrid was “meh” in its fashion sense. So there’s an assessment of Spain’s fashion if you wanted it!

  17. Regan Britstra

    Friesian? I think you mean French :P Freisian people are from Friesland… THE LAND OF FRIES!! no but really.. Friesland.

  18. Loisnotlouis

    where do I leave a TLDR question?!?!?!?… I think I have a pretty good one..

  19. klaussie lipstick

    Haha ! Thanks for this article ! :)

    I want to go in Korea so badly !! Do you know any website where I could talk to korean student ?

    xoxo

  20. Charlyne Polderman

    I’m from Holland and I like to wear clothing with lots of colors, and people find it weird, or people are like, you’re always dressed so colorful, so yeah people are used to wearing dull colors… My favorite color is purple, and I get a lot of comments about it.

  21. “Vikings don’t have horns”…I laughed soo much from this…When I visited Norway, they siad the same thing (at the Viking’s Ships Museum); and it’s one of the things I remember the most.
    I also noticed how differently flavoured the pizza was made there…I come from Italy, so it was funny to taste so many combinations, they all seemed like pies instead of pizza! XD

  22. Marzia Matalone
    Marzia Matalone

    Oh My! I’m really having a lot of fun reading those comments…this topic was indeed so so interesting…Thank you S&M!!! This way we can learn a lot about each other culture! *_*

  23. batman kij

    It’s true that in Poland many people speak English very well but it’s not thanks to our school education.Oh no.Our school education is basically like you said it is in Korea.We are taught just by memorizing everything and doing grammar exercises,not by actual speaking in that language.And because almost every parent know how the foreign language education in schools looks like,they enroll their children to language courses from early ages.Poland must improve this issue because our parents pay a lot of money to teach us English and other languages,but we could learn it for free in school if it only was better managed.

    We practise our language skills by watching programs in English,reading in English,cause it’s everywhere in the Internet.Thanks to You guys I improved my English sooo much,especially understanding.On your fanmeet in Warsaw I saw that I must improve my speaking,but it’s not that bad either.XD Love You ♥

  24. Benedikte Knorr Jensen

    I think one of the reasons that so many Europeans are nearly or completely fluent in English, is that we (I’m from Denmark), first of all, yes, do have very conversation based lessons, but also that there is SO MUCH English in for example Danish media, reality shows in English, some news in English, movies in English. Most of the Saturday night shows we have in Denmark are from the UK, and a lot of the series that run for many seasons are from North America.
    Like you said, things in Europe can be really expensive. From what you said, it seems that the prizes are roughly the same in Norway as they are here in Denmark, so yeah, it is kind of expensive, but on the other hand, a lot of things are free, like health care, education and so on. On top of that you can get extra money to live for if you are studying, not currently in a job, struggling to earn money etc.

  25. Laura Pinto
    Laura Pinto

    Hey Simon and Martina!
    About the English learning process in Europe, I live in Portugal and I had English as a mandatory class for five years and I must say, it is NOT in those classes people learn English. I had horrible teachers every year and learned one word in all those classes : shelf. European youth knows how to speak the language due to movies, music and the Internet. I learned how to speak in English due to Harry Potter movies and songs on the radio.
    Also, here most foreign shows ( about 65% of programs we see) aren’t translated, only subbed, which makes it easier for us to learn it and is the reason I’m able to write this comment. :3 Love your videos, kisses and hugs from Portugal!
    P.s: We’ve got lots of cheese here (GOAT CHEESE)!

  26. Hello S&M.

    I’m from Puerto Rico and currently living in Florida so I will be contrasting some things I’ve experienced from these 2 places.

    Puerto Rico:
    – People drive crazy and tend to not respect stop signs
    – The roads are full of holes, you feel like you’re riding on a horse
    – Prices are cheaper
    – People are more friendlier and noisy
    – Work and, especially, school have too many free days

    Florida:
    – People follow road rules(including having more respect for the popo)
    – Roads are smoother
    – Cost of living is more expensive
    – People tend to be isolated, they keep to themselves rather than be noisy and nosy(which I appreciate)
    – There are less holidays

    I could even contrast some things I’ve heard/read/watched between South Korea and the places I’ve lived in but I haven’t visited the East, yet.

    Hope the entire Eatyourkimchi crew have an awesome Halloween and BOOYA!

  27. Jenny Equality Lau

    I think it MIGHT be a next big thing. I haven’t heard it yet but my grandmother was telling me there was something about a fox that might be becoming the next big thing after Gangnam Style and there may or may not be a dance that goes with it(?)
    She read this from a Chinese newspaper……

  28. Lauren Bird

    Just leaving a bit of a comment here for those interested. I only have travel experience from America (midwest location) to Japan, but I was really pleased to notice two things.

    1. Japan was super clean despite having no garbage cans ANYWHERE. I understand the public garbage cans were removed due to a act of terrorism back in the 90’s in the subway system, but seriously; I actually had to LOOK to find litter. And it was only near the ocean that I actually saw any. It seems like America has a lot more trash/ less respect for the environment.

    2. Everyone in Japan were very kind and helpful. I got lost with a group in Akibara, and the store worker were asked for directions actually closed down his store, walked us to our meeting point, and waited with us until our group leaders returned. All while talking to us in very basic, but sweet English. I could expect at least directions to be given in big cities in America, but compared to the help that man gave us… it does not even begin to compare.

    Just two little things I noticed in Japan, that I thought might be interesting to share. :)

  29. next time you should visit South Europe too!! Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece… =D I’m sure you’ll love it here~ ^_^

  30. Ok so I’m going to respond to some things now XDD
    First Hi I’m a french girl (wanted to see you in paris but couldn’t cause I got uni T_Ttooooo bad…)

    So sorry but the fashion in paris is a “prejudice” XDDD EVERY country think that we’re AWESOME and so cool, class and everything… but you know yougo to any city or even mine (lille in the north) hhhuuuu …. not a lot a style =/ really, except with big mark little chanel or any other you see people wearing joggings …. well not all of them, but most of all. Of course you got goth people, rap people and everything, but nobody REALLY’s trying to have his own style. Me and my friends have sometimes problems with this XD like people judging you or saying *hey barbie* cause my friend got pink hair . Really sometimes I’m like “AND PEOPLE SAY WE’RE THE CAPITALOF FASHION AND STYLE??!!!! Go to hell people” Yeah a bit mean but it’s not easy every day… XDD

    AND I’m going to say something about the amsterdam topic, WTH?XDD come on people you cannot tell us that you don’t know what amsterdam is for!!! Everybody knows XD when I heard you I was like * Oh they’re cute they think coffee shop IS for coffee* Hug …. so yeah this city is more known for the … smoking thing, even if it’s a beautiful place. And sorry but yeah in Europe there’s a lot of illlegal things…. not pround XDD

    Hope you read this cause it’s midnight here and I took my time for you XDDD

    Say it if you’re coming in france, even without a convention =) we would be happy to show you the REAL face of french people XD

    • waah awesome I went to Lille during Christmas!!! =D actually I visited my sister in Belgium and together we went on a trip to Lille =) so close and so cheap to get there from Belgium hehe
      ever since then I keep finding people here and there that are from Lille hoho not only online but IRL too :D (I’m from Greece.. I usually go back to my home-island and work during Summers so I meet a lot of tourists from a lot of places)

  31. Gemma Deacon
    Gemma Deacon

    I too was amazed at how well everyone speaks English in mainland Europe. I think it’s because they start learning at a young age whereas when I was at school we didn’t start until around age 12. And now I haven’t been to school for 5 years or more, my French has gone completely out the window. Sacré Bleu!
    As for differences I noticed, in Italy; cars don’t stop for you at zebra crossings, in Spain; the atmosphere is so relaxed. Shops close for like 2 hours at lunch. Unfortunately my memory isn’t that good for Holland and France so I can’t remember what differences I encountered.

    • hohoho so it’s not only Greece huh.. they don’t stop at the “zebra crossing” here too lol those drivers are crazy xD
      but in places like where I’m from (Rhodes island) there are way too many tourists, especially during summers.. so at those places some people have learnt to stop..sometimes.. haha

  32. Josefin de la Motte

    And to answer the actual question ya’ll asked in your video =)

    Honestly, I really appreciate how clean Sweden is. We have very very veery little polution compared to most countries…
    However, one of my big big issues with Sweden is that EVERYTHING CLOSES AT 6PM! If I find cafés or shops open past 6pm that aren’t grocery stores, I’m like extatic. I think this is such a boring country, eventhough it’s beautiful and clean. This is a great country, but it’s definitely not for me… I’m much more into cities like Seoul!! I LOVE Seoul! So colorful, people everywhere, so cheap, everything is open, there is Everything one could possibly want… (exceptnonlatexcondomswhichtheyonlyhaveinonesinglestoreinallofseoulandmostpeoplehaventevenheardofitbefore)

  33. Josefin de la Motte

    Btw, the magic English program is called Television ;D
    That’s why all of us speak American English, despite being taught Brittish in school… But seriously, we’re addicted to American tv shows. <.<

  34. Josefin de la Motte

    I couldn’t agree more about the clothing!!!!!
    I’m so upset because if you live in Sweden (country of most boring clothes on the planet), but want to order in clothes from let’s say YESSTYLE which have Amazing Amazing stuff, you not only have to pay the standard customs tax, but ontop of that, you have to pay 25% VAT on whatever the value is of what you’re buying. Basically. If I buy clothes from yesstyle for 200dollars, I’d have to pay an additional 50 dollars in VAT, plus customs taxes on that. It’s like LITERALLY a law against dressing well here.

    (solution = ship the clothes to bf’s address in korea, and go pick it up in a couple of months… I realize that I can’t actually try or wear the clothes this way until I do pick them up, but… at least I don’t fkin have to pay 50 dollars into thin air.)

  35. GoldenAngelFeather
    GoldenAngelFeather

    Speaking and using English ni Europe really is much easier than in Asia. I live in Belgium which is next to the Netherlands, France, Germany and we’re just using the american and britisch culture quite a lot. The TV shows a lot of English spoken programs, movies, shows with subtitles, so they don’t take out the original audio, the internet is mostly in English and if you learn English in school, it’s easier to pick up since you already have a knowledge of the English you got in your free time and if they teach you well, it’s not that hard actually.
    I know for sure that I probably will raise eyebrows when learning those English exam kind of English, but we really did learn how to use it to be conventional :)
    But maybe also because Korean, (also other Asian languages like Chinese, Japanese…) is just a different method of learning and using than English. That’s memory while Dutch, French, German, Swedish… they use letters to form words and all ^^

  36. Verodora77

    I hope you like the food you’ll find in America this summer. #EYKinUS

  37. When I watch Appa Odiga, there seems to be a lot of arable land in Korea. And, recently, some cows too. So, is there really not much land for cows? Besides, do cows need much land? They’ll get fed directly anyway on a farm, so it’s not like they need to be herded over the steppes for grass.

    Maybe Korea can take up goats…

  38. JenniferSakraida

    Just my two cents on your bread problems. It could be that the bread taste so different because of

    A) the water in each country tastes different. Sounds silly but there have been tests where people ate pizza and could tell which water the crust was made out of by the taste. Water makes a HUGE difference in how bread tastes. That is also why I hated every pizza place in Philadelphia.
    B) Maybe some of these bakeries were using live yeast cultures, which is TOTALLY based on region. Basically, having a live yeast culture is 100% regionalized. So if you took famous San Francisco sour dough yeast, shipped it to Korea, nursed the yeast, made a few loaves of dough, let it regrow and replenish, you will notice your bread will start to taste different. What happens is the San Francisco native yeasts die out and the native Korean yeasts take over. This isn’t why Korean bread stinks, but might be why Korean artisan bread doesn’t taste like European bread.

    On a side note, I am SO ever grateful that you mention sweet Korean bread on your blog because it has prevented me from wasting my money at my local Korean market. My husband asked if we wanted any fresh bread, and I gave him a quick- “You don’t want that bread” look. I had to explain to him how it is was sweet later on, which he still doesn’t fully understand today…

  39. LeeJoonwasright

    well as a born Europian (Swiss) – now living in the States. Seoul is Nr. 1 on my travelbucketlist and then Australia, Japan and more.
    but my biggest culture shock for america would be the foodsizes and getting money out of the bankautomat WHILE sitting in your car. *MINDBLOWN*

  40. About English levels,

    In the Netherlands we are just immersed in American culture. Basic cable would have say 25 channels, half of them is Dutch but most of them would be showing American movies and series a lot. Those would have subtitles but the original audio, as would Discovery and National Geographic and the likes. Combine that with English at school, internet and pop music: almost everybody is going to pick up English to some degree.

    I don’t know to what degree that is the case in France, Norway and Poland but I’m sure it is partly true.

    Any European language is going to be liguistically closer to English as Korean as well.

    I do still have a big fat Dutch accent though :).

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