And we’re back with our TL;DRs! Couldn’t do them for a while because we were in Japan for a bit, but we’re back, now, and talking about more stuff that you ask us to talk about. This time, Korean Table Etiquette. Sounds like a boring topic, but we had some fun talking about it. Here’s the original question:

TLDR Question

Also, we mentioned the crappiness of that bad video we did from long time ago. Yes, we’re embarrassed that our videos were like that before, and we’d rather not watch it, but if you haven’t seen it then you have no clue how bad our videos used to be, though our focus and method was different back then :D We’re a lot more comfortable on camera now. Anyhow, check it out if you haven’t seen it yet:


So, we add a bit more to what we talked about in this video. We gave a few examples, like try giving out chopsticks and tissues to others, be prepared for a different style of buffet eating, and just generally trying to be as considerate of others in a meal-sharing environment as possible.

We did get a hint of one other rule/suggestion from Soo Zee when we spoke with her about it today, but she was a bit iffy about the details because she wasn’t too sure about it, since she’s not in a typical business setting. She mentioned that there’s typically a seat at a table where the people that pay for the meals usually sit. It’s not, like, the head of the table, but it’s something like to the left of the door…or something. She wasn’t sure. We then began to joke about how if this was the case we’d all run into the restaurant and dive into the seat as far the hell away from the paying seat as possible, and we’d all be scrunched up on each other like “NO YOU’RE CLOSEST! YOU PAY!” But then we got distracted and started talking about something else, so that’s all the info we can give you about the crappy money seat as possible. If anyone knows anything about it, or if you have any other stories about confusion you had with Korean table etiquette, please let us know!

  1. With regards to the sitting arrangements, the seat furthest away from the door, (like in a meeting room), is considered “the best” and is usually reserved for the senior or higher ranking person or a VIP guest. I believe the idea is that the seat nearest to the door, tends to get “disturbed” or “interrupted” when someone walks in or out, or when the door opens, someone will normally talk to the person closest to the door.

    Hence usually the CEO or Department Head..etc usually does not sit near the door but the furthest seat from it.

    I think that usually apply to “Who the waiter passes the bill/check to when he/she enters the dining room”, either he/she will hand it to the person closest to the door, because he/she is nearest or, maybe the waiter will hand it to the person seated the furthest away from the door, since it will normally indicate he/she is the most senior person, and would normally be the one paying?

  2. LOL I guess I pass food out and take care of others before me just naturally. I went to a yakinikku-ya and I left hungry because I cooked and passed out all the meat, soup, rice, etc. to everyone and left little to nothing for me. Woops.

  3. Who are your favorite Korean Singers or Bands? Do you have a secret Korean crush you guys hide from each other. Do you luv that Korean person more than each other? Why do you luv or admire that person. I know Martina LUVS T.O.P (Can’t blame her, his voice is sexy as a sex god C;) I IUV G-Dragon for all my life, but I don’t see no one in my school luving him :C PLEASE TL;DR THIS!

  4. Funny story about the constant food sharing. When I visited Korea nearly 10 years ago we were constantly eating out with our huge group of people which had Americans, Brits, Fins, and Koreans. We all, of course, shared a lot of food and I really thought nothing of it. I also didn’t think much of feeling sick for a couple of days after, Korea to Texas jet lag would be considerable. Then I stayed sick, went to the doctor and turns out I had caught mono in Korea! Obviously it could have been any one of the people I was with that gave it to me but I was a little miffed that when I eventually caught mono it wasn’t from kissing any cute Korean boys, just drinking and eating with them. :/

  5. Martina your hair is always so freakin adorable. I love the pink!

  6. awkward story time!
    I once went to lunch with all the school staff and was sitting next to the VP. I don’t usually drink but he kept saying “one shot~!” Being younger, and at the bottom of the school totem pole, I thought ‘hey, I should do as he says’ and I downed the glass, much to the surprise of everyone at the table. My mentor teacher’s eyes got so big, and he later told me that when drinking with superiors, you’re not suppose to do one shots.
    I don’t know if this had anything to do with my age (college student), gender (female), province, or something else but I found that odd. No one had warned/told me anything like that before..

  7. Hey, guise! I have a question for TL;DR. I’m afraid it’s not light hearted but I think it’s relevant. How is South Korea dealing with the North Korea’s crazies lately? Is it actually scary or is it just talk? I’m curious (and worried!).

  8. hey this article lists South Korea last on the female “glass ceiling” issue most advanced countries face, martina what was it like working as a female teacher in South Korea, and do you guys notice any distinct sexism? or is it not different from canada/the US, in that while its not perfectly equal yet, there isn’t a huge issue (for most jobs).

  9. TLDR Question;
    Here in America some people have gages or plugs in their ears. Do korean people also have these and would someone be looked down upon if they had these?

  10. Hey Simon and Martina :) I have a serious question for you. During the past 3 months I’ve been looking for a university that I can go to and get my masters degree. I’ve also been looking for some summer school programs to learn Korean and I stumbled on to some problems. When asked what country I am from the only options that I got were U.S., Canada and England, but I am Bulgarian. I don’t understand how come I can’t attend most universities in Korea(and those I can are pretty darn expensive), just because I wasn’t born in an English speaking country, and yet I have a Cambridge certificate in English and I’ve lived for years in countries like U.S.A., England, and more.
    So I guess my question is why does South Korea make it so hard for people from other nationalities to study and work there? Do you have friends who are foreigners from non-English speaking countries and was it hard for them to get there?
    I hope you see my question

    Thank you for all the great videos!

    • I don’t really know anything on the subject, but just passing by, Did the program specifically ask which nationality you are? If not, I think you can say that you are from either England or USA. I think that the reason is probably because they only offer courses in English, and they think (stupidly) that only people who learned English from those countries might have no trouble with understanding. If asked in person, I suggest just saying that although you were born in Bulgaria, you lived in such and such countries. They wouldn’t find any fault in your spoken English, would they? ;) Good luck!

  11. Hey, Guys. We are moving to Korea this summer with our 1 1/2 year old baby. Do you have any tips for living in Korea with a baby/children? (convenience of using strollers/car seat usage/family friendly activities/things to pack/differences from North America) Thanks!

  12. I’m going to Korea in August, and I was wondering how difficult it is to be a vegetarian there? Like if someone was grilling meat for me and I refused because of my diet, would that be considered rude or are there a lot of other vegetarians in South Korea?

    • I notice a lot of Koreans have taken up being vegetarian these days. Some inflexible adults might think it weird, but who cares? It might not be easy, though. I have a few vegetarian colleagues, and when we go out for meals, quite many restaurants wouldn’t have any dishes without meat. If someone invites you for a special meal or if there is a meal in your honor, though, you should let them know in advance that you’re a vegetarian in order to avoid awkward situations.

  13. What is the beach/swimming attire like in Korea compared to Korea? Because on an episode on “Shinee’s One Fine Day”, Onew and the producers were very startled when they saw people wearing bikinis/swim trunks with no top.
    Is it startling for Korean citizens to see people (foreigners in particular) wearing swimwear like that?

  14. I wonder if anyone else has issues with when to use chopsticks vs. a spoon…

    For example, I was eating lunch with a Korean friend yesterday and I had bibimbap! So, as advised by my co-teacher the other day, I started struggling to mix it all up with my chopsticks (because a spoon will “break the vegetables”?) And he took it from me and mixed it with a spoon for me. And then! I started eating it with chopsticks.. it’s all clumpy and not so hard to do.. But then he laughed and said that me eating the bibimbap with chopsticks would be the equivalent of someone using a knife to eat their food instead of a fork in a western meal.

    • Bibimbap from Jeonju is famous, and Jeonju people mix theirs with chopsticks! :) So I’d say no.. though I’ve never seen anyone actually eat the bibimbap with chopsticks. I eat regular rice with chopsticks cuz I just got used to doing so since childhood, but I’ve noticed that everyone else eats their rice with spoons. Nobody pointed that out to me, though. Maybe eating rice with chopsticks is accepted because the japanese do so.

  15. hey guys,

    how’s about a post on how to maintain a low-carb lifestyle in korea? i’d love to know how you’re able to find ingredients and order at restaurants.

  16. Hey-O Martina & Simon! I was planning to do a trip to Seoul/ Tokyo in the fall, but with all the crazy political stuff going on I am a bit nervous. Here in the US, they’re really hitting on the growing tension between the N. Korea & S. Korea (read: & the world) in the news, but I’m not sure of how much of it is just media hype/ exaggeration. I know you guys don’t do a lot of “political”-ly TL;DR stuff, but what is your opinion on how big of an issue this is (and should be) for N. Americans wishing to travel there in the coming months? p.s. Sorry about the winded question!

    *Special shout out to the Spudgemeister and Meemersworth!*

  17. GU JUN PYO <3 boys before flowers!!!!!! thats an awesome drama

  18. It’s been a decade since our family loved to canada. when my lil sister was having a birthday party, mom brought a plate full of fruit with bundle of forks by the side. One of my sis’s friend looked at it funnt, saying that it’s unhygienic to eat from the same plate….lol.

  19. can you please respond??? itd make my day!!! and im from toronto also!!


  21. Hello Simon and Martina!
    I was wondering if you could tell us if you’re planning to stay in Korea for the rest of your lives and having kids and what do you think will happen if you do have a kid. Would you want them to have a Korean education or would you want to move back to Canada and raise him or her there?

  22. What can you tell us about idols/celebrities going into the army? I know that all South Korean males (with a few exceptions, like health issues) have to serve a mandatory stint in the military, but what are they doing in there? Latrine digging? Gun shooting? Are they completely isolated from society while they’re serving? Why did Rain get to have a radio show?

  23. Hey, guise! I have a question for TL;DR. I’m afraid it’s not a light-hearted question but on the light of what’s been going on lately, I think it’s relevant. How is South Korea is reacting to North Korea’s crazy threats? Are South Koreans used to the crazies or is it actually very serious? I’m curious because cannot even imagine how I’d feel if I lived there.

    Much love from Brazil!

  24. yay! My favorite segment is back!But Wouldn’t it be cooler if you got the whole crew together to answer TL;DRs?? =)

  25. Your hoodie’s really cute.

  26. When you first moved to South Korea did you ever feel you were out of place? Like, did you feel left out from your school because you were foreigners. If you ever felt you were being racially abused whether from your colleagues at that time or strangers on the street? I know theres racial abuse in every country but I wanna know how is it differently handled in South Korea compared to North America.

  27. Martina should totally do a regular K-Drama segment, like once every two or four weeks or so. Just talk about K-Dramas you’re watching or have watched. A bit like Music Mondays. You just talk about the drama, review it and give it a rating. It would be awesome to hear reviews about dramas we’ve watched and enjoyed, or it would even be good for discovering new dramas.

    To avoid it getting too spoilery you can divide each video into two halves, the first setting up the general premise of the show, how you felt about it and whether you’d recommend it or not and then cut to the second half of the review (with a booming Simon voice announcing “SPOILER ALERT”) and you can get into more detail, if you’ve already completed watching the drama.

  28. Hi, my question for TLDR is:
    Why did you go to Korea in the first place? I know you both were teachers, but was it always your plan to become teacher in another country, so you searched for a job there? Or did you even got hired from Korea? and why Korea? Martina likes manga/anime, drama and music from Japan and Korea since teenageyears, so it could have been Japan instead.. *I’m so curious yeeaaaaah!!!*

  29. :O Your grilling meat comment reminded me of Big Bang. Hahaha.

  30. I would say that I’ve never had too many bad experiences with my Korean roommates when we lived together, or when I went to Korea to visit them last summer at the table. I think everything you guys mentioned is correct–turning while drinking, making sure your glass is not above someone who is older than you, etc. As for eating food, I would say even more so, I’m not sure if this is just my experience, but often times we don’t even have a ladle to pour the soup into our bowls. We just ate directly from the middle bowl of food no matter what it was. I’m not a very squeamish person when it comes to sharing food with others, so I don’t care, but I know that many foreigners might feel weird sharing food like that–especially people from the US. Ah there are some differences, I just remembered one, a lot of Korean people don’t care about masking the sounds of chewing food at the table. I was taught from a young age that I had to never make any nose while I chewed on food, and to always keep my mouth closed, but it seems like a lot of my Korean friends do make a lot more noises while they eat than I’m used to. If you’re all silent, you can hear them making smacking noises. I think now though, I got used to it, but I remember when it first happened my Japanese friend and I commented to our close friends asking them why they made so much noise while they ate–I wouldn’t recommend asking people you’re not close with though….

  31. Here is a question related to Korean dramas/K-pop and international fandom.

    How aware are Koreans of the huge craze for K-pop and K-dramas from non-Koreans? Some people are a little less surprised post “Gangnam Style”, but in my experience many Koreans are always super surprised that I LOVE Korean dramas and K-pop. There is also a GIANT online community of bloggers, tweeters, commenters, and international fans who are constantly conversing about K-drama and K-pop. I guess I ask because it seems to me that the Korean entertainment industry seems to want to break more into the North American scene (and non-Asian international scene too), but don’t quite seem to realize how big it already is. I think you sort of pointed this out before from the BEAST MV “Beautiful Night” where they hired people instead of using their fanbase. I know some companies are starting to realize it (like LOEN putting English subs on their MVs, and YG has English customer service on their webstore), but is there a way to let Koreans and the Korean entertainment agencies realize just how HUGE the international fandom is?

  32. KATHyphenTUN

    lol i remember that video!! wow, that’s so long ago now!!!! I still remember the story of Simon smacking his arm, while in Canada! makes me laugh every time I imagine the cashier’s face!!

  33. i just find this particular caption funny lol “you do dot the break johnnie brown” *pushes simon

  34. That passing chopsticks and taking care of others is what we do in Malaysia too. Doesn’t seem too different from Korean culture. :)

  35. So whenever my parents visit me, my dad and I make it a point of going out to lunch together. Since I’ve told him about you guise (and I showed him the Gangam Style video). The last time we had lunch, we got Korean food (from Oh Geul Boh Geul!). I did a bit of reading beforehand about table manners and I think I handled myself pretty well.

    My question, though, is how do you politely eat pork bone soup? It got to the point where I was picking up the bones with my fingers. And I’m pretty sure that’s rude.

    The next time my dad and I do lunch, I want to try the pork bone soup from the Owl of Minerva and I don’t want to be eating it wrong.

  36. One thing it took me a while to get is that sometimes people will say “Oh, no, you don’t have to do that!” when I’m being polite, but really they want to accept but they’re doing their best to be polite too. Like when I have a seat in the bus and a grandma who is like a million years old is standing beside me, I’ll start to get up and often she’ll be like, “Aniyo, anja, anja!” but ain’t no way I’m sitting while that granny is standing, so if I politely say “No, please,” and get up she’ll sit down. Similarly, my homestay dad would always try and clink his soju glass lower than mine to be polite, so I had to quickly clink mine lower and then throw it back before he can reclink lower again. Like fighting over who’s the one to pay, you have to be sneaky sometimes ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

    • When I’m on a bus or subway and I want to offer an elder my seat, like you said, we can’t just say “Would you like my seat?” because they’ll just refuse. I’ve taken to just standing up and then gesturing to my empty seat. They tend to accept if you do it that way. (I remember one time doing that on a bus, and it was a long enough bus ride that, when it was her stop, she stood up and gestured for me to sit back down in the seat!)

  37. A lot of my (Caucasian) Australian friends really hate sharing drinks or food. One of my friends, if her boyfriend accidentally took a sip of her tea, she’d have to pour it out and make herself another one. Because of my exposure to Korean culture through my husband and Korean friends, I’m so used to sharing food the way Koreans do. Things like all eating out of the same soup pot and with my husband, always sharing drinks. If I ask him to go get us some drinks, often he will just get 1, because he expects us to share and drink out of the same glass sometimes.

    The flip side is Koreans sometimes running into problems when they are in Australian culture. I’ve taught my husband about “double dipping” and how it’s really rude, but it’s something a lot of Koreans do, simply because they don’t know. So many times at a party when there is both Koreans and Australians, there may be chips with dips and things like chicken tenders with sauce… and Koreans will dip the chip or chicken, take a bite and then dip it back in! Oh the horror! Haha. So I guess if you feel really bad about doing the wrong thing in Korean culture, just remember it goes both ways and Koreans can have difficultly in Western culture too. My poor sister-in-law had such problems eating a steak at the dinner before our Australian wedding, I had to take her plate and cut it up into little pieces for her. But if you are with nice people they won’t mind about the mistakes you make.

  38. Here’s a TLDR question for you. How common are orthodontic braces among Korean teens and preteens? A lot of Korean celebrities seem to have either really crooked teeth or have really obvious veneers. It made me curious why more don’t (or didn’t) get braces. Are braces something that just aren’t common in Korea? Thought you two might have insight on this, since you’ve worked with this age group. Thanks!

  39. Slurping: It’s ok to slurp in Korea. But deliberately making loud slurping noise would be viewed as unpolished.

    And I smell a kdrama segment in near future….

  40. This is similar to chinese etiquettes. we have to take care of the older people if we are younger. and we do share meals.

  41. i know your only children are meemers and spudgy but in the future could you do reviews on places in korea that are kinda child friendly i plan to travel to korea one day and currently have a 1yr old daugher :)

  42. Martina are you wearing circle lenses?

  43. [TLDR] Q:How does the Korean Age System Work? -I know you +1 to your age, BUT sometimes they +2…-


    • Korean assumes that you are one year old on birth. Then, you get older by a year on the new year’s day. For example, my birthday is December 18. Consequently, I am 2 years older than my “Western” age from January 1 to December 17. Then, from Dec 18 to Dec 31 (for two weeks!) I am 1 year older than my “Western” age. That’s why :-)

      * I seldom see Korean use “year” to count baby’s age. Like many parents in North America, they use “month”

      • So I’d be a year older than my “western age” for two whole days! I’m a December 29th baby ^^ For the most part, I just consider myself a 93 child because I only have those two days separating me from being a 93 child anyway haha

  44. My question:

    In Korean dramas/variety shows, there is a lot of emphasis on sunbae-hoobae relationships. Though it seems to have good parts, I’ve always been terrified about how the sunbae often seems to be unfairly taking advantage of his position. For example, Goo Hara said a sunbae made her stand in a certain position as punishment for a long time, and Jung Woo Sung even said some sunbaes would beat hoobaes with a stick to force them to join a club. Are incidents like these common in Korea? Is it socially accepted that such physical methods are used?

  45. So a week ago on my first meeting with my coteachers in Cheongju, we went out for samgyeopsal (unfortunately I did none of the grilling just because I wanted to see how they did everything, but had I watched this video earlier I would have known better). There was a table behind us with an older guy who was somewhat drunk. I noticed towards the end of the dinner that everyone in the restaurant got really quiet and was looking in my direction. I thought I was doing something wrong or rude. I asked my coteacher what was happening, and she said, “the man behind you is angry at the server because she handed him the bill with one hand.” It really surprised me. So far everyone has forgiven my foreigner mistakes, but I’m waiting for the day when I mess up with the wronnng person! Love your videos, guys! I’m headed to see (the outside of) your studio this Saturday!

  46. MarVi

    What’s is the difference between Western/North American schooling? I’m still a student in the U.S. and I’m thinking about being an exchange student there, so I was wondering what should I take in consideration?

  47. Before I go to Korea I read from a magazine that you can’t use both spoon and chopsticks to eat at the same time as it is rude.But when I ask our tourguide about it,he said that it’s ok for foreigners.Is that true? Did you guys know about this?

  48. Are you going to bring back WTF *Wonderful Treasure Find* anytime?

  49. I’m really happy with this video coming out now~! I’m going to Korea with a friend in a week (omg so soooon!) and I try to remember as much about manners as I possibly can ^^ I’ve even been practicing bowing and bringing my left hand up, when shaking hands with someone, especially around my family, and they all went: “the heck are you doing, girl~?” and I’m like: “practicing, I don’t want to take a swing from an angry ahjumma <.<" xD

  50. to add to yours, when you give out chopsticks and spoons or set a table, it’s nice to have spoon on the left and chopsticks on the right; also they should be put down together in between rice bowl and soup bowl (if there is one) unlike with forks and knives which you put either side of a plate. Also, don’t put the spoon upside down (convex side up) as it used to be that was for dead people. Lastly, don’t stick your spoon in the rice bowl but put it next to the bowl (on a napkin if you’d like) since it’s rude to do have a spoon sticking out of the rice bowl.

  51. Hi Simon and Martina, what is the average Korean view on foreign music, or foreign musicians promoting in Korea?

    Do Koreans really look down on non-Asians in the KPOP music scene, and is it true that Korean entertainment companies won’t take a non-Asian?

    • Hi, I know I’m not S&M, but from what I’ve learned, Korean trainees are usually middle-schoolers and high-schoolers who look to the idol life as an escapism from school (which I’m sure we all know how demanding and tough it is in most Asian countries with 9+ hours of school); therefore, when people from other asian countries come to the companies as trainees, they tend to get mistreated and disrespected by the korean trainees, in order to get them to quit and increase their chances of debuting. Of course, not all korean trainees probably are like this, but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t happening.

      So, I hope this kinda answers your question, but if it doesn’t, it gives some insight on what’s really behind a trainee’s life.

  52. I thought this was going to be about soup slurping or some such. Noodle soup at my parent’s house is so noisy.

  53. Well this question is more based on what you said in one of the Tokyo videos. That it is a faux pas in Korea to eat alone. I am looking at going to Korea for a vacation, but a tour group might be too expensive while I could probably manage to fly there and crash in a cheap hotel (and don’t know anyone interested in going to Korea or who has the money to go with me).

    Will they really look at me like some sad person and am I better off heading to Japan/Tokyo where it is more accepted (instead of having to take food to my room or ordering in or whatever) or is it somewhat accepted to be on your own and travel and eat places.

    I am a 6’2″ dude with long blonde hair so I will probably get more than enough attention so I don’t want the added attention of “oh look at him eating alone; shun him SHUN HIM!!” So I am really wondering if it is cool or if I should somehow try scrape together money to get in that group tour or otherwise head over to Japan.

    • When I lived in Korea I felt comfortable eating alone. I did not feel like people looked down on me or anything. It was actually very nice. In America I feel awkward eating in a restaurant by myself… Not so much in Korea.

  54. So…Martina. I know you wanna send one of those hoodies my way. 8D
    But seriously though, that thing is amazing. Did you get it in Japan? I’m pretty sure I saw some in one of Micaela’s videos. :D

  55. Are there any other odd “Superior” rules that are normal in Korea, but not in other places of the world?

  56. Being maknae sounds exhausting.

  57. Here’s a TL;DR Question! How do you call for a taxi (when public transportation stops running at night)? Are there certain ways to do it compared to North America? Or are they the same?

  58. lol I play clarinet and out section is like almost all Korean and we used to get kbbq together and I was like whoa meat grilling. I made the guys do it but I guess it’s okay because I’m older than many of them thanks for that tip !

  59. TL;DR question!
    Is there a stigma about adoption in South Korea? Seen in dramas that biological families are very important (Baking King Tak Gu, Creating Destiny, You’re Beautiful…) and that adoption is like a taboo topic you don’t want to be associated with. What about Korean international adoptees returning to visit?

  60. My question:
    Okay so I have heard about something called culture shock which is when someone becomes depressed and discouraged when living in a foreign country. And when they go home after getting used to this country, they experience reverse culture shock in which that person has trouble coping with their own culture.. I was wondering if that you guys had any experience with this or know how it feels.

  61. Anyways, you mentioned the you might do a segment on Korean Dramas,

    What are some of your favorite K-Dramas and movies? Why?

    Also, what drama would you most like to guest star in?

  62. Oh. This reminds me of something I saw on tumblr.
    Would the way Baekhyun is calling people over be considered rude?

  63. What about the big glass trend? Is it fashionable over there?? Or is all glasses comes in that way in Korea?

  64. My boyfriend never wants to hear about K-dramas either. :( Though now if he ever asks, I will be forewarned thanks to you guys.

  65. U-kiss come back is soon… you gonna have new intervier with them right? right? :> “Standing still” is so freaking awesome :D

  66. Hi gyus ^^ i heard that some kpop dance moves help at loosing weigh and burning calories like MYNAME ‘s just that little thing etc….
    can you give us more songs with easy dance and more benefits ? also can you talk about some other diet tips? anyway i really love your videos so keep the hard work and fighting <3

  67. Kpop is really popular in South America, even JYJ,U-KISS,BIGBANG, KIM HYUN JOONG AND MUBANK has come and Suju is comeing in april to Peru, so my question is what koreans think about latinamerican people?

  68. lol my mexican friends must be korean at heart because they’re communal eaters we order three or four plates and then share it , germs? who cares… my friends stateside though like their own plates and hate having their food eaten by others so it was a culture shock when i was happily eating my salad and my mexican guy friend came over and forked my spinach lettuce and carrots and ate it… without asking me for it… I was upset… and then i noticed that everybody did that to each other so if I said something I’d be this evil unsharing monster.

  69. When eating rice from a bowl, you only need to use one hand for the chopsticks. I once laid my other arm on my lap, since the table was full of plates and stuff. A Japanese friend told me that was considered rude and that it’s better to hold the rice bowl in you hand. Is this the same in Korea? If not, what do you do with the “non-chopstick” hand?

    • Koreans use spoons with their chopsticks so they eat there rice with the spoon. A long time ago meat was very rare in Korea so they usually made a big soup with little meat in it and shared it so hence eating a lot of soups they needed a spoon. Out of China, Korea, and Japan …Koreans are the only ones that use a spoon to eat there rice. And about the “non-chopstick-spoon” hand you can do as you please. You can hold the bowl or not.

    • At least in China I pretty much hold the bowl the whole time. Reduces the distance from bowl to face which looks less… messy? I dunno what word to use haha And when you’re putting food from a shared plate onto your own it shows that you’re trying not to drip/drop stuff all over the other food! But yeah, in Korea it may be different though since their bowls are usually metal so… may be a bit hot sometimes XD I’d also add as a side to the other person replying that Chinese very often use Chinese style spoons when eating rice too, not chopsticks. If you use chopsticks people tend to literally use it to push rice in their mouth, rather than picking it up, that tends to look a bit weird. That’s my experience anyway!

  70. I agree with the buffet fact. In Vietnam, it scared me. I wanted to eat a normal buffet, but it got ruined by my family. Even my parents were confused, and they grew up in Vietnam.

  71. Hi Martina, I was just introduced to Korean dramas in September and have been hooked ever since (along with K-pop and EYK). I was wondering if you have posted a list of some of your favorites anywhere or if you could make one. Thanks! :)

  72. I heard you’re not supposed to finish your meal before the eldest

  73. Oh god, martina I LOVE your hoody! On other news I think most of the things you talked about are pretty much universal, I’m from Argentina and here it is the polite thing to do to serve everyone else before you, and if you are the youngest your are supposed to help. And when people are.. clinking? you are supposed to accompany them even with water May be we just don’t make such a fuss about position/superiors..
    Anyway, my question: (a really random one) what about body hair, I have noticed most korean male idols don’t have hair on their legs, and sometimes neither on their armpits? Is it a natural thing or is just as bad as a girl with hairy armpits? (I have the most random questions guys)
    And since I remember you said that they don’t really use deodorant, waht about perfume? I imagine they are much sensitive to that kind of thing…

    • Here in Canada, among most caucasians I know, it seems as though everyone serves themselves in groups. If someone starts trying to serve everyone else, we’ll usually tell them to sit down and relax! XD So the very hospitable ways of South Koreans would probably seem foreign to many of us. It’s still considered very polite to serve other people, but verging on… too polite? If it’s a relaxed atmosphere, I think we try to make sure everyone feels comfortable just serving themselves. :3
      (The hoodie Martina is wearing is by So So Happy! :D I have a blue dragon one with pink spikeys… so cute. ;~; )

      • Yes, I think most Americans like to serve themselves. I prefer to let people serve themselves, because then they can get the type and amount of food they want to. It seems like most people here feel they have to eat everything on their plate, so it can get annoying if someone serves you a ton of food when you aren’t that hungry. To me it just seems like everyone can be more relaxed if they serve themselves.

        Edit: Oh! And I want that hoodie so bad! It is super adorable. But $50 is a little more money than I can afford for a hoodie…

    • actually Asians in general have a lot less body hair than western people so not actually having hair on your legs or having only a little it’s only natural there
      when it comes to armpits the ones that don’t have hair actually shave which in my opinion is very hygienic but most of them don’t shave… I’m not sure but i think it’s considered manlier that way(not sure if correct information here)

  74. These are the video’s I love most: those about the subtle differences in culture an ettiquette. By the way “klinken” is the proper dutch word for touching glasses after a toast.

  75. Lol, I actually have no idea about the seat arrangement. Usually what happened when my family went to Korea was that my mom would start arguing with the other guests/family members to see who would pay. And even here that happens. Maybe it’s a new thing??? o-o

    I do know the meat grilling process with the maknae though! I remember the BigBang members complaining about how Seungri never grilled their meat for them, so he had gotten a meat grilling app so he could grill the meat properly for them ^^ Haha.

  76. What is it like to live that close to North Korea? What do people in South Korea think about the North’s frequent threats? Does one get used to it due to its high frequency or is it always harrowing?

  77. TL:DR question: I am originally from africa but I have lived in Sweden my whole life, so my question is. How does Korean people look at black people, cause I personally love Korea and I would like to go on a vacation there. Would they treat me different from u guys, and because I am African do you think that they would be like “here take some money” When I walk down the street or something lol
    Comment: Simon and Martina love you u guys and have since day 1!!!!!

  78. i totally really reaaaalllly like Martina’s jacket….kkk…where did you buy it?Can i order it online??….>.<…kkk,,desperate..haha…it's sooo cute….

  79. Do you guys ever worry about what North Korea is doing?

  80. Martina looks so pretty in this video! :) natural and sweet girl :)

  81. That is interesting about the grilling. I didn’t know that.

  82. OOohh thanks for the tip on the drinking. I am a diabetic and have celiac disease which means I can’t eat anything with gluten in it and any alcoholic beverage is a problem. I guess my question is how do Koreans handle people who cannot participate in the drinking or eating? Is there any way you can tell them “No, I can’t eat that or I’ll puke my guts out,” politely? I’ve heard Asian cultures want to please so any tips on how to handle dietary restrictions and get straight answers?

    Kind of along those lines, how do they view people with chronic illnesses or those who can’t keep up with their insane work schedules? (Or do the dramas just totally play up that work all the time angle too?)

    • I’m in a similar situation where I can’t drink because it would conflict with my medications. ;_; It’s not that I don’t want to – I just can’t do it.

      Ugh, celiac disease is the worst. ;_; I’m really sorry!! My friend and neighbour has it as well, so I am constantly trying to make sure our sharing-food is gluten free. Managed to make an AMAZING black bean chocolate cake for my boyfriend’s birthday party that she was able to eat! :D So happy! ^_^

    • I don’t know which drama you watched, but to me, Koreans in kdrama seem to have more leisure time than most real life ones….

    • If you tell people you can’t drink, they won’t make you as long as you let them know it’s because of your body and not because you get drunk easily, or you hate the taste. If you hate the taste or get drunk easily, they tend to continue to try to force you to drink until you do. If you can’t because your body can’t handle alcohol, they won’t make you do it. One of my close hyungs can’t drink because his body rejects alcohol so he absolutely can’t, no one ever forces him to drink. My other friend is just really bad at drinking and gets drunk quickly so he doesn’t like drinking, everyone forces him to drink. It’s situational so don’t worry about it.

    • Our Korean boss once treated me and my co-workers to dinner, and he brought wine and soju with him. I panicked a bit since I don’t drink anything with alcohol because of personal and religious issues, and I already knew about the Japanese and Korean manners of not refusing a drink from a senior. I didn’t want to offend my boss, so I politely told him I don’t drink while he was pouring all of our glasses. He still insisted and said he’ll just pour a little in my glass. Good thing my co-workers saved me by emphasizing that it was more of a religious thing, and he gave in–my glass was spared. I think he didn’t want to offend me too although he asked me about my personal views about drinking later. So don’t say you don’t drink or you don’t like drinking or the taste. Apparently those reasons are not enough. Just (VERY) politely say it’s a health or religious thing, and they’ll spare you. They can be understanding you know.

  83. I didn’t know about the newer/younger person doing the grilling. This is probably why, when we went to my mom’s cousin’s restaurant, my relatives purposely left a lot of the grilling to my friend – who had no idea what to do, and it was hilarious. xD

  84. Why did you guys move to Korea instead of Japan or any other Asian country? Other than Kpop and Dramas, what really prompted you to teach English is Korea?

  85. Isabel Ruby

    martina you look so different in this video, but i can’t figure out why……. plus i dreamt you guys had a bright blue slide to get to a secret nasty lair where you could hole up kpop idols to protect them from over-zealous fans :P

    • I think it’s her makeup! She used smudgier eyeliner and didn’t do a cat-eye with the eyeliner. With the dark circle lenses, it makes her eyes look very different! She looks very young and fresh. ^_^ Always beautiful! :3

      I think this calls for a bright blue slide. Also, WOW, I’m not the only one who gets Nasty dreams! XD

      • Isabel Ruby

        you’re right!!!! i was thinking it was the eyes but i was so distracted by the change i couldn’t put my finger on it :P

        lol yeah the nasty dreams are great… what if simon and martina had reverse nasty dreams about their nasties? o.O

  86. i had the same exact experience as simon! i ‘clinked’ my shot glass on top of a senior/superior. however, i was taught that you should clink according to hierarchy… so the maknae/lowest rank/youngest would clink more toward the bottom. not sure if this is correct, but great video and LOVE martina in the purple shirt!! yay throwback!

  87. Hi! I have question about neighbors in Korea. What they are like? Are they friendly to foreigners?

    Thanks ;)

    PS Greetings from Poland. ;)

    • They don’t really interact with their neighbors, especially those who live in apartments in the urban areas like Seoul; at least that’s what my Korean students tell me. Most of them don’t know their neighbors’ names or faces. But if they do know them, they sometimes nod or greet them, especially when they meet in the hallway or in the elevator.

  88. That was one of your funnier TL;DR’s haha, great video!^^

  89. why did you both pick korea? and did you have any other places in mind?

  90. I have a question about this TLDR-if everyone share the food,how about the payment?

  91. PunkyPrincess92

    really interesting to know some more on table etiquette!!
    and whoa that is a weird buffet style!!
    hahaha the money seat!!!! seriously though is that true? i wanna know more about it!!

  92. Hey guys, I was curious to whether or not you deal with hate, like full on anti-nasties. How do you deal with them? Has it ever held you guys back? Are there alot of haters? If you could say something to all the haters what would it be?
    ~Courtney (Maryland, USA)

    • Ooh, that’s a really interesting question. I know sometimes in forums people attack them for, like, “dissing” (not giving the best review of) videos of k-pop groups, but I wonder if there really are any anti-nasties. (Nanties?) I really hope there aren’t… ;_;

    • thisisjustforfunval

      They have haters out there. I have unfortunately run into blogs and tumblrs that are just chalked full of EYK haters. Those people get under my skin but I’m the bigger person so I just ignore them and comeback here where it is so full of love. I can’ understand why people waste so much time and energy hating. I rather devote that effort to things I love like Eli’s thighs…uhm I mean U-KISS.

      • yea well there are haters every where…
        HIS THIGHS LMAO!!!!!
        i know that feel ;)

      • I think jealously has a lot to do with it. Simon and Martina are living in Korea and get to see Kpop idols and I’m guessing a lot of the haters are just bitter teenagers. When I see that type of hate, I pause for a minute, debating whether to say something, but then just usually leave it because they aren’t the type of people to listen to anyone else because they are so focused on hate.

        The problem is though, there is a lot of misinformation, like a lot of the insults and accusations are not even true. But instead of finding the truth those haters just latch onto the falsehoods to feed their hatred.

    • I’ve only personally seen a couple of “haters” of sort, and she’s on my friends list who had someone agree with her. She stated that they are “Koreaboos,” but this is the same girl who has no actual (or at most, faint) interest in the country, constantly says “Oppa/oppar,” and pines over idols in an inappropriate manner. Ah well. You can’t please everyone, and often times these people are irrational and therefore not worth the time to respond to – like “thisisjustforfunval” stated.

  93. When my two friends were getting married (one a Korean and the other from the USA) I traveled with my brother and another friend to go to their wedding. When they got married the day before we were leaving for America, we obviously couldn’t stay with them still so we stayed with their Korean friends. They all got together and asked us where we wanted to eat and if we wanted to do fun things like walk through shops and go to karaoke. We agreed. We still had souvenir money left and could go out and eat. What we didn’t know was that Koreans tend to pay for group outings. One person does. Not knowing that, my friend said he wanted to try blow fish – which we didn’t know was expensive. We didn’t know until three weeks later, after my Korean friend came home to talk to this guy, that our hosts had been very mad at him. We had assumed we were paying for ourselves each individually like we do here in America. But they bought it for everyone (10+ people) because my friend had suggested it. It was considered very rude to them. We felt really bad later because of the miscommunication. We didn’t know the food etiquette rules and how awesomely hospitable Koreans are.

    • Really interesting story. Too bad it kind of has a sad ending. ;o; It’s rough that those other people would be angry, yet you guys would have no idea about it…

    • I hate it when people pay for me, because then I feel like I have to order the cheapest thing on the menu, even if I would be willing to spend my own money to try out something else. If someone else insists on paying for me I usually end up going home hungry because I felt like I couldn’t eat their money.

      • In genral I have always had one person pay for group meals even here in the U.S. and I got to a certain age where I just started buying every group meal so I wouldn’t feel weird about what I was ordering and the price and everything else.

  94. After reading K-pop news sites, it seems that Korea places a lot of emphasis on K-netizens. Is this true? Do netizens really have a lot of say in the entertainment industry, or are their comments regarded as stupid as most YouTube comments are?

    • the vibe I get when people talk about “netizens” is more focused on how truly scary they can be when they decide they care about something. No one really gives a crap about youtube comments, but netizens seem more like a mob :|

    • This times a million. I’ve almost heard more about Korean ‘netizens’ than I’ve heard about k-pop itself.

  95. I just wanted to say that I love your videos; they’re always so funny and informative. You could be talking about ketchup brands and I would still be entertained. Anyways, I was wondering what your future plans are with regards to eatyourkimchi and how far you want to take it. Also you never really did touch on if you plan on having children (or if you did I totally missed it) If you had children would you raise them in Korea? Sorry for the long question, and thank you for making videos!

  96. I had the hardest time concentrating on you guys because I was so distracted by the signed Block B CD. So pwetty!… *uu* But thank you for this TLDR!! It will be very helpful when I go to Korea for my studies (if everything goes well and I’m accepted. :3)

  97. Hey-llo. You have already talked about your YouTube fame and what you think of it, but what does your family think of it? When I see Korean stars interacting with their family, the parents always have pictures and tabloids up about their famed family. Like when Nichkhun visited his house in Thailand on Running Man, his parents had a lot of his merchandise scattered around the house, next to his baby pictures.

    Does your family have any embarrassing pictures of you and your merchandise around the house? Baby pictures next to an EYK shrine? The works?

  98. You guys are so hipster chic XD

  99. I remember when I first shared a meal with some Thai people in Thailand. I found it very awkward in the beginning (especially since I actually believed one of the persons were really sick). But after a few times, it wasn’t awkward anymore. But it was still awkward when some of them tried to feed us.

    Oh, I remember watching Running Man, and they were going to eat breakfast at a hotel (buffet), and at first I saw one of the guys plate was FULL of that one thing. And all of them took a lot. I was shocked, and thought “Them Koreans really do love food, don’t they?” x)

    Oh no, what if I come to Korea, and I am hanging out with some people, we go to restaurant, and I sit at the wrong seat D: (But I would actually rather pay than grill stuff, because I’m really bad at grilling. It’s either way too uncooked or burned)

  100. Just be really helpful! That covers a lot (of course, not all) of what was mentioned. :)

  101. that 2NE1 CD was torturing me the entire time, is it signed or am i imagining it? O.O

  102. My TL;DR question:

    I wasn’t sure if this was too personal a question so I understand if this goes unanswered – I know you both started EYK for your family in the hopes of relieving their worries about you living in Korea. Do your family members still watch your videos? What are their impressions of your life in Korea? How do they feel about you deciding to stay in Korea?

  103. “Heyyy secretary. What are you doing later on?”

    “My wife.”

    Win comment is winning.

  104. Why is blood type so important in Korean. I mean other than the obvious. I see it mentioned a lot when describing Kpop stars. Heck a whole band is name after it B1A4. Does it mean something special?

  105. Simon and Martina, I love you so much. I’m travelling to Seoul in May, (my first time out of Canada EVARR) and I can’t wait to see Hongdae and take a picture of your studio!

  106. My question for TLDR: What are your future plans and do you plan to expand EYK? Love from germany <3 (and thanks for picking my question for last weeks TLDR :))

  107. there are many videos about this on youtube already. i think it would be easier to just link to them and do a TL:DR about something that loads of people havent already talked about :) Lets us viewers learn more i believe.

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