Hooray! It’s time for our favourite segment of the week, TL;DRs! We love these segments. Did we ever tell you that? These are always loads of fun for us. They’ve also become our most viewed segment over the year, so it seems like you are digging it as well. Huzzah! Most of the time we get to just sit and banter with each other and be playful, and that’s loads of fun. Sometimes we tackle more serious topics, which is – at times – not loads of fun, but the discussions we get in the comment sections are great. Thank you, TL;DR watchers, for your awesome levels of engagement!

Anyhow, we usually do Korea vs _____ videos whenever we come back from traveling somewhere. We put Korea up against Japan, Australia, and Europe in previous TL;DRs. I didn’t find one on Canada yet, though I feel like almost every TL;DR is – by default – Korea vs Canada, because we mostly talk about how our experiences as Canadians differs from what we experience here in Korea.

But we’ve been in Korea for quite a while now, over 5 years. Almost 6 as of June. Our Canadian side is fading. Our memories of what things were like are a bit dated at times. So, being back in Canada for a few weeks really reminded us of what’s different between both places. Not really in depth, of course, because we’re not that in depth with Canada anymore. But, still, the differences to us are interesting to note.

Side note: we really sucked at filming this one. We forgot to check if my head fit in (which it didn’t) and we forgot to fully charge our batteries, which is why Martina’s battery died at the end of the video. Actually, that was more like the middle of the video, but we cut out the other half because Martina’s audio sucked. We had more we wanted to talk about! Like…food ordering culture! Not that big a deal, we know, but we were reminded of what it’s like to get food in Canada. You go to a burger place in Canada, for example, and you stand in front of the list of stuff you can add to the burger, like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc. You customize your food. You’re often asked “how would you like that” and you get to choose and dictate. Make the coffee with half syrup and soy milk.

Here in Korea, though, food customization isn’t that prevalent. Sure, it’s available in some places. They have Subway sandwiches. Coco Curry (aka CRACK COCAINE CURRY CUZ IT’S SO ADDICTIVE) lets you add this and that to the curry you get, but those are for non-Korean foods. Go to a Korean food place, and you mostly get big bowl of stuff. Eat it! It’s delicious! Which, yes, it is, but it’s not really something you customize all too much.

I’m assuming maybe because there are so many things on the menu that makes up for the lack of customization. For example: order a kimbap roll at a Kim Bap Chon Guk and you’l have 12 different rolls to choose from. Maybe in Canada it’s more like you’d order a kimbap roll, and they’d ask you how you want it. Korea has already pre-determined a lot of these options. Go to our favourite Sundubu Jjigae restaurant and you’ll see 20 different kinds to choose from. Is that lack of customization, or just a plethora of choices that compensate for the lack? I don’t know.

It’s when we try to ask the waiters for something different that we run into trouble. At our favourite burger place, if we ask for extra bacon, they look confused and have to ask the manager, and then they come back in a panic and say “that…that’ll be 500 won more,” to which we agree, of course. Or if we go to a restaurant which we know serves purple rice for some dishes and white rice for others, if we ask for the purple rice instead they’ll say “oh, that’s not for this dish.” Yes, we know, but we’d like to swap. Is that possible?

So, long story short, switching things around in Korean restaurants results in more confusion here than it does for us in Canada. There! It only took four convoluted paragraphs to somewhat explain. Yeesh!

Anyhoodledoodlepoodle: another basic difference we noticed between Toronto and Seoul – whoa! We totally appreciate the Seoul Metro as opposed to the Toronto subway system. We took the TTC in Toronto a few times, and every time we were on we were quite…umm…surprised? The floors were really dusty and dirty. Some subway stops smelled of urine. You grab a handle when you’re standing and it squeaks and screeches. The whole subway just seems really old and dusty. You so much as LOOK at a tunnel and your signal cuts out. Not so in Korea. The subway is always meticulously clean. Screens all over the subway tell you what stop is coming up next and what side the doors will open on. On the TTC, some guy on the mic goes “nfft stfftn is Lwffffndwwwnnn” and you can barely understand what he’s saying over the crackle. Hell! We were at Keele station on the weekend, stuck at the front doors of the station for 20 minutes because the machine wouldn’t accept our freaking money at all! Just kept on spitting out our $10s over and over again. And the TTC costs $3. Seoul Subway costs $1.10. Sure, Toronto has lots of reasons for it being more expensive. There are less people in Toronto than in Seoul, so that means less customers, which means less money, and upkeep is expensive, or whatever. I don’t know. There are a bagillion excuses for it. Without digging into them, you can easily say that the TTC sucks royally compared to Seoul’s subway. I can’t think of a single thing the TTC does better. Sorry people of Toronto who love your city. Toronto’s got a lot of great things going for it. Transportation isn’t one of them.

Ok! That’s it for now. If there’s anything we missed out on, we’d love to talk about it in the comment section with you all. I’m sure someone will mention something and we’ll be like “OH SNAP HOW DID WE FORGET?!?!?” Oh. One I forgot to mention: Toronto has scarier Ice Storms.

  1. Road construction is considered a season where i am. it took them like, 6 months to do one very small bridge. It’s absolute bs of how long it takes. And no slow plows? That boggles my mind *is not very cultural* They salt the roads and that just DESTROYS the underneath of your car and all of the sand and just ICK.
    My family used the subway when we went to Boston and I thought it was just amazing. What percentage of Koreans use the subway on a regular basis?

  2. I think one of the signature coffee in your new coffee shop should called “Timmy” :) Do you miss it? You know what, I never a big fans of it, but whenever I go on travel, I always want one when I come back.

    Did someone mention ice storm in Toronto? Plz note the pic attached below is taken when it was -25 degree.

    Btw, I didn’t know there is a Toronto flag. I think ppl only know maple leafs flag. You know what I am talking about.

  3. So just following on from gyms being expensive in Korea, what about workout equipment for use at home, like yoga mats, weights etc, are they expensive? Are they even easily available? You guys are awesome btw, I’m hoping to move to Korea later this year and have learnt loads from your TL;DRs, so thank you! :)

  4. If you ever come to New Orleans most people think its a scary city… but let me tell you its no worse than anywhere else i have been…but the sidewalks WILL KILL YOU

  5. I live in Toronto. In all fairness I think New York’s subway is worse. But were you on an old subway or a new subway? The new ones are much better. And lets be honest, I think construction takes longer than six months. I know pretty much nothing about Korea but the fact that they’re fast makes sense because in general I’m pretty sure they have a higher work standard.

  6. You’ve mentioned how Korea has been getting used to accommodating pets in terms of parks, food stores, and vets, but can you tell us a little more about how apartment owners feel about taking tenants with pets? In Texas, even upon finding an apartment that doesn’t mind them, they usually charge several hundred dollars per pet. I’m moving to Seoul later this year and I’m not sure how to go about bringing/leaving my cats until I find a place that will accept them.

  7. one thing i appreciated the most about Korea when i went was when i lost my phone someone turned it into the lost and found in the transit system office and didn’t steal it! oh how i wish where i lived people would do that more often….

  8. At 2:13, Simon, you sound like Bruce from Family Guy xD

  9. Question for TL;DR: Can you discuss to the netizens that why some of the talented kpop stars (e.g. spica) is underrated? In contrast some with few talents but under a large company can gain popularity and win a lot of 1st in kpop music shows? Is it the problem with the monopoly of 3 entertainment agencies? Like spica they are really very talented but their youtube views are really growing slowly……

  10. Question for a future TL;DR: In your opinion, how do you think marketing for female and male k-pop groups differ? There seems to be a continuous debate about the alleged EYK guy group bias. I think it’s more the voters fault than anything, but I also think it speaks to how the companies push them differently. What do you think?

  11. This past summer I lived in Singapore for an internship. Their subways were very clean and nice, but I was so glad to come home to my city in the US because I didn’t have to rely on public transportation and could drive myself where I wanted to go. Those trains would be so crowded and hot and made me feel claustrophobic. My city doesn’t have a subway system, but I’ve been on subways in other places, more recently Japan and NYC, so those I can remember the experience of. This might sound weird to some people, but I preferred those subways over the MRT in Singapore in terms of the actual ride. Whenever the MRT stopped it was so jerky. The train would slow down and then suddenly break really hard to stop at the correct spot. For the months I was there, I never got used to it. The subways in Japan and NYC just kind of cruised to a stop? They didn’t have quite the sudden jerk at each station, which I really loved. I know for sure that the NYC trains have a conductor on board, the MRT didn’t. Maybe that’s why the stops are different? Or maybe because the MRT has to line up with doors, so they always have to stop at the same place, the other trains can be off a little.

  12. I Can’t wait to try the railway system in other countries. Australian trains are baaaaad. Expensive, runs late a lot of the time and not very clean >.<

  13. TL;DRs are actually the first things that attracted me to the Eat Your Kimchi page. I grew curious and had to check out your other videos. Thank you for introducing me to this crazy awesome culture!

  14. I’m in Panama right now and I love it! I’m from the US and it’s so warm here. I’ve noticed that there are bars on all the windows and doors for a house. Like everyone literally has it. The public transportation is also pretty cheap. It’s only 25 cents to go one way. Cars honk a lot, and there’s a lot of noise.

  15. On my playlist for jogging there’s always 2PM’s A.D.T.O.Y and a lot of Bilasa :D

  16. Replay 7:35…oh my gawd. Best thing ever martina hahaha.

  17. One thing I got to say I love about the US or North America is that there is such a variety of FOOD. When I went to France it was really pretty and they had a ton of great food but they didn’t have like a lot of like Chinese or Mexican food places easily accessible. For me I live in really small suburb but I can still drive less than a mile and find 3 Mexican, 2 Chinese, French, Italian, Vietnamese, and Japanese restaurants as well. and its not like i live in a very ethnically diverse area, a large city, or near the border. After two and a half weeks in France i was dying for a taco. ANY taco. :)

  18. The one thing I distinctly remember in South Korea is that you are allowed to eat and drink on the trains! It’s not a very big thing but in Singapore, long train rides are terrible if you’re hungry and you’re technically not allowed to eat or drink in the stations or onboard trains. Boo.

  19. Yeah, us crazy AMERIANS and our Fahrenheit temperatures. :D

  20. Your comparison on the subway reminds me of what I experienced recently in subway(I live in Korea).
    One day I was taking the subway in Seoul. And the station was in line 1(the oldest line). As soon as I got into the train, I felt some homeless guy(I bet he is) stunk. I couldn’t put up with the smell so I held my breath till the next station and jumped out to platform and got back into the next car of the train. There were a lot more people in the car then one that I was on.
    A few minutes later, there was an announcement that they are trying to make a pleasant environment and they got a complaint about a bad smell so please get out of the train whoever dirty and smells bad. LITERALLY! and they kept opening the doors for a longer time then they usually do for several stations. I was very impressed on their measure like that. How kind is that?
    Compared to TTC(I also lived in Toronto for 6 month in 2009) which doesn’t make any announcement for stopping on the railroad for over 10 minutes and we don’t know when it will move again, I thought it was very good to live in Seoul at that moment.

  21. I was having a slightly shitty night (here in Toronto) because of no reason, but seeing you guys had posted a TL;DR made me SO happy!! They’re my favourite videos from you guys (I barely watch MMs these days), because they always just manage to cheer me up. <3

    What else cheers me up: Your cooking episodes! I miss your adorable kitchen and watching Martina cook! <3

  22. TTC sounds horrible! In Vancouver, the Skytrain can be really bad, and it’s been getting worse over the years. Everyone thinks it’s so high tech, but the only high tech part of the Skytrain is the Canada line. Once you get off that, you wish you never did. There are so many unexplained delays and just today, a skytrain broke down on the rail, and so there was this huge backlog of trains and they had to create shuttle buses. My goodness, it was a nightmare. Don’t even get me started on Translink’s bus system. It’s even worse! I think transportation in Canada is just so underfunded in general and it’s causing a lot of issues for riders general commute as well as safety.

  23. But….. but…. but I find Martina’s jokes funny ;n;

  24. All your videos from TL;DR, W.A.N.K, F.A.P’s really helps my Christmas 2013 Trip to Seoul..I literally try everything that u post..the food,cafes,night life,places..it’s feels like i’m doing a mission and it’s SUPER EXCITING ..Oh and i also get to drop by your Nasty Studio..I LOVE LOVE LOVE U GUISE so much (Virtual Hug) (*>o<*)

  25. Maybe in Canada we know how to control the heat indoors because the weather is batsh*t crazy.

  26. hahaha love the big bang reference when you said 24/7 lol

  27. umm, I took the toronto subway system, and I have to agree that the floors are dirty, and at one time, there was a hobo swearing and asking for money at the same time….. but its actually some carts (is that what you call them?) that are low tech, and others that are a bit higher, the main difference is that the better ones have a screen that tells your next stop and which side to exit. I guess not all cart-like-train-thingys have this because…. construction is slow, like S&M said.

  28. hi! Where do you ask a question for the next tldr?

  29. Its true, the TTC really does suck and im excited to see the korean metro in july :D

  30. Have you been on the new TTC subway trains though? They’re pretty nice. The robotic lady voice announcing the stops always makes me laugh though…she emphasizes random words and just sounds like a twitchy eccentric old lady (“please stand ***CLEAR**** of doors”). The stations are usually pretty gross though…but they’re also usually pretty empty except for Union, so I guess there’s no need to keep them nice???

  31. So what your saying is… there will be a part 2? :P


    okay, so to be honest, I actually quite like the TTC subway system. It’s simple and I’ll never get lost xD

    but then again I haven’t been to seoul so I guess I can’t really compare it but I HAVE been to beijing and ohmylord is it ever crowded. It is neater and cleaner but theres so many stops that I just get so confused.

  33. eyeliner game so sharp it can cut someone in two

  34. How about TV? Are western shows common in Korea or was it weird seeing North American tv again?

  35. what came to mind when I heard “kiwi dressing”

  36. I’m from Toronto too, living in Daejeon right now. I miss public garbage cans. I know that sounds weird but here there are hardly any garbage cans on the sidewalk and parks. There are sometimes garbage “spots” on top of residential garbage bags where other people will dump their garbage. In Toronto, there’s a garbage can every five feet! And it gives you options for waste, paper recycling, glass/plastic recycling. Here, it’s just like “Drop your garbage anywhere.”
    When I’m waiting for the traffic light near my house, these ajummas descend on me and shove restaurant flyers in my face and there’s no where for me to subtly throw them away. I end up carrying the flyers home and throwing them out there.

  37. Food custimization thing I definitely noticed.
    One thing that bugs me a lot but probably not you guys since you’ve not lived and shared a bathroom with Koreans is the lack of shower curtains. It means the entire bathroom gets wet. And so if I go to use the restroom afterwards, it means a wet toilet seat, which I really hate. I limit my spray radius of the nozzle so that the toilet and other places don’t get wet, but Koreans don’t seem to really care. (I’m not sure where they put their dry clothes to change into…). It also means the bathroom shoes get super wet too. Which means I can’t wear socks if I want to use the bathroom and somebody has just showered.
    I will say that Koreans conversely find cleaning the bathroom to be a whole lot easier in Korea. Because they can just use the shower head and spray everything down. So for Koreans that come to the US, they’re more bothered by the amount of work put into clearning the bathroom. So.. it’s give and take and just what I’m used to or not used to.

  38. Don’t worry Martina, I tell a lot of corny jokes too. For example:

    Q:What do you call subway cars going through Korea?

    A:The Seoul Train! (You may now proceed to face-table yourself)

  39. Ahhh transportation in the GTA is sucky and expensive in general. I mean $3.00 for TTC and $3.25 for Mississauga transit makes going downtown an expensive journey for people like me (who don’t drive). Also Burhnamthorpe road was undergoing MAJOR reconstruction for all 4 years that I commuted to U of T via public transit. I don’t understand why but from the East Mall to Kipling they spent a long time repaving the road, then after the repaved the road they dug it up to replace the waterline and then had to fill in the gouging holes and repave the road. So frustrating, especially if I was in a hurry.

    (Here endeth my rant)

  40. It seems that this post has brought out a lot of unhappy torontonians… and I’m one of them. But yea when I was in Korea a couple of summers back (and honestly just any other Asian country) I always come back thinking that it’s so disappointing that our public transportation isn’t anywhere close to that of other countries.

    Also yes to the construction. It’s just so slow. And really annoying. I go to the University of Waterloo which is ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Like WHY? There’s constant work being done, but nothing’s ever finished on time. And sure they say that there are hardhat zones and what not, but does that help when the only way I can get to class is through the road which runs RIGHT THROUGH the construction zone? I’m so happy I’m off this term because last term I would go through praying that nothing would fall down and kill me while I was trying to make it on time to class. Plus there’s King’s Square down at 16th and Woodbine which may or may not ever get built… cause you know… Canadian construction… >.>

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