I've lived in Seoul for 10 months now, and every day presents new opportunities to experience a culture which, in many ways, is vastly different from whence I came. Still, at times I lose track of the differences, so I thought it would be fun to start posting them here -perhaps an occasional feature of this blog. In any case, here's a starter set...
It may surprise you:
- there's no tipping.
- girls and women of all ages will walk hand-in-hand; guys, too.
- shower slippers are a normal part of life. It is funny though to see people sometimes wearing them outside.
- anything goes in fashion... except when it doesn't. Case in point: girls will wear the absolute shortest of skirts, yet it's rare to see them in tank tops or anything exposing their shoulders or with even the slightest hint of cleavage. This is an ongoing + troublesome issue for my expat friends and me since we love our tanks and would never be caught dead in the ubiquitous micro-minis.
- Converse sneakers are worn by at least 80% of teens and twenty-somethings. Males and females.
- it's socially permissible for women to smoke, however unlike their male counterparts they mustn't walk down a street with a lit cigarette. Rather, women must be more covert, for instance: smoking in designated areas within cafes and restaurants, away from the general public.
- couples clothing is very real and alive. I've lost count of the matching tee-shirts and/or Converse and/or hats worn by young couples. Today I even saw coordinated (and bleached!) hairstyles.