Friday, April 17, 2009

One Stop Espresso

Just kidding -- I didn't cut my hair...
haha sorry for the disappointment, won't do it again. My hair is so layered right now and those are my shortest layers. I've been thinking of cutting it short for a while - thx for the comments!

At my favourite coffee shop chain, Ediya! The staff are friendly and can speak English (at least in all 4 locations I've been in so far), their coffee is cheap (prices range from 1,800-2,800/cup) and tastes great and they have a ton of different types (even a sweet potato latte!).. and it has such an innocent, sweet, girly, boutique vibe.
The Ediya travel mug I plan to get:
I spent the whole day studying inside my dorm today and I almost went crazy. I have 3 midterms on Monday and one on Thursday. Besides the concert tomorrow, this weekend will be so uneventful.

Here are some facts from my Korean Culture and Society course notes I found interesting:
- You bow to greet each other (except with the same-aged friends)
- Subordinates must greet or bow to superiors first; subordinates have to bow deeper to superiors
- Korean language is one of the 11 most spoken languages in the world
- There are 80 million Korean speakers
- Hangeul, the korean language, is one of the simplest yet most sophisticated language systems in the world
- Hangeul is believed to facilitate the maximum use of the limited keyboard capacities of cell phones, thereby making it the most efficient language in sending text messages via cell phones.
- Like Japanese, Korean writing originated from Chinese and during the 19th and 20th centuries, a mixed writing system combining Chinese characters (hanja) and Hangeul became increasingly popular.
- It wasn't until 1945 that the importance of Chinese characters in Korean writing diminished significantly
- Still, South Korea school children are expected to learn 1,800 hanja (Chinese characters) by the end of high school
- The Korean alphabet was originally associated with people of low class (women, children, uneducated)
- Use honorific language when you speak to strangers, older people, superiors etc.
- Do not use red ink to write a person's name (it means death) -- I believe this is the same in most Asian cultures
- Pass and receive objects with both hands (yep, same as other Asian cultures)
- Wait for the eldest to sit before eating (mhmm)
- Don't hit someone in the head (Koreans value intelligence and you lose brain cells when you're hit on the head lol)
- Young people don't smoke in front of older people
- Public display of affection is frowned upon
- Women should not smoke in public
- Korean society manifests itself as a very male-dominant society
- Korean women lag significantly behind men in virtually every aspect of society
- According to data on the 2005 (OECD), Korean women workers earned 61% of what their male counterparts made
- When drinking in a group, Koreans don't fill their own glass; they fill each other's glass and often offer their own empty glass to other members in the group
- Turn sideways when drinking alcohol in front of an older person
- Covering your mouth when yawning or laughing, especially for females (no wonder...)
- Don't blow your nose in the presence of others (out of consideration -- this should be practiced everywhere).
- Do not leave a spoon or chopsticks in your bowl
- Subordinates are expected to stand up when a person of higher rank appears
- Kimchi used to not be spicy!
- Korea is one of the most religiously pluralistic countries in the world
- Buddhism is the most followed religion at 10.7 million followers -- then Protestantism and Catholicism
- Close to half of Koreans don't have any religious affiliation
- What's unique about Korea is that despite rapid industrialization and urbanization, the "religious population" has increased steadily in the last four decades whereas the opposite occurs everywhere else.
- The most shocking fact I learned is that Yonsei and Ewha university students are forced to attend chapel service (Protestant Christian) every week! They're not allowed to skip a week (they would have to make it up) or else they're not allowed to graduate!! Isn't that ridiculously unfair especially since not all students are even Protestant?! My professor says that that is one of the reasons why a lot of students choose not to go to Yonsei. It would definitely be a strong deciding factor for me too.
- Although Korean familes are becoming increasingly egalitarian, women still do a large percentage of housework even if they have full time jobs.
- Age at first marriage: (2004) Women - 27.5 years old; Men - 30.6 years old. (However, the Koreans I've talked to seem to think, for women, 26 is really old to marry and that the mean age is 23.)
- Koreans are known to be very calculative when it comes to mate selection: they marry partners who are of similar age, education level, religious and (especially) class background; marrying outside of the group is discouraged.
- Only about 7% of Korean households live in extended family settings
- 40% of marriages end in divorce in Korea; the 3rd highest in the world (compared to 50% in USA + 48% in Sweden). There is a rise in the divorce rate.
- Korean women strive to achieve an S-line body shape (slim and sexy with curves that make an S-shape) and a V-line face shape (chin-area). They're considered the Korean ideals for ultimate attractiveness [There's also U-lines (lower back) and M-lines (for males) but I don't know much about them]
- All girls are on a diet... lol - they even sell stickers in the Unistore to put in their agendas just for diets! Average weight is 45kg (yes, less than 100 pounds).


  1. I knew it. I was thinking if you really cut your hair short why would you take the picture from that angle.

    I was just telling my cowrker after. I was like my friend said she cut her hair btu I'm not 100% sure if I believe it =P I was still a little doubtful I was like HMMM nat cutting her hair short I probably have to see it to believe it.

  2. I've been reading your blog for a while now... because I'm actually planning on going to Korea this summer at KU for the teenager program abroad there. But, yeah, it's sort of ridiculous... my older sister smokes and when we went there last summer, she learned that people think you're a prostitute or crazy if you're a woman and you smoke in public. I grew up with completely fob parents so I knew most of the facts but, jeez, Korea's so strict! I love Korea... but the manners there suck. People just shove past you without saying, "excuse me".

  3. B: hehe you know me too well

    Anon: I must admit, even I do a double take when I see a female smoke in public... especially when they look like one of those studious types.
    haha yea I've had that happen to me a couple times too (the rude shoving), but other than that, and the fact that some male students don't let females on the bus first, I've had no problems with Korean manners! :)
    Interesting -- I'm assuming you're Korean. What's this teenager program about? What would you do @ KU?

  4. Mhmm, I'm Korean. Uhh.. basically I'll just be spending a month there learning Korean and history... My Korean is really broken so I'm going there to improve.. but REALLY... I'm going because I love Korea.. and SHINee, haha. You're so lucky you got to see them perform!
    I think I'm staying at Anam Hall 2 because CJ is full, but do you know what it's like there?

  5. Cindy - who is your fav. SHINee member! (gah no question mark on this laptop) I recently got into Onew & Key (esp Key but he's damn young! lol). Saw this guy who looked like them at this party yesterday except maybe even skinnier.. I'll show you haha
    Anam hall... I know a lot of local students stay there. It's very simple and they have a strict curfew (not allowed to go back late like past 11PM or you'll get locked out).. something about no kitchen either but I'll have to confirm that for you! When are you coming

  6. GAH! lol Onew and Taemin. Key was the first member I started really liking at first... but as time passed, I've realized that I truly love Onew and Taemin. Hahaha. But yeah! At a starbucks one time I saw some guy who looked like Key... and I couldn't stop smiling when I was placing my order. But Onew's voice... is like milk.Taemin's closest to my age and I just.. love him. HAHA, okay I'll stop here.

    I guess I wouldn't really matter too much if there's a kitchen or not.. I just hope it's clean...Umm, I'm coming late June? But sorry for asking so many questions! But thanks for answering them! :]