The Black Barbie Chronicles: Korean Cultural Habits I’ve Picked Up


You know the type;  you have surrounded yourself in a culture and you think that you know everything and that you are superior to Americans, despite being an American yourself!  Anywho, this next entry showcases some of the habits I had picked up while I was in Korea.  Good times.  Anyway, enjoy as usual.

F. M. Laster

“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.” -Mae West

Wednesday, February 24th

Korean Cultural Habits I’ve Picked Up

Guess what!? Everywhere I look I’m surrounded by Korean culture. Why is that?

I guess that has something to do with me living and working in Korea! Every day I’m surrounded by Korean culture. K-pop, kimchi, the bali bali (hurry, hurry) lifestyle. It’s been almost 3 months now since I left home and decided to toss myself off the deep end into another culture. I must that in the last few months Korea has changed a lot. Here are some Korean habits I can see myself being back to Texas.

Korean Chopsticks

I have become a chopstick pro. Well, I really didn’t have a choice. Every time I eat there is a 99% chance I need some chopsticks. I’ve eaten rice, BBQ, fried chicken, fish, and cake…cake using chopsticks. Now Korean chopsticks are a little different than the usual take-out chopsticks you know and love. These bastards are metal! If you think wooden chopsticks are bad, you haven’t lived until you had to use metal ones. Trust me, there was a substantial messy learning curve to using those things. There were just one too many times when my co-workers, taking pity on me, inquired for a fork for me. Now, I am a metal chopstick eating pro! I need to be if I want to eat and I’m from Texas, so you know we love to eat.

Accepting the Loudness

In general, and to sound very racist, most Koreans that I have encountered are loud. It could be in a shop, the mall, walking down the street on the bus or subway, most Koreans have not yet learned to use their inside voices. This is just the culture; roll with it, Mimi! I must say, that when I first arrived here, the loudness terrified me. I was always wondering why the hell are these people so damn angry! Trust, I learned early on the speaking loudly to speak loudly and speaking loudly when they are pissed off! Now, I find myself speaking loudly without a care in the world. I wonder if I bring that one back to Texas?

Inside and Outside Shoes

Oh my lordy lord, oh how I love THIS! Think about it, you have shoes that you use just for the inside only. It does make sense when you think about it. You’re walking around the dirty filthy streets day in and day out. It makes sense not to take the crap into your home. Then again, I can understand the use of inside shoes considering how facility a Korean street can be Ugh!!!   The last thing you’d want to do is bring in that crap into your home. So, when you walk into your home or anyone else’s you take off your shoes at the door and slip into your indoor shoes.

Now here’s the tricky part; make sure that your shoes are slip on and slip off shoes. Anything with laces can be an issue. You really don’t want to be THAT person who’s the last person to arrive and leave. I have learned to ride and die by the slip on!

The Korean Sun Umbrella

It’s not common in Texas, but using an umbrella to protect Korean women from the sun is commonplace. Skin care is a huge deal for Korean women; they don’t want to get dark! (haha!) You want to piss off a Korean woman; tell her you like her tan.  That’ll get your bell rung! These ladies carry a small umbrella in their bags at all times. After seeing them do this, I thought they were kind of weird; but then again, think about it. It does make some sense to carry something around to protect yourself from the sun. Now in Texas, this kind of behavior is not considered the norm but come hell or high water I’m going to bring this habit home!

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