So, I’m starting to like these fascinating country facts articles. Read the Ireland one- it’s sooo cool. These cool country facts articles empower me to learn all this cool stuff about countries around the world that I otherwise would remain totally ignorant about. So, the little I know about Korea is that it’s in Asia and that this really nice Korean guy in the hotel in Bangkok, Thailand gave us the all-time, most illogical but our favorite travel gift- this huge stuffed Ikea dog which we use as a pillow and friend everywhere we go.
And so, we’d often thought about taking up hostel jobs, marketing work, or teaching jobs in Korea. We’ve met many travelers who had settled in Korea and taught in the schools there. They all had the best stories to tell about falling in love with really grateful and sweet students and the communities they became a part of. Without further ado….
Ten Fun, Fascinating, Cool, Unknown Facts about Korea!
1.Tipping is not customary in Korea. If you do happen to leave a tip the waiter will most likely follow you out to return it to you. They think that you have left the money behind accidentally.
2-Instead of horoscopes and the Zodiac, Koreans use blood types to figure out a person’s personality.
3- Koreans fear the number four, like Westerns fear the number thirteen. Therefore, don’t give anyone a gift with four pieces and know that building and house numbers won’t have a four in them.
4- South Koreans believe that people should hide their shoes on the first night of the New Year. Otherwise, a ghost will try one of the shoes, and if it finds a pair that it likes, the ghost will take it and the owner of those shoes will have bad luck all year.
5- Koreans believe in “fan death“. It is believed that if an electric fan is left running overnight, it will kill the person who happens to be sleeping in the room.
6- Koreans love SPAM (the mushed up meat kind). Expect to see a lot of SPAM gift sets during important holidays.
7- South Korea is the only nation that is completely broadband connected, at 100Mb.
8- Writing someone’s name in red ink basically means they’re going to die, or that they’re already dead. Hence, don’t use red ink in Korean. It’s you asking for trouble and most likely you offending or scaring someone unnecessarily.
9- In Korea, when you are born, you are considered to be one. So with this Korean style of counting, most Koreans are a year older than their “Western age.”
10- Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog, was created in South Korea at the Seoul National University.
So, while we’ve been in South East Asia for almost a year and a half now, learning all of this makes it super clear to me that there is sooooo much more to discover and explore. It’s fascinating how each country, each region, sometimes each town or village has their own unique twists and turns that make it it’s beautiful self.
We’d be deeply honored to go to Korean and really think they by teaching (one of us, not both) we’d have a great experience immersing ourselves in the culture.
Have you been? Heard of anyone who had been? We’ve heard of tons who have taught there. Tons. More than any other country in the world, in fact. Speaketh child, speaketh. How’s them cool facts? I know. I think I’ve found a new little, refreshing online learning habit.
So many wonderful photographers share great photos and I’m deeply grateful and happy to give them credit for their work: Sorak Gerhang Valley (opening photo) , old style Korean door, Gwanghawamun (photo between fact five and six), Buddha’s birthday (pic with all that amazing color).
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We’ve written a highly inspirational e-book about money and how you can take these ten steps to make your travel dreams come true. It has helped many and helps us continue our travel dreams. I do hope you will consider spending the $8 and learning/ be reminded of what you can do, starting today, to make your family world travel dreams come true. You can do it too friends. You can. You can.
Thank you dearly,
Gabi, Kobi, Solai, Dahnya, and Orazi