Reverse culture shock

You look just like everyone else – no one is staring at you. A tenner is about 17,000won. Keep to the LEFT on escalators. People can understand what you’re saying, so shhhhh. Don’t go out in a t-shirt just because it’s the end of May. You can’t just stand at the side of the road and hail a taxi when you get lost. Keep to the LEFT when using doors in public buildings. Smile and say hello to random strangers, because just walking past is rude. The fact that it’s broad daylight has absolutely no relevance to what time of day or night it is. Keep to the LEFT on crowded footpaths. It’s footpath, not sidewalk. Lift, not elevator. Trousers, bin, rubbish, crisps, bap, handbag, car park, flat, toMAHto. Just because the timetable says 4:35 does not mean a bus will actually show up around 4:35. For the love of all that is holy, KEEP TO THE LEFT when driving. It’s OK to talk at a normal volume on public transport. Just because you realise you can read and understand the newspaper of the stranger next to you does not make it socially acceptable behaviour to actually do so. Yes, there are “cows crossing” traffic signs. Absolutely no need to bow respectfully when you accidentally bump into an older person – this can in fact be seen as “taking the piss”. Keep to the LEFT on the stairs. Diet Coke bottles now have a different name on each bottle, which is a great marketing ploy except it’s never Hayley and I feel reluctant to buy a bottle with someone else’s name on it. Don’t speak Korean to shop assistants. It’s fine to keep your shoes on in someone’s house; in fact, they tend to prefer it. Eating noodles with a fork instead of chopsticks is normal behaviour. Keep to the LEFT, in general.


3 thoughts on “Reverse culture shock

  1. Norma says:

    I currently have a small bottle of diet coke in my bag. It’s been there 2 days but I can’t drink it cause it says “Anna” on it. I’m not likely to find a “Norma” but how can I possibly drink Anna’s?

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