- pronunciation: korea is so homogenous. many residents are not used to having to decipher mispronounced korean words. to avoid confusion, have a k-friend write down your request (destination, item to buy, etc) to show to taxi drivers, store owners, whatevers.
- atm: atms at banks are open from 8am to 10pm, they're not 24 hrs. some atms at convenience stores or subway stations may have 24 hr service, but their dependability is limited and they may not be in english.
- phones: the local area code doesnt have to be dialed when calling from a landline or pay phone. however, area codes must always be included when using a cell phone.
- phone etiquette: it is not uncommon for koreans to hang up the phone without saying "goodbye." A simple "ok, or "ya" or nothing at all is common practice for ending a phone call.
- yes, no and maybe do not always mean yes, no, and maybe. in korea, yes could mean "yes, i heard what you said," and maybe would mean almost anything. double check with who youre talking to.
- laughing: if you show anger or share sad news, koreans might respond with a smile or laugh. they're not laughing at you; this is their uncomfortable response to what they consider an awkward situation.
- red ink: dont write someone's name in red ink b/c it's reguarded as an insult or unfriendly. you use red ink if you want someone to die...
- No.4: some buildings dont have a 4th floor, or it'll say F instead of four. this is b/c 4 is a bad luck number, the korean word meaning four "sa" sounds like the chinese character for "death."
- 24/7 free korea info in english: (02) 1330. they'll translate, give directions, ask them anything, they can answer. from your cell phone, dial 021330.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
tips for when youre brand spankin new
with thanks to seoul's own groove magazine.