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Thursday, 2 October 2014

9 things I learnt in Seoul after 6 days or how I 'start to stop the keeping warm jar'

I think Japanese are friendlier.

1. Despite the plethora of skin-care boutiques, not all Koreans are blessed with glowing complexion, and it makes you wonder about the effectiveness of those face masks.

2. Real Koreans have single eyelid. Those with double eyelids are happy customers from the dozens of cosmetic surgery clinics that lined the boulevards.

3. There are few eye candies that caught my eyes. The cosmetically enhanced ones are already in K-Pop bands, TV dramas and movies. Tourists can see the real Koreans by visiting the country.

4. Major shopping districts will have multiple shops from the same brand. So it is highly encouraged to have a 30mins cooling-off period and you can make the actual purchases in the next branch within 100m away.

5. Shops here are using K-stars on billboards and blasting K-Pop tunes just like any other countries around the world. Hence even though I'm at the K-Wave country of origin, it doesn't make it any magical or special.

6. There are more coffee houses than traffic lights. Apparently, the country is addicted to caffeine.

7. Based on my totally unscientific findings from my interactions with the Koreans, their level of English proficiency has flat-lined or taken a dip since I was here 9 years ago. And the amount of typos and nonsensical English on t-shirts and ads have risen.

I'm still trying to decode what 'Start to stop the keeping warm jar' means and what's in the jar.

8. Almost all TV and display screens in shopping malls and subway stations are in glorious HD, which made even inane gameshows and commercials a joy to watch. And quite a few TV addicts even fixed an antenna to their mobile phones to watch TV on the go.

9. Though Korea has emerged from the shadow of its coloniser in economy and soft power, their service standard still pale in comparison to Japan by leaps and bounds.

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