Six Times I Was Convinced That Korea Was Living In The Future

Authored by:
Shari S.

Shari S.


Six Times I Was Convinced That Korea Was Living In The Future

1. Umbrella Bags

Rains falls heavy and frequent here in Seoul, and local businesses do not want our umbrellas dripping all over their floors. In response to this, nearly ever building has a contraption out front with plastic bags for your umbrellas- to catch any water drip. Simple, and yet something I still think is completely genius.

2. Ice Cups

At nearly ever local convenience store (which are already the coolest things ever) you can find a cooler filled with packaged cups of ice. My mom would love this- she always is asking for extra ice in her cups, and they are very cheap running at about 1,000 won a cup.

3. The Bathrooms

If you are from the states like I am, you are used to public bathroom stall walls that leave about a foot of space from the floor, and hovering over sketchy looking toilets. Well not in Korea! Nearly all bathroom stall doors hit the floor (the first time I noticed this added bit of privacy I was like, why can I see everyone's feet in US bathrooms???), and nearly every toilet is completely decked out with a bidet, seat warmers, and a lot of other buttons that I still don't know the use for. (I'll let you know when I figure that out)

4. Restaurants made easy

I have seen some of the most efficient and convenient customer service in restaurants here in Korea. Nearly all restaurants have buttons on the table to call your waiter, so you are not left dealing with trying to make eye contact with a server. Tables always have a droor that is filled with utensils, napkins, and sometimes even wet wipes. Lots of restaurants have racks with aprons, so you can never catch yourself with an unwanted gochujang stain. Social anxiety? No worries when you don't even have to interact with a human being and can simply order on one of the screens that virtually every coffee shop has. (although if you are trying to practice your Korean, I suggest speaking with a barista)

5. Heated Floors

Everytime I have complained about being cold, my dad asks "Well are you wearing socks?". It seems that Korea understood a long time ago that the quickest way to warm up was through your feet, because the heating system here happens through the floors. Future.

6. Fake Construction Men

What better way to make sure that reckless drivers don't bump into active construction? Make them afraid they will hit a pedestrian. Korean road construction always seems to be accompanied by a fake construction man dummy, similar to a scarecrow. The first time I saw one, I for sure thought is was some ahjussi about to get taken out by incoming traffic. Honestly, I can't think of a smarter way to deter from construction than to make me belive that I might hit some Korean guy with my car.


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