Don’t know how long you’ve been in Korea? Take this quiz

Home > Culture > Features

print dictionary print

Don’t know how long you’ve been in Korea? Take this quiz

For expats in Korea, whether we’ve been here 6 months or 18 years, there are things about the Koreans we’ll never understand and things we’ve come to love. This popular laundry-list has been circulating and growing for years. Here are our picks for knowing “you’ve been in Korea too long when...”:
-You had kimchi stew for breakfast, kimchi fried rice for lunch, kimchi dumplings for dinner, and you still reached for the kimchi to eat separately each time.
-You find yourself on toothbrush row in the office washroom after every meal.
-A motorbike drives up the sidewalk toward you, and instead of jumping aside, you refuse to move out of the way on principle.
-You voluntarily rub your skin raw with sandpaper in the shower ― you just don’t feel clean otherwise.
-You stop and stare unabashedly when you see a foreigner, forgetting that you are a foreigner, too.
-You go to a “Western” restaurant and can’t seem to use a knife and fork.
-The loudspeakers on the trucks driving in your neighborhood don’t wake you up.
-You stop being surprised after huffing and puffing up a mountain and running into a young woman in lipstick and heels, or being passed by a 90-year old who isn’t breathing nearly as heavily as you are.
-You’ve broken up a street fight of drunken businessmen.
-A roll of toilet paper at the dinner table no longer phases you.
-You hate Japan for no apparent reason.
-You’ve purchased something while on the subway.
-Korean cops no longer look like boy scouts.
-You own a “Be the Reds!” T-shirt.
-You’ve eaten pig’s feet, ox tail, dog, silk worms, or a live baby octopus.
-You check into a yeogwan and choose a “Korean-style” room over a Western bed so you can be closer to the ondol floor.
-You move back to your home country and go through DVD bang withdrawal.
-You find yourself silently mouthing along to dialogue in AFRTS commercials.
-You start wearing a surgical mask in winter.
-You make a midnight munchies run for shrimp chips and pre-packaged gimbap triangles.
-You know which stall in Dongdaemun will give you the best deal on a Prada knock-off.
-You no longer react when taxis refuse to take you where you want to go.
-You catch yourself saying “ye, ye,” with a downward inflection during phone calls home.
-While standing in a crowded line at a government office, you ask yourself, “What would an ajumma do?” ― and then you do it.

Been in Korea too long?
E-mail us your input at:


by JoongAng Daily Staff
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
s
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now