10 common korea myths: which country of the morning freshness is actually?
Thanks to “Korean wave”, The sunny world, interest in South Korea as a tourist area is growing every year, including among Russians, entry for which a visa-free.
Foreigners go to the country of morning freshness in order to get acquainted with the culture of K-Pop and see with their own eyes “economic miracle”. But, coming to Korea, tourists are disappointed: the country’s image converted in guidebooks and countless articles has little to do with reality.
To travel to Korea only positive emotions, it is better to know in advance what popular statements about this amazing country are myths.
1. In Korea, a very high standard of living and a happy population
While tourists, labor migrants and ethnic Koreans from the CIS countries envy the indigenous residents of South Korea, believing that they receive high salaries and do not refuse themselves, the South Koreans themselves call their country “Hell Choson” And dream emigrate.
As in most countries, there is a strong socio-economic bundle in Korea. The standard of living of owners of large enterprises and senior executives is very high. But every year the number of middle-class representatives are increasing, which complain about unbearable working conditions and meager salary regarding the number of working hours. Specialists of the service sector can earn more than $ 100 per day, while working time from 9 am to deep night – a common phenomenon. And most of the Koreans have almost no weekends and very short vacations.
In a highly developed country, a feudal system is actually preserved, which determines who can advance through the hierarchical staircase, and who is not. Despite the presence of higher education, which has about 70% of Koreans aged 25-34 years, someone receives paid positions and regularly moves through the service, and someone cannot count on the increase even in perspective. High salaries “Ensure” Taxes, as well as rental prices, services and food. Huge money Many Koreans spend and in pursuit of imaging are plastic surgery, fashionable gadgets and clothes from famous designers.
If young Koreans have the opportunity to acquire expensive things, then 50% of the population over 65 years old lives below the poverty line. Not to be a burden for the family and feed yourself, Korean old people try to find a job – heavy, dirty and low-payable.
It would be possible to think that such a lifestyle corresponds to the Korean criteria of happiness, but statistics speaks of the opposite: the country of morning freshness is one of the world leaders in terms of suicide in all age groups.
2. All Koreans are perfectly owned by English
"Korea is a highly developed country, which means all its inhabitants know English", — Many independent travelers argue, going to this country for the first time. However, already at the airport you can make sure about the opposite: security officers, on duty at the exit, do not understand the simple questions in English and cannot explain how to get to Seoul.
Tourists who do not know the Korean language will face misunderstanding everywhere. English in this country does not own not only old men and children, but even the waiters in decent cafes and sellers in the ticket office of the bus station.
Buying a ticket for a long-distance bus can turn into a real quest for a foreigner. Cute korean women sitting behind glass will dorish non-core that they do not speak English and do not know what it is “Ticket”. Releases from the situation Two: Ask to buy a ticket to the Koreans standing in line (someone probably owns English better than girls-cashiers), or use the self-service terminal.
In other cases, it is better to explain to gestures and show pictures on the smartphone, but the service “Google Translate” It is better not to use – he strongly distorts the meaning when she translates to Korean phrases from English and Russian.
3. In Korea, there is everything for the convenience of people thanks to technologies
O “miracle on the khangan river” It is said so much that any tourist going to South Korea represents the cities of the future with a developed infrastructure and countless smart devices. However, technological innovations created to ensure comfort to people appear only on specialized exhibitions or on major international events when you need to impress foreign delegations. It is possible to Koreans: the whole world speaks of an incredible pace of economic development and innovative and technological achievements of the country.
The usual tourists are waiting for disappointment: except for robokafen and vending machines at every step, artificial waterfalls, a fountain bridge, as well as a rotating restaurant on the top of the Seoul Television, Korea will not surprise high technologies. Seoul metro is largely reminded by Moscow, while giving him in convenience.
The schedule of urban land transport is almost impossible to track with the help of transport applications for a smartphone — Indicates only the interval of the movement of buses, and not exact arrival time.
The creation of comfortable conditions for foreigners in Korea is not conceived at all: all sites and applications that could simplify the trip (taxi, food delivery service and t.D.), available only in Korean.
In large supermarkets, Korea still has no self-service cash register, although they appear even in Russian provincial cities.
And when performing physically hard work (in construction, agriculture) in the country of morning freshness is still used manual labor — No automation and speech about!
4. Free Wi-Fi covers almost all the territory of South Korea
It is said that in Korea, you can connect to Wi-Fi even in a volcanic crater. And indeed, at the top of the Challasan volcano on Jeju Island there is an Internet — Suddenly, tourists will want to lay out in the social networking photos of popular attractions with signature “Here and now”. But in situations when the Internet is needed to solve serious issues, it is almost impossible to find open access points. Wi-Fi is absent in long-distance buses, metro cars, Mugunghwa trains, at bus stops, in the five main Seoul Palaces, in the countryside, on the Highing routes, near the bus station and in many other places that tourists visit.
On the entire territory of Korea there are several open Wi-Fi networks iptime, KT WiFi, Free_u + Zone, Public Wifi @ seoul. They work in the territory of many temples and other attractions, at the metro stations, on the central streets of large cities, in shopping centers and T.D. However, authorization is often required to access the network using Korean ID, so a foreigner will not be able to connect.
Open Wi-Fi-networks to which can be connected to one touch, can always be found in the following places:
- on railway stations, less often — on bus stations;
- in the wagons of high-speed trains KTX and ITX;
- In Starbucks coffee houses and McDonalds restaurants (in other catering establishments, Wi-Fi password can be obtained only after payment of the order);
- in city buses;
- In the boutiques of large brands: Uniqlo, H&M and others.;
- At the airports Incheon, Kimhe, Jeju.
And, of course, high-speed Wi-Fi is in all objects of accommodation.
Despite the fact that free Wi-Fi in Korea is far from everywhere, you can do and without buying a SIM card — especially those who go to the country for two or three weeks. Schedule and routes of buses and trains can only be found in online applications. It is better to do this in advance and save all the information in the form of screenshots or in notes.
For hiking and travelings on the subway in any Korean city, the Offline application MAPS is ideal.Me.
5. South Korea — Very expensive country
Over the past few years, authoritative editions include Seoul to dozen most expensive cities in the world. However, a regular tourist who is not going to linger in Korea, this will not notice: accommodation, food, public transport and attractions here are much cheaper than in developed European countries. For $ 50 per day you can stay in a good room with a private toilet in a cozy guesthouse next to the main attractions.
Tight lunch or dinner in the wrong cafe will cost $ 15-20 for two. The fare in public transport – 1.5-2 $, depending on the distance, and the taxi will cost $ 10 per 10 km. Prices in other Korean cities are comparable to the metropolitan; Somewhere even higher housing prices and food in the cafe due to high competition. Intercity buses and trains have both cheap and expensive, depending on the class of comfort. But the kilogram of fresh fruit can do it more expensive than flight from Seoul to Busan.
If you do not take into account the prices of fruits and services of beauty salons, Korea — more than an affordable country suitable for travelers with any budget.
6. Koreans — good and responsive people, always ready to help
Foreigners who live in Korea for many years, learned the language and comprehected the features of the mentality, they are talking about the responsiveness of the Koreans legend. And always, the locals will help, and the restaurant will fully pay the bill, and falling down from the legs to the head of expensive gifts. Tourists will see a completely different picture: the crowd of Koreans will pass by, even if a person clearly needs help, and if he comes to someone himself, it can be ignored and even bypass. This relationship causing cognitive dissonance may be several reasons.
English. As already mentioned, many Koreans do not know English at all. And if you know, they are shy to talk about it because of the accent and not enough vocabulary stock.
Appearance of a concrete foreigner. Blonde and blue-eyed Europeans in expensive sportswear and with hiking backpacks behind their backs cause the Koreans at the same time awe’s reverent thrill and the desire to practice in English. But those who arrived from the CIS countries, the locals are easily recognized by clothes and sulfate and do not seek to communicate. They know that “our” go to work on construction sites and in the fields, so they are negligible.
Feature of Korean mentality. Koreans believe that assistance to a person who did not ask for her is the manifestation of disrespect and the gross invasion of his personal space. In any case, some inhabitants of the country’s morning freshness explain their indifference exactly.
In rare cases, Koreans may suggest help in any situation, but usually their generosity and responsiveness applies only to loved ones. And at the request of foreigners, the people of middle age in business costumes will be advantageous and stylishly dressed young people: both of those and others are usually tolerant to representatives of other cultures and well know international language.
7. In Korea good shopping
There is an opinion that cheap and high-quality clothes and shoes can be brought from Korea. In reality, everything is wrong. The cheapest things are sold in the giant shopping pavilions of the Tondemun market (DongDaemun), but the quality and range are very reminded "Aliexpress".
At night, the owners of small stores make a large wholesale shopping on T.Endamun – and the next day, the tears, shirts and dresses appear on hangers in "Designer Showerums". Of course, in these cozy shops located on the picturesque pedestrian streets, things from T.Emuna are sold several times more. And in network shopping centers "Lotte" That and the case is occurring clothes from a cheap loose polyester at the prices of luxury brands of world-class. The situation with shoes is no better: the entire range is represented by cheap leatherette or Chinese leather. In addition, all shoes of Korean brands have a pronounced "Market style".
In the network stores of clothing, the quality of things is a bit better – more natural materials, more interestingly model. But everything is designed for thin buyers of low growth and with a small foot size, and prices are much higher than in the mass market. Standard sizes and good quality in Korea can only be found in the boutiques of international networks: Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, Converse, Vans and T.D.
Handmade quality things — also rarity for Korea. The range is approximately the same in all souvenir stores of the country. All sorts of accessories, toys and bijouteria look as if they made them kids of younger school age in labor lessons, while prices are unnecessar than high. At the weekend, an art market (Hongdae Free Market) is held in the Seoul district of Honda, where local artists and designers sell their work – however, too far from masterpieces.
eight. Korean cosmetics creates wonders
Every year more and more appears on the Russian market “miraculous” Korean production facilities. As a rule, representatives of two categories of Internet users are entrusted enthusiastically: bloggers with a crowded audience and those who earn on visiting sites. The first manufacturers of caring cosmetics send funds and pay for advertising, and the second receive money for reviews. It is the bloggers that Korean cosmetics are obliged to popular and in demand.
However, smooth skin and bloggers, and the authors of volume feedback with screaming headlines – the merit of cosmetologists and expensive caring funds. At the same time, budget Korean creams, gels and serums do not help almost anyone and. However, in Korea there are cosmetic premium brands (for example, “Hera”, “Ohui” and etc.). Their creams, emulsions, serums and other products are an average of $ 100-200 and are really effective – like any means of this price category, regardless of the manufacturer.
Therefore, you should not fill in a suitcase with cheap beautiful jars and tubes — If they and buy them in Korea, then only as souvenirs.
nine. All Koreans are very slender thanks to genetics
Persons of modern Korean culture — stars k-pop. They are not only singing, but also filmed in cinema, advertising, music clips, participate in image photo sessions, are faces of fashionable brands. Therefore, Korean “Aidole” Fanatically followed nutrition and are engaged in sports, which is reflected in the figure. Many Koreans dream of being similar to their idols and also spend a lot of effort to maintain the appearance.
But in Korea a lot of ordinary people who, after a hard working day, do not have enough strength to sports and cooking healthy food, so they feed in cafe with high-calorie dishes of national cuisine. Heavy, sweet food and a sedentary lifestyle lead to a set of excess weight – Koreans are not insured from this, as well as representatives of other peoples. Therefore, on the streets of Korean cities you can meet absolutely different physique.
Now in Korea is gaining popularity of the movement of the bodiposive. Like women around the world, Korean women are tired of compliant with hard beauty standards. Although in this country, thinness is still the main criterion of attractiveness, the first Korean models Pluz-Size are struggling with Fatfobia and even launched a brand of stylish clothes for full girls.
ten. Koreans eat dogs
Korea — A country that most foreigners have steadily associated with eating dog meat. Such a culinary tradition really exists in many Asian countries, but it was in Korea who gradually began to go to no after the Seoul Olympiad in 1988. To produce the best impression on foreign delegations, Koreans were removed from the main streets of restaurants and snack bars, feeding the dog meat, and soon they declared the cultivation of dogs to slaughter and the production of dog meat illegal. Punishment for violation of the law was not supposed, but the authorities emphasized the neetics of tradition.
Over the next 30 years, protests performed defenders as traditional values and animal rights. At the same time, the Korean society has rapidly changed under the influence of the West, and the dogs have ever more often started as pets. Despite the fact that in the country there were a dog farm, where animals were divorced solely on meat, many Koreans have already psychologically could not eat dogs. The largest protest action took place in Korea in 2018 after the Winter Olympic Games – with the slogan “STOP THE DOG MEAT TRADE” Aliens and Koreans came to Seoul Streets. During the promotion, many Europeans even bought animals on dog farms and took them home.
Despite the fact that at present, the sale and consumption of dog meat in Korea is still considered permissible, every year more and more Koreans refuse to eat dogs and shame doubtful culinary tradition. And for Korean youth, focused on Western culture, the dog meat and seems to be a wild remnant of the past.
Although in reality Korea – Not at all such a country, which is her world-class media, it will not leave anyone indifferent. Do not deepen in social problems, someone will delight from the Koreans themselves, nature and architecture, someone falls into the local cuisine, and someone will have fun in the clubs of the ITEVON district. And, of course, there will be fans of Korean cosmetics and clothing.