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Casey Freeman

I lived in Seoul from 2010 to 2016, then the U.S. for three years and now I just moved back to Korea. I don’t claim to be somebody who is an expert in fashion, trends, fads or culture, but I have noticed some changes between the countries.

Differences

No Yoga Pants

For me, this isn’t really that big of a deal. I’m a man, so I don’t wear them. Do I like to look at them? Yeah, but for every hot lady at the gym you see 10 trailer park moms with their litters of brats scrabbling to get out of a Wal-Mart shopping cart. Koreans are generally thinner than Americans, so I think yoga pants may just be a slow thing for them to accept.

Miniskirts

While yoga pants aren’t a thing in Korea, miniskirts certainly were/are. But I’m seeing much less of them. Females are actually replacing their cute leg-showers for — ugh — baggy pants.

White Claw

I actually lived in Montana for the last year, which for some reason is state that drinks the most White Claw per capita. And they’re proud of that. Why? I don’t know. Korea had something almost exactly like Smirnoff Ice called KGB. Did I drink KGB? Of course, because my friends and I are immature dicks.

Screen Time

While Koreans are notorious for being on their phones, I actually notice that they aren’t on their phones as much as Americans — ridiculous. The absolutely precious thing about Koreans (at least in my ‘hood) is that when out at a restaurant they don’t just sit Baby and/or Toddler in front of YouTube whilst ruining the rest of the surrounding eaters’ meals like lots of Americans I saw.

Guns

Pretty much the only people allowed to have guns in South Korea (and probably North Korea) are the police and military. There hasn’t been a school, movie, mall or park shooting for a very long time. Not a bad trade off.

Trump

Our President isn’t really as popular as he thinks. South Koreans find him fat, ugly and full of shit. Maybe Trump provoking North Korea to launch an attack would improve some people’s view of Trump because war is so cool. However, that attack would be on the city Seoul with a population of 21 million or so. Seoul is in South Korea (in case you were wondering). So they view Trump like that drunk who stumbles home and tries picking fights. Maybe you’ll win as a team, but still, you’ll get into a totally unnecessary fight.

Similarities

IPAs

For most of my career, Koreans drank three versions of almost the exact same beer. What if you could only drink Coors, Budweiser or Miller? Then they added lights. Now Korea is experimenting with other stuff. They’re liking IPAs more.

Music

K-Pop is still popular and probably even growing. The only difference is  now I want to actually watch a K-Pop concert. I wish I could bring some Colorado weed with me, because that might be really funny. What is K-Pop? Imagine the Backstreet Boys or Spice Girls on ultra-steroids.

Terrible Spellings

I’ve worked as an editor and writer for the past 15 years. At all of my last jobs in America and Korea I’ve offered to edit and rewrite public announcements, emails or whatever English stuff gets written. Here and there, my bossses sepll things incorrectly, improperly use semi-colons; put 100’s of apostrophes in the wrong places sometimes don’t understand the Oxford comma and screw the flow of things up with random periods which drives me crazy A.S.A.P

Childhood Obesity

Years ago I predicted childhood obesity to skyrocket in Korea. The kids go from school to afterschool
programs without time to eat or prepare meals, so parents just give them money. Does an elementary
school kid buy a salad or as much candy as possible?

Feelings about USA

For the most part, Koreans still love the USA. We helped out in WW2 and the Korean War. They’re not
happy about our current leadership, but they find so much about our culture, people, movies and all that
other stuff fascinating.

Read more Freeman: coloradodaily.com/columns. Stalk him: comfyconfines.wordpress.com.

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