Here is a short list of little things that I’ve been missing about Korea! These aren’t physical things, more like general attitudes. ^^
I don’t think I need to tell anyone this, but selca is completely normal in Korea. It’s common to see people selca in public, whether it’s in a café, in a restaurant, alone, or with friends. (Or sitting with friends but selcaing alone.) It’s old news and nobody bats an eye if you pull out your camera and go all posey posey.
In America, selfies have come a long way (thanks to Instagram), but it’s still not the same level as in Korea. People in America would probably look at me if I whipped out my phone out and started pouting…I may even end up on Imgur. -_- But in Korea, they probably wouldn't even look!
Going along with the selca situation, taking actual photos of things (like I do for my Snippets and café posts) is also no big deal.
Take my café posts, for example. I take pictures of everything! Can you imagine, e running around the entire cafe, scooching into each and every little booth to take pictures of each and every little thing…and all the while, the baristas are fully aware of what I’m doing—and ignoring me while I do it, too. They may look once to see what I’m doing, but other than that, they really don’t care. The same goes for everyone else around me.
In America, I reckon it’d be much more conspicuous to run around taking photos like that. But in Korea, people don’t seem to mind having pictures taken of their store—unless it’s a tourist attraction—nor do they mind accidentally being in one. It’s just not a big deal!
And you know what else isn't a big deal? Outfit photos! You know those street snap-style photos where people just stand and stare the camera? I’ve never done it myself in Korea, but I’ve seen other people do it for each other, even during busy hours. I’ve also seen several instances of a boyfriend carrying a large DSLR, snapping photos of his girlfriend while she poses in front of a doorway or cafe. And throughout all this, I was probably the only one staring ^^;
Here in America, I feel a bit dorky protecting against the sun. Nobody else does it. People hardly even wear sunscreen! At least, they don't in California, where people seem to prefer the tan, sun-kissed look. This means that girls who are pale and cover up diligently are pasty, dorky vampires. And if they’re Asian, then it means they’re one of those Asians…the weird fobby kind who are supposedly desperate to be white.
But in Korea, it’s all fair game! Sunscreen, umbrellas, gloves, visors, all okay! Well, I should note that it’s mostly old ajummas that use gloves and visors, but at the same time, nobody seemed to care when I did it. For young people, it's more common to see umbrellas, although not everyone uses them.
My favorite part of this is that guys are understanding of suncare, too. Korea seems to have less restrictions on what a guy can do without being gay. A lot of guys I knew in Korea used sunscreen before going out. And although I never saw a guy use an umbrella, they were at least understanding of me doing it. I’m sure a lot of guys in America would feel embarrassed of me.
To give you an example, I was walking with a guy friend once. The sun was in our eyes, so I tried to use my hands to shield my face. Suddenly, my friend held his bag up in front of my face to block the sun for me. I was so surprised! I didn’t tell him to; he did that on his own.
We continued to walk like that, with him hoisting the bag 5’5” in the air, still talking, for about 20ft until we reached shade. I thought that was very considerate and understanding of him. My impression is that Korean guys understand girls’ desire (and pressure) to be beautiful. But I imagine many American guys would lose patience with me for being so uptight.
Okay, so technically this list is a bit old! I wrote it when I had just arrived back from Korea. So while everything I said is definitely true, I’m now at a point where I don’t care if these things are uncommon or weird in America. Selca, outfit photos, sun protection…I do it anyway! But I’m also lucky that where I live most people are well-mannered and don’t care that much when I do it. Although I can definitely see some other cities being less open-minded!
What’s your city like?