Dude’s Guide to Taxi Manners in Korea

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My super scared elevator friend (see previous post) and I were talking about how Korea is “supppppper scary” (insert eye roll here). And the conversation turned to one of the scariest places for Korean girls: taxis. Now, aside from foreigners getting ripped off, 98% of taxi rides end with no problems. But I do agree that this can be a scary situation for girls as I’ve heard several harassment stories from girls that I know personally (nothing too serious though, just drivers being creepy). It sucks, but it’s part of the reality here. I guess cabbies get lonely, you know?

Anyway, I always thought I was pretty good with taxi manners. I would (sometimes) walk a girl out (if I liked her enough) and flag a cab down and open the door for her. And I’d always say: “hey, text me when you get home.” And that would be about it. After, I would hold my head high and be like… “Yo, Keith…. You’re so thoughtful!” (Only half kidding ;))

But damn yo, my friend blew me out of the water with her step-by-step guide! This is real chivalry in 2013, my friends. I was thinking about keeping this to myself to… you know… be awesome by myself. But how can I call myself your homie if I aiin’t share the good stuff ;). Here it is:

(Note: Use this guide for your girlfriends, just friends and all the awkward stuff in between.)

  1. Flag down a taxi for girl – Obvious… girls arms get mad tired.
  2. Tell cabbie where to go – Get the destination from the girl and tell it to the taxi driver. This will (a) let the driver know that you know where he’s supposed to be and (b) make you look like chivalry king by saving girl’s mad tired voice as well.
  3. Take pic of license plate and/or taxi credentials – Taking pictures of these things will let the taxi driver know that you aiin’t joking around. And you got something to take to the police if something ever does happen.
  4. Tell girl to text you when she gets home – to confirm of course. If no text, you can always text first to ask.

Of course the best way to make sure a girl is safe is to take the taxi with her. That’s easy if she’s on the way to your house or she lives near you. But the ultimate chivalrous move is when she lives on the opposite end of the city and you take it with her and then go all the way back. Most dudes will only do this for girlfriends, or chicks they’re trying to impress. And if she’s semi-interested in you, you just scored some brownie points my friend. If she’s not interested in you, she pwns you pretty bad buddy.

Korean Girls Be Hiding Their Boyfriends

Ok, so this has been bugging me for a while. I’ve been noticing that some Korean girls don’t post pictures of their boyfriends on their facebook, their kakao pictures, their cyworld, just anything that is shared with the world. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen Korean girls posting pics with their boyfriends before, but there are quite a few girls that do NOT post their pics with their boyfriends. Maybe it’s just me being uber suspicious of Korean girls, but if I’m dating someone I like, I would love to show the world who I’m with. You know?

Example 1: There was this Korean friend of mine that was dating a guy for 4 years. And I did not see 1 single picture of her boyfriend. Who knows… maybe I did see a pic of her bf. But for 4 years, you have to make some kind of effort to make sure you purposely dont mention it!
Example 2: I was the one who took a picture of her and her boyfriend. And she cut him out of her pic yo! She’s not a girl to be dating around when she has a boyfriend. I am extremely close to her, so I know. But  I mean… why you gotta do that?!
Example 3 & 4: I’ve even seen wedding pictures that have the guy blatantly cut out. Girls be married yo… and still you’re cutting your man out??? WHY!?

I’m not trying to be judgmental here. I am just very, very curious. Why do some Korean girls (again, not all) purposely leave their boy toys out of the picture??? Back home, I’d be proud of my girl. I would love to share with the world the girl that I’m with. But that isn’t always the case here.

I don’t think Korean girls are looking to cheat on their boyfriends. That’s not what I’m suspecting (at least not everybody :P). But what is it? Are you keeping your options open? Are you hoping to maybe meet a better guy in the future? Tell me k-girls…. what is up?! I just don’t know!! 🙂

I Don’t Trust Korean Girls, and Here’s Why

Surprisingly, given all the time I’ve spent in Korea, I didn’t really date Korean girls until last year. But from my short experience dating Korean women so far, I don’t think I want to get serious with one. The reason is this: a lot of them had boyfriends. They weren’t even the club rats or crazy alcoholics. They’re sweet and nice little girls that listen to their parents, go to school or work, and have activities like yoga. You know, healthy, functioning adults. Except the fact that they had boyfriends.

Examples

Example 1 – Went out on few dates and things didn’t work out. No biggie. But my buddy found out later that she had a boyfriend of 3 years. Err….
Example 2 – She told me she had a boyfriend and then proceeded to hit on me hardcore. She was trying to get me to ask her out to dinner, but I refused to bite on that one.
Example 3 – Nothing inappropriate happened, but something’s up if I’m hanging out with her more often than her boyfriend.
Example 4 – Actually dated a girl that had a boyfriend of about 5 years. Inappropriate stuff happened.

It’s alright, mistakes happen. I’ve been there too. So I’m not trying to be all high and mighty here (shoot, example 4 was my bad too, yo!). I’m just saying, this is my experience. Of course there are good Korean girls out there. Really good girls. And I know my experience is probably just an anomaly. But it’s still my experience!

K-girls, I actually think you’re great. You’re beautiful, smart, caring and sweet. It’s just that I don’t trust you, dammit!

Korean Girls Like to Meet “Naturally” (Or I Think)

This happened not too long ago.

There was this intern at my place of work last year. And I’m pretty sure she was interested in me. I specifically remember on the last day of her internship, she gave me the look. (You know what look I’m talking about.) And although I was always attracted to her, I never really did anything because I was still recovering from my breakup.

But this year, I’m pretty much ok now, and I’m looking to date. So when she visited our office a few weeks ago, I started to think about her again. Cute girl, really nice, smart. Good stuff, you know? I never had her number, and I didn’t even know if she was single or not. So I asked her former supervisor and my co-worker what was up with her. She said she was single, and I thought “nice!” I told my coworker to tell her straight up that I asked if she was single and if I could get her number.

Wrong move. I realized this before this incident, but Korean girls aren’t so good with direct guys. Unless they’re really into you, being too direct won’t work. I may be wrong (and please tell me if I am), but I think Korean girls are more into meeting “naturally” or “comfortably” as opposed to meeting for a specific purpose (because a guy is interested).

What I mean is this: If I just said: “let’s all get drinks together,” my chances of getting her number in person would have been much better than “Hey I’m interested in you. Can I get your number?” It’s a little too direct for Korean girls. This would have been more comfortable, and of  course, comfort is more important. Well at least that’s what I think. Again, if I’m wrong, please let me know!

But I mean, she gave me the look before, and she’s single, so why the heck not???

Dating Girls from Work

I met this chick at work and I’m kind of into her. She’s kind of young, but that’s ok (it may even be awesome). But I decided not to pursue her anymore. Why? Cause I know it only causes problems down the line.

Rewind to last year, there was this girl at work that I was seeing. She was really into me, and I was like “ehh… you’re cute and kind of fun, but a little crazy” (the girly kind of crazy if you know what I mean). But we ended up hanging out a lot, and we had a lot of fun with the office romance thing. You know… hiding from people, making out in the stairwells, and all other kinds of fun stuff.

But at some point I couldn’t handle the craziness anymore, and I tried to break it off. And the thing is, I’m usually really bad with break ups. I don’t know how to do it. I end up kind of being nice to them, but silent, and hope they break up with me. She got the picture though, and we kind of stopped meeting up.

Although we weren’t seeing each other anymore, we still worked at the same place and saw each other all the time. Eventually, we started to meet again to do simple stuff. Grab some food every now and then, dropping by each other’s desks to say hi. And before I knew it, it kind of got started again. Meeting up after work, a few drinks every now and then, a movie or something. And the whole time I knew she was still a little crazy. But give me a break… I was lonely!

So this new chick at work, she’s a cool cat. And I kind of started something, but I’m just going to straight up stop. I don’t think I can date girls from work again, especially if I’m going to see them all the time. I think it ends up being bad news for all parties involved.

First Blind Date in Korea [Review]

After weeks of text-tagging, we were finally able to meet up at Itaewon (이태원) this Saturday for the blind date (소개팅). The past few years Itaewon has evolved from a military/foreigner hang out to a chic, upscale part of town that any Seoulite can visit for a night on the town. The restaurant I picked was Zelen, a Bulgarian restaurant that is my default restaurant for all my dates (not lazy, it’s just that good!).

We had normal date conversation, you know, the interview types of questions where we’re both trying to see if we’re compatible. It was nice that I didn’t have to try to run some game. But when it came to the check, she didn’t even flinch, which I believe is common among Korean women. I would have appreciated a fake effort from her to try to pay, but nothing. It’s pretty much expected in Korea that the guy will pay, and I recognize that. But when compared to poor college students that offer empty promises of paying for their own food, it’s not a plus in my book. Here’s some advice to K-Girls: fake it, it’ll make guys feel better on all different levels 😉

We also didn’t have much alcohol. She couldn’t drink because of some medication she was taking, but I needed a beer. And I was banking on getting a drink after dinner. Itaewon is great for it’s laid back, american/irish/british pubs, and I wanted some ambiant noise to fill those occasional awkward silences. But since that wasn’t happening, we ended up going to a cafe and talking more. It was ok, but I’m pretty sure a bar would have been more fun 😛

But more than fun, it was interesting to learn that there’s still parts of Korean society that I am totally not in touch with. Although we both live in Seoul, we are both living in very different worlds. She’s a teacher. She gets up at 6:00, finishes work at 4:00, goes to bed at 11:00. A very proper (and envious!) lifestyle. A foreigner’s life, however, is late mornings and more often late nights (even if you’re not a partier). It’s just the nature of being part of a social group that have days that normally start (typically teaching English) anytime after midday and nights that will (at least a few times a month) force you to take a taxi home. Even if you’re not a teacher, many of your friends will inevitably be teachers, forcing you to be on their schedule. More than anything, it was interesting to meet someone from a different part of Korean society.

I’d be interested in seeing people from all different parts of Korean society, so I’d be willing to go on a 소개팅 (blind date) again.   As for a second date, I don’t know if I can hang with her schedule. It’s 10:30PM, and I’m just starting to get cracking on my work!

First Blind Date in Korea

A couple of weeks ago I met my father and a few of his friends for some drinks and 한우 (Hanu – Korean beef). And he mentioned that he was worried about me, and I need a woman to set me straight and all that other dad stuff, haha. But my father’s friend’s son’s wife (whew, got it!) overheard and said she had someone in mind for me, another teacher at the junior high school she teaches at. So the past few weeks I’ve been trying to setup a 소개팅 (sogaeting – blind date) with this Math teacher, and we finally set one up for this coming Saturday.

Concerns

Marriage? – Come’on now…
Blind dates setup via a family connection (however loose) tend to be more on the serious side, kind of like dating for marriage. But come’on now, that’s a lot of pressure! I don’t want this hanging over my head like I’m looking for my baby’s mama, and I sure hope she aiin’t looking for a baby daddy either!

Drinks or Coffee
I’ve mentioned before that I’m no casanova, but alcohol is the liquid lubricant for all awkward social situations so I prefer to get drinks whenever out on a date . Hope she know’s this equation:  inebriation > caffeination

Paying
I’m hoping it’s going to be the standard when it comes to paying: guy pays for meal, girl for drinks. If it doesn’t happen this way, it sets a bad precedent for future dates, and my wallet will be hating this ever happened in the first place.

I’m not nervous for this because I have no expectations. The person who hooked this up said she looks like Choi Jiwoo (최지우 – ala Stairway to Heaven, and Winter Sonata). But there’s no way I can trust that. Just kind of going through with it and hoping it’ll be fun. Or at the least, I hope I get a good story out of this!

Update will come 🙂

KoreanAir and Their Ladies

KoreanAir stewardesses to some are somewhat of a status symbol. They have a great job that allows them to travel for extremely cheap, they are considered by some to be the pinnacle of the Korean service industry, and up until a few years ago, they were known to be hired because of their pretty faces (not so much recently). Many men who have a stewardess girlfriend wear it proudly on their sleeve and let the world know. Here’s my economy-level effort to get a number from these first-class servers.

Ok, so I was bored on the plane ride from NYC to Seoul. I usually can’t fall asleep on planes, so I was just reading and watching in-flight BBC documentaries. I tend to get really antsy because I’m a mini-clastrophobic, so usually I just walk around and hang around the back of the plane where I can stretch. About 5 hours left in the flight, I decide I’m going to get a glass a wine. I enjoy it good enough, and it’s letting me loose. I’m bored and I got tons of time left, so I say “what the heck” and decide to start drinking some more. I head to the back where the duty-free shop is (on the new KoreanAir airbus), and just start chatting with the stewardess there. We talked about her life as a stewardess and things we did when we were in New York. We spent about 10 minutes exchanging chit-chat and I discovered that although she wasn’t really my type, she was extremely personable and nice. I had a good time talking to her, but I wanted some more drinks.

I went to the middle section where all the stewardess prepare drinks and food for the passengers. There were two stewardesses there chatting it up on their break time, and I was quietly standing on the side, pouring myself drinks hoping that someone would be down for a conversation. Somehow I ended up talking with this one stewardess who seemed really into me. Asking me all these questions, real good eye-contact and I’m picking up on the subtle hints. We chatted it up some more, and joke around a bit. And although she wasn’t really my type either, I thought I would give it a shot anyway. So I looked for an opening to ask for her number. But by the time I had built up enough liquid courage, they were all getting ready for landing and were too busy. I had no chance to ask for a number, and I was also probably known as the drunk guy. Not a very good situation for a potential number exchange!

I enjoy KAL anytime I fly to New York. They have really smooth rides, in-flight entertainment is up to date, and they have great people working for them. Although there was no exchanging of numbers, I learned these stewardesses are extremely personable and sweet. They’re down for random conversations. And they let me get wasted on the plane. KAL ftw!