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 Scared of Me (And Every Other Dude)

Long time world!

Ok, so funny story time. The first time I came to Korea to live was back in 2005. It was less than 24 hours I got off the plane, and I was jet lagged. So I found a cafe at 6:30AM and just stood outside sipping my coffee. One of the part-time workers was outside washing the windows. She was close by, so I casually said “It’s nice weather today, isn’t it?” Now the rules of conversational etiquette dictate that the worker should have:

(a) respond about how nice the weather was, which could progress into a conversation if she so desired.

or

(b) give a short but polite reply and return to work if she did not wish to hold unnecessary dialogue.

Instead of (a) or (b), I got an ultimate death stare of universe. She didn’t say one word and just stared at me like  some crazy dude that liked talking about the weather and raping girls. She was visibly scared and weirded out. So she inched away, keeping me in her sights, and returned to work without saying a word.

That was my very first culture shock in Korea. But I later realized that it’s 1) abnormal to talk to strangers for no reason at all. And that 2) a lot of Korean girls be straight petrified of random strangers of the male kind.

Now since a lot of the fear is directed towards guys, I’m guessing it’s a rape thing. And I understand. Rape is something girls have to be aware of. It’s a serious issue, and I don’t want to make light of it. But as someone who grew up outside of this society, I think the fear might be a bit excessive.

Here’s a few “scary stories” that I’ve heard:

“Scary Story” #1

- Friend was in the elevator of her apartment building and a delivery man (with full on uniform, holding a package) was riding with her. He turned to her to ask if he was in the right apartment building. And she timidly said yes.

That’s the end of the story. Really. But she told me it was a “scary situation.” Scary enough for her to actually remember a 20 second elevator ride with a delivery man.

“Scary Story” #2

- Taxi driver takes friend home. Taxi driver has a bunch of tangerines and offers her one. She says thank you. But instead of eating it, she worries that he might have injected it with something.

She ended up eating it when she got home. And sure enough, it was a delicious tangerine.

Of course not every Korean girl is afraid of everything. But just the fact that I can quote these as examples is proof that there is a fear that exists among Korean women. Who knows. Maybe it’s all warranted. There are definitely stories about these totally normal situations that turn into shocking front page news.

I am not a girl, so there are somethings that I will never understand. But as someone that’s on the other side, it makes me not want to be nice to strangers. Because even if I am nice, I will get death stare. Your boy is mad sensitive yo and death stares are crazy scarring!

Maybe I should just be like this:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRfjLfyXYlA]
If you’re a girl, do the same thoughts run through your head? Do you think this fear is  excessive?

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!! :)

Korean Girls Are Crazy Shy with Strangers, But I Got the Ultimate Wingman

I had an idea for a seoulistic.com video: “What Korean girls think of foreigner guys.” So this past Saturday I went out to Coex to try to interview Korean girls about their thoughts on this. Here’s my initial tweet before I left:

I was planning on getting around 10-15 interviews. But after I tried close to 10 people, I realized quickly this wasn’t going to work. Even if I got 10% of people I asked to actually do the interview, that meant that I was going to have to ask at least 100 people to get my target number. And I wasn’t going to ask 100 people. Here’s the ensuing tweet:

I knew that Korean girls are ultra shy, but even more so when it comes to cameras. So I was prepared to be turned down. Whatever, right? Not like I was asking for their number or anything. It was just an interview. But man, it sucked a lot more than I thought. A lot of the Korean girls didn’t even say “no.” They just looked at me like a creep and walked away. Ouch!

But I’m not giving up. I’ve already made plans to go out again this Friday to try again. How is this time going to be any different you ask?

The Ultimate Wingman! 

I got an ultra cute and super friendly Korean female friend of mine to ask for me! That’s right: the ultimate wingman (brilliant, I know!). Even girls can’t resist the charm of cute girls. Readers of this blog know that cute girls are the solution to any problem I got! And for this one, I’ve got to fight fire with fire. I’m pretty confident this will work, and if it doesn’t, then that’s pretty much all I got. Cute girls FTW!

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???