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Mrs. Selfish wasn’t particularly keen on South Korea when I booked our Asian flights.  I wasn’t sure what to expect myself – would it be like a knock off version of Japan?  Just how popular is Gangnam Style anyway?  Is eyelid surgery really that prevalent? And what’s going on with those crazy k-pop idol groups?

Although we only had 5 days in South Korea (in the midst of nuclear tensions, no less), we definitely saw some strange things in Korea.

1. South Korea is totally bad ass.

From what we saw, South Korea seems prepared for any craziness the North might inflict upon them.  Most subway stops seem to have gas masks, and many of the underground malls double as shelters.

Gas masks in the subway for fires… and presumably more!

When the s*** goes down, it’s time to hit the ‘bucks!

During our time in China we received tons of worried emails from relatives (thanks mah!), so I was a little nervous when we hit South Korea.  South Koreans, on the other hand, didn’t seem to bat an eye at the antics of those crazy ‘ol North Koreans. Ice. Cold.

2. Psy is one popular dude.

We saw Gangnam Style t-shirts all over South East Asia, but Psy was even more popular in South Korea.  Not only is he selling shirts, but he also promotes beer and any number of products.  Walking down the street we randomly caught a troupe of kids performing his latest hit, Gentleman in front of a camera crew.

3. Koreans have mastered chicken…

Probably the best fried chicken I’ve ever had was Korean.  The batter is lighter and crispier, without being greasy.  Apparently the type of chicken they have in Korea is actually a different type of bird than the ones you eat in North America, which may have something to do with it.

Whatever the case may be, if you have the option of trying Korea fried chicken, do it – you’ll thank me later.

4. …but have totally failed at coffee.

Seoul seems to have thousands of coffee shops and cafes.  On one block, Mrs. Selfish and I counted over a dozen coffee shops. They have coffee shops directly across the street from coffee shops! They have coffee shops on top of coffee shops!  It seemed like one out of every six stores was a coffee shop.

With so many coffee shops, you’d think their coffee was good, but it’s not.

It’s horrible.

5. Plastic surgery culture is rampant.


Being perfect seems to be a thing in South Korea.  Apparently, it’s not uncommon for parents to pay for eye-lid surgery for their kids as a graduation gift.  Similarly, you see ads all over the metro for chin surgery.

The creepiest and best commercial we saw while in Seoul, however, was for liposuction.  Just imagine this bad boy playing before movies, and running in the subway.

Crazy sauce.