There are many Korean cultural quirks to which I have become accustomed over the past seven months. The innumerable differences between Korea and the west seemed overwhelming at first, but they have become a normal rather quickly. The sights, sounds and smells that are unique to this country have almost all melted away into the background of my daily life.
But there are a few things that I still find interesting, even weird. Chief among them is the way that some couples dress in public. A surprisingly large number of Koreans coordinate clothes with their significant other – often wearing the exact same outfit. Although these couples are a small portion of the overall population, it isn’t uncommon to see several of them downtown or on the subway in a single day.
I can’t quite put my finger on why this phenomenon is so weird to me. There’s the obvious nauseating cuteness inherent in it, but there is something else that I can’t articulate. Maybe it’s the fact that this is so acceptable. In the US, I would expect people dressed this way to get weird looks and quiet laughs. I think of it as the Korean equivalent of personalized (airbrushed) “Jimmy loves Darlene” license plates. But nobody here seems to notice or care. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – but for me, it’s just weird.
Until next time.