Despite researching and preparing as much as you can for a new adventure, things are bound to happen that no one talks about or no one told you about. They’ll be odd, quirky things that overtime you’ll realize are not that serious or important, but in the beginning it will be a surprise. So here are 10 things I did not expect about Korea! Enjoy!

  • There would be an intercom system in my apartment. Yes almost like in school occasionally someone will make an announcement in Korean about who knows what. Ree told me sometimes it’s an announcement that they are coming around to do gas checks or doing extermination or something like that. I have no idea how I’ll ever figure that out though.


  •  I would have to separate my trash and be forced to recycle. So before when I was here as a student and lived in a dorm I did not have to worry about trash. Now in an apartment I have to recycle which is fine. I like helping the environment, but it’s so intense. If you don’t recycle in Korea or do so the wrong way, you could be fined and you have to make sure you have the right garbage bags for your district and ugh so annoying. Plus you also have to separate trash by food waste. Extra or expired food gets put in a bin outside. I’ve heard they feed the pigs with the food waste.


  • The air would smell like something was burning. I was thinking okay I’m in a smaller city so less pollution in the air and such. Well my city is close to the countryside and during fall/winter they burn the fields for fertilization reasons. So when I first came in November the air smelled smoky quite often. Now it has passed.


  • I don’t need a key for my door (if my keypad was working). I think the batteries died for my keypad to unlock and lock my door, but if it were working I would not need a key. I would just enter a code to unlock my door. And this is for everyone in the apartment. Everyone uses a keypad which is convenient.


  • Many stores are open on major holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day.


  • Did not expect that a Krispy Kreme would be in Korea and within walking distance!


  • Cakes are less sweet and the icing tastes more like whipped cream. Also they look a lot more delicious than they actually tastes. (See picture at the top)


  • I hear plenty of American songs in Korea. I’ve heard Justin Bieber, One Direction, Selena Gomez, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Boyz to Men. It’s in the stores and on the bus. New songs and old ones. Even during the Christmas season I got to hear lots of American Christmas songs.


  • Popcorn is sweet. The only regular salty popcorn I’ve seen was mixed with caramel popcorn. I’m sure I haven’t looked around enough though. It seems they like to have more sweet tasting flavors like cream cheese flavored popcorn. Even the cheddar cheese popcorn is sweet and taste different than what I’m used to.


  • And lastly I did not expect that seaweed potato chips would actually taste quite yummy.