(merkit hukassa)

Adventures in Korea

Daily Archives: 14.6.2011

Tips for Padawans: Awesome Naver!

When I arrived here I had only very vague instructions of how to get here or how the place looks like. I was lost because my trusted Google didn’t provide me streetviews. Now I understand why. It’s not Google they trust in Korea. It’s Naver and Naver 지도.

So for those who plan on traveling or living in Korea, I highly recommend learning hangul (the Korean alphabet) and trying to navigate with Naver. As long as you know how to read and write city names, you are good – it’s basically the same as Google and Google Maps – but better! It has ALL the information you need to know just about anything. It finds you a bus and calculates your gasoline consumption. Actually, when you travel in Korea and your guide book and tourist information people tell you that “there is no buses to that and that place” they are probably too lazy and wrong. Ask Naver, and it will find you your buses and schedules. Helped me a lot in Jeju-island.

So, if you want to take a tour through our campus, here’s a link that hopefully works. By clicking the little planes you can see pretty good aerial photos.

Mentoring

What up?

I’ve been sick, I’ve been clubbing and I’ve met loads of new people. I’m so sad I barely have two weeks left.

Korean drama (as well as Japanese drama, manga and anime) often have characters catching colds, and they faint, wobble and almost die and need to be taken care of (preferably you should feed them with bunny shaped apple slices). Before I came here I was hardly ever sick and I thought it’s just stupid drama thing, over exaggerating and yeah, drama.

Now that I’ve experienced Korean cold twice I can tell you: hell no they exaggerate, I honestly felt like dying with my 39 degrees of fever and shaky legs. So if you come here, take care not to catch cold. I missed our school festival because of cold. So sad.

As soon as I got better, I went clubbing in Hongdae, because now it’s warm enough to stay until the buses start running again (around 5.30). Hongdae certainly has a lot to offer, it is still very awesome. I wanted to go today too, but then again it’s too much work to wait until morning and the guys can be very persistent and pushy. Sometimes I don’t mind, but I’ve got my share already. I kinda wanna try the gay clubs still, there should be some in Hongdae and a lot in Itaewon (where I still haven’t been to). But it’s boring to go alone and rude to drag a bunch of straight friends with you. So I guess I’m gonna skip that performance.

Other topic, I’ve been meeting with the students who are coming to my home university next semester. They are very nice and awesome and I hope I can be of some help. And I really hope I have time to hang out with them in Finland too! I feel like I’m tutoring again – although now I feel like I have more to give coz I know their culture and how Finnish culture is different – and how surprisingly similar it is.

And how is it similar or how does it differ?

Similarities:

  • Finnish people love to drink – so do Koreans.
  • Finnish people love grilled meat – so do Koreans.
  • Finns like things predictable – so do Koreans.
  • Finns at least pretend to be humble – so do Koreans.
  • Finns are punctual – Koreans are even more.
  • Finns like well organized stuff – just like Koreans.
  • Koreans go to sauna naked – which is proper way to do it if you ask a Finn
  • Finns… ah, never mind, can’t figure out more similarities.

Differences:

  • Koreans eat when they drink – Finns just drink
  • Koreans behave even when drunk – Finns just don’t
  • Korean guys treat girls like princesses – Finnish guys couldn’t care less
  • Many Korean girls act like princesses – Finnish women couldn’t care less
  • Koreans spend their free time in school or work – Finns rather scratch their rears at home instead
  • For Koreans the group matters – Finns couldn’t care less about their classmates, and even less for workmates
  • Koreans avoid arguments because consensus matters – Finns avoid arguments because they are too lazy to fight – except when drunk.

While mentoring I decided to start a new blog. I got inspired by Hangul a day, which has been a huge help in learning Korean. I wanted to make a similar blog about Finnish – small daily fragments of Finnish culture and language. I post a link here later when I get enough stuff to publish.