Awesome Korean Adventures

Living and engineering like never before

Korea vs Finland

“What do you think of Korea? How is it different than Finland?”, some people have asked me. Although Korean and Finnish people have things in common, such as politeness and quietness, there are many differences between the two countries and their people. Honestly, I find myself thinking more highly of Finland after spending more time here.

The first thing to note is that the people don’t speak English very well. One time, when I went a barbershop, I tried to explain my haircut in layman’s terms, very simply. Despite that, they had no idea what I wanted. Instead, they tried to communicate with me using a Google Translate app so I just told them to do whatever. It ended up fine though, so I’m not complaining. I think Koreans work really hard on whatever they decide to do in life, which is why they do so well in many areas.

Contrary to Finland, rules are only guidelines here. We are constantly threatened with severe punishment if we break a law or a rule, whether it’s smoking near a building or submitting a document after the deadline. However, when something happens, they don’t take any action. I’m sure that In Finland, these rules would be more heavily enforced.

Also, Korean engineers could learn a thing or two from Finns. Firstly, the websites are horrible in terms of user experience, and often times only partially translated to English. Disgustingly enough, we also have to use Internet Explorer or some sites don’t work. In classrooms, the desks and chairs are less than great to say the least, but I guess it could be worse. On the other hand, the subway system in the Seoul area is great. It’s super easy to go from Suwon to Seoul and back or even go to multiple stations on the way. The subway is likely the best thing in Korea.

In Korea, you can constantly hear cars honking at each other. That’s because the drivers don’t respect the traffic laws and often drive through red lights. Especially the motorcycle who drivers go through any small gap between cars with little to no consideration for anyone else or themselves. I’ve even seen bus drivers do a U-turn at a super busy intersection. The pedestrians act in a similar way. Many people go through red lights, which is a little crazy, considering the way people drive here. Also, Korean people never dodge others on the sidewalk. They will literally bump into you if you don’t dodge them yourself. I used to avoid them but now I don’t really care, as they will probably get hurt more than I will on collision.

Since the winter is finally coming, I’ve noticed some odd things. Finnish people would think it’s not very cold here, which in a way, it isn’t. The temperature only goes down to about -5 before the end of the year. Despite that, people often times wear a coat while inside, because the insulation is nothing like it is in Finland. Asians have probably never heard of double glazed windows and the walls are not much better. And for some reason, all the toilets and showers are positioned so that the cold air gets in and makes things very uncomfortable. Even the electric bills must be huge, to keep the buildings somewhat warm.