American Soldier Shares Korean Observations, Netizens Amused

Korean and American Soliders working together in South Korea

A blog post apparently belonging to a US soldier became the subject of amusement amongst netizens when a Korean version appeared on popular Korean humor portals. There are still just under 30,000 US troops garrisoned in South Korea, many of which are based in or around the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Some US Army customs have even creeped into normal South Korean culture or cuisine, such as 부대찌개 (Budae jjigae – ‘Army Base Stew‘) – an odd combination of noodles, cheese and spam.

From todayhumor:

You know you’ve been in Korea too long when…

An American GI apparently wrote this..

** You know you’ve been in Korea too long if **

1. You don’t mind paying more for coffee than dinner

2. You want to go back to the States and open an IMF HOF HOUSE [a popular Korean beer hall]

3. A roll of toilet paper at the dinner table doesn’t bother you

4. You like to cut your noodles with scissors

5. You don’t even notice the misspelled signs in English (eg.’openning’)

6. You can balance a 50 pound bowl on your head and walk briskly

7. You say “o-rai, o-rai” when your helping your buddy back up his car.

8. You learned more about U.S. history through AFKN than all of your years in school combined.

9. You start having kimchi and rice for breakfast

10. You think Kim Dae Jung is sexy

11. More than 1/2 of your book collection is from the Kyobo Book Store.

12. You don’t mind playing basketball on dirt.

13. You start to dig bands that have acronyms as names (H.O.T. R.E.F. DJ D.O.C. G.O.D.)

14. You start wearing a white mask when it gets cold

15. You hate Japan for no apparent reason

16. You bow to all of your white friends

17. You look for a Lotteria when you’re in Minnesota

18. You enjo bad tasting instant coffee in luxury settings

19. You find you no longer hold your breath in a crowded elevator

20. You start wearing slippers in the office and think it is ok

21. Your wife reaches her 40s and you expect her to be permed and wear unmatched clothes and anklets

22. You no longer hang out in Itaewon

23. Whenever you are surprised you say ‘ai-go’ 

24. You are honked at and you call the driver a ‘babo seki ya’ [bastard]

25. U.S. dollars look small in physical size

26. You understand what they’re trying to sell through the loudspeaker in that truck that drives by your house every morning.

27. You find yourself sucking air through your teeth when a shopkeeper offers you their ‘best price’

28. You salivate every time you see a Lassie episode

29. You know exactly what kind of dogs are ‘good’

30. You look forward to lunches at the KATUSA Snack Bar

31. You’ve bought everything they sell on the subway

32. You don’t even notice the captions when watching an American movie

33. You find yourself wanting to got back to the market so you can pop those ‘bbon-dae-gi’

34. You bring along your own chopsticks when you go to McDonalds

35. You’ve eaten pig’s feet

36. Korean cops no longer look like boy scouts.

37. You can pronounce ‘hyundai’ correctly

38. You think it’s odd that the bus driver doesn’t play the radio out loud back in the States.

39. The waitress cusses you out for not tipping her upon your return to the States

40. You’re 5ft.9in. and you think you’re kind of tall.

41. You start using henna rinse when you see your first grey hair

42. You hear someone release gas and you say, ‘Who bang-goo’ed?’ [farted]

43. The first thing you ask for at a restaurant is a cup of ‘coffees’

44. You go to a concert and bow back at the conductor

45. You have started snapping your gum in public

46. You start having a midnight snack of cold rice and fish heads

47. You refer to your POV as your ‘my car’

48. You stop being surprised after laboring up a mountain for two hours and running into a young woman all dressed up in heals and a young man in a suit and tie

49. You call back to the States and ask your friend if he has moved into his new ‘apar-t,’  [konglish word for apartment] yet

50. You are on leave in the States and refer to an apartment building as a mansion

51. Someone steps on your toe and apologizes and you say, ‘No sweat-ee da’

52. Your favorite exclamation is ‘Ai-go jook get da’

Comments from todayhumor:


We discovered an ancient artefact! This should be reported to the academy!


53. You yell ‘Lee Myungbak 씨발새끼‘ when things don’t work out so well.


I think I lived in Korea for too long. I’ve seen this at least 100 times.


“15. You hate Japan for no apparent reason” ㅋㅋ


When I feel I ought to go back to Korea: when my American friends understand my rendition of Hyundai.


FYI, Hyun-dae is pronounced “Hoon-da-ee” in the US.


Hahaha, the coffee price, can’t agree more…


I do eat dogs a few times a year but I don’t smack my lips when I see live dogs…


We are still only them people who smell garlicky????


Each country has its own unique smell. Like that cheese smell when you go to western countries…


As someone who lives in the States, there is apparently a smell unique to Korean people. Of course I cannot tell… Something garlicky… But why is that embarrassing, it is just a Korean characteristic. Americans and Europeans have raging meat BO. That’s why perfume was invented. Don’t take it so personally.


What’s wrong with Sundae? Germans eat exactly the same thing…


Garlic smell is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just our kimchi culture. And we DO have good reasons to hate Japanese. Americans may not sympathise but we have our reasons. We know them well.

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