The following is a list of impressions about modern South Korean culture I walked away with after being subjected to over 9000 hours of continuous K Dramas by my significant other. <or more accurately this is a list of the rediculous tropes they ride hard and put away wet, show after show after show.>
There's something particular in South Korea's air or possibly some magical curse that makes fog cause helicopter explosions. Not crashes mind you, but mid air EXPLOSIONS. Also just as baffling, house fires appear to be the leading cause of amnesia, and it's compulsory that the sufferer is sent to an orphanage if a child or transplanted elsewhere if an adult: which is apparently the predominant preferable treatment for various brain injuries and mental disorders in South Korea.
The entire population of South Korea is involved in at least one love triangle if not multiple, even those that shouldn't be: like reclusive garbage hoarding shut ins, perm addicted surgeons, and mentally challenged pervert mermaids. One third of each triangle is always a house fire amnesia orphan. ALWAYS.
Blackmail, spying, harassment, obstruction of justice, extreme public drunkenness, domestic violence, and conspiracy to abduct and murder people just because they're mildly annoying you, are either not crimes at all or at least not very serious ones: However, premarital cohabitation and sexual intercourse in conjunction with unarranged marriage for the sake of overwhelmingly sappy love, are severely grave offenses indeed.
Absolutely NOTHING is worse than embarrassment via awkward situations and socially uncomfortable topics, up unto and including: illigitimate children abandoned lost sold or stolen, repeated ugly fist fights among family and friends, serial arson, alien coverup conspiracies, terminal illness, and habitual houseplant throwing.
The penultimate no no is people you hate and refuse to associate with AT ALL speaking ill of you when you're not even around to notice. All of the aforementioned scenarios are entirely FINE AND DANDY as long as you can gloss over them and ignore them, except people shit talking, that's death duel status line crossing right there.
Hiding somewhere entirely rediculous to avoid embarrassing someone who's unaware of your presence and doing something awkward, is ALWAYS preferable to announcing yourself so they can stop before it gets weird and you can leave.
Peeking is totally OK in these situations as long as you halfassedly pretend to cover your face and chide yourself while continuing to be a voyeuristic pervert. So is gossiping about what you saw while wildly exaggerating juicy details, but only after forming blood feud pacts with other bigmouthed gosspis to keep it all a secret.
Ultra corrupt mega corporations are far more powerful and intimidating than local and international organized crime, world governments and their militaries, and various sundry mythical creatures combined. They also are inexplicably worshipped for their high status in society despite everyone on the lower rungs of society being fully aware of their cartoonish super villiany.
The quickest way to a woman's heart is to mercilessly insult her beyond belief, by questioning her intelligence, insisting she is disgusting, and generally treating her like you loath her. The crueler and uglier you are about this the faster she melts.
Calling someone a rascal or a wretch is the most powerful insult available in the entire history of language, and questioning their parentage, insinuating they are a deviant, or threatening to kill them for entirely benign <or nonexistent imagined> offenses is entirely commonplace daily banter amongst friends loved ones and even total strangers.
The shocking exposure of entirely mundane dirty laundry and secrets <that everyone is already well aware of and just sweeping under the rug> can and will cause the bulk of attendees present in corporate board rooms, public stock holder meetings, weddings and or funerals, to violently faint: often resulting in amnesia coma or split personality disorder and occasionally all three maladies, in at least one freshly unconcious attendee.
Entire unfragmented bullets far larger than any veins in the human leg can and will inexplicably enter said veins and travel upward towards the heart, causing massive inconvenience for stylish irresponsible surgeons with downright baffling hairdos. Often these surgeons are also secret agents, k pop stars, or world reknown chefs. The more confusing their hair, the more epic their profession.
The best way to cover up a mountain of stupid lies about corporate espionage stock manipulation and various other barbaric behaviors like human trafficking murder and just general social injustice that is threatening to topple under the weight of it's own hubris, is MORE stupid lies corporate espionage stock manipulation human trafficking murder and overall general social injustice. This is generally arranged over tea.
Getting entirely shit faced-falling down-fist fighting with absolute strangers-PISS DRUNK in a restaurant or bar is totally OK provided you are a paying customer, apologize profusely, and pay for all the property damage you've inflicted during your rampage. You can even come back and do it all over tomorrow!
When someone is misunderstanding something entirely minor and severely angry at you, it's customary to verbally shrug your way around it with severe anxiety and upset them further, as apposed to spending three minutes explaining the entirely reasonable truth of the matter. That is until there is a house fire, helicopter explosion, or interdimensional super beings involved in the petty misunderstanding. Even then someone has to first get hit by traffic after an argument or fall off a skyscraper BEFORE you can set them straight.
If you love someone they will invariably get hit by traffic right in front of you immediately after a petty argument, resulting in coma and potential amnesia. It's so common that honestly the minute you agree to the first date you might as well push the other party in to traffic yourself and get it over with, thus skipping the arguing and jumping ahead to reconciliation and bonding.
Don't fuck with grandma, EVER. Just don't. Irate Korean grandmothers wield more concentrated rage than any other known life form on Earth, and will nag and ear yank you to death.
No one in South Korea is aware of urinal etiquette or their rules are the complete inverse of ours here in the west, nor does anyone seem to be aware of the concept of alcoholism. Other random observations include: vitamin water and painfully douchey clothing are the preferred illicit substances at nightclubs and raves, it's entirely normal to speak out loud to yourself constantly like you're narating your innermost thoughts out for an unseen audience, and expensive high heeled shoes, an entire freshly caught eel, or two handfuls of drinking straws are all reasonable and perhaps traditional choices for hand weapons during a scuffle.
Getting slightly bad grades is far worse than bullying fellow classmates unto the point of suicide. This mentality towards bullying is the same in the workplace, and employers appear to have an out look of actual workplace duties being entirely optional, as no one ever seems to do ANY work at the offices they perpetually hang around in and sometimes even live in.
Bartenders are entirely unaware of the concept of cutting overly drunken patrons off and WILL continue pouring drinks until someone passes out and wets themself. Police fight all crime minor and major with whistles and exasperated shouting instead of batons and firearms, and a mixed group of rickety grandmas and severely petite young women can easily fight off a pack of armed street thugs with loaves of french bread, a lunch box, and an entire aluminum patio table, provided they're utilizing the umbrella attachment.
Everyone between the ages of 18 and 45 is either already operating or at least employed at a fancy bakery, cutesy cake shop, concept restaurant or ludicrously expensive cafe. If they do not fit any of the descriptions above they are automatically busy daydreaming obsessively about doing so. Unless they're a surgeon/spy/fashion model or a rock and roll frontman cabbage farmer.
Despite being a clearly patriarchal society on the surface, angry domineering passive aggressive women run everything from the shadows. Without fail, no matter how powerful or sinister a man is, there's always an infinitely more powerful or evil woman puppetering him. If that woman is a grandmother or at least elderly, she is then pulling the strings for entire extended families and multi million dollar international mega corporations.
Grandfathers rake in all the kotowing, but their actual wieldable power is generally limited to calling younger people rascals punks and wretchs, excessive finger pointing and threats, and angry houseplant throwing furniture flipping tirades.