2007
05.19

Korea 8 – Look & Feel

1. Koreans are pretty uniform. All people have black hair (there was supposedly a period a few years back that women would color their hair, but somehow it became unpopular and disappeared completely). Hair cuts are pretty conservative – think Beatles.
2. A large number of people live in big apartment buildings. The bigger the better (18 floors is quite usual). A complex with several buildings is preferable to a single building. A building would usually face south (considered to be better). Thus, the city looks like a collection of thin tall boxes all aligned together. Here is how it looks like from space (somewhere in Seoul):
!Seoul

Namely, Korea is a computational geometer dream – an almost rectilinear environment.

3. Korean high school kids go to school around 7am, finish it in the afternoon, and then stay on for additional classes (when they would do homework and so on). The day at school ends around 11pm, when they return home (six days a week). Parents know their kids are still alive because of the dirty laundry. (Compare this to my Israeli experience of a high school that started at 8am and ended around 1-2pm, and which I had attended maybe 70% of the time in the four years I had been there.)

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