If you've gotta go...

Okay, enough lazing around and feeling sorry for myself. I'm feeling fine, health-wise, and have been just a tad lazy in writing some juicy little insights on whatever captures my imagination.

Speaking of bodily fluids, the Koreans have an unusual sense of what is socially acceptable and unacceptable. Blowing your nose is not to be done in public, and is roughly the same social equivalent of a loud, shameless fart. You need to chose your time and place carefully before clearing out your nostrils, and with the strange rareness of rubbish bins, disposing of the evidence can be spectacularly difficult.

On the other hand, there is no taboo regarding clearing the throat and spitting. Even the most delicate and dainty Korean can be heard (often on the subway) assembling phlegm at the back of the throat, and once the troops are there in sufficient quanities, launching an assult across the DMZ of the mouth, toward the North Korea that is the generally very clean train station floor. Loud, gross and proud.


Michael Barnett said…
Ari, two 20-something friends of mine, recently returned from South Korea having spent time there as English teachers (surprise surprise) assure me with confidence that the national obsession with bodily fluids extends all the way to those of urination and defecation. In fact there is at least one whole range of childrens story books that deals focussing on such matters. Quite charming really. :)

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