In honor of Ian Oppa's and Dani Henney's (Cyndi's brother) visit to the Motherland, I've decided to put together a post specifically for dudes.
Here's my list (in no particular order) of things you can do in the Motherland, which are typically deemed socially unacceptable in the Homeland.
1) Hold another dude's hand.
In America, a dude is not allowed to show physical signs of affection to another dude unless he is in a relationship with the dude or the physical contact is in a manly sports context. In the Motherland, however, dudes are allowed to hold hands as a simple sign of camaraderie. Now, I don't want to give you the wrong impression. It's not like guys are frolicking about the streets of Seoul, swinging their arms together. It's just not that big of a deal to see guys holding hands or with their arms linked. Twice now I've seen ajusshis with their arms linked and it's the cutest thing!
2) Wear a shiny metallic suit.
If you're a young salary man or a mobile phone salesman you are entitled, if not obligated, to rock an obscenely shiny metallic suit, accessorized with a pink tie. Call me old fashioned, but I don't think that business suits should be shiny. Sadly, the shiny suit is quite popular here. Back at home, you're probably asking yourself, "What's a shiny suit?" Trust me, you'll know what I'm talking about after you spend a few days in the Motherland.
3) Not gawk at a girl in a mini skirt.
While in Seoul, you will undoubtedly see young women in very short shorts or mini-skirts and high heels. Now, though it may seem to the contrary, these young, nearly exposed women are not inviting you to gawk or leer at them. It's a woman's right to dress as she pleases. If she wants to wear a skirt so short that she has difficulty going up a set of stairs without exposing her pansu, then that's her prerogative. Though we are in no way more conservative back in the Homeland, men are prone to staring, whistling, or making animals sounds at a girl in a short skirt. Please refrain from such behavior (both here and back home).
4) Disregard the "Ladies First" principle.
If you have had a long day at the office or need to rush off to an important appointment/cigarette break, don't waste your time or energy holding doors for feeble women. If you're on the subway, definitely don't feel obligated to give up your seat to an ajumma with a heavy shopping bag. Those ajummas are tougher than they look. Plus, you can always pretend to sleep and keep your seat the whole ride home.
5) Rock the skinny jeans.
In Korea, skinny jeans aren't just for Hollywood hipsters or emo kids. All young men can work it out in a trendy pair of skinny jeans.
6) Carry a murse.
You no longer have to cram all of your odd and ends into your little cargo pants pockets. It's completely acceptable for you to carry around a man-purse. I'm not just talking about a duffel bag or a messenger bag. I've seen guys carry around a LV tote, a knock-off Bottega Veneta bag, and non-descript black bags. You're probably saying to yourself, but I don't carry enough things to warrant a purse. Trust me, once you start carrying a purse, you'll find things to fill it with: digital camera, hand lotion, Clorox Bleach pen, Nintendo DS, Sudoku book, a snack, etc...
7) Carry your woman's purse.
It's not a big deal. Just do it. Naturally drape it around your arm. Don't hold it away from your body as if it were a dirty diaper.
8) Dress like your woman.
Couples like to dress alike in couple T-shirts or other matching ensembles. Don't see it as a symbol of emasculation. It is a sign of your good fortune to be dating a woman as lovely as that girl in the matching pink hoodie.
9) Stare at yourself in reflective surfaces.
Don't feel shy about checking yourself out in the train window, the elevator's metallic doors, your cell phone... it's no big deal here. A dude is allowed to showcase a little vanity without being branded a metrosexual.
10) Have a Korean girl drink you under the table.
A man's not a man in Korean unless he's able to swig down some disinfectant, or as they call it in Korea, soju. As much as you may think you can drink, don't be surprised if a petite Korean girl out drinks you. These girls may act coy, but they are just being naesoong. They can probably out drink you and still wake up for their 9 am class the next morning.