My two weeks in Korea have obviously given me a lot of exposure to the kind of Korean you don’t necessarily see in textbooks. Back home again I’ve had the time to look over the many pictures I’ve been taking during my trip. I’ve taken quite a few pictures of signs I’ve seen around Seoul and I thought I’d share them with you guys. (The head image is one of the countless ads for marriage agencies I’ve seen in the Seoul subway.)

2015-12-22 16.05.27
Seat belt and life vest are called  좌석벨트 and 구명복 in Korean. Since my original flight got cancelled I had a “fun” trip via Copenhagen and then from Beijing to Seoul with Asiana Airlines. The upside was that they served bulgogi with kimchi on board.
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A “No Parking” sign in front of our building. I like how they first politely ask people to cooperate before saying that parking is prohibited. Not everyone respected this sign by the way.
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Seriously one of my favorites. This banner was just across the street from where we lived: “No matter how much you are in a hurry, always use the safe pedestrian crossing!” – kind regards from the Gangnam Police.
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This staircase along the cliffs of Busan facing the gorgeous Haeundae beach warns people against climing over the railing. Notice the little mermaid statue in to the left.


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This is taken at Changdeokgung palace in Seoul. A very direct English translation is provided ^^
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Lotte Mall in Jamsil once again had a huge crown completely covered in small wish tags where people had written their wishes and prayers for the new year. The black font is pre-printed and says “Make a wish” the handwriting says “Please make me marry my Oppa <3”. How cute is this? I spent about 20 minutes reading these little notes.
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Here you can see how many wish tags covered the crown.
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Novelty envelopes found in a bookstore. This one reads: “Bribe”. Awesome Korean humour.
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These signs were on almost every stairway, but how cute is the pink Hello Kitty motive? Taken at the Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae.
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Right outside the Kyobo Bookcenter at Gwangwhamun there are three stones with the message: “People make books and books make people”. So beautiful and true!
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On almost every subway entrance there was a little Korean poem written for people to read while waiting for the train. This one is called “Confession”. The poem translates as: “You are a star, you are a star to me. Even on nights when no stars are to be seen, you are an eternal star. Also on nights with raging rainstorms or snow, or when the moon or stars are gone and the sun is shining brightly in the middle of the day. You are always a star to me.”A very moving confession of love indeed!


  1. I was surprised when I read your article because I thought it would be about the government’s new sign language bill! haha

    But I enjoyed the little poems everywhere when I was in Korea too 🙂

    By the way, have people calmed down about Lotte Mall by now? It was kind of controversial(??) when I was there and I ended up not going :/ It looks really nice though!


    • The little poems are so cute! The Lotte Mall seems quiet (it did last year as well), but the Lotte Tower is sure rising high now. In the year that passed since I saw it last I think they easily added 40 stories to the building. I felt perfectly safe though.:)


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