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11 October 2003
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Korea Life Blog - Copy Cats in the Land of Sameness

I wouldn't recognize this myself because my Korean is not so good. I'm actually surprised this kind of blatant copying exists. I wonder how many more examples are out there.

In the words of the reader who sent these photos to me:

"A lot of Korean store signs really cracked me up. Even two stores side by side on the very same street tried to copy-cat each other. The difference is very subtle and it is really obvious that one tried to copy-cat the other's sign.

If you look at the first pic, you will see the two signs, 'Eating galbi while standing' and 'Eating galbi while sitting'. The second and third pics should have been taken together, but I couldn't capture them in one picture because of the distance. Anyhow, one says, 'brother, it is me!' and the other says, 'sister, it is me'. Both of the restaurants serve pork galbi."

I have to wonder if these restaurants are owned by the same family. You would think that the people being copied would be outraged otherwise.

Today, by coincidence, I happened to notice the name of the new apartments being built in my town is Shin Han. The old apartments next door are called Han Shin.

I always wonder why they build the same kind of stores and restaurants right next to each other. As I've said before, there are chicken restaurants in my town side by side. A stationery store recently opened up directly across the street from another. It's not uncommon to see entire streets lined the same style restaurants. Right in Suwon there is a street where every restaurant serves sam gyeop sal. Even ajummas set up their deokboki and o-daeng stands inches away from one another. The same cellphone stores selling the exact same phones are literally on every corner. Unfortunately there is all together a pervasive lack of creativity in Korea. Most architecture looks alike, which most people agree is a disappointment when traveling from city to city. Even way down in Geoje-do everything looks like it does everywhere else. Oh well, I guess this is also becoming true in America. There used to be a lot of diversity between cities and towns before the onslaught of fast food and shopping franchises.


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