[Q&A] How to meet South Koreans

Edit: For anyone who wants to meet and talk to South Koreans online I suggest using a pen pal site. People are usually very grateful and friendly if you are genuinely interested in their language or any aspect of their culture. It is easy to find someone who is willing to tell you more about things that might interest you, like Korean temples, Korean indie music, KPop, Korean companies or even Korean politics. My favorite site is of course the one where I met my Kimchi Man ^^. www.interpals.net . I contacted any person who seemed to have an interesting profile, but you can specify your searches to include only Korean, and even Koreans of certain age. However, please note that Interpals is not a dating site. It is site for making friends. If it grows into something more, that is just an added bonus :)

Maria asked:

How did the two of you meet?

We met trough an online pen pal site. There are many South Koreans who join pen pal sites to improve and practice their English. For us, it was our curiosity for foreign cultures, his modesty and my love for Korean stationery that brought us together.

We are both interested in learning about cultures different than our own. It is easy to find information and statistical data about a country but really difficult to get the true idea about people’s daily life without having a friend you can talk to. Doesn’t it sound exciting hearing for the first time about things they, on the other side of the world, consider usual and take for granted?

However, neither of us ever expected to fall in love in such an unusual way.

Hangul Morning Glory notebook

The fated Morning Glory notebook that brought us together.

Since I really like colorful pens and notebooks and one of my favorite manufacturers is a Korean one – Morning Glory – I always use any chance I get to buy them. I was lucky enough to have found one but, after buying that particular notebook, I noticed everything inside was written in Korean language. I couldn’t find translation online because at that time I had no idea how to use Korean keyboard. Then it occurred to me I could find somebody from Korea on the pen pal site and ask for their help. It seemed like a nice conversation starter.

One of the people I found was Kimchi Man. His profile warned that he might not be an interesting person and that his English is pretty bad. I still don’t know why I replied to such a profile. Maybe I liked his picture more than I am ready to admit :D But he turned out to be the most interesting person I have ever met and his English was just fine. While other people tried to make themselves appear as amazing as possible in their profiles, he seemed to have been doing the opposite. But this modesty is something I find really cute and charming. When we got to know each other better, we were surprised how similar we are. At first we were jokingly threatening that we have a culture shock in store for one another, but it has been a year and a half and no culture shock in sight.

We religiously wrote a message to each other every day, exchanged photographs of what we saw that day, then talked and after just for a few months he flew half-way across the world to meet me. That was the first time we met face to face, a bit over a year ago. I am not sure why, but we both trusted each other completly. And that trust has certainly paid off.

We would just like to warn people about meeting in person someone they previously only had contact with online. Be careful. If you doubt if you can trust them, you probably can’t. Make sure you get to know them well before agreeing to meet. Don’t be shy to ask them a photo of their passport, driver’s licence, or if they told you they graduated – diploma. Your safety is important and if they like you they should understand that. We didn’t really do this, but it’s always best to bring a friend along when meeting for the first time and meet in a public place.

We hope you liked our story. We are looking forward to more questions.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “[Q&A] How to meet South Koreans

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! Reading about it makes me feel less alone about my situation. I am fascinated by it because I have also met someone through an online penpal site who happens to be Korean and originally from Korea. My initial intentions on the site were just to make friends where we could exchange our culture and language. Eventually it lead to chatting on instant messenger. After chatting with him a few times over a span of several months, he ‘confessed’ to me and a week later used ‘I love you’, although I had my doubts about him truly liking me because we only chatted sporadically (about every other week). It’s been over a year since meeting online and recently he has mentioned wanting to meet me, despite us living very far from each other (he seemed more serious than usual). We are both not living in Korea (I don’t want to disclose the precise location because I want to retain anonymity). Most of the time it seems like he is just joking, but this time it seems he might be real. He began to talk about marriage and such things. I’m beginning to think that maybe him liking me was sincere, since he brought up (in my opinion) such a serious topic. I like him too, but because I have never met him in person, I feel nervous. I have met other online friends in real life before, but that’s because we were just friends and nothing more (no emotional attachments).

    I would just like some insight on what your thoughts are about forming a relationship online and about the discussion of marriage like this. Do you think he is serious if he has waited this long to bring up this topic? And how much weight should I put on the words “I love you”? I have not told him those words because to me it carries a lot of weight before I can say it to someone.

    Was there anything you did to prepare for your meeting in person?

    Thank you again for having this site, I think it will be a great help to many people.

    • Thank you for such nice words about our site. It truly makes us happy that someone finds it helpful :)

      We will think about your questions a bit and write a post, probably in a 3-4 days from now. We are just curious, did you two just chat so far or also talk (hear each other’s voices)?

      • So far we have only chatted. I was going to make it a next step to hear his voice, because I think it’s important to listen for certain cues. I mentioned to him about wanting to hear his voice some day and he didn’t seem hesitant, so I was relieved about that. At the same time he didn’t act on my request but told me I could call him anytime. It just seems so much harder for an online relationship to work -__-;; and I’m a bit hesitant to pursue it, but at the same time I don’t want to miss out on something that could’ve been. Thanks and please, take as much time as you need to respond.

  2. wow I was touch by your story and it looks like a fairytale story.. thanks for sharing. hope he was the guy who deserves you..

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