Unless you’ve been living with your head firmly planted under a rock for the past five years, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Netflix and chill.” (If not, know that people aren’t watching sitcoms any more than little birds and bees are buzzing around.)
In Korea, however, you don’t ask someone over to watch Netflix and chill.
Instead, you ask if they want to come over to your place and eat some ramen.
I didn’t learn this until I had been in Korea for over a year (I’ve been here for two and a half years now) and was a little shocked when a Korean friend of mine clued me in. By this point, at least four different men had asked me in different bars if I wanted to eat some ramen. In my naivety, I had enthusiastically agreed, flagged the waitress down, and ordered a batch.
I didn’t understand when they looked disappointed. Korean ramen is spicy and delicious (though apparently not the spicy deliciousness they had in mind.)
Apparently, the phrase comes from a movie called “One Fine Spring Day,” in which a character asks another if he wants to eat some ramen before he goes. I’m sure your imagination can fill in out that scene plays out.
* * * * *
I’ve not personally tested “eat some ramen” out as a pick-up line, but I have been assured it’ll work at least as well as Netflix and chill – if not better. After all, ramen is pretty hard to resist.
Have you heard any other colorful, cultural euphemisms? Let me know in the comments!