5 Absurdly Awesome Korean Gifts To Mail Home
After a couple months in Korea, you’ll become comfortable carrying out the little mundane tasks of being a grown up like paying your bills, going to the bank for cash, and checking the mail. Once you’ve mastered the post office grounds, you’re ready to start mailing Korean goodies and souvenirs to all your best friends and family back home.
The only question now is what should you send to your loved ones that will give them a small taste of what living in Korea is like? Everyone has their personal favorite gifts, but these 5 are my favorite South Korean gifts to mail back home. I’ve sent them all before and know with 100% certainty that they are safe to mail home and will not be turned away.
1. Strange Snacks
Have you seen that new video trend on Buzzfeed where foreigners taste snacks from other countries? The result, as you can imagine, is hilarious. I’d like to go ahead and take the time to applaud the genius that started filming people tasting foreign snacks because I’ve been sending my friends strange snacks from Korea but never had the bright idea to film them tasting it for the first time!
A few of my favorite snacks to send are dried squid, cuttlefish, and baby octopus. There are a few funny knock off candy bars that I tend to include in my gifts like the ever popular Kicker Bar, which is basically an awful tasting rip off of Kit Kat Bars. Trust me, the taste is so off that the last thing you’ll want is a break off a piece of that…Kicker Bar. Yuck.
2. Face Masks
Sheet face masks are the best weapon you can have in your beauty arsenal to fight off evil blemishes. They’re cheap, easy to use, and leave your skin feeling silky smooth. Walk into any beauty shop (my personal favorite for finding the best beauty sheets is skin food) and go to their skin section. Most shops have the masks arranged by ingredients or effect. Some are meant to be used for deep moisture, while others are infused with teas to help relieve stress and de-puff your eyes.
As with all beauty products in Korea, watch out for masks that contain whitening agents! You don’t want to unknowingly bleach your skin for 15 minutes after an already stressful day of teaching. Talk about a kick when you’re already down. Check out more must-have beauty products that would double as great gifts here at chasing glitter.
Hunting in Korea for the absolute kookiest pair of socks has become somewhat of an unspoken challenge among expats in kimchi land. Any night market, souvenir shop, or even the corner shop down the road sells socks with absurd prints like k-pop stars as chibi cartoons, animals that are overweight, and little children mooning their onlookers with little cartoon butts.
The strangest (and best) one I’ve ever found depicted a little puppy with a large brow swirl of poop on his head. I don’t know why or what the point of the picture on those socks were. All I know is I forked over my money and immediately mailed them to a friend. These crazy little feet blankets only costs about 1USD dollar each, so you can buy a single pair to send to every friend and relative you have without going broke. Socks really are the perfect gift to send from Korea.
I’m ashamed to say I only learned last week that it’s actually possible to mail soju. Just make sure you buy the boxes instead of the glass bottles of soju, which is better anyway since the boxes look like adorable little adult juice boxes. Buy a pack and send them to your friends so they can finally understand what a dreaded “soju hang over” is.
Don’t forget to remind them to play Snoop and Psy’s Hang Over song as they taste it for the first time. Bonus points if you can record their reaction! Who needs Buzzfeed when we can do our own reaction videos at our friends’ expense?
5. “Poop” stationary
Korea is obsessed with poop. Not actually poop or the act of making a poop, but the shape of it. Please don’t ask me why because I have absolutely zero clue as to why Korea would adore something so awkward. I’ve asked every expat I’ve met in Korea if they have the answer to this question because I’m just as curious, but sadly, no one knows. Maybe Koreans are just crazy or maybe it’s some sort of inside joke that only natives get. All I know is to me as a foreigner it’s awkwardly hilarious.
There are stationary stores you can venture into where if you’re lucky you can find pens, pencils, pencil toppers, and notebooks with a cute little brown poop swirl that has giant eyes and a huge smile. If you do opt to send this gift to someone, make sure you choose a friend that has a strange sense of humor, otherwise the awkwardness that ensues when you’re getting the third degree about why you sent poop pencils becomes unbearable. I’m sure friendships have ended over poop stationary, in fact. That’s how weird poop stationary is. Believe me.
If you’re currently living in Korea, what are your favorite Korean gifts and souvenirs to send back home? Tell us in a comment below! We’d love to hear.