K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Nov 06 2015

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Adventures in Asia

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to LG’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea in preparation for the launch of the TWIN Wash laundry machine in the U.S. With a little over a week’s notice, I found myself on a 16-hour flight to a continent I had never been to.

DSC_6763                                       My arrival in Seoul

Intending to learn and bring back to you the differences between the massive Asian market and ours, I got even more than I expected. Korean culture is known for its sincere hospitality, cleanliness and admirable respectability – all of which I experienced on my first trip across the Pacific.

“Kam-sa-mi-da” was the only word I learned – it means “thank you” – and I used it a lot. Thank you for greeting me at the airport and not laughing too hard when I accidentally fell asleep on your shoulder (it was 4 a.m. in Atlanta, and 5 p.m. in Seoul when I landed); thank you for giving me a high-tech shower and bath that I could lounge in and not worry about pushing the wrong button; and thank you for offering a complimentary breakfast with recognizable American food and not caring that I took bananas back to my room with me, just in case I didn’t like the food. It’s the small things that matter when you travel abroad.

DSC_6838

While exploring LG’s massive headquarters, the other journalists and I saw first hand how Koreans cook, clean and live differently from us. After wondering over the use of the kimchi refrigerators, I tried kimchi for the first time (extra hot and spicy, if you like that flavor). When we drooled over the LG Styler, one journalist asked to put his coat in. In it went, and out came a fresh, wrinkle-free piece of clothing. Then when I stared with confusion at the cordless vacuum cleaners (still not launched in the U.S.) I got to take it around and watch the heavy bottom part simply follow me around so I didn’t have to ever lift it. I made a lot of hints about wanting that one soon in the States.
DSC_7189                           Kimchi and bulgogi

Though I was only there a short while, the South Korean people and their capital showed me great kindness, despite my lack of knowledge about them or my lack of Korean. Four high schoolers stopped me in the market place one day, telling me they were doing a project for their English class and wanting to interview me.

Being one of three American women in a couple mile radius, I stood out. I told them my name and one girl cried, “Erin is my English name too!”

They all gasped in astonishment at the coincidence and took my picture, and I walked away feeling a little like a celebrity. That was my biggest take away – whether through their products, designs or culture, these people try their very best to make you feel important, comfortable and above all else, appreciated.

DSC_7276                                    Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul

This entry was posted on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 5:00 PM and is filed under Bath Design, Creativity, Inspiration, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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