Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday Favourite V2: Bag Carrying Men

I've decided that at the end of every week I'm going to write down one thing I love about Korea. Last week it was the cat cafe and here is this week's...

How many times have you seen a guy stood outside the changing rooms in a shop, with a zoned out, flat face expression as he stands (or sits on the man sofa thatre always conveniently placed outside these places), still as a statue, awkwardly holding a handbag? Its almost as if the stance has been designed by males to demonstrate very clearly to others of the same sex that this most certainly is not his bag. It also communicates that he would rather be scratching out his own eyeballs than holding this bag. I think this trauma can only be equalled by recording over the final of his favourite sports match with an episode of Glee/ accidentally spraying him with perfume / asking him to buy tampons when he pops to the shop.

Or how about when you need to tie your lace, so you ask the guy youre with to hold your bag for a moment, only to find that the milisecond you start to manouvre into upright position, you suddenly have a black eye because the bag has been thrust back in your face with such force and apparent disgust? Or perhaps its balanced precariously on a dog waste bin, or a wall covered in the remnants of a kebab which has already been devoured once, just so he can avoid holding it?

Just the other night Tasha and I were in a bar, playing darts with some British guys. Tashas turn comes around, and she asks one of the guys to hold her clutch while she threw an awesome shot, only to find she was greeted with high tens all around. Noticing the said boys hands were suspiciously free to give out these congratulatory slaps, she looked around to find the bag dumped on a nearby table in a puddle of beer.

Well look at this girls, the guys here voluntarily carry their other halves bags. The first time I saw it I thought it was cute, the second time I swooned, and then I noticed that every guy seemed to be at it. It doesnt matter if its big, gold and glitzy with a baribe doll charm hanging off it or small, sleek and Chanel, theyll happily hoist it over their shoulder.

Admittedly I think the Korean guys are a lot more in touch with their feminine side. Ive seen pink phone covers, polka dot umbrellas and gadgets covered in glitzy stickers sported on a daily basis. There are cardboard cut outs in cosmetic shops with guys enthusiastically applying lip gloss, and the only time Ive seen a guy NOT carrying his girlfriends bag, is when his own manbag is bigger than hers.

A lot of Korean girls we have spoken to (and guys) tell us that the English guy is very romantic and gentle. I imagine theyre thinking of someone that has just walked out of a Jane Austen novel, and they simply cannot believe it when their ideas are met with a doubled over laugh. Ive seen the light in a few Korean girls eyes go out forever when we tell them about white vans, wolf whistles and football.

I guess its the fact that I'm accustomed to how highly the British guys value the perception of the manly image that maybe makes this small gesture such a big deal in my eyes. Im not saying that British guys or Korean guys are better with their small quirks. I for one would rather not share a cherry flavoured lip balm with my other half. But I guess its the demonstration that you care about someone enough to not really give a fig how others perceive you that I like.  

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