The Food Delivery Culture of Korea and POSTECH
The Food Delivery Culture of Korea and POSTECH
  • Reporter Kim Sung-hwan
  • 승인 2010.11.17 17:42
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Walking by the main streets of any suburban or more crowded place of Korea, it is easy to find motor bikes moving around transporting stuff. First-time visitors to Korea are mostly surprised at this usual scene.

The delivery services with motor bikes have long been a huge part of the Korean culture. In urban areas, the speedy delivery services with motor bikes cutting in buses and automobiles have decreased the opportunity costs of city residents and office workers, and helped soothe the laziness to go out buying food.

This is not any different in the lives of Postechians. Usually, the Postechians use the delivery services to minimize the cost of walking to the cafeteria or to eat more delicious food. With just one call, the restaurants send a delivery boy with the ordered food.

Derived from the delivery culture of any time any place, there is a food culture of night, which can be referred to as Yasik culture. Yasik is a word for the food you eat at night.

This specific culture affects the campus society as a whole including everyday basis and the life patterns of the students, and even the school administration. With an unendurable amount of assignments and course materials to cover, the times that Postechians fall to sleep are a little later than those of average people. For the students weary of the works before dawn, usually from 1 A.M. to 3 A.M., hunger becomes the most painful torture tool that bothers their work efficiency. At the moment, the foods that are instantly delivered with just one call at any time get to be the greatest tonic to get them back to their works with concentration. Also, delivery service saves a huge amount of time that would otherwise have to be spent in Hyoja market for the alleviation of hunger.
Junsang Yu, a Residential College resident said, “There are three pleasures in life: excreting, sleeping and finally eating. The foods at night are highly positive things that make me satisfied. If I get fat, I can always jog. Thus, I can’t give up a big part of pleasure in my life.”

▲ Hungry students at night enjoy food delivered at their doorsteps in Korea

Regardless of the positive effects that the food delivery service at night exudes, the culture produces a few negative externalities. Because many students opt to eat the delivered food instead of the school food, the economies of scale of the school cafeteria are not met and the school has to gradually increase the subsidy to the cafeteria. In the big picture, the delivery culture induces inefficiency in the administration.

Also, it is easy to find the abandoned plates, which once contained food, in plastic bags on the streets waiting for the delivery men to pick up. For the Residential College, although the plate storage box is prepared, because it is positioned in a cave-like staircase, students prefer to just put the plates on the street right in front. The place does not make a very beautiful sight.


▲ Abandoned plates left in front of dormitories

Byungjun Kim, a math major freshman, said, “I have a negative opinion on the delivery culture. In the instance of eating, one might have pleasure. But it causes many problems on the other side. It leads to an unhealthy life, is not easily digested and makes me fatter. Regardless, I’ll keep eating it.”

As an overseas student or a professor, it would be difficult for you to order food even though you would die for it. Since there is less demand, there is no place which is prepared for a multi-lingual phone service for foreigners. So if you want it, grab a Korean student in DICE and ask him or her!