One of the coolest things about living in Korea (or really, anywhere but the U.S.) is that you don’t have to tip anyone (cabbies, doormen, waitstaff). If a meal costs ₩10,000, expect to pay that much. Water is filtered and free, and every Korean-style meal comes with, at no extra charge, several side dishes, such as pickled radishes, fish soup and the requisite kimchi. Korean restaurants put the complimentary bread-and-butter platters of the States to shame.

Even better than the free half-dozen side dishes you find at Korean restaurants is “service-uh.” Konglish for “service,” service-uh is anything random and free that you get when you purchase an item. Buy a bottle of wine at E-Mart? Well, enjoy your chocolate, lotion and lipbalm, all service-uh. You had to wait two minutes to be seated at a restaurant? Free soda for everyone at no charge! How on earth can you be expected to eat that box of corn flakes without anything to put it in? But look! There’s a bowl and spoon taped to the side!

My favorite service-uh ever came with a purchase of Land O’Lakes Chedarella cheese. When I got home, I noticed there was something taped to the side of the cheese.

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What ever could that be?

 

Because it totally makes sense to give a tote bag as a service-uh for purchasing a small block of cheese.

Because it totally makes sense to give a tote bag as a service-uh for purchasing a small block of cheese.

But wait! There’s more!

 

It also makes perfect sense to include a security tag on something that costs about $7 US

It also makes perfect sense to include a security tag on something that costs about $7 US.

Let’s stick service-uh in the “Stuff Melissa Will Definitely Miss” category. Free + quirky goodies= awesome. Korean service-uh has totally one-upped the Cracker Jack surprise at the bottom of the box.

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