Reverse Culture Shock #1: Vacuums

When I moved to Korea, I survived on a tiny hand-vacuum to clean my studio apartment. I lived alone, so I was basically cleaning up food crumbs and my stray hairs. It worked well for its purpose.  That tiny hand vacuum cost me over 30,000 won ($30). I remember being ‘shocked’ at the cost of vacuums in Korea.

My friends moved back to the USA about a year and a half ago. They freely gave me their used vacuum, and I GLADLY accepted it. By this time, I had a cat and keeping up with the extra fur was a bit tedious with a hand vacuum. Then, of course, I adopted my dog who sheds twice a year (although I swear she sheds a LOT even between the season shedding). Anyway, I was so happy for my ‘big’ vacuum. I had been eye-ing them in stores, but for over 70,000 won ($70), I decided they weren’t worth it. You cannot imagine what a life-saver this vacuum was for me considering how often I had to vacuum due to pets.

I was rocking my vacuum.

I was rocking my vacuum.

So, now I’m back in USA. My dog has been shedding ridiculously: partly as the result of her flight and also because it’s about 30 degrees warmer. Korea is well into fall while Texas seems to be stuck in summer. So, I needed to vacuum up all the shedding white hair that was gracing the floors,  which meant that I had to uncover my mom’s vacuum. I came across this BEAST of a machine:



It’s so big, I couldn’t really get it in the picture! Not only was I amazed at just how BIG and how HEAVY this monster vacuum is…I learn LATER that my mom chose it because it’s a SMALL vacuum. Yes, I’m still in shock. This vacuum is considered ‘small’ here in USA. Just. WOW.



  1. Hey Dear you vacuum cleaner looks like the one I use in our camper and your mom’s looks just like mine,. Thanks for the chuckle this a m —love u

  2. typically the types of flooring dictates the type of vacuum cleaner. overall, koreans prefer hard floor whereas in the usa we prefer carpet and carpet needs a bigger vacuum cleaner.

  3. Anonymous · · Reply

    Is true what David state, Here I mostly use the car for the car. Every now and than is for the small amount of dust that gets caught on my floor fan and underneath the bed.

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