Would you rent an oppa for your South Korean vacay?
WINWINCOOK, a South Korean software company, just launched the very thing that may send Korean drama (K-drama) fangirls into overdrive.
Oh My Oppa is a specialty tour service targeting foreign visitors, allowing them to “rent” an oppa.
For the uninitiated, oppa is a Korean term used by Korean women to address an older family member, friend, or a romantic partner. Especially in K-dramas.
It’s also quite prominently used in K-pop songs such as Psy’s Gangnam Style, Donghae&Eunhyuk’s Oppa, Oppa, and BLACKPINK’s Boombayah.
How does this service work, you ask?
For four hours, you and two of your friends (or just you alone, if you’d like), you’ll get to hang out with an oppa of your choice. Depending on who you choose, he’ll meet you at a subway station before you go off on an adventure together.
There are a couple of activities that you can do with different oppas. Fancy a walk along the Han river under cherry blossom trees? Arami oppa is up for it anytime from April 6 to April 14, 2018.
A walk in the park isn’t your thing? Would you rather play dress-up and pretend to be Korean royalty at the country’s largest palace? Architecture enthusiast Ryan oppa is the man you’re looking for.
If you’d like, your designated oppa may suggest activities that require extra payment such as visiting a pet cafe, but there are strict rules to what oppas can or cannot do. For example, they’re discouraged from arranging tours at night or going out drinking with their assigned tourists.
“It started out as a joke that foreigners coming to Korea expect to find men like the ones they see on dramas, but no, there aren’t any men on the streets that are as good-looking, tall and nice as the TV stars,” said Lee Joon Woo Winwincook CEO told The Korea Herald.
Currently, the website features seven Korean men. While they’re not professional tour guides, they are either Lee’s friends or those recommended by acquaintances, and they have had some minimal training.
While the Oh My Oppa service is borderline questionable, it’s not the first, and it’ll likely not be the last.
In China, an app called Hire Me Plz allows people to hire dates to bring to family occasions such as when visiting home during the Chinese New Year festivities. The fake girlfriend or boyfriend will travel with said “client” to meet his or her parents and appease them and their relatives.