I’m back (albeit late) this week with more fun stuff about life in Korea yayyy. I’m really tired so if this comes off as awkward or weird plz forgive me k thanks <– exhibit A, lol.
Anyways, as promised last week, I want to write about what I love about Korea. I mentioned the job benefits and my wonderful students already, but here’s some more stuff 🙂
- Transporation. Coming from the lovely city of Columbus, Ohio, USA, I am not used to decent public transportation. We are the largest city in the United States without any trains/subway system -_- So imagine lil’ ol’ me coming to Seoul and experiencing the vast subway system here *heart eyes*. You can get just about anywhere in the Seoul Metropolitan Area via subway and it’s usually about 1,250 to 1,450 won (less than $1.25) per trip. Free transfers from subway to bus, too! I don’t live in a necessarily central part of Seoul (Southeast represent!) but when I have to leave my neighborhood, my trips are usually less than 40 minutes each way. It’s also funny how I used to think that was FOREVER in Columbus, as everything is usually less than 25 minutes away, but now 40 minutes is my travel norm haha.
- Service. So I don’t mean this in the sense that “wow, the customer service here is great,” although it usually is. In Konglish, “서비스/service” essentially means “free stuff”. I was very confused when I first heard this used. I remember I was at a restaurant with friends in Jeonju and my Korean level was still pretty low. The server brought out a bowl of soup, put it on the table and said “This is service!” My friends and I were thinking…ummm, we didn’t ask for this nor do we want to pay for it…So we asked the server how much it would cost and they responded again that is was “service”. I think he saw the confused look on our faces and then used the Korean word for free (무료) and then I finally understood, haha. I get service all the time living in Korea as a foreigner 🙂 It often materializes as a free bowl of soup, extra time at karaoke/노래방, extra food at markets, etc. It’s so great. Happened 4 times in the past two weeks hehe.
- Delivery. Everything can be delivered, it seems, and usually free or very cheap! McDonalds, Burger King, KFC – you know, the important stuff 😛 – groceries, etc. And the delivery here is EXTREMELY fast. I’m being so spoiled here, guys. Free shipping and often next day delivery for things online and no tipping the delivery driver *cries happy tears*
- Quirks. As Seoul is one of the biggest cities in the world, there’s never a shortage of things to do. This place is so quirky and weird sometimes, especially the cafe culture. I’ve already been to the Penis Cafe and Poop Cafe. There’s also several animal themed cafes here including dog, cat, sheep, and raccoon cafes! Recently found out about the Galapagos Cafe where they have sugar gliders and a tortoise that roams freely 😀 (I love turtles, TAKE MY MONEY). Seoulistic has a great post about some more of the unique cafes here. Let’s just say I’m never quite bored!
- Digital Everything. If you didn’t already know, now you do – South Korea is the most wired country in the entire world! You can get free wifi on the streets and sometimes on the subway. EVERY store/restaurant has wifi and will share their wifi password with you freely if it’s not already posted on the wall somewhere! It seems like everything has an app here. People don’t even use credit cards and can pay everything with their phone! Order food via an app, make reservations via Facebook (I did it last night, haha), and once you get it set up (it’s a lil complicated I’ll admit), online banking saves me many trips to the bank! I have friends here who will be here for a year and don’t have a phone plan because they get by on the free wifi. Pretty impressive, eh? (However that is not my life and I pay for data as I need to constantly be connected lol I’m lame)
Okay, so time to wrap it up. I’m pretty satisfied with this list, although I could go on forever! It’s no mistake that I keep coming back! What do you love about Korea? And if you want to see my photos from the Penis Cafe, lemme know – I don’t feel comfortable putting them on here lol.
Stay beautiful (and warm!)