Thursday, June 14, 2012

Seoul Much Going On

I was excited to blog when I got to Seoul because there is soo much going on and so many things that I want to share... but, as you may have noticed, this city is keeping me too busy to blog as much as I would like :(

With trying to get in as much studying as possible, to doing my duties of managing the house, adjusting to our new life, not to mention my job search and explorations in and around the city, there is not much time left to blog.

Let me do a quick summary of a few things that I have wanted to share but keep pushing off because something comes up. Maybe one day each of these will get it's own dedicated post, until then:

1. Every woman here wears high heel shoes. They are always dressed stylishly and wear clothes that would look ridiculous on anyone, anywhere else, but somehow the Korean women have it going on and look polished and fabulous. Fashion lives in this city. I love it!

2. Because everyone where's dress shoes everywhere, at all times, there are little grey boxes on every street. These "boxes" house the shoe repairmen. They are everywhere and repairing your shoes takes about 3 minutes and it is extremely cheap! I love it!

3. Street food is amazing, cheap and plentiful. So far, breakfast is my favorite meal on the street, specifically "Korean Toast." This is basically toasted and buttered bread with a simple omelet of green onion or other basic vegetable, topped with fresh shredded cabbage, sometimes cheese, and this yummy sauce that is something between ketchup and a taste from my past that I cannot place! YUM. I love it!

4. The people are kind and extremely impressed when you show any knowledge of their language. They are normally a fast-paced bunch, but when you are trying to explain something in Korean they never roll their eyes or get frustrated. They seem to slow down and encourage you on. I think this is the only reason I am getting anywhere with this language. I love it!

5. Motorbikes ride on the sidewalk. It is one of the craziest things to me about this city, but these delivery men will basically ride on any somewhat flat surface to get to their destination quicker. In a city that houses half the population of this country, the sidewalks are not empty. There are times when you look up and you are almost face to face with one of the motorcycles. I no longer scream in terror, but I do always give a dirty look. This, I do not love.

6. Order and cleanliness. Seoul has an order and cleanliness to it. You will not see litter on the streets or in the subway. In fact, the subways are so clean you forget you are in a city with over 10 million people in the city limits and 25 million in the metropolitan area. People always stand in line waiting for buses, trains, coffee, etc. As chaotic as this city can get with the noise, traffic and amount of people, it does not feel chaotic because of the order.

7. Protests, strikes, demonstrations. Yep, this is super common. Everyday, while I prepare lunch or study at home, I have the pleasure of listening to an Ajooma screaming into a bullhorn about something that she is passionate about. Everyday by my school, there are more protesters standing in front of companies protesting something or other. Yesterday, there was a strike at the energy company next to our apartment. Strikes are super amusing because the workers all wear matching outfits and have choreographed a dance and song. These folk are a creative bunch. I secretly love this. Except for the Ajooma, she is a bit too loud for so early and late.

8. Tap water is undrinkable and everyone has to buy special filters or bottled water for everyday use. Even so, at every restaurant the first thing they serve you is a bottle of purified water gratis and will always replenish it for free.

There is so much more I want to share, but for now a little taste of randomness that is my new city. I love it here and do think it is the best kept secret in Asia!

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