What I’ve learned in my first 48 hours in South Korea

-I’m freakishly, perhaps frighteningly, tall and every Korean likes to remind me of this fact

-Cell phones are apparently a status symbol
Every kid in school, regardless of their age, has some sort of fancy cell phone and the fact that I’m even considering buying a used one is “kind of gross.”

-Koreans spend an obscene amount of money on education
Children not only go to public school, but on top of that there are specialty schools for every subject (we’re talking math, art, English, physical education, science) in the afternoons and evenings that many students attend. Not only are these outside schools costly, but this also means that many students are in school the ENTIRE day into the night. I must say I’m amazed by how hard they work, even if some kids do act up in the classroom.

-Korean food is AWESOME
And really spicy and the serving sizes are immense. I’ve eaten more in the past 48 hours than I probably ate all of last week! Every meal, aside from the main dish, comes with several side “salads” that include almost always kim chi, some sort of pickled vegetable, salted and dried seaweed and then a few other fresh batches of something. I’m especially fond of the spicy garlic asparagus I had with my seafood, tofu stew. Oh, and the dried anchovies were pretty scrumptious. Side note: though I’d started eating fish again back in the states this summer, I basically broke veg the second I stepped foot in Korea. There is wayyyyy too much fried chicken and delicious looking barbecue that my tongue was instantly watering to try.

-There is roughly a million and one different kinds of instant coffee
Seriously, just wait until I snap a photo of the “coffee” aisle at my local E Mart and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s insane.

-Beer in Korea is, unfortunately, quite expensive
I’ve never been entirely classy enough to be exclusively a wine drinker, but, due to the price tag of every beer (we’re talking about $7-$8 a bottle), Australian wine is sounding mighty fine to me.

-The party don’t stop ’til six in the morning
Anyang, the suburb of Seoul that I work and reside in, is fairly hip and densely populated both with people as well as restaurants and bars, and though I have yet to stay up late enough to live the adventure myself, apparently people be living it wild until the wee hours of the morning.

-Koreans are a very group oriented culture and doing anything alone is kind of weird
I have yet to go out to eat or to the movies by myself, but I’m bracing for some stares once I finally do.

That’s all for now, but undoubtedly there is more to come.

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One thought on “What I’ve learned in my first 48 hours in South Korea

  1. Amy July 23, 2010 / 2:34 am

    Hey Chelsea!
    It’s Amy from Mars! I’m glad to hear your enjoying Seol and I want to hear more more more!! Don’t forget to update.

    Amy

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