My FaceBook name though <<<< It is FINALLY summer VACATION! In the spirit of celebration, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to things I ACTUALLY like about Korea! The weird thing about this list is that some of these things are also the reasons I don’t like Korea… These are in no particular order. Literally, as I think of them, I am writing them. Get over it.
- McDelivery– Do I have to explain this one? McFlurries right to your door! DOUBLE BIG MACS! But I definitely do the whole, “Hey guys, someone get the plates, the food’s here!” thing when I hear the delivery guy getting ready to ring the bell. ALSO the delivery guy always smiles when I open the door. It’s like he proved himself right when he saw an American open it…
- Service (Slow and steady, kinda one of the things that annoys me)- The service in Korea is slower than back home because they put time and effort into what they do. Even fast food here takes longer. It’s normal to wait for them to make your food “fresh” even at McDonald’s!
- Service (AGAIN) (It means something else here)- free shit! Koreans have what they call “service” which usually means giving you free stuff (food, drinks, etc) for waiting on an order or if you’re a regular customer..or even a new customer! It’s pretty sweet! I’m talking free dessert at restaurants, free slushies, etc.
- Coffee shops– there are at least 3 billion coffee shops in Korea. They are seriously EVERYWHERE. Korea is obsessed with coffee shops (which makes no sense because they’re coffee is SO weak…) and there are so many themes, specialties, etc. I love it!
- Cheap food– Okay, there is always some debate about this BUT you can get cheap street food, as well as, concession items at the movies. Their snacks and drinks are way cheaper than back home. Also, random foods are cheaper here. Iced coffee, smoothies, fresh fruit juices, etc. If you eat “Korean” you can probably eat pretty cheaply here.
- Street vendors– On my street, there is a whole outdoor market and it is run by individuals selling everything from fruits and veggies to clothes to fresh fish! It’s nice to be able to just buy what you want right then and there, without having to go to a big department store. And these people set up shop ANYWHERE. It’s not weird to walk down a random alley and see a woman with an assortment of greens spread out before her. Love it!
- Fish tanks– Walking around Korea is like being in a low LOW budget aquarium. There are tanks of fresh marine life all over the country. Outside of tiny grocery stores, restaurants, and random markets. The tanks are filled with squid, octopus, shrimp, etc. I love aquariums so maybe I’m too excited about this…
- Taking a “rest”– When your co-workers want you to f*** off, they tell you to “take a rest.” Hearing this is music to every foreigner’s ears! They’re basically saying, “Hey we have no use for you, so go play at your desk while we pay you.” Pure bliss.
- Cups of chicken– Dakgangjeong. Literally cups of delicious fried chicken! I could live off of this snack. I already miss this piece of Korea and I’m still here! Koreans love fried chicken and they make some of the best I have ever tasted! Plus, these stands are usually posted up in subway stations, markets, random street corners- they’re like hookers…only you leave full, not empty. That’s a dirty joke that works on too many levels…
- Daiso– Daiso is kind of like if you mixed Target and Walmart and a dollar store, except everything is ridiculously cheap. It’s basically this chain of dollar stores from Japan that has everything your heart could ever desire. It’s definitely one of those places where you run in to grab a toothbrush and leave with a new puppy and some tupperware.
- Department stores– Korean department stores are amazing and I would definitely try to hide in one of them and camp out over night. They are really beautiful and HUGE and they have movie theatres and some brands from back home that hit you right in the feels! Also, JAMBA JUICE! I don’t even like Jamba Juice that much, but seeing it brought half a tear to my eye.
- Beauty products/services- Beauty and image are so popular out here that it’s basically a science. There is a beauty product/ service for everything out here and 9 times out of 10, it’s going to work and it’s cheap! They have so many different eyeliners, lipsticks, mascaras, nail polishes, EVERYTHING/ANYTHING! I wish I knew what half of this stuff did so I could really get involved but it’s probably better for my bank account that I don’t…
- No Kardashians- Mentioning them is probably not helping the epidemic BUT there is just no mention of them anywhere! Unless I bring it up, Korean people largely have no idea who the Kardashians are and it is sooo refreshing!
- Chopsticks– I kinda hate forks now EXCEPT if I’m eating pasta! Even though pasta is kinda like eating noodles… Chopsticks are amazing and I barely even think about forks anymore.
- Public transportation- SO, SO good! I personally hate driving and love to be driven everywhere, so Korea is perfect for me. The buses definitely give me the worst motion sickness ever BUT they get you to wherever you need to go. The trains are great too! You don’t need a car out here, which is perfect because I can’t afford a driver- yet.
- You really feel like you’re in Asia– because you are BUT in those moments when it hits you, it’s really amazing. Sometimes you’re just walking along and BOOM you see an Asian-looking house and it’s cool because it’s real and not just some design. Also, seeing people bow and eat with chopsticks and seeing street vendors and all of the other stereotypical stuff!
- Nature (also one of the things I hate)- There are insects and trees and breezes and shit all over Korea and while I don’t thoroughly enjoy nature, it is nice to sometimes stumble upon a beautiful park or just see mountains in the distance. Korea loves nature and they really have some beautiful scenery out here.
- “Two Weeks Notice“- one of my FAVE rom-coms and it’s on the Korean Netflix.
- Islands/Beaches- It’s kind of cool that you’re never really that far from an island or a beach here!
- Korean kindness– when they’re not staring or cutting you in line, Koreans are actually some of the kindest people I have ever met. There’s been multiple occasions where I am actually shocked at how kind they are and how concerned they are with your well-being
- Convenience stores– the food is actually edible and super cheap!
- Bowing– So much easier than actually waving or saying “Hi”
- Respectful kids– MOSTLY. Some of them are still little shits -_-
- Service button at restaurants- In Korea, most places have a button on the table that you just push when you want to call your server over. It’s nice because they come right away and it makes sense and no one is interrupting your meal to see if everything is okay, etc.
- No tipping- Korea has a non-tipping culture and I have to say, it is still hard for me to NOT tip! Just a few months ago, I made my living this way and it’s definitely hard to get out of the habit of tipping and WANTING to tip! But it is nice.
- Cheap cabs- In Daegu, cabs are super cheap. What would be considered a $10 ride back home is something like $3.50 here. I think they’re even cheaper than Uber, which is good because there is no Uber here!
- Slippers in school- My mom did not allow us to wear pajamas or slippers with socks in high school SO I’m definitely making up for lost time in Korea! The teachers all wear slippers while inside of the school and students change into different shoes. Basically, no outside shoes inside and no inside shoes outside. Seriously, people would rather walk around barefoot than wear their outside shoes inside of the school. It is so comfy to walk around in sandals at school. I highly recommend the U.S. adopting this style!
- Squid- Dried squid, grilled squid- it’s all good and Korea loves it and so do I! I get grilled squid at the movie theater instead of popcorn and I buy packs of fried squid from the supermarket, I love it!
- Free samples– I feel like Korea gives out more free samples than back home. But then again, I just love free samples in general. They give out food and beauty products. They give out samples in bakeries, restaurants, grocery stores. I love free shit and you do too and they love it to hand it out here so it’s all good!
- SOUTH AFRICANS– This one weirds me out when I talk about it BUT I thoroughly have a weird respect for South Africa and its inhabitants. Maybe it’s because I love “The Color of Friendship” or because I think it’s so fascinating that all of these people have amazing accents and come from Africa and they have tribes and are super blunt and honest BUT I just love hanging and talking to South African people and I never got the opportunity back home. I could just talk about and to them all day. Also, I’m dying to visit South Africa and they’re actually from there so it blows my mind.
- Public bathrooms– EVERYWHERE! I don’t think I really have what can legally be called a “bladder” because my body holds no liquids. If I take a sip of water, I just get up and walk right to the bathroom because I already have to go…Korea has public bathrooms EVERYWHERE! I love knowing that I don’t have to go and buy something to use the bathroom or make sure to NOT drink anything before I leave the house because there won’t be a bathroom around.
- Pharmacies- You can just walk in, tell them what’s wrong, and they’ll give you antibiotics FOR CHEAP!!!! It’s amazing!
- No cat-calling– Guys are creeps no matter where you are on this Earth BUT cat-calling in Korea is not really an issue. Lewd stares and gestures are still alive and well here, but it is such a relief to be able to walk around alone without feeling like someone is going to take advantage of the situation. It’s seriously one of THEE BEST feelings ever!
Thirty-three is such a weird number to leave things off at BUT I’m happy I came up with that many things! Like I’ve said before, I thoroughly enjoy Korea and will definitely vacation here after I leave! This blog was set up mostly so that teachers who come here get a more accurate representation of what WORK is like. The country itself is pretty, pretty good!
Since this week’s post is about the things I like, I think you can put together what my next post will be about….