Saturday, October 29, 2011

The best tip for expats in Korea and other sundries about living in Seoul

  • I wanted to get to a dog cafe that I knew was somewhere around Yeoksam and Gangnam, but that was all the information I had.  Thankfully, I remembered something one of my friends had told me.  There was this magic number you could call to get in contact with someone who could help you with anything.  In English, no less.  With some minor internet digging, I found it. 120.  I called and, within 5 minutes, I had directions to and the name of the place I was going to, the physical address and phone number of the cafe, and a picture of the map that the awesome lady on the other line sent to my phone!
    If that's not being excellent to someone, I don't know what is.

  • The dog cafe was pretty great, by the way.  An excellent fix for my severe pet separation disorder.  (I just miss her a lot.)  I'm planning on posting pictures as soon as Holly uploads them to facebook.

  • It still makes me feel uncomfortable when I catch people staring at me.  I guess dark hair and fair skin isn't enough to blend in here.

  • I am in awe of the Korean women and of how the wear high heels all the time.  It doesn't even stop them from running to catch the subway trains and the busses.

  • Service.  Korean service.  This is getting extra things for free when you didn't pay for them.  Like the set of mandolin strings I got with the violin set I bought.  Like the pajeon* with the bibimbap* we ordered.  Like the beers with the sushimi we ate.  Or like the cotton pads with the nail polish remover I purchased.  It's always a nice surprise when it happens.

  • This awkward interaction shown below still happens.  I don't really like it.
Comic by Luke Martin
via ROKetship, my  favorite source for humor about the expat life in Korea

*pajeon- (파전)A delicious Korean dish like a fried pancake with green onions and other vegetables or meats mixed in
*bibimbap (비빔밥)- A Korean dish of rice, dried seaweed, carrots, beansprouts, egg, and other vegetables.  It's all mixed in together, and it's delicious.  My favorite is the dolsot bibimbap that brings the dish out in a hot stone bowl.  The egg isn't cooked all the way in this variation, and, when you mix it in with the rest of the food in the piping hot bowl, it finishes cooking while also running its buttery taste over everything.  It's my favorite Korean food.

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