I know it’s been a little while since my last post, but as many of you may know, we have made our way back to the US after 3 years in Korea. Packing up our house and moving ourselves and our dog Gomi halfway around the world has definitely been quite time consuming. You can see the excitement in Gomi’s face…LOL!
We are all excited that to be moved into our house and to have car and all of our household goods back. Let’s say sleeping on an air mattress for a few weeks was NOT fun.
During our time in Korea, we definitely missed a lot of things about the US, but as great as it’s been getting settled back into our house in Washington D.C., we are missing quite a few things from Korea as well. So I thought what better time to share my list of our Top 10 favorite things about Korea!
The number one best and most amazing thing about Korea is how safe it is (except for that one guy in the North). There is very little violent crime since civilians are not permitted to own any guns. I know that you’re thinking guns aren’t the only way that people can get hurt, but overall there’s little crime. One key contributor to that is that there is Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) everywhere!
In Korea, big brother is almost always watching, but honestly it’s not a bad thing. There are CCTV cameras almost everywhere (even in the trash room, to make sure you are sorting your trash properly) and this may be another contributing factor to why Korea is so safe. Secondly, if you were to say leave your wallet at a restaurant and you came back for it the next day, it will most likely still be there with all of the contents intact. That’s definitely amazing. I once lost my cell phone in a taxi and the driver was so kind to bring it back to me, of course I was sweating bullets the whole time!
2. Sales tax
Tax is included in the price and I love that I don’t need to do any thinking about the final price of an item because it’s all included in the price that is advertised, it makes me so happy. And then add on that Korea is a no tipping society and you’ll always know how much things are!
3. Fried chicken
I know you’re thinking that KFC and Popeyes have perfected fried chicken, but you won’t think that anymore when you try Korean fried chicken, which is always crunchy, never soggy, even when sauced. Sometimes I think it’s a weird form of witchcraft that gets it so delicious, but I think they can chalk it up to only making the food to order, a light batter, and double frying. It’s truly amazing! Add in some perfectly fried french fries and beer and you’ve got a delicious meal everyone is sure to love (unless you’re vegetarian)!
4. Cheap and Convenient Food
No matter where you turn, you will find affordable eats everywhere and only a stones throw away from your house. When I run out of milk, we go downstairs to our GS-25 convenience store, when I run out of eggs, we go downstairs to our GS-25, when I run out of scallions, we go downstairs to our fruit and veggie guy. There are over a dozen restaurants within a block of our house in Korea and yes we are truly spoiled when it comes to food. I am going to miss not having everything right at my fingertips!
5. Public transportation
Having lived and visited many big cities, I still think that the Seoul subway system is just AH-MAZING! The cars come frequently, the lines go everywhere, and the subway is pretty darn clean. Even the buses are really easy to use and go basically everywhere.
6. Affordable Taxis
Even if you don’t want to use public transit, taxis are “Uber” affordable!! I mean really, in D.C. a short taxi ride can cost over $10 dollars, in Korea, we have gone so many places for less than ₩5,000 (less than $5.00).
7. Rest Stops
Yes, I know that it’s a little weird that this made it on the list, but Scott and I recently drove from Florida to DC and we stopped at a couple pretty gross places to use the facilities. Let’s be honest, when you’re on a road trip a clean bathroom is worth a million dollars and the Korean rest stops also offer a lot of food options. I mean I also love that I can get a chicken on a stick or a full meal right after a potty break.
You may be asking how scissors are something unique to Korea….well scissors aren’t, but the way they’re used is! Scissors are not only used to cut paper, Koreans use them on meat, bread, veggies, anything! They are an incredibly indispensable tool in the kitchen and since living in Korea I have adopted this at home. Just try it, trust me you’ll thank me later.
9. BYOB and food to sporting events and concerts!
We recently just went to a concert here in the states and Scott paid $14.75 for a 24 oz beer and $5.00 for a bottle of water for me! WTH?!? Where’s my 1L bottle of Cass for ₩5,000 (less than $5.00) at the GS25 that I can bring into the venue?! I will also miss being able to order fried chicken to my seat at sporting events. BYOB and food is amazing!
10. Calling your server with the push of a button
Ran out of banchan? or napkins? Need another beer? Here in the US we have to wait patiently until we see the server and try and make polite eye contact only to realize that they looked right through you… When eye contact doesn’t work, you franticly wave your arms, hoping the server will acknowledge your existence. The worst part is you can’t even belt out a nice loud “YOGIYO!” to get their attention. In Korea, you just push the button on your table or say “YOGIYO!” and your server will come right over! It’s so awesome.
Scott and I also had some trouble adjusting to them bringing us our bill. We almost just got up and walked to the front to pay multiple times….Oops…
Our time in Korea has been an incredible adventure. We’ll definitely always remember the memories of our home away from home! I can honestly say that you never truly get to know another culture until you are fully immersed in it and I can honestly say that we got a true taste of Korea!
Just because we have moved home, doesn’t mean we are going to stop our travels, and I will still be sharing our adventures with you here. Looking forward to more fun and excitement in 2018 from this side of the world!