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Some observations about Korea

Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.: Some observations about Korea

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some observations about Korea

I didn't get to go out and explore today. Babehoney and I decided it was just too damn cold and we were already tired, plus tomorrow morning is going to be a bit earlier than usual. I want to write down a few things I've noticed since we've arrived in Korea. I don't know that any of these observations are universal for Korea as a whole, in fact I doubt they are, but they're some of the first experiences I've had and I want them written somewhere, regardless of whether my loyal reader will one day challenge their accuracy or not. So here's a few observations, some funny, some not, some just causing me to ponder (why'd they do it that way?).

1) The trash cans are kinda intimidating. They take their recycling seriously here. In cafeterias you pile all the compostable food into a giant bowl, then throw your trash in the proper receptacle. It's either PET (Plastic), Glass, Cans, or Wastes. If you don't know the Korean for those items you need to look under the lid to see what's inside.

2) Some bathrooms have soap on a stick. Instead of liquid soap it must be easier to put a bar of soap on a pike and let everyone touch it. It seems kind of gross to me, but they're such a collectivist society and consider themselves as "one" I guess that they're not too afraid of this kind of exchange point.

3) Elevators seem to stop on Odd or Even numbered floors only. I have no idea why. If I need to get from the 15th floor to the 2nd floor I have to stop on the 3rd and walk down. I think this one is kind of funny for some reason.

4) The chocolate tastes different. I don't really know how to describe it, it's just a little...funky? I really like the Crunky bars but the chocolate isn't what I'm accustomed to at all.

5) Pedestrians most definitely DO NOT get the right of way. Motorists will run your ass over if they have to. Motorcycles and mopeds are apparently welcome on sidewalks.

6) Sometimes hot powerlines are just hanging loosely from a tree or building. Kinda different. Stay clear!

7) You'll see like 10 amazingly cool buildings that look so modern they make you feel like an ancient, and somewhere among them is another building that looks like it's about to collapse.

8) It smells different here. I don't know what the smell is, but it's different. Not bad, just different.

9) People watch TV on their phones or movies on their computers as they walk. How they don't trip on a curb and faceplant I do not know. Koreans are amazing multitaskers like this.

10) If you give a Korean even the slightest compliment you make them blush :).

That's 10 mild musings for today, nothing super fancy or insightful, just stuff that I'm sure won't be significant to me anymore in a couple of weeks :). This is a really cool country, the kind of place I've fantasized about relocating to ever since I was home sick from work watching Anthony Bourdain and being happy that I was sick enough not to show up to Pro Dive for 4 days (honestly, if you'd rather be sick you're working at a dump.) It's almost hard to believe that things have worked out to where I could have the coolest girl in the world who also wanted an adventure like this. My life most definitely does not suck.


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