Monday, June 4, 2012

Life in Korea- first impressions

We haven’t lived in Seoul-Seoul since first grade. We’re on the #1 Line on the subway (this means we are in Seoul proper!) near 여의도. Seoul is crazy. It is a megacity of over 10 million. And it also spills out into the suburbs which are connected by trains and buses. Imagine if you stitched together ten downtowns with tall high rise buildings speckled in between. Welcome to Seoul.

1. It is never quiet.
Last year I would be getting ready for bed and be almost freaked out by how eerily quiet it was in the neighborhood. So different here in Seoul. Maybe because we’re in a high-rise apartment, but you can hear the cars swishing by in a constant background noise. And birds chirping.

2. If you love night life, you’ll love it here.
Even on Sunday nights, there are so many restaurants, coffee shops and stores that stay open and crowded. Everything is so adorable and creative- even your simplest birthday cake is picture perfect. It’s really all about presentation (look at these cheek tints from The Face Shop):

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3. Cab it.
My dad doesn’t have a car here so we’ve been constantly catching cabs. It is really convenient when you don’t have to drive or park your car. Although the public transportation system in Seoul is fantastic, sometimes when you have to transfer multiple subways and buses, it makes more sense to take the cab.

4. Fashion sense is out of control.
Obviously the women here are super skinny, in dresses and heels with perfect hair. It’s almost overwhelming- here I am a “Sasquatch” (I watched Jeff Who Lives at Home on the airplane). And the men! There are some super-hip preps (think neon instead of your typical Nantucket red) and the most daring (all black with blonde hair). We went to 명동 (Myung-dong) which is a shopping central with tons of foreign tourists.

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That’s it for now, heading out to the train station soon to visit relatives in Daegu!

Here’s an important fact: in Korean, “Seoul” actually has two syllables. It doesn’t really sound like “soul”. Koreans pronounce it Suh-ool.

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