Korea

1 minute read

I spent the last week in Suwon and Seoul, here are a few items I felt worthy of note:

* English is rare
* The bus system is not in English except at main stations. Get a transit card (Tmoney) or you're paying every time you get on, full price. With the card you check in and off and it only charges the card the distance you went.
* Floors in all apartments are heated
* No keys on doors, they use a pin code
* Apartment buildings known as dominos are where most people live (usually tall and grouped together like dominos)
* Hof = pub
* Always hand money and accept it with two hands, otherwise you are rude. Same with business cards, and any transaction with strangers.
* Spitting on sidewalks is common
* Streetlights are mere suggestions, scooters take sidewalks as often as roads. As a pedestrian, you are the bottom of the totem pole. As streetlights are suggestions, you must look carefully, twice, before crossing any road.
* Koreans will laugh at any mistakes you make
* Make sure you have charted your path, with fallback, before leaving on any trips; English is rare and Koreans overall are not interested in helping you.
* Strange foods: dog (not domestic, specially bred, tastes like turkey), live octopus
* Popular drink = sho-ju; looks like a beer but is 20% potato vodka essentially, so drink wisely
* Internet is amazing, cheapest broadband is like 20M up and down, nothing blocked
* Cell phone service is amazing, most people have crazy data  plans, as well as a tv tuner on their cell phones
* Food delivery sometimes gives you proper dishware; you leave it outside your door, and they come back and pick it up when you're done!
* No tipping
* No concept of personal space, anywhere. If you go to the grocery store, you will be hit by a shopping cart, for example.