Monday, July 20, 2009

Random impressions of South Korea

Random thoughts, pictures and impressions.

  • It costs Rosie $7 a day in gas to get to and from her school.
  • To pay for a product or service, offer the money in your right hand with your left hand supporting your arm. This is respectful.
  • In Seoul, it is common for teenage girls to get "calf reduction" surgery as a gift from their parents. They actually remove part of the calf muscle to make the leg look sleeker and more attractive. I am now surreptitiously peeking at legs and wondering, "are those real? Or reduced?"
  • There are very very few red or blue cars. There are also no pickup trucks. There are a disproportionately large number of cars in a color I affectionately refer to as "70's Wasabi."

  • With the exception of the ridiculous feasts (the neo-historical complex in Daejeon and the Nepalese restaurant in Seoul), none of our meals here have cost more than $10/person. Yet land is so expensive that in parking garages, they often have rotating setups like this. You park your car on the lift and they rotate it around. All I can think about is Super Mario World, trying to jump on the Koopa Kids' heads.

  • Food is just weird. Nuff said.

Why octopus flavored potato chips?! Why?!

Beautiful and delicious donut products. Usually filled with cream or chocolate. The kolache is amazing, too. "Paris Baguette"s are everywhere.

  • If it's in English, it's probably wrong.

Things I don't like about Korea:
  • they don't have single use paper towels in public restrooms; they have cloth hand towels. I can't imagine how unsanitary those are.
  • NOBODY covers their mouth to cough or sneeze. They don't want to get their hands dirty.
  • Driving. Aggression is the only rule that's obeyed and I am really astonished I haven't been involved in a collision yet. Red lights are mostly treated as stop signs--or pause signs. If you want to turn left (through oncoming traffic), you pretty much do it regardless of what the traffic lights say. I'd be on Adderal and Xanax all day just to commute. Sorry, Mom, I know this is the last thing you'd want to hear! At least we do a big chunk of our transportation on bike, which is really much safer--the only thing to worry about are soft, tender pedestrians. :)


Dan Zielinski said...

hehe bi bim bop... great pictures!

Rob McGeachin said...

I recently saw a suggestion from CDC to limit spread of swine flu that people should cough or sneeze into the crook of their left arm instead of hand so you don't touch stuff with the "sneeze recepticle". Makes more sense than just letting it go into the air.