Korea Thoughts - Good Things and Some Complaints
Past 2 weeks have been insanely hectic for me.
Normally, I check Facebook and Yahoo finance multiple times a day normally but since I've arrived here, I had neglected these dopamine sources.
It's because I've been going to different places, meeting people and was semi-connected (only Wi-Fi). I've never been this busy recently, definitely since I started working.
Anyways, I just wanted to share some thoughts/observations I've made so far.
1. I feel at home.
Sometimes people are rude and streets are as dirty as NYC's, but anywhere I look, I see people who resemble me. Same skin color, similar appearance, and the same language. This is a weird feeling because I still feel like I'm a foreigner when I'm in America. The sense of belonging is definitely what makes Korea special to me.
2. Food options
Competition is fierce everywhere here. I mean, if you put 50M ish people in an area that's smaller than the state of Virginia, the survival of fittest is bound to happen more often. Although the situation here is dire, it's sometimes good if you are a consumer because you are faced with so many options at a decent price. I can go to a plaza and it'll have everything there (restaurants, cafe, barber shop, dentist, pharmacy, coin karaoke...) and even better, there are multiple plazas next to each other.
3. Things are open late
Did I mention that I saw a hair salon that's open until 1 am? If that place is open that late (who cuts his hair past midnight anyways?) you can only imagine how late other places close. Clubs are till 5, after clubs till 11 in the morning... There's no better place on earth to spend money and drink.
4. Soju is cheap
Soju here, if you drink it at a restaurant is less than $4. Compared to $13 I used to pay back in U.S it's still a bargain. That makes me think why I've wasted so much money in vain.
5. No Tip, No Taxes
If you really think about it, you are paying minimum 20% more on food in America due to unnecessary tipping and taxes. VAT (basically tax) is included in the ticket price and waiters aren't tipped. So much better for consumers, maybe a bit worse off to consumers, but what's tipping for anyways..? To create more minimum wage jobs?
1. No trash bins
It's very hard to find trash bins in Korea. I asked my uncle and he told me it's because if there's a can available, it's going to be a mountain full of crap all the time. So by having a few trash bins, people are responsible for their own garbage. But if you come from America, it's pretty inconvenient.
2. Travel time
Although the distance is not that long, traffic is heavily congested and it ends up costing a lot of time to go anywhere. I spend at least 1 hour to go ANYWHERE in Seoul and people say that's not that bad. Some students spend 2 hours one way, to go to school every day. I realized my commute isn't terrible after all.
3. Lack of cold brew
Not every coffee shop has cold brew. As a habitual col brew drinker, I find it somewhat frustrating. Help me spend money on diluted water with some caffeine. thanks.