Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 Things I Miss About Living in Korea

This summer marks three years that I returned from living and working in Asia. I've been thinking about travel a lot lately and I came up with this list of the top five things I miss about living in Korea.
1. Delivery 24/7
Now whether I could actually order delivery over the phone and describe where I live (considering Korean neighbourhoods generally don't have street names) is a whole other issue... but I appreciated the option of McDonald's delivery and always got a kick out of seeing those guys scoot around.
Scooter delivery year round! Notice the little heaters on the back?
2. Hilarious people watching
I moved to Korea not knowing a soul (remember when I talked about seizing the day?) so I had quite a bit of time to myself when I would go off and explore. As I've mentioned before, one of my guilty pleasures was and still is people watching. I especially grew to love it when I lived in Korea because I was in my own little world anyway, unable to understand any of the conversations around me, so I would just observe people imagining what their lives were like or where they were dashing off to.

The funniest people who usually caught my eye were the adjumas (old Korean women) with their face masks, extreme sun visors, parasols, and gloves (in the summer, mind you) and the adjishis (old Korean men) with their toe socks, sandals, and arm sleeves. Anything to avoid a tan!
Getting ready for a morning hike

3. Alcohol in corner stores
My American friends are probably thinking, "Um that's no big deal," but us Canadians know exactly what I'm talking about! Ontario is quite strict about where and when we can buy alcohol. I really miss having (cheap!) beer, wine, and soju available any time all the time. I especially enjoyed making a quick pit stop on my walk home from work, cracking open a cold Hite beer, and taking a minute or two outside a convenience store to catch up with friends.

4. Amazing Korean food
Living in Seoul, Korea certainly had its perks and the vast array of affordable restaurants at my fingertips was definitely one of them! Dak galbi (chicken, veggies, cheese, and rice stir fry) and kal meggi sal (BBQ beef? pork? I don't even know. But it's fantastic and so tender!) are my absolute favourites.

It's all about communal eating in Korea

Our feast of roasted duck on Christmas Day. Not an easy feat with chopsticks but so worth it
5. New friends and amazing night life
Expat life in Korea is like a second university. If you live out in the boonies I suppose it might be different, but living smack dab in the middle of the capital city was awesome for meeting new people. Now that I'm older and would consider myself a "young professional", I find it quite difficult to make friends as easily as I did in university or abroad. I'm talking about those good friends that you connect with right off the bat and could chat with all night long... they're rare to come by. But despite expat life in Korea being so transient in nature, I really bonded with some spectacular people (locals included) and am so happy that our paths crossed.

Dancing with friends in Hongdae; getting muddy at Boryeong Mud Festival
Any other ex-expats out there reminiscing about life abroad?

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  1. Korea sounds like a cool place to visit. I've always wanted to go to Japan since writing a report on it in HS. :-) I know those are two different places. ;-)


    1. Mo your comment made me laugh out loud. PS: I want to go to Japan too!

  2. I have plenty of friends from Korea, it seems like a very fun place to visit. Hopefully I will one day :)

    xx Donald

    1. It's a blast! And of course very culturally rewarding as well :) Let me know if you need any recommendations.

  3. Fantastic photos!!!

  4. Have you seen the latest craze in China? Introducing the Face-kini, the highlight of people watching!!

    1. LOL!! Carly I burst out laughing at these pictures. Thank you for this link, I'm going to include it with my favourite post roundup for this month!


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