Public transit

I took the bus at Ohio State and that was pretty nice.  I had a 30 minute shuttle to just outside my door for three years with the University village system.  And then their was the CABS and COTA so there were always a lot of options for public transit.

And that system, however wonderful it is for the midwest, just can’t even hold a candle to the public transit system here in Seoul.

The first option for getting around longer distances  in the city are the fast Subway cars.  They’ll cart you to just about every corner of the city from Inchon all the way  across Seoul proper.  The kicker is the subway stations are incredibly clean and safe.  The only bad side about these is that they’re only open till midnight so the 5 am subway is often crowded with people going home.

Getting off the subway will often lead to getting on the bus.  Now we have buses in Ohio and they’re alright.  But the buses here in Seoul are really amazing.  They run at frequent intervals most places.  My friend has a like 15 minute bus wait occasionally if he gets out at the worst possible time to find one particular route to take him to a satellite city.

My bus on the other hand is seemingly always there.  Like literally always during  bussiness hours.  The other amazing thing is there is a bus lane through the whole city so  you never wait in traffic on a bus.  Just zip from here to there.

Now, as I mentioned before,   the subway does close early which brings us to the last leg of  Seoul’s public transit system.  The Taxis.  They’re kind of expensive, for Seoul–but a trip across a good chunk of the city won’t even add up to 20 bucks.  Sometimes got to help them get there so if you don’t speak  korean that’s not so hot but whatever.

The nice thing is they do run all night and aren’t any more expensive at 3 in the morning than they were at 6 the night before.

Advertisements

Piracy

Go full size for the full effect of the DVD "store".

So Saturday my friend and I went to the grocery store, that’s not so unremarkable.

As I walked up to the E-Mart, I saw this guy selling DVDs.  The first table had nothing remarkable.  The second table made me point something out to my friend.

2012.  You know the movie that’s still in theaters.   And you can buy it on dvd here for a few thousand won, which works out to a couple of bucks.

It’s basically just a conveniance charge for them printing it to a DVD for you.

Not only that, when I went to the electronics market a week ago there was a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 there for sale a week before it was even out.

It’s kind of stunning to me how  brazen the operation is.  table after table of small businesses built just on theft.  I’m not writing this just to talk about how terrible these people are but no matter what you’ve heard it kind of takes seeing it to really get just how pervasive piracy is in Asia.

What to make of kimchi?

kimchi

kimchi

 

 

I’ve tried about a million different things since I arrived in Korea and I haven’t had a bad meal yet.

I really  thought I was going to hate kimchi because I don’t really like cabbage and Sauerkraut is one of the most disgusting foods people eat in America.  But it’s actually really good.  I suppose it’s good that I like it considering that at every non-takeout place I’ve been to since I’ve been in Korea, even the places serving Japanese or Chinese food kimchi is served.

People keep asking me to describe it to them but kimchi tastes like kim chi and doesn’t really compare to anything out there.  It’s fairly spicy–the peppers kind of overwhelm the rest of the food.

It’s also the easiest food to eat with chopsticks I’ve ever come across.

Speaking of Kim chi the other day I had kim chichigae, a soup that puts kim chi in a red broth with pork and tofu.  It was delicious.  It will also blow your head off with how spicy it is.  I ate about half of a bowl of it and it was about all i could take for spices.

Koreans are incredibly proud of their food, even to the point of absurdity.  Many Koreans believe that kim chi cures diseases.  While it does appear to be quite healthy notions that it cures aids are even known to float around South Korea.  I know, it seems ridiculous to me too.

Korea the story so far

So, I thought I’d use this blog as a space to write about my adventures in Korea so far.  One week in and I’d recommend anyone who’s even thinking about it taking the opportunity to come out here and teach for a year.

I passed training Friday night and got moved on Saturday.  This week I’m going to start teaching kids for April so that will be a real test.   I don’t even know what level I’m going to be on for sure yet as I’ve had the most threadbare meetings with people

I moved in to my apartment Saturday.  I got an apartment in a pretty nice section of Seoul, a mall and a bunch of big department stores nearby along with more bars and restaurants than I could count.

Not only are the tons of Korean places but there is also a Dunkin Donuts just across the street where I can get a coffee and  donut for 2500 Won so that’s pretty nice.

My apartment so far has been pretty sweet aside from the completely ridiculous looking pink comforter.

Josh from training is here too he’s just two floors up despite being at a different school It’ll be nice to have someone closeby as I dunno what I would have done over the weekend by myself here.

I wish I had some pictures to share but I somehow forgot my camera in America so until i start making some money or maybe get a phone I won’t be able to add pictures to the blog.

I’ve met so many awesome people here, everyone from my training group seemed really cool and it’s led to me having like 20 new Facebookfriends or something ridiculous in a week.  It feels like I’ve been here for a year already and I haven’t even started my job that’s how crazy it’s been.

I’ve probably spent more time out drinking in the bars than i did in college–yes I was a huge nerd in college.  Darn it’s a lot of fun here to go out drinking and cheap too.

A first food note.  yesterday I had Kim Chi Chigae for lunch and it was really delicious though spicy enough to blow your head off your shoulders.