Seoul: The Mystery of Korea

I’ve been in Beijing for a week, but poor Internet has kept me from finally writing this. We were beginning to get the hang of Seoul just as we left, and I must admit that I miss the deliciously un-sauced, un-salty Korean barbeque. Anywho, here are the highlights of Korea’s capital:

  1. Barbeque is everywhere, and most places specialize in one type of meat, like pork, beef, or chicken.
  2. Almost all meals come with an array of kimchi, pickled sides, and salad with mayonnaise or vinegar dressing.
  3. The chopsticks are metal.
  4. Unlike Hong Kong, restaurants do serve water, in metal cups stored in a sanitizing container.
  5. Most people don’t speak much English.
  6. Plastic surgery ads are everywhere (bigger eyes, nose job, jaw alignment, you name it).
  7. Cobblers can be found working away in little pods on the sidewalk.
  8. Restaurants, houses, and offices have a built-in square of floor where you can leave your shoes.
  9. Showerheads are in the bathroom, with or without a curtain divider.
  10. Sheets are thick and somewhere rough, and there is only one (on the bottom).
  11. When you wave someone to come to you, your hand faces down (up is reserved for animals).
  12. The swing scene is huge, with more than one venue every night.
  13. For relaxation, baths, and a good scrubbing, Koreans visit mega-spas called jimjilbangs.
  14. You won’t get phone service unless you have a government-licensed number.

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