I'm pretty sure you've heard by now that Korea is amazing. And my list of reasons WHY continues to grow. While living here for the past two years, I've grown to love the culture and the people. Although there are still a few things that bother me, I can't imagine how life will be when I move home. I think Korea actually changes everyone, each in a different way. Here are a few ways Korea has spoiled me and made life that much easier:
- Amazing People - People all over Korea are willing to help. When I was traveling out to the countryside, I even had people volunteer to take me to places because I was with a few girls traveling alone. Thankfully, I haven't encountered any crazy people here in Korea, which means these people I met were actually offering to help out of the kindness of their hearts!
- 4 Wheel Shopping Carts - Shopping in America is the worst when it's the weekend and everywhere is jam-packed. Maneuvering shopping carts can be difficult. It's a pain to try to go forward and backward with carts that barely want to slide. In Korea, and most Asian countries, the four wheels on the cart actually slide side to side and this allows you to move around easily!
- Point System with Actual Discounts - When you use point cards while you're out shopping and eating in Korea, the point system actually adds up to different discounts. The points are used as a credit that can be applied to your next order and the best part is that it works on online purchases as well!
- Roomy Buses - Buses back in America usually pack people in as much as possible meaning there are rows of four seats. In Korea, you can find a more spacious bus with three seats in a row where it's a pair and one single. The extra room on the buses allows for you to control the volume on the TV that is playing as well as adjust the seat. You'll practically feel as if you're sitting on your own sofa at home, except you're traveling to another place.
- Booking Movie Theater Seats - Asian countries offer the service of reserving a seat before you go into the theater. This allows for you to not have to go into theaters early to wait in line. It also allows for you to have an assigned seat which means you don't have to feel rude about asking the person to move their bag and such.
- Soju is cheaper than water! - For all of you who love to drink, or those who know the price of Soju back in the States, it's a lot cheaper in Korea which means you can have a good time at a lower price. Please drink wisely though!
- Making Your Own Parking Spot - In Korea, practically everyone has a sign that lists their phone number, which means if you're blocking someone they'll give you a call so you can move your car. It's a great concept, except when you get a little unlucky and have someone who does not pick up their phone. For this very reason, a lot of Koreans just make their own parking spots across town.
- Free Samples - You get free samples of food everywhere as well as free beauty samples when you go shopping, but how about free alcohol in the supermarket? Yes, there are free samples of wine and beer at the supermarket! It's a bit crazy how they're able to offer so much more just to get you to buy something. I've even seen vitamin samples.
- Workout Machines in Public - Working out in a gym in public allows you to save money and the best part is that the Koreans actually care for their exercise machines. They use each machine with respect and you won't see kids breaking the equipment in public. You'll find some crazy back stretch machines and other machines, but it's pretty amazing how well they all work. The best part is that everything is free!
- Just dust it off! - It's amazing how Koreans know just which tools will make life a bit easier. You don't have to worry about having dusty shoes after a hike because there are machines that allow you to blow off the dust.
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer