Monday, 9 July 2012

Seoul far, Seoul good

Okay, I've been told it's time for an update as I haven't added anything in a while.
As some of my close friends (and newly formed EPIK friends :D) know, it's official - in just over a months' time, I am going to be heading back to Seoul, South Korea...but this time on a permanent basis as an English teacher!!!
The morning I found out I jumped up and down on the bed! I have so many fond memories of the places I visited in Korea last summer, but Seoul remains my favourite city and I'm so chuffed now I've finally found out I get to live there :D Spending the past few years living and commuting around London, I'm certainly city girl at heart, I'm ecstatic!

So, my final weeks in England are going to be jam-packed with the following;
1) dissertation > need to finish testing & start writing up
2) exercise > have been 30 day shredding like a mad dog

3) shopping > must stock up on trousers, underwear, deodarant
4) packing > simples

Then this...

Quick note about things I remember from Korea
*Restaurants specialise in dishes, so the best ones will only have a few things on the menu - it's best to decide what you want to eat and then find a restaurant that sells it. I can't think of anywhere I went in Korea where the food wasn't fantastic. There was one occasion where we made a mistake and ended up in a 곱창 (gopchang) intestine restaurant on the first day we arrived which obviously was a shock to someone who had previously never travelled outside Europe. Thinking about it, if I plan to eat gopchang this time around as opposed to mistakenly ordering it, then I don't think it'll be an issue at all.
Another thing to add - if a restaurant's popular, expect to queue out the's well worth it!

*Prepare to be one of the few foreigners around....seriously, even in Seoul. We only saw like 4 other foreigners the whole 10 days we were there the first time, and probably the same amount the second time.

*Koreans don't stare at other koreans on the train, but be prepared to be stared at whenever you get on public transport. As well as this, there's some things that koreans do that you won't be used to back home, but I think are awesome...Firstly, they may try to grab your bags off of you when you're standing on a train so that you don't have to hold them - so kind. Also, if you're wandering around looking lost, normally someone will go out of their way to make sure you get to your destination.

*Leaving valuables on show that don't get stolen :S street carts with merchandise left out overnight, phones left on charge at the airport whilst their owners go shopping etc.
It was weird when we got out of the airport to get on a bus to the hotel. We bought the bus tickets and went to the point where the bus would be and this man started grabbing our suitcases and wheeling them away. Again, koreans being helpful and nice but frightening to the unexpecting foreigner :D 

*Usually you get free things with everything, known as 'service'. So you might get free dishes in a restaurant, free phone charms when you buy things in the markets, free water for going into a make-up store :S

*Coffee shops have signs in Korean that spell out English words (e.g. iced latte yum!) so if you learn some Hangeul beforehand it'll make your coffee days easier. This also applies to food orders, make-up shops etc. too.
*Make-up is awesome & so cheap, girls - don't bother bringing nail varnishes or eye make-up.

*Water is cheap, like 15p a bottle

*Socks are everywhere, also cheap

I'd love to add more but I'm exhausted after a long day at uni so I'll have a think about other things and add them in the next post...


  1. So I am new to your blog. But you are going to have a Master's degree and come to Korea for EPIK? I hope you realize that the program you will be in will undermine your skills. You should take a look at the materials available first. However, I hope you get into a school with coteachers who care about the classroom experience and up to new ideas. Otherwise you will be a speaking parrot. Anyways...I'm sure it will be all gooood.


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