Thursday, March 24, 2011
We knew Seoul was going to be cool, but we had no idea it would be this cool. First of all, Seoul is living in the future. Everyone is watching TV on their phones. They have electronic advertisements projected that you can see from out the subway windows. Also, there are interactive google maps when you get off the subway so you can look where you're going before you get up to the street.
Korean people speak TONS of English. Between our well honed gestures and simple English from dealing with Japanese folks combined with their stellar English skills and lack of fear of foreigners, it was a breeze to get around, order food, etc., especially when compared to Japan (including the big Japanese cities).
We can't help but compare the two. Japan is definitely cleaner, you can drink the water and you don't get jostled as much. But Korea was still a refreshing break from Japan for us. Korean employees are perfectly nice and all, but they're not over the top saccharine sweet like their Japanese counterparts. We realized how we've already gotten used to the exceptional service in Japan the first time we went to a convenience store and they didn't bag up our items for us.
Korea has coffees and smoothies everywhere as well as bagels, pretzels and other yummy breads. Plus we could afford to eat out and do more because it's so much cheaper than Japan. We stayed in a student area and everyone was dressed in that quirky geek chic style with those black-rimmed glasses. That's still kind of a marginal fad in Japan. Anyways, we loved the food, the sites, the shopping, all of it.