Updated: Feb 18, 2021
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad!
5. Restaurant Service
What used to shock me is now somthing that I expect when eating out at restaurants in Korea. Fast and excellent service. The food is prepared in a timely manner and the wait staff is only a call away. Literally. Most restaurants and eateries have call buttons at every table. This way you're not straining to make eye contact with a busy waiter or waitress to get their attantion. Simply press the call button, a bell will ring, and your waiter is at your service. Another bonus is that most establishments offer free side dishes with any meal. For example, this could include, kimchi, pickled radish, bean sprouts, fish cake etc. All of these are offered as a compliment to the meal and are refillable. Yay food!
4. Food Delivery
Similarly, food delivery is a top notch service in South Korea. Food delivery is simple enough: Pick a restaurant. Make a phone call. Wait. Receive your order. But the reason food delivery is special in South Korea is the expanding market of food delivery apps. Delivery apps like BaedalTong and Yogiyo make ordering food simple and convenient. How does is work? After downloading the app, make an account adding your address and phone number. simply pick the type of food you want to eat, then choose the restaurant you want to order from. The next step is picking your food. Add the item(s) to your cart and place your order! You can even opt to pay immediatly by card or pay directly to the delivery person. Some apps even count down the time until your food arrives. I must warn you though, you might need someone who can read Korean to help if you can't read it yourself. Other than that, ordering food delivery in Korea is as easy as one, two, three!
3. Public Transportation
As someone who hates driving in America, I greatly appreciate the option to have someone else do the driving for me. Thank God, public transportation in Korea is alive and well. When I was only a tourist in the country, I was amazed by effiiciency of Seoul's subway system. Now that I am an expat living in a much smaller city, I can pridefully say I have learned the daunting art of riding the bus. I take the bus daily in a fourty minute commute, to and from school. Thus, I have learned how to read route maps and timetables alike. Now I don't mind taking the bus at all. And the best thing about the bus system is T-money. T-money is a transit card that allows you to load cash onto it and use it to pay bus fare. Its as easy as swiping the card when you enter the bus, and swiping it again when you exit. But my all time favorite mode of transportation is the KTX. What is the KTX? Glad you asked! KTX stands for Korea Train Express, and there is no lie about the name. This express train can take you all throughout the country within a matter of hours. There's even an app where you can purchase tickets. There are also different types of trains. KTX is the fastest and most expensive, while Mugunhwa is the slowest and cheapest. In addition, all trains don't go to all cities. Just check your destination and find a train that suits your travel needs!
Being so far away from family, friends can make or break your experience abroad. Having no friends could make you want end your expat experince. While having the wrong friends may leave you burdened, broke, unemployed, or all three. Thankfully, I met an all-star team of friends to keep me level headed and living my best life in Korea. When work is stressful and I need to vent, I look forward to weekly dinner with my girls. Whether we're out on the town, or Netflixing it in my apartment, there is never a dull moment. Although we've had trying times, my bomb tribe of friends have been there for me to help me navigate this exciting and sometimes confusing life in a foreign country. No matter where you are in life, find a set of friends who will be around to hold you down. Word!
The number one reason why I am so satisfied with my life in South Korea is the level of safety I feel at any given time. As a morning person, I often find my self running errands before I head of to work. At six or seven in the morning in Winter, its still dark outside. However, I feel completely safe making a run to the bank or convience store. No problem. On the flip side, I might also find myself walking home from a night out at four or five in the morning. Still no problem. The streets are usually clear and quiet in my city. From gun violence to unarmed robbery, I feel no imminent sense of danger here. Although there have been past cases of stabbings in the news, they are rare. Aside from the impending chance of nuclear war from North Korea, I feel one-hundred percent safe! Too Soon?......Sorry. Thanks S.K.