How is life in Korea? Many friends and followers have asked..Ask me a few months from now and I am sure I will probably tell you something totally different. And I will most likely look back at these postings and be surprised how differently I feel. But today, after trying to settle here for some time now, I have to honestly say that things have not been easy. I think I underestimated how long a period 20+ years is. Just like good friends who have lived apart for many years and find that they have changed a lot – I think both Korea and I have changed so much that it will take a while for me to adjust…
So in addition to my regular Korean food posts (my next one will be on sauces), I decided to blog about my new life in Korea while I am trying to settle down. For each post, I plan to write one thing I like (CRISPY), one thing that I really don’t care for (SOGGY) and finally something about restaurant food (YUMMY).
DELIVERY!! Korea, especially Seoul, has amazing delivery service. They are fast too – even furniture is usually delivered within 2-3 days. From fast food, groceries, dry cleaning to furniture, Koreans will deliver just about anything. And if you were to buy some furniture, not only will they deliver, they will also come and assemble it for you. I bought two book cases from a store and they delivered, assembled them in my home and then even inserted shims under the legs to make sure the book cases were leveled. Now, that’s service for you!!
I think this came about mainly because of three reasons: First, Koreans want everything quickly. Second, traffic is so pretty bad here and similar to people who live in big cities in the US, not everyone owns a car so it’s not easy to transport things – especially large heavy items. Third, husbands are usually too busy at work or not handy enough or just not willing to help at home, so professionals are needed to install or set up things for wives who need help.
So if you don’t like to assemble things or carry around heavy items and have very little patience – Korea is the place for you.
NO PERSONAL SPACE. One of the first things I always notice whenever I come here is that Koreans really don’t seem to have any sense of personal space. People bump into you in a crowded store, on the bus, in the elevator and they say nothing. Some people even push you out of their way to get through and usually without saying anything like “excuse me”. Of course, when I lived here before I moved to the US, I don’t think I was bothered by it at all. But now that I’m used to having my personal space, I can’t help but feel that these people were simply being very rude! After spending some time here though, I think I know why this is. Every place is so crowded here and space is so limited everywhere that if you tried to give each other personal space and not fully pack in an elevator, for instance, that would mean you would have to wait another 5 -10 min to take the next elevator. Also, if you were to say ‘excuse me’ every time you bumped into someone, I realized you would be saying that all day long.
Things have changed recently and I see more people who apologize when they bump into me or will wait for the next elevator and not try to totally jam pack an elevator.
So if this ever happens to you, don’t get upset and think they are being rude to you. It’s just what many Koreans are used to.
After few weeks of eating mostly Korean, Chinese, Japanese and then some not so good Italian food, my husband and I were craving for some American food. While looking for a place to go, I found this cute restaurant that served American Breakfast. The restaurant was very appropriately named “I’m Home” –
We ordered a Set Menu which is a very popular way to offer a meal deal in Korea with drink and dessert included. The honey bread (pic above) was freshly baked (bread in Korea is cotton soft – not sure how that’s achieved but that’s the standard bread texture here), served with a spread made from sweet condensed milk.
After the bread, we were served a combination of pancake, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, hash brown and salad. Served with ketchup and pancake syrup. The pancake was a little burnt and the sausage could have been a better quality (tasted like a store bought cocktail sausage) but we were just happy to see and eat a very familiar food. For a couple hours, I felt I was home…