I was going to write a post about how Korea is different from Japan. Instead, I thought I’d list a few things I have enjoyed while being in Korea for the past 12 months, and put comparisons to one side.
5. Fried Tastiness
While I didn’t ever really embrace Korean cuisine, I laterly became very fond of galbi, fried beef eaten with soup, cooked egg, salad and garlic, and rice. Its a delicious way to fill up, and you can avoid spiciness- although no Korean meal is quite complete without a bite of kimchi, even for a spice-wuss like myself.
4. Autumn Colours
As in Japan, Korea has a beautiful autumn. Trees become swathed in yellows, oranges and reds, and the temperature is just right, albeit for a short time before the descent into the cold of winter.
Of all the areas of Seoul I spent time in, none will be remembered as fondly as Hongdae.
2. Korea Travel- Seoraksan, Gyeongju, Busan, Jeju
These are the four places most people would suggest visiting, and all had their charms. Seoraksan was beautiful, visited at just the right time in winter. In Gyeongju I explored on my own, cycling around the countryside and having a wonderful time, despite some sunburn. Busan was concerete-y, but did have Haeundae Beach. Jeju was tropical, and introduced me to the joys of scooters.
1. Doosan Bears and Baseball
My baseball interest began in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers, but I never went to many games in Japan, as I lived in Okayama- some way from Koshien. Here, though, I’ve managed to go to numerous games in Mokdong (Seoul Heroes) and Jamsil (Doosan Bears). I’ll miss the b’ball more than most other things- its such a shame there’s a total lack of interest for it in the UK.
There are many things I won’t miss- the numerous dishes that are basically just red spicyness, people pushing constantly to get onto trains, the poor air quality in Seoul, the intense humidity of summer and freezing cold of winter- but overall the pluses have outweighed the minuses, and I’ve had a satisfying 12 months in South Korea.