The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Random observations from my first 15 hours in Korea

In no particular order:

  • These are the politest people I've ever met, and they all really want to speak English. It's like an Asian Toronto.
  • A single LED by the door with a motion sensor makes a lot of sense. A 5 cm step up just inside the door does not.
  • You can't turn off the automatic bidet; best find out how to turn its heater on ASAP.
  • Why get a hotel room when you can get a little studio apartment, complete with British-style washer-dryer by the sink, for $50 a night less? Across from a 7-11, even?
  • I know now why this trip was cheaper than going to London: it's colder here (-3°C) than back home (-1°C).
  • The won right now is 1,061 to the dollar at wholesale. That means, given a reasonable spread for retail, to convert won prices to dollar prices you just lop off three zeros.
  • Prices here are about the same as home for goods and a fraction for services. Express train from the airport? $8.50. Cup of coffee? $1.50. Flaming-hot ramen noodle cup from 7-11? $1.25.
  • Transitioning 11½ hours (India) is easier than transitioning 15 (here). I do not know why.
  • Being an American, it's completely unsurprising back home when someone who looks nothing like me speaks perfect English. This is normal; Americans look like everybody. But here, when someone who looks just like me doesn't speak a word of English, I find this bizarre. Note that I do not find this bizarre when traveling in Europe. I must think more about this.

I have obtained a map and the location of a large bookstore, so I will now explore the city.

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