The longer we live in Seoul, the more things that used to make us stop and scratch our heads, we now pass off as common place. Here are just a few.
Random Trash Lady
Picture this…you are walking to take your trash out and a tiny old hunched-over Korean lady walks directly up to you and saying nothing takes your trash out of your hands and walks away. To this day I have no idea what she is actually doing, but it is a common occurrence.
Had a long night? Want to grab a cup of coffee before work? Wellll…coffee shops are way more likely to be open at 11pm than 7am.
Of the three Starbucks and countless other coffee shops between our apartment and work, only one opens early enough to grab coffee before school and that still only leaves 20 minutes to get your cup o’ life and haul your bootay to work, so you better hope there isn’t a line, and don’t even get me started about Tuesdays when we have to be at work before ANY coffee shops are open.
This has way more to do with living in the city, than living in Korea but it is still new for us suburbanites. It has become the norm to plan our family outings around on our transit. This dictates necessary baby gear, clothing, departure times, cash/bus card/credit cards. We have a bus stop and subway stop near us, so the options are endless. Factors to consider: parking, traffic, and how long before we have to be somewhere. Gone are the days were going somewhere just meant getting in the car.
Also great is the fact that public transportation is basically silent, like you could hear a pin drop quiet. So you can imagine how our kids just blend right in…
It has become second nature to bow in place of waving. This looks like a little head nod/upper body lean in casual situations (i.e. greeting our security guards at school), and a deeper bow for more formal situations.
No Public Trash Cans
This one may be normal now, but it’s still annoying. There are basically no public trash cans. This sounds like a small thing, but as you end up with pockets, purses, backpacks full of trash, it gets old fast. I’m still not sure why this is, but maybe it has something to do with the extensive recycling they do here.
So as you can imagine, although there are many things that seem normal now there are still plenty of things that are anything but, like this for example…
Please note that that man in the wheelchair and the scooter were going the same speed.
That’s all for now. Sending love from the future.