There are many things that are new to me, but normal here.
One is the trash system. It depends on each neighborhood, but in my area, food trash goes to the green bag, and others go to the orange bag. We have to purchase these specific bags at a store. The trash bags are disposed outside the apartment, but recyclables go to the basement, where they are divided into eight boxes… I’ll have to bring a dictionary next time to figure out what each box is for!
Several things nest on the sidewalk in Seoul. There are food stands on every big street. The food stands take up half of the wide sidewalk, and some of them have plastic chairs around them, so you could eat your dinner right in the middle of the sidewalk. There are also fruit stands sold in baskets or luxurious boxes (all too expensive compared to California…), bags, clothes, and shoes sold for around $10~$30 (my friends told me that the quality is not great), and even a fortune-telling booth. Another thing that gets in the way on sidewalks are cars and motorcycles. Motorcycles pass right next to pedestrians, and cars just drive into the sidewalk and park at every angle possible. It’s probably illegal, but no one really cares.
School lunches are different from California and similar to Japan. Every meal is served with the same tin plate that has two big circular slots and four smaller slots. We usually have three to four vegetable/fruit side dishes, one protein side dish if we’re lucky, healthy steamed rice (white rice blended with brown rice and other grains that I don’t know the name of), and a hot soup. My co-workers say that although the school lunch is healthy, it is the worst Korean food that they’ve had. But so far I have enjoyed every bite of it (except for the bitter leaf)!
More things about “Living in Korea” coming soon!