I am not in central Seoul, but my area still seems like a big city to me since I grew up in suburban towns where houses were no more than two-stories high. From my window, I can see the big street where multiple buses come and go every other minute in the bus lane. The streets are busy even past midnight. The only time when it’s not busy is probably around 1-3 am. I still haven’t had the courage to explore at night yet, but I’ve heard that the area behind my apartment building is known for their night clubs.
This weekend, I finally got some time to explore my neighborhood. With a fifteen minute walk down south, I was able to find a cosmetics store with American, Japanese, and Korean products, a Daiso, where I get most of my household goods, and many cafes and clothing stores along the way. There were also a lot of street vendors with clothes, bags, shoes, and food. When I walked fifteen minutes up north, I found a river that seemed to be a popular jogging and biking route. There were exercise equipments along the river for everyone, and children were trying to catch some fish with their nets.
Most of the restaurants in the area are Korean food, so it is difficult to fulfill my SoCal food craving (Japanese/Thai/Peruvian/Mexican/Indian/Vietnamese/In-n-out/French Crepes), but I found a Pizza Hut today, so I am looking forward to that. I am also happy that I found a movie theater in my neighborhood. If I ever want to watch an American movie and it’s popular enough to be in Korea, I can watch it there.
After living in Seoul for a few weeks, I’ve noticed that there are big mirrors in almost every elevator. When Koreans get on the elevator, they check their make-up and hair to see if it looks okay. Local Korean friends didn’t realize that they had that habit, and also pointed out that it’s probably there to prevent theft, and to make the elevator seem bigger.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that whenever I walk out, I see at least 10 couples walking around holding hands and sometimes wearing matching clothes. The rumors are true. Korea is a couple’s country. They also have a lot of “couple sets” on restaurant menus. If you’re a lovey-dovey couple in Seoul, you probably won’t run out of date destinations!