Seriously, what’s more true than drunk writing? Since I am half-drunk/tipsy right now, I figured it’s the best time to write.

Well, although I had suffered from a lot of hardships and there’s a lot of things which I am/was unsatisfied about, here’s a post dedicated purely to what made me fall in love with the city of the highest suicide rate in the world.

  1. It’s SAFE. I can’t emphasize this enough. No matter how “scared” Koreans may be because of recent crimes which occurred here and there, there’s nowhere like Seoul. As a girl, I felt super safe living here. I may get scared at times at the aggressive guys at clubs. But that’s because you sort of have to ‘expect’ stuff like that to happen. But on the street, if you are not willing, nobody’ll hurt you. Plus, it’s perfectly safe to leave your phone on the table at restaurants though you may want to be careful of some old people who MAY commit crimes(unlikely) or foreigners. But at places with a high density of Koreans, you may be a little bit more carefree on your valuables. Even if you left your phone in a taxi or bus, there’s a high chance where you may actually get it back!
  2. The manners. While this may also be a pressure point for most Koreans, I love how they are nice to the elderly. Although some (uneducated) elderly might take the youngster’s kindness for granted, there’s actually a huge population whom are actually really grateful to you when you offer them your seat in a bus/subway etc. Plus, I think that people whom are much older deserves to get respected. I mean, they’ve lived in this world for a longer time and therefore if you were to not respect them, it’ll actually be quite hurtful. Imagine being in the other persons shoes. Treat other’s the way you want to be treated, like how Mr. Confucius said.
  3. The warm people. Yes, there are a lot of dishonest people living in this country and I also remembered how I was disappointed at how Koreans are (MUCH) less polite compared to the Japanese when I came back to Korea after being away for 8 months on an exchange to Japan. At the same time, I was reminded on how real the people were and if they are nice to you, it’s because they are genuinely nice and not being fake. The younger generation may be more polite due to educational reasons but the older generation is actually really nice if you get to know them. I mean, if you looked like you need help, there are actually people who’d help you out of the blues without you asking for it. I remembered how I was carrying 50kgs worth of luggage up the stairs at the subway with plenty of people around and NOBODY offered to help. While in Seoul, I had taken things much lighter and people just help you without even asking because they felt like you needed such help. I am not saying that Japanese people ain’t nice, but it’s more like they are too busy caring about themselves.
  4. The hardworking people. I would say this does not apply to everyone because I know a couple of free riders in school. But generally, I think most Koreans are super hardworking and that’s probably the biggest reason to Korea’s development today despite not having any natural resources. They are constantly trying to improve in their competitive environment and they are all about self-improvement. Although some of them may be too indulged in studies and all, there are a great handful of them who are just very competent people themselves and ain’t all book-smart but actually just very very hardworking and honest when it comes to work.
  5. The affordable transportation. I think this is something the whole world (with more expensive transportation dollar to dollar) should learn from Korea. Not only is the transportation services efficient without much delays and also very easy to understand, the government tries to make transportation to the people as affordable as possible so that nobody will feel really stressed about transportation fees unlike other countries. Dollar to dollar wise, people here earn 2.5 million on average and the transportation is only 1.25k won. It’s just a small fraction and even if you travel every weekday to work/school, you’d spend around 70k on transportation a month.
  6. The delivery services. Have you ever imagined how life would be so much easier if you could buy anything with one click on your phone? Well, Korea turned this into reality. It doesn’t only make us lazier to go out, it gave us a wider option of things to choose from and also easier for us to be a smart consumer as we can easily compare prices of similar products easily to pick out the best deal. Clothes, food, groceries, furniture, you name it, Korea’s delivery system’s got it. Further, Korea is known for its fast internet and also you can settle almost anything online. It’s just making everything much more convenient to the locals living here.
  7. The food. Okay, I must say that after living in Korea for 5 years, sometimes I DO feel like there isn’t such a wide choices of Korean dishes to choose from and the foreign food here is normally way too overpriced to be consumed. But I am also very glad that I am healthy eating Korean food! I am an incredulously unhealthy girl back home. I am not sure if it’s because I have to walk a lot here = exercise, I felt like the food here made me a much healthier person. I get sick much lesser here and I think I owe that partly to kimchi. Or the food here which rarely requires oil to make them. generally, I think Korean food’s pretty healthy judging from how a Korean ajumma told me it’s very difficult to find food colouring in Korea because it ain’t natural. Plus, if you look a bit more, you’ll find plenty of delicious Korean food which isn’t popular in any other countries yet!
  8. The water. Okay, this is a very important but simple point. Water SHOULD not be charged. And countries should make charging for water illegal. Everyone DESERVES to stay hydrated. And we shouldn’t feel stressed about having to order another glass of water just because we do not have that much money. Paying for water is utterly despicable and I definitely do not approve it.
  9. The drinking culture. While this may not apply to Muslims or anyone else who does not drink, I personally think that drinking DOES make you closer and it’s actually the best way for you to learn Korean. It’s true. Plus, a bottle of soju or makgeolli here is at a very very affordable 1 dollar. Everyone can drink and since the drinking and driving law here is very tight, Koreans generally do not drink and drive. So don’t worry about the accidents one may cause. Although rape, violence and embarrassment is still unable to be avoided. Tsk.
  10. The language. Although it’s one of the most difficult languages to master, I find the language itself beautiful (tho my mom thinks it sounds more complicated than Hindi) with its uncountable ways of explaining something. And there are so many things I would like to express but couldn’t because I do not have the right words for it unlike in Korean where almost every feeling you feel can be expressed nicely and distinctively purely just with words.

So here are 10 things I really love about Korea and I probably have much more although I am too drunk to think of anymore and I am definitely going to bed now. That’s all for now!

5 Responses to “Why I fell in love with Korea.”

  1. Fiona Says:

    Hello Jamie, it has been a long time! I guess you have been busy since you’ve been away from blogging for months hehehe XD

    Anyway, I’ve been wanting to ask you if you have graduated already (if you don’t mind hehehe). 🙂
    And, I had this fascination for trains lately since I transferred working in the city and the train here is my favorite transport, only that it is not as fast and as efficient like in developed countries (well that is an obvious fact hahaha). I hope trains here will improve considering we have a new president or administration.
    Anyway, I want to ask your experience with riding trains while in Japan and Korea (and how different are they from each other). Obviously, their trains are way faster, cleaner, and more convenient but what are the other features of their trains that we don’t have (basing from your experience)?

    BTW, the movie TRAIN TO BUSAN was a blockbuster here, I wonder if it is the same in Korea. 🙂

    (Sorry for the long comment, I thought I had to for not being able to comment for too long XD )

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    I’d say its cheap and efficient as they provide the minutes to when the bus or train will arrive approximately here but in Japan it’s on time. you can get to know what time you need to be at the station and what time will you reach. and its most of the time really accurate. although really expensive. I have not graduated yet unfortunately =(. I will try to post more from now on so come back here often!!

    [Reply]

  2. Fiona Says:

    Hola Jamie! Sure I will check your blog and read your posts from to time hehehe 🙂
    I’ve come across your new Okinawa post on my reader. 🙂

    I hope you’ll graduate soon! but that would mean an end to your posts about Korea hehehehe unless you’ll get a job there hehehe

    [Reply]

    Fiona Reply:

    *from time to time

    [Reply]

  3. You know who I am Says:

    “Although rape, violence and embarrassment is still unable to be avoided. Tsk.”. I suppose you wana say “HARASSMENT” instead of “embarrassment”, right? 😛

    [Reply]

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