The Seoul train...back in Korea for a visit after 25 + years
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
My husband has a business meeting in Seoul and so I tagged along. This is probably my 4th or 5th visit to Seoul. I used to come here quite often when I worked in Kumamoto, Japan and needed to buy clothes and shoes etc.. Seoul has changed tremendously. First of all, it is a lot more expensive. Although there are still bargains to be found, lunch or dinner out in a decent restaurant will cost about the same as in the states. I do " back alley eating" as well and I have had great fun in my discoveries. Secondly, it is much easier to get around and to find your way around due to efficient public transportation and decent signage. The subway system is simple and clean and the buses have electronic monitors announcing incoming buses and their arrival times. As an ESL teacher I am amazed at the proficiency of English spoken by most everybody. Most of the kids go to Australia to study as it is less expensive than going to the US or UK. The people are every bit as friendly as I remember. The sad part is that with progress comes the disintegration and dilution of culture. Everybody is talking and texting. Styles are somewhat ubiquitous though not as much "gangsta"
wear. The countryside is where it is at in my book and I escape the city as much as possible. Cling tight to your traditions and your language and your culture. That is the
Seoul/soul of Korea and I like it.