Back before there was I Am Bmac, I would randomly post notes in Facebook. Well, this is one of my favorites that I wrote over two years ago, and I thought it really should go in my blog.
In case you need a little background…
I spent most of 2009 planning my move to Seoul, South Korea to teach English. I had everything lined up, and I was ready to go! I mean, I love Asia, so how could this go wrong? Ha!
So, I went to Seoul for a little five-day excursion to check everything out before the big move, and I made some acute observations while I was there (that’s where this Top 40 list comes from). In the end, I had some personal conflicts (that I’m sure I’ll write about some day) that kept me from going, but I still had a great adventure!
And now I present Bmac’s Seoul Top 40…
40. Every Korean must be wearing size 9 Chucks because all I could find in the whole city were 8 1/2s and 9 1/2s.
39. Perms apparently came back into fashion, and no one bothered to tell me. Oh, and orange hair, too. On men.
38. There is some kind of rice wine that is absolutely delicious! Mashitta! But I don’t think its cool to drink it. So what if only old people and homeless people drink it?!
37. Learning Korean is one of the Top 3 hardest languages in the world to learn.
36. Lots of pork – everywhere.
35. They are very afraid of swine flu. If I coughed even once, they would insanely scatter and immediately put on their masks.
34. Convenient stores actually have healthy food. Seriously.
33. No matter where in the world you go, university districts are always the coolest.
32. The Incheon airport rocks! Probably the best one in the world!
31. I am somewhat terrified of this country because of the language barrier. No one here speaks English. Would I have been this scared in my early 20s?
30. No one in Seoul haggles you about anything. It felt very odd not having to be on the defense 24/7.
29. They really hate the Japanese. They will tear down a beautiful, old Japanese building and put up a glitzy-trashy Korean one. Just because they hate them.
28. These people love some neon lights. Subtlety is not their strong point. This place may be too gay even for me.
27. There really is no culture or heritage in Seoul. Since the city was destroyed in the Korean War, almost everything has been built since the 1960s. Guess they thought since they can’t have history, they can have neon.
26. They do not listen to American music. Only trashy Korean pop.
25. I take it back. They love Taylor Swift. She was playing everywhere.
24. Taxi drivers don’t speak English, Tagalog, or Spanish. Trust me, I tried all three unsuccessfully.
23. They try really hard to be Western, but they don’t quite make it.
22. Did anyone know Bennigan’s was still around? It is alive and WELL in Seoul! They are everywhere, and Koreans love that shiz!
21. Uniqlo is fantastic. Who knew I was Japanese-sized?
20. On the Border is better in Seoul than anywhere else on Earth. Seriously. Mashitta!
19. Probably the best subway/bus system in the world.
18. Such a walking city. This may be the only place on Earth where I could be skinny (er).
17. There are a lot of hills in Seoul. For more info, refer back to #18.
16. Everyone is so damn professional. I knew I was among Filipino friends when I boarded the flight home to Manila, and it sounded like a club in Malate. Poker Face, Single Ladies, and Battlefield were all blaring and everyone was singing and dancing.
15. Spicy food. Like – put cajun food to shame – spicy.
14. Apparently Samsung owns the entire country. Who knew they made cars, electronics, and clothing?
13. Neighborhoods are very much themed and very blatantly stated. For instance, there’s “Good Chicken Here”. Guess what you do there? And don’t forget “Hooker Hill” and “Homo Hill”. Guess what you find there!
12. Haute couture doesn’t even begin to describe it. Koreans wear heels even to the grocery store. Filipinos wear Crocs everywhere.
11. All Koreans are thin.
10. There is no crime here. Seriously.
9. Nothing is dirty here. Seriously.
8. Nothing is scary here. Seriously.
7. I can’t decide if #s 8, 9, and 10 are a good thing or if they make for one gigantic, boring city.
6. Old people here are crazy fabulous. They wear the most flashy, inappropriate clothes, and they ROCK that stuff!
5. Koreans are not really the annoying, snobby bitches they’re made out to be. They’re just bad tourists.
4. Kimchi. Everywhere.
3. Wow! This is big. 25 million people!
2. 25 million people moving at Bryant-speed.
1. Now THIS is Asia. Sorry, Manila, I’m not sure what you are. Maybe you’re Mexico.