I have exciting news! I am going back to South Korea this summer! This time it won’t be for a summer school but instead to visit my bestie Brittany who is living and working there, teaching English (she also has a great blog, you should check it out). Brittany lives in Busan, a city on the south coast of the country, meaning I will get to visit a new city, but we have plans to go to Seoul for a weekend, where I will get to visit the places we went to two years ago, and also meet up with Summer School friends! I am so ridiculously excited! (Can you tell from all the exclamation marks?!!!!)
So in honour of this upcoming event, this post is going to be all about the things I miss about Korea, and all the new things I want to try.
Of course, the most important thing that I miss from my time in Korea in 2013 is the people. Beyond and above anything else, the amazing friends I made during the summer school two years ago completely made my trip. My experience would have been completely different (and much less crazy!) without them all, and it goes without saying that any time I spend in Korea again will also be different. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet such an awesome bunch of people from all over the world and I have no doubt made some friends for life. I love and miss you all!
2. Korean Food
Anyone who knows me knows I rather enjoy my food, so it should come as no surprise that Korean food came a close second to the people on the list of things that I miss. We have Korean restaurants here in Europe, and I have found a very good, reasonably priced one here in Paris, but it’s never the same as it is in Korea. Samgyeopsal, tteokbokki, bulgogi, bibimbap, dakgalbi, bingsu and that amazing coleslaw-like side dish…you hold a special place in my stomach’s heart and I cannot wait until I can eat you all again.
3. Public Transport
The public transportation in Korea (or Seoul, at least) is pretty darn good. The Seoul subway was immaculate; so clean and quiet, and I have not found another like it. The buses, while I rarely used them, were also very, very good. There is, however, one thing in particular that I miss about the public transport, or more specifically the subway, in Korea: the little jingles that play when the train is arriving. It goes without saying that this song quickly became one of my favourite YouTube videos after I came back last time:
4. Cheap Alcohol
Yes I am a student, how did you know? But seriously, the price of alcohol in South Korea is pretty damn low compared to the UK. A night out (or a night in, whatever you feel like) doesn’t need to cost more than £7 at most ($11), mixers and snacks included (of course if you’re drinking with food in a restaurant it will cost more, but I am basing my estimation on our 2nd floor drinking nights – shoutout to the 2nd floor crew!), and the alcohol actually tastes good! Spend that much in the UK and you’ll get some dodgy vodka (looking at you, Glenn’s) and Aldi’s cheapest lemonade…maybe!
5. The Language
As part of the summer school I studied beginner’s Korean language. Before my trip I made sure to learn to read hangeul (the Korea alphabet) so it would make life a bit easier for me, but being there was my first time properly being able to practice speaking the language, and I don’t think I really took advantage of that. I miss hearing and reading Korean all the time in a proper environment.
And there we have it! My list of five, quite general things that I miss about Korea. My suffering will be over in just nine weeks, though! I coming back to you, Korea, so get your BBQs and subway jingles ready.
Until next time,