Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Impressions of Korea

  • This place is very hilly, Even mountainous at times.  The weather has been cold and foggy since I've been here, though I'm told that it could get up to 70 or down to 0.  Sounds a lot like Charlotte.
  • This is no third world country.  They've got money and like showing it off.
  • it is very hard to believe the Korean War (that's what they call it, too) was 50 years ago.  I see no sign of it in Seoul.  The base where I am working was built by the Japanese while they occupied Korea in the first half of the last century.
  • The Koreans really hate the Japanese.  Really.  They are not found of the Chinese either.
  • It has been mentioned to me more than once that If the north invades, most of us would not survive 15 minutes.  There are thousands of missiles pointed at Seoul.  It hasn't bothered my sleep yet.
  • The people have something of a complex about foreigners.   I can't blame them. They have been occupied for most of their history, something Americans know nothing about.  They seem desperate for unification and independence.
  • It would help if the cab drivers spoke more English or if I spoke more Korean.  Apparently neither is about to happen anytime soon.
  • This hotel, the Millennium Seoul Hilton, is the best hotel I've ever stayed in, hands down.  The room is outrageously stocked with everything I could need.  There are 8 restaurants on-site.  The staff is attentive, almost to extreme.  Example, the breakfast buffet in the executive lounge (for us diamond members :) ) never seems to run low on anything.  All of the food is topped off before it gets halfway down.  I've yet to sit down before being asked if I wanted coffee.  Absolutely excellent, except for one little thing.
  • They don't seem to know what "Do Not Disturb" means all of the time.  Twice I've left the room with the sign on and they've made my room anyway.  it is an error of giving more than great service.  I can overlook it as long as nothing disappears from my room.
  • I wish they had more choice in beer.  We are much closer to Australia.  Where is the Fosters?  Cass beer is OK.
  • Finally, something that fascinates me even though I have no desire to partake.  Sex seems to be wide open here.  It is illegal, but as un-enforced as speeding in Charlotte.  One of the alleys in the main tourist area of town is known as "Hooker Hill" and you cannot walk past many of those bars without being 'encouraged' to stop in.  You can go to many barber shops, juicy bars (Google that one if interested), massage parlors, and lounges and openly proposition the girls there and I'm told that even if they don't do such things that they won't really take offense.   If only poker were so open here.

That's my impression anyway.

1 comment:

kurokitty said...

How's the air? I remember having a hard time running in Seoul. I also remember the subway having a distinctive spicy smell.