Seoul is an absolute blast so far.
The entire city seems a bit surreal, shrouded in a blanket of haze, a mix of smog and “yellow dust” which is sand particles blowing in from the Mongolian desert.
The people are incredibly friendly. So much so that if you aren’t mixing your bibimbap acceptably, they’ll do it for you!
The subways are the cleanest I’ve ever seen, and play crazy classical tunes when a transfer line is coming up. Makes them easy to navigate even when you’ve had a leeeetle too much soju.
Koreans are also a small people. Everything in our hotel room is tiny (including the very small, very hard bed), and the sink (so I’m told) is low enough to comfortably pee into. The robes are all 3/4 length (though I’m not sure they were intended to be) and the shaving mirror pulls out of the wall, conveniently at chest height.
Everything, everywhere is electronic. Our light switches, do not disturb hotel indicator, transit payment systems, etc. And there’s internet everywhere. Strangely enough though, other than the transit thing, the economy seems to be really strongly cash-based. I have yet to see anyone pay for things via debit or credit cards.
The past couple days have been a flurry of fooding and shopping experiences (why the fascination with designer knock-off socks is beyond me…) and we have museums, cultural tours, and trips to the DMZ, a traditional fishing village, and Penis Park to look forward to.
Not to mention a visit to the Military Officer Academy school, whereupon we will set out to completely embarrass Neil’s sister in front of her students. Seems that sibling rivalry and ribbing translate quite well across cultures.