Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8th


First day I got to experience really crowded subways. I don't know what all the fuss is about though. It's just like a crowded bus or any crowded way of transportation. You have to stand straight for some time, most people get quite irritated easily, everybody still tries to jump in at the last second, although it's quite full and about to leave and it's quite tiring to be in, so as most Koreans, I was almost falling asleep standing up.

I went to 서초 (Seocho) to meet with Agnes. Which was only 30-40 minutes from where I stay, but finally a part in Seoul that was a bit more quiet and too be honest a bit cleaner as well. Or at least near the Seoul Central Public Prosecutor's Office. We went to this department store, which was basically a lot of places to eat or get girls clothes <_< [As any department store I guess]. It was the one at the Express bus terminal in Seocho called Shinsegae. As most shopping places I have seen so far they have a subway station inside or really nearby, where the shopping usually starts already. At most subway stations they have quite a few shops selling umbrellas, shoes, tshirts, wallets, something to eat or drink, ... They actually sell stuff to eat and drink EVERYWHERE. Today I saw a food section inside a cosmetics/bathroom supplies store. It was mostly just stuff to drink, which I can quite understand with their hot summers. But you will never get hungry while shopping. If you ever get hungry, just get out of the shop you are in and you will probably see some street vendor selling something quite delicious.

The department store also had a quite large bookstore, but I still get quite freaked out by the 'customer service', where at every few meters there is someone standing to help you. Which is btw the reason why the rate of small crimes such as shop lifting are quite low in Korea. They actually do want to help and give advice. I was looking at childrens books and I saw 'The dog of Flanders' in between a lot of other known fairy tales like, so when I was trying to understand the Korean name (They do tend to screw a lot with English names. Flanders becomes something like Pheulendeoseu, so it was only when Agnes translated, that I understood. But when I picked up the book with the intention to buy it, someone started talking to us (I didn't even know she was standing there ><), and explained that it would be better that I bought one of the Korean fairy tales, ... and some explaining which I didn't really care about. She was quite kind and I guess it was all with the best intentions, but please don't mind my business <_<

I haven't told you this before, but it's a custom in Korea to wear slippers inside and leave your outside shoes at the door. Most people do this in Belgium too, except for the fact that we don't all wear slippers at home and usually store the shoes out of sight. Why I'm mentioning this is because it's quite funny in korea. At every more traditional restaurant (The ones where you sit on a pillow on the ground instead of a chair) you can usually see a bunch of shoes at the front door. At all the 고시원's or homestays the people from my class are staying, again you can see a lot of shoes at the front door or at least some lockers to put your shoes in. Basically at almost every home. I'm not too sure, because I haven't visited a real home yet, but I'm quite sure they do. So you can see shoes everywhere, even at little kiosks or street vendors (Well if they have a closed shop at least, because they would be 'inside', so no outside shoes allowed!) you can see a couple of pairs standing beneath it, which is quite funny if you see it for the first time. (I could just have taken a picture... But well... I'm lazy...). In Europe you will never see this, since people can be quite selfish here and would probably think of a profitable way to benefit from this. It's the same at the table. People all share their food. Especially because you always get free side dishes, which are usually shared. You can never eat them all anyway and why would you be greedy anyway. Joey would never be able to survive in Korea, that's for sure. At the place where I stay, we don't even get a key to lock our shoe closet and everybody can just get in, so at first I was quite worried, but as I believed my owner it is pretty safe. This place may be shitty to live at, but I think if I would ever come to any Korean uni in Seoul not too far from here, I would probably consider renting this place again, since the owner is really friendly and is really good at English as well. Not compared to this place Mike is living at. The owner is, like a lot of Koreans are, just out to get more and more money and according to Mike he also rents that place to people, who cheaply need a room for the night... So that place is even worse than mine, even the neighborhood is worse than mine and he is only a 5 minutes walk from here... He has an arcade nearby though, which I should go and check out one of these days ^^.

Time for homework and I'm gonna sleep early. I guess I will need my rest for the weekend.
Goodnight ^^


  1. lol @ joey comment:d
    again: NO engrish!!! wtf is a department story, you start to sound like den boyden with his achers;)
    wish i was there of da gij ier waar (voor et boozefestijn)
    lol ik ben opt nieuws gekomen en volgens mij denkt iedereen da ik den organisator ben van et boozefestijn omdak ni echt geloofwaardig overkom als ik zeg da ik et ni ben:p (check facebook voor link)

  2. Joen = organisator boozefestijn (ik weet da uit betrouwbare bron ^^)

  3. nice blog btw ma die korean shit (tgeen da wij dus ni kunnen lezen moogde deruit late :p)

  4. Zolang dak mr geen engrish spreek ist al goe. Ik lees die dinge ni na alsk die type. Dus al goe da gij de foute er wa uit haalt ^^.

    Haha. Zou nog kunne, gij organiseert wel meer boozefestijns bij u thuis ;)

    Thanks, kzal der meer achter zette hoe da get moet uitspreke :p.