Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's with Korea? Part I

I feel like I've been slagging Korea a bit in my early posts - you know, small apartments, lots of people, EVERYWHERE, tons of concrete (even on the mountains) - you know, those sort of things. So I wanted to set the record a little straighter and try to give a little insight into this Korean adventure of mine.

And in my quest to keep things short, I will be presenting, "What's with Korea?" in several parts, just no idea how many at this point.


So while it is true we live in a very tiny apartment surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of other tiny apartments, that also means that we have everything we need, literally out our front door. In fact we don't even have to leave our building to eat at two great restaurants (one is Korean BBQ and the other is raw fish place) and have a drink in little dive of a piano bar that is literally in the basement of this place (which is why we haven't done that). If there is one thing I will commend Koreans on - there are more, but that's for another post - is that they know the value of space and will squeeze every inch out of something.

And although it does seem we have everything in our building, we do from time to time manage to wander out (especially now that we've watched the four seasons of The Office we picked up in Beijing), and when we do there is no shortage of anything within walking distance. We've got restaurants, movie theatres, more restaurants, three grocery stores, a 6-storey mall, and singing rooms - yes karaoke is huge here!!

There's even one in our building as I believe it is mandated that every building gets one and a computer games room. But we also get an indoor driving range (on the 5th floor), that I can't use because everyone in Korea is right handed. Same goes for the batting cages just across from us!! But we are also a 15 minute walk in one direction to a hiking mountain with those paved trails all over, and another 15 in a different direction we are at a pretty sweet beach.
The one thing I can't get used to though, even after 6 months, is that everything here, is up. But when space is at a premium, I guess there is no place to go, but up. I hope we figure that out in Canada before we encroach on anymore of what makes Canada special - our unbelievable amount of space!

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