One thing that I love about Seoul is the abundance of not only restaurants, but STREET FOOD!! The first night we arrived we walked a few feet from the entrance of the hotel to find street food for us to eat around midnight, and although we had no idea what we were eating it was absolutely delicious. The first night definitely set a high standard for the rest of the week. As the week has gone on I have ventured through the markets trying food from many different stands and have yet to be disappointed. This fast, convenient way to eat has been one of the highlights of my trip.
I think one of the most surprising things I’ve noticed while being here in Seoul is the lack of trashcans. It is like playing where’s Waldo to find a public trashcan. The main streets are surprisingly clean for not having any trashcans in sight. I was so confused as to how the streets and subway could be so clean with no trashcans, but I soon realized the moment you turn down an alley there is piles of trash. In Korean culture they think that even having trash cans out on the street creates an illusion of dirtiness and that is why they don’t have them out.
I also expected for our group to be looked at in weird ways more than we have. Not many people stop what they are doing to stare at our group of American students. There have been some times when we have gotten stopped to take pictures, but not as much as I was warned about. The people I do notice staring at us tends to be the older generation. One of the times we were waiting for the subway and older man walked very close to our group and stared at us as he slowly walked around our group looking at everyone very carefully. The subway is most often silent. We were on the subway one day during rush hour, the train was packed, and you could have heard a pin drop. It is surprising to me how no one talks on the subway.