Seoul is well known for its hustle and bustle of life, which is a common sight for many major cities in the world. Although Seoul has always been assumed to be a homogenous city, the past few years have proved otherwise. There has been a steady increase in the expat and tourist population established in this capital city of South Korea. However, beyond the tall skyscrapers, busy sidewalks and fantastic architecture, Seoul (like all cities) still operates on a systematic set of rules.
It is wise to follow these rules (spoken and unspoken) and not assume that the culture is similar to those back in your home country just because it is modern and progressive! Here are some important pointers you should take note of if you want to survive in Seoul, especially for a newcomer!
Cars are More Important than You
Cars in Seoul have the right of way, and your very life depends on this. Pedestrians have to wait till the light turns green, whether they like it or not. Especially for the impatient, this is a real test of tolerance for you. Furthermore, the green sign does not necessarily mean you are safe from speeding cars or motorcycles. At times, an unsuspecting car will pop out from the most hidden alleys and driveways.
Always remember to be on your guard and stay alert for random speeding vehicles. It is even more crucial for expats to be careful, since you are new and most probably still clueless to the Korean lifestyle and cultures.
Finding the Perfect Restaurant is Harder than You Think
Don’t bother finding the perfect restaurant. Almost every neighborhood has the similar kind of eateries. You will probably be trying out food of similar flavours and tastes, unless you are going to take the effort of going to a specific food destination (popular and well-known).
However, don’t be disappointed. Just because the neighborhood restaurants serve similar dishes, it doesn’t mean that the food doesn’t taste good! There is also a wide variety of restaurants serving similar meals, and all are located within one block of the subway station. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that!
Don’t expect these neighborhood eateries to have all your favorite dishes though. You will still have to find that one particular restaurant beyond your neighborhood which serves your favorite dishes. But isn’t exploring the whole point of moving abroad? You will never truly know how to enjoy your stay unless you immerse yourself in the beautiful Korean culture!
Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
If all else fails, speak in English.
Although you will sound like the ‘Ugly Western Stereotype’, it is the only way for you to survive in this Asian city. Seoul, however, hosts a sizable expat community and is considered tourist-heavy as well. There will definitely be youngsters and shopkeepers who are able to communicate with you in basic English.
However, you shouldn’t be complacent. It is imperative that you sign up for a Korean language class since you will be staying in Seoul for quite some time. Furthermore, effective communication will enable you to make new Korean friends!
Have a Seoul-ful Experience With Asia Expat Guides!
You will never be able to call Seoul your second home until you have fully adjusted comfortably to your new surroundings here in South Korea. At Asia Expat Guides, we will ensure that your stay will be a pleasant one! Be pampered with our quality services such as the Korean language class, so that you can communicate well with the locals. We will also point you out to local amenities, facilities and convenience stores in your neighborhood so that you will be more familiar with the new environment.
At Asia Expat Guides, we will eliminate all of your worries!
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