Annyeong haseyo, everyone! The Pyeonchang Olympics and Paralympics were exciting this year, weren’t they? They were really moving! In 2020, they will be held in Tokyo, Japan. I expect that it will be a very exciting time for Japanese people.
Did you know that I’ve traveled to Korea before? Unfortunately, it wasn’t for the Olympics, but it was still amazing!
My trip wasn’t for business; I was there with my friend, on vacation.
We traveled to Seoul by air. Since Korea is very close to Japan you can find many cheap flights, which makes it easy to get there. By the way, Korean airline jobs (especially cabin crew positions) are very popular among Korean people, so the requirements to work at an airline are very high. The cabin crew is so beautiful even on local flights because of this! Anyway, it took less than an hour to get to Incheon Airport. Incheon Airport is incredibly big and sophisticated, but since it`s quite isolated, we had to take a train to get to the main city. Well, at least the view from the train was nice. We stayed only 2 nights but we had a great time. Seoul actually is not that big. I think this is a good thing – it makes it easy to visit the main tourist spots. The aims of this trip were to enjoy food, sightsee and buy cosmetic products.
I was surprised that there were so many Japanese people. I almost thought I was in Japan! There were many Japanese signs on trains, shopping malls, etc. because many Japanese people visit, I guess. Myondon is the most famous town in Seoul; many people who work in Myondon can speak Japanese fluently. I’ve heard that many people who work in Myondon can speak not only Japanese but even Chinese.
On the street, some people handed out sample face masks in front of their shops, similar to how Japanese people hand out “tisshu pakku”. When we showed interest in the samples, rather than simply giving them to us, they succeeded in getting us to enter the store by asking, “We have lots more inside, why don’t you take a look around for a few minutes?” I was attracted by their beautiful skin, and before I knew it I was leaving their store holding shopping bags filled with their products. There were so many skincare shops. By the way, according to my friend, local people usually don’t go shopping in Myondon because the products there are more expensive than in local shops.
Actually, the Korean people who I met in Australia took great care of their skin. They would often use face masks, and sometimes they would even take some thinly sliced vegetables and put them over their face. I met an Australian guy who had a Korean wife. He complained that his wife always took their daughter to the hospital just because she got a pimple:)
I was curious to see how Koreans take care of their skin in the hospital, so we went to see a dermatologist in the city. We were taken to an examination room and a doctor used some tool to pop our pimples… and it HURT! We groaned but the doctor didn’t care! After that, they put medicine on our bleeding faces, and then we washed up at a sink. I thought my skin looked a little bit more clear..? The salesperson from Myondon, the doctor and my Korean friends all said the same thing: “The most important thing to keep your skin beautiful is to have quality sleep, eat lots of vegetables, and exercise.”
The food was great, healthy and reasonably priced; I ate everything from meat to sweets. But the food was so spicy! I finally realized why this country loves spicy food – they put spices in everything! We could find kimchi everywhere and when we went to the supermarket, we could find many kinds of “Shin” ramen. I was interested in their kind of tea as well. There was everything from sweet “yuzu” tea all the way to regular barley tea. This country has a big tea culture too.
How about “Traffic”? In Korea the traffic lane is on the right, so the Korean people I met in Australia had a hard time switching to the left lane. They would say, “It was a little hard when we started to drive here.” Also, Koreans tend to drive a bit aggressively in general. I thought they drove too fast. Some of my Korean friends told me, “You must be careful when you cross the road in Korea.” One of my friends’ parents passed away in a car accident so I think it`s an important thing to always keep in mind.
I definitely want to visit Korea again. It was comfortable and enjoyable for me. We are actually going to start a new Korean language class at the cafe starting this April. Let’s learn Korean language and more about the culture together!
I really want to talk about Korea more, but I am going to finish here today. Because everything I’ve written here is my own subjective opinion, I really hope you can see it in person, then you can confirm for yourself whether what I’ve said is true. As one of my friends says, “Seeing is a thousand words!”