10 Things Korea Does Better (Part 2)

Let’s go ahead and jump right into part 2 of the 10 things Korea does better! Remember, these are my picks, so if you have different choices, write it in a comment below! I’d love to know what unique things you love and will miss about Korea when it’s your time to go!

Judith villarreal eating6. Street Food

As a girl who lived in Austin, Texas for 7 years, I understand how serious this claim can be. These truly are fighting words, and I’m sure I might be shunned from a few food trucks when I go back to Texas. That’s fine by me, though, because I’d pick Korean street food over a food truck in America any day. I love the simplicity of it, and even the stand workers are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.

There’s no pomp and circumstance. No jalapeño guacamole added for 50 cents more on your organic burrito. Your choices are fish cakes on a stick, rice cakes in a spicy red sauce, fried boiled eggs, and the list goes on. It’s easy, simple food that’s cooked right in front of you by a kind ajumma or ajosshi, and I love it.

7. Stationary Stores

I’ve begun a new project on my blog where at the ripe age of 25, I’m trying to learn how to draw and every Wednesday I put up a new project I completed (here’s my latest). How did this new project come about since I’ve never lifted a pen to do anything artistic in my life? Korea took me by the hand and showed me the wonders of stationary stores, and that’s how my creative obsession was sparked. Korean stationary stores are like mini Michaels spread throughout Korea. They sell everything you need to turn yourself into an artist.

8. Movie Theaters

Korean movie theaters are built with comfort in mind. Each seat is plush and comfy with a little hook behind each one so the person behind you can hang their purses or backpacks. The selling point for me is the snacks. In Korean theaters, caramel popcorn is sold and if you splurge on the big bucket you can get half caramel and half butter – in some theaters even onion popcorn is sold. There’s also the awesomeness that is 4D movies in Korea, which is basically a 3D movie with special effects like moving chairs, fog, and special lighting in the theater. I’m now spoiled and prefer to watch all action movies in 4D. I’m cringing at the thought of going back to America and having to settle for regular, boring 3D action movies. Booo!

9. Hospitality

Coming from Texas where we say “y’all” and offer strangers sweet tea, it was difficult to imagine ever visiting a place that was more hospitable than my own home state. Korean culture takes hospitality to an entirely different level in ways that are different from the west. Maybe this should have gone under the 5 things Korea does differently now that I think about, but it’s still such a wonderful culture that I’m keeping it in this list because I will miss it.

10. Open Markets

It’s no secret that I love the open markets of Korea. There’s such an authenticity and culture that flows through them that it’s as if they’re a living and breathing entity. Unlike some of the farmer’s markets or city markets I’ve been to in America, there’s no pretension and there’s no order to the stalls that sit in the narrow alleys of Korea. It’s a complete chaotic whirl of street food, clothes, trinkets, and hagglers. Buckets of spices are sold next to running shoes here. The energy that vibrates throughout these markets are what I think I’ll miss most when I leave.

If you’ve lived in Korea before, do you agree with these 5 things Korea does better? Tell us in a comment below!

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