In Korea, there is a large population and very little space. This means that there are many apartment complexes with many floors. I live in a small apartment complex and I am on the third floor in this walk-up. My apartment building is one of many in the neighborhood that are all sandwiched together. The streets are also quite small. They can fit about one car! I’m also quite close to a subway station. I am probably a 1 minute walk away from the subway! Overall, my neighborhood is pretty quiet and very chill, even though we are very close to a busy main street.
In addition to being heavily populated, Korea likes to stay up late. Many places do not open until the afternoon and they stay open until very late. This means that my night owl tendencies work perfectly here! I usually do get up reasonably early though! I usually have some kind of bread or pastry that I’ve bought for breakfast. Korean bakeries make this delicious sweet red bean paste filled bread and other delicious pastries that I love to eat!
After lunch, I teach a few more classes and eventually the day ends and I head home. By the time I get home, it is just about dinner time. Now, in Korea, eating out is not too expensive. A lot of times, buying and cooking all of your food can be more expensive than simply eating out. So, I usually go home and then I go out to eat somewhere in my neighborhood. There are MANY places to eat near my apartment. I can always go to the convenience store that is a 30 second walk from my apartment or I can go and get kimbap down the street or ddukbokki and twigim across the street. I can walk a little further and go get naengmyeon or cold noodles. I can even go get Burger King if I want. There are so many options and all of them are delicious! Usually, I’ll go out to eat and then depending on how I feel, I will go back home and rest until the next day but sometimes, I go and explore different areas of my neighborhood. In doing this, I’ve found parks, fun restaurants that I want to try, and small street markets where they sell lots of different foods and goods. It’s really fun to see all of the different things that are in my neighborhood!
Now on weekends, when I’m not teaching, I like to go out into Seoul and explore wherever I can. I’ve been to many different places so far! I’ve been to Gangnam, Itaewon, Insadong, Hongdae, and Myeongdong which are all different districts in Seoul. I just hop on the subway and go wherever I want. Currently, it’s cherry blossom season so this weekend, I’m planning on going out to a few different parks to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom.