Like any place anyone lives or travels too there will be bumps along the way. Although, I have had my fair shares of bumps and bruises, the highs have been oh so high. Some of those highs came when comparing my home country, The USA, and South Korea. Yeah, South Korea is very quirky and cheesy at times but they also hit the nail on the head more times than I can count. They have hit home runs in terms of food, tax policies, transportation, health, and education. I can’t help but hope that The States implements some of these advantageous cultural changes and governmental policies that have made my life so much more pleasurable over in The Far East.
FOOD – The food is unbefuckinglievable. I hope that sums Korean food culture up. No, but really the food is absolutely amazing and offers such great variety and range that you can’t help but have a smile on your face every time the dinner bell rings. The colors, the flavors, the heat all come together to create an amazing symphony of nom noms. South Korea has more restaurant per square miles than every other place I have ever seen. Because, of this wonderful fact, meals are cheap as hell with a price tag around 5$ USD. On the downside, for the home cooker the prices can be quite steep, especially when buying produce and fruits. The top point is about banchan, Korean side dishes. These very tasty dishes come with every meal, are free, and you can get unlimited refills of them. A buffet at every restaurant….who could ask for me than that?!
TAXES – When I was backed in The States I was always aggravated by either having change or not having change in my pockets. On top of that, I have always had to multiply my soon-to-be-mine item’s price by 1.07 to get the “correct” cost. Well, in South Korea I do not have to do any simply math or have jingle-jangle in my pockets because they have taxes added into the price. Wham-Bam, all I have to do is give them those bills and I am done. I can not believe we do not do this in The States. It is so simple and efficient to just have the price right there in front of you with no confusion. America implement ASAP.
TRANSPORTATION – Transportation in South Korea is outstanding. All forms of transportation are cheap, effective, efficient, and clean. The taxes are usually 2.50$ USD for the initial fare and the price slowly ticks up with every kilometer. My fares for moderate distance travel are no more than 15$ USD. The subway system is also fantastic. It is cheap, on time and extremely convenient. Although the subway is bad ass, it does close down between 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. This aspect of the subway is inconvenient, but when the subways close down you simply can use the cheap taxis. I have only had great experiences from using taxis and public transportation in South Korea.
HEALTH – Everywhere, everyday you will see ajumma (middle-aged women) and ajoshi (middle-aged men) completed decked-out in colorful exercise attire either hiking or working out on communal exercise machines. These machines are are ubiquitous. They are in ever city and town no matter how small. Exercising is a strong part of Korean culture. The idea of maintaining body, mind and spirit is an integral part of Korea. This exercising mentality should really be extended to all countries. It is quite nice to see a great amount of middle aged and up citizens caring about themselves and their well-being. It’s truly inspiring to see them push and strain to maintain. I am sure their exercise culture has helped to keep South Korea one of the least overweight countries on the planet.
EDUCATION – Although there are massive issues with the South Korean education system, it still does continually produce extremely high scores in mathematics, reading and science. The downsides range from oppressive amount of school and home work to extreme degrees stress that have lead to a high rate of suicide amongst Korean teens. It can be very difficult to see the light through the darkness in the South Korean education system but there are a few highlights. Like I said, students from South Korea continually score extremely high in math, reading and science. This has helped to fuel their economy and their country, which has very, very few natural resources. They also have a great respect for education, teachers and knowledge. They respect truth and fact a lot, although they tend to be quite superstition. Lastly, their system teaches a great deal of dedication and commitment, which is taking oh so much nowadays. Children learn to push hard for what they want and never give up. The downsides are huge but the scores speak for themselves.
BEAUTY – South Korea has some of the most beautiful people on the planet. South Korean women are extremely beautiful from head to toe. They take care of themselves completely. They exercise regularly. They have amazing genetics and it is blatantly obvious but the sheer quantity of beautiful women. Now, I can say without a second thought in my mind that I see celebrity and model quality beauty ever single or ever day on the subway. I really have a hard time finding women that are not knock-out beautiful, and I am not particularly attracted to Asian women which says a lot. And for the ladies, the men are very handsome as well, although they can be quite feminine in appearance. It would not surprise me if their was something in the water over here in South Korea.
South Korea has a lot to offer and teach the world about quality living. There is much to be learned from a country that not too long ago, about 40 years, was extremely poor and without appeal. The country has advanced in so many ways in such a little time because of strong principles. South Korea, on so many fronts, seems to present logical and practical advancements without compromising integrity. Now, there are a lot of nonsensical positions South Korea takes on a variety of subjects but the ideas they get right, they get super right.