Saturday, October 3, 2009

Catie: The things we've learned.

When you are poor, do not know the national language of the country you are occupying, and are stuck in your apartment, it is best to knit socks.

(They're done!  See?  I'm so happy with them, they fit better than the other pair I knit for myself and they're super warm, not so long that they bunch up.. I think I'll be making more like these.)

Also a good skill to acquire once the nights get really cold.  And they have.

Someone told us today that Korean winters are very dry (it's been very dry the past four or five days) and pretty temperate.

Which is not what we read on the internet...

Although, so far, we've found that it's inadvisable to listen to internet advice regarding Korea.  At all.  (Probably a useful life lesson overall)

Upon moving here, we have found the following:

- You can purchase almost anything in Korea -- including most food items.  The only exception being deodorant, which is not impossible to find, but is difficult to find and $20.00/stick once you do find it.

- Most people who will take the time to spend hours online making lists of what you should and should not bring to Korea are the sort of people who would rather spend hours online complaining than go taste the awesome local food (not counting Lotteria), get to know the local grocery store (there's a pretty funny Western section), or make friends.

- Dave's ESL Cafe.. not the best introduction to Korea if you're coming here with a level head, expecting the unexpected and planning to go with the flow and enjoy yourself.  It is the best, however, if you want to complain, gripe, and wallow over Reese's peanut butter cups.

Really, we've found out quite a few things.  But those have bowled us over the most.  We could have packed more clothes!

Other foreigners coming to Korea:  Please do not go to Dave's ESL Cafe.  They will have you pack a down comforter and lug a ton of oatmeal.

Not nice.

We didn't pack a down comforter.  But it was highly suggested.

Anyway, other things we've come to find:

- Not all bowl noodles are delicious. So, pick your favorites.

- Is it calamari if the suction cups are still attached?  Oh, well, it's still delicious.

- Chicken (takkogi) on a stick -- amazing.

- Corn Flight is not the same as Corn Flakes.

- That butter that won't melt no matter what you do is actually Korean Margarine.  Stay away from Korean Corn Margarine.  The butter is $4.00/cup but it's also worth it.  It will actually melt, a nice quality to find in butter.

- The local grocery store is cheaper than the convenience store (this is true in America too, so I don't know why we didn't realize it sooner..) and the local grocery store is also cheaper than the Lotte (Loht-tay) Mart, which is cool because of it's sparkly new things and it's three levels (they have these big conveyer belt ramps that your cart is magnetized to stick to and they take you to the second and third floors!), but not worth the price.  Although they do have bagels...

We've learned lots of other stuff, too, but the list would get too long and my bowl noodles are getting cold.  They're spicy beef flavored and they are awesome.  Look.

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