A British Arab 👳♂️ living in South Korea 🇰🇷…. Well, this should be interesting!
Well, this entry will be a bit more personal and speaking of private experiences I had, I lived in Seoul, South Korea between 2010 – 2015, I would like to state that this country is one of the best I have lived in, it does take some getting used to, however, once you settle in and know how to operate and learn some of the lingo, you are GOLD! 🥇
I still remember the first day we arrived, we got to our accommodation around midnight, went to sleep straight away, however, we woke up at 4 AM and starving (jetlagged✈️🥱), the accommodation was on the university 🏫 campus, there wasn’t much open the time (or that’s what we thought), in any case, we decided we will wait till 6 AM ☀️ before we venture out, we started unpacking and flipped through the tv channels (as we expected everything was in Korean!), voila it was 6 AM, we went downstairs to the lobby, to our surprise no one in the reception was able to speak English (the accommodation was meant for foreigners), in any case after a lot of sign language and a few words here and there we got to know where the cafeteria was and how to get to it. BTW there was no translator once can depend on.
Anywho we walked around for about 20/30 min and found the cafeteria, we went in, it was a massive room/hall with rows of tables and chairs, all-metal, there was a smell of garlic in the air (yum?), it took us some time to discover that we needed to buy a voucher to redeem it for food, we eventually bought the vouchers and queued up for the breakfast meal, it was myself and my wife, so we thought lets each take something different and then we can share the meal and get to taste more things, we saw there are two meal options, which was perfect, the Korean breakfast/meal and International breakfast. 🥢🥣🦑
I can still remember this meal like it was yesterday, the international breakfast was hardly a meal, 2 white slices of bread and a smear of strawberry jam on it, the Korean breakfast was much more wholesome and delicious, though it was weird eating purple rice and spicy cabbage (later came to know its Korean name, Kimchi, which) in the morning, don’t get me wrong, we absolutely loved the whole thing. That was our first experience of eating Kimchi, a staple food of the Korean Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner table.
I will be honest, the first 6-12 months was SUPER TOUGH, luckily I went there with my wife, she was studying in the university and for me, well I didn’t have much to do, I just finished university, I tried to get a job but it was difficult as I need a master degree (well that’s the excuse I got). I wasn’t able to do so.
We were living on the university campus which was great, we got to know all the foreigners who are studying at the university, we quickly had a group of friends and a support system in place. This was great, it made it easier to find out how to live and navigate life in Korea.
It was absolutely amazing going around the local markets, discovering the local community around the university, I felt like I was a child in a candy store, if you love food and exploring new flavours, colours, and the culture of food, then Korea is a must, I can go on and on about the food, I will be posting more about it so stay tuned!