10 good things about Seoul

Posted on January 5th, 2007 in Seoul - 0 comments

Seoul mosaicMy stay here is coming to an end in the weekend. I would be back in Chennai to read Metroplus with a sip of strong decoction coffee on Monday morning. Aah, the joys of coffee and news. Even though I am not here as a tourist I could see quite a few places and interact with many people to qualify for this post.

  1. People in Seoul are really sweet. Even though my interaction with general public is limited to weekends, I found them cheerful, caring and full of life. I think its got to do with the Korean culture. Often people here go out of their way to help you like the gentleman who helped me locate the right lane in subway when I was going alone once.
  2. Weather here is really good and pleasent through out the year. Often during winter times it might become extremely bitter and painful, but nevertheless it gives you an opportunity to experiment with clothes and attires.
  3. Sidewalks in Seoul are just too good. They are spacious, interesting and well kept. Most of the buildings here have huge patios and most of them have impressive stone work outside. So walking along them is a feast for eyes.
  4. Food here is aint that bad for a vegetarian or strict chicken eating folks like me. Barring the fa(s)t food options like McD, KFC, BurgerKind there are a neat number of korean food options like Kimchi, Khare Rice, varieties of Omurice, Noodles and an impressive array of snack items to satisfy the willing tongues.
  5. The planning of the city is a lesson for any city mayor in most of the developing countries. Each building has atleast 5 floors of basements, huge underground parking lots. Most of the subways are 4-5 floors deep in to earth. So much so that I often wonder whether the subways or deep or first they built the subway and then elevated everything else. Whatever may be the case, it just shows the amazing vision of these leaders.
  6. The phrase “love is in the air” can be identified with typical Seoul public spaces. Never becoming obscene or vulgur unlike some western countries, Koreans seems to like the concept of cuddliness and clinging hands together. So much so that, even on escalators as soon the couple take the first step they turn around and hug each other till they reach the end.
  7. Just the sheer variety of dresses and colors that people wear is mindblowing. But again the rule of no obscenity or exposing holds good. Given the korean mannequin like bodies and flappy hair, you feel like walking on a rather long romp with millions of models.
  8. Mosiac - Seoul

  9. “20 years ago if you were taking photos of anything you would have been interrogated by police” shares my collegue in office. Its amazing that Seoul has acheived so much of development and order in the society in a matter of few decades. I used to feel that some of the Indian cities are good and given time they can reach other metros in the world. But now I feel that its not the time that is needed, its the will of people and policy makers that is lacking.
  10. The city looks like an extended “no horns zone”. In Chennai walking back from office to home would usually be a stressful experience with lots of noise pollution for we like sound, the more the better. Here rarely I have heard any noise while walking. Its too good to be true. Its a fine mixture of good driving sense, proper infrastructure and care for other peoples feelings.
  11. Despite being a very large city with 40% of South Korea’s population living in Seoul, the life here has been better and really organized. I think its one of those big cities with out any of the big city strappings.

Next post from India 🙂

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