Safety on the sidewalk

I’ll just start by saying that I like the alliteration in the title, but as I am English I shall be referring to the sidewalk as pavement from now on.

Living in Korea you need to be aware at all times of your surroundings. For instance, an unlikely place for unforeseen danger is the pavement. It is not uncommon in Korea to be dodging people, objects and even vehicles whilst using it.

My initial introduction to the perilous pavements here was my foot colliding with the curb. It took several weeks before my body and mind became accustomed to the marginally higher pavements and I stopped tripping up at just about every encounter.

The Korean and the foreigner

Living in a foreign country as an expat there are certain customs that one is expected to adhere to. However the same society that invites them to help better their country and community must offer a certain level of hospitality.

Korea is no different, being an English teacher means you being involved in a trillion Won industry (billion US dollars). Private English hagwons (institutions) are constantly popping up inviting freshly graduated people to teach the next generation of Koreans.


I’ve been in Seoul for roughly a month.
flight- mt.rainer

I flew over Mt. Rainer outside Seattle. June, and still covered in snow. I thought of bailing and becoming a snowboard instructor. The women sitting next to me said Mt.Rainer doesn’t have runs. And nowhere else is open in the summer.

Soldiers on the Han

Expats helping out the Korean tourism industry?

The discussion has already been going for some time over at the Marmot's Hole about an article from the Korea Times about using expats in Korea to aid in tourism / marketing. A second article, published today, was titled "Expats Ready to Help Seoul's Globalization", and is almost certain to garner some more comments or thoughts on the subject.

As a blogger that focuses on traveling around Korea (but especially Seoul), I can't help but say that yes, Seoul (and Korea) does have a lot to see. So does China. So does Japan. So does (insert your home country here). So does (insert neighboring country of your home country here). Take a quick look at how many Lonely Planet guidebooks are out there and you'll get my point:

Question from a reader: nervous about living in Seoul

A reader I'll call M.G. writes in:

Hey Chris, I found your email on a blog sight about Americans in South Korea. I have recently interviewed with the Army Corps of Engineers for a civilian job in Seoul, Korea, and was hoping you could answer some questions about living in Seoul for me. I am a recent college graduate and have never lived outside of the US. I do not speak Korean would like to know how hard it was for you feel comfortable going out on your own in the city to do typical errands; grocery shopping, buying typical grooming items, going to restaurants, sight seeing, etc. Also, I am 23 years old and was wondering if there is plenty for someone my age to do in Seoul in order to meet some other people my own age. I am not concerned about learning Korean for the job since I was told everything will be done in English, but is learning Korean a nessecity for living in the city in order to function?

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