It’s been a few days since my last post. I intend to write at least a couple of times a week, but I’ve been really smoking busy lately and am having trouble finding the time. In any case a regular style post that I’m planning on writing here is 5 Things. In a 5 Things post I will write about 5 things that I will miss (good things) about Korea or possibly not miss (bad things). I will also be doing the same things about living in Canada – 5 things I am looking forward to (good things) or 5 things I am not looking forward to (bad things).
Who knows maybe I’ll change my mind later, but right now this is what I’m thinking about as I start to plan the move to Canada. Today’s post is 5 things I’ll miss about Korea.
- Service. Korean companies really know how to treat the customer right. If I need to have my internet hooked when moving I can call the company the same day and usually they’ll be there that day. If it’s a little late, they will apologize and be sure to arrive early the next day. Generally speaking customer service revolves around the convenience of the customer. Need something repaired or serviced, usually it’s just a matter of calling up the company and they’ll send a service guy to your apartment at a time that’s convenient for you. Gotta love customer service that is customer oriented.
- Neighborhood shops. It’s really convenient that everything I need is walking distance to my home. Local supermarkets are often cheaper than the big chains like Homeplus (equivalent to safeway) though the selection is lacking. within a 5 minute walk of every home I’ve had in Korea (and I’ve moved a lot) I’ve always been able to find 2-3 local supermarkets, dry cleaners, flower shop, cheap restaurants, watch shop (selling and repairs), hardware store (nuts, bolts, etc..) and a computer shop.
- Public Transportation. public transportation in Seoul is cheap, clean and efficient. The subway system is extensive with 9 main lines and 3 subsidiary lines. Taking the subway costs about cdn$1 for a basic fare and will get you almost anywhere you want. Further rides out to the burbs might up the cost to cdn$1.5 The buses are also frequent, though a little scary to ride due to the psychotic nature of driving in this country (a topic for a completely different post). The best thing is the transportation card which is an electronic card that you swipe to get in the subway or on the bus. When leaving the bus you can swipe it and if you transfer to the subway or another bus you don’t’ get charged extra. Bonus points for having credit cards chipped with this so your bus/subway fare gets auto billed to your credit card each month. update just found a post about what’s wrong with public transit in Ottawa – this is what I have to look forward to?.
- Cheap high speed internet. Broadband here is truly broadband unlike what you get in Canada. I’m currently running some downloads on my computer, streaming music and syncing my harddrive with remote storage (sugarsync) and I just did this speed test and got a typical result. My monthly internet bill is cdn$35 and I have no upload/download limits.
- Korean. After being in Korea for so long and not having to listen to English everywhere I go, it’s easy for me to concentrate when I’m out and about. When people are talking around me, it’s just white noise and not distracting. However anytime I’ve gone to Canada for a visit, I go crazy walking around the streets, mall etc because I can’t help but listen in on what everyone is saying. I seem to have lost my ability to ignore what other people are saying.
Anyhow that’s the first list. Let me know what you think.