Sunday, January 7, 2007

No Offense, But Y'all Need to Travel More

Okay, now I know I've been overseas for awhile. As I've posted before, I don't think I'm even close to traveling to all the places I want to see.

However, when I say "I live in Seoul" people seem to think that I'm stuck in some third world nightmare. South Korea ( the Republic of Korea (ROK) or 대한민국 "Daehan Minguk") is not North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) or 조선민주주의인민공화국 "Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk".) BTW, I'd love to go to Pyongyang just to see it even if it means I'm stuck with a guide. That would be so interesting, but alas, my American citizenship will probably hinder that travel desire.

I've had phone conversations while driving to Costco only to have the person I'm talking to back home say "oh wow! They have Costco there?!!!" (BTW, I got rid of the car when I realized I was moving to Seoul.) I had someone else ask me what Christmas is like here. Well, in a country that actually prides itself on having such devout Christians, I gotta say it's not THAT much different. All the commerical trappings are here. The Santas are a bit more lean, but they're here. I've had conversations with people while sitting in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (again, international, on my celly) and it's just shock when they realize I can get the same cafe au lait here as I can back home.

I live a pretty similar life here than I would back home. I mean that in the sense of consumer goods like shopping and products. I have access to Aveda and M.A.C. at the department stores down the road. The Body Shop is here as well as L'Occitane. In addition to the international brands, there are some great Korean brands too, like Missha. I had one friend swear up and down that I couldn't get an Eagle Creek travel backpack here. However, I knew that will all the new money in Seoul that the major department stores would have Eagle Creek products. Guess who was right?

Maybe it's because I'm from L.A. I know that where there is money, businesses follow to gobble that money up. So in terms of shopping, over-priced coffee, books, CDs, etc. I'm set. The choices have increased since I arrived, but I'm not complaining. Also, South Korea economy has ranked quite high and has undergone tremendous development. With that comes a rise in consumption.

What inspired this blog was an email today from a restaurant my classmates and I go to every once in awhile. Also, what inspired it was just having always deal with the "wow, you can get blue cheese there?!!!" It gets a bit annoying after awhile, but I try not to get annoyed because I realize most people haven't traveled far and wide. Hell, I haven't traveled far and wide...yet. Most certainly haven't traveled or lived here.

Anyway, it's an Italian restaurant, Spaghettia, and the email was just a menu listing their new dishes. I'm going to post it because, while I tend to prefer Korean food to over-priced foreign eats, sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered. Plus, I think it will be interesting for all of you overseas that think I'm living in a wasteland to get a clue (I mean that in the nicest way possible.) The quality does vary depending on the restaurant and I still haven't figured out why they serve sweet pickles on the side with pizza here. However, there are many places that do a damn good job.

Here is the menu:

So, um, folks, travel more. You'll realize that, good or bad, globalization is very real.

Sphere: Related Content