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Journals from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

2013-03-24 Korean Street life


In the few weeks that I’ve been in Seoul, I can honestly say street food has been one of the most surprising and convenient parts of my tourist-y day. Wherever you go, whether it’s Sinchon, Edae, or in these pictures in Myeongdong, street food is literally everywhere (usually more in the latter parts of the day). Whether you’re shopping, sight seeing, or eating and want to eat even more, these snacks are readily available in most places. It’s cheap and you honestly can’t miss it. I’ve accumulated a favorite which happens to the be the twisty potato on a stick sometimes called “Tornado Potato,” depending on where you go. Myeongdong has many and Edae has a few but sadly not any where I live in Sinchon. 

Others include fried chicken along with other types of meat (sweet, salty, spicy) in a cup or stick, Japanese food, hot dogs with fries attached on a stick, ddokboki (rice cakes in spicy sauce), tempura, and the list goes on. 

The streets aren’t just limited to street food but also street shops. There are countless items being sold whether it’s phone cases, key chains, stockings, shirts, pants, backpacks, etc. It literally doesn’t stop. They’re good for tourist-y things and if you want “cute” stuff which is basically the trend here all the time. The cute look is adored much more than it is at home in the U.S; grown women may even dress incredibly “cute” and somehow manage to pull it off. 

One incredibly strange thing about the streets of Seoul is that you can randomly smell sewage. The sewer system isn’t that advanced, seeing as how you can’t put toilet paper in toilets after using it…..definitely takes some getting used to but if you don’t obey that rule you end up clogging the toilet and who knows what else.

Another thing I’m not quite used to is that shops aren’t always open the time they are scheduled. This usually doesn’t happen with major chains, but with some small local businesses Sunday happens to be a day when they can basically just call it a day and open whenever they feel like--kind of frustrating, but now we know not to get up early on Sundays to get brunch.

All in all, street life in Seoul is charming. It’s convenient and there’s always something new to see. As a foreigner I’m finding it all very strange, odd and fascinating. 

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