Namdaemung Market in Seoul, Korea
Namdaemung Market in Seoul, Korea

Deep Thoughts with Karen Chen (About Asia):

– Everyone looks alike! (Ha… not really… but really. Everyone is skinny, has black-ish hair, and dresses weirdly.)
– The food is cheap and delicious. Just the way I like it.
– Goddamn typhoons… weather has been cloudy and rainy, and will be for foreeever.
– From what I could tell, from the two hours I spent there (which probably means I have no idea what I’m talking about), Seoul seemed like a pretty soul-less (ha get it?) city, without much character, or a nice neighborhood or park to walk around.  No one we asked for a recommendation of a place to visit or walk around could think of anything.  (Of the cities I’ve lived in, I’m thinking of places like the Bund in Shanghai, the National Mall in D.C., Millenium Park in Chicago, and Boston Common and the Freedom Trail in Boston.)

paint by numbers... sort of.
paint by numbers... sort of.

– The Incheon International Airport, does, however, have lots to do. It’s got tons of shops, some good places to eat Korean food (plus a Bennigans, if, god forbid, you came to Asia and decided you wanted to eat hardly passable American food), and they offer lots of free Korean cultural activities like painting fans, dressing up in traditional Korean garb, listening to traditional Korean music, and playing traditional Korean games.
– In Taipei, there are shops literally lining every single street everywhere. There is not a single foot of sidewalk space that isn’t fronting some kind of store.
– Not a lot of people speak English (at least not in Seoul–I haven’t really tried in Taipei).
– All residential buildings look dirty, old, and rundown, even in really nice areas of Taipei.
– Motorbikes (and there are a lot of them) don’t stop for nobody. So check yourself before you wreck yourself.


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