South Korea (Part 11)
So, I am back. I have been away on a break and have returned to “normal” life and am glad to be back on my blog.
In the two years that I have lived in Seoul (2005-2007) I have learned so much about the culture of South Korea and the way the South Koreans go about everyday life, the things that are important to them, their beliefs, their superstitiousness, and it created a solid base for me that would help me effectively manage my life living and working in future Asian nations. Living and working in a different culture is incredibly interesting, fun, not easy, but very stimulating in obtaining some life experience. It changes you, you observe the world from a different, perhaps better, point of view, a more understanding point of view and you will notice that even though cultures are remarkably different, essentially we are pretty much the same. We all have our habits, our likes, our fears, our beliefs, our strengths, our weaknesses, our good and bad days and what have you. But we learn and look back at the challenging times with a laugh because we understand now.
Seoul is a fast paced city that has grown with incredibly speed over the years. Forerunners in technology, incredible service wherever you go, big as a sporting nation in baseball, soccer, skating, badminton, gymnastics and hosting major sporting events like Formula One. The people are at first a little challenging to get to know but once they gain your trust they are the most loyal people you will ever meet. They do like spitting on the street though specially the elderly men and women.
I found South Koreans to be very loyal to their work which can have its down sides but it certainly made my working life as an Executive Chef a lot easier as you could always count on them. But there were times where I had to beg them to go on a holiday, at least for a day or two. Language is definitely a barrier but you will overcome that when you have found a way to deal with that. It makes your job a lot more exhausting and more satisfying at the same time. You will achieve from it taking twenty minutes to order a latte at Starbucks to just under half a minute and you will know that the server simply wants to serve you and do it a hundred percent and not “half job Harry”. Although also in South Korea things are slowly changing as generations change over. I look forward one day to return back and visit Seoul, catch up with good friends and of course will have Eun Wah Lee’s famous Samgeytang (see part 2).
I hoped you liked my series on Seoul. As I moved from Seoul to Singapore in 2007, I will start my next series about Singapore. Please join me, until then…..