I didn’t get my hopes up for cheap shopping while in Korea. My mom had told me, with inflation, the Korean won had basically the same value as the US dollar ($1.06 to be exact) but everything is still a lot cheaper here, without losing quality. Actually Koreans seem to have a higher standard for material in general. The clothes are all sooo soft and luxurious, even cotton t-shirts.
Culture Shocks of the Day:
1. There aren’t public restrooms in individual shops (besides restaurants and shopping centers) but there are public restrooms available every few rows of buildings.
2. Public restrooms don’t bother to keep toilet paper in stock so people know to carry tissues/collect napkins from the restaurants/cafes they go to.
3. The mosquitos are vicious here. Their bites feel and look so much worse! I never see them, but I’m constantly discovering new bites. There are merchants on every subway (illegally) selling mosquito repellant bracelets, it is such a common problem.
4. People reuse their paper shopping bags for anything they might need to carry. Not that it’s groundbreaking, you just don’t really see that in America.
5. People will pack into the bus or subway like it’s the last helicopter out of Vietnam.
6. Women use parasols and hand fans (which are of course elaborate and beautiful)
7. People will set up shop with just buckets of fish they caught that day or produce from there garden where ever. Little weird, seeing popcorn bowls of fish on the sidewalk and vegetables for sale in the subway station but if Americans could do so without those silly permits, I bet we’d be outta this recession a lot quicker.