Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm not the only one who loves Seoul

I promise I didn't copy CNN (I don't even like CNN that much). Check this article out on why Seoul is the world's greatest city. Here are some of my favorites if you're too lazy to read the article:

49. More side dishes than main dishes

A typical Korean meal comes with seven or eight separate side dishes. And free refills. There’s more color on a Korean table than at Lotte World on Children’s Day.

47. Best airport in the world

For five years running, Incheon International Airport, which services Seoul and other nearby Korean cities, has been ranked the best airport in the world by Airports Council International. The sprawling, über-efficient facility is equipped with a golf course, skating rink, Museum of Korean Culture, casino, high-end spa and restaurants serving just about any kind of pre-flight meal you’d want.
Go ICN! I can attest to its efficiency. Another thing I'm going to miss.

27. Heated floors

At traditional Korean restaurants, tables are low and chairs are discarded in favor of embroidered cushions. Your butt may fall asleep and your limbs might seize over long lunches, but at least you won’t have to worry about a chill -- heated floors (ondol) keep buns balmy and toes toasty. They also take the sting out of traditional sleepovers, in which a plush blanket on the floor replaces a bed.

26. Bibimbap

Korea’s most recognized dish after Korean barbeque, bibimbap is rice bowl mixed with sautéed roots, marinated beef and chili paste in a hot stone pot. It was Michael Jackson’s favorite dish. It’s still the signature lunch aboard Korean Air flights. You can get it almost anywhere, including local institution Go-gung.
I'm not sure what the quality of my life will be like without this tasty dish. 

25. Most art openings per square mile

Earning the attention of art aficionados worldwide, internationally renowned artists fly into Seoul almost every week for new exhibitions or collaborations. Local artists are also rising to acclaim with increasingly strange and arresting multimedia works. In Cheongdam-dong, a single building called Nature Poem -- itself a work of art -- houses 18 galleries.
And who said Koreans aren't creative?

24. Superb service; random freebies, no tipping

It’s tough not to smile when your breakfast cereal comes with a free pair of socks or your latest clothing purchase bags you a designer kitchen knife. Seoulites love dishing out freebies, the more random, the better. Known simply as “service,” free gifts can be anything from a packet of Kleenex with a full tank of gas to a plate of chicken with your pitcher of Hite beer. The perfectionist jeongshin (mentality) of the service industry in Seoul ensures incredibly cheerful service. Best of all: no tipping.

YES! Probably my favorite item on the list. 

20. Soju is cheaper than water

Soju martinis and soju cosmopolitans are debuting in bars overseas, but in Seoul, we prefer to drink the distilled rice (usually) beverage neat, or mixed with whiskey. 

No comment.

16. The kimchi miracle
When Seoul escaped relatively unscathed from the SARS outbreak a few years ago, locals credited the nation’s kimchi consumption. The spicy cabbage dish was celebrated again when scientists showed that kimchi helps prevent bird flu and Newcastle disease.

3. World’s smartest, and cheapest, personal assistants

Haejuseyo chore services will pick up your dry-cleaning and deliver food -- and perform more difficult, personalized chores -- at the low starting fee of ₩7,000. Maybe that’s why New York’s "The Daily Beast" recently called Korea the laziest country in Asia. They got it wrong, of course. If we weren’t so busy all the time, we wouldn’t need all the extra help.

So grateful this fabulous city is my next door neighbor. 

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