Every time I go abroad I see things and think, ‘I like how they did that’ or ‘You know… that’s a really good idea.’  Here’s a list of those things that have won me over in Korea.

  1. Elevators- if you accidentally hit the wrong floor, just push the button again. It will not go there.  HALLELUJAH! (I always wanted this in the US)
  2. Cheap street food everywhere. Usually under $2.

3.  Affordable, quality beauty products. It’s like a Crabtree & Evelyn is a stone’s throw away from wherever you are, and you can buy almost anything for under $10.

4.  Gel as a moisturizer. It’s really light, not sticky, and my skin soaks it up instantly.  This is really great when it’s warm and even lotion can feel heavy.

5.  Cheap, well run, public transportation. I spend about $1 to ride the subway in Seoul.

6.  General feeling of safety.

7.  Cheap haircuts with good service. The most I’ve spent for a haircut here was $27, and that was with the top stylist at a high end salon.  Most women’s haircuts are $20 or less.  In the US I was spending $80-$90.  The stylist also has assistants who will attend to your every need.  This means 2 people will blow dry your hair and massage your scalp at once.  It also means a lady will stand there with a giant cotton ball dusting little hairs off your face as your hair is being cut.

koreanhaircut

8.  You can use toilet paper for anything. No need to buy tissues, napkins, paper towels.  Everyone’s perfectly happy using toilet paper.

9.  Heated floors

10.  Heated subway seats

11.  Heated toilet seats

12.  Free samples- at the grocery store, at the beauty stores, people in general being generous

13.  Q-tips are sold in reasonable quantities. Gone are the days of buying 800 q-tips at once.  Now you can buy 30.

14.  Buttons on the table to call a waiter or waitress. They generally don’t bother you unless you push the button.  Push it and they come right over.  Good system.

15.  Metal door handles are covered with fabric like felt or velvet in the winter. This is so you don’t have to touch a cold handle.  Nice touch.

covereddoorhandle