Jjajangmyeon with Nuna

For my lunch I visit a small sandwich shop very close to my office where this lady makes nice toast with egg n pickles. The first time when I went to her shop she asked me few things in Korean, like where I am from, how long I have been here etc. As such I did not expect her to speak English so I started chatting with her in broken Korean.

I continued visiting her place everyday during lunch time and we started chatting in her broken English and my broken Korean about places, weather, my family, her family, Indian food, my marital status etc. We kinda developed a bond and I was liking it coz it gave me an opportunity to improvise on my Korean Speaking skills.

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Jai Hind Korean Ishtyle..

Desi Gal.. , originally uploaded by breeze-O.

The Buddhas Birthday Lantern Parade happens a week before Buddhas Birthday from Dongdaemun to Jogyesa Temple. The entire Jongno Street is lit up with lanterns and people are cheering on both the sides of the street. If you visit Korea around May make sure you don’t miss this event.

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Why Indians speak better English than Koreans

These days Teaching English in South Korea is considered one of the hottest jobs as compared to other Asian countries like China, Japan etc.  The government is spending a lot of money in recruiting native speakers and making this nation very affluent in English. English is taught predominantly by native speakers. And most of the public as well as private institutions prefer English Teacher from native speaking countries like US, UK, Australia, New Zealand etc. Koreans spend a lot of money in learning English. But still you wont find many Koreans who could speak English fluently.

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Things to do… On arrival to Korea

If you are coming from India then the first thing you need to do is that convert your Indian money to dollars. You cannot direct convert Rupee to Korean Won while in India. If you are carrying huge amount then you can carry travelers check which can be en-cashed in any of the banks out here.

The day you land in Korea you need to do the following things:

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Is Seoul, Korea Expensive…

… well that depends upon where you coming from. If you are coming from US, UK, Australia or any other developed nation then you would find Korea much much cheaper. But if you are coming from a developing country like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal etc. then it is definitely expensive as compared to your home country.

For this article I’d comparing the expenses with Mumbai, India. First, we will talk about accommodation. As I come from Mumbai I feel the house rent in Seoul is equivalent to Mumbai rentals.  For Rs. 20,000 to 25,000 you might get a 1 BHK flat in Andheri, Powai area of Mumbai where as in Seoul you might get a studio apartment or a house with 2 rooms for Rs. 20,000 ($500). So rent wise I feel Seoul is not that expensive.

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Indian Music (FM Radio), Movies, TV, Newspaper and Books (Fiction)

Since I am an avid reader let me start first with books. Most of the bookshops I have visited in Korea have a section on Foreign books. The foreign book section would have English, French, Japanese and books in other languages.  So in a bigger bookstore like Kyobo 70-80% of the bookstore would be dedicated to just Books in Korean Language and the rest to books in foreign language. So that way one would have a very limited choice when it comes to English Language books in Korea. The only Indian (NRI) writer books I saw in Korea were – Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul. Surprisingly the booker winners like Kiran Desai and Aravind Adiga were not to be seen. Most of the popular firang writers are available. And sorry no pirated copies of books are available like the way they are available back home.

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