The transformation from outsider to denizen within any foreign land can be gradual, sometimes hard-won. Certainly, embedding in the fascinating, unfamiliar culture of South Korea is no exception. Our very own Segment Producer Lindsay McEwen walks us through her subtle yet profound metamorphosis over three years teaching English as a second language in Seoul. This lovely feature kicks off Native Traveler's full hour exploring South Korea—just in time to inspire those contemplating a visit to the 2018 Winter Olympic in Pyeongchang. 즐기세요 (enjoy)!
Other places may make the claim, but Seoul is truly the city that never sleeps. Everywhere people are walking, running, talking, laughing, eating. LCD billboards flash with fluid colour like digital oil slicks. Punchy Korean pop ballads blare from open shop doors. Old women shout to one another over sidewalk fruit stalls. Metro trains thunder overhead and rumble underfoot. Cars and buses whip past at breakneck speed, scooters threading their way recklessly between the bigger vehicles and stirring up a flurry of horns in their wake. Every sight and sound adds to the hum of energy and urgency that seems to permeate this city.
Fresh off the plane and entirely alone, I am overwhelmed. No amount of research could have prepared me for the reality of the situation now facing me—an entire year living and working in this heaving, flashing beast of a metropolis.