Danielle Davidson is currently studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea. This is her first hand experience with living abroad.
Think style, think elegance, think luxury, think Baskin Robbins (BR)? Delectable ice cream isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when someone says the words ‘Baskin Robbins,’ yet these ice cream parlors are quite popular here in Seoul. They’re like shiny pennies on a dirty sidewalk, and are often filled with customers.
Here in Seoul BR’s immaculately designed ice cream are portrayed in windows I got ice cream at one of the BR shops near my university and it was delicious, but the feel is completely different. There aren’t any children running around and no one is in their pajamas. But, for the record, they have yummy ice cream in the shops here.
The McDonalds here is also a bit shocking when you walk past. Everything inside looks so clean and modern. I almost forgot it was the home of Ronald McDonald. I accompanied a couple friends who felt a craving for french fries to a McDonalds a couple of weeks ago and even though it was McDonalds I felt like I should have been wearing diamond earrings.
I was talking with a Korean friend of mine the other day and he told me that Koreans like to look like they’re a professional at what they’re doing, even if they have no skill in the area whatsoever.
Take hiking for an example. There are a lot of hiking trails here in Seoul and everyone on the trails gets decked out in professional gear, no matter how difficult or easy the trail is. My friend pointed out that they go out and buy the gear because it’s about looking fashionable and knowledgeable, not necessarily having the correct skill-set.
This isn’t the case all the time though, because there are giant mountains and the hiking culture here is booming, so there are good hikers, but everyone here dresses well in general. You don’t see people going to class in sweatpants.