Useful Links and Apps for Foreigners in Korea

I have put together a list of websites and apps that I use in Korea and Busan. App links go to iTunes. If you want Android versions, you can google them yourself ^.^

Communication

Kakao Talk (App) (Desktop): Koreans don’t text, they Kakao. Free texting, free calling, free video chatting. The emoticons are also fun (though many you do need to pay for).

Naver Dictionary (App): A dictionary/translator for single words or short phrases. For long translations people use Google Translate (though most often it is just jibberish).

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Korean School Lunches

As an EPIK teacher you are entitled to lunch at school everyday. It is not free, but it is very cheap at about 3,000won per meal. You can opt-out of these lunches if you don’t like them.

I decided to give school lunches a try for a while before deciding if I wanted to continue or opt-out. After a few trial weeks I decided to continue with the school lunch because they are pretty good! The food isn’t always amazing, but we all know I’m super lazy and there’s no way I’m waking up extra early to make lunch when the school lunch is perfectly fine!

I spoke to one coteacher about the preparation of school lunch. Unlike most public schools in America that just heat up frozen nuggets, she said that Korean cafeteria staff make all the school lunches.  I’m sure there are a few things that are frozen and heated up, but as far as I can tell most of our food is freshly made and prepared by the cafeteria staff. Continue reading

1st Shop Coffee Prince and Babtol’s

Anneka and Louise came to visit me in Hongdae while I was still living there.  We all wanted to go to the Coffee Prince cafe where the MBC drama ‘Coffee Prince’ was filmed.  I’ve walked by the cafe a few times but I never went inside.  I’ve heard stories about it being expensive and the taste nothing to boast about.  However, since Coffee Prince is one of my favorite Korean Dramas I HAD to at least go once.

Getting there is easy.  Just a bit of walking from the subway (map at the end of this blog entry).  I have to be honest and say I was a little disappointed.  There were no princes.  The waiters were all women.  The beautiful flower painting on the wall was a sticker that was starting to peel off.  The menu seen in the drama isn’t the real menu, which means they raised the prices of everything.  The chairs were cheap and flimsy.  You weren’t allowed upstairs.  Some of the walls were covered with black paper which I think was to prevent fans from writing on them….but it made it look really unprofessional.  The lighting inside was bad, so my pictures came out crappy.  The outside of the building was kind of dirty.  When we were posing with the Coffee Prince sign there were flies everywhere and it kind of smelled bad.

Am I being too negative?  I had really high hopes for the place….Sorry.

On the positive side, it was cool to see the autographs of all of the cast.  You could buy Coffee Prince merchandise.  Our peach iced teas (one of the cheapest items on the menu) were realllly good!

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