Well, it’s been a hectic and exciting week in Seoul; I’m currently sitting in Incheon International Airport, connected to the free wifi service which seems to be available. Steve and I did two customer visits (both with top-5 Korean companies) and participated in Tech Days as speakers on the OpenSolaris day. I also got a chance to see Seoul, a little, and the DMZ, a lot. My pictures are over here— although this represents just a rough cut. I need to go through and categorize and caption each one, and I have some more which I need to upload.
In the spirit of Steve’s blog entry, here are some things I observed about South Korea:
- Things are very clean. The dirtiest places I found were the flea market, and McDonalds.
- Our Hotel, the COEX Inter Continental, was very nice. The breakfast buffet (which for us was included in the room charge) was outstanding.
- Service is everywhere, and things I am used to doing for myself as an American are often done for you– doors are held, bags carried, things are cleaned a lot.
- The metro system is pretty easy for a foreigner to use, with everything signed in Korean and in English. Unfortunately the ticket machines are not signed in English. The metro is cheap, but the high frequency of stops means that a trip across town could take two transfers and 40 minutes.
- People are well dressed and (especially the women) very fashionable.
- Shopping is an intense and exhausting experience, especially on the weekend when everything is jam packed
- Traffic is incredibly awful, and there is no rail service to Incheon airport. Supposedly one is being built, but why would you open a brand new airport without having the trains ready?
This internet connection is going up and down. Here’s one photo for now, of the Joint Security Area in the DMZ. Across the halfway point of the light blue buildings lies North Korea, and their big "visitor’s center." I’ll post more photos later.
[Update: for some reason the post didn’t work, but I was able to actually post it when I got home… More pictures soon]