Kickin’ it in Korea #1

Danny is currently on assignment in Seoul, South Korea for NERDTREK.com exploring everything from the magnificent to the mundane (and anything is fair game).

1. The Korean Smart Phone

First off, I live in Seoul but I’m not a soldier. (Do I owe The Killers royalties?) And I’m sure that you’ve heard that Korea has a Starcraft fetish—true. I’m sure that you’ve heard that they like fermenting vegetables—also true. And I’m sure that you’ve heard something about their phones as being superior to North American ones in some way or another. I’d have to say that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, they have better network coverage with a smaller land area to cover and plenty of deals to make sure that everyone and their “omma” has the latest phone to sate their every need.

Living here in Seoul, I’d have to say that the 3G network and prevalence of wifi zones is amazing. I have hardly been without high speed coverage at all. As far as the phones go they have everything you have access to, they went ape for Korean release of the iPhone last year. (I have a Sky Mirach with Android.)

First, both my current smart phone and the dumb phone I had last year have “dmb” which is mobile television that I can watch while I’m on the subway, the taxi or wherever. I love it. Sure I don’t understand most of the shows, but I can watch Korean baseball if it’s on.

I’m a big fan of a Korean app that is gaining traction in the US and abroad which is, Kakao Talk. It’s a decent messaging app that allows you to text for free as long as you have a liberal data plan.  It keeps track of messages just like instant messaging and you can change the font, background, etc. Kakao runs in the background and I can’t express how much I like it. You can only chat with other Kakao users on a smart phone but it certainly takes the load off of my texting plan. Download it!

Kickin’ it in Korea—Danny

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2.  Where to buy stuff: Seoul

In Seoul you’re never far from a place to buy a new phone, laptop, speakers or whatever.  Two of the best places are Yongsan Electronics Market and Techno Mart. Both have different floors catering to different needs and each floor has vendor after vendor all vying for your attention and will price cut each other constantly (though I think they are secretly all working together in some cartel). There are plenty of places here with the same idea like Dongdaemun for cheap clothes or Namdaemun for cheap whatever. However, if you are looking for good deals on electronics then I’d really recommend going to either Yongsan or Technomart. I live down the street from Technomart and it also has a cineplex, grocery store and a million other stores. Yongsan has a whole mall attached to it as well.

Technomart is located next to the Gangbyeon Station on Line 2 (the green line) and Yongsan is located on Line 1 (the dark blue line) at the Yongsan Station.

Kickin’ it in Korea—Danny

 

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3. Childish Gambino

Danny is currently on assignment in Seoul, South Korea for NERDTREK.com exploring everything from the magnificent to the mundane (and anything is fair game).

Do you like the show community, what about 30 Rock? Obviously I am. So, if you watch Community then you should know who Donald Glover (Troy) is then. Anyway, I just found out that he raps. I’m mostly into it. Even though he’s a comedian, it’s not all that funny. However, he’s a huge geek and I love the lyrics. He has a habit of getting gangsta but you can decide. Plus all his stuff is online for free. So that’s a huge plus. Also this music video is pretty sweet. Check him out as Childish Gambino performing Freaks and Geeks:

 

Kickin’ it in Korea—Danny

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4. Cell Phones:

I teach English here and almost all of my elementary aged students have “handpones” aka cell phones. Here’s a picture. One girl got an Android HTC right after this photo. Just for emergencies I’m sure.

Kickin’ it in Korea—Danny

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