Top 10 Things We’re Going to Miss About Asia

by Jason -- September 30, 2010

Previously, Sharon wrote the Top 10 Things We WON’T Miss About Asia. Today, I continue our “Asia Recap week” with the top 10 things we’re going to miss about Asia.

  1. I’m awesome: Just for looking the way that I do, I’m awesome. It may be strange and intimidating at first being constantly stared at, having random people want to take pictures with you, say hi to you, and just make a big deal about you, but over time you learn to appreciate it. This is probably the closest I’ll feel to a celebrity and I enjoyed it.
  2. No Tipping: Maybe it’s because I’m cheap, or maybe it’s because I believe restaurants should take care of their employees rather than rely on the generosity of random customers, but I love the fact that tipping isn’t a part of the culture. It makes going to dinner easier with friends. You don’t have to do that whole calculation thing at the end of the meal – did I leave too little? Did I leave too much? What it said on the menu is how much you owe, easy and simple.
  3. Cheap Food: When we first arrived to Korea we thought food was pretty expensive, but compared to incredible $1 meals in Vietnam, it’s easy to think every country is expensive. The more we got into the swing of things, we realized that food is actually incredibly cheap in Korea as well, especially at restaurants. In the United States, there’s a pretty large difference between buying groceries at a store and going to a restaurant. In Korea, though, there’s hardly a difference. Delicious meals can be had for $3 - $5 per person. And remember, no tipping!
  4. Public Transportation: Sure, it’s in another language, but once you get the hang of it it’s incredibly convenient. Long-distance buses, subways, trains, convenient and cheap taxis- all of them made getting around Asia incredibly easy. I don’t think there was more than a couple of times when Sharon and I wished we had a car. On a sidenote – I don’t think I would even want a car there, people drive like idiots.
  5. Automatic Door Locks: While we weren’t fortunate to have an automatic door lock in our Busan apartment, most Korean apartments have automatic door locks that don’t require a key. You simply type in a 4-digit code to get into your house. No need to carry a key or worry about locking the door, it’s all taken care of. Perfect for the lazy, and forgetful.
  6. Stuff is Always Open: Things don’t close on Sundays, there’s no last call at bars, and if you’re hungry on a Sunday at 4am there are places open and ready for you to eat — it’s an amazingly convenient thing that you quickly get used to. It will be dearly missed.
  7. Random Kindness of Strangers: I’m sure if we were to travel in the Unites States we would also experience the random kindness of strangers, but because we don’t typically need to rely on strangers here at home, this is something that we’ll end up missing. There’s just something about being lost and having a random person help you figure out where to go that brightens up your day.
  8. Makgeolli: This delicious rice wine from Korea quickly became Sharon and my drink of choice. First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s extremely cheap. I rest my case.
  9. Cheap clothes, cheap transportation, cheap electronics:Asia being much less expensive in general gets 2 bullets on this list. From shoes to haircuts to basic electronics, things are just less expensive in Asia. It’s a wonderful thing seeing your bank account very slowly move in the downward direction and I’m going to miss that a lot.
  10. Our Lifestyle: While there were a lot of things Sharon and I accomplished during the trip, overall our lifestyle was a relaxed one. A year-long vacation was pretty sweet. We rarely set alarms, we constantly forgot what day of the week it was — we were on a year-long vacation. Unfortunately, it’s time to start taking things a little more seriously now and begin thinking about how we’re going to start earning a living again. Our Asian lifestyle will be dearly missed.

Be awesome and help us share:

5 Responses to “Top 10 Things We’re Going to Miss About Asia”

  1. Did you guys stick within your budget? I am very curious to know how your budget worked out for you.

  2. We did stick to our budget, but it’s unfortunately still running :-). I’ll put together an update on that in the next couple of weeks.

  3. If you still have the strong desire to be stared at, go to one of the little eateries in 99 shopping center in Cupertino or Milpitas. They may not ask you to take pictures with them, but will stare at you for sure.

  4. Wow, I’m amazed by no.6. It would be very, very helpful. Many apply to the place I live as well. There’s some 10 percent service fee including in the bill here, so we don’t have to tip, either. Wondering if this exists in Korea as well.
    By the way, it says ‘longevity’ in chinese characters on the bottle you were holding.

  5. Stuff always being open was awesome. In Korea, only at the nicer restaurants they added the 10% service fee and we didn’t eat at those too often, so normally, no service fee either.

    And thanks for translating the bottle, that make sense. Most people said it gives you “stamina”, longevity is very similar.


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