While tagging along with Peter, I learned a handful of interesting things about South Korean food, culture and lifestyle.
In a world without scooters, tuk-tuks, or motorbike taxis, having an efficient transportation system is invaluable. Getting all around Seoul, and to the surrounding cities, was incredibly simple given a massive web of subway lines and bus routes. Thanks to easy transport, we were able to spend time roaming through palaces, perusing modern malls, walking Korean street markets, meandering streets lined with tea shops and traditional houses, and sampling Korean and Western foods.
Scissors are vastly underrated in the West. In Korean restaurants, scissors are a widely used utensil. Used to snip off noodles served from a common dish, scissors prevent that sloppy snap that flings sauce everywhere. At Korean BBQ (or "Meat Restaurants" as they are locally known), scissors are also used instead of a fork and steak knife. Both solutions are so simple, but I wouldn't have thought of them on my own.
Soju is the devil. Alcohol made from sweet potatoes, plus a dash of evil, soju is a dangerous drink. It might not taste very strong, but when ingested soju can cause incredible intoxication, as well as spontaneous attacks of boisterous laughter and random fits of karaoke. It is also known to cause the worst hangover ever.
Southeast Asia might be less "developed" than South Korea, but I vastly prefer their ideas on what constitutes an appropriate workload. The Koreans spend the majority of their time working or studying, sometimes into the wee hours of the night. There's something much nicer about living in a culture that values free time, a lack of stress, and an afternoon nap.
Traditional architecture interwoven among highrise apartment buildings, Seoul is the combination of ancient Asian culture and modern Western influence, with a dash of poorly structured English and brightly colored cartoon characters. Seoul was the perfect layover between Southeast Asia and America.