Saturday, April 19, 2014

Korea: reflections

It appears that this is my tenth post about my trip to Korea; I suspect it will be my last.

Ten posts for a ten day trip: that seems about right, somehow.

Korea was certainly the most exotic location I've ever visited, but in many ways what's most apparent about Korea is how modern and efficient it is:

  • The trains all run on time; the signs and announcements are all in four languages (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese).
  • The airport is spacious and well-organized; I've rarely had such an easy time traveling. I noticed that Incheon Airport has been voted Best Airport In The World for ten consecutive years; I'm not surprised.
  • The cars and trucks and buses are all modern and well-maintained; the streets are all in good repair.

Korea is an amazing place. Whether it is cars, computers, televisions, smartphones, refrigerators, railroad locomotives, ocean-going freighters, or almost anything else, Korean companies are world leaders, and possibly among the first brands you think of.

Korean children are all learning both Korean and English, and many are also learning Chinese as well. Korean universities are churning out graduates. Korea has become a world leader in fields as wide-spread as plastic surgery, pop music, and chip design.

Korean food is delightful. Korean culture is old and fascinating. Many Korean customs and traditions emphasize things like respect, consideration, and cooperation.

Korea certainly has challenges, most notably the reunification question, but also they must overcome a certain xenophobia and defensiveness.

Yet, having come so very far in just the last few decades, you'd have to say that the future of Korea is looking quite bright indeed.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to visit and learn about Korea; if you ever get a similar opportunity, take it!

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