Seoul Searching ... and Heated Toilet Seats
So you didn’t get to the Winter Olympics.
But South Korea intrigues you.
And we say “go!”
We did, as we’ll show you here.
You have trepidations? We will hit those later in this post.
First, let’s look at the kimchi plate as more than half-full.
So why hit Seoul? There were many surprises like how cold it can get.
Take a look here.
Yes, John is obsessed about golf and also heated toilet seats. We should point out that many Asian countries have heated toilet seats.
But many other countries don’t have the city golf ranges that Seoul has.
John goes a bit deeper into that here right around the time South Korea hosted the President's Cup a few years ago. He also found out the trip to Seoul helped his game when he returned to the states.
You also need to eat the Korean cuisine. It is quite a bit different from China and Japan. Here’s a sip of a great Korean barbecue spot.
If you have never had kimchi it could be an acquired taste for many Americans. It is cabbage with some heat.
We say give it a try. It is great for digestion. (Which ties into those heated toilet seats!)
Getting around Seoul is very easy thanks to plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers. Public transportation is also fabulous. The subway system is second to none. And yes, most of the signs are in English too.
But you may be leery of some other signs – namely lots of war talk.
Friends who live there don’t seem panicked. But they admit they have lived with a belligerent and closed North Korea only miles away for seven decades now.
South Korea seems like ground zero for political and military tensions that includes North Korea, China, many South East Asian countries, and the United States.
If you have concerns, first check with the State Department website about any current warnings.
Next, read as much as you can. Try the Korean Times which is in English.
We can’t tell you or suggest what to do.
Traveling abroad is stressful enough; being worried about political unrest or potential war shouldn’t be on your mind.
It's something you need to weigh for yourself.
But, as we said, we are optimistic.
From our research of different foreign policy analysts, the consensus is that cooler heads will prevail. Any sort of military action would devastate the region and its economy – along with the world economy.
Even though we hear about the United States veering towards isolationism and withdrawing from potential conflicts, the majority of analysts believe the United States will remain in the Asian Pacific region due to its economic interests and our alliances with South Korea and Japan.
Both those countries fear China becoming an economic superpower and controlling them, as much as they worry about Kim Jung Un, the North Korean dictator.
But they also realize that China wants peace and prosperity to keep their billions of citizens happy. War on the Korean Peninsula is the last thing Chinese leaders want.
So, we think if you’re curious about what is happening there from a geopolitical point of view, then go and find out for yourself.
And then come back and talk to us.