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Eight Things You Will Appreciate if You Visit Me in Seoul...and One You Won’t


Hopefully vaccine passports are on the way, and with it a flow of visitors to see us in Seoul. You can pick up any guidebook to learn about all of the sights here, but I want to share a few everyday delights that make me smile.


  • There are lots of murals and public art. Most of it doesn’t take itself too seriously. You walk by, and it makes you smile.


  • There are flowers everywhere, and not just during cherry blossom season. People have flowerpots outside their houses and in back alleys, florists display their wares on the streets, even subway station vendors sell fresh flowers.


  • This piano lives on a random street corner near us. People walking by, stop to play a tune or two, and then continue on their errands. I haven’t figured out what happens when it rains.




  • Public ladies’ rooms have little miniature toilets for toddlers. No need to hold your child to keep him from falling in.


  • Stores put out umbrella stands when it rains. It’s a small courtesy but very helpful when you would rather not carry a dripping umbrella. I passed an office building that puts out reusable umbrella bags and asks people to remember to return them.


  • These giant umbrellas just appeared at intersections in our neighborhood. I think they come out in the spring and summer to provide shelter from the sun or rain for people waiting for the light to change. (And yes, people actually wait for the light to change before crossing)


  • This basket sits along the wall of a restaurant and is equipped with a cell phone charger. Patrons can leave their phones to charge while they eat their mails. You can’t see in the photo, but next to it is a larger basket for bags and backpacks. It is all out in the entry area, but nobody would ever steal them.


  • This woman is a waitress who served us lunch. Her English is excellent. After lunch we went outside to unlock our Seoul Bikes (the Seoul version of Citibikes) and my bike didn’t recognize my login. She came outside and spent 45 minutes helping us call the bike company, explain the situation, and resolve it. She had to run in occasionally to serve a meal, but she gave us her full attention, just to be kind.


  • This is a photo of all of the public trash cans I have seen in Seoul. That’s right, there are none. You have to carry your trash with you.


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