Jacob is an awesome English teacher for special needs students who came all the way from Denmark. Prior to coming to South Korea, Jacob had always wanted to do an extended trip in Asia and as his contract came to its term, he finally decided it was time for some adventure and headed to Seoul. Before he came here, Jacob told me he didn’t know much about South Korea, except for a few Kpop songs and South Korea’s terrific League of Legends players. And this is exactly why he decided to come here: since he knew nearly nothing about it, it would be great to discover the country without any preconceptions. So Jacob came to Korea, without particular plans except maybe to hop to a nearby country for a quick trip from time to time. That’s how we were lucky enough to greet Jacob for the first time, in December 2015. Jacob has since been an on and off long term guest, here at INSIDE. However, every good things come to an end and our dear Jacob will be heading back home on the 17th of April 2016. In total, Jacob has spent about 3 months in South Korea, and mostly stayed in Seoul, which he used as his Asian home-base and from where he flew to other countries a few times (Singapore, the Philippines, Japan). With regards to South Korea, Jacob has travelled quite extensively inside the country: Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, Gyeongju, Iksan, Jeonjum Gapyeong, Jeju…. Yet, Seoul remains his favorite city in South Korea.
When I asked him why he loved Seoul so much, Jacob told me it was because of the city’s liveliness and atmosphere. Wherever you walk, you are bound to find youngsters enjoying their time off or cute couples going on dates. Evening walks were particularly dear to Jacob, who appreciated the night lights and skylines, as well as the safe atmosphere throughout most of the city. As he put it, Seoul gives you the impression that there are no boundaries to what you might want to experience while on your Korean adventure. Coming at INSIDE also made him feel like he had a home to come back to between each trips. Jacob socialized a lots at INSIDE and I have seen him going out with other guests for chicken and beer or evening walks more than I can count on ten fingers.
Jacob enjoyed many aspects of Korean life and culture: I have listed below a few items that he particularly enjoyed. - Strawberry latte (now I must confess I had never heard about that one before….). - Noraebang: I had the honor to once go to Noraebang (karaoke) with Jacob last month. Great fun! On this experience, Jacob confessed he is usually pretty reluctant to go at first, but once dragged into it, and after two cans of beer or so, he usually unleashes his rock star spirit and is in retrospective glad he forced himself to go. - DMZ and Joint Security Area tour (especially the JSA part): Jacob pointed out that it is usually hard to make oneself an opinion with regards to something you have never actually seen before. Visiting Panmunjeom allows you to actually see and experience a bit of the mysterious land that is North Korea. As Jacob put it, standing there and seeing North Korea’s border is ... mind blowing! - Chimaek and beer: perfect combination. This is according to many (including the author of this interview) a must-try item when in South Korea. - Walking around the city at night, especially Dongdaemun History and Culture Park’s Art Park.
On his Korean experience, Jacob did mention a drawback: sometimes communication may be quite daunting, especially in restaurants. If you do not speak Korean, ordering food may sometimes require a bit of patience, and eating alone might feel a bit awkward, especially in BBQ restaurants. This detail let aside, Jacob really enjoyed his stay. Overall, he thought Korean people were nice and fun and eager to share their culture with him, and people have unexpectedly approached him to talk to him in the streets more than once. Also, delivery and take out everywhere were definitely a plus!
There is a final aspect of Jacob’s stay I wanted to mention here. Jacob stayed at INSIDE both prior to and after INSIDE’s renovation. When asked about the difference between pre-renovation and post-renovation INSIDE, Jacob definitely put forward the improvement in room and facilities quality. May it be before or after renovation though, INSIDE’s cozy feeling is what brought him back to INSIDE. More particularly, Mia and Min’s great help and welcoming heart definitely made him want to extend his stay!
So just like Jacob did, come and enjoy your stay with us at INSIDE!