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Poop fruit

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When you walk around in Seoul, it can all of a sudden start to smell like dog poo. Precisly that smell of when you got it under your shoe as little. But it isn't dog poo it is fallen fruit, from the maiden hair tree, that have been chrushed. This fruit is called Ginkgo and should be healthy for you. Like everything in Korea, but I dont know when the old ladies collect it by the side of the highway. They are a size of a strawberry.
I recognize the maiden trees leaves from asian paintings, you can find these trees far back in the history because it was a good source for food and medicine.

The fruit is pickeld or you can make liquor out of them. It's said they should be tasty. But the smell is horrible! Where I lived before it was a long avenue with only those trees. I almost kept my breath the whole distance.
So if you wonder what's that smell, don't look under your shoe look up in the trees instead!



To move in no time

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The same day I came back from Sweden after summer visit, I found out that my apartment friend would travel away in three weeks for an unknown amount of time. I had been thinking about moving for a while since commuting to work took such a long time, and living on a partystreet withouth having sound isolating windows isen't  good since I need to be well rested for work. When you have a long commuting time the everyday life outside work is none existing. 

After one week the moving span three weeks, changed to move out in one week since my room was expected to be empty by then. Last time I had to move that quickly I was lucky to find such cheap room that fast. This time I was looking for a appartment of my own since I have a full time job. How and where to start when everything is in korean?

Something to understand before I proceede about South Korea is that after the war when all of Seoul was destroyed, the only way to re-build the city and appartments was for tennant to pay deposit before their appartment was built. With this payment system Seoul could rise from the ashes.
This payment still exist. It is almost impossible to get a contract under one year period. You pay deposit for one year, and it is around $9300 to $67 000.

The monthly rent will be lower if you pay a higher deposit, witch you recive back when moving out. For example if you pay deposit $9300 your monthly rent could be around $600/month or you pay no deposit and your rent for same appartment would be $1000/month.


To lock that much money for a whole year was not a option for me since I learnt that anything could happen. Luckely the payment system start to adapt and change slightly so I wen't out searching prepared to pay a high monthly rent. 

From a korean app I could look through what was avaible on the market as soon as I got free time. The amount of appartments avaible supprised me. 
You check on a map what area you wan't to live in. Inside you will see the prices and information about the appartments in that area.
For example 110/90 the first number means one million korean won in deposit, and the second number is the monthly rent, in this case 90 000 korean won. Put four zeros after the number.

The agents I got hold of that have the appartments I wanted to see always came picking me up at the station in exlusive cars to drive me around to look at all of these appartments. Hardly any of them knew english but we manage through boddy language and calculator.
I was so stressed out and looked on appartments every day straight after work.

Finally me and one of the better agents found the perfect place on a Friday, only three months contract per time with only one months rent in advance as deposit. The skyscraper is brand new, is located in the heart of Gangnam ten minutes walk from my office. It has very high security and great service!
I was among the first to move in, even the elevator was in plastic. 

That Saturday we wrote the contract after I got it translated. The agent for the house was there, my agent, my lanlords and their daughter. The funniest thing is that the lanlords daughter works in the same office building as I. The world is smal even in Seoul.

I was so happy to have found such a great place and lucky that I found it that fast. Only four days later I moved in with the help of my Swedish friends. Now let my real life in Seoul begin Gangnam style. 



Pepero Day!

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The other day it was Pepero day here. It is like the Korean Valentines day.
Pepero looks like and tastes like the populair Japanese Pocky, both similar in taste to Cadbury fingers.
The reason why Pepero day is 11/11 is because Pepero are sticks and looks like one:s.

Lotte is a multinational food and shopping corporation with headquarters here and in Japan. They claim that their Pepero, launched 1983, is not even a slightly bit inspired by the Japanese Pocky, anno 1966. It is a very Korean style to kind of steal an idea and claim they invented it. As I understand you don’t get taught to think like an individual outside the box, so you can’t come up with your own ideas. Never call cherry blossom festival for Sakora, they invented Cherry blossom ;).

From the beginning the idea of giving each other packages of Pepero is to wish you to get tall and thin. To make the wish come true you should eat at least eleven packages. Today Peperoday is more to give to the one you love, or gesture t friends. This day was of course invented by Lotte.
If you are really in love you should share a Pepero like in “Lady and the Tramp”, so I wonder how many hit their nose when the cookie snaps.
If you are single and you fish out Pepero that are stuck togheter, that means luck and coming love. That you will soon get a boyfriend or a girlfriend. If you get many packages you have many admireres.
At the office I got some packed calories, with the wish for me to get fat ;). Also our great CEO sent office a beautiful packages with Peperos so I tried different types. Was great!



Yangje Flower city!

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Finaly I found a huge flower market in Seoul! It might not seem so exiting but it was amazing, a real adventure. So far I have only found tiny flower shops with flowers in strange pots and decorated with purple stones etc.  But now when I have moved I found out, after some Googeling, that in Yangje station not far from my home the biggest flower mall is located, Flower city! 
It's on SinBundang Line station "Yangjae Citizen's Forest", go out exit 4 and straight and you will soon see it on right hand side.
Here you can find all variation of flowers you can ever imaigen. Everything from amazing orchids to wonderfull flower bushes to water flowers. If you walk downstairs from the parking you will find the cut flower paradise.

I strolled around in the djungel to carefully select flowers for my new appartment. One project I have got intrested in is plant terrarium, but it wasen't easy to find what I was looking for since the green houses covers 12,000 square meters. Finally I found the pot deppartment and could start planning what plants to buy.


I have always loved flowers, in eight grade of school we could have one week practice in a real working place and I chose to work as a florist. Also as a kid we picked wild flowers and pretend to have a florist shop.
It is a really speciell muddy yet fresh smell in a floral shop and I love that smell as much as I love the chlorine smell in a swimming pool.

The other week I bought a chlorine spray, By misstake, that takes away and prevent mold so that is why it smells like that. So now when I have cleaned my appartment I yearn for jumping into a pool. 

After I came home it was time to plant and fix all I bought. This is the result and it turned out exactly as I wanted it to be. 

The terrarium is so sylish and keeps the clean finish of my appartment, still something green and living. The lillys smells great and always welcomes me home, they look very proper. It is fun to live in a showroom! 


Dental care

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I have started doing the same as my colleagues, brushing my teeths after lunch.
Something as common as dental hygiene is different here and seems to be bigger than
in Sweden. People are carrying around small bottles of flour and in some of the resturants
the staff have their toothbrush on the resturants toilet in a mug.
It is strange that Sweden haven't got this kind of tradition, after all in school a lady with flour came visiting so we could use it. So it is strange since Sweden is in leading in dental care, we have invented alot such as tooth plastic filling. That is why the koren dentists I have met, all been to conventions in Sweden.
But they still work in a completly diffrent way, once a dentist to my horror wanted to put crowns over eight of my teeths. Another one wanted to fill a cavity in my tooth with amalgam, yes you heard right, the mixture that destroyed most tooths in the 50s.
During the physical your eyes will be coverd.

Despite this brushing tooth tradition it seems older men eat half a pack of garlic clovers in the mornings and walk straight into the subway. Mybe dental hygien is something only the new generation is doing.

There and back again

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This afternoon It's lift of, I'm flying back to Seoul after my stay in Sweden. I have had my three day's of leave this year and the rest of the time I have been working online since I've been in Sweden from 25th og July.

It was wonderfull to walk alone in a pineforest or eat a big steak, I appriciated Sweden even more when I have been gone for a year. To tell the truth I have avoided eating rice during my stay here. The city of Gothenburg is pure calmness compared to Seoul, a city I share with 20miljon others. 

Korea has much more to offer, that's why Im exited to go back because now I have seen that Sweden is the same. On Monday I will meet my wonderfull colleges again! I work as a graphic designer at a company that produces apps. Now I will start bloggning again. See you!

PS it is sunny and 25degrees in Seoul on Monday DS

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