Hey everyone, it's Emma. Sorry this post is a bit late...
So one thing I've been noticing over the last month is how rapid the rate of change is in Seoul. For example, we were walking around the Hongdae neighborhood last night and the Starbucks that had definitely been there a week or two ago was completely gone - no "We're moving" sign or anything like that, just a sign for the incoming Mr. Pizza - so now I have to figure out where the Starbucks went! And this happens quite often - it seems like no stores are ever guaranteed to stay for a long time. My friend gave me her punchcard for a cafe that we went to all the time last summer, and I went back and the cafe was gone - it was a big cafe too, not some tiny little hole in the wall. When Andi and I walk down the street to go to our Korean class we frequently find ourselves asking each other "Was that there before?"
So anyway, what does this all mean? I feel like since Seoul is such a newly prosperous and thriving city, everything's moving at a much faster rate than longer established cities. Old businesses get pushed out, new people move in to try their luck, businesses move to better locations. I've heard this rapid motion is a phenomenon with apartments too. My host family has moved at least 3 times since my sisters were born, and my classmates talk about moving a lot, certainly more than my friends ever moved in America. I heard that it's common for families to move to Gangnam and other more expensive areas while their kids are in school because the schools are better, and then move to a less expensive area when their kids graduate.
Most things about Korean life, at least in Seoul, seem very fast paced. This gives an exciting feeling to life here, and I wonder if and at what point all the change will start to slow down.