The press in Seoul is Americano. The duality of being in a foreign country and state side at the same time pegs South Korea. The familiarity of Western life is more than the identifiable storefronts. Indeed, everything apart from the Korean characters looks like home. What’s more striking is the assimilation of its people to Western ways. While I’m no expert in Korean history, it is safe to say that lattes and iMacs aren’t indigenous to this country.
The globalization of brands isn’t exclusive to Korea. There’s an Apple store in every corner of the world. The difference in Korea is how the Western lifestyle has been incorporated to such a degree that it is no longer Western, it is Korean.
This metamorphosis is punctuated by Korea’s emerging role in the global economy. Take brands like LG, Samsung, and to some degree Hyundai. Once regarded as inferior to their international counterparts, they are now household names.
Where does this cross cultural phenomenon leave me? Lost in the streets of Seoul. For as much as everything feels like home, it is still all in Korean.