Greetings from Seoul! The second city on our four city tour has been a fantastic experience. We landed at Incheon airport at 9pm and the beautiful night scenery along the Han River was breathtaking.
The first thing you notice is how futuristic the city is. We went on a tour of a Samsung apartment building and felt like we had transported 50 years into the future. The building was a closed loop system; environmentally friendly and technologically superior. For instance, while you are brushing your teeth in the bathroom, the tile floor that you stand on and your toothbrush takes your temperature, measures your body fat and blood pressure then sends that information to the fridge. The fridge then suggests the food you should eat for that day. Now that is a diet plan that might actually work! The house also senses where the people are in the room and directs the heat towards the people instead of heating up an empty space. The building generates its own energy through wind and solar power. It was incredible to see, especially for someone who is specializing in sustainability.
Our lectures were given by the President of the American Chamber of Commerce and a member of the American Consulate. We spoke about the situation between North Korea, South Korea, USA, China, Japan and Russia and how that can affect doing business in South Korea. We also learned about certain negotiation strategies when doing business with Koreans…i.e. negotiate till the very last second and that there is a very important etiquette for exchanging business cards.
The tour of Hyundai factory was incredible. Almost the entire car is built by robots! All 60 of us were walking through the factory with our mouths hung open in amazement as the robots welded, painted, assembled and checked for quality. Then, the wonderful people at Hyundai took us out for a traditional Korean feast:10,000 tiny plates filled with hundreds of kinds of Kimchi, Bulgogi, Sweet Potato Noodles and rice cake. SOOOOO GOOOD!!
Junu and Kwang, our full time Korean students, showed us a great time in the evenings. We went to one of the most swanky bars I have ever been to on the shore of the Han River and we took a cruise on the river. A lot of fun.
These past four days have been filled with amazing experiences. I am so glad to have gotten back to this great city again.