So over on ESL Cafe, there is a thread on the Korea Forums from a Canadian guy who is leaving Korea after 7 years. He basically craps all over Korean Culture and thinks his own is far superior. Being from Canada, I can empathize with him to a degree, but every civilization has their high and low points and I find it quite helpful to periodically list things that I love about Korea. Here they are, just in time for my adopted holiday: American Thanksgiving (my school has a big dinner for American Thanksgiving, but nothing for the lowly Canadians).
1. Health Care. I have a bad cold, so I went to the doctor. The visit cost me under $3. The doctor speaks English, and is obviously very well-trained and knows her stuff. No appointment. Just walk in, but the wait is rarely more than 10 minutes. 4 days of meds cost me under $2. Want anything besides the basics? She refers you in a jiffy and you again just walk in, no appointment necessary.
Also, I've had some back pain recently. A trip to the oriental doctor for acupuncture, heat massage, electrical impulse treatment and suction cup things costs $5.
Thank you Korean National Health Insurance!
2. Efficiency. Everything in Korea is freakishly efficient. Hungry? Make a call and 20 minutes later you'll have reasonably priced, delicious food at your door, delivered by scooter.
Want internet? They'll be there the next day to set it up.
Air-Conditioner installed? 1 hour after the phone call, they were at my house.
A package delivered in Korea? 1 day and about $3 later, anywhere in the country.
3. Public Transport. Not that I make very much use of it these days now that I'm riding in style with my own wheels, but for 5 years I lived in Korea without my own transport. And it was ridiculously easy and cheap to get anywhere you wanted, efficiently.
4. My financial situation. I generally live off my Overtime money and save my monthly salary each month. For this I'm very thankful. Most English teachers can save at least $1000/month quite easily.
5. Travel opportunities. It's cheap (ish) and easy (ish) to get anywhere in Asia. I've been to about 25 countries during my 7 years in Korea. And one more (Bali, Indonesia) coming up this winter break!
What's your list?