Goshitel's a pretty fun word to pronounce in a bad American accent. So what is a goshitel? Simply put, a goshitel is a cozy little closet that some people call "home" and others call "storage space." More nicely and appropriately put, it's an inexpensive living alternative similar to a dorm, usually for university students looking to get their study on.
I can't speak for goshitels or goshiwons in general, but from my personal experience (see video above), it was really clean and well-kept, always well-stocked with free rice, eggs, kimchi, and ramen, and aside from the occasional slamming door, very quiet. I definitely didn't get that homey community feel I got from my hasuk-jip, but I did run into a couple nice people in the kitchen-dining-laundry room from time to time. And you know what? It was kind of neat being able to reach everything I needed within comfortable arms' length. :)
The reason I moved into one for a few months last summer was simple - I wanted air conditioning! My friend scared me into believing the horrors of living AC-less in Korea (dying of heat and being bitten alive by mosquitoes), and I decided straightaway that I wouldn't be able to handle anything remotely close to that. We went searching for an AC-ed hasuk, but none of them met my cleanliness standards given the short turn around time. I was slightly worried that I'd develop claustrophobia, but surprisingly, I rarely felt that way, maybe because I broke up weekends by crashing at relatives' and tended to not stay in the room for long periods at a time. :)
P.S. In case you're curious, here's the "well-being tel" I bunked up in: http://www.id.wbtel.net/ My room went for about 350,000 won, but it was window-less (yeah, I don't recommend that), while some of the ones with bathrooms in the unit were as high as five or six hundred thousand. On a side note, when one of my friends came to visit, she stayed in a room with a bathroom, and unfortunately, the ventilation wasn't so great, which kind of gave the room an interesting funk. On another note, goshitels are also great low-cost alternatives to hotels, especially if you don't plan on staying inside much - her room cost about $100 for a week!
I don't eat beef burgers, but MC does, and last year, he gave Lotteria's rice bulgogi burger a generous 5/10 rating. I managed to take a bite of the rice "bun," and you know what, it wasn't half bad. I bet this thing would sell pretty well in Hawaii, home of McDonald's Portuguese sausage, eggs, and rice breakfast!
PS. Is it just me or does the burger wrapper seem a little... inappropriately amusing?
I'm not much of a meat eater so I may be a bit biased, but this is definitely a place you should try at least once - its extravagant spread of vegetarian temple food, clean flavors, and decor warrant a visit - and it's a particularly good experience for out-of-towners.
Mmh, nothing like 16,000 strands of stretched out sugar wrapped over nuts to satiate your sweet tooth!
You can find these 꿀타래, or dragon's beard candy, stands in touristy areas like Insadong and Myeongdong; they can draw quite a crowd with their enthusiastic cries of candy making joy in just about any language you please. (Well, for the record, I've only heard it in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese.) Is that really 16,000 strands, you say?!
Every single American friend I've introduced dak kalbi (닭갈비) to has taken quite the liking to it. How could you not? Watch Stephanie as she becomes mesmerized with the yum-yum-in-the-tum-tum stir fry. I think I'm going to open up my own place stateside. Would you come visit?
There's nothing like deep fried goodness and rice cakes soaked in chili pepper paste, especially when you're in need of a quick bite or cheap eats (particularly nice after a few too many drinks). I can't say I'm 100% confident that it's completely sanitary, but it sure is tasty. ^^