I’m sure it was only about a year ago that a surprising number of the world’s 7+ billion people had no idea about Seoul’s hyper-wealthy Gangnam district… or Seoul, come to think of it.
Then, after little more than a decade in the music industry, overnight sensation Psy made Gangnam (river south), the thoughtfully named, highly affluent district South of Seoul’s Han River the household name it is today. Now I can impress people who don’t live in Korea by casually saying I live eight minutes from Gangnam.
A good friend of mine recently moved to Gangnam. He didn’t mean to. It just happened. He spends most of his free time lately hanging out in the far less affluent (important), foreigner-infested areas just North of the river, largely because his new apartment in Apgujeong (the hyper-hyper-wealthy centre of the never-superficial Gangnam district and plastic surgery capital of the universe) is a complete dump.
South Koreans, who well understand that where you live is far more important than how you live, would never complain about being offered a rent-free apartment in the richest (best) suburb in Korea (also they would not invite you there, or tell you exactly where it was, but that’s just a cultural thing). I mean, how bad could Gangnam possibly be? Clearly my friend is a spoilt, miserable bastard.
He sent me a couple of photos. For those who work hard and dare to dream, the unbridled joy of living in Gangnam will always far outweigh trifling inconveniences such as the lack of a bathroom sink.