So far, we’ve discovered some really helpful ways to 1. avoid getting lost, or at least know the exact coordinates of the place where we are lost, 2) be able to communicate, sort of, in Korean, 3) get on the right subway, and 4) find out where each other is lost.
1 Learn Korean Free: Phrases & Vocabulary
Bravolol Limited Free
You can easily search common phrases and hear how they should be pronounced. You can hear how to say things like “no problem.” This is John’s favorite phrase in any country. He learns it right after “hello” and “thank you.” In Korean, it’s “munje eobs-eoyo.”
2 Google Translate
Google Inc. Free
Type in any phrase, such as “I thought we ordered the larger size beer,” and it will translate the phrase into Korean for your waiter. Yes, this happened last night. Problem was, we didn’t know what the waiter said back, and no free refill came our way.
3 Subway Korea
Yello Mobile Free – works on the subway even when you aren’t on WIFI
You can select your starting and ending subway station, and the app will map your route, show you how many stops, and give you a list of the necessary transfers. It will also tell you the time it will take. (We found, after a 2 1/2 hour trip to Happy Quilt at Jije Station, that the app doesn’t account for wait time, bathroom breaks, or human screw-ups.)
4 Phone Tracker for iPhones
Cell Phone Solutions LLC Free
This is the kind of app which parents use to see where their teenagers are. You can invite people to share their locations with you and vice versa. When you open the app, you’ll see a map and a flashing pin along with a physical address showing the exact location of yourself and the people you are following. Trouble is, I believe you have to have the app open for it to work, and we are using only WIFI on our iPhones here. But in theory this is a pretty good stalking app.
5 Commander Compass Lite
Pavel Ahafonau Free
If you want really cool looking graphics to tell you exactly where you are or where you’ve been on the planet at any moment, this one is great. I wanted this type of app because I met a woman at the Happy Quilt store who invited me to come over and sew. Instead of an address, she gave me two sets of numbers (which looked something like this: 37°12′12″ N 127°4′26″ E) and said, “Come on over.” Not wanting to seem old and out of it, I said, “Okay, great!” Then I thought, what the heck? What do I do with these numbers? Well, it turns out you can pop them into your map app and they will instantly become a pin on the map. What this Commander Compass app does is create these coordinates for you. Let’s say you go to Seoga Cook where we got the short beers last night. You take out your phone, open the app, click on the photo function, and voila! You have just saved a photo of the exact coordinates of the restaurant to your iPhone Camera Roll. The app works even if you aren’t using WIFI or cellular data – just like your camera. If you can’t remember the name or location of the restaurant later on, you can find it again using your fancy GPS data.
All of this is to say that thanks to technology, we may not be able to remember what we did or what we ate or what we saw, but we’ll have a whole lot of information on where we were and what we should have said in Korean when we should have been paying attention to the actual real life buzzing all around us in this beautiful country.