Okay - well, here's something that's shockingly bizarre to Westerners when coming to Korea. In Korea - they don't know the street names of even the busiest and most common streets! No joke!
There's a very busy street running right down the middle of Jongno - a famous part of Seoul. It goes past a cluster of famous locations and tourist areas, such as Insadong, Myongdong, Seoul Tower, Doksugong Palace... and several other locations. When I first arrived in Korea I wanted to learn my way around as quickly as possible, so I asked somebody, "what's this street, here?" as I pointed the aformentioned street.
"I don't know..." they said.
I was blown away. Since then, I've learned, Korean people just don't consider street names. Nobody knows the street names! It's crazy (from my perspective)!
This probably brings up a bunch of questions. So how do Korean people contemplate directions? There are a few ways.
1) What area of the city do you live in? Different parts of the city have different names. The city is sectioned off.
2) Are you near any famous landmarks or mountains? Those have names.
3) Are you near a subway stop? The subway system in Korea is great. So you can ask a taxi to take you to part of the city - and you can just name a subway stop and they'll take you there.
That's about it. And that's how you have to travel.
I hope this LONG overdue blog entry clarifies any misunderstandings! It's VERY difficult for my friends back home to understand why I don't know my own address - where I live! I don't know what street I live on... etc. It's not common knowledge, even for the locals! lol
Don't ask me how DHL or UPS or the mail system works... - I can guess, but that would make this post a lot longer and more boring. Suffice it to say, they have a system that works.
I know this is a poor analogy... but this is how I think about it. I think about a messy office. If a stranger walks in, you can't find ANYTHING because it's organized in a way that only the office owner knows (like a certain person's house that I know!). But to the office owner, when you ask for something, they can get it very quickly.
Get it? Got it? Good!