Thursday, August 7

Days 28-31

Since I have literally been doing nothing but studying and getting ready for my final test and interview, I will spend a bit of time telling you my favorite things about Korea and my least favorite things.

Things That I Love About Korea

1.  I feel at home here in Korea.  There's always something to do here whether I want to shop for cheap, but cute clothes, eat Korean/American food, get amazing dessert, hike, see palaces and traditional areas, or just hang out with friends.  Everyone is always SO nice here and always willing to help.  I can't really explain it, but it just feels easier living in this country.

2.  I love the challenge that living in another culture with a different language presents me.  My brain likes to be challenged and I feel that most of my life, school and just day to day things have been pretty simple.  Whereas, being here, I have to really think about how I do things (such as handing objects and money to others with two hands or traversing the subway) and what I say.

3.  They are so concerned with recycling.  My roommate and I have 3 different types of bags.  The yellow bags are for compost.  The pink/clear bags are for trash.  Regular bags hold recyclables.  When we go to take out our bags, there is an area we take each...and we sort our recyclables.  They also usually don't give you bags at stores unless you ask for one.  OH--and how can I end without mentioning the amazing cup bags that they put your pop in when you order to take out in restaurants.

4.  I like that the food here is mostly all grown/made in Korea.  They don't put chemicals all over their foods and they don't treat their livestock cruelly by shutting them into teeny tiny pens.

5.  Food--some of the food is so amazing here.  I've really liked trying new things.  They especially have the most amazing desserts!  I would make a killing if I opened up my own Korean dessert cafe in America!  There are also foods in Korea that I would never find in the US that I am going to miss like crazy, such as banana milk.  Oh my gosh is it amazing!

6.  Price--everything is SO cheap here.  I can buy 20 shirts here for the price of 1 in America.  Food is also super cheap.  I can eat on $5.00 or less at most of the restaurants I go to.  I also love that everything is rounded here.  Why do we pay $3.67 for things or $9.99...etc.?  Almost everything here is rounded up.  On top of that, you can usually haggle with most of the shop owners for better prices!

7.  Exercies--I seriously walk everywhere.  If I need something, I can just walk a few minutes to get it.  I'm sure this is the same as living in New York, but New York is not on top of tons of mountains.  I'm constantly climbing up and down streets and stairs.  I'm in probably the best shape of my life right now.

8.  I think my favorite thing is that there is such a low crime rate here.  I'm not afraid of walking the streets alone in the dark.  I think people here have too much to do and too many other things to think about than hurting others.  People in the US have too much time on their hands.  I also love that at most of the places I've eaten at here or gone into would be places I would never dream of going into in the US because of just the look of the building or area around it.

9.  Noribangs are the best!  Who knew karaoke could be so much fun!

10.  Themed cafes are by far my favorite places to go and study and relax.  I really like that they have kitty cafes.  What's better than to have a kitty napping on your lap when you are studying?

Things That I Do Not Like About Korea

1.  Food.  Although I do like some of the food, I dislike some food as well--especially the side dishes that are served with everything.  I am not a huge fan of kimchi or pickled radishes.  I also usually dislike the broth that noodles and soups are served in.  I just really dislike fermented foods and spicy foods, so that narrows down foods that I like in Korea.

2.  Pushy people.  Korea is very fast paced and that means people here don't just stroll around and look in shops.  If you are going too slow, you may get jostled and pushed around so they can get ahead of you.  I know that they don't mean to, but I'm used to carefully going around people or saying excuse me.  Excuse me is not a word here haha.

3.  Squatter toilets are the worst.  Unless I'm wearing a skirt, I never know how to work one of these.  It's probably the worst feeling in the world here to go into the bathroom and there only be squatters.  Not to mention--they are usually super dirty.

4.  Koreans who are obviously talking about me behind my back.  I hate when I pick up enough Korean that I know someone is talking about me.

5.  Although I do like the respect that Koreans show towards their elders, I hate that I feel like it's quite sexist here.  I feel the same way in the US sometimes--such as when it's okay for a man to walk a block back home, but not the female.  That nonsense bothers me....especially if there is a situation such as the man being totally drunk and the female sober.

Anyways--I may add to my list, but for now, I'll leave you.  I may update once more before I leave Korea.  Oh my gosh--I'm ready to be home and with my husband and kitties and puppy, but I am not ready to be away from Korea.  I absolutely love this country...

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