August 31, 2010

Randomness in Korea.

While Korea is a beautiful place, even the butterflies are more elegant, this place has some weird quirks as well.. so many have be making me laugh the last few days, I thought I might share just a few, because come on, its Asia, its all pretty freakin weird:)

-To find my house, I take a left at first fish tanks and then a right and the next fish tanks. These are the closest thing I have to "pets".

- I had to go out with my co workers tonight because a woman in our office retired. They gave her a ceremony and moon river was playing in the background. Then we went out for korean bbq, with eel. Yup, live eel in tanks in the front, pieces on the grill in front of me. It is very rude not to eat at functions like this, and my motto while I am here is to try everything once. It was actually not that bad. Not that good but I ate at least 10 pieces to be polite. And bought myself some Krispy Kremes on the way home to reward my bravery:)

My blonde long hair has made me quite a hit here in the sea of black hair. Girls on the subway say "hi" in a shy voice and they all burst into giggles when I reply with hello, as if they are surprised I am real. It's quite a weird feeling to be SO different when I have been so boring and normal my whole life. I am not kidding when I say EVERYONE stares at me. EVERYWHERE I go. Except Iteawon, where there are lots of blonde americans from the base, but they are fat:)

I have made it my goal to do what I want because of this, if people are going to look at me anyway, why not jam out to my ipod or accidently carry all my groceries in garbage bags on the subway. Ha, I dance to my own beat here in Korea.

Have you ever been to an Asian grocery store? You haven't lived if you haven't. Last night I tried going to a "walmart" equivalent store to get some more "normal" things for my apartment. Basically, that didn't happen. I stood in the noodle or "ramen" isle for about 20 minutes trying to determine which was chicken. They don't have chicken I learned today. They think that is gross according to all the girls I work with. There was octopus, kimchi and 2 isles of sauces. But no mac and cheese. or peanut butter and jelly. I did manage some cheese though, but its Asian cheese, and everything here just tastes... how do I say... 'different'.

The weirdest thing about Korean life for me, as it is for many expats, is not knowing the language. I sit in an office all day with 8 women who constantly talk, and I have no idea what they are talking about. At social gatherings, I just smile and they tell me how pretty I am. Not a bad lot I must say, they don't expect too much out of me and I feel a bit like a child, except that my students speak more English than I speak Korean, so maybe an infant. I am learning to just tune out all the jabber around me and I will say, I get a lot more work done since I can't really socialize!

These are really only a couple things that happen in my boring, day to day life, except that it is all so different so it is not boring to me! The culture shock makes me laugh out loud at Koreans and myself when I screw up fantastically. Everyday I learn something new, and screw up somehow and I am hoping it will keep this 9-5 job a little interesting. As I settle into my cute little apartment for the evening I wonder what tomorrow will bring. And this year. What will be the outcome? Will I learn to love this culture that is still so foreign to me. Will I yearn for the comforts of America? I suppose we will see, for now I will eat my mandarin oranges with my chopsticks because I do not own a fork and this again makes me smile:)

OH p.s. how come the "western" toilet is SOO much bigger than the "eastern". I personally just found out there was toilets not like ours! And I totally used the tiny one!


  1. "Except Iteawon, where there are lots of blonde americans from the base, but they are fat:)" Laughing my ass off.

  2. Good observations, but as a brown/blonde haired male I don't get quite the same scrutiny...hmmm??


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