February 9, 2011

culture shock.

I've lived in Korea for about 6 months now (wow!) and these are a couple things I have learned, about the country and myself...

- You can pretty much get across any message with hand gestures and mime.
- I can eat a whole plate of spaghetti expertly with chopsticks... and wash it down with some good ole' sweet pickles.
- There are many variations of kimchi and my palate can tell the difference between a good one and a bad. And of course on vacation outside of the country, I somehow ended up at the one restaurant that had kimchi and piled it on my plate.
-I will forever flinch when turning on the sink in the bathroom in fear that I forgot to switch the faucet from "shower mode".
-Go with the flow in Korea, don't ask too many questions, usually the answer won't make sense anyway.
- I enjoy being the only westerner in my school, when I walk down the halls I feel like the celebrity that I always wanted to be.
- Even if that huge chunk of meat looks delicious, there will ALWAYS be rice noodle inside.
- Brushing your teeth after lunch rocks.
- Squat toilets are much more natural than a nasty western toilet, when hovering is a must. Don't forget to BYOTP!
-Soju is great that night. Not so great that morning.
- My experience is different than every single other teacher's, comparing will only make my life worse.
- Bowing when greeting someone is cool. I like it and will continue this lovely sign of respect upon return stateside. You have been warned.
- Korean counting on the beach is a fun sport! How many matching couples can you spot?
- Coffee shops, double story McDonalds (that deliver 24 hours a day!) Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts are THE place to see and be seen. Obviously.
- There are only two kinds of nights out. Catching the last subway home... or the first one the next day.
- Drinkable yogurt is yummy AND entertaining.
- English is taking over the world. If it didn't provide me with such a great job and travel experience it would be a tragedy.
- Animals shows are the best ones to watch in Korean. Doesn't matter what they are saying when a monkey and bulldog are grocery shopping together.
<- Samsung and Hyundai also make groceries and have department stores. They are the best companies in the world, ask any Korean.
- Even though sometimes this country feels so similar to home, it only takes an ajosshi pissing in a subway terminal or totally confused student to bring you back to reality.

A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
--Mohandas Gandhi


  1. I really love this list. Especially "don't ask too many questions, usually the answer won't make sense anyway," "My experience is different than every single other teacher's, comparing will only my life worse," and, of course, "They are the best companies in the world, ask any Korean."

    It's hard not to compare our lives with others, isn't it? Really hard.

  2. I love this. you're the best.

  3. Wow, first off, I can't believe I'm commenting on a blog that is in the future!

    Second off, I laughed my ass off at this. Drinkable Yogurt? I can imagine what it look like and can only bet it's DAMN ENTERTAINING!

    Spaghetti with a chopstick, I'll give you mad props on that. And we're behind in America. I could definitely go for a bulldog and monkey shopping on TV the next time I'm stoned!

  4. i like the bowing part too! yeah to me it is a very lovely sign of respect. lovely

  5. Thanks for the love guys!

    Joe you freakin crack me up! miss you buddy!

  6. wow. ive been reading your blog and you seem like a really cool person. I'm glad you are having fun in korea.

    it sounds like you have had quite the adventure. I am new to korea and am looking for some cool people to hangout with since I've been having a hard time making friends since my school is small and my co teachers are much older. there is one young person but she's got a korean bf so she never seems to want to hangout. anyway, just trying to make new friends. I don't have a blog just fb so if I don't seem to much of a freak to you please shoot me an email on fb or whatever. itd be nice to talk to someone who lives here and is friendly and open minded.




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