Saturday, June 18, 2011

Things I've Noticed

Here are some random things that I've noticed about South Korea and South Koreans

1. I get looked at and watched a lot. It is very apparent that I am "not from around here". Clearly.

2. Some things are way more expensive (hello $14 watermelon and $9 paper towels) and some things are pretty much the same cost as in the US ($2 small ice cream cone). Nothing is cheaper.

3. Their beds are super hard. Like I wake up after sleeping on my side and my whole arm is asleep. Every night.

4. In the large cities, there are no old people. In the small towns, there are no young people.

5. As a foreigner, it is YOUR obligation to get out of the way when walking on the sidewalk. They WILL plow right into you.

6. I am not used to hearing English much anymore, and it almost takes a minute for my brain to say "wait...I actually understand what that person just said!" What will happen after three weeks?

7. It seems like shopping is a big deal. People shop often and not for cheap things. Although we did discover the "walmart" of Korea (E-Mart) and the 1000 Won store (the dollar store!) I've seen more Gucci, Burberry, and Chanel in the past week, than I have for the entire rest of the year.

8. I didn't know it was possible, but I really, really miss the Derb. We had so many choices at each meal. Here you go and get rice, one or two side dishes, kimchi, a bowl of soup, and some sort of protein. AT EVERY MEAL. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

9. Koreans don't smile at people they don't know. I can't seem to help it. They stare. I smile. It gets awkward real quick.

10. Grocery shopping is quite the feat. Think about buying things when you can't read a single word on the packaging. Awesome. Luckily we've yet to purchase anything and open it to find anything other than what we thought it was going to be.
(okay...just kidding. We bought rubber gloves today, and bought the cheapest we could find. Mom just opened the package to find ONE glove. Whoops!)

11. Korean's like it hot. Food and weather in particular. I know they have AC...but they don't seem to use it. In our dorm room the AC is turned off at midnight and not turned back on again until like 10am.

12. So when I was packing, I really debated bringing this black dress. It's breezy and can be dressed up or down. It's a little short so I wasn't sure. I shouldn't have worried. I have seen some of the shortest skirts, dresses, and shorts here. Also most of the women wear heels. And not just heels, but heels like these:


I cannot compete. I will stick with my flip flops and not fit in.

Anyways, I heard there was some bad weather in the Midwest. I hope everyone is doing okay. Next trip to a tea plantation!


shalinn said...

Girl. Many of those things are just like Thailand. BUT, I know how to get around most of those things now :) I think you'll like it better here! Hang in there though - you get used to it, and it's an adventure. Tip (that I'm still not good at): keep your shoulders strong and go with the crowd like you live there. You can't be "polite" and let them in or they will walk all over you!

Lynn Nill said...

Becca, I LOVE reading about you discovering Asia for the first time! Its fun to read both your mom's blog and yours.

Unknown said...

I love reading your notes on here :) It makes me smile cause I can totally see you smiling at all the Koreans because you're not sure what to do - nervously - and them thinking "that American is nuts!" - Love it - glad you're having fun and miss you back here!

Amanda K said...

the unknown is me ... Amanda - still getting the hang of this thing :)