I'm always mentioning the things I miss from Korea. I really do miss Korea.
It was a dream, a way of life, and something I worked to become.
But there are always pros and cons to any situation.
So I thought to be fair, and healthy, I'll list some things I do not miss from Korea.
- The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants -ness of life. AKA 빨라빨리 The hurry hurry life.
(last minute notice for anything was always OK. you had to say yes to everything your boss asked, even if you couldn't have possibly prepared... you should have known to prepare. psychically. heh.... 눈치요. lucky for me i have nunchi. )
- The smell. of kimchi, garlic, fermented foods, bad plumbing, farmland, fertilizer, industrial smells....
- Food serving piping hot. And being expected to eat it while it's so hot you burn your mouth. (hurry hurry!)
- The Korean apartment bathroom (your shower is a hose connected to the bathroom sink and it hangs from a holder above the sink....the whole bathroom is your shower... and there's a drain in the floor.
While convenient for cleaning the bathroom, it isn't as satisfactory of a shower... And also mold is a huge problem. HUGE.
- Scary-as-hell driving.
It is not exaggeration to say I've been nearly hit by a bus at least 2 times, probably more like 3 or 4. Twice I was saved by a guy friend. Literally, grabbed out of harm's way. (and it's not like i was just jwalking.)
- All those times I couldn't understand what was being said.
Yes my Korean is passable. Yes, I get through daily things, but that doesn't mean I understand every single word.
- Being mistaken for a good Korean speaker and subsequently treated as if I understand 100% (and possibly being taken advantage of). I hated that the most. I started saying "Just because I sound good, doesn't mean I understand. Now explain it to me slowly, in English if you can." (because the phone/TV company really ripped me off... taking advantage of the fact that me and my fluent friend didn't know that a basic tv contract is 3 years and then trying to stick me with the bill when i had to cancel after 1 year... saying i signed a contract, which i didn't, and saying they do a call where you verbally agree to the contract, which i didn't receive... i only answer my phone in english)
- Having to do a new thing in a language I don't speak fluently.
Talk about stress. First time I got a haircut... I studied and memorized phrases like the dickens! (lucky for me, i went to the place my oppa went to for 3 years. and so the lady was used to hearing English for haircut stuff. she didn't really speak much English at all. but she was comfortable with it, and she and I could discuss my oppa who left for Canada... and we both missed.)
Going to the doctor was easier - since doctors learn a lot of medical English - however their regular conversation is very poor.... Heh... I found I liked those Konglish conversations. I could do the Korean conversation well, but when I needed to talk about allergies or medicines, they could understand my English.
But imagine the stress! Until you know who can do what.... you are left wondering and studying and hoping.
- No more stalkers following me.
Being foreign, it's common to have randoms ask you stuff or ask to be your friend or to help them study.... But once in a while you get someone maladjusted enough, cowardly enough, or creepy enough to - instead of approach you and ask you straight up for English lessons - to follow you.
- No more being asked if I miss my family.
--- I was going to say "No more being asked if I have a husband, boyfriend or children" - but that happens here. UGH.
- No more being asked how tall I am, what age I am and... how much I weigh. HA!
Not that I minded. 157cm, 28, 50kg. See?
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