Everyone says that your contract year will fly by because it’s true. Life in the ROK has been a blur of temples, train rides, soju, bbq, mountain hikes, and too many cigarettes. Throw some supersimplesongs into the mix and boom you’re a first year ESL teacher. I wish I could explain what it’s like to live here, but I can’t. Korea is not that simple. Instead, here are some snippets of my thoughts over the past 12 months.
Bikes are my favorite method of transportation. I do not miss owning a car.
Hagwons. Hmm… If it’s a business, it should not be run like a school. If it’s a school, it should not be run like a business.
Kimchi is delicious, but not all kimchi is created equal. Soju sucks, it tastes like dirty vodka. Flavored soju is a savior, I don’t know how waygooks before me lived without it. Beondegi (silk worm) tastes as bad as you imagine it would. Bbq is, of course, the shit. I actually like cold noodle soup. Metal Chopsticks > Wooden Chopsticks. I never realized how much I LOVE GARLIC. There’s such a feeling of community when sharing a meal here. Why isn’t it like this everywhere?
Medical care here is fantastic and super affordable.
Seoul may be one of my favorite cities on earth. You can find a party anywhere and there are so many hidden gem places to eat, drink, shop, chill, what have you. I’m a fan.
I hate to admit that I usually have a really good time at ThursdayParty, no matter the city. Damn it.
The cosmetics are UNreal. You can use your cell phone camera as a mirror. Why didn’t I ever think of that?
Hiking is fantastic, I should take advantage of having these amazing spots so close.
The temples are beautiful, but look very similar. I find that to be true in other parts of the culture as well.
My cab driver pulled over to the side of the road to get me an orange from his trunk. People have silently walked beside me in the rain holding an umbrella above my head. The people here are so kind.
Older women everywhere should act like ajummas. That’s right, you HAVE earned the right to get in and out of ALL of the doors first. Tell ’em what’s up.
It’s 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, why are you so drunk?
Kids are the best. Kids are also the worst. What? Cough.
WHY IS FRUIT SO EXPENSIVE? WHY? I’ve paid $9.00 for blueberries here, that I have no regrets about. $6.00 for a single mango though? Get outta here.
I’ve met amazing people. You guys know who you are. Rooftop beers, meals, lake park hangouts, language exchanging, hashing, night hikes, bike rides. Where you’re from doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you’re going through it together. And if you’ve gone throughit, then you know what it is.
Thanks for reading!