Roller coaster Korea: why we’re here and things it does right!

7 months down, 5 to go. In Korea, you live on a time schedule. I’m not just talking about the day-to-day, get to work on time, schedule; but the 1 year most foreigners have given themselves to accomplish whatever it is they’re here for.

We all came here for different reasons. A wise girl once told me everyone falls into a different category of why they chose Korea.

1. You’re  fresh out of school (or not) and can’t find a decent job because of the economy

2. You’re here to pay back loans and make a lot of money

3. Running away from something (most likely a relationship)

4. You’re here to travel afterwards

Now don’t quote me verbatim. I was informed of these when I was merely fresh meat in Korea. Although I have much to learn about my current country of residence, the reasons listed above, have for the most part, proved true.

So now, you’re here and you have one year! One year to accomplish whatever it is you set out to do. The clock starts ticking.

At first time flies by, you’re fresh and everything is new! Koreans are so kind and flattering. You’re a celebrity here! Drinks are cheap! Soju! AHHH! It’s a crazy easy world.

A few months in, Korea gets on your nerves a bit. You start to get a little homesick, you’re tired of your job and you haven’t really had a break. You just want a decent cheeseburger. The adjummas that poke at you are no longer amusing and why the hell is it so windy and cold?

Then without warning, you’re on a high once again. The weather is warming up. Time is flying by once again. New faces have become regulars and teaching has become routine.

This is as far as I’ve come.

I’ve been told many times that Korea comes in waves. Highs and lows. I agree. I have not lived through all the ups and downs of the Korea roller coaster and still have a way to go. I can say that this roller coaster is turning out to be one of the best rides I’ve ever taken. Highs and lows included.

As a foreigner, it is easy to focus on the things that Korea does wrong. I’d like to focus on the things it does right:

1. Cheap socks (Barack Obama, a smoking monkey, Bart Simpson- all for $1)

2. Unlimited meat buffets

3. Nightlife (cheap booze, no closing time)

4. Karaoke (Noreabang rooms with food, and drink all night)

5. Hangover cures (soup, banana milk, and popsicles)

6. Indoor golf

7. Soups

8. Girl’s shoes (if you have small feet)

9. Restaurant service (you press a button and they come)

10. Public drunkenness (Those passed out Soju warriors always make you feel better about yourself)

11. Festivals. Whether is  bullfights or liquor and rice cakes, there will be food, booze, entertainment and fun to be had by all

12. Flowers (cherry blossoms, azealas, or flowers on the side of the road, they’re all beautiful)

These are just a few reasons I believe Korea deserves a high five. Well done Korea. Let’s see what you can impress me with over the next 5 months.

azealas on Mt.Daegeumsan


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