Saturday, June 16, 2012

Living in Korea

My friend recently showed me this wonderful website on tumblr that somehow manages to present life in Korea in an extremely accurate, yet hilarious way.

This lead to a little trouble in a recent seminar at work (for the students. In Korean, so I was not there to participate, just sit in the back) where I almost burst out laughing, but covered it up with a cough (supposedly) because I saw this:

Well, I would like to explain how some of them are accurate. Here are 15 examples.

1. Laundry
Notice that the laundry is in a giant knot and and he's just like, "ok whatever. I'll deal with it.

You might think, no way, that is an exaggeration. That doesn't happen.




I don't know how, but somehow, no matter how many items you put in the washing machine, from 2 to 20, they come out in a giant knot. Then, no matter how much fabric softener you use, your clothes dry with the texture of sandpaper and your towels are more like shark skin. Please see this as an example.

2. Going to the doctor. Please read my previous blog about the dreaded medical exam from my first week here. Then look at this:

3. Well, this one has more to do with how various friends and family members react when North Korea makes a threat, but I did recently have a dream that North Korea was invading South Korea and I was stuck in my apartment (probably because of the cockroaches).

4. I have written a bit I believe about being shushed on the bus or subway, even when speaking at a mild whisper. At first, you feel really bad, then you realize that you're not actually being loud and they shush only foreigners, not the people shouting around and fighting on the bus. You either take the quiet route, take Queena's tactic of yelling "I'M SORRY I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING!" in English if they yell ask you to be quiet, or J's route, sit on the other side of the person and then talk over them.

5. How I feel all the time in Korea. See previous blogs about the staring. See this blog. And this blog.

Having blonde hair (even though my hair is more of a golden brown). My students always comment about my hair, saying "Teacher, it's gold! How is it possible!?" They say the same of my white skin. One student commented on my skin, saying it was blinding her. How rude.
the same can be said for having blue eyes as well.

6. I cannot tell you the number of people I know who were hit by cars here (students and coworkers alike).
And it really does feel like that. All. the. Time. Pedestrians do not have the right of way here. Cars do not stop for anyone. and buses certain do not. See previous blog. Which is only about pedestrian life here.

7. Unfortunately, yes, this is true.

As is this:

And this:

8. I was able to handle spicy food before. Now I have an insanely high tolerance and could handle many different foods. I CRAVE this extremely spicy soup here all the time. It's so delicious.

Also, related to food, I can pick up anything with chopsticks. From peanuts and tiny tiny fish, to Pho noodles.
Well, supposedly I can pick up Pho noodles. I ate with Carrie and did perfectly fine. I ate them with Hae Jung and could barely pick up a noodle and after 15 minutes of not actually getting a noodle into my mouth, I had to ask for a fork.

9. If you ever need to get on a bus that might be crowded, you are pushing your way through the crowd. There's no "excuse me" here, it's just elbowing your way on and hoping you fit. Not most of the time, but sometimes. Always if you're trying to take the bus to Hongdae from my street, which unfortunately I go to frequently and my Korean class was there. I've not gotten on that bus many times due to too many people being on the bus. The older woman are insane. They elbow and push to get to their seat. I know someone who was 8 1/2 months pregnant and a woman pushed her out of the way to get into her seat.

10. This is exactly how I felt. Both the first and the second time. The first time because I had no idea how my hair would react to straightening, but I had someone to translate for me. The second time, I was terrified because I was sure she didn't speak English. But she did and now we're good friends.

11. Samgyeopsal is awesome.

There is one samgyeopsal restaurant we eat at, that has amazing, AMAZING kimchi. This is what happens:

12. This is the story of my life. One of my students said "WHAT THE HEAVEN!" the other day, which had me bent over laughing. Not particularly inappropriate, but a little. But, this does happen to me all the time...Like when my student described the sultan's wife in Arabian nights as a playgirl.

13. No need to comment

14. Luckily, this has only happened to me once.

15. Pardon the language, but this is hilarious. Luckily, I did not weep at mother. But, when I got herded into a cab by myself and taken on an hour long taxi ride without being told where I was going, or given a chance to say goodbye to my friends or get phone numbers, I can tell you I would have if I'd had a working cell phone.

Here's some about life in Korea. Please come visit me if you can!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed this! Its so funny to see the diffence in thinking. Can't wait for you to lead us around...I don't think I could do this without you.