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Hello Things that Irk Me About Living Here!

November 26, 2009

I’ve been here awhile and I wonder if there are some aspects of Korean culture that I won’t ever get used to. Some such things:

  • People walking into me. The other day, I was waiting in line at a stationary store to purchase a new notepad. In front of me there was a mother and her daughter who may have been 9 or 10 years old. Like many of my students, the girl could not bear to stand for more than a few seconds and was fidgeting while waiting for her mom at the register. She constantly backed into me and elbowed me no matter how much I tried avoiding her…and every time she did she never turned around to acknowledge my presence. Finally her mom finished and turned to leave…walking right into her daughter who spun around (mere inches away, mind you) and walked straight into me.  This happens ALL THE TIME….in the street….on the bus…at school. There’s just a general lack of spacial awareness here.
  • Alone time is unacceptable. This is especially hard with me being introverted. Koreans genuinely enjoy company and being alone is generally frowned upon. So, the staff worries about me when I go home alone and eat dinner alone. I appreciate the concern but I’m really just fine.
  • The force feeding. I’ve mentioned this more than a few times – it’s a nice gesture but wholly unnecessary. Yesterday, I learned that the students are also capable of forcing me to eat while taking offense if I turn them down. A female student ran up to me, shoved some candies in my hand and followed me until I ate them all, it wasn’t until I ate them that she beamed triumphantly and waved her friends over. They talked about it and asked “Yes it’s good? Delicious?” and left. Bizarre.
  • The cars have The Right of Way. There is no negotiating whatsoever. The cars will hit you or beep at you if you’re in their way no matter the circumstances – I’ve seen cars honk at hobbling old ladies, women with strollers, people in wheelchairs. And what’s worse is that every driver obeys their own set of rules which means that traffic lights are more suggestive than hard rules, first come first served does not apply at the intersections, sidewalks are roads, and cutting across five or six lanes to make the exit you missed three exits ago is ok.  If you think being a pedestrian is a nightmare, try being a passenger.
  • The Fondling. Between the boys mostly…it never stops. Can’t we take a break from the heavy petting in class, gentlemen?

Anyway, I’ll check this post a few months from now and see how I feel.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Danni permalink
    November 28, 2009 5:15 am

    I warned you of forced feedings.

    • aukissed permalink*
      November 28, 2009 8:50 am

      Oh yes, I know. There’s lots of thing I was told about before I got here but it’s whole nother animal experiencing it.

      What’s funny is that with the force feedings, those feeders will be the first to tell you you’re getting fat

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