26 04 2010

I initially began this post with an attempted unbiased summary of what I have noticed so far of the Korean way of life  in terms of family and such, but mid-rant I spoke with a friend of mine from Europe and he sort of put me in my place about Americans tending to think their way of life is superior to that of others.  Although I would have to disagree with him in that it is “mostly Americans” who “tend” to do this, it did help me to realize that is exactly what I was doing.  So I’ll start over.  Koreans seem to have extremely close-knit families and everyone seems very happy for the most part.  I have not yet met anyone who has been divorced and despite going to school literally ALL day and night, the kids still act like kids.  Gender roles have not changed much since the time of the war, yet there is no visible disgruntlement by this.  Veeeery interesting.  Although, I do think times are changing a bit here with the younger generations; time will tell, I guess.

One thing I found hilarious this weekend was when me, Sue (the mother), and the 2 boys were home while Dad was out, and we decided to watch a DVD.  So we turned on the flatscreen TV and all 3 boxes that are now required in the world to watch a movie, and spent about 10-15 minutes trying to find all 5 remotes for each device and decide which button turns the thing on!  Sound familiar?  🙂


FINALLY made it!

24 04 2010

It’s hard to believe I am sitting here literally half-way across the world with the sun shining through my bedroom window.  If I wanted to get any further from home I would need to go to the moon!

My first day here couldn’t have been better; the director of my school, his wife, and their 2 adorable little boys (ages 9 and 12) picked me up from the airport with a little sign reading “Welcome Brittany” in colorful letters.  First things first – a quick tour of the city by way of a treacherous drive around town.  And I mean treacherous; the roads are crazy crowded and people drive more aggressively than in LA, all the while the wife (who was driving our car) was dedicating most of her attention to me and the boys in the backseat, while still weaving through traffic like it ain’t no thing!  Anywho, after getting a little bit of a feel for the city, we made our way down to Gwangalli Beach (above) for some Korean food.  OH MY GOD. Sooooo delicious.  Let it be said, that I have left my ‘no red meat’ rule back in the states; I will (try, at least) to eat anything they do.  Unless it’s alive; that’s where I draw the line.  (Regarding the picture below, the raw meat is cooked over hot charcoals on the grill right in the middle of your table.  This was only about a third of the table by the way, the rest of it was just as packed with food, then we got a second course of noodle seafood soup!)

My apartment won’t be ready until next weekend, so until then I will be staying with the director and his family.  I am extremely grateful for their hospitality, especially considering it is not common for Koreans to have houseguests, although I am anxious to be out on my own.  There is a language barrier between us and the little boys have been acting as translators.  Their English skills are very impressive, and I feel like a complete shmuck for not even being able to say “Thank You” correctly in their language!

Lucy in the sky with Asians

23 04 2010

This is the view that officially de-virginized my eyes of Asia.  It was roughly 4:15 in the morning and the sun was just beginning to peak over the mountains of Incheon, South Korea to reveal…. the airport. I know it is extremely exciting, but I will board my final flight to Busan in just under one hour, THEN I’ll get a real first impression.

Saying last goodbyes was, and always is for that matter, the most difficult part of the process.  It raises feelings of guilt, terror, sadness, and regret which I typically do not allow to swim in my head.  Walking through security in Salt Lake City was the first time I started to get preeeety anxious; nay, scared-shitless!  At that point it was time for a nice, strong Manhattan (or 2) to help calm my nerves.  After a long conversation with myself in my head over these drinks I remembered why I am going, and boarded the first plane.

Side note: Being the only white chick in a given airport is pretty surreal!

Oh, the anxiety!

10 04 2010

Got my plane ticket today; 16 hours total in flight with 6 hours layover. Gonna be a loooong day!

I am getting very anxious to leave. Still not nervous, which I guess is a good sign, although my mind has begun its conjecture of my arrival in Busan each night while I sleep. Anticipation is always the worst part!