Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Week In, A Retrospective.

Here I am, sitting at the only place I have internet access currently, work. I have been in Korea for only one single week, but I feel that it is necessary to offer this very early retrospective on my life here so far. There have been many things that I have learned, and most of them have had semi-painful/humiliating consequences.

1. When Koreans say something is really spicy, they mean it.

2. Pork Bulgogi is awesome. Imagine a dinner of Pork that you grill yourself at the table and eat in lettuce leafs. You add to this delightful meal by adding grilled garlic cloves, vegitables of some sort, and soy bean paste. It's awesome.

3. Korean School Lunches are ridiculous. I mean it, the first day of work I had crab soup as a side dish. Not only was it fresh crab soup, but it had large pieces of crab in it. There are no green corn dogs here.

4. When ordering Fried Chicken, it is best to take the advice of the owner that what you order is exceptionally spicy. I disregarded said statement and my colon paid for it dearly. On a side note it was absolutely wonderful Fried Chicken.

5. When walking about Seosan, always have a point of reference to where you're going. There are no maps here, but luckily you can walk across the town in under an hour.

6. Koreans are exceptionaly hospitable and polite people. I was going out to go do some shopping, and my Co-Teacher saw me and pulled me into a restaurant to have dinner with her and some other of my coworkers.

7. Do remember not to kick the partion between tables at a restaraunt. It is used to get the attention of the people at the table. Yet, when you do that at a table of single women, they think you're trying to hit on them. I was just being typical clumsy me, but their boyfriends were not as pleased. Typical lecherous American they thought.

8. Do not, I repeat do not go into a barbershop with two poles outside it. You will get your haircut, but you can also get FAR FAR more then that. Hello legalized prostitution.

9. Soju does horrible things to people. It made me goto a Nori-Bang. That's right I did Karaoke. Ohh god I can't sing but when one has drank much soju, it doesn't really matter. Not only did I goto the Nori-Bang but this is the list of the songs I sang with my Co-Teacher. My Heart Will Go on, Desperado, and Yesterday. They had a very limited selection of English music, and I think don't think that Rise Against or Korn would have gone over too well with my fellow teachers and my principals.

10. Soju tastes like watered down vodka. However, that does not stop the Koreans from doing shots of it wholesale.

11. On the note of drinking, I've done more shots of Soju in the past two days then I have done shots of anything in the past two years. Yikes!!!!! Thankfully I have a much higher tolerance to Alcohol then most the Korean's that I have met.

12. I have never been mobbed by students before, but I have been mobbed twice today by my Korean students. They are very happy that I am here.

13. I promise to get pictures up soon, I just have to get internet access at my apartment.

14. Walking around naked in your new apartment is fine, however forgetting to close your blinds scares old Korean ladies who happen to be looking in your general direction. Mental note keep blinds closed when changing.

15. Foreigners are rare in Seosan. I get looks of amazement every day as I come walking by. in fact several people want to stop and talk to me. I hope that I can live up to their expectations of what a foreigner is supposed to be, and not what most foreigners end up being.

16. When someone is pouring your drink, or you are asking for something/recieveing something do so with both hands. It is good manners in Korea to receive things with both hands.

17. All these reflections and musings can be completely changed in the following months. In short though, just remember when Koreans warn you about something being severely spicy, please listen. Your Colon and intestines will thank you.


Jason B. said...

Will, sounds awesome, and a little embarrassing. Make sure all curious Korean's you meet know who the Buckeyes are!

Dad said...

Sorry I guess I should have told you when they say hot they mean it. I'm can't wait to see a picture of your students, a suggestion would be a nice group pic of them spelling O H I O. Go Bucks.