Tag Archives: reasons to love korea

Memories from a blink away

I am completely overwhelmed as I prepare to board the plane that will take me away from the ROK. Why did they have to so brutally cut up my alien registration card? Why did that bug me so much? Do I have to leave right now, or can I go back for one final, final goodbye? What is everyone else doing, back there, where I used to live? Why am I leaving?! It all feels a bit wrong.

Everything about Korea is now just a memory. Something that happened ‘when I lived in Korea’. I wasn’t prepared for this. I have been preparing for the last 3 months.

There are so many memories. Memories from a blink away. From two years living in Asia. It all feels so distant. Like that time I went to the Philippines a month ago. The winter camp I did for my students 2 months ago. Snowboarding in Muju for the new year. Trying to organize a turkey for Christmas dinner. Drinking cocktails out of a bag in Daegu. Trying to control out-of-control students. Wishing I was leaving Korea. Loving Korea. Drinking hite and soju. Saying goodbye to friends. To students. To co workers.

Where have the last 2 years gone? Somebody stole it right out from under me. It doesn’t feel fair. It’s a bitter sweet goodbye. More bitter than sweet. It tastes like that first bite of kimchi I ever ate, sour and spicy and horrible. I guess my taste buds will change, get used to it. Adapt. I have to keep on thinking what lies ahead of me- South East Asia. Adventure. Exploration. Uncertainty.

Goodbye Korea.

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What makes Korea a great place to live

Last week I was fed up with Korea. So today I decided to be more positive and share with you a few reasons why I love life here on the Korean peninsular, in no particuler order.

1. I have a job! A job that pays well. A job that is different day to day and fill of endless surprises.

Hardly ever a dull day in Korea!

2. I’m like a celebrity! People stare and giggle when I come near, I get screams of “hello Kate teacher!” all day long. And some mornings, if I am very lucky, I get students making arm hearts and shouting “I love you teacher” from the 4th floor windows.

3. The food. Korea sure does have some deliciously tasty food. Samgyupsal, dakgalbi, kalguksu, bulgogi, jjimdak…and endless other delights. But more about that coming soon. Stay tuned!

A little taster of Korean cuisine.

4. Super fast internet.

5. Transport. It’s really easy, and cheap, to get around. The buses are so luxurious- the seats are huge, and the trains have singing rooms in them!

6. The people. All of the Korean people that I have encountered have been so willing to help. Waitrons are known to hang around making sure you know how to eat the food they place in front of you. Perfect strangers will help you pay at a market when you have no idea how much to whip out of your wallet, without ripping you off. It’s simply wonderful!

7. New friends. I now have friends scattered around the globe which makes the prospect of travelling so much more exciting.

Andong friends

8. Did I mention that I live rent free? In a furnished apartment, with super low bills.

9. I get to travel. So far, since being in Korea, I have been able to visit China, Singapore and Bali. With tickets to get me to the Philippines and Hong Kong and grand plans to travel through Asia starting in March 2012.

So, really, life is sweet. And with only just over 4 months to go I really have to make the most of what time I have left.

Do you live in Korea? If so, what do you love about being here?