Sunday, January 6, 2008


I have been in Korea now for 4-5 months. There are some major differences between Korea and the US. I am not going to bash the US or anything, but seriously, America should really look to the far East for some ways to improve our lives.

1. Better food habits here. Yes, I know there is fried foods on every corner, but if you're smart, you can find very healthy foods in Korea. I also LOVE the fact that if I go to McD's or BK or whatever, I can't supersize a meal and put on 100 lbs. It's all one size here. Soda, yeah, that is one of my new years resolutions, to give that's hard to find at times, and no one here really drinks it.

2. Respect for each other. I know there is crime here in Korea...HOWEVER it does NOT make the nightly news days upon days upon days like in the US. NO ONE CARES here about it. It happens, life goes on, no one wants to hear about it. I've also found that Koreans treat their friends like family. I wish this was the case back in the states. I can't remember the last time I was treated by a friend back in the states like I am here. Even strangers here are helpful. I got lost on the subway once and man took time, to get off the train with me and made sure I was going the right way before getting back on and going his own way. Very rarely do we see ANYTHING like that in the states.

3. Lawsuits. The US is sooooo lawsuit happy, it's ridiculous. We sue people over things that aren't their responsiblity or your own stupid actions but aren't willing to own up to them. I am sure there are lawsuits here, but you don't hear a lot about them like you do in the states. My favorite lawsuit was the family in NYC who sued McD's for making them fat...ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You would NEVER hear of something that ridiculous in Korea.

Now, on the reverse, there are things about Korea that I'm not sure I'll ever get used to.

1. Spitting everywhere. Men. Women. Children. It doesn't matter. If they have a phlegm ball in their throat, watch your step cuz you might be steppin in it soon. It's rather disgusting I think, but they don't, so who am I to argue?

2. Chomping/popping gum obnoxiously loudly. Outside of most western countries, people don't find it rude to chew with their mouth open or make enough noise with their gum to wake the dead. It is a huge pet peeve of mine, and I am still trying to get used to it, but it drives me insane...NO ONE wants to hear that!! Thank goodness for I-pods!!

Anyway, my next blog will have some info on the public education systems of both of these wonderful countries. There are great things about both and their are things that drive anyone nuts in both countries.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The last week of November

Today is Sunday, November 25, 2007. Yesterday my friends and I celebrated our Thanksgiving. We went to a mid-afternoon dinner in Itaewon. An Austrian chef fixed us the whole sha-bang. Turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, and pie. We had a wonderful time. Christmas here is not as commercialized as it is back in the states. This is nice as it doesn't make me feel like I need to run out and buy gifts and spend a ton of money. In fact here, they basically celebrate on Christmas day and thats really it. There are no displays going up in October, Christmas music on the radio 24/7. It seems to be more religiously celebrated here than a commercial for stores to make money. Anyway...last night my friends and I went dancing had a good time. Enjoyed ourselves and several bottles of soju. I am finding here in Korea, most Koreans are soooo helpful to foreigners. Especially the ones they know are teachers. The lady who owns the convenience store in my apt building orders pizza for me to be delivered. Strangers help me on the subway find where I need to go. The trainers at my gym, even w/ their limited English will do everything they can to communicate with me. It's a rather uplifting feeling. Have a great week and look for my update next Sunday!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seoul in November

Today is Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

In two days, Americans all over the world will celebrate Thanksgiving. (Well, at least in America they will). I, of course, will have to work. I don't get a nice 5 day holiday any more. I began thinking about this the other day after I got to spend an evening with my cousin and her husband. After returning to my apartment, it began. The dreaded third month home sickness set it. I started looking at pictures of my old school and collegues. I began to miss home. Then on Monday night, while I was watching a dvd of Sex and the City, it started to lightning, thunder AND snow. It made me miss Nebraska. I"ve been told that a lot of westerners suffer homesickness in their 3rd month because of the holidays. Fortunately I have a strong group of friends and a great personal trainer at my gym. They are helping me thru this tough time. As I get ready to spend my first big holiday season away from home, I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas!!!