So, I'm sitting here in this (really nice and free) internet cafe in Incheon Airport, waiting to leave Korea. I'm been thinking a lot lately about this whole experience, and about right before we came, when we were so excited to start this new adventure in a completely foreign place.
And Korea definitely is completely foreign. A friend recently asked me to describe Korea in one word, and I said "bizzare." It's fascinating, because on the surface it can seem similar to the West-- developed, technologically advanced-- but there are so many differences that go so deep into every part of the culture. Like I said, its fascinating, but also bizzare because everything seems to be twisted, the opposite of what you expect. That can be frustrating at times, but also sometimes wonderful. I'm always interested to see which things some cultures/societies/countries do really well, and what things they just haven't solved quite yet. Because its always different wherever you go.
What are my favorite things about Korea? Well, I love that half of the country is Buddhist, a religion that I'm very interested in. On that note, I also love that it seems, at least, that there is minimal tension between the Buddhist half and the Christian half. But that's my completely baseless observation. l
I love going to temples, which are gorgeous and peaceful retreats from hectic Korean city life. I love how their public transportation system...buses and trains...works so well. You can go anywhere from anywhere, and usually comfortably and always cheaply. I love the mountains and the coastline here. I love how you don't have to wait in lines anywhere...just take a number like at the butcher counter and sit down. At the bank, the post office, the doctor's office...everywhere the lines are usually so annoying. I love some of the food... just not all. I partially love that everyone works so hard to better themselves, but it does sometimes go too far.
As for what I don't like, I think I've done enough dwelling on that in the past nine months. It hasn't all been bad....in fact I've had a lot of fun and I don't regret for a minute coming. But I did get depressed, and I did hate my job.
Well, they're calling our plane.
Talk you from Singapore!!!
"Words have no wings, but they can travel a thousand miles" (Korean Proverb)
Welcome to Flying Words, Jon and Aileen's blog of our adventures in South Korea! We will be in South Korea for a year, starting in mid-July, teaching English in a private school. We just graduated from college this past May, and are looking forward to having some adventures before continuing our education.
We started this blog to keep all our family and friends updated and to share our photos and stories. We hope this is entertaining for you! We will miss you all, and are very thankful to have the internet to keep us in touch.