Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Some things about Korea you probably didn't know...

Hello there!

As I am typing this--it is snowing....again...for the second time in 3 times totaling more than 6 inches.  Hmm..are we SURE about Germany?  :o)  Germany gets way more snow than Korea, so maybe it's a way of "preparing us"?  Thanks KOREA!

Things over here have been great & I thought it'd be kind of neat to do a blog post on some things you might not have known about Korea & life in general living in Korea.  You know, sometimes we get so wrapped up in 'everyday life' that we forget to take a moment & look around us and see all the amazing things that we see each day.  For example, and this may sound silly, but something so simple as street signs.  After  2 years and 3 months now, I just think it's "normal" but...it's definitely not Ha!  Like this on stop signs...정거장 
If I were to read that it is pronounced Jung-Gu-Jang (STOP in English).  I mean how COOL is that?!  Seriously, that part I just need to look back and realize how neat that really is! 

Ok so some cool and NOT so cool things about being here:
1.  Most Korean homes do NOT come with ovens (or dishwashers..I know...WHAT?!).  In fact, if I make something and bring it into work (usually baking related) they always say, "OHHH, did you bake dis en OH-VAH-N?"  (And sadly...that is verbatim how they say it..quite hilarious.  I have to watch it or I start talking like that too!)

2.  If you hear a Korean eat..and I mean ANY Korean eat..you will no longer want to.  I mean, seriously, it's so disgusting.  In the states, we grow up with "table manners" in Korea...they just don't even know what that is.  It is chomp-chomp, slurp-slurp, not to mention I can practically SEE the food breaking down in their mouths.  It's a good dieting technique for me though ;).  For example, I made Enchiladas for Sam (my new student) and I literally dumped mine out because the sound of him eating was enough for me to not have an appetite for the rest of the night.  I hope you're laughing...but I'm not :)  

3.  While Koreans might not have table manners, they have EXCEPTIONAL manners when it comes to respect.  I mean this by the whole "Respect your Elders".  It is amazing, really.  They have a completely different set of dialogue that they are "allowed" to speak to those who are older or 'senior' to them.  Whereas Americans all respect each other equally (or at least we try to, LOL)  For example, Corey wouldn't call me Brittany, he would call me 
언니  pronounced eon-yee.  Because I am older, I go by that name.  I would call him Corey, though.  Kind of interesting, huh?  If HE was older, I'd call him pronounced hyong.  

4.  Koreans take off their shoes in almost all restaurants (No, not Starbucks or Krispy Kreme) but if you are eating at a Korean restaurant 9 times out of 10 you will be forced to take them off before entering.  Talk about a STENCH.  Phew.  That accompanied with their eating style just about does me in :)  They have a tiny little room when you first walk in, shelves to put your shoes on, and then you just walk in barefoot..socks..no biggie!  Usually the servers where little slippers or something.  If you also go to a traditional place you will most likely be sitting on the floor..which would so not work in the states on account of people not being able to GET UP.  It's neat though, definitely something to do.......once. :)  This happens a lot when I go out with the work people, my knees never appreciate it!

5.  Koreans do NOT talk while they eat.  Seriously, it's weird.  It's almost like...who can eat the fastest.  Americans have a nice conversation over dinner, get an appetizer, maybe even a  glass of wine.  NOPE, not here.  They put all the food down and it's go time!  That I still can't seem to get used to.  I'll try to talk and I just end up saying "Yea..ok" HA  They aren't interested in talking :)  

6.  They have several active Buddhist temples here and many of thing have English services, or whatever they would be called.  Once it warms up Mike and I want to go have lunch with the Monks..yes..Monks at the temple not too far from here.  It's only W 1,000 (about $ .90) and you get to eat with them..pretty neat!  Here's a picture of the temple, RIGHT in the middle of Seoul (next to where the G20 Summit was held last year)  It's called Bongeunsa!  

That's all I will put for today :)  Can't wait them all!

Here are a few pictures I snapped with my new CAMERA.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a shmancy camera.  So I'm trying to figure it all out.  The cutie is Sam, my new 8 year old student.  He refers to me as Aunt Teacher and I have NO idea why, but I don't mind :)

That about sums it up for this one :)  I might do another post before our next vacation.  If not, the next one will be pictures and I'm sure interesting/funny stories of our adventures through Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia!  We will be gone just about a week!

Chat with you soon <3

Mike & Britt