Friday, December 17, 2010

Cultural Differences

There are a number of things that Koreans do differently than Americans. Which, duh Caroline. Anyone with a brain in their heads can tell you that different cultures do things differently. For the most part I like to think that I am a pretty easy going person. I'm not so set in my ways that I can't be a little flexible. Besides, it's kind of fun to do things the Korean way (I have the rest of my life to do things my way, amIright?).

Since I got here I have tried extra hard to be patient and to try new things. I have tasted foods I never would have otherwise (hello, kimchi!) and have had experiences that I would never have been open too a few years ago. But, there is always another side to each story. Along with the good that being here brings, there are still a few things though that I just can't deal with:
  • Constantly being asked to explain myself.
    • I have to explain my opinions (Do you like this? No? But why?). Or why I don't want to eat a particular food (You don't want it now? But why?). Or if I had breakfast that morning (No? BUT WHY? - also, this is always followed by a sad shake of the head. You always eat breakfast in Korea, apparently).
  • Fish.
    • For every meal. Sometimes with their heads still attached. And the bones. All the time forever and ever, ugh ... can we please just eat some chicken for lunch?
  • Leaving the windows wide open while the heat is blasting.
    • Or leaving the windows open without the heat on at all. Really, the whole idea that I have to wear a coat and scarf while I'm in the school building.
  • There are no sick days until you are actually dieing. For real.
  • There is no toilet paper in the bathroom stalls.
    • You have to get it from the community roll that is next to the sink. Not taking enough paper is a huge pain in the ass (also, gross).
  • Speaking of bathrooms, they aren't heated.
    • At all. In fact, the window to the bathroom on my floor was open up until last week.
  • There are still mosquitoes in this freaking country.
    • MOSQUITOES! Don't they know it's DECEMBER?!
But for all the little things that bug me (or make me really, really cold) I still am having a super awesome time here and I wouldn't change it for the world.

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