Thursday, April 10, 2008

j'aime, je n'aime pas.

things i don't like about korea:

*the coffee. it's expensive (4$ for a regular cup of good ol' filtered coffee...) and the affordable coffee mix (basically a dry mix of cream, sugar and coffee in which you add water) is repulsive.
*living right behind the school. i miss my morning routine of taking the subway, people-watching, listening to my ipod, getting my starbucks.... having a little me time before facing the real world.
*the lack of cheese!! cheese is nearly impossible to find. the only kind available is processed cheese. and the only brie i found was like 12$ for a tiny portion. boo hoo.
*the clothing sizes. everything is tiny. luckily i fit in everything, but it makes me feel fat. go figure.
*pushy people in the subway. koreans literally jump on empty seats in the subway, and push you back in when you're trying to get out.
*teaching grade 2. most of them can be found hiding under their desks screaming.

things i like about korea:

*teaching grade 4. i love them. they seem to love me too, i have so much fun with them.
*living right behind the school: no need for a commute after a long day of work.
*the abundance of cafés: holly's coffee, starbucks, 7 monkeys, coffee bean & tea leaf... on every corner. if only it was affordable.
*the variety in shopping. so many stores! so many clothes to choose from! so many brands!
*cheap and cute skincare and makeup: étude house, skin food... fun and affordable stuff.
*the accessories: scarves, belts, shoes, earrings, hair clips.... sooo cheap, so many of it.
*cheap food and drinks. you can get a fantastic meal with alcohol for under 10$.
*bibimpap: my favourite korean dish. a mixture of rice, vegetables, beef, an egg and spicy pepper paste. delicious.
*going out to eat au quotidien: no need to cook so much since it's cheaper to go out, although i really enjoy the occasionnal pasta dinner or french toast breakfast preparé par le boyfriend.
*the saunas: although i've only been once, i think i'll be found there frequently.
*the heated floors: nothing beats lying on a warm floor and watching a movie on a chilly day.
*koreans generosity: koreans are helpful and very giving, always there for you if you need anything. i always feel very welcomed anywhere i go. parents of my students also often leave random treats on my desks, like starbucks drinks or cookies.

things i'm still not sure about:

*showering over the toilet. part of it is funny, but i'm a bit tired of it. however, you can clean up the entire bathroom while you shower, which is efficient.
*teaching in slippers: it's comfortable but ugly.
*gym uniforms: see above.

homesickness factor: up and down like a rollercoaster these days.

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