Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Love and hate list

A few months ago, when I told Aaron I'd make a list of things I'll be missing in Seoul, he told me I wouldn't be able to come up with anything. I guess I was going through a rough time here (most of my year has been quite difficult, even though my blog tone was usually cheerful). I can now definitely come up with a list of things I won't miss, and a longer list of things I'll miss about Seoul.

I won't miss:

*the pollution
*lack of etiquette (people sneezing and coughing on you, not covering their mouths, and spitting in the streets- charming)
*pushy old ladies in the subway (you'd think they're line backers in the NFL)
*animals being mistreated (dog soup, anyone?)
*the vegetable truck with its loud speakers at 7am
*old ladies EATING in the sauna
*getting stared at or pointed at when i just feel like blending in
*girls taking pictures of themselves in public and obsessing about their image
*the 6$ drip coffee at the Coffee Bean and Starbucks
*some Korean foods (anything too fishy or drowned in red pepper paste)
*my religious freak of a school
*my 3-bedroom luxury suite of an apartment, and my numerous roommates (cockroaches, mosquitoes, black mold, wall stains)

I will miss:

*the generosity and enthusiasm of Koreans
*the amazing subway system and its efficiency
*the side dishes at Korean meals
*grilled meats and BBQ restaurants
*cheap soju (i don't even love it, but i'll miss it)
*going to 7-Eleven to chill out
*all the back alleys, never done discovering them
*all the neighborhoods of Seoul
*the shopping, oh the shopping- everywhere
*cheap, and good quality skincare (Skin Food, The Face Shop)
*overloading on emoticons in text messages without shame
*Hello Kitty is cool here
*shop signs with dubious English
*playing tourist
*funny/weird game shows and commercials on television
*cheap DVDs
*my favorite breakfast spots
*my students (most of them!)
*being a teacher
*singing rooms (noraebangs) being accepted, although i've only been once
*putting on my makeup in public being totally acceptable and normal
*Coldstone ice cream
*kimchi (yes, i love it)
*did i mention the shopping?
*being lost in translation
*the friendships i made
*the person i am now (fun and outgoing- let's hope it sticks)



Nicole Marie said...

umm"sneezing on you"-nasty

dog soup?? please tell me your joking

hahahah luxury apt and roomies

i bet those game shows are amazing!

now you should make a list of things you're so excited to get back home!!

Vivian said...

great idea, thanks!! i will!

yes, some people have a serious lack of manners, i guess germs are not a big concern here.

dog soup- yes. it's illegal, but it's there. i don't even want to talk about it. it's sick.

Emily said...

i am obsessed with making pro and con lists and i think this was pretty well balanced! you didn't want to love it toooo much, b/c then returning home would be tough. but at the same time, i'm glad you had some great experiences that you'll have for a lifetime.

Medio Pomelo said...

sounds like a seriously exotic place and an amazing time of your life! treasure it while you are there!

Kelly said...

what great lists!

ew on the sneezing, coughing, spiting thing...i'm very germ conscious especially when it comes to public transportation. so i would freak out.

and of course you're going to be lovely when you get back! fun, outgoing, all of it!! :)

{michelle} said...

Loved your post on the Lil Bee, so you taught over there? I'm a teacher in the US, I've long thought about taking a year off and teaching in some foreign land. Your story is very inspiring for me to just do it. Any advice?

shannon said...

im pretty sure the dog soup is not illegal. if you read Korean and you see 보신탕 that is a dog soup restaurant... they breed a certain kind of dog for meat, just like chicken or cow. also according to my Chinese and Japanese friends at sogang univ they do the same in china and japan. in fact, it seems more popular there than in Korea because most of my Japanese and Chinese friends have eaten dog but most of my Korean friends haven't. but especially Korean men over 50 or 60 seem to like it? it's supposed to give you stamina? it's especially popular for them to eat when it's really hot in the summer. I wouldn't eat it but different strokes fir different folks I guess^^;;;; haha ooooops you said you didn't want to talk about it and I just posted a book about it.

haha and I totally agree with the emoticons!

shannon said...

also you should go to the noraebang again before you leave! the first time I was so-so about it but after that I loved it!

there's no coldstone in Canada? we have them in the US but they seem to popping up everywhere in Seoul now. when I first came two years again there were none but now they seem to be easier to find here than in the US^^

vicki archer said...

Read your giest post at Li'l Bee and loved learning about Korea. Good luck as you get 'lost in translation' back at home. Safe travels, xv.

Vivian said...

shannon- nope, no coldstone in canada!! perhaps it's better for my waistline anyways!

seoul has many, many stores and franchises we'll never get back home. oh i'll miss it.

Vivian said...

and shannon- about the other "thing" being illegal- i read that somewhere, that a part of it is, but i don't know exactly what... or maybe i spend too much time on Dave's ESL! and no, none of my Korean friends has even eaten it ever, like you said it's popular with the ajosshi crowd ^^

Anonymous said...

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thanks for sharing....

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