Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things I'll Miss About Korea

Things have been a bit hectic lately. We packed up all our stuff, trained our replacements at Wonderland, said goodbye to all our friends and students, and packed our backpacks for the next 4.5 months. It's been intense, exciting, and sad.

Now, we are staying in Seoul with a week with my husband's sister, Katie. It's been so nice to just relax before our big trip. We can enjoy all the great parts about Korea while never having to wake up early or say, "Where's your homework??"

On Saturday night, we'll head to the airport for our early flight the next day and I can already imagine how hard it will be to say goodbye to Korea. Over the past year and a half I have loved and hated the differences and difficulties of living here, but now, looking back, it's been wonderful. I know I will miss this beautiful place filled with kind and honest people. I hope one day we'll come back.

Until then, here are the things I'll be missing:
  • Our friends, of course number one
  • Cheap, convenient heath care - I'm having some stomach pains and I went to the doctor and pharmacy this afternoon. I was in and out of both places within 20 minutes for under $9. Also, both the doctor and the pharmacist could speak English. That is amazing.  
  • Call buttons on tables at restaurants - These are genius. Need the waiter? Just push the button and they come right away! I love it. 
  • Cute stuff is everywhere and using it doesn't make you feel stupid and childish. It makes you happy. Well, it makes me happy, anyway. :) 
  • Cheap taxis, 'nough said. 
  • Working with kids has been so great and rewarding. At times, it can be super difficult but with time, it gets better and easier. I've really enjoyed teaching and I'm so grateful for the patience I've gained since working at Wonderland. I'm better for it. 
  • Being a mini-celebrity - Almost everyone who lives in Korea is Korean, so the few of us who aren't Korean really stand out! Little kids stare at us and we smile back and say hello. People learning English want to practice with us and my students loved playing with my "yellow hair". 
  • Tax included in the price shown - This might not be a big deal to you in your country but in the US, there is the price they show you and then there's the price you actually pay at the register. Tax is only included at the register. It does seem kind of sneaky now that I've experienced what it could be like to not have to always add in a little bit for tax when looking at things to buy in a store. 
  • Great public transportation is so convenient and helpful for everyone. I love that we never had to have a car in Korea. We could get anywhere via train, bus, taxi, or bike. I love not having a car and worrying about upkeep, parking, car insurance, and all that. 
  • Lightening fast internet is soooo cool and I will miss it immensely.  
last night in Suncheon