For those who can't read Korean, the title says "An American in Seoul"......
Some people would never live abroad, no matter what the experience was. Some will live abroad for their whole life. Some will live abroad until the excitement is over. Regardless what the purpose of your stay is abroad, I will say one thing, it never gets easier. Every day you can be faced with a new challenge or obstacle that is completely different from what you experienced the day before. After 11 months of living in Seoul, I still have days were I think all Koreans are just against me. Surely, this is probably a natural feeling for most.
Koreans have this view that the perfect man is 5'6 and 140 pounds. Most likely he will wear tight jeans, a white skin tight t-short, and probably carry a man purse that would resemble something that most women would wear in the states. Comparable in size. So being a 5'10, 200 lb white man, with short hair, obviously Koreans are going to stare. STARING and LAUGHING in my opinion are the two RUDEST things that people can do. Especially children! Not so much my students, but ignorant Korean children who can't speak English, who run down the busy street, and think it's funny to push me and laugh. Or those that will come up to me and say, "HELLLO" and then laugh continuously. Some days I'm sure they are laughing because they are amused that they said HELLO and it's just SOOO funny to say HELLO to an America. Other days I'm convinced that it's because I have hairy arms and a little bit of a gut.
Guess what KOREA, your FOOD is NOT as healthy as you think it is! Sure, I'll give you credit, your kimchi is healthy... and I'm sure it's good for your body. But when you put KFC, Burger King, and McDonalds all on the same street--- I guarantee that these kids are going to start choosing KFC over rice and kimchi. But then again, eating rice alone is FULL of carbs. Maybe that is why I'm gaining weight. (Note to self: eating RICE every day is probably just as bad for me as eating a Big Mac once a week).
I feel like I have ranted about Korea in a while. We have now approached the humid summer month of July, also known as the month of MONSOON. Let me tell you folks, you have never felt humidity until you've traveled to Korea. I'm sure wherever in the states you live is hot. But I doubt it compares to the humidity here. Add 100 percent humidity, with 100 percent pollution = a hell of a time trying to breath. Don't even bother putting on deodorant. After about 10 minutes of being outside, regardless how much I apply, I usually can smell myself. Oh yay! With the ridiculous humidity, comes the mosquitos. I've NEVER experienced mosquitos as bad as in Korea either. Surely, if you live outside, and it's moist out, you're probably going to get eaten alive. Try opening your window for 5 minutes--- even though I live on the fourth floor, I can have about 30+ bugs in my apartment in those 5 minutes.
On to Korean mannerisms... Today, I witnessed three things a person should NEVER do.
1. I watched a man on the subway hold one side of his nose, and let the snot run out the other- directly onto the wall.
2. I watched a guy literally spit on another persons shoe, BECAUSE in Korea it's 100 percent ok to just spit everwhere...
3. And, FINALLY, I saw a guy tonight nonchalantly PISS on the fucking side walk tonight! I was in total awe. I couldn't believe IT!
Ah. In conclusion, regardless how long you've lived away from your home, it surely doesn't get any easier. Yes, you'll be more comfortable after a while--- but you'll always compare it to your home.
With that, good night.