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KT & Nizzle’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010

Location: Korea (South)

MapAs my final reflection on my one year stay in South Korea I have decided to make two lists. The first and shorter of the two will be the things that I will not miss about this country. After, to end on a happy note because I have truly enjoyed my time here will be the longer list of things that I will most definitely miss about this country. (In no particular order)

The "I will not miss..."
- The horking. The loud, drawn from deep within the nasal cavity hoking that is done outside, in elevators and subway stations by both men and women. Gross.
- The elbow thrusting, shoulder dropping, "I will run you over with my cart" Ajummas (elderly ladies). Do not get in their way.
- The smell. My nostrils will not miss the offensive smells that sneak up out of nowhere.
- Pickles with pizza. What are you thinking? Not to mention that they are sweet pickles.
- Students slamming doors, being demanding, sprinting in the hallway. Somebody tame them!
- The lack of organization, communication and consistency within the school (classes and curriculum)

The " I will miss..."
- No tipping! The waitress will run after you and return your change if you have left behind the equivalent of 50 cents.
- Korean socks! I always love new socks. So cheap, so cute.
- Transportation. Every day convenience as well as weekend travel on a luxury bus. You can get across the country in a lazy-boy for under 30 dollars.
- Customer service.The greetings and smiles that you get when you enter a store. These greetings range from a loud "annyonghaseo" to a small dance, in costume and a song from a microphone. I also can't complain about the "service" which is free stuff that they give you for making a purchase.
- Korean food. You can check out my album for some pictures.
- Cheap shopping.
- Cheap taxis. The drivers may be weaving between lanes, on their cell phones, hitting their GPS or watching the craziest Korean game show on TV while they drive...but they get you there and it's cheap!
- Feeling like a celebrity. "HELLO KT TEACHER!" :) "You so pretty. I love you."
- No liquor rules. It's in the convenience store, the supermarket and...juice boxes! They don't have many public restrictions either. A beverage in the park? Okay.
- Feeling safe. Where's my purse? Ah, way down there...and open...no biggie.
- What to do this weekend? There is always a day trip, mountain to hike, friend to visit, baseball game to watch.
- The baseball games. Bring your noise makers, your own drinks and food, admire the cheerleaders and follow along as the fan section cheers for the entire game!
- My "ladies". Oh, how I will miss these gals. The Lady with the shiny headband that always smiles, the Lady that works in the restaurant, the Lady that knows my scone order at Tous les Jour, the Lady that smiles at me on the morning bus and my fav - the Lady that bows to me every morning at school and giggles when she tries to say hello in English.
- Kimchi. That's right, I said it.

It goes without saying that the friends that we have made here will be missed dearly. Our regular Canadian crew, the arts center bench posse, the Yeonsu buddies, the students, and my coteacher/Korean sister Julie have made my year in the ROK an unforgettable one.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." A.A. Milne