Monday, September 19, 2011

Becoming Korean

What does it mean to become Korean?  How does it happen for a very American, blond girl from Seattle?

I think I realized it was happening when just a few months into this gig I would get annoyed if the bus driver was NOT being a total maniac, zooming all over the road, and generally endangering the safety of all around and inside the bus.  I mean, I have places to be!  Mr. Bus Driver, when I got on this bus I expected you to drive like a crazy person so I could get to my appointment on time!

My wonderful co-teachers! (except Mr. No on the Left, but his English is still fantastic)

Or, on my brief trip home to Seattle, finding myself in American restaurants wishing there were chopsticks, no tips, water towels, and the "chogio! (help!  I need a waiter please!)" buttons that make so much sense!

Or, preferring floor heating to the average heater in Seattle because having warm feet, and laying on a toasty warm floor surrounded by icy air is the best way to survive a frigid winter.  

Maybe its when I crash into people on the street on accident and the relief I feel that in this culture it is acceptable to continue walking as if nothing has happened, often, in fact, to not even acknowledge the collision.   

Also, I have found that I prefer sharing my meals with others as opposed to ordering my own plate and sticking to it..  How un-steak-and-potatoes-bred style American is that?

At the train station
Of course, Korea hasn't converted me to all its ways, but pretty darn close.  With my return home just around the corner I am aware that I may have to tweak my style again, and I'm not sure I'll enjoy giving up some of my new cultural traits.


  1. Are you going to continue blogging from the U.S.? :o)

  2. I think I have a few more things to say, I'll try to wrap it up here. How do I continue this particular blog? Seems almost time for a new one.. Thanks for reading :)

  3. Ya, start a new one from the US! Looking forward to it.