Sunday, June 27, 2010

What's the best part of living in Korea?

Wowee... my first formspring question. I'm a cool kid now, right?

And what a doozie it is. I have three years of blog entries about the best parts of living in Korea!!!

Obviously, the best part has been the relationships I've made here--my husband, his family, our friends (both Korean and expat), my swing club members, my taekwondo and Korean language instructors and classmates, my students, my co-workers, local shop owners, my doctor and his nurse and all the ladies at the International Clinic at Dongsan Hospital, neighborhood kids, random ajummas on the subway, my vet and his wife, taxicab drivers--nearly all of my interactions with people in Korea have been overwhelmingly positive. Being a foreigner makes you a natural object of curiousity and interest for many Koreans, and being an open-minded, culturally sensitive, genuinely interested resident in your host country turns that curiousity into lasting and powerful relationships.

Other than that, I would list different things on different days. Today, I like how low-stress my job is that I can spend all day Sunday reading three books and not worrying about school tomorrow (and yet my job is very fulfilling for me). Yesterday, I would have said how much I love hiking here when Min Gi and I embarked on a three hour adventure that began with a trailhead a five minute walk from our apartment. Before that I might have mentioned the extensive and efficient public transportation system, the many varied entertainment and activity options in a big city like Daegu, the ease of domestic travel, the accessibility of fruit and vegetable markets, the fact that I learn something new everyday, the relatively low cost of living, the obsession with cuteness that both sickens and fascinates me.

Honestly, the expat lifestyle here is what makes Korea so great for me. It's a culture that is very demanding on its own participants, and I'm not really sure I'd like it if it were my own culture (especially as a woman), but as a sort of privledged insider-outsider, it's an easy, comfortable fit.

Ask me anything

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