I’m stealing this idea from Erin at Two Thirds Hazel and putting my own expat, living-in-Korea twist to it. Please remember that all opinions are my own and they may not properly depict Korea for the way it really is. Ok thank you.
1. Lack of police officers/Enforced traffic laws. I realize it’s a bit forward of me to list this as number one…but let me tell you. I’m loving this cultural norm. If your foot tends to get a little heavy and you get caught by one of the clearly marked security cameras be prepared to pay a whopping $35.00 ticket. For going 17kph over.
2. Going to the doctors office/dentist is dirt cheap. I have a confession to make (don’t tell my parents), I don’t have Korean health insurance. It’s true. The fact that going to the doctor is going to cost a difference of either d$20 dollars with insurance or $30 after insurance…hasn’t prompted me to get it right away.
3. Traveling around Asia costs as much as traveling across the continental US. You read right. I can fly to Thailand for $400 dollars, the Philippines for $300, and Japan for $150.
4. An over abundance of Iphone cases can be found here. It’s no small secret I have a phone case addiction. Either that or I just take horrible care of my cases and need to replace them often. Either one may be true. Or both at the same time. I’ve had four Iphone cases since I got my phone in December.
5. I haven’t been I.D.’ed for a drink in 1.7 years. Either I’m starting to look
really old mature, or Asia just doesn’t believe in checking I.D.’s. As a matter of fact, tonight I walked into 7/11 and three boys (didn’t look more than 16) were sitting inside sipping on a beer.
6. Korean pears…need I say more?
1. Ajummas-they hate everyone. These middle-aged married women are usually sporting tight perms and huge sun visors.They tend to be aggressive so stay out of their way, especially on buses or the subway.
2. Most local eats. Just check out the photo below.
3. Drivers in Korea. This could be due to the lack of enforced traffic laws, but Korean drivers tend to live up to their stereotype. I’ve mentioned this before, but every time I get behind the wheel I feel like I’m in a real life video game: people driving 15 mph, parking in the middle of the darn road, and pulling out without looking. It’s complete chaos.
4. The standard size of an apartment…can we also add standard of living? If you’re into living in a place that’s on average less than 350 sq. feet and covered in mold then Korea may be for you.
1. The language barrier. I don’t know how many times I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of just because I don’t fully understand the language (let’s be honest…I’ve got the knowledge of a one year old). It’s always strange to walk straight into a heated debate in the teachers room your first fifteen minutes on the job. If only I knew what it was about. 2. Having very valuable packages lost in the mail, and then finding out they were delivered and signed for by your neighbor who claims they don’t have it. Enough said. I’ve cried over it and cut my losses. I just hope my slimy liar of a neighbor enjoys his new bed sheets, gel nail polish, and shower curtain.
3. Not ever being able to leave the country under any circumstance besides death of an immediate family member or vacation. I’ve also covered this one before as well. Asking off work for weddings, births, or even sick days are out of the question. Doesn’t matter how nice your boss may seem.
4. Prejudices and racism. Coming from a country where racism is not tolerated, this is a strange one for me. Companies and businesses openly admit to only hiring people they consider good looking. It is required to include a photo with your resume. Applicants can get rejected for a job simply because of their skin color.
****The extra ugly:I’m too tired to proofread this post.
So there you go. The plus side?! There will always be more positives than negatives while living here.