It’s already been about 2 months since I arrived in South Korea! How time flies. I think I’m becoming more settled now and have found a new routine. I have a bank card, a resident card and home internet now. I am familiar with the bus system and which buses take me to the places nearby that I need to frequent. I know where to buy the best priced washing detergent and I’m still trying to get use to grocery shopping and my minibar sized fridge.
I’m still getting use to the language barrier. I do still feel a little intimidated eating at a place that only has a Korean menu and no pictures (I’m onto 2 Korean classes a week now!). Give me pictures and I will be happy to point and order without actually know what it is in the dish. This backfired on my the other day when I ordered chicken and it was spicy!
There is something so freeing about being here. I think it’s because I’m away from the daily grind of sorts and am treating my time here as a very long and extended holiday. I’m more preoccupied with planning trips to different cities than I am with life planning and “adult responsibilities”. I spend my free time learning Korean, organising my days, going for walks in the plentiful parks, reading and exploring. I am spending much of my time doing the very things that make me so happy and calm. Life is good.
As I sit here writing, the there is a choir of cicadas outside. It’s warm and alittle humid but not raining. I know I need to try and enjoy the nice days as much as I can. I’m becoming a local now- using my umbrella as sun shade and have a mini fan that I can carry around for those humid times. My new mini adventure now is to try as much of the local ice-cream as I can. There are a few unmanned lolly stores around. You can pick out an ice-cream for about 500-1000 won. That’s less than $1.
There is also a unmanned fruit store near where I work. You simply go in, pick out what you want and use a self check-out. I’m in awe that there’s so much trust here but there are also CCTV camera’s everywhere. It’s nice being in a country and area where it’s so safe and you can have nice things because people follow the rules.
Speaking of safe, in my 2 months here, I’ve also managed to loose my phone. Most of me was thinking, that’s it, it’s gone forever but another teacher kept telling me that it’s Korea, it’ll turn up. And sure enough, it turned up. I had dropped it on the bus and the bus company had my phone at their depot. I’ve been reunited with my phone since.
I’ve changed my mind and now think that groceries are quite expensive here. Fruits especially! But, we need to eat fruit so I have no choice. There are plums, peaches, nectarines, tangerines, watermelon and rockmelons right now. I plan to buy a slice of watermelon to enjoy this weekend.