It has been exactly 1 month since we arrived in Korea on the 19th of February! We’re starting to get the hang of things and finding routines in our little town of Seongju. Probably the biggest thing so far has been getting an internet connection at home and local sim cards so that we can stay in touch with people!
After 1 month here I want to just have a look at some of the great things we have experienced so far about living in Korea. Now it definitely is not all sunshine and roses (there will most likely be post about this) and this is from my personal experience but there are a lot of amazing things that we have experienced.
First off the people we have interacted with are amazing. If someone is your friend they will go out of their way to help you in any way they can. Monique and I were struggling to get phone contracts sorted out, so Jeehee, one of our adult class members, took us to a friend of hers who runs a phone shop to sort something out. This was at 9pm. Not only did we leave with new contracts and phones but at a great deal too. Our co-teachers have gone through great pains to ensure that we have everything we need, often doing things outside of working hours to ensure we’re okay; Monique’s co-teacher went to buy us furniture on a Saturday. Moning, my Korean friend who gave me a lift of the blue last week. Another colleague has offered to fetch me every Wednesday, for what would otherwise be a 5km walk, and take me home after school.
Gift giving is something that is taken very seriously here and is quite common. We have not been doing much of the giving considering that we are mostly running on living costs but from pay day we will hopefully be able to do our share too. Often you’re given a little rice cake or sweets or coffee or even some bowls.
You are almost always greeted with a huge smile and everyone says goodbye when you leave. This may be a small town thing but it can really brighten your day.
Every school day we get to eat the most delicious Korean food for lunch and you eat in the communal cafeteria, so even if you don’t understand the language, at least you feel part of the group and usually coworkers will do their best to include you! The fruit is delicious, Seongju is well known for it’s melons called 참외 (Chamoe) and we keep getting these as gifts. The strawberries are also to die for (from Goryeong).
We have done very little with regard to sightseeing, but hopefully once we’ve got a little more disposable income and have the transport system down a little better we’ll get around some more to make some new great stories. As I’ve said before some things have been very hard but so far we love it here and can’t wait to see more of this great and beautiful country.