3 reasons you SHOULD move to South Korea

1. The Food

2. The People

3. The Experience

1. As mentioned in my previous post, the amount of kimchi and rice here is through the roof.  However, there’s very little  better than FRESH kimchi radish or cabbage.  I was introduced to the distinction while having dinner at the seafood soup restaurant in Donghae watching the moving octupus swing his tentacles about in the boiling pot :/ (sad and gross at the same time).  I noticed the kimchi was a deeper red color than usual and the sauce was thicker, almost chunky like.  I ate it and thought “say whuuuuuuut? what is THIS” my co-teach Eun Hee told me it was fresh kimchi and they had just made it.  See, the process of making kimchi happens once a year for most families in Korea. They make a whole bunch during the fall, store it in pots for a while after that and then fridge it for the rest of the year.  So while there is A LOT of kimchi, if you get your hands on freshly made kimchi, you’re good. Also, while I’m not a fan of the cafeteria food, I haven’t had a meal I didn’t like while living here and I’ve been here for 5 months and LOVE food so that says a lot. AND its cheap to eat. You will almost never break the bank to go grab lunch or dinner (try takalbi, samgyeopsal, mandu, chom poong to name a few)  here unless you’re coveting international cuisine. O AND BIG FYI- FOREIGNERS DO NOT EAT LOTTERIA!

2. It’s funny, growing up in Los Angeles in the 80’s, mainly 90’s (from what I can really remember) the relations between Melanin Americans and Koreans was less than pleasant. It had gotten to a border line race war. But I blame that on misdirected frustration and anger. Now having come to Korea and see how people from South Korea live, I can now really understand the culture and I have to say, it’s way more similar to that of Melanin Black culture than you may think.  Like  a WHOLE lot closer.  Throughout these past months I have been welcomed with LOTS of curiosity but also a high level of respect. And while I don’t want this section to read as a post coming from and speaking to Melanin Black people, because that’s not the intent or message, I am saying it to say people living in South Korea are very hospitable, kind, caring and are everyday people like you and I.  I remember wearing my hair in a twist out one day when going downtown and a perfect stranger asked me where I was from and gave me a box of pepero on pepero day, 11.11, when I was getting off the bus just because. Totally blew my mind. All of my teachers are nice if not a blast to interact with and watch. All of the trainers at Orientation were extremely friendly, fun and helpful and everywhere I go, most people may glance but that’s it. They see you, they know you’re different in that you’re not FROM Korea and then they keep it pushing. I will say though, I have encountered a couple of bus drivers who were off the chain, but that’s it! LOL The taxi drivers are my friends (at least in my city 🙂

3.  I came to South Korea to teach English, or so I thought. The truth is I came to South Korea to transition. (explanation will come in a later post). The ability to travel to one of the biggest cities in the world on the weekends, go eat mandu or samgyopsal on a Wednesday night and think nothing of it, have children see you on a non school day and get so happy they know you and can talk to you, meeting and hanging with other like minded people from all over the world, learning a language due to immersion, even though brutal, toughing the winter, hearing about mud fest and getting excited to finally attend, ranting on fb or kakao about how crazy your day was, having students run up to you and say “F*** the police” are just a FEW of the reasons why I will never regret coming to Korea. I have been exposed to how things can be in a country, how people can treat each other with full respect, how kids can walk down the street and not vandalize something just because it’s there, how an emergency visit to the hospital, water drip, shot and pharmacy medicine all cost $55. Korea has opened my eyes to a lot and while everyone’s experience is different here, I wholeheartedly encourage you, if you can to see what your experience brings while living on the peninsula. Just remember to write about it and share it with the world.

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1 Comment

  1. 3 reasons NOT to move to South Korea « BELTA – Black English Language Teacher Abroad

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