A Travellerspoint blog

Leaving Korea

...does that mean i have to change the title of this blog?

-17 °C

Well, folks.

It's been 2 and a half LONG years in Korea, but I've made it.
Korea has always been a temporary place, and it's been hard to see people come and go. It was easy to get settled in, but with the knowledge that it couldn't be forever.

I've taught lots of kids, made lots of friends, drank lots of soju, gone to lots of countries, read lots of books, eaten LOTS of kimchi, and taken TONS of photos.
Now comes the time to move on to the next place. It's time for a new adventure. I don't doubt that I'll be back in Korea...just hopefully not for a few years. This country can get to a person, if one really allows it to happen.

It's time to post some photos.

Things I will NOT miss:

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Trudging to work via the subway EVERY MORNING during rush hour. It is so miserable.

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Dodging cars on the sidewalks. There are technically traffic laws, but they seem to be more guidelines than anything.

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The massive amounts of pollution; on the sidewalk, in the air...everywhere. It's especially bad during "Hwangsa" or the yellow dust storms that come from the Gobi desert, picking up heavy metals along the way.

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Beondaegi. Silkworm pupa. I don't encounter it on a day-to-day basis, but come on. I've eaten centipede and I won't even CONSIDER this.

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The same apartment buildings everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.

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Traffic. Traffic. Always with the traffic.

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Terrible fashion. But to be fair, I will also miss it. It's so absurd sometimes.

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Being attacked by Christian propaganda. If a stranger approaches you on the street, in the gym, or on the subway, it is either to practice English or get you to come to church. Even if you have a constant scowl on your face and headphones on. Agh.

I will not miss being stared at, though I will find it odd that everyone ignores me back in America. I will not miss being pushed around by old women and men, I will not miss the whiny girls, the crowds, the trash, how it's ok to spit in public but not blow your nose, being told to go home, being discouraged from speaking the little Korean I know, the pushy mothers.

I really could go on. It IS time to go home. So just to prove that it hasn't been ALL bad, here are:

The things I WILL miss:

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Insadong, where they have changing displays in the Andy Warhol factory. It's just a really nice area.

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Bundang in the spring. Since Korea doesn't get a lot of snow, there's no slush. It's beautiful.

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Even though they take it to the extreme sometimes, Koreans can unite like nobody's business.

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Konglish. Engrish. Call it what you will...it's funny and it's everywhere.

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Old fortresses everywhere.

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Riding my bike into Seoul and aside from the wandering children / ajummas / couples, being completely safe.

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Buddha's Birthday celebrations. We get a day off of work AND there's a really cool parade.

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Drinking outside. Legally. At a convenience store.

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Korean baseball games. Even though I really only went to one...

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Dogs dressed up. Ok, most of me feels bad about having to see a dog suffer this. I love dogs. I do. This is just absurd.

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Kimchi...kimchi mandu. Kimchi chigue. Kimchi fried rice. Kimchi, kimchi, kimchi.

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When it does snow, it looks really nice.

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Mandu ramen.

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Sam gyeop sal and kalbi.

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I will not miss the subway, but I will miss cheap access to reliable and efficient public transportation.

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Rafting weekends in Gangwon-do.

Proximity to lots of OTHER really awesome countries:
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Vietnam
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Japan
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Taiwan
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Thailand
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Singapore
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Indonesia
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China

And last, but certainly not least, my students:
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John K
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John C
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Clara
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Jennifer
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Pisces
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Kate
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Esther-pants
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Denny
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Sean

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I've taught them well.

I will of course miss my friends, but I know we'll meet again.
Don't know where, don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day.
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do.

Compliments of the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash.

I (We) made it!

Tune in next time for my 2-week vacation to Thailand! Woohoo!

Posted by lrbergen 05:38 Archived in South Korea

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Hi lrbergen,
It's good to find your log about Korea. I'm a female Korean and working in Seoul. Yes, I'm definitely agree with you about subway in rush hour ^.^
Since I've traveled many countrys for long time such as India(9months), Europe and so on. I'm still not sure my country is the best place to live.

Have a nice trip!

by suriya79

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