Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Korea vs High School: Socializing

I like to think that I'm a nice person, a relatively happy person, and an approachable person. In the past couple days, though, I'm starting to believe that maybe this "bubbliness" is too much for some people. That, or people are just downright RUDE. Not just any "people" but other foreigners here in Korea.

The reason I bring this up is because, yea, in the past couple days I've noticed some pretttttyyyyy rude foreigners. Example numero uno: I was walking home from the grocery store on Sunday... I was walking on the sidewalk (totally normal) and saw this foreign chick walking towards me. We were the only ones on the sidewalk and so, naturally, I smiled as in saying "hello" without actually speaking. Girl did not EVEN respond. She just kept walking! What?! I saw her later in our apartment/villa complex and I wasn't going to say anything that time, but she said "hi" so I responded, albeit begrudgingly because she ignored me earlier on in the day.

Example numero dos: on Monday evening, as the three of us were walking home from work, we saw a foreign guy walking towards us. It was daylight and it was a small street, so I said "hello!" nice and loud and clear-like as he was walking past us. This guy did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing! He just kept walking. I watched him pass and he didn't even BLINK, guys. RUDE!

I've heard a couple stories from people who have been here for longer than a year and they have said that when they first got here, everyone was super friendly and wanted to get to know everyone, but now foreigners try their hardest to straight up ignore other foreigners that they do not know. This reminds me of high school where you had your own little click and did not want to talk to anyone else. Kind of like the group of friends you already have is good enough and taking on anymore friends might be bad or something. There could be a bunch of different groups crowding the hallway that would never interact with a different clique. The only time people from different cliques crossed paths were if they happened to be in the same after school club or sport, but even there, they would try to stick with just their friends.

That's sort of how it is here. Like I said, I think I'm an approachable, nice person, so I'm guessing it's just other foreigners don't want anymore friends or they just refuse to socialize with people who are not in their group of friends. So rude.

Here's a picture to brighten the mood:

David and Kevin of Elephant class being elephants!

Oh, and here's another:

'Baller' and 'holler' on a spelling test. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mixtape of Sorts

The following blog post will include a couple different things. I'll head them so you can pick and choose what you'd like to read :) I know, I'm nice.

Learning the language, or ... not.
I have a friend that is in France and keeps a blog as well. It's a really good read. The last couple posts have been about the language and how many foreigners there don't even try with the language and how she gets compliments on being well-versed in French. I think that's awesome, that she is learning her third language and doing freakin' spectacularly! These posts always get me thinking, of course. I've been here for 11 months now and I barely know any Korean. I know a few phrases and words and I can read Korean, but it's definitely not something worth writing home about. I do feel bad about not learning Korean like I said I was going to, but it's too late now... Anyways, yea. That's really all I wanted to say about that: I feel bad that I don't know more Korean, but, hey! I can read it! That's pretty cool, eh?! And I can say "I love you." Always important. :)

One more.
Guys, I have one more month here. I can't believe it. A sorority sister emailed me asking what I was doing in Korea and I told her and then I said that I had been here for such-and-such amount of time and that in five weeks it would be a year. Then I stopped and had a minor freak out. In FIVE weeks I would have been in KOREA for a whole YEAR. HOLY SHIT! Part of me can't believe it, then a different part of me is like, "Well, duh, it's about damn time this year was up." I'm so so soooo mixed about how I feel about it, it's ridiculous. I'm happy that I came here because I got to myself better and a different culture and new foods and new friends, but then I'm like a year! A year in Korea! I had heard that I might not be able to do more than a year, then I came here and met many people who had been here for 2-6 years and I was confused. Then I had the chance to experience it for myself and I've figured out that, yes, Korea is a good country, it's a great place to teach and the people are nice and the food is delicious and you aren't alone, but it's definitely not my [kind of] country, if you get what I'm saying. I've had a great time in this year, but I'm ready to move on... I'm pretty sure. I'm gonna miss my friends, that's fo' sho'.
Side note: I admire anyone and everyone that has stayed here for more than the first year. You guys are amazing and I am so glad that you love it lots!

Packing, ick.
I have decided that the last week that I'm here, I just want it to me, the turtles, my backpack, and the stuff that was here before me in this apartment. With that said, I have four weeks to get everything out of here/thrown away. Now that I've officially said four weeks to do that, my stomach is slightly knotted. My parents have reminded me over and over and over again that I'm lazy. I agree with them, I am! I hate packing! I hate getting ready for stuff, it's time consuming and boringgggg. I'm secretly (or not so much so) hoping that I'll be able to throw away most of the stuff that is here! I hope hope hope!

Since I'll be leaving in five weeks, I should probably start thinking about where in northern Vietnam I'm going to go and where I'm going to stay in Vietnam and Rome. Have I even looked into it? Ehhh, not really. Surprise? No. I did ask a friend of a friend about her stay in Vietnam and she had some excellent tips, but I have yet to look into it on my own. Fail. I really should probably get on that. If any of you guys have any tips or suggestions, holler at me. PLEASEEEEEEEE!! I beg!

School Update
As I reported in the last update, things with the kids have been going pretty well. Zebra class and I are get along great, when we both get our way without fighting! Yay! Elephant class is still my favorite because they just LOVE to learn. They want to be at school and they want to be with me, I love it... well, except for one kid who has been giving me the HARDEST time. When I talked to her mom, who I know personally, she told me things were rough at home, so I get it. I get that L's life sucks right now, but do you have to make mine suck, too?! I mean, come on! After I talked to the rents about my issues, they suggested I ignore her, which I did all day Friday and it worked out for me. The other kids and I just pretended she wasn't there when she decided that 12:08 would be a perfect time to throw a fit. That's gonna be my new angle... I'ma straight up ignore the dickens out of that child and shower the other kids with my love and attention! Evil? Maybe (*shrugsies*). Worth it? Most certainly (HOORAY!).
This week we have Thursday off of school for Children's Day. Not sure what that is, but I'll take a day off since we haven't had one off since the very beginning of March, and that was barely a day off. Then we go back to school for Friday, have the weekend off, go to school Monday, and have a day off on Tuesday for another national holiday. I have asked multiple times if we could have either Friday or Monday off, for a four day weekend, but boss lady has told me that the parents complain and then gets a super sad face on and says "I WISH I WISH!!" Ugh. That's all I have to say to that: ugh.

I think that's about it, folks. I feel like I wanted to write about something else, but I have forgotten about it in the four hours it has taken me to jot this post down.

Peace, love, & chicken noodle soup (which I'm currently nom-ing)