Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I ♥ Korea

View from Lotte roof// Cake//
Yum// Inspirational words taken from a bag
A few of my favourite things about Korea so far.

1. The cuteness of everything. Everywhere you turn there's amazingly cute kids, doey-eyed cartoon characters and sickly pink plastic gadgets overload! Sometimes it's almost too much to take and I have to take a deep breath to not get too over excited!

2. Every corner you turn there is something unexpected. The Lotte shopping centre is an amazing example of this, we caught a lift up to the top floor and there was this serene roof top garden with the best views over the whole of Busan, take the lift down to the bottom floor and there was a fountain and lights display going on that could almost compete with a Disney Magic Kingdom display.

3. The Jingles. Everywhere you go there are merry jingles to brighten up your day. End of a lesson? This happy tune plays out through the school corridors. Got to the last stop on the metro? You get played a fan fare. Waiting for lift? Stand and be serenaded.

4. The food. Ok, it took me a while to warm to it, but i am actually loving the food now.  I love how they have little bits of lots of different things.  It's spicy and sweet, hot and cold all on one plate. I still need to be a little braver and try more sea food, but I am super proud of myself so far and I love that chop sticks are becoming easier and easier to use everyday.

5. The Beaches. In less then 20 mins we can be at some amazing beaches. I don't think the novelty of this will ever wear off, coming from Sheffield where the closest beach is over an hour away.

6. Nick Grimshaw's late night show on Radio 1 being the show I get to listen to as I get ready for work in the morning. If anyone knows me well, they will know that I have had a long standing love affair with him, in the sense that I wish he was my brother.

7. The fluidity of our routine. I know this wouldn't suit everyone, but I love how I'm getting used to expecting the unexpected. They seem to change things at the last minute and never really have any concrete plans - on Friday for instance it was sprung on us at school that it was no leftover day at lunch, therefore we had to eat everything on the plate. I have no idea what the reason was, and when I asked a few other teaches, they didn't seem to know either. Bizarre but amusing!

8. The stationary! The stationary departments that they have here makes paperchase look dull. Luckily, Tasha shares the same love as me, and didn't find it odd that we spent over an hour in the stationary department of Lotte last night, or the night before that...

9. The 5 minutes of fame. I think being a foreign teacher at a Korean school is guaranteed to make you feel like a celeb for at least a few days. Being showered with gifts (ok, it was some odd stodgy mush, but it's still the thought that counts) and compliments never hurt anybody.

10. Everything seems to be imprinted with a life lesson, inspiring you in Korenglish. The toilet doors in the school tell you that 'An hour today is worth two tomorrow', buildings tell you 'Anything is possible' and my favourite was a flight of stairs that we walked up told us they loved us. Happy, happy, happy.