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South Korea

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
In a few hours, I head to the airport. My departure to Korea will be at 10:55 AM CST. Please keep me in your prayers if you are one to pray. It doesn't matter to me what religion or faith you follow; I just ask that you please pray for me and also for my parents who will remain here in Texas while I am in Korea for at least a year.

I look forward to teaching conversational English to young students there of all ages. Other than that, I am anxious and have butterflies in my stomach. This will be my first time out of my state and my country. I'm sure I will be fine. Korea is a beautiful land, and my employer seems like a caring woman.

Off to bed now for a little sleep.

Namaste.
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
In a few hours, I head to the airport. My departure to Korea will be at 10:55 AM CST. Please keep me in your prayers if you are one to pray. It doesn't matter to me what religion or faith you follow; I just ask that you please pray for me and also for my parents who will remain here in Texas while I am in Korea for at least a year.

I look forward to teaching conversational English to young students there of all ages. Other than that, I am anxious and have butterflies in my stomach. This will be my first time out of my state and my country. I'm sure I will be fine. Korea is a beautiful land, and my employer seems like a caring woman.

Off to bed now for a little sleep.

Namaste.
What an opportunity. Enjoy and be blessed.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
In a few hours, I head to the airport. My departure to Korea will be at 10:55 AM CST. Please keep me in your prayers if you are one to pray. It doesn't matter to me what religion or faith you follow; I just ask that you please pray for me and also for my parents who will remain here in Texas while I am in Korea for at least a year.

I look forward to teaching conversational English to young students there of all ages. Other than that, I am anxious and have butterflies in my stomach. This will be my first time out of my state and my country. I'm sure I will be fine. Korea is a beautiful land, and my employer seems like a caring woman.

Off to bed now for a little sleep.

Namaste.

I'm so excited for you! I imagine you're still on the plane.

Keep care of yourself, and enjoy this wonderful adventure. May you find all you seek.
 

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
I'm so excited for you! I imagine you're still on the plane.

Keep care of yourself, and enjoy this wonderful adventure. May you find all you seek.

Thanks so much, George. The flight was 14 hours and 10 minutes. The plane departed DFW and we flew over Colorado, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska before flying over some seas and Japan. By the way, I don't know every state or anything else we flew over due to falling asleep more than once. Finally, we landed in Korea. At the moment, I am in Incheon International Airport. My entry has been confirmed, and they confirmed that I will quarantine for seven days in an apartment provided by my employer. I'm waiting for a limo ride from here to Jeonju. A nice man who works in the airport ordered it for me, and I paid for it. A four hour ride in this lovely country costs me about $27 USD. Isn't that wonderful?

I will keep updating this thread indefinitely.

Namaste. :yellowheart:
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
Thanks so much, George. The flight was 14 hours and 10 minutes. The plane departed DFW and we flew over Colorado, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska before flying over some seas and Japan. By the way, I don't know every state or anything else we flew over due to falling asleep more than once. Finally, we landed in Korea. At the moment, I am in Incheon International Airport. My entry has been confirmed, and they confirmed that I will quarantine for seven days in an apartment provided by my employer. I'm waiting for a limo ride from here to Jeonju. A nice man who works in the airport ordered it for me, and I paid for it. A four hour ride in this lovely country costs me about $27 USD. Isn't that wonderful?

I will keep updating this thread indefinitely.

Namaste. :yellowheart:

Take some pictures of the countryside, if you can!

How is all this, emotionally?
 

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
Take some pictures of the countryside, if you can!

I will try to remember to do so.

How is all this, emotionally?

It feels awkward and a bit scary knowing that most people here are not fluent in English. It's a bit scary because the event of an emergency or finding myself lost would be challenging due to the language barrier. Thankfully, I am able to easily communicate with my employer and fellow teachers on an app that we use. Further, I feel fortunate because I am going to save a lot of money very easily here, my workplace is a 5-15 minute walk from the apartment, and I have a network of support here. In addition, I feel like I am depriving my parents of my presence. Then again, my mother wants me to live my own life, and my father would like for me to gain experience and become wise like him. Finally, I feel relieved now that I am outside of my home state.

[Edit: Talking about being an American in SK makes me feel like some girl with a YouTube channel. Lol.]
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
It feels awkward and a bit scary knowing that most people here are not fluent in English. It's a bit scary because the event of an emergency or finding myself lost would be challenging due to the language barrier. Thankfully, I am able to easily communicate with my employer and fellow teachers on an app that we use.

I assume you'll start learning Korean, too, at some point?

Are the other teachers all starting out, too, or are some of them veterans at this?

Further, I feel fortunate because I am going to save a lot of money very easily here, my workplace is a 5-15 minute walk from the apartment, and I have a network of support here.

This sounds wonderful.

In addition, I feel like I am depriving my parents of my presence. Then again, my mother wants me to live my own life, and my father would like for me to gain experience and become wise like him.

I'm sure they miss you, but I bet they're proud.

I had a coworker once who refused to move out because he didn't want to subject his mom to more time with his dad.

Finally, I feel relieved now that I am outside of my home state.

I bet.
 

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
I assume you'll start learning Korean, too, at some point?

I most likely will. I can read the Korean alphabet for the most part, albeit slowly. I know a few words, and I must learn more words and some helpful phrases as well.

Are the other teachers all starting out, too, or are some of them veterans at this?

To the best of my knowledge, they are all veterans at this. I look forward to quarantine being over so that I can see the teachers and my employer.

I'm sure they miss you, but I bet they're proud.

I'm sure they do, too. My mother probably feels that this chapter in my life will help me be more independent when I return to America. I'm certain that my father knows I'm realizing who I really am as a person. When he was in the USAF, he was stationed in Montana, and then he was in Vietnam for a year. During those four years, he realized that Texas is his home, and he has been a genuinely patriotic man since.

On this my third day in Korea, my American identity is stronger than it ever was before. I now feel comfortable and even proud of saying America is my homeland. In a previous post, I mentioned that I felt relieved since being outside of Texas, but now I find myself missing it, warts and all.

I had a coworker once who refused to move out because he didn't want to subject his mom to more time with his dad.

That's a good reason.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
To the best of my knowledge, they are all veterans at this. I look forward to quarantine being over so that I can see the teachers and my employer.

Any good advice they've given you?

On this my third day in Korea, my American identity is stronger than it ever was before. I now feel comfortable and even proud of saying America is my homeland. In a previous post, I mentioned that I felt relieved since being outside of Texas, but now I find myself missing it, warts and all.

What do you feel your American identity consists of? I think its nice that you feel more comfortable with it now. What do you find yourself missing about Texas?

I take it you might be going through some culture shock? Are there any things you find surprising or jarring?

I had a coworker(and good friend) from Mali. She said culture shock bit her real hard when she got to the US... And then she started working with me, and my mom(we worked at the same place for awhile), and culture shock whammed her all over again.
 

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
Any good advice they've given you?

So far, we've only been introducing ourselves and getting to know each other on a messenger app. When my quarantine is over, I will be able to not only see them but be trained and learn from them. I'll be sure to ask them for some advice tonight, and what the job is like (they get off at night because their jobs start in the early afternoon).

What do you feel your American identity consists of?

I feel it consists of a national culture in addition to having a regional culture. Also, I feel my American identity involves identifying with American history and calling it 'our history.' Additionally, having our type of government and political system, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, identifying with the founding fathers and other significant figures from back then, and using American English and the United States customary units.

What do you find yourself missing about Texas?

Everything, and that includes the weather. Summers can be very hot, and humid, but we share the experience as a people.

I take it you might be going through some culture shock? Are there any things you find surprising or jarring?

I am going through culture shock, yeah. Some aspects of culture shock I am experiencing are the language barrier*, the different way of waste management, and taking a shower here. I've read on Wikipedia that it normally takes six months for a person to get used to a different culture. On the other hand, there are some things that I am fine with here. If I'm not in my bed that's low to the floor, I'm sitting on the floor because there are no chairs. At the moment, I am on my laptop, which is on a table low to the floor. I'm fine with this because I sit on the floor a lot back home (even when I have a break during a subbing job, I slip out of my shoes and sit on the classroom floor to feel more relaxed). Sitting on the hard floor during winter in Korea, by the way, is not bad because the floors are heated.

*Translating can be unsatisfactory. One setting on the microwave here is 'river,' for instance. Yes, that is the only definition of the Korean word, from what I have seen online.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
So far, we've only been introducing ourselves and getting to know each other on a messenger app. When my quarantine is over, I will be able to not only see them but be trained and learn from them. I'll be sure to ask them for some advice tonight, and what the job is like (they get off at night because their jobs start in the early afternoon).

How many days left on the quarantine?

I feel it consists of a national culture in addition to having a regional culture.

That regional culture is more important than I think a lot of folks recognize. My husband is from the South(I am from, and we live in, the Midwest), but I feel like we grew up in different countries. He's been here a decade, and never adjusted.

Everything, and that includes the weather. Summers can be very hot, and humid, but we share the experience as a people.

I've never been to Texas, but I've always been impressed with the storms I've seen from there in videos.


I am going through culture shock, yeah. Some aspects of culture shock I am experiencing are the language barrier*, the different way of waste management, and taking a shower here. I've read on Wikipedia that it normally takes six months for a person to get used to a different culture. On the other hand, there are some things that I am fine with here. If I'm not in my bed that's low to the floor, I'm sitting on the floor because there are no chairs. At the moment, I am on my laptop, which is on a table low to the floor. I'm fine with this because I sit on the floor a lot back home (even when I have a break during a subbing job, I slip out of my shoes and sit on the classroom floor to feel more relaxed). Sitting on the hard floor during winter in Korea, by the way, is not bad because the floors are heated.

*Translating can be unsatisfactory. One setting on the microwave here is 'river,' for instance. Yes, that is the only definition of the Korean word, from what I have seen online.

What's the difference in the waste management and showering department?

I think I'd like having no chairs. I've tried to convince my husband to get rid of the furniture in the past, but he won't. I also sit on the floor a lot(sadly, our are not heated, though).

One summer, I got really into Korean cooking, and I served the food as close to traditional as I could, including on a low table, and we all sat on the floor. Those are good memories.
 

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
How many days left on the quarantine?

Legally speaking, I am in the fourth day and have three more to go after today. When a person arrives in Korea and goes through Covid and immigration at an international airport, the person receives a couple of documents that identify the place of quarantine and the dates of quarantine. A lot of people quarantine for seven days in a government facility. Some of us though quarantine in a private residence. The day that a person receives those documents is the day when quarantine begins. In my case, I arrived in Incheon in the afternoon and spent a while going through immigration and Covid. Then, I had to speak with somebody who helps people such as myself get to whatever part of Korea our residence is located. He ordered a ticket for me and I paid for it. The limousine (technically, a bus that transports arrivals from the airport to a different city) arrived at 9:55 PM and drove several individuals and me to Jeonju, which took about three hours. Seeing that I arrived at my residence after midnight, I did not have the chance to start quarantine on time.

That regional culture is more important than I think a lot of folks recognize. My husband is from the South(I am from, and we live in, the Midwest), but I feel like we grew up in different countries. He's been here a decade, and never adjusted.

This is a perfect example of how regional culture is more influential on us than the nationwide culture.

I've never been to Texas, but I've always been impressed with the storms I've seen from there in videos.

Our thunderstorms really do inspire awe.

What's the difference in the waste management and showering department?

Garbage is put in bags that are then dropped into the right bins. There is a bag and bin for garbage that is general waste (things such as used tissues, eggshells, bones, used clothes, etc.), bags and bins for recyclables, and a bag and bin for food that is thrown out (this is a great way help people consider not wasting food). The bags come in different colors depending on what goes in them. They can be purchased at grocery stores and convenience stores. My employer left me a few bags exclusively for garbage that is general waste. For that reason, I am temporarily placing recyclables in a cardboard box until I get the right bags.

In a Korean bathroom, the shower is just next to the sink. There is no tub or shower curtain. You turn on a faucet and use a showerhead. The water goes into a drain on the floor. The bathroom floor is cold. If I had brought some slippers with me, stepping out of the bathroom would be easier.

I think I'd like having no chairs. I've tried to convince my husband to get rid of the furniture in the past, but he won't. I also sit on the floor a lot(sadly, our are not heated, though).

I'm not surprised that you too sit on the floor a lot. :tongueout:

I kind of miss leaning back in a chair now.

One summer, I got really into Korean cooking, and I served the food as close to traditional as I could, including on a low table, and we all sat on the floor. Those are good memories.

Sounds very nice!
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
Garbage is put in bags that are then dropped into the right bins. There is a bag and bin for garbage that is general waste (things such as used tissues, eggshells, bones, used clothes, etc.), bags and bins for recyclables, and a bag and bin for food that is thrown out (this is a great way help people consider not wasting food). The bags come in different colors depending on what goes in them. They can be purchased at grocery stores and convenience stores. My employer left me a few bags exclusively for garbage that is general waste. For that reason, I am temporarily placing recyclables in a cardboard box until I get the right bags.

That actually sounds very functional. The bags sound like they'd be hard to get used to, but it might be well worth it.

In a Korean bathroom, the shower is just next to the sink. There is no tub or shower curtain. You turn on a faucet and use a showerhead. The water goes into a drain on the floor. The bathroom floor is cold. If I had brought some slippers with me, stepping out of the bathroom would be easier.

I had to look up Korean bathrooms... wow! That is a big difference. It seems like it would be cold. I guess when you get out of quarantine, you know to buy some bathroom slippers.

I'm not surprised that you too sit on the floor a lot. :tongueout:

I kind of miss leaning back in a chair now.

I try to get up and down a lot from different spaces... I find way too many 30 somethings moan and groan about getting on and off the floor, and I don't want that to be me. I want to stay limber.


-
 

mangalavara

हर हर महादेव
Premium Member
Today is my sixth day living in Korea. I have been living on my own for the first time, and I enjoy it. The 'energy' (is this the same as ki/qì/prāṇa?) of my urban location is better than that of my previous location somewhere in semirural Dallas. In spite of the close proximity of traffic noise, and some neighbors who slam their door every time they close it, this little area has a nice, peaceful feel to it. Also, it feels good to live in an apartment building that is small instead of large. Interestingly, I'm feeling healthier, I actually go to sleep at night and wake up early in the morning, and I don't spend such a long time in the bathroom anymore.

This afternoon, I had to undergo another Covid test. The testing location was inside a skating rink not at all far from my apartment. After the test, as I was walking outside admiring the nature and the building next to the skating rink, I felt a calm that I rarely experience. Even though I stand out because of my European features, I don't feel nervous. I really like this place. Oh, and I like being surrounded by all these people who for the most part are not taller than me (back in the US, almost everybody is taller than me).

Tomorrow is officially the last day of my quarantine. My training at my workplace starts on the 17th day of this month. My workplace is a nine minute walk from my apartment. When I get out of quarantine, I'm going to explore this area to become more familiar with it. There's an Indian restaurant nearby that I would like to try out. Also, I need to buy groceries. I have much to look forward to.

The bags sound like they'd be hard to get used to, but it might be well worth it.

I think I'll get used to the different bags easily. The garbage disposal system is good. This country is small, so mandatory recycling is a good way to save on land.

I had to look up Korean bathrooms... wow! That is a big difference. It seems like it would be cold. I guess when you get out of quarantine, you know to buy some bathroom slippers.

Korean showers are quite different from what we're used to in the US. While it is different, I like how it helps me use less water. The floor is certainly cold considering that the heating is not under it, but one advantage of the kind of floor I have in the bathroom is that it's a lot less slippery.

I try to get up and down a lot from different spaces... I find way too many 30 somethings moan and groan about getting on and off the floor, and I don't want that to be me. I want to stay limber.

Very nice. I want my body to remain limber, too.
 
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JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
Today is my sixth day living in Korea. I have been living on my own for the first time, and I enjoy it. The 'energy' (is this the same as ki/qì/prāṇa?) of my urban location is better than that of my previous location somewhere in semirural Dallas. In spite of the close proximity of traffic noise, and some neighbors who slam their door every time they close it, this little area has a nice, peaceful feel to it. Also, it feels good to live in an apartment building that is small instead of large. Interestingly, I'm feeling healthier, I actually go to sleep at night and wake up early in the morning, and I don't spend such a long time in the bathroom anymore.

This afternoon, I had to undergo another Covid test. The testing location was inside a skating rink not at all far from my apartment. After the test, as I was walking outside admiring the nature and the building next to the skating rink, I felt a calm that I rarely experience. Even though I stand out because of my European features, I don't feel nervous. I really like this place. Oh, and I like being surrounded by all these people who for the most part are not taller than me (back in the US, almost everybody is taller than me).

This really sounds like its turning into a beautiful experience, despite initial uncomfortability.

Being 'not short' is nice sometimes... I'm 5'2, and I like feeling 'of average height'(or maybe even a little tall) in the Asian grocer.

Tomorrow is officially the last day of my quarantine. My training at my workplace starts on the 17th day of this month. My workplace is a nine minute walk from my apartment. When I get out of quarantine, I'm going to explore this area to become more familiar with it. There's an Indian restaurant nearby that I would like to try out. Also, I need to buy groceries. I have much to look forward to.

Will grocery shopping, menu planning, and cooking for yourself be a new adventure, or is it something you're already accustomed to? (I ask because I know you lived with your mother, and being a mother myself, I know most of us like feeding our kids.)


Korean showers are quite different from what we're used to in the US. While it is different, I like how it helps me use less water. The floor is certainly cold considering that the heating is not under it, but one advantage of the kind of floor I have in the bathroom is that it's a lot less slippery.

Honestly, it looks like showering is a lot simpler. Its such a production in our bathrooms in the US. Though, we don't have a shower at my house... we didn't have one installed when the bathroom was remodeled, because Ares would have used it to spray water everywhere.
 
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