Korea: a list
My term as a Visiting Researcher at Seoul National University has wrapped up, along with my research scholarship with the National Institute for International Education (NIIED). It's been a very productive term chock-full of new people, places, and experiences.
At this point in time, my departure is quite bittersweet. While I am happy to be going back home to move onto this next chapter of the process (and therefore life in general), I leave a whole other life that I have built and learned to fully function within. (cue the Littlest Hobo theme). To give y'all just a glimpse of quirky Korea, I've compiled a little list of things I will miss about living here.
Things I will miss about living in Seoul (in no particular order):
- The view of the Han river from both sides of line 4 between Dongjak and Ichon, day or night. I look whenever I can and it never gets old.
- Delivery of almost anything, and in reusable containers they come back to retrieve.
- Low property crime.
- Open attitudes towards technologically enhanced lifestyles (for better or worse mind you)
- Korea Post. It's a wonderful thing. Seriously.
- Food that is actually cheaper on campuses, instead of taking advantage of captive students like some other campuses back home...(ahem)
- Preferred seating at movie theatres. Makes lining up and saving seats at theatres seem downright barbaric.
- Convenience stores that are actually convenient and not overpriced
- 24hr city
- Street Vendors who make life a little easier all around.
- Customary no tipping and 'service buttons'
- Short waits (e.g. prescription glasses in less than 30 minutes)
- Made in Korea. Clothes, electronics, a whole heck of a lot. Almost always a domestic equivalent to imported (luxury) things.
- Nights out with friends that don't break the bank
- Not needing a car: The fabulous public transit system and plentiful taxis
- The dry cold weather
- Radiant heating
- Last but most of all, my friends here and abroad who have been supportive, wonderful, and fun. It really is a Hub of Asia, and meeting so many different types of people staying in, or going through Seoul was great.
I fly out tomorrow. I look forward to seeing everyone again, including my ever-so-patient-and-supportive-through-all-of-this husband! It'll be interesting to find out what he's been doing lately too...heh.
Repatriation anxiety. I feel somewhat like a creature from the abyss that one must not take to the surface too quickly lest it explode from the trauma of changing environments. Be kind. I might bow instead of shake your hand for the next little while.