Greetings From South Korea!

Hello to all of my friends, family and loved ones who have been anxiously awaiting my first post! I know some of you are wondering why I didn’t go with a Korea inspired title, and here is why: I have decided that my blog will become absurdly popular and I will need to keep writing it long after I leave Korea. At some point, it will probably be turned into a NY Times bestseller and then, invariably, into a blockbuster starring Julia Roberts. And that is how I will make my first million. Then I will write many books which will, of course, be turned into screenplays that nobody actually likes, but will feel obligated to see anyway. And that is how I will meet and marry Gerard Butler. But I digress… Here is the Cliff’s Notes version of my first month (or so) in Korea. First, the flight sucks. There’s just no sugar coating that. BUT, I did get to watch six movies that I never planned on seeing, so there’s that… My apartment is small, and pretty ghetto by American standards. The bathroom is just plain awkward (I will do and entire post dedicated solely to my living quarters shortly). I live less than a block from my school, so the commute is pretty awesome. I also live really close to a WalMart-esque store called Emart and many convenience stores, which makes late night snack runs all too easy. I can walk to most of the places I frequent, which is really refreshing. And anything I don’t want to walk to is a short, fear inducing taxi ride away. I can go pretty much anywhere in town for less than $6. My school is interesting. It has it’s ups and downs (I’ll do a full post on this soon, as well). But the best thing about it so far has got to be my coworkers. I love them and am so thankful for them all of the time! They helped me out so much when I first got here, and continue to help me navigate the craziness that is Korea. The second best thing is the laundromat around the corner. Seriously. They don’t do dryers here, and I just can’t live without one. It really is the little things. I have also climbed a mountain, gone to Seoul (briefly) and Gunsan (another town in Korea – also briefly), checked out the local traditional village, and of course the shopping districts, had some AMAZING food (I’ve also eaten more ramen than I care to admit), gone to a noraebang (think karaoke but in a small room with just your friends) and tried soju (a rice alcohol). A word to the wise about soju: Watch out. That stuff will sneak up on you. Here is what I love about Korea so far: The food, the people are usually pretty friendly (as long as you’re not too loud on the bus or subway), walking, the food, my students, noraebangs, freebies (they hand out free samples like candy), the new friends that I am making from all over the world, and the food. Also, people will come up and say hi to me just because I am a waygook (foreigner). It kind of makes me feel like a celebrity. I’m thinking of offering autographs in preparation for my inevitable fame. What I don’t like: The initial feeling of helplessness when you get here because you can’t communicate with anyone. I am now up to about 20 Korean words, btw. Getting called fat by students everyday. Overweight people are not common here and it is not considered rude to comment on it. Or in some cases, poke them in the belly like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Again, I digress. Lastly, I hate the fact that other waygooks pretend like they don’t see you when you walk by. Anyone that’s not Asian sticks out like a sore thumb here, so it’s pretty hard to act nonchalant about it. But I have to stare them down to get them to smile or say hello (a lot of waygooks I encounter probably think I’m a weirdo – I do a lot of staring down). Because honestly, after the first couple of weeks here, you just want to hear people speaking English. It really is comforting. I miss my friends and family terribly (read: cats), but generally the homesickness passes as quickly as it arrives. I promise to do more posts with pictures soon, but for now I will leave you with this video of my wonderful kindergarten class performing “Ghostbusters.”

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12 comments

  1. Liz Allardyce · November 3, 2011

    Yayx1000!

    • Meg · November 6, 2011

      totally bought you some shin chan (sp?) socks the other day…

      • Liz · November 7, 2011

        Dude, Shin socks? That’s so cool, thank you!

  2. Elena K'Meyer · November 3, 2011

    Hi Megan,

    Starting this blog is a great idea! I am so glad you did it. And of course, it would be neat to say that I used to read it “way back when” in a highly likely event of this blog hitting it big and turning into books, sreenplays and other good stuff.
    Going forward, please take the time to keep us all posted on what you are doing over there 🙂 Moving to a different country is something I’ve always wanted to do too… Wait a minute, I’ve already done that ::
    Anyway, I hope you keep having fun and blogging about it. Anbd please, start losing some of that weight! 🙂
    Love,

    Elena

    • Meg · November 6, 2011

      i finally have your email address, so now i can email you! also, i’ll be posting here regularly. so check back for new pics and pulitzer prize winning stories. =)

  3. Pat Dulmage · November 5, 2011

    Dear Megan, Nov. 4th

    I can atest to the fact that beautiful gray pussy was either in your Dad’s lap or in my lap, the night of the 29th. A very contented Kitty. I do think Julia Roberts is a bit to old for your part in the movie, I’d suggest Ms. Barrymore.

    A delightful blog (my first one) looking forward to the next one. Fondly, Pat

    • Meg · November 6, 2011

      thanks for giving my cat some love! he sure likes it. i’m bummed we couldn’t get the skype thing together while you were there. i was looking forward to saying hi!

  4. Jessica · November 6, 2011

    Awesome! I can’t wait to hear about the awkward bathroom and see pics of your ghetto apartment. And i want to hear more about the FOOD and your new friends and coworkers. And that video is fantastic. That kid in the middle with blue shoes has some moves. Love and miss you! Let me know if you have any particular care package requests like taco bell sauce packets or anything not available to you there. Keep writing!!

    • Meg · November 6, 2011

      oh, i am going to do an entire post dedicated to my favorite foods in awhile. i want to try some more and get some good pics. but i don’t think i’ve had much that i didn’t like. that kid with the blue shoes is my favorite. =) he is a sweetheart. his mom likes to dress him like a gay cowboy most days. and thank you for the care package offer, but it would cost you approximately a million dollars to send me one. however, my apartment is always open if you want to come visit!

  5. Kevin · December 7, 2011

    So impressed with your globe-trotting!
    My Christmas Party is in three days and I have nobody to serve my wine! The dilemma you have caused me by running off to S Korea.
    In all seriousness, what you are doing is awesome and inspiring at the same time.
    Keep up the blog and even when you’re rich and famous, I’ll make sure to share the spotlight with you.
    (((((HUGS)))))
    Kev

  6. Margaret · January 27, 2012

    Your New Year trip sounds great thank you for making my life seem so bland. Glad you are taking advantage of your experience and sharing.

    Love you the most (don’t tell your sister)
    margie

    • Meg · January 27, 2012

      i always knew it… you could always come visit me!

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