* Koreans love octopus. They especially love LIVE octopus- the kind that suctions to your throat as you try to swallow.
I will not be partaking of live octopus.
* Drainage issues- such as clogging the shower with hair- are universal. Only in Korea for some reason it creates a stench so horrid your entire apartment will reek like raw sewage. Also it may be difficult to take a shower as everything from your kitchen sink (water AND food) as well as grime from your washing machine will drain directly into and flood the shower.
*Genuine maple syrup is $20 from the E-Mart international aisle. I recently discovered that boiling water, brown sugar, and fresh orange juice will make a SPECTACULAR orange syrup that goes just fine with just-add-water pancakes :)
* Korea is cold. And rainy. And wet. And polluted. And Changwon is a BIG city with lots of people. But we are surrounded by mountains and oceans and parks adn hundreds of other Americans/Canadians so it works out alright.
* African market was great. But Korean market is SUPREME. And it's on the 4's and 8's (eg; March 24, March 29. . . ) so it provides something to look forward to more than once a week.
* Koreans love Nike, New Balance, and North Face. Basically "N"'s--besides North Korea of course :) They like to wear bright, neon-colored tennis shoes with every outfit, no matter how dressy or bussiness-like.
* Koreans don't stop. Pedestrians do not have the right away. But every time I start to get angry that I almost got hit, I remember the 50,000 times I almost died in Africa due to negligent and crazy drivers. . .and I'm still alive.
* Drip-brew coffee in Korea is ridiculously expensive. I went to Starbucks one of my first mornings here thinking that Starbucks prices are always universal. WRONG. A tall drip-brew was $4.50!!! Lame. I invested in a plastic, $6 french press and buy the cheapest ground coffee I can find at *8.50 a bag. Bah.
* Koreans love to drink and screw. There are no drugs to be found. Sneaking them into the country results in an automatic death penalty. Stealing is unheard of (it is like proclaiming poverty) and murder, if it does occur, is national news. But you will find smartly dressed businessmen by the hundreds on the streets of Changwon, wasted and puking. and every barber shop pole you find on virtually every street corner is an understood "find prostitutes here." Welcome to Korea :)
* Koreans are rich. They have to be. At least the ones that live in teh city. I don't know how people go to so many schools, have so many name brand clothes, eat out so often. . . It's time like these I miss my $0.25 Ugandan avacados. Here they are $4 a piece.
*Teaching is OK- but Korea is better. It seems that is the general consensus of all who teach here. Teaching is tolerable at best. The hours are slightly horrible, the days are insanely long, adn the kids are brats. But at the end of the day we have a rent-free apartment in downtown Changwon, a decent salary, a ton of other world-traveling friends, and things like Friday night Ultimate Frisbee, Hot Yoga, Girls' Night, Korean BBQ, weekend trips to Busan, Game Nights at Ar.To Coffee--the list goes on.