Monday, July 27, 2009

Speechless (aka i don't know how to respond)

What do you like the most about Korea?
I have no response to that question. I could think a lot pf reasons why i like Korea, but certainly not "the most" likable.

Almost four years ago, when i came to Korea, the only "shock" i received was about how disciplined the pedestrians are. Coming from the Philippines, not everybody used the ped xing lanes. I know i usually don't. Not everybody used the pedestrian bridges (i forgot the word) to cross some major roads, and not everybody paid attention to the traffic lights. Who cares if it's green? No cars, just cross!!

Course there's a possibility that in some other cities in Korea there'd be some similar "pedestrian mishaps" but i certainly have not seen it in Gwangju.

Before coming here, i had been exposed to Korean culture for almost two years. I worked for an English Language Cram School. I was called a "boarding house teacher" in that school i worked for. Aside from my normal work load, I lived in a boarding house with the students where everything in the house is almost Korean-related: house rules, food, language (duh?), the works. My job living with them is to try and impose English as much as i can, and conduct evening classes for two hours every night. The classes called "Tea-time" are not really classes. It's an activity that we prepared, or what the students wanted, or needed wherein everything done is still in English. It could be a bowling session, a grammar cram session, a homework session, movies, sometimes just out and drinking (soju?). I had lived with Koreans 24-5. I had my share of hostilities from jerks or bitches, my share of sweet moments with the girls and boys, and major BOREDOM as sometimes, students just refuse to do anything in tea time therefore letting them do whatever they want, just making sure they'd speak even a little English.

So there was nothing really new to me when i came here. Even their language wasn't too surprising. Food? Again, living with Koreans 24/5 in a house where Korean food is served. People? I was a boarding house teacher: three houses with different number of people, changing every 4-6 months.

But i like Korea. I love the Philippines to a point i cannot explain, but i also like Korea. I like the season when all the bugs die or hibernate. I hate bugs. The bugs here are creepier. Centipedes are longer and thicker, ants are a little thicker (not bigger), butterflies are smaller but the caterpillars are bigger, bees (OMG) are everywhere... okay, nonsensical complaints =P but you get the idea, yes?

I like the respect given to old people. I haven't' been out much, but to the ones i have seen? The respect given to the elderly are amazing. Although the children are quite monstrous and impolite, i have yet to find out how they turn out to grow up somehow socially conscious of etiquette.

And in this random array of thoughts i have compiled (yet again) i still don't have an answer to that question... I still have more reasons why i like it here...

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