we talked about the things that are better in korea.
here are some things that are better in america than in korea
no, we are not bashing korea, just pointing out differences . . .
1: forming lines. we've mentioned this before, but we need to mention it again. we've been cut in front of, people jump in taxis while we are actively opening the door etc. in america its a lot more orderly.
2: personal space. kind of goes with #1 a lil' just one "normal" scenario. i (daniel) was sitting on the floor with my legs crossed at a school dinner when a man sat "next" to me. by next i mean he was straddeling me, one leg on each side of me! then he had one hand on my back, and another on my inner-thigh! YIKES! he stayed there for about 5-10 minutes? totally normal.
3: tie fashion. in korea there are sequins and glitter on 99% of koreans ties. actually thinking about it, is that good or bad :-p
4: privacy in public bathrooms. there are randomly placed OPEN windows in bathrooms, and the doors of public bathrooms are often kept open.
5: quantity of soap and toilet paper in bathrooms. its hit and miss finding these things in korea :-p
6: school safety. its very common to see every student carrying INSANE box cutters in every class.
7: public garbage cans. as much as people in korea want to recycle this makes them not put public garbage cans all over the place. in koreas downtown there are a couple?
8: safety for people on the sidewalks. walking down the street you need to dodge people, scooters AND cars! keep your head on a swivel people!
9:gift giving. as much as the gift giving is awesome, once you give a gift you NEED to give back. when you give back then the person who gets your gift feels obliged to give you something in return. then when you get another gift you have to give another gift. its reciprocity gone MAD people :-p
10: giving people the right of way. in korea whether its walking down the street or driving, there seems to be no given right of way. this causes many "awkward stranger dances" with people, or people just running in to you. we have heard stories where koreans who havent gotten out of the way of army tanks, and have been run over by tanks. true or not, sadly it is believable.
11: coffee. even though i am a self-described "coffee snob" the vast majority of coffee (99%) in korea is instant coffee. we have gone to a coffee shop and watched the barista open up a thingy of instant coffee and serve it to a customer. YUCK!
12: planning ahead. in america people LOVE to plan ahead. in korea its often common to go to work, and walk in a classroom with NO students. then a teacher will call you and say "todays classes are all canceled due to exams" another scenario, you will be sitting in your office with no class, and a teacher will ask where are you? you are supposed to be teaching!" also, you can ask anytime during the semester and ask "when are finals" and no one will know. i JUST found out the dates for finals just two weeks before finals. since i love schedules, this has been the most difficult thing to adjust to.
we have absolutely loved our time here, and have adjusted very well and the differences we just smile and say "we love it here"