So yeah…how do you like the new look? Thought it was time to lighten things up a bit and actually start blogging a bit more about the odd turn my life has taken recently.
Before I get started on that though, I want to add an update to my last post, on family and the things that I have learned and let go when it comes to the topic.
Shortly before leaving the US for Korea, I got some bad financial news. Went into deep depression, mourned, stayed in bed for two days and accidentally let the whole sorry episode slip to my grandmother when I went to go visit her.
What happened next shocked me. I had started a crowd funding campaign to get me out of the bad investment hole I had managed to dive headfirst into, and while my friends were incredibly helpful, my family members–including some folks I barely talk to these days–were responsible for over half of the donations.
I was stunned. Shocked. And am eternally grateful. As a result, I left Colorado feeling loved, safe and secure. That is a way I had forgotten how to feel. Thank you family. You know who you are.
I guess that’s a good lead in to the point of today’s blog entry, which is…Korea is different. My Korea experience so far has been very different both from my UK expat experience and from all of the blog and vlog and book accounts I’d read before coming, and I’m glad.
I’ve heard horror stories, weird stories, stories of discrimination etc…but I’ve had nothing but good experiences here when it comes to Koreans and Korean culture. The only issues I’ve had so far have been with other expats–primarily white Americans and Europeans but chile, that is a whole other topic for another post. Not gonna touch that now.
My point is, despite what you may have heard about Korea–political turmoil, cultural pecadilloes, etc…–my experience here so far has been one of feeling safe, secure, and remarkably unworried. Even though I’m working a full time job, don’t speak enough of the language to understand most of what anyone says to me yet, and don’t really know many people yet–I feel so relaxed I might as well be on a extended vacation.
Part of that is the usual culture-shock honeymoon stage wide-eyed thing, I know. But part of it…I don’t know.
For example, right now, it’s Friday night. I’m chillin’ at home. Ordered a pizza(in Korean! Amazing, right?). Went to the corner store and got a beer and some cookies too. I had all these grandiose plans to clean my house and work on some crochet patterns, but I’ve been talking to people all week so instead I’m sitting in front of the TV with my laptop and a terrible beer and a decent pizza typing nonsense and watching this;
No, really. What the hell is this, anyway? Is this a grown ass man in a hipster outfit doing crisp choreography? And do I actually think it’s CUTE? What has my life come to?
Comfort, that’s what. I don’t feel guilty for relaxing. I don’t have the constant pressure I felt in the US and UK to always be doing something, working on something, making something happen. I don’t feel like I need to be talking to someone, forcing a social connection, or helping somebody.
Maybe it’s selfish. But if this is what life in Korea is like so far…I think I’m going to love it here. It won’t last forever, but right now, I need the break. It is so nice to have options to do a lot of stuff–and not HAVE to do anything.
There are pressures and odd spots and major cultural differences, of course. I’m 15 minutes away from the DMZ(aka the North Korean border) and that’s certainly interesting, if not as drastic as most English-speaking media makes it seem. Hearing K-Pop music everywhere constantly has pretty much ended my temporary love affair with it. Americans are often racist morons, to my chagrin. Koreans seem to be polite to us allanyway, which is kind of them. And I am really embarrassed by my low level of ability in the language…I’m so used to talking my way into and out of things that without that ability, I feel like I seem stupid and inept. In fact, I AM kind of stupid and inept. Viva humility. Over the course of time, I’m sure I’ll blog about all of that but right now, I’m still riding out my first impression of Korea. That impression is…
…I like this place.
But seriously though. THIS just came on. What the hell is this? Where’s the dude with the Bane mask?
Follow me on Twitter for more consistent updates on the mamalazarus Korea experience and hit the subscribe button on this blog…it’s somewhere over there. —>
PS; Today’s blog title comes from this song…
I haven’t blogged in a while, and I really don’t feel like it right now, but I feel like I owe my few followers a few words to prove that I am really alive and kicking. That said, here is a random list of 5 for your Thursday viewing…
1)I am bloody DEPRESSED. I haven’t been depressed in a long time and forgot what it felt like. It sucks. How on earth did I walk around feeling like this all the time for 27 years and not commit any minor crimes? Ugh. I’m also grouchy as hell all of the time lately, which explains the four further items…
2)No no no! What is this? BLASPHEMY, I tell you!
3)I am all for trying new things and covering classic songs in your own way, but Afro-Blue should sound like this;
4)I cannot WAIT to leave Denver. For me, it’s become a place to visit, not to live. Also, I really can’t with the silly people per capita in my current suburb.
5)At least all of my brooding and griping has resulted in some startling grown woman realizations concerning family and God(separately, not together). I’ll be posting my ruminations soon, if I can manage to stay out of jail.
6)Eh, whatever, let’s make it a list of 6. I have gone on and on on this blog about Junsu Kim and his startling good-looking-ness but apparently, this guy was in the band with him the whole time and I. Never. Noticed.
Dear Lord, if you’re listening, let me run into one or two dudes with diverse energy like this while I’m in Korea. THAT guy is way out of my league, of course but can one of his fanboys be my mailman or something? Just so I can get hype off of complementary male energy rather than being the world-expanding hype woman date for a change? Just saying, Lord. A Bane mask as fashion statement is hard to find, and I appear to be going somewhere where it might be possible.
Okay, I find myself marginally less grumpy for having written 6 silly things. Let me go throw myself at the world before it wears off.
Peace, beautiful people!
So pop music. It’s kind of like sex…when it’s good you can’t get enough, when it’s bad you want nothing to do with it.
Oh, come on. It can’t be just me who thinks that…?
Backtracking after the hump…er, JUMP…
I don’t actually like it, but this mess is catchy as hell.
Ok. So on my continued quest to learn Korean(Coréenne/한국어) I’ve been exploring new ways to acquire vocabulary and grammar skills naturally in addition to the normal lessons. When learning French fifteen years ago my tactic was to watch lots of Caillou and warp my little teenage heart with Jacques Prévert. Children’s programming works wonders at teaching the basics(colors, shapes, numbers etc.) and poetry gives a framework for how to speak about intangibles. However, for whatever reason, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of children’s programming or poetry easily accessible in Korean(or if there is, I can’t find it).
What there is, is pop music and soap operas.
More after the jump….