1. Apartment, in Korean, is "apartuh". And no matter how many times you say it, cab drivers will not understand you until you say "apartuhhhhhhhhhhhhh". It doesn't matter how phoenetically close the two words are. This also goes for the store Hi Mart, or "Hi Martuh" and Family Mart, or "Family Martuh".
2. Korean busses do not stop at bus stops unless someone wants to get out. Having never really used the public transportation system in Canada, I'm not sure if this is exclusively Korean or not, but it took me a long time to figure out I had to press the button on the wall before I was allowed to get out on my stop.
3. While chopsticks, in general, are hard for me to use, Korean chopsticks have been the hardest for me by far! Instead of wood, the ones for everyday use are made out of stainless steel and just TRY eating slippery noodles with them. I dare you. However, I feel like I've made amazing progress in my chopstick abilities since coming here. Still a few problems with, say, scrambled eggs and rice, but I'm getting there.
4. Probably the number one thing I've wanted to learn most about Korea is the Korean feminist movement, and I still can't say I've found out much. Koreans seem to keep everything hushed up! The little tidbits I've read about in the paper or heard about from other people seems a little odd to me too, for instance there's a huge debate going on at the moment about whether women known as "Miss Moms" (single women who have had children by artifical insemination) are moral. It seems the feminists have a long way to go. Or I could be mistaken. One thing is for sure, I am confused.
5. A building that would takes months to build in Canada, or even years, takes little more than a month to build in Korea. I'm not exaggerating. When I got here there was a dump on one side of my street and a garden on another side, and now two new apartment buildings are half-done. Apparently there are a lot of work-related deaths among the construction workers and I can see why- the other day I walked by a man cutting a metal pipe in half with absolutely nothing protecting his eyes- there were huge sparks everywhere!
6. When I first got here I said that Koreans were the kindest people I've ever met. It's true, the vast majority are extremely kind and funny, but I think Scout got it right when she said there were only one kind of folks- just folks.
So there you have it! Now that I've probably bored you all to tears, please enjoy some scandalous pictures from my crazy weekend in Seoul with the lady teachers. Next post will be all about Japan!