i’ve been back in the US for 2 weeks now. it’s a little strange still–it feels like i’m on vacation. during the first week back, one of my brothers and his family and also my sister and her family came to visit. so it really felt like a vacation. we had fun hanging out and doing different things together. i’m currently staying at my parents house until i find a job. but at the moment, i’m kind of “stuck” here at home. how am i “stuck”? well, my driver’s license expired during my time in Korea, so right now i can’t legally drive… i’ll explain why i didn’t renew my license; right before i moved to Korea, i moved to my parents house in WA. i changed my address, got new license plates, etc. everything was working out, but when i went to get a WA driver’s license, they wanted proof that i really changed my address… i need some mail from a bill or something else of importance. but i had yet to live long enough in WA with my new address to have received any mail that would be ok. it’s kind of dumb, since they want people to change their license within 10 days of moving (i think that’s correct… i forget exactly). anyway, i had no time before i was leaving to go to Korea, so i just said “oh well. i’ll worry about it later.” so during my time in Korea, my CA driver’s license expired. since i no longer had a CA address, i was unable to renew it over the internet… anyway, i’ve already taken the written test and have the driver test next Thursday. WA DMV says i have to retake the two tests if my license expires… oh yeah, and also when i went to register for it, they didn’t ask for any “special important” mail to prove i was at the address i said i was at…. although i did go to a different DMV than before… so now i’m stuck here for a while. my parents left on an Alaska fishing trip this week, so i’m literally home alone.
i’ve been adjusting to life here fairly fine. i had jetlag for a while, but it’s all gone now. been updating my resume, cleaning, keeping the dogs fed, picking tomatoes, job searching… i have this desire to work for Disney company on one of their websites. it may mean i could end up living in Florida or California again.
Korea was a great experience for me. i learned a lot while being there, and not just the language. i’ve grown a lot and have gained more confidence. i think my experience there will be a good help for me in the future.
Things I’ll miss from Korea:
- Friends – I met many great wonderful people in Korea. Not just Koreans, but many from all over the world who i met in my classes at school. I’ll definitely miss seeing them and hanging out with them. but thankfully with things like facebook, i’ll be able to stay in touch. and hopefully in the future i’ll be able to visit them again
- Food – Most all of the Korean food i tried was very very good. i’ll be searching for good Korean restaurants here, but they’re very few in the area where i live right now.
- Subway – The subway was very convenient, cheap, and fast. i mainly would just walk and take the subway whenever i traveled n Korea. sometimes i needed to take a bus if i had to travel far or to a place where a subway stop wasn’t nearby. the subway system there had stops all over Seoul, so you could get to most anywhere very easy. the buses would sometimes be faster, but riding a bus in Seoul was usually a scary ride.
- Delivery speed – When ordering online, the delivery speed is amazingly fast, and usually free. Sometimes you can get the item in the same day!
Things I won’t miss from Korea:
- Crowds – The people in Korea are nice and kind, but trying to walk around in certain areas of Seoul were very crowded. At first i didn’t mind the crowds and getting bumped into and having to maneuver my way through the mass of people. But after a while, i started to dislike the crowds in the area i lived in. When people decide to stop for no reason on the sidewalk or on stairs or at the entrance ways to subways or walking too slow or rushing to get in a subway or elevator before the other people can get off… sorry, i think i’m just not used to living in big big crowded cities
- Buses & Taxis – Riding these two in Korea can be pretty scary. If you are the last person on the bus, make sure to grab something to hang on to the moment you get on, because, more than not, the bus driver will floor it and you’ll lose your balance before you can even pay the bus fair. and during the ride, you’ll be hanging on tightly or you’ll fall. the drivers like to stop hard, take off fast, and it feels like the bus is going to roll when it takes a turn. both the bus drivers and taxi drivers seem more like they should be driving race cars with the way they speed through the streets. also, the taxi drivers will blow their horn at almost everything. if you are in a car and slow down, turn, stop, you will get honked at. but at the same time, the taxis will do those same things all the time XD
- Motor bikes – I could have included this with the other vehicles, but these motor bikes need their own listing. Most of the time, the motor bikes are used for delivering things. They have to deliver very fast, so they drive more or less anywhere very quickly. In and out of lanes on the road and between people on the sidewalks. It’s kind of annoying when you walk on a sidewalk and have to jump out of the way so the delivery guy doesn’t run you over. They will ignore stop signs and lights, drive on the wrong side of the road, weave between people while they’re crossing the street on a crosswalk, and sometimes park in a spot that blocks everyone walking on the sidewalk… yeah, i dislike them
- Weather – The weather is somewhat extreme. The winters are very cold and long, and the summers are very hot and humid. The time between those two seasons feels very short, but it is very nice during those short times. Also, they have the “rainy season” which i heard used to be a lot longer than it is nowadays. But when it does rain during that time, it’s very very heavy, and you can get soaked very quickly, even with an umbrella. Oh yeah, and since i’m somewhat taller than the average Korean, when it does rain, and because of the crowds of people with umbrellas, i tend to get hit in the neck by people’s umbrellas when i walked around…
Anyway, I have things i like and dislike about the US as well, but will leave that for another day.
I took a lot of pictures that i’ll be uploading to flickr.