I don’t understand why some people even bother leaving their own country. Let’s tasker many if the English teachers here for example. There are quite a few that don’t even bother learning the language. Seems kinda dumb not even trying to really communicate with the residents of a foreign country that are paying your salary. Its like being invited to d’oeuvres host but never, ever speaking with the owners.
On top of that, they also just hang out in the bar area of Seoul, drink every weekend and never see any more than the school they work at (which they hate) our the bar they hang out in. There is a whole culture out there that is 25 times older than the one you came from! Yet out there and learn something dammit!
Then there are the tourists that never really leave their country. Ok, sure, visit the tourist trap areas, fine but when your are taking “memorable pictures” of you and your companions sitting in a Starbucks dinking coffee, why the hell did you leave your country? You are in a country with 5000 years of history and this is what you want to remember? Hell, there is a demonstration just down the street, why not go there? Just follow the loud traditional music playing!
People are given an awesome chance in their life and they squander it.
I’ve mentioned it before, the extreme conservative mentality can drive a person nuts. We got on a 1.5hr bus drive on a day when the weather in already in the early 20’s and the driver doesn’t turn on the AC . The driver is fine because he had a window but the rest of us suffer. Its idiotic. It wasn’t until a mother went to ask for a bag because her daughter is feeling sick, due to the hat, that he finally turned on the AC. Sadly, 15mins later we arrived at our destination. They just don’t think, most of the time, outside of their own needs.
This post will cover South Korea but in reality, it’s about people.
I realized something important when we went to Thailand in 2011. Sure petting a tiger is pretty awesome but nothing compared to the people we met. We met this girl, her name was Merav. She had been traveling for quite a few months in Asia and still have more to do. We found out that she was from Israel and is a dance performer. We had an awesome time sitting and chatting with her.
When we went to Indonesia, we went to visit from people who my wife met the first time she came to visit South Korea. We had the hardest time paying for anything while we were there! I had to sneak away from the table once to pay for our dinner and they were shocked that I did so. The Kindness that we found in a Muslim country was unparalleled.
In South Korea here, we have met friends that will be so till the day we die. This next person is Ahyoung. An extremely pleasant person who has gone out of her way to make us feel welcome here. When she worked at a coffee shop in Itaewon, she invited us there for breakfast, before the place was officially opened, made us breakfast, coffees and didn’t charge us a dime! We were stunned.
Today we went to a Korean BBQ place (lovingly called Meat Home) to celebrate my birthday with friends.
Everyone who was here was a completely new friend to us and we have damn good food at this $14, all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ place.
These people, whom I have only met just once, were kind enough to join us for supper and even got me the beset cake I have had since I’ve been in Korea!
We still haven’t even got to the coolest part yet :) See, those who know me, know how much I love Dragons. I was a little saddened to find out that, despite being distantly related to the Chinese, Koreans have very little Dragons as far as imagery goes in their culture. You’ll find some images at BuddhistTemples but not much beyond that. My wife met a foreigner here who bakes cookies. Not just any cookies but once that are damn near hard to eat because they are so damn artistically beautiful works!
This is what I mean by the people we meet. The skills that I have seen in these people are simply stunning and awe-inspiring!
The people I have shown here are by NO means complete. I’d be here for a week solid if I tried to write out every single person we have met and became friends with!
So, if you have never traveled outside of your own country, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. If you have a child that is thinking of college/university, then open their minds and soul to studying abroad! They will get a great education that goes beyond the textbooks and will give them a perspective on the world that is impossible to be had by staying in their own country.
I could go into detail about done cabbie scamming me for a 10,000won ride that should have been closer to 5,000won. I mean, no one is fooled into thinking that a cabbie always obeys the speed limit….especially in Korea! Its just another stupid law as some sort of “lip service ” to the US military after a few complaints.