So, without pictures at this point, because it still takes forever to post them, I am going to give you a run down of the daily cultural differnces we tend to encounter.
We are the only ones up in the whole city minus the Agimas who are older women with visors decked out in full hiking gear who clean up the city.
Walk to the gym and pass the other Agimas outside selling their goods and who gossip and call us cheap behind our backs when we try to bargin with their prices. At the gym, we take off our sneakers before going up the stairs and put them on again once in the gym. You are supposed to work out with a pair that you use strictly for the gym, only to be worn inside (but we have only brought one pair of sneakers with us) We can also wear the Blue for Adam and Orange for me shirts the gym provides.
On the way home we stop at a great little store owned by a couple and try a new type of juice or tea.
Turn on the hot water for our showers. During our showers we have to manuever through showering while using the little shower head which has no place to rest but in our hands while we try to bathe ourselves. Then, we have to squeegie out the bathroom
PC Lab, in the morning it is basically empty. There are probably 50 computers in here most in the smoking section. The workers always bring us some coffee out of the machine, it is very good!
Walk to Emart down the street for whatever we may need. In Emart, you can even put your dog in a locking cubbie. On the way, the Koreans bump into you, dont smile, dont make eye contact, and the cars don’t stop for you. But, when you engage someone in a conversation and ask for help or try to speak with them, they are so helpful and patient with you which is completely backwards.
As you walk, the kids skip and flock around you like you are a rock star. They say, “hello, how are you?!” “Nice to meet you.” Giggle and run away. Just to have a second and third group do the same thing. They are always eating popcicles.
We walk through the city where the Agimas farm and it smells like complete garbage if the wind blows a certain way.
Walk Olive, who everyone is petrified of, so weird.
I go to work
Adam goes to work
I get out
Adam gets out, I stop by the Paris Bakery and get a loaf of the best baked bread there is!
Back at the house, you have to enter a quick code to get in the door, it is so odd not using keys…kind of liberating if you ask me.
Other things we notice:
There is no oatmeal, protein, cottage cheese, all natural peanut butter
Everyone drives one of 8 or so models of cars: Kia, Daewoo, Hyundai, Samsung and a few others. I love the Kia Morning.
The older men try to talk to us more than other people, one read our palms today. (im over 19, am going to have 2 kids and live in the middle class)
Shoes off at most restaurants and in the home. The restaurants and vendors will give you “Service” or free food as a bonus for being american.
Everyone has cell phones (except us)
Most of the city is in cartoon and brightly colored and Open at all hours! 10-midnight most stores are open and people operate on the oddest time schedules.
They serve pickles with everything, including the pizza
Promise to add pictures as soon as our computer is set up!