Looking Back

June 21, 2012

With two months left in Korea, I find myself looking back at posts I've made since starting this blog a year ago.

Some of the first things I notice are how much I thought I could plan for my job, how afraid I was of the language, and how unafraid I was of Korean winters.

In reality, there was absolutely no way to plan for students whose levels I had no way of knowing, and no way that I would use my valuable luggage space for potentially useless resources.

Also, it's not that it's been a piece of cake, but I've gotten used to the language barrier over time. I've managed to function with a basic level of understanding of the Korean language and it has become part of my daily ambience, whether in the form of student chatter or that special volume reserved for cell phone conversations. The most that I ever really need to use Korean is taking a taxi when the drivers become incredibly interested in my personal life. Buying groceries and bus tickets are a breeze. While bank machines are mostly in English, I've memorized which buttons to press on the bill-paying machine, and I even managed to transfer money to Canada on my own! The only place where I don't/won't feel brave enough is at the hair shop. Even with a Korean speaker, the stylist insisted that he knew how to style blonde hair (directly after oogling how rare a sight it was) and proceeded to dye it yellow. Okay. Sigh. That's in the past.

Lastly: Korean winters. How naive and misled I was. I can't provide an exact explanation for why -10 degrees in Korea feels like Canada's -40; Maybe it's the difference in infrastructure or the proximity to the equator/sun. It doesn't matter. To prospective travellers, I'd advise you pack or plan to buy a winter coat/etc for the winter. On a related note, I finally understand that "joke" about Korean having four seasons.

Before I left Canada, someone told me that this experience would change me. I expressed my doubt but they assured me that it was inevitable, and they were right. I've gained many positive traits including a greater level of patience and consideration for others, but I hope not to be judged too harshly when I bow to everyone I greet, drink coffee through stir sticks, and park in absurd places.

While on the subject of looking back, I never got the chance to post these photos:

On the Saturday before my flight, I was able to spend an afternoon/night with the great people in my life.

Meghan made cupcakes out of rainbows

Everyone tried some soju! To which I'm no longer a strange

Loves of my life

And here I am curbside at the airport! I wouldn't let anyone come in to sit and wait with me :)


It's wrap-up/review game week. Next week will be full of Glee, which will then be followed by exams. For some reason exams are followed by two weeks of more classes. 몰라. Then I've got a few weeks of vacation interspersed with summer classes (similar to winter classes). Before I know it I'll be on my way back to Canada so I'm making the most of the time I have left!


  1. Hi Lindsay...Great Blog entry! Have a question though. Was wondering why you started sipping coffee through a stir stick? I have been doing it for a long time due to the fact that I can't seem to drink coffee in a moving vehicle without spilling it on me. Apparently it is a skill I have yet to master, go figure. Anyhow I was wondering what your influence was? Also I was wondering if it would be too much of a bother to bring me home some interesting origami paper? I don't know how expensive things are over there. I could send some money back with Patti or pay you when you get back, it's totally up to you. Let me know what you think. Anyway can't wait to see you! Lots of Love...Debi

  2. It's kindof a Korean thing maybe to drink through a stir stick... It's not something I did/saw until I came here but... it is a good idea! I'm the same way even when I walk I can't drink at the same time haha

    I'll definitely look for some nice origami paper for you. Is there just a standard size? I'm sure it's not expensive so don't worry :)

    Love ya!! See you soon. We should start setting up a time that I can come visit. I'll be home August 21. My sisters will be celebrating their birthday on the 24th, and I've got a wedding on the 25th. Are you free during weekdays? If I can steal a car that's probably the best for me.


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