It has been about a year and a month since I said goodbye to South Korea. It had been my home for three years and saying goodbye was both easy and hard all at once. I was ready to say goodbye and experience something new but I was not happy about saying goodbye to the people I met and called friends. I was stressed about the unknown. It is often shocking to me how Korea quickly became my norm. I was use to bowing, use to giving things over with two hands, I could use the busses and subways and understand a little Korean and read Hangul. I was leaving it behind. I was leaving it for “my culture”. However I was moving to the Pacific Northwest. I place that has its own culture.
Lo0king back, I am so blessed and happy to be where I am. A big part of feeling blessed are the little things that I had missed while in Korea. Even though it has been a year, I still have moments where my brain thinks as though I’m in Korea. These are a few of the things that I am still amazed to have here in the states that I did not have in Korea.
I can have things delivered to me…not because Korea dosen’t do deliveries. On the contrary, even McDonald’s delivers. However, I didnt know enough of the language to have it delivered and/or as a foreigner I just couldn’t set things up to get them delivered. Also, in this picture it isnt just a delivery but a meal delivery. This is my first from Blue Apron. I am trying it out because… well I can. I have a fridge big enough to buy food and store it. Also I dont have to by fresh foods in bulk if I don’t want to.
SPACE!!!! and not just space but space without people. Oh my word Korea has a whole lot of people. Where I was living was in a city type of location. So even if there were no people there were tall skyscrapers with lights and cars coming and going. So coming to the PNW with trees, hiking locations, and large parking lots that weren’t full of people and cars is so nice. I love having this little patio that backs trees and quietness. One of my favorite places to be.
One of the biggest things that I still have to remind myself about is that I have a clothes dryer. In Korea I did not have a dryer. Doing laundry didn’t take a couple of hours but took days. I didnt have space to do several loads of laundry and hang dry all the clothes. So I would have to plan out laundry days. Then if it was humid or cold the day that I had planned to do laundry I would have to make do and plan to do it the next day. I found unique ways during the winter to dry my clothes (because it was pretty dark or cloudy most days) and would try and use my floor heat (ondol) to quicken the drying process before my clothes would mildew over and I would have to rewash them. Being in the U.S. I still worry thinking of doing the laundry at first and begin planning out when I would get it down. Then I remember I have a dryer and I smile. It is so nice to quickly get that chore over and done with.
I have so many more things that still amaze me a year after leaving Korea but these three are the things that came to mind today.