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Just Show Me Pictures! Dealing with Language Barriers Abroad (Part II)

Living as an expat, you get to realizing culture shock comes in daily life-sized capsules called Language Barriers.; but unlike vitamins, these will eventually wear on you. They mimic your inability to sometimes do the simplest things. Do you feel stupid despite your MFA degree? Yes. Can you erase this feeling? Not easily. To an expat living in a new country, it’s the everyday, mundane things which quickly become your greatest enemies.

May 5, 2010 13
going to adoctor in korea
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Going to a Doctor in Korea

So I finally did it. I got that shot in the butt thing that other EPiKers and newbie expats have experienced when they went to tthe hospital for their ailments. Yes, I got my pat on the butt and a butt shot.

May 2, 2010 8
country labels
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Confronting Korea with my Waygook card

So last week, I did something very un-Korean…I told my co-teacher, in a very truthful and direct manner about my reasons for resenting her. It was inevitable. I was pointed at the tip and I knew I had nothing to lose. Nothing at all- Money, love, friendship, job, a city, a country..? When you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to fear. Nada. Nietz. Zip. A perfect time to gamble for “change” with the odds in your favor.

April 28, 2010 20
dealing with language barriers living abroad
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Just Show Me Pictures! Dealing with Language Barriers in Korea

So I’ve decided to start a short series, conveniently titled “Just Show Me Pictures!” about battling language barriers and culture shock in Korea. It’s suspect that generally 90% of expats suffer culture shock and depression because the familiar is replaced by the foreign and you must live and endure, compromised lifestyle for a lengthy duration. Language barriers are the beast which only adds to this frustration.

April 26, 2010 6
teach english in korea, culture shock korea
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Culture Shock in Korea

So you live in a new country, you’ve got a new job, you’re working out the variables of navigating new food, new work relationships, cultural and communication barriers… so why are you depressed? Welcome to culture shock. Nothing you do can prepare you for what you think you will or won’t experience when you move abroad.

April 26, 2010 6
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Korean Love Story #1: Where’s my Yellow Dust face mask?

Seeing face masks on my students in class or on passing pedestrians on the subway and Daegu streets have become a norm for me here. They are so common and readily available, that most of them even come with a cute or colorful design to make them more appealing, stylish and friendly to fun. Before Korea, Asians wearing face masks was something I just didn’t understand. On my JAL flight over here, seeing people donning face masks ellicited personal notions that mainland/F.O.B Asians (depends what side of the line you’re standing) must be hypochondriac freaks for styling sick masks Post SARS. Now, the potential culprit is revealed…

April 18, 2010 11
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Getting a Korean phone (when you don’t know the language)

When you’re new to a country, the last thing you want to deal with is extraneous stress and confusion with important things… like cellphones and phone plans. Still, when that one person whom you were told would help you set up the necessities of your brand new life, can’t lend simple advice or is reluctant to take any responsibility outside of work hours, what do you do? Whatever it takes.

April 18, 2010 8
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What to Bring if you’re moving to Korea… a Costco card!

Been having some difficulty with this post’s visibility so hopefully this has been corrected. .. Before I came to Korea, I scoured various online expat and info sources for advice as to “What to Bring if You’re Moving to Korea”. Frankly, these lists only helped mildly- when I arrived I was both, OVER & UNDER-prepared. In fact, the things you think Korea wouldn’t have, they do and if they do have it, it either takes a bit of a search to find or you pay a tad more for it than you normally would in the U.S. As a vegetarian undergoing culture shock, discovering CostCo was my personal god-send. Costco was a neutral nose zone for me with enough “American Costco” products and familiarity to make me feel a little “Home-Safe-Home”.

April 8, 2010 17
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Loving Hut: Finally, Love for Vegans & Vegetarians in Korea!

What does a vegetarian do when they find a vegan restaurant in Korea? (gasp!)

They fall to their knees and thank the Korean Christian god above- I have never been so grateful for a restaurant in my life! A block and a half away from Kyodae subway stop & the Daegu National Education University, there it stood- was my first vegan restaurant in Korea.

March 30, 2010 13
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