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”.
Each spring, during the months of late Mar to early April, the town of Jinhae holds their annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
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.
I’m not sure how weight-loss works with Koreans, but let me shed some light on how it works with foreigners. During my orientation, two girls I knew claimed to drop pants sizes within their first week of arriving. Not possible, right? Not without some major medical operation… but feeling my pants hang off of my body last week at work, the word “belt” comes to mind.
So how hard is it for a fun-loving vegetarian travel gal to acclimate to Korea? I’ll tell you- friggin hard! …
Ever wondered what the Korean Public School System was like or the job of an English teacher who has just moved abroad for this job? Here’s a letter I wrote from orientation on the day before I left for my new location in Daegu:
1) Finally found western toilets (in the Grade 1-3 bldg behind our bldg)- it’s a bit of a walk and the toilet paper container is always empty; often you’ll see me – in bundled coat, scarf, Korean sandals- quickly shuffling between classes with a roll of t.p. under my armpit; 2) My CT and I aren’t “best-ies” as some other folk are with theirs; I’ll give it a bit more time before giving up; 3) How To Navigate Being a Vegetarian in Korea is my new formidable wall (and you will hear from me as quickly as I can say “starving”); 4) What is The Korean Crud?
So the fun just doesn’t stop… While I’m still sorting out my reaction to my new move, luck-draw number two just hit, when on my first day of school, I learned that every peeing portal in my school was a porcelain… hole in the ground.