Things I’ve Learned in Korea So Far

  1. How to eat grapes
    – Don’t eat the skins.
  2. When a Korean child uses that yells-everything-at-an-unreasonable-volume voice, my listening comprehension goes from >10% to 0%
  3. How to get water

Step 1: Get metal cup
Step 2: Dispense water
Step 3: Drink water
Step 4: Put metal cup in hole under cup cupboard thingy

Seriously. Everything seems so easy and yet so unfamiliar. Do you have to pay for the water? Why are there two dispensers? (One is hot water the other is cold.) I had to sit and stare at people drinking water for 15 minutes in order to figure out literally how to pour myself a glass of water.

4.  How to order food at the Lotte Department Store’s food court.

5. If there are no open tables, it’s perfectly fine to sit across from a stranger.

6. When you’re food is ready, you can leave your cellphone, purse, and wallet in front of said stranger as you go get your food.

7.  There are phone charging stations at most cafes that you can use for free.

8.  You must buy 쓰레기 봉지 (trash bags) at the grocery store check out counter for your non-recyclable waste.

9.  How to use the Naver maps app.
– Seriously a life saver.

10.  How to order something for take-out. (포장해주세요.)

11.  My Korean name is probably the English equivalent of “Bertha.” It’s unattractive and old-fashioned. When I tell Koreans my birth name, they respond by laughing or telling me I can change it. My favorite response was Shepard’s, “Ohhh. That is… unexpected.” ^^


4 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned in Korea So Far

  1. Bobae says:

    This was an amazing read ^^ I randomly stumbled onto this blog and decided to read about your interviews but ended up reading the entire thing haha. I’m also a gyopo hoping to move to korea as a teacher! Im still in high school so I have a long time to think about this but I can definitely tell that this is how I want my life to play out. I was honestly scared about how I would be received by others considering my gyopo status but looking at how you have met so many great people, I’m not so worried anymore! ^^ Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experience. It really helped me!


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