.

.

Friday, 23 October 2015

A Brit living in Korea...

Living in Korea as a British expat has introduced me to many different personality traits that I was unaware I even had. So far I have learnt a lot about myself and about my own countries culture too. I have also gained a better understanding of what the rest of the world actually thinks of the Brits, and how we react in different circumstances. What is sometimes okay for me, is sometimes not okay for others and I’m not just talking about the Koreans. I think when it comes to the human race its safe to say that one rule definitely does NOT fit for all. Those HSBC adverts had a good point!

Adjusting to this has been a real challenge, and I have to admit that for the first time I don’t think it has really helped being from a Performing Arts background. At university we were literally taught to be as open and honest as possible and this has sometimes gotten me into a bit of trouble here. I think its important to remember not to change who you are when moving abroad, but just to judge certain situations you may find yourself in and act accordingly. There have been moments here when I have realised just how British I actually am, and below are just a few of the things I've picked up on so far...

 

 1. Getting overly excited about wearing a raincoat!

 

In England I HATED the rain, here its just another thing that reminds me of home and so I have learnt to absolutely LOVE IT! It doesn't happen that often but when it does you can be sure that the smiles will come out with it! Say YES to the RAIN!

2, Any time I see a Mcvitie's digestive or rich tea biscuit...

 
 
It genuinely excites me and although the tea isn’t up to scratch and there isn’t a crumpet to be seen, this is certainly one thing that is guaranteed to turn even the dullest days back around. Its all about the home comforts you see.

 

3, Becoming annoyed at myself for saying things like elevator and zucchini...but secretly loving it!

 

Being surrounded by different nationalities day in and day out has meant that my vocabulary has definitely started to change. I catch myself saying some of the weirdest things sometimes...take the classic dressing gown for example, in America they call it a robe and in Canada, they call it 'A HOUSE COAT'! Hilarious!

4, The queuing system...

 

Oh wait...there isn’t one. Ajummas (older people in Korea) get prority over EVERYTHING! None of them queue and it genuinely drives me insane. I can’t help but to release several tuts and huffs every time this happens. Steam usually starts to protrude out of both eardrums and if I had a bow tie it would no doubt be spinning, mark my words - queing is NOT a thing here!

5, Taking your shoes off...

 

When you walk into restaurants, someone else's house and even the changing rooms of clothes shops, you take off your shoes. I have gotten use to this now, but I do sometimes like to reminisce about the good ole times when I never had to do this. Ah memories.  

6, Public Bathrooms...

 
 
If you’re lucky you’ll get a hole in the ground and soap that resembles... well its just bizarre. Using these facilities is something that I now refuse to do, thankfully it isn't all that bad though. There are usually normal toilets too and sometimes even a ‘flush sound button' - for those moments when you just don’t want people to hear your movements! Classy! But always remember to take toilet paper with you - the stuff is rare and hardly ever available. Pop some hand sanitizer in your bag aswell and you'll be just fine.

 

7, The weather...



From day to day (unlike the UK) it doesn’t really change much, so therefore conversations about the weather are kept to a minimum. Sometimes I find myself going a whole day without even mentioning the weather. Its strange and very un-British.

8, Understanding sarcasm...

 
 
Sometimes people don’t get it and it genuinely hurts my feelings. I have nothing more to add on this...its too painful.
 
And finally...

 

9, My white legs...

 
 
 I know its Halloween soon but they really are too horrendous to show! Funnily enough having white legs in Korea is actually a massive benefit. The Koreans love a bit of pale white skin and I’ve even received compliments! I knew there was a reason I’d been hiding them for years!

So there you have it, just a few of the things a Brit notices when living in Korea. Its a funny old world but one that is thankfully packed full with diversity and constant surprises, so 'here here' to that! Oh and one final thing to clear up for anyone who isn't sure...

...we don't all eat BOILED MEAT!!

Follow this Blog Via Email...