Sorry its been awhile since my last blog post, just hasn’t been a lot going on and if I’m being honest, I’ve been feeling more bah humbug then jolly this past month. 2018 was definitely a roller coaster of a year, and though there were some pretty awesome things that happened (I mean, I’m living in Korea!), there have also been some stuff that has not been so fun, and I’m ready to say goodbye to 2018.
I think it’s safe to say that the honeymoon period is officially over, and the things that come with living abroad that were different or exotic in the first few months have officially become inconvenient and annoying. Its also been incredibly eye opening how much a 14 hour time difference has made it seem impossible to get a hold of people who used to be solid fixtures in my life. But its also been fun learning about all the different apps that make connecting so easy, no matter the time difference, and though I have been surprised by the radio silence by some, I have been more then blessed with amazing people who make an effort to continue to be apart of this great adventure (Snapchat filters are my new favorite means of communication! LOL). Some of the not so fun parts of living in Korea aside from the time difference:
- All soldiers here have a curfew, and so from the hours of midnight to 5am, Zach must be either at home or in for the night where ever he may be in Korea during that time frame. If soldiers are found busting curfew, there are severe consequences so its not something to mess with. And though that really doesn’t effect us most days (because I value sleep! haha), this was a bit of a hassle for the Army Navy game. Because of that beloved time difference, the game started at 5am our time. There is a bar/restaurant on post that was hosting a watch party, with doors opening at 4am. In order for Zach to be able to get on post before curfew to watch the game, he had to get a leave form signed granting permission to come on post before 5am. Seriously. Though I understand why curfew is in place, it feels like we are being treated like children. New Years Eve will also be a pain since technically he can’t be out and about after midnight. Curfew does not apply to dependents, but you know, solidarity and all. So we will most likely be having a low key NYE as to set a good example for all the younger folks out there. booooo.
- Koreans drivers. No matter what I describe to you in these next few sentences, I don’t think you can fully understand how crazy these people are behind the wheel unless you experience it. Before we moved here, I read about how the drivers were and thought to myself, no big deal, I’ve driven in New York City, it will be fine. It is not fine. They are crazy here. Red lights are suggestions if there is no traffic camera and blinking red lights mean GO here. I have been stopped at a red light like a good law abiding citizen multiple times and had the car behind me go around me (by going over the median) to run the red light with traffic flowing. Its insane. And exhausting because you really can’t be a distracted driver here. At all. Hopefully I don’t forget all the rules of driving in the next 18 months. I have a huge fear of forgetting what flashing red lights mean once I get back to the states.
- The air quality just simply blows. I’ve been sick all week because we have had poor air quality for the past month, and because I walk everywhere around town, I think it finally got to me. It really sucks because there is really nothing you can do about it except to limit how much you go outside, but its no fun being cooped up when you have elephants live above you….ok, they aren’t elephants, but it sounds like it. I can’t wait for school to start back up! haha. Let’s just say Zach and I will only be living in single family homes, townhouses, or the top floor for the rest of our lives. Lesson learned.
- The price of produce is too damn high here. Don’t get me wrong, we get a cost of living allowance every month, but I can’t seem to find it in me to pay $8.29 for a pack of strawberries, $7.19 for a head of cauliflower, $3.29 for ONE avocado, and $6.00 for a head of lettuce. And since the commissary charges these prices, the local markets sell these items, but only slightly cheaper, so in the end, its all still a rip off. I miss avocados. Every once in a while I break down and buy one. Usually they aren’t good quality. This one pictured below is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in Asia. I might have cried for joy when I cut into it.
Speaking of strawberries, Korea grows strawberries in greenhouses and they are in season December and January. One day at the local market, there were packs of strawberries for sale for little over 5 dollars which is a steal compared to the price on post. So I caved and bought a pack. Best. Decision. Ever. These strawberries are quite literally the best I have ever had. So now I begrudgedly pay $6 for a pack of strawberries since they are in season, but they are so damn good. #takeallmymoney
I just wrapped up another semester, and only have 3 more classes between me and graduation. I took 6 classes this semester, and it kicked my ass. But I’m happy to report that somehow I managed to pull off straight A’s, and as long as I survive my capstone, I will be receiving my MBA in May. One more semester.
Even though Zach is supposed to be working half days until the end of the year, that really hasn’t panned out so we have been pretty low key and just relaxing for the most part these last two weeks. We leave for Cambodia and Vietnam in 2 weeks and I am so excited to escape the cold and shitty air for 10 days and I know Zach is ready for vacation for sure (its 10:30pm right now and he is still at work….half days my ass)
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and have a safe and fun New Years! Until next year….