Category Korea

Lack of Dog Parks in Korea

When Sue Jung was a puppy, in Korea, there weren’t any dog parks–at least none near me. (There might be one in Seoul.) Most Koreans don’t own dogs. The ones that do, let their pups run wild in their homes, or leave them tied up/staked out in ‘yards.’ That said, there were a few people who […]

Views from Windows

I have found myself back in a full-time teaching position. I thought these days were over, and yet, I have never fully left teaching. After all, my first job back in the States was as at an elementary school (with some hilarious kids). One of the first things I did in my new classroom was to look […]

Reverse Culture Shock: Pangs of Loss

The first couple of months I came back to the United States were the hardest. I struggled to find normalcy in my life. My life had completely changed: I went from a full-time job to having no job. I went from interacting with people in Korean on a daily basis to not hearing Korean at […]

Reverse Culture Shock #4: Nail Polish

When I was a young child, I had a cheap red ‘nail tint’ which I think meant that it was edible…not that I tried. While I don’t remember ever having my own nails painted red, my favorite childhood doll’s fingers proudly exhibited my attempts to paint her nails. Some time in middle school, I renewed […]

Reverse Culture Shock? #3: Biking

(Part One on vacuums and Part Two on car rudeness) I have been in the USA for exactly three months. (WOW) In this time, I have landed a job.  (HOORAY)  However, I still refuse to buy a car. I can already hear the protests that others have valiantly tried to argue…and I will tell you […]

Disappointing Americans/Reverse Culture…shock?

So, I walk my dog on the streets. It seems universal (at least in Korea and USA) that random people like to make barking noises at my dog. I don’t understand it, but whatever. I never heard any cat calls or anything like that from Koreans or even strangers yelling things at me from their […]

Korean Chivalry…#1

I’m not sure if I’ll make a mini-series of this or not, but it was something I was thinking about and that I have noticed since being back in the United States. There are certain things that Korean men do to show respect/care for their women (dating/married). The things that I have noticed, I haven’t […]

Getting Rid of Things to Travel Light

Americans, such as myself, are lucky because they can take two suitcases home free of charge; other countries can only check one free of charge. Despite my added luxury, I didn’t come to Korea with two suitcases and I didn’t want to leave with two suitcases. However, after three years of life in Korea, I […]

Reverse Culture Shock #1: Vacuums

When I moved to Korea, I survived on a tiny hand-vacuum to clean my studio apartment. I lived alone, so I was basically cleaning up food crumbs and my stray hairs. It worked well for its purpose.  That tiny hand vacuum cost me over 30,000 won ($30). I remember being ‘shocked’ at the cost of […]

Leaving Korea with a Dog

Well, Thursday was my fly out date. I paid a little more for my ticket so that I could get a direct flight from S. Korea to USA. It was TOTALLY worth it. I hate layovers and I didn’t want too much stress on my dog.  So there were a couple of things that I […]

Last Day of Work in Korea

Most middle schools and high schools (and even elementary schools) started classes this week. Not my school. This week was the last week of English camp. I worked with a small group of third graders these last five days for three hours each day. I gave my co-teachers each a goodbye gift and a postcard […]

Sixth Grade Summer Camp

This summer was the first time that I taught a sixth grade summer camp. It was a week long and I met with the same group of kids for 4 hours each day. Thursday was a national holiday, so I only had to work with them for four days (16 hours). Students are aware of […]