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25 September 2015 @ 09:39 pm

Everything I'd heard had led me to believe I'd be monstrously overweight for Korea. While I guess it's true that a lot of the population is quite skinny, people my weight or even a bit more are pretty common. To be fair I've only seen one morbidly obese person in the month I've been here and they were an American tourist.

So many of the other foreign students (i.e. everyone from Europe) don't know a single word of Korean, not even "hello" or "thank you." I have no idea how they're doing it, since I'm struggling even with a basic knowledge.

Everyone here smokes. Or at least all the men. I'd heard about it before, though I think mostly in the context of Japan, but it's crazy how many people here smoke everywhere all the time (including the opera majors - what are you doing??!????!).

I sort of wonder how much of the things here that a strange to me are Korean things or just city things. I've never spent any real length of time in a city either so I have no way to tell.

I'd heard that the scooters here were insane, and that definitely wasn't a lie. They drive on the roads, the drive on the sidewalks, they drive on the grass. They drive through red lights, they drive between lanes, the drive against traffic. They do not give a single damn - if you're in their way they will hit you without hesitation and they won't look back.

The old people here are assholes. Old people can be rude and act very entitled in America, too, but this is next level. They act all feeble to reap the benefits of that but they'll do a strong job of shoving you out of the way to get the better spot. Lines mean nothing and neither does waiting.

I usually don't feel like I stand out too much. Obviously I know I look different - my hair's wrong (color and texture, not to mention style), my clothes are wrong, my features are wrong, I'm hairy - but I haven't noticed people staring at me like other people have complained about. Whether this is actually them not staring, or merely my natural obliviousness coming in handy for once, I don't know.

The food here is fast - like fast. I don't thing I've ever waited longer than five minutes for food. Probably the slowest meal is if you get barbecue, but still the meat comes out quick and then it's just your own cooking time (plus if you get one of the really him cuts it cooks super fast).

The other international students are so rude! In class especially. The teachers here seem to have a tendency to be really quiet, plus while he class is taught in English they're not always very good at it. I always thought it was just kind of the thing that when the teacher stood at the front of the class - and especially when they started talking - that you shut up, but people are shouting all through the very beginning of class and are still talking through the whole thing. It's hard enough to hear the professors without the added obstacle so this really pisses me off.

This country loves water. There's always water, usually a self-serve water cooler at casual places, and at restaurants they typically just plunk down a big water jug and two small cups at the start of your meal. There doesn't typically seem to be other drinks either, besides alcohol. This is by far the most water I've drunk in my entire life.