Categorized | Expat Life

Interesting Question Posed

So I had an interesting questioned posed to me on a forum I visit. I was asked how do I enjoy living in such a different culture? To me that was part of the draw of coming here to South Korea. There was more than 1 reason why I came, and you hear different ones from others when you first arrive. That seems to be one of the initial questions when you arrive. They range from couldn’t find a job, to wanted to travel, to wanted to save money, to wanted to experience a different culture, and I think most people here are here because a combination of those reasons including me.

So let me get back to the initial question of how do I enjoy living in such a different culture? It’s actually quite simple. If you are one who is afraid of change or scared of new ideas, don’t come. I think I used to be this way when I was younger. Now I am very much open to new ways of thought. I find it very interesting how Koreans live their lives and go about their business. It’s the little things that I find most fascinating. Take for example, last week I decided to grow a goatee. I do this from time to time back home mostly out of boredom. I was aware that most Korean men do not grow hair like they can back home, but I was unaware that growing facial hair here was seen as an insult to the Korean men. I was politely asked to shave by my head teacher, which I did. Had I known this I would have shaved to begin with. It’s these little things that just fascinate me. This is just one example of many I have seen or heard about here. Learning these little details is part of the draw to being here. You learn some of the little things along the way which makes each day more interesting.

So yesterday was payday, and last night when I went to the ATM I found it interesting to find I had over 1 million in my account. Sure it is not American dollars but its still over a million in cash in my account. It is the little things like that that just make me smile and laugh a little.

That is all for now. I am working on a few things for some new posts that hopefully I’ll have soon.


About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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2 Responses to “Interesting Question Posed”

  1. Emily S says:

    The culture here is pretty fascinating, but sometimes I'm almost more surprised at how much I'm reminded of home. I think I was expecting something completely different, which doesn't seem to be the case a lot of the time.

    My favorite cultural tidbit though is definitely how respectful people are to their elders! We got stopped on the street the other day and asked how old we were by some teenagers and as soon as they found out we were older they started bowing and using a completely different language with us! LOVE IT! Haha.

  2. Eric says:

    They are very respectful of their elders here. It amazes me how they can do things that back home would seem very rude like bumping into you on the street instead of walking around you (I see that a lot here), but then they are extremely respectful of their elders. Ahh the life of a waygookin. Fun times!


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