Whelp, as the two year anniversary in the Land of the Morning Calm, approached, I really lived it up whilst Rufio cuddled me and watched my three favorite Emma's: Watson, Stone, and Lea Seydoux. I have learned and observed a few things in my time abroad, and I would like to share some with you.
1. Do not rise the challenge of a Korean saying she can drink Soju, Maek-ju, and Cider faster than you. Yes, you may win the challenge, but you will lose your pride when you wake up on a beach with a bottle of maekgeolli in your left hand and a peanut butter banana sandwich in your right.*
2. Personal space and privacy do not exist as evidenced by:
a. Spontaneous hand holding with ajjumas on the subway
b. A week ago, I heard a noise outside the bathroom door whilst showering. Thinking it was a mischievous Rufio, I opened the door to see my landlord's wife who had used her key and opened my door to show the apartment to a prospective tenant.
3. Rome wasn't built in a day, but whole buildings have been torn down, cleared out, and rebuilt in a matter of hours. So, basically, Rome needs to get it together.
4. There is exactly one beach in Busan where you can go into the ocean past your kneecaps. However, I have never seen more people (children AND adults) in full on buoyancy apparel.
5. 24 hour convenience stores are EVERYWHERE. They are so handy for a midnight snack of kimbap or a 7 am banana milk.
6. I have learned that there is at least one other person in the city who shares any interest you may have. Spoken Word poetry? Yep. Ultimate frisbee? Definitely. A woman dressing as a man dressing as a woman? I have photos.
7. Your mom does not clean out your cat litter box, so you need to deal with that shit yourself. Which, I also think is a kind of a life metaphor.
8. Eight is my lucky number. It has been my lucky number since I was eight years old. It is also an infinity sign on its side, so that is neat. This is not a Korea observation, just a Katie observation. Both start with K, so I think we are twins.
9. Cheesy pajeon (savory kimchi pancake) and makgeolli almost always ends in fantastic memories, or sometimes it is a disaster. It is a flip of the coin, really. Just be aware.
10. Batting cages for 50 cents (or a dollar at the fancy places) is always worth it. Going with pros or n00bs, westerners or Koreans, hitting balls will solve all problems you may be having. If one problem is particularly stubborn, gamjatang (delicious pork soup) will fix it right up.
Now, I must go get my clothes off of the roof, where I used a clothesline for the first time in my life. I literally clothelined myself whilst hanging them. Rookie mistake. Hopefully, I will have wised up. Then, I'm heading to dinner to meet my very first Korea friend to celebrate our two year anniversary.
*It happened at a beach Ultimate tournament. This fact, however, makes it no less embarrassing.