It’s Friday, my classes are over, and my brain is in the “Off” position. So, instead, enjoy a list of “Did You Know?” Korean edition.
1. Did you know in Korea that you are one years old when you are born? Your “first” birthday is really your second birthday. I’m 22 in America, but 24 in Korea.
2. Schools do not employ a janitorial staff. Students clean the building, including the classrooms and teachers’ rooms.
3. You never wear shoes in a Korean home. This rule applies to many restaurants as well. I’ve been to two restaurants where I’ve had to remove my shoes. It’s so liberating!
4. Unlike the United States, where women change their last names when marrying, Korean women do not. My host parents are married, but have two different last names. This isn’t uncommon, shocking, or revolutionary in Korea.
5. Many Korean families may still sleep on the floor using a very nice pallet. I’ve seen what I call “floor beds” with the same amount of decor as a western-style bed. For the record, I sleep in a western-style bed. Because I’m a wimp.
6. Rice is served at every meal: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
7. Korea is heavily reliant on public transportation. Even in the smallest towns, buses and taxis are everywhere.
8. Domestic airports. Korea is a fraction of a fraction of the size of Texas, but has multiple domestic airports. In Korea, you’re just a mere hour from anywhere thanks to airplanes.
9. Jeju Island is made of porous rock due to ancient volcanic activity, making it hard to farm and flood. That’s bad and good.
10. I live here and I teach at the base of an extinct volcano. Mt. Halla or Hallasan for those back home.
geon bae and happy Friday from a different kind of south,