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These are some of the things I'm missing.
The list varies, but in general, these are my on-going voids.
I hate being without them, but they are truly better off with my parents. In Korea they would be strictly confined to my apartment 24/7. Plus, I don't want to deal with the logistics of transporting 2 cats on a 24 hour flight.
There are several American restaurants here, but I still crave the unattainable. Arby's, Take out Chinese, BBQ, Pizza Hut (we have Pizza Hut here, but it's not quite the same). Also 24 hr grocery stores. The commissary on base closes at 7pm and the Korean markets don't always cut it. Squid jerky and kimchi aren't what I consider late night munchie material.
The first 4 months here were spent without wheels. Most everything I needed was within walking distance or an easy taxi or subway ride away. I did, however, miss the act of getting behind a wheel. Life with a car is now more convenient and more independent. I rarely find enjoyment in driving, though. The traffic is hideous. Pedestrians (lots of them young children) walk all over the streets. Scooters & motorcycles weave in between rows of cars. You'd be amazed at what a scooter can transport -- furniture, propane tanks, entire families. I've seen it all.
It was great to be back in the US cruisin' the open road with the radio on.
|HANGIN' WITH GIRLFRIENDS
It took several months to get a set of female friends. The first 3 months here I worked exclusively with men. There was such an overload of testosterone in my environment that I had to buy a season of Sex In The City to balance it out. Now four women work in the building with me. We are in different departments, but it helps a little. Church is where most of my female friends come from. They are great gals, but we are at different life stages and I still sometimes miss being around people "just like me".
Korea doesn't have a lot of stores that cater to American sizes. Well, my American size anyway. Also, I haven't found a good middle of the road department store -- one with decent quality, but inexpensive prices. Yet another reason to love the Target. This lack is especially apparent when shoe shopping. I have seen some of the cutest (and inexpensive) shoes here. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a size equivalent to an 8 1/2. I'm a big shoe lover so that really hurts. I actually had a sale's clerk chuckle when asking if he had my size.
I constantly have to ask for help to perform the simplest of tasks. Those who know me well understand what an obstacle this presents. It took me 3 weeks and 5 loads of dirty clothes hauled to the laundry mat before I got my washer and dryer hooked up in my new apartment. Why you ask??? Because I had to get someone to call the gas guy to hook it up for me. 2 1/2 weeks were spent trying to figure out how I could make that happen without actually asking for help. I've learned some Korean, but it's harder over the phone. Over time I've learned of places that are English friendly, but it still took someone else introducing me to the person or location. Note: by "English friendly" I mean that their choppy English and my pathetic Korean make enough of a conversation to assure that when I want to get a facial I don't end up with a couch delivered to my apartment.