Bowing has almost become second nature. And I think I have said “Kamsamnida” and “Nae” (thank you and yes) about 500 times since I have been here. I actually fear when I return to the states, despite this trip being so terribly breif, I might bow to everyone. I don’t think I had culture shock here, but I might back home, as strange as that sounds. At times I worry I act a little ignorant. Saying “thank you” when I don’t need to, or bow at strange times. Koreans usually laugh at me, and though they speak little to no English (many of them) a smile is worth a thousand words in a universal language. I’d rather tham laugh at me, think I’m a silly American, rather than a rude American. So I take my chances with saying thank you too much. Because, there’s no sin in being silly 🙂
(^we dressed up in traditional Korean clothing, while bowing and saying “Kamsamnida!”)
I got lost the other day. I was with 4 other girls, looking at Korean manga in a book store, when all of a sudden they left – and so did the busses! I had no idea where to go, left behind in a foreign country. Na. Strange enough, I was so calm. That surprised me, how calm I seemed, despite being lost in a foreign country with a language barrier. Thing is, however, despite a language barrier, I could still get around. Korean’s are smart, or just good a Charades; as in, body language, a smile, and a little common sense is key in getting around in a country with a language barrier. I pulled out my handy dandy international phone, which refused to work, but eventually did, and two of the Korean mentors came rushing to me. I felt so bad that I worried them, but they were laughing and smiling telling me it was fine, and they were glad I was alright. Joke were made on the bus that I was kidnapped – ha ha, very funny CIEE Scholars.
In addition to all this excitement, I went to a puppy cafe!! You order drinks and pet puppies! I want to do a cat cafe one day as well!! ❤
I’m jealous of my roommate – she studied Korean and gets to put her skills to the test. I can’t wait to do the same in Morocco this summer! With this trip bore confidence, and awareness. I think I will succeed with my future travel endeavors – at least I hope, knock on wood!