Saturday, November 19, 2011

3 Cheers for Korea!

So over on ESL Cafe, there is a thread on the Korea Forums from a Canadian guy who is leaving Korea after 7 years.  He basically craps all over Korean Culture and thinks his own is far superior.  Being from Canada, I can empathize with him to a degree, but every civilization has their high and low points and I find it quite helpful to periodically list things that I love about Korea.  Here they are, just in time for my adopted holiday: American Thanksgiving (my school has a big dinner for American Thanksgiving, but nothing for the lowly Canadians).

1. Health Care.  I have a bad cold, so I went to the doctor.  The visit cost me under $3.  The doctor speaks English, and is obviously very well-trained and knows her stuff.  No appointment.  Just walk in, but the wait is rarely more than 10 minutes.  4 days of meds cost me under $2.  Want anything besides the basics?  She refers you in a jiffy and you again just walk in, no appointment necessary.

Also, I've had some back pain recently.  A trip to the oriental doctor for acupuncture, heat massage, electrical impulse treatment and suction cup things costs $5.

Thank you Korean National Health Insurance!

2. Efficiency.  Everything in Korea is freakishly efficient.  Hungry?  Make a call and 20 minutes later you'll have reasonably priced, delicious food at your door, delivered by scooter.  

Want internet?  They'll be there the next day to set it up.

Air-Conditioner installed?  1 hour after the phone call, they were at my house.

A package delivered in Korea?  1 day and about $3 later, anywhere in the country. 

3. Public Transport.  Not that I make very much use of it these days now that I'm riding in style with my own wheels, but for 5 years I lived in Korea without my own transport.  And it was ridiculously easy and cheap to get anywhere you wanted, efficiently.

4. My financial situation.  I generally live off my Overtime money and save my monthly salary each month.  For this I'm very thankful.  Most English teachers can save at least $1000/month quite easily.

5. Travel opportunities.  It's cheap (ish) and easy (ish) to get anywhere in Asia.  I've been to about 25 countries during my 7 years in Korea.  And one more (Bali, Indonesia) coming up this winter break!

What's your list?

1 comment:

GigglyCupcake said...

Hello. :)
I have read through some of your blog posts and they got me thinking more than usual. I am just a young Sophomore in high school, but I would really like your advice. I have become very interested in Korea and their culture in the last few years. Well actually I have fallen in love with practically everything from their culture. I dream of having a job in Korea and living there, but I know it is extremely hard. I want to get my degree in English, but I am not sure what degree I should try to get, what classes I should take, or the other things that would be beneficiary to me, so that I can get a job in Korea(in the future). I know it will be a very long time until I can even have the credentials to even think about applying, but I really want to start setting up my life "for success" (in my point of view). I currently have a 4.0 GPA, I am a U.S. citizen, and am a fluent English and Spanish speaker (also taking French and learning Korean on my own). My classes are all "advanced" and I believe I will be able to get into a good university. I had wanted to study abroad, but I came to the conclusion that getting my studies done here would be easier and much more efficient, but I am not sure(any suggestions?). Sorry for the long rambling, but I would love to hear any suggestions like what kinds of things I should get onto my resume, how to prepare my self, what I should do throughout my life to get to where I want to be etc... Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and also for any "feedback" you give me!