First impressions last… and if it’s too good enough you’ll probably end up judging things terribly.
This is technically my third time in Korea. The first time I came here was for a university exchange program in Gwangju (전남대). Second was when I came for an internship at Arirang Global TV in Seoul. And this time, for a language course in Jeonju. Basically, I’ve been to the rural and urban parts of this country yet every time I come to this place, there are still so many things that surprises me.
Sometimes it’s more fun to come from a third world country such as the Philippines because you could appreciate very simple things such as a clean dorm room, a fast internet connection, and even a password-enabled door knob here in Korea! I didn’t have any thing to complain at all – except on what button should I push for the toilet to flush! After a year of studying Korean language and culture together with a few major electives, I got a grip of the Korean life beyond what various media feed me.
Unfortunately, what you learn in the academe for a year doesn’t immediately apply to the “(semi) real world” – my internship. Charms and aegyo (애교) really don’t jive well with politics and certain organization issues – you have to be quick in analyzing the situation and know exactly your place.
It’s been a year and a half since I last came to Korea, and now, I just don’t see it the way I’ve imagined it to be. From a simple admiration, I am left with bashing and comparing things I see today with my experiences during the past.
Not that I wanted to be treated like a princess, but I think one would know when one would need help. What I meant to say is that, I was dragging my very big luggage all throughout our journey from the airport up to my dorm room and my “welcoming party” was suffering from 발리-발리 (Palli-Palli) culture syndrome – you could imagine how tired I was! I do have old korean friends and I would assume that they would help me at times like that – so I’m just not so sure how I’m supposed to react on this incident.
If there’s anything that my Korean room mate taught me before, that was to keep our room clean. We had a mini broom, dustpan, and feather duster to do that. However, last night, I couldn’t find a single cleaning material to get me started plus I saw a few trash hidden inside the closet! Floors are too dusty and the bathroom was not very pleasing. Geesh.
I don’t want to completely burn down someone else’s hope (and mine as well) with these complaints, despite these flaws there are still some things that remind me why I’ve wanted to stay in Korea – the ever interesting language, the food, and the rare sight of friendly ajuhmmas 😉
Obviously, what I’ve written here is a personal critique made right after a terrible arrival and a whole day stuck in the dorm room because of typhoon Bolaven. Don’t get me wrong these aren’t impressions on the KGSP program – it’s a total different experience (an awesome one!) Anyway, the KGSP formal activities won’t start until August 30 so I still have tomorrow to roam around the campus with other scholars if the weather permits.
Lastly, I’d like to show you my room here in Star Tower, Jeonju University. It’s more spacious than my room in Chonnam University’s BTL plus they have a full length mirror – very handy for days when you’d like to dress up! ♥ It may not look very pretty because I’m using my smartphone’s camera only.