It may be a little weird as a first blog post, especially when I have not even layed-out what I will be using this blog for and why I made it in the first place.

Having that out of the way I want to go a little into some of the random encounters I’ve had so far here in South Korea. While I’ve only been here for 2 days it’s been amusing, overwhelming and inspiring.

First of all, Koreans really do not expect you to speak Korean at all. Once you do they are either amazed or freak out, which has been quite funny. I’ve gotten several “Omo” and “Oh…”s (Kind of equivalents to omg) .

One of the first especially funny ones was around the corner of the guesthouse where I am staying. Having just ordered food at a chicken place 2 girls picked exactly the table next to mine while nearly half the place was empty. They instantly “smiled and waved” (Heh, reference!) and started to overly excited ask me things in (very) broken English. I barely got to eat but we had a good time and I’ve got a lunch date with new friends coming up ^^.

The other encounter which especially stood out to me was just a few hours ago in the subway. Subways here in Korea are really packed and it’s hard to find a place to sit. They have special seats for the elderly, pregnant and disabled people. Before coming to Korea I researched a lot of the ethics of this country and it was normal for these seats not to be taken even if there are no elderly, pregnant or disabled people.

I was standing right in front of 1 empty seat while 5 koreans (who did not meet the “requirements” of these seats) were sitting there. I was really tempted to take the seat anyway because I had to get off about 15 stops later and was still in for a 30-35 minute ride. An ahjussi entered the subway and made a hand gesture for me to sit down. With a little confusion I told him that I would not sit down and asked him to sit down instead. He was a little hesitant but when I told him again he gave me a little bow before he sat down.

The part that impressed me the most was when on one of the next stations a seat next to him freed up. He basically forced me to sit down next to him. Let me tell you, if an ahjussi wants you to do something… he will make you do it. What bothered me was that another old lady that came on could’ve taken my seat instead. Here comes the kicker, the ahjussi made one of the Koreans who was already sitting when he came into subway stand up for her.

I don’t know why, but this felt so good. Respect in this country can still really be two ways. When he got off 2 stations before me he said “Bye bye, goodbye.” and made another bow.

I already had a really good day but this encounter truly made it better.

Looking forward to tomorrow! :)

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