Friday, November 18, 2011

More observations from the USA

-PEDESTRIANS ACTUALLY HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY HERE!!!! What a novelty. Also people drive on the right side of the road. How confusing.

-I like Seattle. My main reason: the number of people running, biking and walking in all weather. Finally someplace where I fit in (although I don't enjoy exercising in crappy weather). Secondary reason: exorbitant numbers of independent coffee shops. Three: buses, and mass transit.

-America has good customer service. To all the other countries in the world: The customer IS ALWAYS right.

-I didn't miss malls at all. I was so excited to visit some of my familiar stores: Target, DSW, Gap (although there is Gap in Korea). Fail. Just walking into a mall tied my stomach in knots and I didn't even like anything that was in the stores. It's better if I don't shop at all and if necessary to go to fun boutique and thrift stores. The consumer culture of Korea and the US is disgusting to me.

-Why can't we list prices with the tax included? So irritating. I get the exact change all ready to go and then they add the stupid tax on. I don't want to know how much tax I'm paying.

-Chipotle isn't legit Mexican food but it's still pretty awesome.

-You can get any food you could possibly want in America.

-Why do I keep finding Koreans and hearing Korean everywhere I seem to go in this city? I'm not ready for this.

-Americans talk really loud. I don't actually want to hear your conversation. It's actually a blessing living somewhere where you can't understand 90% of what people are saying

-It is possible to live in a city and have green space and nice places to run. Probably not cramming millions of people in human storage units assists in this accomplishment.

-I have an interview with Samaritan's Purse for a program in Uganda on Tuesday!!!!! :) Life plan maybe??

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


After a short but lovely visit to Cape Town and a long layover in Germany, I am officially in the US of A! Everything still feels a bit weird and organizing my thoughts into a semi coherent piece of writing is a mission at the moment so instead I'm going to list my observations from the past day.

-Americans are one of the friendliest nationalities. The warm welcome from the customs officials and the random strangers I encountered in my first few hours on US soil were quite nice. What wasn't so nice was the unwelcome friendliness I received while on my run. Maybe I should go back to girly, shy men filled Korea.

-Americans are quite possibly the worst dressed nationality. Also my initial analysis of Seattle is that it doesn't win any awards for best dressed city. Fleece, Columbia jackets, and beards seem to rule this city (or at least what I've observed after a day). On my flight from Germany I was spoken to in German, I like to think this was because I was perhaps better dressed than my fellow American passengers. But maybe not. I never thought I'd feel like a tourist in a city simply because I looked semi (emphasis on the semi part) put together. However, the benefit to Americans' dressing habits is that going out requires zero effort. A pleasant change from appearance driven Korea.

-Cheap, delicious coffee is a blessing. Don't take it for granted.

-The US is the most diverse country I've ever been to. Argue with this statement if you want but the US's diversity is extremely obvious to me now after spending a year in one of the most homogeneous places on earth. South Africa seemed incredibly diverse (and I would still consider it diverse) compared to Korea but after the racially and linguistically diverse subway ride from the Seattle airport, I quickly changed my opinion on South Africa's diversity. It's pretty awesome to once again be a racially diverse place.

-Pandora is awesome. Grooveshark doesn't make the cut. Please go international Pandora!

-Good beer is awesome. Hite and Cass are pretty vile, and soju's only saving grace is its price tag.

-Rain and cold are not awesome. Generally it's recommended to go from cold to warm not the other way around.

-My ears still instinctively perk up/burn when I hear American accents. Hopefully this ends soon. Also, my English is more South African than I thought. Oops. I blame hanging out with South Africans for the past 15 months.

-The Seattle airport seems to like to make announcements in English AND Korean. Sigh. Korea will follow me to the ends of the earth.

-Being able to carry semi valuable possessions around without worrying about being robbed is a blessing. That and not locking up my valuables every time I leave the house.

-Darmstadt, Germany stills as much like home as ever. I miss that country A LOT in spite of its unfavorable weather.

Looking forward to eating samples in Whole Foods and Trader Joes, Korean food, more beer, more coffee, and Target and NYC (thank you horrible Korean banks). God Bless Uhhh-murr-ika (working on my accent again)!

Also, OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I will officially in Michigan/the midwest from December 24th to January 20th, with the latter date somewhat pending my future plans. Excited and nervous!