Monday, October 17, 2011

25, 26, 27, and 28 on The List

More amazing culture differences!

25. Germs anyone? Apparently cycles of colds are endless here....great! I am bound to get sick pretty soon, why did I opt to not bring my vitamin C shots with me?!?!? Let me tell you something about Koreans, they are EXTREMELY hard workers, and that's an understatement. They are that dedicated to their job that if they are sick, they will go to work, I guess they would only be willing to stay home if they have to actually go to the hospital. OK, I get that. They want to show to their peers that they are diligent workers and that a little cold is nothing to keep them away from work. Now, students do this too, they will go to school no matter what. Well, if they are feeling good enough to go to school, go right ahead by all means. But here is how the cycle begins...nobody covers up when they sneeze!!!!!!!!!!! YUK! I guess it's not part of their culture to cover up, but ay! this equals germs everywhere! In my after school class one of my students has been sick for the last 2 weeks. Since it's a small class of 7 students, I have them make a circle and I sit with them....know where I'm going with this? Student sneezes right in front of my face! :/ No bueno. Last week I had to sit her the farthest lol. Another thing, I heard that it's rude to blow your nose in front of others, which equals to students using their hands to clean their runny noses and of course have no restraint towards others and touch everything! YUK!!

26. I noticed this back in Seoul and somebody in orientation mentioned it: the holding hands thing. I've seen women of all ages hold hands (from seniors to little kindergardeners), and also boys hold hands. Well the little ones do, older guys (teenage and above) are very touchy, they wrap their arms around each other and such. I've also seen fathers and teenage boys holding hands. I still do not fully know why, to my understanding they do this as a sign of friendship and "closeness," whatever the reason is, I thinks it's actually really cute, especially when it's two little boys holding hands hehehe. The only problem for me at the moment is getting used to my female students running towards me and wanting to hold my hand. It's so embedded in me to not touch students that it's a little awkward right now.

27. One of my favorite things so far: NO TIPS! Heck yeah! Not at restaurants, not at bars, not a clubs, not anywhere! yiiiii

28. I was told about this about two weeks ago, but did not encounter it until yesterday. Koreans have a fear of pesticides, who doesn't right? We all wash our fruit and veggies before eating them. But some Koreans go as far as not eating the skin of fruits such as pears, grapes, and I'm guessing anything that can be peeled. My co-workers offered me some grapes yesterday. I noticed that they had a little empty cup set up in front of them and then I saw that they would take a grape, put it close to their mouths, suck the inside, and put the skin in the cup. I politely asked why they did this and they said because of pesticides. OK, I am all for healthy eating and organic, but to say that they would not eat the skin because of pesticides just sounded ridiculous to me. I of course wanted to make sense of their answer and to maybe put in perspective the whole "fruit skin has pores because it needs oxygen to breathe too, so if air goes out, air can go in too, so technically your grapes are not free of pesticides simply because you don't eat the skin"...but I kept my mouth shut because their English is very limited and would not understand my reasoning, nor do I want to be THAT person, at least not with them hahaha...Johnny, you know how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut lol. I know very little about the anatomy of fruits, so correct me if the above statement is wrong. I wonder what they do with strawberries...

That's all for tonight, Imma go mimis!

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