Getting Settled and Discovering Korea

14 10 2009

by Randy Pulayya

Culture. It has been almost two months since we arrived to Korea and we are finally getting adjusted to the Korean culture and way of life. One of the biggest things that we noticed is how much emphasis that the Korean government focuses on learning English. English is a main subject in Korean schools, along with the regular subjects such as science, math and social studies. A typical middle school student starts his or her day at 7am and ends by 4pm. After 4pm it’s straight to the academy. Most children are involved in some after school activities that are usually required and not necessarily anything like sports or clubs. They are usually enrolled in an after school private program (an academy) where they study all subjects but mostly English until 9pm. Saturdays are not considered the weekend for kids in Korea, it’s considered academy time.
Missing Home. McDonald’s in Korea delivers right to your apartment. Just call 1600 5252 and you are directed to the main calling center in Seoul, South Korea. The operator takes your address and finds it on their system. Our address is 1108 Dongsan Parkville Dal-dong, Namgu, Ulsan South Korea. You think it’s that easy telling them, right? Haaaaaa guess again!! After three phone calls we finally struck gold! We got our food delivered in 10 minutes. FYI, there is a surcharge of 900 won for delivery. That comes to less than one dollar! If you’re feeling lazy and want to stay in for the evening it’s worth it!
Adventures. This weekend we went paragliding in Ulsan! It was a long day but it was worth waiting around for the wind to pick up. We spent the entire day waiting for the wind to pick up on top a a beautiful mountain. It is no comparison to skydiving but, they say you should try everything in life at least once. There is no other feeling to describe being up in the air until you have done it. You do feel like a bird.