Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It’s amazing the things you get used to, I thought as I sat on my toilet seat-less toilet, staring at the bathroom wall less than 6 inches away from my face. My tiny apartment seems more sizable than ever these days, and I don’t even notice the noises my water heater makes in the middle of the night.

Last week a huge aircraft carrier ship thing (Elijah would know the name for it; I just know it was big and military-based) came into Busan’s harbor. When we were out Friday night, I openly stared at all the foreigners walking around. What are those Americans doing here? my inner Korean asked. Why are people speaking English?! In the colloquial, I was weirded out.

I can now climb eight flights of stairs without breaking a sweat. (Downside, my pants are noticeably tighter around my thighs, but at least they haven’t split like Lee’s yet.) I also remember to turn the key to the left to lock my doors and the right to unlock them. And if you’re not proud of that, you should know that I’m also able to find the right bus stops, navigate the subway system with reasonable accuracy, and inform a taxi driver 영도구고신데학교가주세요 with some fluency.

I don’t think the man purse is weird anymore. Nor am I surprised to see Engrish on every other t-shirt on the street. I still smile at people, but I’m no longer thrown off when they give me a confused look in return. I’ve been in Busan for seven weeks today and it’s a lovely place to call home.


  1. I am so glad that you have gotten over the worst of the gah-new-country-troll-face period.

  2. haha... no toilet seats. Thankfully our volunteer floor here provides all the americanos with toilet seats :) ahh, just like home. Enjoy yourself, Elaine!