10. I miss everything being in English and everyone speaking English. I can not speak, write, or read Hangul (the Korean language.) I know a few words, but most of the time I just smile and nod when people are talking to me and hope they’re not calling me a stupid American to my face. I keep trying to learn, but I haven’t had much luck.
9. I miss working. There really aren’t many jobs here for spouses. Sure, I could work at the PX or at the Commissary. I could also apply for a job at the daycare, but I have no desire to do any of those things. I have worked in retail and I have worked at a daycare, neither of which really made me want to get out of bed and go to work in the morning.
8. I miss more mild weather. Extreme temperatures are present throughout most of the year. It’s either really hot or REALLY cold. I am from New Jersey and I have experienced both cold winters and hot summers, but I have never experienced weather to this extreme. I can deal with the heat, but the cold has put me into hibernation mode.
7. I miss Target. I love Target (who doesn’t?). I try to shop online, but they tell me it’ll take over a month for my items to arrive, and that just makes me even more sad.
6. I miss Starbucks. I used to work at Starbucks therefore I am more addicted than your average Joe(pun intended.) We have a Starbucks here but the milk makes the drinks taste funny and there aren’t as many options, plus it is way too overpriced. I don’t think it’s overpriced in the states because I don’t mind paying for good coffee, but some of the drinks here are double the price back home. Starbucks in the economy is even more expensive than on post.
5. I miss normal American milk. The milk here is gross. They must put some kind of chemical it (yay chemicals in my milk) because the expiration date is always a month after I purchase it. I am a HUGE milk drinker, but I only put this milk in my coffee and cereal. I can’t stand to just drink a cup of it. Milk is even more expensive out in the economy, Koreans aren’t big milk drinkers.
4. I miss going out to eat in American restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love Korean food, but I hate Korean service. It’s not that they are rude, it’s just that you have to buzz them when you need them. They don’t come up to you and ask if you want more water, or anything else. I find this to be inconvenient because I feel like we are always bothering them.
3. I miss the quiet, it’s too loud here. I am a suburb/country girl living in a city. I hate the city. I used to live about 20 minutes from Philadelphia and about three hours from NY, neither of which I enjoyed going to.
2. I miss my car. We bought a brand new 2011 Honda Fit before moving to Korea because originally we didn’t think I would be able to come here. It is now sitting in my parents driveway. We could have brought Maxwell with us, that’s his name, but the roads are so bad and he would have been destroyed.
And the reason I miss America most is:
1. I miss my family and friends. Being 7,000 miles from my family and friends is harder than I ever imagined it would be. I miss them so much. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I was already pretty fond of all the people in my life.
Stay tuned for the top 10 reasons why I’ll miss Korea when I leave, even though I’m not sure I can actually come up with 10, I will give it my best shot.
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We’re heading to Korea next year. I’m excited but nervous. Reading this may have made it worse. Haha
didn’t mean to make it sound worse! It’s an adjustment. I honestly didn’t have a culture shock, and I love being with my husband, it’s just the winter blues right now. This is our first duty station and my first time away from my family and friends, that’s the hardest part.
These are the first negative things I have heard about living in Korea and now I am freaking out. My husband just got orders Friday to report in May and we are already struggling with our decision to have myself and our four girls come along. Does anyone have information about on post housing at all? We are worried about having enough room for all of our girls.
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