korea. a better place to live or visit?

I would never, in a million years, suggest just visiting Korea. And that's my own thing, because I mostly don't care for places when I just visit. Things take a lot of time to grow on me generally, and Korea was definitely one of them. I think if I came to Korea for just a week, I would leave more confused than anything.

This place is really, really different from what I've known my whole life. Even though I was happy at, say, six months in, I still think I would have had a completely different feeling toward this place if I had left at that point. Because there was so much I still didn't understand. There's still so much I don't understand today, too, but it's slightly less than what I didn't understand a year and a half ago.

To quote from another entry:

If I were to visit Korea for a week, I'm fairly certain I might size her up as loud, flashy, pushy, commercial, excessively and unnecessarily disordered, nonsensical, frustrating and obnoxious. Lucky for me, I didn't visit Korea for a week -- I moved to Korea. I've had time (and, really, no choice but) to peel back the surface layers, and see what's going on underneath. I've had time to dismiss my initial reservations and hesitance to come into contact with anything that is different, strange and disarming to me, and to allow something entirely separate from myself to become familiar. In short, I've been challenged by Korea. Because it's not the same as me, because I don't naturally understand everything (almost anything) that goes on here. I'm not bored here.

Frankly, I wouldn't see the point in just visiting Korea. It would be like trying to have a one night stand with Sartre. Look at the guy -- what's the point? But if you took the time to get to know him, as the gorgeous and brilliant Simone de Beauvoir did, you might find that suddenly, someday, this small, hideously ugly little fellow had you completely wrapped around his little finger.

That's a weird comparison. I'm sorry. But I think you'll get my point.

Ask me anything


Anonymous said...

I think you articulated the point very well: although Sarte and KoreaInc. are two different beings, the deep pull and hold of both bear the same.

John from Daejeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Seoul just sighed.

Anonymous said...

My parents came to visit for a week, and I think they were confused about why I wanted to spend several more years there. When you just visit all the 'tourist places" and do some shopping and eat some food, you see a totally different, manufactured (in my opinion) side of Korea. The interesting side is what takes time to seep in. It has nothing to do with the sights there are to see.