Why is every single older man in Korea so desperately concerned about my lack of boyfriend? Seriously, from taxicab drivers to the retired school teachers I met on the subway today, everyone acts like it's the biggest problem in the world that I am single. Not that I'd mind meeting someone cool, but I'm really enjoying being on my own at the moment. It seems like that's just not allowed over here.
Friday was pepero day (well, technically it's 11/11, since pepero candy is long and thin) and the secretary brought in this awesome homemade pumpkin rice cake thing, so I ate a lot of food that was free. It's nice to be appreciated. I think I've gotten more presents in my three months of teaching than I did in my three years stateside. Sure, I had a few students who were appreciative of my efforts over there, they just REALLY know how to treat teachers here.
But I think it's more than that. The hospitality and kindness of Korean people seems bottomless. While Americans are a more outwardly friendly lot, I have been shocked by the generosity of many people I've met here. It's odd because strangers (like on the subway and the street) are more rude than they are back home--no greetings, mostly just shoving and glares with the occasional spitting right in front of you--but the people I have any kind of relationship with--my landlord, Sa Beom Nim, the students' parents, other Korean teachers, friends I meet--go out of their way to help me enjoy my experience here. I can never hope to repay any of them, even if I am here for years. I try... but it's overwhelming.
I am so lucky sometimes. I live a pretty blessed existence.