Friday, August 3, 2012

Missing & Loving

Someone recently asked me what I miss most about home and what I love most about Korea.  I thought it would be fun to make a few little lists to answer these questions.  These aren't in any particular order by the way, and there are many more things I could add to these lists, but, for time's sake, this is it for now.

What I miss most about home:
*my house
*my family
*my friends
*Sonic Cokes
*Mexican food
*The Houston Zoo and other fun activities
*pantry staples: Velveeta, refried beans, macaroni and cheese, brown gravy, fruit snacks
*getting pedicures (yes, they do have nail salons here but I've yet to venture into that territory)
*Kroger - I know where everything is and can get in and out.  It seems like we have to spend forever searching high and low for one or two things we haven't bought here yet every week at the grocery store.  I just want to get in and out, not spend an hour and a half at the grocery store looking for 15 items.
*shopping online - shipping to my house is dirt cheap compared to shipping something to my condo in Korea
*This is relevant at this specific time actually - I miss preparing for a new school year (the planning, the decorating, the visiting with friends...all that good stuff that comes with being a teacher).
*my mom surprising me with a container of homemade potato soup to take home
*calling my sister at the drop of a hat (There's something special to be said for sisters.  There's nobody else in the world like them.  :)  )
*the ease of putting a stamp on something and dropping it in my mailbox
*the ease of hopping in my car and driving where I need to go - I haven't driven in Korea once, mind you I've lived here for nearly 2 months now.  It's like Driving Miss Daisy over here with me and Talton.  I have an international driver's license, but I just haven't had the urge to drive myself anywhere with these crazy drivers.
*A clothes dryer that actually dries clothes completely in a decent amount of time.  I can literally only get 2-3 loads of laundry done in one day, because the dryer overheats on me, so I have to wait, flip the clothes over, turn the dryer, wait some more, and then try drying them again an hour later.
*An oven where it tells me what temperature I'm cooking on.  Our oven is gas and electric, but the gas side won't stay lit right now for some reason.  This is why I've only been using the electric side, which isn't a big deal at all, except for the fact that the knob doesn't give temperature readings.  It has a line from low to high temperature, so it's basically a crap shoot as to what temperature I'm putting the oven on and how the food will turn out.  It's almost like a surprise every day.... Will your hashbrowns be dark brown or light brown today??? We'll have to wait and see!  :)
*date nights
*Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

What I love most about Korea:
*everyone thinks my boys are the cutest little guys
*people watching at the beach from my living room window
*unexpected things like a Korean beach concert or a fireworks show in front of our condo
*the gym is only 2 floors below us so it's not far to go every evening to work out
*Starbucks is on the first floor of my building--I don't do coffee but I do love their hot chocolate.  It will be perfect during the cold winter months here!
*watching men, young and old, carry their girlfriend's/spouse's purse...they all do it!
*seeing couples wear matching outfits (shirts, shirts & capris, even bathing suits and men's swim trunks)
*the friendliness of almost everyone we encounter (Once a couple weeks ago when we got stuck in the rain, a lady walking with her daughter hurried over to us and used her own umbrella to cover the boys in the stroller so they wouldn't get wet.  She even waited at the cross walk with us, in the rain, to cross the street.  So kind of her!)
*the clear water at our beach and the soft sand
*walking to Dunkin Donuts on Sunday mornings
*the McDonald's within walking distance of our condo so I can take the boys for one lunch a week to pick up a Happy Meal (not sure if it helps me or them more to feel like we're home...)
*the Baskin Robbins ice cream tastes exactly the same
*saving money - We just paid off my student loan finally!  I say "finally", but we actually paid it off 3 years early.  Next to go (and hopefully sooner than the 10 years they gave us to pay it) is Talton's student loan.  I always said we would celebrate and throw a party when our student loans are paid off so maybe we'll have a "Welcome Home/Happy No More Student Loans!" party upon our return home in a couple years.  :)
*exploring new places - temples (and seeing monks walk past us!), hikes up hills along the ocean
*walking through the Market to give the boys their animal fix for the week - they love to stroll through there and look at all the fish, eels, octopus, crabs, etc. in the tanks
*The crime rate is pretty low.  They are so trustworthy that they leave the inner tunes and umbrellas stacked up on the beach wall only covered by a tarp every night.  If that was at home, they'd have to either lock those things up every evening or haul them off at night and back to the beach every morning.

And here are the absolute best things I love about Korea.  Staying home with these guys every day.  :)

The boy loves to read!!!!  This just happens to be one of my Korea travel books.  He thumbs through it until he finds something interesting.
going in for the kiss
smiling as he spun round and round

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