Awesome Korean Adventures

Living and engineering like never before

Halfway Home

As the midterm comes to a close, I pass the halfway stage of my exchange period here in Korea. So far, I’ve learned much about other cultures, things that I both like and dislike. Esp ecially regarding dormitory life, I only knew what I had seen in movies or games. I’ve also met great people along the way. Although I miss my old friends, I’ve met new friends during my time here as well. Now, after staying here for a little over two months, I have a decent grasp on the way things work. It’ll likely be more of the same now that I’m accustomed to living here.

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Nowadays I find myself untroubled by the nightly racket. Since the staff didn’t lift a finger to punish the Chinese people for being rowdy, I learned to live with it instead. I’m pretty sure they don’t even realize that most people find it really annoying. Another thing, some people like to play music in the shower and sing to it. Some guy even started singing a Chinese ballad at the toilet, when I was taking a leak next to him. I was almost in tears because he had the voice of an angel. Even the way people greet each other varies greatly. Finns, Swedes and other Europeans often settle for a “Hi” or “Hey”. Contrarily, the Uzbekistani people always say “Hello, how are you?” and expect a “How are you?” as an answer. Funnily enough, Jasmine once asked me “Have you eaten?” and I told her that I just ate before class. She ended up laughing because what she said basically means “Hello” in China.

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Before coming here, I took many things for granted. The difference in time makes it difficult to play games with my Finnish friends. However, when I was alone at the dorm, I could stay up late and play with them. In two months’ time, I almost forgot what it was like. Although I’ve already gotten used to living in Korea, I still look forward to seeing my friends again. It seems that Finland and Europe in general, are considered a paradise by many people. To be honest, the only things that I care about in Finland, other than pizza, are my family and friends, both of which I always took for granted.

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Lauri is likely the best roommate I could ever hope to have, and he also likes similar things as me. Together, we go to the gym and play badminton on a more or less regular basis. We went running a couple of times only, due to the severe lack of pururatas in Suwon. It’s great to have a person to talk to in Finnish. All the Uzbekistani guys are really nice and friendly too, although I don’t see them that often nowadays. In addition, my statistics course team is comprised of me and two Swedish guys. Unsurprisingly, they are quite similar to Finnish people. Lastly, Jasmine is just too nice towards me. I might be looking through rose-tinted glasses, but she seems like the greatest person to be around.

Inevitably, I will feel sad in December, when leaving everything behind. That said, I believe that all the experiences will make my life richer in the long run. I will leave with a whole new perspective and a newfound appreciation for things previously taken for granted. Still, I have almost two months left to go and I should make the most of it.