I feel like we just arrived but somehow 3 months have passed. So much has happened and yet I feel as though there is so much left to do in Seoul. It’s a strange contradiction of emotions. I don’t want to leave but I’m so ready to go home. I’ve loved my time here in Korea but I do miss a few comforts of home. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is the difference in bathrooms.
It’s the little things you know, in New Zealand a larger softer towel is prefered, while in Korea a smaller towel (more like a New Zealand hand towel) is prefered for drying after you shower. Also instead of a shower stall, in most Korean apartments the shower has no door and instead the floor has a drain so it’s almost like the whole room is the shower. Because after someone showers the whole floor is wet, there are specific sandals that are kept in the bathroom.
Another thing I’m looking forward to is soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk in any café I go into. I’m looking forward to be able to order my coffee order, without having to first check that they have an alternative milk.
There are things that I’m going to miss from Korea as well. Firstly the subway system. It’s so easy to get somewhere, you’re never more than 15 minutes from a subway stop. Auckland public transport could never compare. I’m not excited to go back to the Auckland public transport where your never sure if the bus is going to show up or not. And I can’t drive so its not like I can drive myself anywhere I want go. A well functioning public transport system is what’s really missing from Auckland.
Finally, convivence stores. I don’t know how i can go back to life without GS25 or CU. How do I get kimbap for a snack after class or cake at 3am if I don’t have those? In these past three months they have become an essential part of my life, so I think I have to start a petition to bring them to Auckland. I just can’t imagine life without them. I wonder what kind of things would be stocked at a New Zealand convivence store… Nothing as nice I would imagine.
Overall I am excited to return to the comforts of home but I also will miss the things that make life here in Korea unique. I’m a little disappointed that we need to leave right as we were really settling into life here. But we have all created such strong ties to Seoul that I know we will all be back at some point.