Thursday, April 1, 2010


I have experienced culture shock many times since I've been here in Korea, but last weekend was one of the most mind-numbing of all. Chong-Suk, Chin-Hwa's mom, came to visit. On one weekend, she, her sister, her brother, and I drove five hours to Busan, which is a city on the coast of Korea. We would be meeting family. Chin-Hwa couldn't come because he was away at training. I was flying solo.

I was immersed into Korea in every sense of the word. Chong-Suk and I met thirty of her family members and the only ones who let on that they spoke English were Chong-Suk and a few kids who were too busy staring at me to squeak out a few syllables. We ate at a traditional Korean restaurant where I flaunted my chopsticks skills (see picture--Duck in squash=delicious!) and then drove around the city. The next morning, we visited a few sites in Busan, icluding a Buddhist temple that was more than 1000 years old.

Although I enjoyed much of my time in Busan, I spent the weekend in near silence. This was a strange sensation, but one to which I've become quite accustomed. I'm a chatter by nature, but this was a time when that was impossible. I found myself rlying upon body language and smiles. I also relied upon my iTouch and its many games.

I remember when Chin-Hwa met my family for the first time. I was so nervous for him and thought he might struggle. After my times here, however, he owes me a few good hours of attempts at conversation with family members!

Here is a picture of the family dinner:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jackie, looks like you are having fun! We miss you and wish we were dining with you. Love, Mom