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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random observations

-I work with the Korean Michael Scott. This realization was made tonight on the subway and once it popped out of my mouth, we all realized it's scarily true. There's some debate over who Dwight is then...

-Being a "celebrity" is harder than it looks. You don't realize until too late how annoying it can be to have 10 pieces of paper shoved in your face for autographs and 15 camera phones pointed your direction. In fact, I didn't realize how tiresome it was until I was rushed at by my entire class this afternoon.

-If there's one thing America does better for certain than Korea, it's common courtesy. Holding doors, saying "please" and "excuse me," NOT pushing people out of the way walking down the street or on public transport.... It's not in Korean culture to extend the same pleasantries as in the States, but it's definitely an annoyance.

-Korea definitely has the US trumped when it comes to medical care though. Melissa saw a doctor and got prescription drugs yesterday -- all for the grand total of about $10. Our neighborhood pharmacist will self-diagnose you and hand over random pills, then throw in some free "power" drinks for your friends. It's a pretty good system.

-However the best cure-all is still the jjimjilbang. Jeanette and I went again Tuesday night and it just completely relaxes you and gets you ready for the next day.

-Christmas comes early to Seoul, probably because there's no Thanksgiving to get in the way. Starbucks is decked out, as is our neighborhood pub, complete with a giant inflatable Santa Claus and snowman.