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have i become a Seoulite?

March 30, 2012

My roommate and I visited Busan for our spring break recently. I came to two conclusions:

1. Busan is way cooler than Seoul

and

2. I think I’ve sort of become a Seoulite

Now, saying Busan is cooler than Seoul is obviously my personal opionion. It’s just based on what I value: slower paced life style; friendly people; relationships; the outdoors; clean air; beauty; room to move without being pushed; more sunshine; the ocean…

Tammi and I wrote down our first impressions of Busan as they came…some of them might be incorrect as we were only there for 3 days and only wrote down our initial observations:

  • calmer / more laidback
  • the taxi driver was speaking in a friendly tone to another person (not the yelling that you hear in Seoul and think people are in a fight but really that’s just how they talk)
  • the accent is different
  • the taxi driver actually stayed to help (in Seoul they most likely would not have or would have been irritated — stereotyping based on most of my experiences obviously)
  • the driving is fast but not jerky like in Seoul (we didn’t feel like we were going to die every few seconds)
  • not as many mirrors as in Seoul
  • people still spit but not as much
  • you still can’t make an order that even slightly changes what the menu says (oh, korea)
  • do not eat at 10 Tables — their burgers are not real!
  • more space to walk…not as crowded
  • people still dress in their suits a lot
  • people are more willing to just sit around and talk (there are actually benches around the city for people to sit down and stop going going going)
  • sunnier
  • way more windy (not a favorite)
  • Busan time is slower (ie. “Oh it’ll take about 10 minutes down the road.” it only took us 2 minutes)
  • the Koreans were not as afraid to make mistakes using their English as the people in Seoul

After being there for three days and doing practically nothing~ except spending time with people, I soon became very antsy and anxious as if I needed to do something and be “productive.” It was an unsettling feeling. Had I forgotten what it was like to slow down?

I mean, can’t I say that spending time with people is productive? YES! It is! Relationship is so valuable and important! Had I forgotten this? While we were there we even ran into the Maldonados (a family that I work with and I teach their daughter^^), one of my professors, and two people from the Busan church plant, and another coworker (Joelle). …it was a wonderful time of hanging out!

Tammi and I were talking about this need to be doing something and we concluded that it was part of our survival mode while living in Seoul. You can’t live in Seoul for years and not be affected in some way. You soon become a busy body and you suddenly need to be doing something all the time or so it seems. Sitting, processing and thinking are not as comfortable as they used to be, sadly.

I was reflecting on how hard it was to move to Seoul and adapt…it has taken literally YEARS and it still is suffocating at times (though you don’t fully feel it until you leave the city and then you realize how much freer you feel when you get out of the hustle and bustle within the concrete walls). …it will be just as hard for me to transition to a slower paced life when I leave Seoul one day. Even when I go home in the summer I like to keep myself busy…. it’s harder and harder to be still and reflect the longer I live in this city.

Tammi was talking about how it’ll be difficult and she laughed,

“It’s hard to get to know yourself again….all that time to think and be with yourself.”

I definitely look forward to the day that I can live a slower paced life, but I also know that I’ll miss the pace of life here. In Seoul you are constantly in transition. Things are changing all the time and there are always new people and opportunities coming at you. Going from that to the daily life with little change will be quite difficult I think.

Either way, there are good things about both life styles. I will conclude that there should be  a balance. I think that I can truly say I have come to appreciate both ways of life. Though, I think that I still would choose a slower paced life style over the fast “bali bali” culture of Seoul any day. Or as Tammi said, “I think I’d rather be a Busanite.” =)

So, Busan, it was short and sweet….thank you for reminding me that I value slowing down….until next time…. keep being friendly and laid back.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 5:38 am

    Dyanne, I can see why Sarah and Macie love you! If you don’t mind, I’m going to start following your blog. 🙂

  2. March 30, 2012 5:53 am

    Aww, you’re so sweet~ I’m sad that we missed each other when I lived in CS… but I’m glad we can see each other now and then when I visit ^^

    I don’t mind at all and I just added you to my blogroll as well! =)

  3. Janine permalink
    March 30, 2012 8:26 am

    I love Busan! And I agree it is way cooler than Seoul…

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