After a year

Last week it became one year since I moved to Korea. I decided that it would be nice to write down some thoughts of how I feel after my first year in here. I might do a more detailed post about my opinion of what are the good and bad sides of Korea later, if someone is interested? Pictures of this post are pictures of me and my husband because today is our first wedding anniversary. Unfortunately we need to spend half of it seperated because of my university and his courses, but that means that I have time to finish this post.

When I came to Korea I knew what to expect because I had been here before. Still the first days after a long flight were mentally pretty heavy for me. I was suddenly part of a new family, I moved to someone elses home, I needed to meet many new people and suddenly our long-distance-relationship didn't have long distance anymore, suddenly I was married. But it has gotten better everyday! I have the best family-in-law ever, my parents-in-law were amazing when I came here and we have really great relationship even though we have this language problem. They care about me and they have told many times how they love me and how happy they are that I'm now part of this family. Sometimes my whole outfit is made of clothes I got from my mother-in-law and my father-in-law likes to buy snacks for me, they do lots of small things for me to show that they care about me. I couldn't be more thankful. My sister-in-law and her family are also lovely and I'm always happy to meet them. And so are my husband's aunts! They are always so thoughtful and always consider how I might feel in new situations. I haven't talked much with grandparents-in-law, but seems like they approved me too. And now I kind of got a dog again! I love my husband's old dog like my own and she loves me too, I'm so much happier when I have a dog around. Of course my husband has been amazing too, he must have done so much things for me and he must keep doing until my Korean gets better, but he hasn't complained, and he takes so good care of me. Life isn't always easy or nice, but this relationship is worth to fight for. I love him more everyday and he has been an amazing husband.





I'm dissappointed that my level of Korean didn't get too good in a year. I live in a family where I hear Korean everyday, but still my Korean skills are really limited. Before school started I studied some grammar by myself, and when school started I took evening classed two times a week. I didn't learn much, mostly just about pronounciation, because the class was for beginners and I had studied most of the stuff already. Now in my second semester I'm taking the second level of the Korean class, this is kind of higher beginner -class, and now I'm learning new grammar again. Unfortunately my courses in university keep me so busy, that after reading and doing my real homeworks I'm just too tired to focus on Korean. I hope to take some kind of intesive Korean language courses in summer or winter breaks because studying Korean while doing almost full credits for my major is a bit too much for me. I love Korean language, but it's also really hard, and I'm extremely shy to talk in Korean. But of course my Korean has got a lot better! Just not as much as I hope it would have got. I can deal basic things in a coffee shops or stores in Korean, and I understand much more about what my parents-in-law are trying to tell me than what I did when I came here, but I'm dissappointed because some people seem to be able to speak Korean really well and in natural way after living a year in here. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people.


Just married!



I've been lucky because so far Koreans have been really nice to me. I was scared about racism, but I haven't had too bad experiences yet. Once I wasn't allowed to enter a bar because I didn't have my Alien residency card yet, and once some old woman who was with some of my father-in-law's friend looked at me so badly, with pure disgust in her eyes, that no one before has looked at me like that. After that I couldn't help but just cry, I was so shocked. I greeted them politely, I bowed to them, but she looked me like I wasn't even a human to her. My husband felt really bad for me afterwards because he didn't notice the situation when it happened. I've met lots of old people because my parents-in-law like to show me around, and everyone has been really nice and kind to me, at least after I greet them in Korean. One of my father-in-law's friends, who I have met only once when I had just arrived to Korea, gave me a gift card on my birthday. I know it's just words from people who aren't really used to foreigners and probably think that all white girls are pretty, but I've heard lots of compliments. Sometimes taxi drivers or cashiers in shops might start to ask about me from my husband, and when we went to make a bank account for me, the worker with whom we dealed with told that I look like a doll before we left. It touches me, because I don't fit in the Korean beauty standard.





Sometimes people stare at me, but it doesn't bother me much if they don't do it for too long, I stare foreigners too haha! But when I'm with my husband, people stare at us a lot. Some might stare because they judge, some might stare because it just is pretty rare to see white woman and Korean guy together, some might be interested. I don't know the real reasons, but I try not to care too much about it. Sometimes it feels hard to look so different. No matter where I go, I point out of the Asian crowd. No matter how long I will live here, most of the people will think that I'm a tourist based on my looks. I feel ugly here because I look so different than the others. Because of my Korean family I have had lots of changes to go to places where foreigners won't usually go, and I live in an area where it's rare to see other foreigners. I'm really thankful of these opportunities, people working in restaurants and hair salons remember me because they have seen with my family members. But sometimes I feel really out of place, I'll always look different. People who haven't been much with Asians say that all Asians look the same, but to me Asians don't even look that Asian anymore, they kind of start to become the standard of a human for me? And most of them look unique! I knew some things about Korean culture before I moved here, but I've experienced culture differences while living in a Korean family. Of course I think that some things are done better way in the culture where I'm from, but I don't mind to do things in a Korean way. I live in Korea and I think I must respect it's culture and ways if it's not hurting anyone else. Hardest part for me has been that sometimes I just don't know how to behave in polite way enough because the situations are new to me and there's so much rules and ways how to show your respect to elders. It's hard because in my own culture I'm really polite person and I don't want to seem rude even if I wouldn't do it on purpose. Thankfully Koreans seem to be pretty understanding if foreigners do some mistakes. My family members are always happy if I want to try Korean things and I believe they know that I don't mean it if I don't know to behave politely enough. Living in a new culture is learning new things all the time!





Korea is not a paradise, but I like to live here. I read news about politics of Finland and can't believe how the government is ready to ruin things that have been good about Finland, things that you can't expect to have/get in Korea. Me and my husband won't live forever in Korea, but I'm really thankful and happy that I got a chance to experience to live in this country. I think that Seoul is pretty awesome city to live in. Weather is nicer in here, food is great and here's so much nice things to do and see. Korea has its problems, but it has good things too, and for a student this is a good place to live. Two things I miss most about Finland are my family and fresh air. I have daily nosebleeds and I thought the reason for those was the dry winter air, but now I think I should blame the pollution. I don't miss Finland as a country that much, Korea is my home now. Sometimes I'm a bit lonely here. I know that sometimes I'm too hard to my husband because he is my best and basically only real friend. I don't have people who to lean on if I'm having a bad day or if I'm in bad mood, my poor husband needs to take it all. I'm introvert and I'm old so it hasn't been easy for me to make friends in the university. I have lots of schoolmates, I've met awesome people who I would want to become more close with, but it's really hard for me to make real friendships. I don't know how to take the step to change a schoolmate relationship to a friendship. And sometimes I feel that it's also impossible because I study so hard that I don't have time to meet people often enough even if I would want to. Only one of my friends from Finland stays in touch with me, no one else hasn't asked even once how I'm doing here. I know that I should be more active to stay in touch with people, but I'm still a bit surprised that people aren't really interested of how I'm doing in a new country. I try not to care about it too much and really appreciate this friend who has spend her time to text with me sometimes (kiitos Jenna). I was unhappy in Finland, now I might be lonely but I'm not unhappy anymore! Even if I don't have much friends, I feel more loved than ever before in my life.





After school started my life has become really boring, but I enjoy boring life. I study almost everyday and after that I'm happy to just relax with my husband at home. Sometimes we go to eat outside, sometimes we might go to do something nice in the city and we watch a lot of movies. In a year I've went to movie theaters more than I did in Finland in 25 years! School makes me stressed, but otherwise I'm pretty happy like this, and if my grades are good, I'm happy. I have problems with my memory so sometimes studying feels really hard, it's frustrating to forget things you just read or heard, but it feels great to become smarter. Studying in a university overseas is hard but also something I wouldn't give away. I'm happy and lucky that I have my husband to share my life with, and that he is by myside supporting me. My life is much better than I ever expected it would be. I haven't regretted even once moving here or getting married, it's still so far the best decision of my life. My next goal for the future would be to move to our own apartment, otherwise I have pretty much everything I need.



We are ugly when we kiss :(

And last, happy anniversary, my love.

Comments

  1. Ihana teksti! Oon todella kateellinen, että oot löytänyt jonkun niin ihanan ihmisen joka jaksaa huolehtia susta no matter what ♡ Paljon onnea molemmille!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kiitos Ingrit <3 Oon kyllä onnekas! Vaikkei tää yhteiselämä aina mitään ruusuilla tanssimista ole, en ois ikinä uskonut että joku vois välittää musta näin paljon ja olla valmis laittamaan mut ja mun tarpeet etusijalle. :)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Please let me know your thoughts! :)