Friday, October 21, 2011

My Birthday

I really don't want to write this post because I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, but I figure that I should be honest about my first "I don't like Korea" day. I try to really focus on why I'm having a bad day when I have one in order to determine whether or not the cause is something that is Korea-specific or whether it could happen in the States, too. Most of the time, the cause is not Korea-specific. When I was reading in preparation for our move, I often read found ideas about the fact that regardless of what country you live in, you are still going to be you. You are not suddenly going to have more patience or understanding just because you move to a new place. While I had no doubt that it would be true, I can verify that it is certainly the case. I am me just in a different environment, so the stressors that I had in the States have not disappeared. Therefore, most of my bad days are not related to the country I live in.
So, while I say that my birthday was one of my first true "I don't like Korea" days, it was not entirely Korea's fault. My biggest problem was that I tried to take on too much. My second biggest problem was that I thought that my young children would understand it was my birthday and not expect me to wait on them hand and foot. That was simply absurd--I'm not sure where that idea came from!
We did enjoy our new train experience--KoRail on the last leg of our trip is above ground.
Early in the week, a co-worker had told me where I could find a hand mixer. Now that I have my handy Seoul travel app, I feel like I can find anything, so I decided that would be our trip for my birthday. It was our first trip on the subway with two transfers. That part wasn't actually too difficult. We're finally starting to get it. The hard part came when we arrived at the station. My friend had told me the mixers were at Lotte Mart at Yongsan Station. Now, if you've never lived in a big city, you would assume that the store was near the station, not actually at the station. Apparently, I've already been living in a big city long enough to think that when you say "at" Yongsan Station, that's actually where it is. You may have guessed by now that Lotte Mart was not "at" Yongsan Station. As a matter of fact E-Mart and iPark Mall are at Yongsan Station. And they are EXACTLY the same as the E-Mart and iPark that we can take a 15 minute bus ride to. I think that may have been the most frustrating part! Lotte Mart is only a short bus ride away from Yongsan Station (according to my phone), but needless to say, we had done enough traveling to get as far as we were. So, the kids and I wandered around iPark for a little while and checked the E-Mart just to make sure that my friend hadn't mis-spoken. They did not have any hand mixers. So, we got a package of diapers and had some lunch at KFC (KFC Korea is NOT KFC America. This is really a post in and of itself, so suffice it to say that Cade was the only one who ate lunch.) I got Starbucks, and we headed down to the train station. 
Things had started downhill at lunch when Kennedy wouldn't eat anything, and they continued downhill as it was now nap time and we were still four train rides, a bus ride, and a ten minute walk from home. We were ALL ready for a nap by the time we got home!
That evening Eric did his best to make up for my tough day by going to down and getting dinner from a restaurant we hadn't tried yet after the kids went to bed. He even remembered to get me flowers from the place that I'd been pointing out to him since we got here.
Hopefully it's evident that most of the time I don't think this way, but sometimes I think it's good to vent all of the true frustrations of living in a new country...if I'd had a car, it may not have taken us nearly an hour to get to Yongsan Station...if I knew where I was and where I was going, I would have found Lotte Mart...if I was in the US chicken nuggets at KFC wouldn't be so spicy that Kennedy wouldn't eat them. But if I was in the US, I wouldn't be where God wants me, so I still wouldn't be happy!

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