better late than never.... here goes:
10. Being able to zone out or doodle during "meetings" at work and having a perfectly valid excuse (the meetings are in Korean)
9. No longer having to attend meetings at work because I just zone out while I'm there.
8. Being able to wear jeans and big comfy sweaters everyday to school, although I am not thankful that the school isn't heated.
7. Bibimbap - a big bowl of rice, vegetables, and spicy red paste available at nearly all Korean restaurants. Every vegetarian's best friend!
6. The old lady with the walker who I always pass on the way home from school. Every day she stops, gives me a huge grin, and starts speaking in Korea. I don't understand, so I just smile and say hello, but she never gives up.
5. My Friday third grade class. In the middle of a sea of inattentive, too cool, rowdy sixth grade classes, their enthusiastic little faces prevent me from having a break down.
4. Hongdae. Yes, I said it. I might be equally un-thankful for this nightlife hot spot, but those of you who know what I'm talking about, imagine life in Seoul without it...
3. Finally working up the courage to stop eating school lunch this semester. No, I don't like eating octopus tentacles and soup broth that's had beef (or who knows what) stewing in it all day. And unlike most Koreans I don't consider plain white rice and a side of kimchi a complete meal. I've come to terms with the fact that when you are permanently settled in a place, you can compromise between cultural immersion and personal well being.
2. Taiwan, Jeju, Tsushima, Thailand, the Philippines... Getting paid well in a secure job with great benefits - including ample vacation days.
1. Taking a huge risk with the potential for colossal failure and ending up living a great adventure, making amazing friends, and loving it enough to stick around for another year.