Survival Mode: Transitioning to Life in Korea

This past week I’ve been in survival mode, getting over jet lag, figuring out how to feed myself, and finding the motivation to unpack and clean my apartment. I am still waiting for my alien registration number so I can get a phone, bank account, and start my real life here.

But I have done some exploring with my across-the-hall friend Ruth.

We finally hit the jackpot today on where to go to buy everything we could ever want or need: Home Plus at the 문래 (Mullae) subway stop.

It’s like a huge Walmart with an awesome grocery store that has tons of tasty free samples. They even had a bunch of international sauces! It was a bit overwhelming. I didn’t have enough cash to buy a Britta water filter, but once I go back and get that, I’ll be set! (And maybe a new trash can, because the one that was left in my apartment is kind of grossing me out, but let’s not go there…)

By the way, every time I cross the river in the subway, I gasp. It takes me by surprise, because you come out of the darkness of being underground into a brilliant view of the water. I love it.

Funniest moment of the day: I was checking out the tupperware selection (containers for kimchi and other side dishes are a must) when I accidentally knocked over three sets of containers. While putting them back, I knocked over three more. Of course this all made a bunch of noise and I was already feeling self-conscious as a non-native, so I did what I usually do and started giggling.

Ruth said, “Uh-oh, there’s a foreigner making a mess over in aisle 4.”  I think that was the first time I’ve really laughed since I’ve been here.

Tomorrow: church and more human contact!


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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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