Friday, February 09, 2007


  • After living overseas for 2 years, there are a few things that take a little getting used to upon returning to the States. For example, we lived in a country roughly the size of Indiana and, frankly, didn't drive all that much with all the public transport available. So I'm not sure if it's me or the kids having more difficulty in adjusting to how long we are in the car here, whether it's running errands around town or driving across the state(s) to see relatives. And speaking of driving, I'd forgotten just how HUGE those trucks on the interstate are. They have trucks in Korea, but they're not THAT big. And I miss the rest areas on Korean highways. Not only were they a place to stop for a bathroom break, but they usually had a convenience store, food court, food stalls, restaurant, and information center (with a person in it). Often, there would be a playground as well. Plus, there seemed to be one of these rest areas about every 15 or 20 miles.
  • Another silly thing to get used to is pennies. Seriously, the only place I ever saw pennies was a the military post office in Korea. Everywhere else on the base, we rounded up or down. So when my daughter's first grade teacher suggested parents start using pennies to practice counting, etc., I seriously wondered where I was supposed to get all these pennies. Of course, there's something to be said for only having to keep track of one type of currency.
  • A nice thing to get used to is not having to account for a 13-15 hour time difference when calling friends and family. Trying to remember what time it was (and what day) where you were calling was such a pain that my husband didn't bother with it. He just asked me.
  • I can buy something in a shop here AND return it if I need to. I couldn't do that in the markets in Korea. Returns were possible in department stores, but I just didn't have the language skills or confidence to manage it. This is especially important when trying to buy clothes for the oldest since she is both hard to fit and hard to please (and hard of head).
  • Commercials have been another adjustment. And one the kids have embraced a little too much. It's also been strange to have so many radio choices. In Korea, unless I wanted to listen to Korean (usually I only found talking and very little music), my choices were limited to AFN on FM or AM. I still find myself switching between AM and FM instead of scanning through the FM stations while in the car. The first time I drove for any length of time, I found myself listening to a station I didn't care for mile after mile until I finally remembered that there were CHOICES out there and I didn't have to listen to that station!
  • It's the little things.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Wow, I never would have imagined. Thanks for sharing. It's interesting to hear what it's like living in another country.