http://imnopicasso.blogspot.com/2011/04/questions-are-you-getting-used-to-korea.html so I'm No Picasso wrote an interesting post about living in Korea, and all the things that start off mind-blowingly new aren't new after a while, and there comes a point where one has to just hit the "Zen" button when they get bumped on the subway, or get complimented on their chopstick use again or asked if they can eat spicy food again, because if they can't do that (at least most of the time - everybody has "bad Korea days" which are really just bad days with different ingredients than bad days back home), they're probably not going to make it.
The money shot, to me, is this:
...The S.O. knows all about my blogs.... He constantly bemoans the fact that I am too used to Korea, and that he can't explain anything, or guide me in anything, or show me anything new. Which isn't true at all. ...it confuses him that I'm still keeping the blog -- he says, "What else is there for you to write about? Haven't you written everything in nearly three years? What could you possibly still have to say about Korea?"There's something I like to call "second year syndrome" which is the fallacy (common among certain groups of people) that once one's been here for a year or two, one is ready to hold forth as an expert on all aspects of Korea, the assumption, for example, that three years of blogging about Korea would be enough to explore every topic, or that a series of short declarative statements (here's a good sampling) would be all one needed to successfully navigate all of Korean culture and life, and I'd like to at least introduce that phrase today. I'll talk about it more later...
But for now, I'd like to stand with INP and say that Korea, as a country, a culture, a people, and a history, is inexhaustible. I've met people who, by the way they speak about Korea, have hedged their views of Korea in with so many shorthand conclusions about the country, the culture, and the people, that they've closed themselves off from finding anything interesting, fascinating, or new about the country, and I've even met Koreans who sell their own culture short, settling on the image of their country they learned in ethics class, and the places they like to visit, and the shows they watch on TV, and have their own set of shorthand conclusions about what the country, and the people are, such that they don't explore anymore.
And that's too bad, is all.
Anyway, I've been reading a lot (grad school, you know), and studying the language a lot (still slow going, that), and trying to find new ways to be re-amazed by Korea.
I'll keep you updated.
One place to start: http://koreanfilm.org/topten2000s.html KoreanFilm.Org. Not all of them are, but Korean cinema has some pretty awesome films in its history.
I'm watching The Housemaid (the 1960 version) right now. AWESOME movie... but the "Very Special Episode" ending was something else.