I’ve been settling into Seocheon, South Korea for about a week now. The small city has its charms about it. The entire area is less than a mile wide, so I can bike everywhere with no issue. Senior citizens crowd the streets all through the morning, and the entire town is quiet by 8:00 p.m. Markets are bustling with farmers and fishermen trying to sell their latest harvest daily. Contrary to what some may assume about Korean xenophobia, local merchants have been extraordinarily friendly towards these unfamiliar faces. The Pizza Maru owner tries desperately to communicate with us every time we visit, but alas, just smiles gracefully. There’s no indication of city influence – for better or worse. It seems people go about their lives as they have been for generations.
I have the distinct pleasure of residing in a quaint studio apartment with an upstairs loft. I am one among a handful of foreign teachers that live in the Miju House building. The space is humble, but I can’t complain. It has everything I need. The school has kept its word and purchased everything I need (per our contract): furniture, appliances, and yes, a rice cooker!
I bike to get groceries, to pick up dinner, to the bus terminal, and even in the rain! (Note to self: Get a rain poncho.) I’m sure it’ll suck in the winter time, but I’ll deal with that when it comes around!