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Rural Korea how to stay sane
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm mostly a big city person and always have been; but I've spent time in and enjoyed many small town experiences on multiple continents. However, small town korea is extremely creepy to me. Especially the smaller beach towns in off-summer months. I liked small town Vietnam, Mexico, France and even Macedonia. But the only people I ever met who enjoyed living in the koboonies were either Canadians or Americans from Bummstick, South Dakota, or some place like that. I personally can't imagine spending more than a week in the Korean country side. It seems generally miserable.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the Korean countryside a lot. Reasonably quiet, beautiful scenery, very safe, but without any of the typical sacrifices of countryside life like poor Internet/cell phone access, and no matter where you live here you can probably get to a reasonably sized city within an hour or two, so it's not hard to visit. I can see why it might be painful for people who depend upon things like night clubs, western-style restaurants, movie theaters, and so forth to have fun though. If you cannot entertain yourself without such facilities, yes, you'll probably won't be very happy in the countryside.
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I stated, I've enjoyed the country side in many other countries without a need for the comforts mentioned. I taught myself the beginning elements of flamenco guitar sitting on a rock outside of a 200 person village in the mountains of Andalucia for three weeks, living in a cabin in the middle of the woods with little more than a furnace and a bunch of lazy ass French hippies hanging around. I ate the same meal everynight in a bar filled with boonie spanish laborers who got drunk and silently watched the 101 Dalmatians movie cartoon at the bar. Perspective and background is a very important factor.

When I was traveling a lot I'd often just walk off of the train and wing it. I ended up spending a lot of time in small towns. They were generally pleasant. Korea is a different matter in my mind though. I don't like the country side and I think people who choose to live there indefinitely are missing a screw.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I was okay spending a few weeks in a cabin, so clearly I'm down with country life, but I don't like the Korean countryside for some vague reason, so people who do are crazy."

Dress it up however you like fellow, but if you can't handle it, I agree you should avoid it. Most westerners are probably a bad fit for rural Korea.
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the limited summary of my personal experiences compared to your own, likely moreso, limited experiences. I know you're living like fox the monk wherever you are, but you're an exception. Korea is an ugly small town country. I've had my moments, but it's just downright ugly and inconvenient in most small towns, full of weird old people. Duluth is probably better.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why are you being so defensive in response to someone endorsing your decision to avoid rural Korea? You can insult rural Korea and those who live here a dozen more times, and you can brag about whatever wonderful experiences you feel you've had as much as you'd like, and my response will continue to be that you're obviously right not to live here if you cannot tolerate it.

I for one do not think it is ugly, inconvenient, or creepy, nor do I think most of the "old people" here are weird or crazy.
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matthagwon



Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Location: Japan lite

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Living in rural Korea can give you cabin fever even though your surrounded by people. I think that I must go to Seoul on the weekend to stay sane. I never had a full conversation in almost two weeks. Rural Korea can mess with a person.

My boredom meter is reaching record heights, I've tried to fit in with the locals but they see me as a foreigner and the people I do talk to mostly are women who I feel are the equivalent of that guy in america who had yellow fever.
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markness



Joined: 02 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matthagwon wrote:
Living in rural Korea can give you cabin fever even though your surrounded by people. I think that I must go to Seoul on the weekend to stay sane. I never had a full conversation in almost two weeks. Rural Korea can mess with a person.

My boredom meter is reaching record heights, I've tried to fit in with the locals but they see me as a foreigner and the people I do talk to mostly are women who I feel are the equivalent of that guy in america who had yellow fever.


I see no problem with this! Take advantage of it before it's too late. Are the dudes hard to befriend as well? I never had too hard of a time making friends but maybe where you are is different. Smile
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No_hite_pls



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Location: Don't hate me because I'm right

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real Rural Korea (town <100,000) can be isolating and the average age of Koreans will be about 70. Because of this fact it could be hard to make Korean friends. All educated younger Koreans <60 that have a job will try their best to move out of small towns.
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Nester Noodlemon



Joined: 16 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No_hite_pls wrote:
Real Rural Korea (town <100,000) can be isolating and the average age of Koreans will be about 70. Because of this fact it could be hard to make Korean friends. All educated younger Koreans <60 that have a job will try their best to move out of small towns.


What's wrong with him dating some of the 70 year old chicks?
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No_hite_pls



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Location: Don't hate me because I'm right

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nester Noodlemon wrote:
No_hite_pls wrote:
Real Rural Korea (town <100,000) can be isolating and the average age of Koreans will be about 70. Because of this fact it could be hard to make Korean friends. All educated younger Koreans <60 that have a job will try their best to move out of small towns.


What's wrong with him dating some of the 70 year old chicks?


There sure are a lot of them in little old rural towns if that's your thing. Surprised
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joelove



Joined: 12 May 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I experienced this a bit in Korea, but more so in China and in cities with 3 million people I guess, which sounds unreal. I'm not all that outgoing for one thing and such place can get to you if you don't have friends or a girlfriend. You need a good job for sure, but you need a social circle of sorts, or at least one or two close others, to keep ya going. Otherwise, it can be hard.
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matthagwon



Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Location: Japan lite

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No_hite_pls wrote:
Nester Noodlemon wrote:
No_hite_pls wrote:
Real Rural Korea (town <100,000) can be isolating and the average age of Koreans will be about 70. Because of this fact it could be hard to make Korean friends. All educated younger Koreans <60 that have a job will try their best to move out of small towns.


What's wrong with him dating some of the 70 year old chicks?


There sure are a lot of them in little old rural towns if that's your thing. Surprised


The old ladies always fight over cardboard so if I buy a cardboard factory I'll be rolling with the 70 year old Ajummas. Anyway rural Korea is a pain but I believe it helped me learn Korean super fast.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FDNY wrote:
My worst nightmare is living in rural Korea. Urban Korea has severe cultural, intellectual and material limitations. Rural Korea would be absolutely egregious, atrocious and untenable.


I think someone who makes a statement like that has themselves severe cultural, intellectual, and material limitations.
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Weigookin74



Joined: 26 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

young_clinton wrote:
FDNY wrote:
My worst nightmare is living in rural Korea. Urban Korea has severe cultural, intellectual and material limitations. Rural Korea would be absolutely egregious, atrocious and untenable.


My last school in a city of 15000 in Chungnam was nothing like that. With easy access to Seoul on weekends, rural Korea is easy to deal with and even quite enjoyable with nicer teachers and children.


If it has a Chungdam, it's not that rural. If it's close to Seoul, it's not really rural in it's feel. Go further south and go rural.

I lived in a small city of 80,000 a few years ago. But the way Korea has changed during the last two to three years, I'd say it was equivelent to a rural area of 20,000 to 40,000 people today in Korea in terms of attitudes and amenities and features. (More foriegners and more franchises than before spread out like Baskin Robins, Dunkin Donuts, more Lotte Marts, etc.)

Anyways, the real rural areas, when I was there had C-blocking galore. My first year, a very small minority of women wanted to meet a white guy as there weren't many around before me and there weren't many waygooks living there when I got there. But these girls wanted to meet in secret and were quite assertive. But towards the end of the first year, that came to an end. The locals mostly had a wall up, but the few cracks were repaired and there was a long dry spell. Then my final year there, some women did want to meet. Having coffee or being at a restaurant meant ignorant ajossis thinking it's their sexist racist right to tell the girls off for betraying Korea by being with me.

Maybe these places have lightened up since then. I honestly don't know. (I did hear via feedback that some girls said they couldn't be seen with a white man in the town.) I do get a decent reception in my mid sized city when I'm out and about and seem to when I visit Seoul nowadays. I didn't seem to in the 2000's decade so much living in my old town and even when I went to Seoul at that time. Might have been more xenophobia in the air. But, I was balding bad at the time too. (Which probably didn't help.)

All I can say is that life there was bring without some hobbies, things to do, and some basic Korean language ability. Schools use to give extra time off in those days. Exam days, field trip days, etc - school cancelled. Middle schools, I went home at 2:30. Elementary schools, I went home at 1 pm. So, I often went biking or hiking. Sometimes, I hoped a bus for an hour or so to the nearest big city to get away and took long weekends in Seoul. (I don't think most schools in rural areas give those perks anymore.) If I had to actually stay there most of the time, I would have gone insane.

There are lots more foriegners there now and they can either be cool or a bunch of knobs. Hard to know which until you get there.
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