FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE OFTEN LASTING ONES. MY EXPERIENCES HERE IN KOREA HAVE LEFT ON ME A FAVOURABLE IMPRESSION OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE. HERE I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF KOREA, AS WELL AS THE LASTING IMPRESSIONS THAT I WILL REMEMBER.
My first impressions of Korea involved multitudes; multitudes of people, apartments, and restaurants. When I first saw downtown Seoul, I was amazed by the sheer numbers of people there. While travelling on the subway during rush hour, I was literally pushed off the subway then on again as it stopped at each station. So my first impression of Seoul was that of being surrounded by many, many people.
Another thing that impressed me was the number of apartment buildings. Before coming here, I was not used to seeing so many apartments as most people in Australia live in individual homes. So I was quite impressed by the number of apartments here in Korea.
Also, I have been amazed by the number of restaurants in Korea. As I have spent time here, I have visited many different restaurants. What interested me was that there are so many of them even in just one street! I sometimes wonder how they all manage to make enough money to stay in business.
So my first impressions of Korea came from the sheer numbers of people, apartments and restaurants here.
Although my first impressions were of the multitudes, the lasting impressions have come from individuals. My observations of these people have given me a very favourable image of Koreans. I can summarise my opinions of Korean with the word KOREAN.
I have found Korean people to be:
Kind to me even though I am a stranger. One cold day while I was mountain climbing, some strangers offered me some food to eat and hot tea to drink even though they could hardly speak any English.
Oriented to their family. For example, I have seen many parents spending time playing sports with their children. In my opinion, I think that this is a valuable part of the Korean culture.
Respectful to older people and teachers. As an English teacher here, I appreciate the way my students respect me.
Educated well from elementary school through to university. It seems to me that most Koreans are well educated.
Active people. For example, the first day I went mountain climbing, I was suprised to meet many senior people coming back from the mountain already even though it was 6:30AM!Nice people to know. I have found Koreans to be very friendly toward me, so I think that on the whole, Koreans are nice people to know.
Thus my experience in Korea has been very enjoyable so far. My first impressions came from the multitudes - multitudes of people, apartments, and restaurants. Whereas the lasting impressions have come from individuals - individual Koreans who have been kind, respectful and helpful. So when I leave Korea, I will do so with a very favourable impression of the country and its people.