Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why aren't there any trash cans in Korea?

Suddenly, it's like I can't remember what happened yesterday. I'm actually really tempted to do a post in Korean but most of you wouldn't be able to read it and the rest of you would just correct my grammar and laugh at me... So maybe just part of it?

어제 재미있었는데 특별한 일이 없었어요. 그냥 학교에서 공부하고 저녁을 먹었어요. 저녁 후에 숙제 했어요. 그리고 사진을 하나만 찌겄어서 이blog post은 좀 재미없을 것 같에~ 미안해요. ㅜㅜ

Translation: Yesterday was fun but nothing special happened. I just studied at school and ate dinner. After dinner I did homework. And I only took one picture so this blog post might seem a little boring... Sorry.

That was a good summary of my day, huh? I'm done. Just kidding.

In Korean Studies, we fell even more behind. So I'll have to see what he says today about the midterm. I've done all the reading but now it's all blurred together. The time periods are running into each other and I can't differentiate what happened when. This is partially because the professor doesn't emphasize dates, but it's probably mostly because I frequently tune out when I read about history and I find it one of my harder subjects. So nervous about the midterm tomorrow...eek!

Korean was straight forward, as always. I finally am getting to know people in my class. Usually I talk to only Mike since we both moved down from the other class, but I'm getting there! Haha. I met Jai yesterday. It was funny because Jai and Mike go to the same school and they didn't even know it, haha. I wish that would happen to me here, but I seriously doubt anyone from Reno is here... =(

We eat here pretty frequently. It's like a 5min. walk from the dorms so a lot of people are always here. The food here is good and cheap. The menu has quite the variety so usually you can find something you'd want to eat. Eugene's head/hand got in the way... >=(

We went to dinner really close by because we all had studying to do. So after eating, we went back to the dorms to study. Study study study... Maggie and I tried to straighten out what was happening when in Korean history (for Korean Studies) and my timeline was a little convoluted. But, I think I'm starting to see what happened.

While we were studying, some people ordered McDonald's and had it delivered. Yes, delivered. Almost everything can be delivered here - it's quite amazing. They only had to wait like 30min, and I don't think the McDonald's was that close... Also, McDonald's has more on the menu here. I heard they have a 불고기 (bulgogi) burger here! Bulgogi is Korean beef dish. It was close to midnight too so the delivery service was amazing. Like I said before, Seoul is the city that sleeps much too late (or maybe doesn't sleep at all).

I went to bed at a much more reasonable time last night. I can't wait until midterms are over!

Since this post is kinda short, I wanted to share a bit about the "green" culture over here. So, almost every trash can you find here is actually separated. There's a place for plastic/bottles/cans, paper, and "everything else." Sometimes you can find a compost bin too. At coffee shops, they usually ask you to return all your stuff to the front. This is usually because they give you an actual mug and they clearly would need it back. But even if they poured your drink into a paper or plastic cup, they still ask for it back. This is because they separate the trash themselves and make sure everything that can be recycled is. Based on this, it seems like a very green culture, no?

It seems like there are monetary punishments or rewards from recycling. For example, at the subway, if you buy a one-way ticket, you put a deposit of 50 cents. After you get to your destination, you can put your ticket in a machine which refunds your deposit. They want these tickets back so they can reuse save money. Another example: if you want a bag from a grocery store, they'll charge you. So, nearly everyone brings their own shopping bags. It's the opposite of the US. Grocery stores will give you a discount for bringing your bags, but there's no real punishment for not bringing your own. Here in Korea, you're punished almost. The bags aren't free and I think it's a good system. Below is the trash can set up in our lounge:

 Garbage, paper, plastic bottles

 Plastic bottles, cans, something else (I forgot)

All of them together. The compost bin was nowhere to be seen...but I know it's there because I got attacked by flies last time I opened the compost bin. =( On that note, it's actually really nice to see compost bins here. The only other place I've seen them is in Oregon.

And on a different's really frustrating trying to find a trash can in Korea, especially on the streets. I don't think they exist. All my friends are always complaining about it.

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