Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, I decided to take a walk. I hiked up Dalmaji Hill. I live at the bottom of it. I heard that there was a good view from it. When I got to the top, I could not see much of the city because there were trees in the way. About halfway up (and down) I got a really good view of the bay. I could see all of Haeundae Beach, and the bridge by another beach. It was bit dark so maybe I'll take another walk up it when it is light.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I mention this because the staff at our school went out to a restaurant tonight. It was a buffet. It was like any other buffet that you could have gone to, except in this one, we were able to barbecue meat at the table. Each table had a barbecue station and we were able to cook pork and beef at the table. Nine of the ten employees at the school were there and we had our one little room. Since it was a buffet, we obviously did not get doggie bags, but people here do not usually get doggie bags anyway--they just leave the food at the restaurant. One may think that is very wasteful, but not really if you know what they then do with the food.
In my first week here I was told this and I confirmed it tonight. The leftover restaurant food goes to the pigs. That is why pork is so cheap here. In the McDonald's here, there are two trash receptacles, one for the wrappers and one for the food. Perhaps if there were something like that, not necessarily pigs, in the United States, then maybe they would not have been complaints about people wasting food because people bought the Happy Meal just for the Teenie Beenie Baby and then threw away the food. Restaurants here do not have take-out containers. If you order out some food, then it comes in the restaurant's dishes and then when you are done eating, you just put the dishes outside the door, uneaten food included.
Instead of choosing the stupidest possible way to get dog food, the South Koreans have found a way to feed the pigs and use the food that would have gone in the garbage anyway. I wonder if they feed pork to the pigs as well.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
What do all these numbers mean?
- Power Distance is the extent to which members in a group who are not in a powerful position to expect the power to be distributed inequally. In South Korea, less powerful people are less likely to expect equal power.
- Individualism is the opposite of collectivism. People in individualistic cultures are more likely to believe in every man for himself; whereas people from collectivistic cultures are more likely to think about the groups' welfare. The United States is very individualistic, but South Korea is very collectivistic.
- Masculinity of a culture does not refer to whether everybody is very masculine or feminine. The masculine pole means assertive, but the feminine pole means modesty. What this means is that the women in South Korea are not nearly as assertive and competitive as the the women in the United States.
- The Uncertainty Avoidance Index measures a culture's tolerance for ambiguity. The South Koreans have a much lower tolerance for uncertainty than Americans have.
- Long-term orientation is the opposite of short term orientation. Values associated with Long-term orientation are thrift and perserverance, but values that go with Short-term orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting 'face.' Both poles of this dimension are from Confucius.
If reading this post has not bored you to death, you can go to http://www.geert-hofstede.com/ for more information about the five cultural dimensions. I first heard about these dimensions in a Spanish class in college.
I've decided that for the poll, after this one is over, that I will instead have trivia questions about South Korea. When the poll is over, I'll put the results in a post as well as the answer and a little bit about it. For example, if the question were "Where is South Korea?," I'd give a few choices, only one of which would be the correct answer. The post about the poll would look like this:
- South America-0
South Korea is located in Asia, on the Korea Penisula. It is south of North Korea, east of China, and west of Japan.
I live in the 10th floor. Luckily there is an elevator. My building is two blocks from the nearest subway station. It's the second stop on the line and so when I get on the subway there are always seats. If I open the window and stick my head against the screen and look a certain way, I can see part of Haeundae Beach, the most famous beach in South Korea. It is about a 15-minute walk from my apartment. I live down the street from the beach. The best time to go there right now is at night. I went there on a Saturday afternoon and there were so many people there. It is a swimming beach. Even at high tide, there are not many waves so surfing is not feasible. They have life guards going back and forth on jet skis and motorized life rafts. During the day, there are so many umbrellas set up that one can rent for 5,000 won (about $5).
You have to step up to get into the apartment after you come in past the door. The living space is hardwood floor, but there is linoleum by the door. In South Korea, when you go into somebody's home, you take off your shoes. That area is there so that you can leave your shoes at the door. Whereas most doors to homes and apartments open in in American homes and apartments, the doors apartments here open out. The bathroom is also a step down. My bathroom is bigger than what I expected. There is actually a separate space for the shower, but it drains into a hole by the sink. You have to get the floor wet to take a shower here. During training, some of the people who had already been in South Korea, and saw their apartment said that there was not a separate space for the shower. If you were lazy, you could sit on the toilet while you take a shower.