Korean style friendships?

Today was our Yonsei School Orientation and tonight we have a dorm orientation. I’m very excited to be starting classes here, but today I realized that the regular school and our school is very separated. It’s fine, but I was really hoping to see more Koreans than Korean Americans. If I want that to happen I will have to trek across campus to the Student Union Building and just hang out in there.  I would have pictures of campus for you today, but I ran out of the room because I was late meeting my field trip friends and forgot my battery. I remembered the sd card out of my computer, but not the battery that was sitting right next to the camera! Wow, I am so ridiculous. Oh and I lost George in the Subway station…I know that I will not get him back this time so I will go find a new George to carry around. 


Why is your title “Korean Style Friendships?” Well that’s a great question, I’m glad that you are curious about it. Well I have had many a Korean friend and I have gone through many Korean friends. I have gone through so many Korean friends that I couldn’t even tell you all of their names, one because they are too challenging, and two because there are just that many. To me a Korean style friendship is something that can easily be thrown away. I have had supposed “friends” who talk to me every day and message me all the time, but then one day they just stop. I message them via “KakaoTalk” and I can see that they are looking at my messages. Not too much longer they are gone from my contacts and never to be heard from again. It’s very sad and I have lost many of these friends over the course of 2 years. Do you remember me saying that I was going to Busan? Yeah, well that all changed in the matter of a day and then guess what? I was deleted from my friends Kakao and from Skype. What?!? Yes, this happens so many times and it is just crazy to me. Most of the time it happens because the person gets a girlfriend or a boyfriend and they just stop talking to everyone else. I find this very disturbing because for some I have been talking to them for over 6 months and then they just toss me to the side. I am afraid that I may have just lost another one. He continues to look at my messages on Kakao, but there is no reply. This is happening with two other guy friends right now as well. I don’t know why they won’t just message me and tell me that they don’t want to talk to me or that they can’t. It is so easy to say “oh hey, I can’t talk to you anymore because my girl friend will get really upset.”  or “Hey I really don’t want to be your friend anymore.” I would rather hear the truth than to just be pushed aside like we were always strangers. Friendships take a lot out of me, I try to make people happy and I put a lot of thought into what I say and I try to never offend anyone. These strange Korean friendships are a very painful thing for me to deal with. You never expect to talk to someone daily for half a year and then have them disappear out of your life. None of them have ever reappeared except one, but they still rarely talk to me. I have had friends that we Skyped once a week, I helped them with English, and we talked about different cultural aspects, but maybe it isn’t enough for them. Maybe I expected too much from a long distance friendship, but if you can’t be friends when you are far away, then you will be forever in a box of emptiness never fully embracing the world.  At least that is how I see it. I didn’t want this to be a complaint, but more of an information session. Don’t get your hopes up too high when you make a great Korean friend (male or female) and expect them to be there for life. Some just want someone to talk to during their single periods of life, but there are those great ones who really, genuinely want life long friends. I have luckily made some of those type of Korean friends as well and I’m very grateful to them. I hope that the new ones I am meeting will stick around once I’m back in the states too. 

I’ll try my best to get these videos up by the end of the weekend. Enjoy your weekend!


2 comments on “Korean style friendships?

  1. So I’m guessing you had the “Korea bug” before me since you said you had Korean friends before going and learned some of the language as well. My question is and it may be hard to answer, how good is your Korean? How much time did you get to learn/practice before actually arriving in Korea? I guess I’m a little concerned over how much I will be able to learn and retain before my trip.

    • Well my Korean is just basic. I took a beginning Korean course at my University last semester and luckily I kept all my power points. I did do some studying via http://www.ttmik.com before arriving, but maybe only 7 lessons, but that was really just review to really get the information in my head. I think what you really need to know is how to say hi, thank you, order food, some shopping terms, and the numbers for money!! I think I have seen the most frustration come from workers who don’t speak English and don’t have screens that show to the customer so they have to say it multiple times.

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