Here are a few things that could have prevented me from liking Korea:
1. I can't always find the party supplies I need, when I need them. When I first moved here, I thought I could just pop out and buy a Thomas piñata the week before my youngest son's birthday. WRONG. Piñata’s aren't so popular here in Korea. AND even though Thomas is very popular here, I couldn't find paper plates, napkins or plastic table cloths in Thomas either. Don't you guys worry though, we are a creative family, we still had a Thomas party, just minus the plates, napkins and Thomas piñata...we did have a piñata that we picked up from the PX, a fire truck. By the way, there are fire truck trains in Thomas shows. Lesson learned. Make Oriental Trading Company or Birthday in a Box your best friend. Order at least one month in advance. This is something I will take back to the states with me. Both of these companies are fabulous and your stuff gets here in about 5-7 days. And as a bonus, there is no need to waste time going from store to store!
2. This leads me into the second thing that could have prevented me from liking Korea. The mail. We do not have a mailbox at our house. All our mail is delivered to Hubby's office. Crap. Now he can see how much on line shopping I do. ;-) Seriously, not having a mailbox was bothersome to me at first. I didn't like it, now almost 2 years later, I can't say I LOVE it, but I am used to it. The other thing that kills me about the mail is that although some companies are GREAT with getting their stuff to you in 5-7 days (the 2 I mentioned above), other companies send things SLOW boat, arriving to you 6 weeks later. (Cabella's, not that I am a name dropper & when I called them about it, they could have cared less.) Most companies are fantastic with their shipping policies and really love the military and delivering goods to us. Just the other month, I ordered Girl's party supplies from Oriental Trading Company, after 2 1/2 weeks of it not being here, I became concerned (seeing is to how I was going to have to reschedule her party), called them, they apologized and reshipped the products guaranteeing they be here in 1 week, and they were. (And this is the reason Girl's birthday party post is the next one, things didn't get here in time, but all was fine, Girl just rescheduled her party.)
3. The language barrier. Again, this could have prevented me from liking it here, but instead, I took the bulls by the horn, went to Korean language classes, figured out how freaking hard this language is, learned a few key phrases, & learned how to order food. I take my Korean phrase book everywhere and *TRY* to speak Korean when I can. Koreans really appreciate this. My suggestion to you when you arrive in Korea, the Army offers a spouse orientation to Korea. When I arrived, it was a mandatory class, now it is not, TAKE THE CLASS ANYWAY! Yes, there may be tons of stuff you know already, but there will be tons of stuff you don't know. Don't be one of those "I already know it all type people", because trust me, 'those' people really don't know it all and normally have a harder time living overseas because they don’t have an open mind.
OK, I have to stop there and wake my kids up for school. As you see, I'm still having a hard time finding things I don't like about Korea. I'll continue this post another day.
Target...that is it, they don't have a Target!