Japan and South Korea

Back from Japan and South Korea

My experience made me think a lot about fitting in. Because I interacted with so many people, my observations below are necessarily generalizations. Sorry.

In Japan, it seems, the fear of not fitting in is even stronger than it is in the United States. Whenever I did something slightly differently than others in public it seemed to catch people's attention. Physically I stood out anyway so I need to remember that was likely a large part of anyone's passing interest in me.

South Korea felt a bit different still. Here it didn't seem that following norms was as critical however I felt I received more passing interest just because there are far fewer American tourists. I didn't get the impression keeping within the norms was as big of a concern.

Nervous about Grilling

Korean Barbecue: Grilling the meat was obvious but I was very confused if any of the sides should also be grilled (e.g. raw mushroom).

Public Library

In Seoul there is a public library in the middle of a giant shopping mall called "Coex". Pretty cool place and it was heavily used.


This definitely changed my perspective on Godzilla:

"Godzilla has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States, as well as an allegory of nuclear weapons in general. The earlier Godzilla films, especially the original, portrayed Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears that many Japanese held about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the possibility of recurrence "

But I still love him. Continue reading Godzilla#Cultural_impact