Today is my twenty-fourth birthday. It is also my twenty-fourth day in Korea. I think that's kind of nifty, don't you?
To honor this joyous occasion, I've decided to create a list of twenty-four things I've learned in the past three and a half weeks about myself, Korea, and life in general. I'm sure six months from now, I'll look back on my "wisdom" and just shake my head at my naivety, but that's okay. I'm living in this day right now, so on this day, I'll make a list.
24. Public transportation is convenient and good for the environment.
23. "Qook Show" is an electronics store, not a play about Korean cuisine.
22. I kind of like living alone, but really wish I had a couch.
21. Korea smells funny.
20. ALWAYS carry an umbrella.
19. If I could marry a bakery, it'd be Paris Baguette. And we'd have beautiful little pastry babies.
18. No matter where you go, all people want is to figure out life and find some meaning in it.
17. I'm much too tall and too loud to ever really fit in here.
16. For the most part, people genuinely care about each other. Even strangers.
15. Alcohol + packed subway car = domino effect!
14. Discrimination pretty much blows.
13. Carry more cash than you think you need. Like twice as much.
12. When you leave the country, you find out very quickly which relationships you value the most.
11. Americans abroad aren't typically representing their country very well.
10. Eating on the floor is only fun for a few minutes. Then your feet fall asleep.
9. Living in Korea gives me an excuse to explore and find exciting things, but the more I do it, the more I wonder why I never bothered to live this way before.
8. I value my iPod above every other object I own. Including my passport.
7. It's better to say "thank you" too many times than not enough.
6. Take the time to get to know why people are. Not just who. Why.
5. Just because something looks like chocolate doesn't necessarily mean it is chocolate.
4. Drying your clothes on a rack takes a ridiculously long time and leaves everything wrinkled. Better to just never wash anything, really.
3. Euchre isn't nearly as popular as it should be.
2. I'm braver than I ever imagined I could be.
1. If given the choice between being safe and making a good story, always pick the story. I'm starting to think that's what life is for.
I'm judging myself right now for posting this. I hate when people my age (or younger) pretend they have life all figured out. I'm not saying these past three weeks in Korea have made me some kind of self-actualized guru; I merely want to acknowledge that I've learned something and that I'm continuing to learn. It's when we stop trying to make ourselves better that we start to fall apart.
This has been "Life Lessons with Nikki." And now, back to your regularly scheduled antics.