Saturday, March 20, 2010


I am now in Korea at my new job teaching not only at one university but at two of them. I even got an early bonus so I can get some needed items and this laptop computer. I will be getting a cell phone and service and will pay for it when I get my first full paycheck next month.

The country is unbelievably beautiful and everyone is so friendly and nice; however with all of the previous exercise that I was getting and the cut down in my diet I find that what I am now experiencing is a huge change.

Koreans eat a lot. Everytime they sit down to talk with each other they have platefuls of food and lots of hot tea to drink. Everyone I have met have cars and they use them a lot so that it is bumper to bumper everywhere. However, this is a very big however, what they eat is very, very healthy. I have never seen as yet an over-weight person whether old, middle-age or young, not even pleasantly plump. When they are sitting and conversing they are eating plates of raw fruit. The world could learn a thing or two from the Koreans on how to eat well and stay healthy.

They may drive around a lot in their cars and trucks but they also walk quite a bit after they park their cars. Many buildings do not have elevators. When I see walking trails in parks, and I see them often, I see many people of all ages walking and biking on them. It is amazing how many hours everyone works too.

I have not realized how much I have stopped moving. I considered going to the store a major form of exercise. I had to assess the plans that I had made so that I could be healthier this summer because they were a pale imitation at what I am doing now. My legs hurt all of the time and not because I am excercising but because of the normal activities that everyone does here.

I am eating what everyone else is eating. This means plenty of rice which is great because I love it, raw vegetable or barely cooked, lots of fruit all day long, tea without sugar. The only thing that I am not endulging is the hot sauces that is part of the Korean diet, but hot spices have never been part of my life. I don't think it is possible for Koreans that I have met to understand that I cannot tolerate even the mildest form of hot sauce. For me, the frozen Mexican dinners that are in the frozen section of your supermarket in the US are too hot for me. As for half and half, I have given up finding it. Just having milk for my coffee is a treat. I brought instant coffee for my mornings and I don't know what I will do when that runs out for I don't know where the stores are yet. There is free coffee in the universities but no milk, just instant stuff.

When I was younger, I was far more active then I had become of late. I slowly slid into a lazy sort of life style that I had not noticed. I used to walk, take the bus and just do lots of things. Then I did a lot more snuggling in my reading chair and I watched television ever so often. Thatwas a mistake too. No one seems to do that here. The television stays off for the most part in the homes I have been in.

My first classes start this Monday. I have an office and eat free there and of course it is Korean. No one has a scale and no one is concerned with their weight. Big surprise! The larger sized foreigners have to buy their clothes in a special part of town and are called the European Size shops. They have special shops for the men too as the Koreans are not as tall or robust as Americans are either even if Americans are not over-weight. For instance, Foreign women are bigger in the hips than Koreans are. One woman who is not over-weight said she had trouble taking baths for the tubs are super small and I, myself, can attest to that.

When I started this blog, I had no idea I would be continuing this blog from another country. I also had no idea that I would be in such a stark change of diet and physical activities. There is no doubt these chances are for the best. Although I ache, I feel great.

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