Things I Shan’t Miss At All

In case you were worried that all this bittersweet nostalgia was getting to be too much, I’ve got some of the dirty underbelly of reality for you. It’s important we maintain perspective and keep things balanced here. So here are a few things that I shall not miss in the least. At least there are more things I will miss than things that I won’t.

Air Pollution

And the soot and grime that comes with it.

Pushing/Being Bumped Into

Ask most ex-pats living in Seoul, and this will be number one on their list. It is number one on mine. I was fairly immune to it my first year, but after someone walks into you WHILE STARING DIRECTLY AT YOU for the five thousandth time, it starts to get annoying. I will include here other wonders of Korean physics here such as people walking onto elevators and subways before anyone else gets off, infrequency of door holding, cutting in line and stopping dead in one’s tracks at the top of escalators or stairways. I’ve taken to a lot of loud grunting and hissing and clearing of the throat to passive aggressively combat this ubiquitous phenomenon.


It is loud, it is commonplace and it is disgusting.

Smelly Seoul

I am sure there are smellier places on earth, but I won’t be longing for the overwhelming aroma of roasting squid, boiled silkworm larvae, raw sewage bathrooms, garlic sweat, soju breath, or eau de barbequed meat anytime soon.

Astronomical Import Taxes

$19 mediocre-at-best wine, $22 pure maple syrup, $8 avocadoes, $13 cheddar cheese, and $18 all natural peanut butter. Eating only Korean is fun for awhile, but I promise you that one day you wake up and you just want eggs benedict without spending $25 for it. Let’s not discuss how much my hair products cost here.


I realize that I’m making a lateral move here when it comes to music and am preparing myself for Death by J-Pop. But Japan at least has a bit more variety in their musical tastes, has a great love of indie rock and has historically produced some very interesting stuff of its own. I will not miss GirlsGenerationBigBangWondergirlsSuperJunior blasting from every corner one single bit. And I would be eternally grateful if I never had to hear this song again.

9 Responses to “Things I Shan’t Miss At All”

  1. carolyn says:

    I even have some Japanese rap I bought there. Although it’s…well, it’s the J-pop version of rap. But still. :)

    • Stephanie says:

      I think we have the same thing here and it. is. terrible.

      Though I have to admit that a few songs have grown on me. I think it’s the pop ballads I find most offensive, but typically I find those offensive in my native language as well.

  2. Megan says:

    And Yoko Noge ( is from Japan! She lives in Chicago, but I think this points to an interest in blues music in Japan.

    • Stephanie says:

      They have a longtime love of jazz and the Beatles in Japan. Far more imports in general and a lot of my favorite bands tour in Japan, so I am looking forward to shows in Osaka!

  3. Tim says:

    I dont know what your talking about…that last song is awesome. No No No, Gee Gee Gee… ( sarcasm )

  4. Jacqueline says:

    I love your blog… it helps with my wanderlust. :)

  5. Celine says:

    $8 avocados?!? I think I would die!
    I don’t think I quite grasp how crowded asia is….but your description of it made me laugh.

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