As you know, I decided to post about things that confuse and bother me in South Korea. In the spirit of Ma’at, I thought it only right to create a list of things that make me love Korea too. Same drill. Here we go.
#1 Childhood Outside of Smartphones and Video Games
Growing up in the 90’s (the best decade of all time to be a kid), I have limited memories of staying in the house playing Mortal Combat on my brother’s Sega Genesis or my Busy World of Richard Scary computer game. Like many people my age, the majority of my memories from childhood are dominated by tree climbing, swinging on various apparatuses (tires, ropes, tether ball poll, etc.), exploring forests turned into mystical wonderlands, freeze tag, and reenacting scenes from Addams Family Values ( you guys did that too right?). However, as the Y2K scare passed and the last of the millennials were born the world, and especially childhoods, began to change.
In my mid-twenty somethings, when I walk through my neighborhood or around my city in the U.S. I notice the stillness of the streets. The air, in my childhood once saturated with sticks breaking in preparation for forts and bike tires skidding against the pavement, is now void of life. I don’t really see kids outside anymore like I did when I was growing up and I didn’t realize how deeply that bothers me until I came to South Korea.
In my current city, Daegu, kids are always wreaking havoc, as kids should. They scream at the top of their lungs, dare each other to jump off the highest part of the jungle gym, laugh until they cry in the park, pretend they’re Avengers, or just ride their bikes to who knows where. They play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” for obnoxiously long periods of time. They sit outside and try to eat their ice cream before it melts down their arm. The air isn’t dead here it’s electrified, how it is in my memories. I hope we in the states can get back to this.