One year in Korea

Posted by Sunjae in Writing 1 Comment

I’ve only been in Korea a year but it already feels like home base. I’ve gotten used to most of Korea’s idiosyncracies, some more than others, and have settled into a lifestyle that is surprisingly comfortable.

I came to Korea last September, a long awaited move after visiting several times during school vacations while I was training at my Alma Mater, National College of Natural Medicine. Near the end of my education I googled “Naturopathy Korea” and came across the clinic that I now work at. I found out that the current Naturopathic Doctor was about to move to Canada and that I could take her place.

Living in Seoul was bewildering in many ways at first, especially after spending 6 years living the slow pace of Portland, OR. Simple acts of setting up a cell phone, bank account, foreign ID seemed Herculean, seemingly only possible with the help of a native Korean speaking friend or relative. Walking down the street I would often be transfixed by 40 year old men delivering food on scooters, sometimes without helmet and a cigarette hanging out of their mouth, who seemed to intentionally disobey every single traffic law.

Air pollution, plastic surgery ads, rampant public drunkenness. All these things took some time to get used to, but now they are just part of the background of my Korean experience. This year I’ve accumulated a minor treasure trove of favorite things to do– most of which involves mapping out where all of the best and hidden restaurants are around Seoul. My job transitioned from Naturopathic Doctor to Manager of the clinic earlier this spring, and the team that I work with amazes me every day with their capability and integrity. Finally, I got married in March and moved into a new apartment. In short, life is good.

This is all just to give some context to this post and my life at the moment. The real reason I am writing this post is to write about writing. I realized recently how much I love writing — though I don’t have any particular skill in it compared to others, I think it will become an important way for me to communicate my ideas with the larger public. Laying out a vision for the integration of healing arts with my other passions, painting and music, as I’m seeking to do through this clinic and website, is going to be a long term commitment that will take years of synthesis, and I hope that these writings will help draw out obscure connections between the disciplines from within my subconscious. But I also recognize that sounds a bit too lofty, so maybe this is really just about organizing my thoughts out loud as blogs usually are.

In any case stay tuned for semi-regular updates and in the meantime feel free to peruse the collection of articles I’ve written over the years:



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