Coming to you live, from a jet lagged college student at two in the morning!
We have returned home from Korea, and I have learned in one of the most painful ways that jet lag is indeed real, and brutal. As I sit here at two in the morning, dreading the day I am in for tomorrow, as I attempt to work a full day on two hours of sleep, I can't feel TOO upset about my situation.
Korea was absolutely nothing what I expected it to be. The books tried to warn me of this, to tell me to expect a heavily modernized economy, with all the advances one would expect from a first world democracy (and honestly even those surpassed my expectations...I am now cursing the slow school internet after being spoiled by the Seoul internet). Korea was never a country I had given much thought to. When we think of Asia, we think of places like China and Japan. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe something between a cross of my Brazilian observations but with an Asian twist? I was definitely expecting something a little bit more traditional, maybe rural? I suppose I lumped Korea within the B.R.I.C countries, and since I had only experienced one, I based my thinking off of this.
Korea (at least metropolitan Korea) is an incredibly advanced society. It forces me to reevaluate my ideas on America. I always thought that America was the biggest and best when it came to technology and access to it. I learned that I was far from right. It's a tragic flaw of ours, to assume that we set the standard in everything. We can learn so much from Korea. They set the standard for development, education, and creating an accessible and technologically advanced infrastructure. There is something to be said about a country that has truly fought for democracy, overcome oppression and maintained peace. What I think sets Korea apart is that many of these things happened within living memory of so many people, with such a history, so close to the hearts of the people, Korea has become an incredible nation.