Yes, the garbage party is a real thing. Something I’ve really come to respect and like about Korea is the overall preoccupation with recycling and using less resources as a rule. It’s pretty cool, and definetly jives well with my own convictions. At school, there are recycling bins and scrap paper everywhere. And restaurants, everyone is served their food from one large serving pot or pan (generally the very same one that the dish was cooked in) and then eat out of small side plates. And at home you have garbage party every week. It’s kind of a strange phenomenon to get used to, because for one day a week, on the street between every couple of apartment complexes will be giant piles of what anyone would consider as trash. These piles are separated into different categories-paper, plastic, metal, biological waste, and compost. There is also a pile for things that people want to get rid of that aren’t quite trash (ie. kids toys, old clothes, furniture, etc.). And everyone does it! You have to. There is actually a creepy, Big Brother-y loudspeaker in every apartment where they make daily announcements to all the tenants, and one of the clauses to living in an apartment is taking part in garbage party. So during the week, everything we throw out is separated, even beyond the normal “well I’m breaking down my cereal box, so I guess it can get recycled”. EVERYTHING has to be put in the right place, or you spend a large amount of time on Wednesday going through a lot of disgusting trash. Ew. So in conclusion, garbage party is gross, but an intriguing idea.
In other news, as I walked home from work today I was stopped by a Korean man when I was a few minutes from my apartment. He was walking with a small child and looked clean cut and not creepy or anything, so I stopped, and we had a very halted conversation (he spoke a bit of English, I obviously speak very, VERY little Korean right now) which ended with him asking me to teach his 3 kids supplemental English lessons in his families apartment on a weekly basis. I think it’d be a great way to earn some extra money, so I gave him my info at my school, and he said his wife will probably come looking for me next week. So that’s cool, and humorous-he only stopped me because he assumed the white girl walking down the street was an English teacher. And I am. Ah life. It’s funny!