Something that is hard to adjust to…

In the past couple of days we’ve been amusing everyone around us by having already started to organize our summer vacation :) I know June seems rather remote but in my mind it’s never too early to start the preparation of a good holiday :) Frankly speaking, I’m not the last minute kind of person – and yes, probably backpacking would not be my cup of tea either…but that’s just fine by me. Anyway, as I was saying, we usually get on with organizing every details fairly early. This is just the way we like it. However, in Korea, people are not like us at all. For instance, most travel agencies do not even have a price-list for early June in mid February. Therefore there is no way we could get a quote for a package tour to Singapore just as yet. Yesterday when I called a travel agency, the lady on the phone kindly told me to give her a ring back end of March. That’s the soonest she can provide us with any help regarding our June holiday..
In fact, `spur of the moment` would more describe the Korean’s attitude than anything else. They like to decide things the last minute or even after ;) They don’t arrange things in much advance or prepare anything for that matter. This is actually how we often end up in situations like the following:
We’re just about to leave the office, locking our cabinets, already in our coat ready to leave:
-Korean colleagues (Kc): Hey, there is a dinner party tonight and you must come!
-Me: TONIGHT??? I mean, pls be serious! Why can’t you just tell me in a day advance?!
They’re all giggling…
-KCs: it’s impossible! that’s the Korean way!
-Me: But I’ve already got plans for tonight so I’m very sorry but I can’t join you this evening.

Reflecting total lack of flexibility……but they get it. They always do…
I’ve tried to ask them to give me a day notice before inviting me to any kind of events (Am really not being unreasonable here, haven’t said them to give a week notice…all I’m asking is one day!) Pointless….They still insist it is not possible. They can only let me know about any events 5 mins before anything is about to happen…
Tho I`d seriously like to find a common ground in this matter as this is not going to work like this I’m afraid. We, by no means, intend to offend them or seem to be rude. However, we like to plan ahead. Of course sometimes we can go along with the `spur of the moment` spirit but not every time…
Even if there`s an important meeting they don`t seem to bother mentioning it until the very last minute. No-one seems to use the calendar to schedule meetings or send invitations for that matter. Let alone ask around if the time is suitable for everyone. Everything is a given here that you just have to accept if you’re a Korean. If not, than it certainly takes ‘whatever time’ to adjust…





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