Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Last night when I was watching a horrible (then horribly funny) gore-fest titled Ninja assassin staring Korean boy-band singer RAIN. It dawned on me that it was December 2nd and I had been living in Korea for six months. My contract is half over!
Sometimes I feel like I have been living here forever but more commonly I feel like its only been weeks. I every time I think I have my Korea figured out it surprises me again. Sometimes in a quirky "is that a Cafe where couples pay to spend time with cats?" and other times in a depressing "I can only be called fat and ugly so many times" way. Korea is a place strange place to live. On the surface it looks allot like home, the brands and stores are familiar. Under the surface however Korea is more alienating then Tunisia. The lack of diversity and being the constant other is difficult to adapt to. There is one place in Korean society for people of my age and background which is a ESL teacher. Unfortunately this comes with negative stereotypes that many Koreans will use when interacting with me.
Despite all this I have met wonderful friends in Korea. I feel more at ease socially then in my last two years of college. I have more money saved then I ever had before and I am able to finance my own global adventures. I am having the time of my life in land of (stone stupas?) pickled vegetables. I have to make some important choices in the next few months. Will I resign, teach in another country or move home?
Whatever I chose in the future, I know it wasn't a mistake to come to Korea. It was opened up my world and this is the first time I have fully supported myself. I am motivated to continue live a international lifestyle and to meet the challenges of everyday.