Monday, May 30, 2005

The good, the bad, and the... I'm not sure.

The lame and inevitable list of things that are good, bad and the I don't know whether it's good or bad has arrived. We all know things are done differently in the next household down the street, let alone in another country. Being fortunate enough to be able to experience another culture for months at a time has been great. I'll just try to sort my thoughts online here, there are decisions to be made!

The good.
I've made good friends and met really nice people through my local church. I'm not sure exactly where I stand on religion but I do know that I look forward to Sundays. The biggest reasons to stay.

I'm in Korea. Radical.

While not the coolest thing to do, being employed does have benefits. Like when I'm hungry and need money to eat.

I don't need a car here. I would, of course, need one at home. Unless I chose New York or someplace like it to live. Not likely.

Along this thread, I don't want to go home and start racking up bills (car, rent, insurance) and obligations (like a job!) so that I'm in a hole and it'd become financially difficult to pick up and leave again. Say... next spring I want to visit a friend in London for a month. What, my new boss won't let me take 1 month off after working for 6 on the job? Or say I want to live in Mexico for 2 months learning Spanish. Or return to Korea 2 years down the road for 6 more months (maybe half a year is a good time limit for such things, personally).

So... I could lease a car (expensive?), sign a short rent (possible?), and get a temp job (wish me luck). Hmm, no clue what kind of job that would be, either. I still have no experience being part of the American labor force, I delayed that for a year by coming here. What's it like to live in a small American city, paying your own rent? So that possibility interests me, the grass is always greener...

The bad.
It's harder to eat healthily and excersize here (in my case).

On the flip side, I miss a good hamburger and ESPN.

Disrespectful kids. Somedays I wish I never began to learn Korean. It's something that's easy to laugh about with friends, but having it happen to me for the 1000th time and so on wears on me. Yeah, funny thing about kids is that they're in every country. Kids are great, funny, energetic and all that. Definitely. But... edited. I'm posting 99% of my truth here for everyone to see. Sorry, I have some mildly interesting pictures in earlier posts if you look around a bit though!

The I'm not sure.
Stop staring at me, please. Stop pointing at me, please. It's because of the color of my skin, first and foremost. I can even tell you that I've seen 4 foreigners in the past month. So that's why they stare, I'd be curious about the unknown too. But my personal tolerance of it has been wearing thin as of late. I'm not blaming anyone for it, and I knew it was going to happen. It'll be nice to go into a store when I go home and people will barely care that I'm there.

The whole attention thing is in the I'm not sure catergory because plenty of great stuff comes about from it as well. Nice Korean people, everywhere. All the time. Simply because of how I look. I'm guessing they're happy/interested/amused someone not Korean is around. That's what I can gather from my friends.

Why did the taxi driver give me $2 off my fare the other day? Was he really impressed I had no clue where I was going and equally floored by my horrible butchering of his language? He could use the money alot more than I could, I am sure of it. Tiny things like this keep reminding me it's not about the money. I often forget.

Why did the shopkeeper send his son running after me on the street to call me back into the store where he accidentally overcharged me ($20 overcharged actually... don't ask, I was tired), so he could give me my money back? He probably would have done it for a Korean, too. It probably would happen in America, too. Great, nonetheless.

Um, summer is coming. I don't think this place has air conditioning.

Why do you keep giving me free/extra food, you nice lady? Do I look chronically underfed? Not likely.

Safety. Wow, I feel safe here. Walking around town that is. If it wasn't for some rowdy northern neighbours it'd be great.

Health care. I don't know how good it is. Everyone has to go to the doctor every once in a while. I'm in no hurry to find out how it is around here.

So that about wraps it up. I mentioned before that I was homesick. It's really not too bad. I'd prefer to meet some more English speakers, but I'm a bit shy about such things. My personality also doesn't lend itself towards being a career teacher, but I must be doing something right since I've made it for 6 months. I think if I lived in a bit larger city, knew more people and had a different profession (the chance of that last one here is about nil) I'd stay for a few years. The grass...

I think it helped me to get my thoughts down. Most of what I mentioned begins and ends with me, of course thanks to a bit of input from my environment. The cliche it is what you make of it applies here. If I could do it over again, I'd still come here. I've made a pretty good 6 months of it, consulting must be done for the next 6.

4 comments:

Miss Coffey said...

Is your contract for six months or a year? I'm reaching the 4 month mark and feeling some of the same things. I dont like being stared at either. Many people say they get used to it. Anyway, about living in a small American city... I lived in the midwest for two years (Tulsa, to be exact) and it's really not that expensive. I'd say that the food you would normally eat is really cheaper than eating here in Korea. Housing doesnt seem that expensive to me. Depends on what kind of job you get and what kind of car deal, but I think financially it can be comparable to living here in Korea. Dont quote me on it ;o)

Nate said...

Yea it was for a year but now... probably will sign up for another year at a new school. I'm starting to agree with people who say the food isn't that cheap here. But free rent rocks. I guess if I came from a country with a lower GNI per capita I'd be real happy with my income. More to life than income and I've have a great 7 months here!

nope said...

Hi,

I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family


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