In an attempt to pull myself out of these seemingly random waves of South Korea Withdrawal, I’ve commence to put into action a series of events and happenings that will slowly, but surely, take me back to liking America again. This will be code named Operation Bubbles and the first part is actually here, on my new wordpress called Pi-ary.
I had heard about this awesome idea of recording one’s life one day at a time through a picture per day. I will essentially be doing this but I will start of with a picture per day that will showcase something – anything that I missed in America. Hopefully, this will pull me out of these feelings of sadness that overcomes me…
…like when I needed to empty my bladder the night before and was reaching for the button on the side of the toilet (Korea) as opposed to the lever in the front (US)…
…and when my Internet refuses to work and when it does, it’s slow…
…and the resulting thought that there were no longer cafes right by me for my fast Internet needs…
…and the loud people everywhere…
…the monotonous green of American bills…
…not to mention the lack of reliable, public transportation…
I really can go on but I’m sure this isn’t going to help myself. Anyway, there will no longer be posts about me and my Post-Korea life other than posts about events that happened during my stay in Korea, after I came back from the peninsula. 🙂 If you’re that bored, feel free to move on over to Pi-ary. ^^
I regret to admit to how I haven’t been keeping up with this blog of mine for the longest time and now, I’m actually back Stateside (I got back last night and haven’t really been experiencing this so-called jet lag that people tend to suffer from after a long flight). This will be a short post seeing how tomorrow’s another busy day of my Texas friends trying to help me re-acclimate myself back to American life and because – interesting change of lifestyles – I’m no longer obligated to anything else so I’m in charge of cooking dinner and doing household things. ^^
I just want to put it out there that I’ve been busy the past couple of months trying to fit everything in and being busy, as usual. There’s school, camp, then vacation to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Then there’s the last-minute frenzy of trying to fit everything in I think I would miss before I leave, as well as other official things. However, I will continue to update this blog as I see fit for those things I didn’t have time to upload photos and post about them in a timely fashion, though they will all be categorized as “Post-Korea”. I will note the date that they occurred, if the photos I put up does not show a time stamp. I will also try really hard to remember everything, but remember that by this time, things aren’t as clear.
As for how I feel to be away from Korea… let’s just say that I caught myself browsing through my old posts on this blog and I’m rather depressed to be back. I’ll elaborate more later. 🙂 As for now, just know that I have plenty of free time here so I should get them all up soon; I’m giving myself two weeks off to try to get over this lingering sense of depression and get back to work and applying to grad school.
I’ve always lived my own way. Perhaps that makes me somewhat selfish in a way, but in truth, everyone’s selfish in some capacity, shape, or form. I once read somewhere the people choose their friends through what they believe they can gain from said potential friend. Anyway, this goes into how I pretty much listen to what I want to do. This isn’t completely true, though, as some people have told me I needed to be more opinionated, but I essentially make the big decisions for myself.
As a result, the Korean society in which people care more about their reputation seriously tires and annoys me. However, I can’t ignore the ‘importance’ of reputation because honestly speaking, the notion is prevalent in varying degrees throughout the world, but especially in Asia. Because I’m currently living and working in Asia, I can’t just ignore it, especially when it’s at the root of a number of past misunderstandings between my Coteachers and I. This is a bigger problem when I’m trying to find the ultimate answer to the question of, “Will I stay here another year?”
It’s interesting, thinking about the first day of school. The excitement rolling through you coupled with little spikes of nervous panic and an anxiety that you just can’t seem to get rid of completely. Everyone would be in a rush – even the parents – as you try to get to school on time (translation: early) and you figure out where to go. It’s a little worse for the first years, but although no one really says it, the seniors in the school are going through various degrees of the same thing.
All mandatory things have their downsides. They usually consist of schedules and some sort of structured format that includes doing things you would rather not do, if given the chance. However, there is a bright side (there’s always a bright side – you just need to look hard enough).
As an EPIK teacher, we’re pretty much employed by the Korean (Provincial/Metropolitan) Ministry of Education, depending on where you’re headed. Basically: you’re employed by the government and will be teaching in a public school. Now, when we think of the Korean education system, we automatically think of Asian students; they’re pretty much do nothing else but study, probably first encountered calculus in middle school, and their system is based on memorising and spitting out information (almost) word-for-word. In order to get a good picture, I’m going to embed some pretty amusing (and sad but true) videos about Korean school life that was shared in one of my lectures yesterday…
Life in a Day of a Korean Middle School Student
I finally received my Korean visa yesterday. More like my sister and I trotted over to the Korean Consulate in the freezing weather, which probably exacerbated matters for me a bit (I’ve been ‘suffering’ from an on-and-off fever for the past day and a half). Anyway, it looks just like my Chinese visa, except for the hangul on it. And the numbers; those are definitely different. I love decorating my passport with visas and stamps. It makes it feel special and it makes me feel like I’m one step closer to fulfilling my near-impossible dream of traveling to at least 80% of the world before I die –
3 2 countries down, 1032492735 more to go!
It’s sort of sobering to think that my FBI background check needs to come in to me before I step foot in South Korea because if not – then that’s a big waste of money. Not to mention how everything’s blown out of the sea before I even got into the boat. Why can’t the government just get things done quickly and not take two weeks (or 5 months, in the FBI’s case) to send me a single piece of paper that probably took them a minute and a half to print out. I’m trying not to think about it.
However, I just received my itinerary for my 10-day (really, it’s a 9-day) orientation:
The chart of what I need to do, when I need to do it, where it will be done, and for how long. In short: it controls what I do and such. Lots of limitations.
Today is my only off day for the week that the Korean consulate was open so I made a relatively quick decision to visit the place today. Things were slightly delayed when I realised I had no clue where my mom kept the passports or my university diploma, so I ended up having to wait until she got home. With the guide of a roughly sketched map, I made my way over there; interestingly enough, it’s located right next to the Galleria.
My version of a GPS.
I came home from work early today to find a rather nondescript manila envelope lying next to my laptop. Then my eyes automatically caught the sender: it was the recruiting agency that lead me to the job. It contained my contract. It essentially only held three sets of papers: my notice of appointment, a 6-paged document of what to expect, and the contract itself.
My NOA, the contract, and the "important notice"...
I shall begin documenting the rather mundane process I have to go through before ~Korea~. Because it’s just that boring, I’ll make it to-the-point. This post is really for me, anyway. The bulk of my posts will begin when I’m, you know, there, finding everything utterly fascinating and blog-worthy. Otherwise, this is what you get.
I apologise for its two-dimensional, dull-to-the-max content.
Stuff That Still Needs To Be Done:
- My background check is finally on its way to get all nice and apostilled.
- Contract is taking its sweet time to get to me, so I need to wait for that until–
- I can apply for my visa.
- Then I can obtain my plane ticket.
- I also need to go shopping (apparently, I’m expected to dress
uncomfortably “nicely” there) and stock up on certain items (i.e. Burt’s Bee’s Pomegranate Chapstick)
List of Things I Need To Pack [in progress]:
- Clothes (~
5 6 7 shirts, 3 sets of PJ/stay-at-home-worthy garments, 4 pants, 2 jackets)
- Work Clothes and other “nice things” (TBA)
- Shoes (flip flops , sandals , tennis shoes/sneakers , work shoes [
1 2], house slippers )
- Undergarments and Socks and Others (7, 2 scarves, a pair of gloves)
- Pellow ❤
- Laptop + Backpack + Converter + Power Strip
- Cell Phone + Charger
- Miscellaneous (light reading, iPod + charger, snacks for the plane)
- Food That Cannot be Found Cheaply/Readily in Korea
- 2 towels + other toiletries