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Alive and Kicking

yes, i still am

sunny 36 °C

I realize it has been almost two months since my last blog entry. To which I can only reply:
I'm sorry. Forgive me. Mea culpa.

This is basically because my life has been routine after boring routine. I work, I sleep. I watch TV shows on DVD. I complain about work (including, but not limited to, shuffling around of teachers and lack of air-conditioner in 95-degree weather). On Saturdays we go to Itaewon and stay out all night (for my grandmothers and other family that looks at this, I will spare details). I am either at work or out with my friends.

What I want to write about today is the future. But I will refrain from my theory that one day tiny robots will take over the world and we will be their servants, or that the Planet of the Apes movie will come back to haunt us with all of those nerds saying, "I told you so." No, no friends. I will be talking about what is in store for me. I realize that is selfish and maybe a bit boring, but it is my blog and I will do with it what I please. To the 10,000 + people that have visited this blog, well done.

Vacation Time:

My contract ends exactly two weeks from today. Exciting? Yes. A relief? Yes. Scary as anything? Yes. For one year my life has been secure and safe, and as I have mentioned, very routine. I stand by the theory that we are creatures of habit and want nothing more than a good old-fashioned routine. Staying in this routine for too long can be a bit alarming and irritating. So it is time to change it up, which is why I came to Korea in the first place.

On August 21, I will be heading off to Vietnam for one month. Alone. Very much alone. I know my family may be worried about me, and to be quite honest, I share in their sentiments. I haven't travelled alone for more than a week, and that was about 2 years ago. So one month is a huge step for me. I need it though. I want to experience the entire country. From the beaches on the east coast to the central highlands, I want it all. Now aren't you proud, Travellerspoint? And along the way, there will be loads more blogs (just check out my adventures in Spain, as posted in my diary. I wrote more than you could ever imagine, judging by my blog updates, or lack thereof).
I will be flying from Incheon in Seoul to Hanoi. I will spend 1-2 weeks around the north area, including Halong Bay which is rumored to be THE must-see in Vietnam. Hopefully Mikey will be with me at this time and we can drink a beer while sleeping on a boat under the stars. That's the plan anyway.
Then I will hop on a train and slowly but surely make my way to Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City). On the way, I will be sure to do anything and everything that strikes my fancy. Hoorah. Then September 21, I will leave from Saigon back to Seoul. Which leads me to my next topic:

Career Opportunities:

This of course is where the vacation ends. Many of you have expressed worry and anxiety about my pending unemployment, but as I said in a recent e-mail, you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting an English-teaching job in Korea (supposing, of course, that you were so inclined to dead cat-swinging). I am currently seeking employment and if all else fails, I will re-enter Korea on a tourist visa and leech onto my friends' hospitalities and look for a job then, being able of course to start at the drop of a hat (again, assuming that you are inclined to hat-dropping).

Then it will begin another year of a new job with new students, new teachers, and new problems. No hagwon is perfect by any means, so of course negative Nancy that I am, there will be plenty of things to complain about.

Romance:

Dating in Korea gets a bit ridiculous at times. One minute you're swearing off men because of the lack of English-speaking, mature, good-looking ones, the next you're wondering if maybe this is it.

You all know about my (mis)adventures with the Libyan boy, Walid. That did not end well. There have been a slew of Korean men in the meantime, and even one Brazilian, that I have been on dates with, but have ended up disappointing all of my lowered expectations of men. Recently I have started dating a lovely Korean man, Jung Ho, who is definitely a diamond in the rough at the bar he works at. He has been extremely kind to me, and is ridiculously good-looking. We get along very well and have plenty of things to talk about. We make each other laugh. He's even taken to holding my hand in public (which to me seemed a scandal after all the stares we received).

So what is the problem?, you may ask. My Korean skills are nonexistent and his English skills could do with some improvement. The culture barrier is ALWAYS there, and with the language barrier, it's sometimes hard to get over. For example, I never EVER have problems buying things for my friends, such as dinners, drinks, movie tickets and the like. I would much rather have their company than not so it doesn't bother me in the least. However, it bothers Jung Ho. He has the idea that men should always pay for everything, and when I did something to the contrary, it was almost impossible to explain the difference. In fact, it ended in a big argument and now I don't know what's happening.

Again, the culture difference/language barrier makes life in another country difficult and frustrating, especially in dealing with matters of the heart. Um...I have no more transitions here up my sleeve, so here are some pictures.

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Tsingtao Beer, from China. This is the best beer I've had in Korea.

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Jung Ho.

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Market street in Sincheon. You can buy anything here, fruit, fish, bras, rice cakes, kimchi, spices, etc., etc., etc.

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Ducks.

These pictures were all taken with my camera phone because as we all know, I can't have nice things without breaking them and I broke my camera. So now I have to live, yet again, with knowing that I have to buy the exact same camera again. Boo. Boo-urns, even.

Ok, this blog is done. My next one will probably be from Vietnam, so enjoy!

Posted by lrbergen 19:26 Archived in South Korea

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Comments

Hey Lyndsey,
I agree with your sentiments 110 percent. We all came to Korea for a different way of life. One year at one place is well good enough especially Avalon. There is no way in living hell that I would ever work for them again. They are a bunch of slave drivers. It is a challenging job, yes, b ut after a while it ends up being the same grind here that we got away from back in North America. Godamn right girl, you go and have a great time in Vietnam and you do what thousands of other people neither have the guts or glory to do!
You keep your bitchy attitude as some say! I think being bitchy and being a bitch are completely different. When you stand up for what you believe in, some and I am not mentioning names, don't like it.
I came to this country to teach as I love teaching, but I did not come here to be grinded down to a halt and mark f**** essays and teach debate and all that shite.
I will be looking for a new challenge just like yourself and will enjoy it every step of the way.
I have done 3 contracts now and with this one it will be the fourth. This is by far and I mean by a texas mile the hardest that any school has made me work. I thought at the start it would be good to be busy, but come on 4 classes in a row with not even time to piss or shit!!! Let's not talk about the paper, right? haha.
Enough said, as like you, I could go on forever.
You have fun, girl and enjoy every minute of your vacation and then come back and have a new challenge. Keep in touch and if I have some good leads for jobs, I will be more than willing to help you. Maybe Ms. Ahn has some good leads? Thought about that at all? I am sure you could do the friendship classes, nudge nudge wink wink, when you first get back on your tourist visa.

Go Lyndsey Go!!!!!!!

by scouser107

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