Friday, 19 August 2011

Backdrifts (Honeymoon Is Over)

I'm at the halfway point of my year in Korea and, well, like the title of this post states, the honeymoon (phase) is over. I am no longer happy to just be here because it is new and exciting and I am living abroad. I am starting to get really annoyed with many aspects about Korea and my job, and about what I will do next. So this will probably a rant, maybe a bit negative, but I need to get it out.

It makes me feel so miserable to be constantly yelling at kids, very small kids. They are 4 and 5 and 6 and I am yelling at them because they cannot 'sit nicely' and because they shouldn't speak Korean and because they just want to talk to their friends and be kids. But at the same time, I see how they act in my Korean co-teachers' classes and it angers me that I get much less respect than they do. And I am so tired of our 10 minute morning meetings where we are told the exact same thing everyday, in broken English 'care your kids but have fun with them too'; Tuesday is PE Day (we love gym day); Wednesday is theme park day (a deceiving name); blah blah blah Pooh class parents are very sensitive; did you know that Daniel bit through Andy's T-shirt at jungle gym? His parents are very worried.....

I'm sick of where I live, Suji. I seriously traded Waterloo for a significantly less exciting place in Korea! Ah Seoul, so close yet so far away. Convenient but so inconvenient. Sure, the bus costs $1.50 but it doesn't help that it stops running at midnight and doesn't start again until 5:30am. At least I've got the gym and yoga here. Those keep me occupied throughout the week!

I think I went from not having a clue how to teach, to getting the hang of it, to getting over it in too short of a time span. Working with kids is just not for me. At all. And I guess I expected after half a year of living here to have friends that I am closer with than I do. And maybe I thought that the Seoul situation would somehow sort itself out. I'm even getting fed up with the lack of food options as a vegetarian here. I want cheese!! Haha...

Okay, okay I think that's enough of me feeling sorry for myself. I am still glad to be here, really, but mainly due to my financial situation. And wait, there's more! There's a light at the end of the tunnel! My very good (and beautiful and amazing and fun) friend Samantha is moving to Seoul for the next 5 months! And she will be here next Friday.  And I know things will change for the better! I will have someone I love close to me. Someone to be girly with, and get ready with, and go out with, and someone with who it is just assumed that I have plans with every single weekend (because we will). No need to even ask. I miss that. I miss those people....they know who they are <3

So yes, I should end on a positive note because really, when it comes down to it, life is great!! And if I am still dissatisfied with Korea in the end I don't have to come back... and who knows where I will end up next??!!!!


  1. Stef, I am happy your posted this! It's so awesome to just see what you are up to. Shit, life without cheese is unthinkable. Whatever you do next is going to awesome- things will just keep getting better!

  2. Thanks girl! And OMG life without cheese is not the same. I even got my parents to send me some Swiss in the mail. Amazing while it lasted...And yes, I am excited for my next adventure!

  3. Stef, I completely understand your frustrations! especially at having to constantly yell at kids.. I just want to let them have fun, but they'll either get hurt or miss out on learning things if I do. It sucks that you're outside of Seoul, but how is your apartment? Mine is in Seoul but its so small I get claustrophobic if I'm home too long... and it reeks... and they're are so many cockroaches and other gross bugs! You win some/loose some. I'm also unsure if working with kids is for me, or if I really like living here, but I have had a lot of fun. It was really hard before one of my best friends arrived... I'm sure you'll have a completely different perspective when your friend arrives :) see you in hongdae!

  4. Barbara! You're totally right! My apartment is fine and for the most part not bug infested. And yeah you're right about the kids stuff as well, they need the discipline, but I still don't agree with the education system in Korea. But I guess it's paying the bills, haha. That's great that your friend is here, I'm sure I will start to enjoy things more when mine gets here. Hongdaeeeeee!