“If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there.”One year ago exactly, I was sitting in an apartment in the mountains of Switzerland under six feet of snow losing my mind. The walls were closing in on me and for the first time in my life I felt like giving up and ending it all. I had no job, no money, people promising me jobs, and I was living with extended family who had some major issues of their own. Europe, although glamorized on TV as a romantic and beautifully landscaped place, was none of that for me. It was cold, boring, too expensive, complicated, dirty, filled with boring people, and I hated it for the five months I was there.
― George Harrison, "Cloud Nine"
So while in Switzerland trapped under mountains of snow my mom suggested I watch this Korean drama she was watching on Netflix called The Great Queen Seondeok. I was like ok…Korean drama? Even if I wanted to, how in the hell was I going to that? No, there is no Netflix in Switzerland and I didn’t know about all the blocking your IP address stuff then. AND, the kicker, sometimes I had internet and sometimes I didn’t. But I thought, I’m bored…so I Googled it and found it. And I was like what the hell does my mom have me watching? It had over fifty episodes? Really? Then five episodes in I was hooked. And I kept getting reeled in. Then I was caught by the guy who plays the character Bidam (Kim Nam Gil, below). And as I listened to the language I fell more in love…the depression started to subside. And I was really getting into the Asian male…never had that happened before. Never was opposed to them, just never thought about them in that way honestly.
UNTIL THIS MAN
I finally got the hell up out of Switzerland and when I got home and when I returned home, I started watching the infamous Korean drama Boys Over Flowers on Netflix and I laughed, cried, got angry, and got hooked on the actor Lee Min Ho… I was home, but I still had no job. I had a master’s degree under my belt and no job. I went on several interviews, was told I was too qualified, under qualified, same old story. Then my Dad tells me I should be a teacher and I was like “Are you serious, I am not going to back to school to be a teacher, so I can teach some bad kids.” I love kids. Good kids. Kids I can discipline when needed.
I started volunteer writing for a UN magazine and tutoring Korean University students in English to keep myself busy. Watching the KDramas made me want to learn Korean, so I did language exchange to learn the language, which is surprisingly pretty darn easy. In February one of the girls I was tutoring said “I wish you were my English teacher when I was in school, the teacher we had was not very nice”. I was like…oh, you can teach English in Korea? That’s a real job? I did some research…and found a recruiter…and the rest is HISTORY. I had only been home about 6 months before it was time to go again.
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be in Korea. KOREA! (I'll talk later on why I refer to South Korea as KOREA, not the latter). It was never on my radar and now, it seems to be the best thing that has happened to me so far… Korea is not for the weak-mannered or the ill-tempered. It’s not for those who cannot deal with change. For those who can’t let things go. For those who take everything so seriously. For those who feel like someone is always out to get them.
Korea is for me and in Korea I will stay as long as it will have me or until I find love then things might change…until next time, good people.