11.15.2013

You Just Never Know: Journey to Korea

“If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there.”

― George Harrison, "Cloud Nine"
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.

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.

9 comments:

  1. AWW!! I LOVE THIS, CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NXT POST. TX.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Korea has stolen the heart of my FRIEND!!! I want you back! LOL. I am so glad you have found "your thing". You have a glow since you have been there. I know the experience is good for you and I know it is just the beginning of the manifestation of greater things.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good job with the first post, girl! Welcome to the Narrative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank Ank! So glad to be part of the Narrative!

      Delete
  4. excellent!!! Im watching your journey unfold & i'm so excited for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I looked at you name and wondered who the new person on this blog was.Though Im only comments on Ankhs blog, I still well extend my greetings to you

    Anyways, when I read this, I'm reading a realistic tourist guide of Korea. With most experiences of POCs overseas, it's never spoken. Most times it's either written in a "One size fits all " manner or they make it seem near utopic. I know that I had some friends visit other countries. Some said it was the time of their lives Tokyo Japan from a friend of mine who went to , while others like a friend of mine said he was victimized by racism in Spain.

    I've never been to Korea but my dad was stationed there . Though he went there when Korea wasn't quite as prosperous as it is today,he 's always encouraged me to travel. My number one dream place to go is to Dubai, UAE,but I would also love to visit other countries as well. I get what you're saying about Europe. To some degree, I want to visit France because to brush up on my French and just have fun( though I can do it be anywhere in the states) ,otherwise, I prefer going to a a country where I guess, it friendly,but very cultural at the same time...something different.

    Seems like you're having a blast in Korea. May the country continue to be good to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Korea is far from utopic. And if I had come a year earlier, I probably would have hated it. You have to be ready to venture to Korea as a POC. And one the reasons I came here was because Korea does a good job of keeping their traditions but moving with the times in many respects. They still have a long way to go in terms of their interaction with foreigners, but they are well on their way and I'm glad to be part of the transition.

      Delete
  6. First of all.. Kim Nam Gil... Squeeeeeeeeeee! Ok had to get the fangirl off my chest. I'm glad you are enjoying yourself and sharing your experiences. Hope to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is really amazing to look back at the year and everything that you made happen for your life. I could not be more proud. Always missing you (Tear) but so happy watching you evolve. Your journey is inspiring. BFs FO LIFE!!!!!!!!!! LOL. Cannot wait for the next post.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.