If you ask most people why they were drawn to Korea, the very first answer you’d commonly hear is– the benefits. Korea has by far, the best package out there. Along the way, you discover the experience itself is so much more, but before I get into that, here you go~
In a few days, fireworks will light the sky and party blowers will sound in the western world- Welcome to 2011! Even travel sites are abuzz with Top 10 lists of Hot New Years Eve Destinations (aren’t fireworks sorta the same anywhere you go?). Meanwhile a week ago, my travel clock was ticking and my small life abroad in Korea was in a conundrum over inflating costs of holiday travel and the global list of options. Panic. Oh my God, where to be on New Years Eve?
It’s a royal pain to be an expat hunting for English-speaking doctors, dentists and dermatologists in Daegu. You do your Google search a number of times, only to find nothing. You ask your expat friends and they offer that one recommendation that everyone goes with, even if it’s (sometimes) crap or expensive.
Recently, on one of my searches I found a link to Daegu’s Metropolitan City site. Lo and behold, a long list of medical practitioners for the expat was hidden there! Why it never popped up in any of my many searches, I don’t know. So I’m cutting a pasting it here!
I was in the home stretch with only two hours to go. Each bent joint in my body wanted to scream with spasms.
What the hell was I thinking?
Staring at the wooden wall before me for the past seven hours, the knots and natural grain of the wood were beginning to form a cackling witch.
Who am I?
This was a good one. These past weeks I’ve wrestled with the rocking crests and uncertain footing of that question. Nearing 40 and still single, the world is mine to create and to accidentally slaughter. Stay in Korea and develop a career in education? Follow my passion for travel and yoga to India? Root down, find a husband and make babies? Everything felt like it should be the right answer.
Well deciding to teach English abroad can feel like ordering a mail order bride. You’ve got a description and a list of hopeful expectations; yet you can’t see what you’ve got until the day arrives. How will you know what you asked for will be what you wanted? Honestly, sometimes even when you’ve crossed over to seeing your prize, things can still seem a bit veiled; but at least you’ve tackled the biggest hurdle… making it happen!
Recently friends and readers have asked me about my experiences in the ESL classroom and how they can teach English abroad too. I’ve decided to make it a three part series. This is general Q&A I’ve gotten.
A couple of months back, news wires buzzed with bits on South Korea’s “Kimchi Crisis”. Korean farmers hit by a bad last winter, cabbage counts were low, heads were small… the national dinner table staple was threatened with a possible shortage! Oh no, what would Korea do? November is Korea’s kimchi-making season and families typically, buy cabbages in heaping bulks to make enough kimchi to last over winter…
Last week’s forecast spelled snowfall for Korea. Snowfall was brief and light, but it’s looking very possible that Korea could have a white Christmas this year. If so, I’ll be airmailing wintry kisses to everyone this holiday season.
From changes in leaves, landscapes, festivals and now, foods… Sometimes you don’t think about how seasonal change affects a country. Here in Korea, it’s obvious. Peoples’ lifestyle and traditional tastes reflect, if not celebrate this seasonal shift in exhuberant fashion .
Actually, Korea’s zeal for its seasonally-harvested produce is hard not to notice.