The holiday season can be a solo traveler’s nightmare. I think you can figure it out why. Everyone thinks of holidays and special occasions as days to be spent with family and friends. Not alone. Well who made up that dumb rule? You’re alone and want to enjoy your single, solo life like it’s daily […]
Yesterday, South Korea’s Yeongpyeong Island was struck by a North Korean missile, killing 2 people and injuring 16. The hit list count was less that when North Korea sank a South Korean Naval ship this past March, resulting in 40 casualties; yet this recent news still makes South Koreans a bit nervous.
North Korea’s belligerent actions are begging attention and South Koreans aren’t certain Lee Myung Bak will know how to handle it in any way other than war.
Adapting to life and work in Korea isn’t easy. Even if by stroke of God, your school, apartment AND co-teacher is a dream, the odds are still against you…
Chuseok (추석), the Korean Thanksgiving is next week and EPIKers are abuzz with vacation plans… again. This is a six-day vacation for many NETs, so imagine the excitement! Though summer was only 4 weeks ago, the national holiday will give NETs a second wind for getting over the hump of months to come. Why? This will be our last…
Just when I think I’ve finally escaped my Korean Crud attacks and colds, there’s a new symptom in town… Okay, this is month #5 and I guess I can no longer call myself a “newbie” expat. This doesn’t mean I don’t experience moments when I feel like I’m still a beginner to life here. While I should be finding my teaching wheel and workload fairly greased as I’ve had a proper acclimation period, these days I actually find myself…
My neighborhood has a lot of local flavor, which fuels my imagination and personal queries. Currently, there are 2 mystery people I come across each day. Strange morning routines which you simply accept because you’re an expat in a foreign land Each morning, I hear a morning truck roll by with a loudspeaker recording, […]
Living as an expat, you get to realizing culture shock comes in daily life-sized capsules called Language Barriers.; but unlike vitamins, these will eventually wear on you. They mimic your inability to sometimes do the simplest things. Do you feel stupid despite your MFA degree? Yes. Can you erase this feeling? Not easily. To an expat living in a new country, it’s the everyday, mundane things which quickly become your greatest enemies.
So I’ve decided to start a short series, conveniently titled “Just Show Me Pictures!” about battling language barriers and culture shock in Korea. It’s suspect that generally 90% of expats suffer culture shock and depression because the familiar is replaced by the foreign and you must live and endure, compromised lifestyle for a lengthy duration. Language barriers are the beast which only adds to this frustration.
So you live in a new country, you’ve got a new job, you’re working out the variables of navigating new food, new work relationships, cultural and communication barriers… so why are you depressed? Welcome to culture shock. Nothing you do can prepare you for what you think you will or won’t experience when you move abroad.