“A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.”
– Alfred Hitchcock
You may have found out that I enjoy brainyquote.com. 🙂
I have always wanted to live a life worth telling. I knew at a young age that living a life working a job I hated, socializing with “friends” I could barely stand or trust, was not the life for me. The other day I was telling a friend that the interesting thing was that I never had an agenda. I simply wanted one thing, to travel. I loving it! I love how God has taken that passion and moved me around the world. The other day another friend of mine introduced me as a world traveler. It kinda surprised me and I am sure it will sound strange to me for a long time. (Like me telling people I am a “Historian”…its just a strange concept).
Anyway I am getting distracted. Below you will find some of the strange things that it costs to live in South Korea. This is also meant to help those who are thinking of maybe making a plot twist in their own lives. Hope you enjoy!
- Walking through the security line at the airport:
– I hate this moment. Always have. Even when it was me just leaving for a week. HATE IT! I don’t hate the security guards keeping me safe or the fact I have to take off my shoes (only in the States…not in Japan or Korea). Its the symbol of leaving all I love and know behind for a big question mark. For me it takes a lot of self-control to keep walking through the line instead of running back into the wonderfully, comfy known world.
- Being sick in a foreign country:
– I have had strange numb arm disorder (not really but that is a fun name for it) and I have recently gotten really sick, with whatever has been taking us teachers out one by one. Going to the Doctors in Korea has been an adventure. It will be fun telling the story to my children one day. However, living it is not fun. I do have to say however the cost of medical care is WAYYYYYY! cheaper than the states. It only cost me about a total of $20 for meds and to office visits. The meds are stronger here than in the states as well. Which is both a bonus and also a negative. Me on Korean cold medicine makes for a fun show for other people.3. Co-workers become like family:
– This is a good and bad thing. If you work at a public school in Korea you could be the only foreigner. Which means you will be extremely lonely. You could work at an English school like me. Which is nice because I have lots of new family members. However, working with your family can be difficult. Plus, your co-workers will at times see you at your worst and will have to deal with it in a professional manner. When all you really want is for them to be your friend. Its a strange mix of feelings. I suggest find a church or meet-ups so you can get friends outside your job, this way you don’t always feel like you are at work. (Disclaimer… some of my best people here are co-workers but I am lucky).4. Different customs that you will inevitably break:
– I pride myself in being somewhat talented at adjusting to new cultures. However, Korea has a lot of rules and customs. As a new foreigner I was scared of doing wrong. I have since taken on a foreigner complex. Sometimes this is a good thing for people. Other times it isn’t. For me it allows me not to freak out when I go shopping, or explore. For some (those who frequent Itaewon???) it causes them to be the annoying foreigner who demands that all of Korea change for them. Its always scary when a Korean yells at you or tells you to be quiet on the bus (sometimes foreigners talk loud). I try to be respectful whenever this happens. Usually they see that I did not mean to be a nuisance and will forgive me.
5. Saying goodbye to the food you love:
– I have found a few awesome (expensive) restaurants that provide a hint of comfort food. However, sometimes living in a foreign country you will have to just suck it up and eat what you hate. For me, I live in a Pork infested country. I hate that pork-poison. I don’t even like bacon. I now I am an odd ball but that’s me. I also am not a huge fish or beef eater. So that leaves me my favorite…CHICKEN! I have sadly eaten more pork in these 6 months then I have in probably my entire life. I have good friends who are nice enough to try and accommodate me. If you have any allergies eating out in Korea can be difficult. Good luck! I have a friend who is allergic to mushrooms and when eating out with him he is always having to send things back or change his order.
Overall, living in Korea is worth it to me. Its exactly what I want to do. Sometimes, I wish I was home where everything feels comfortable. There is nothing I HAVE to make myself do. I can stay in my little box never exploring the mysteries of life. Except then I remember, that isn’t really living. If my life story was made into a movie, I would want the story to be so good the audience would leave the theatre ready to start their own adventures. The cost of creating that type of story is worth momentary discomfort.