Thursday, 24 July 2008

That's not what it said in the brochure

Since coming to Korea, first in 2005, I've seen and heard many people describe 'our' job as many things. Most recently, a fellow blogger described the job as similar to a swimming coach whilst a co-worker compared the whole thing to being a rockstar. Friends have also called it an entertainer, a clown and of course, an overpaid babysitter. Though hardly ever a teacher. In truth perhaps its a mix of some of these. However, I feel more akin to a comedian. Probably not a funny one, telling the same jokes again and again to sometimes a new audience, sometimes an old one. Sometimes they get the jokes, sometimes they don't and sometimes they laugh in the wrong places. I'm into month 30 of my comedy tour of English Language classrooms in Daegu and I wonder how much longer it can go on.

At times the situation at work can seem like a big joke anyway. If I didn't find humour in my job I would quit right away. It's tough enough living far away from home and always being an outsider so I can't imagine how someone can do this job without at least trying to have a laugh sometimes in class. What's the point of that?

My official job title is English Language Instructor.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Summer so-so

For the last two weeks I've been reminded of the fact that I could never live all of my life in Korea. I've worked here in 2 spells and have recently hit the 29th month (I'm sure you get less for GBH) and I have 3 more months minimum left - but almost certainly 9 more before I "finish". There are many things I like about this place, especially the pace of life right now, but to live here long term? No. I try to take each day as it comes, trying never to dwell on the past or to look too far into the future but right now time isn't flying and I'm not having too much fun.

For those of you that don't know, Daegu is the hottest (temperature!) city in Korea. So far, so good because it hasn't been as hot as I'd remembered or feared, though August will surely be 2 or 3 °C warmer. Right now day-to-day stuff is going along slowly, although weekends are always enjoyable when spending time with my girlfriend. Life in general here is not always so pleasant with temperatures of 32/33/34°
C for most of the day. There's no real respite come night-time where the humidity seems to hit me the hardest, though walks to Hapkido at 11pm are FAR more enjoyable than the 4pm walk to work. Right now I want to drink more than at others times of the year. After work I simply need a beer - but usually can't because of Hapkido training.

We're in the middle of Rainy Season which so far has largely been a wash-out, or rather it hasn't. You see its supposed to rain, but really, it hasn't. Until today.

Seeing and hearing the rain coming down reminds me very much of home, where it always seems to rain and hopefully there is more of it to come but I won't hold my breath. However much I try, I just will never get used to hot Summers but I must at least try to enjoy them. Back home its raining and about 18
°C and nobody wants that in July!
I guess I need a holiday and luckily I have 5 days off in August. Perhaps time to get off the ROK for a week. Anyway, Autumn's not so far away is it...

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