Sunday, 5 October 2008

Positive and Negative ions

I have noticed that some of my recent posts have been less than enthusiastic about Korea. This is not an honest or fair reflection of my state of mind right now. Things are going well. No stress and no hassles. My overly long visa renewal troubles are finally over. I recently got paid my contract completion bonus (including significant extra money - and what a nice surprise that was). I've had a great holiday in Hong Kong and my Black Belt test went well. And the weather is changing too.

I have to say this even if it's blindingly obvious, but working far away from home for long periods is sometimes difficult. Some people sink, some people swim and some people get eaten by sharks. I think I've done well to be here 32 months with no major drama's, no depression, no alcohol problem and no real bitterness. In my opinion one of the reasons why people in my current line of work have problems is that we have FAR too much free time on our hands. Time that we should try to occupy as creatively as we can. Far too many people let things take them over. Problems at work, problems at home and problems out and about add up. You have far too much time to dwell on things and small things can snowball into acts of treachery or leave you feeling overly pessimistic.

In Korea you cannot choose who you work with and have a limited pool of people that will be your friends. You sign a 12-month contract and people come and go but you remain constant. If problems arise you have to try and ride them out or hope for changes. Also things like where you eat, drink or shop are far more restricted than at home. Familiarity can breed contempt or lead to dissatisfaction or even resentment. I worked with one person who complained every single day about everything. And this person came from a rich family - that was very hard to stomach. People should try to be more positive here or, just go home. I try not to let things build up and be as optimistic as I can knowing that the problem sometimes is not other people, its you.

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