Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Stockholm Syndrome / Escape Plan / Al Pacino

What does a sane man do in an insane society?

I know that I can't do my current job forever and I know I can't live here long term too. I don't want either. I want to be back in a Western country such as my home for a while. But I'm not. I have just started a new 12 month contract, due to be completed at the end of September 2009. Hand on heart, I don't know if I can stomach another year of doing the same thing every week. I am now covering material that I first covered one year ago. It can be boring but my students by and large are very funny and class is seldom uneventful.

I feel trapped at times. This is a maze of my own making and I either can't see a way out or refuse to find one. I feel like I lack ambition. Surely I should move on. Am I here of my own free will now? I am reminded of the character Capt. John Joseph Yossarian from Catch-22, being forced to fly one more mission and then one more... Just twelve more months. Where will it end?

The ease of life here is hypnotic to me but I have to remind myself I don't live in paradise on some tropical Island or surrounded by palm trees in some idyllic American film scene. I live in Korea. Have I fallen in love with my 'captor' or have I fallen in love with the idea of an easy life?

I really had no intention of staying for two years but the big reason for staying is my girlfriend. Facing up to realities, the money is too good to turn down and another year gives us a chance to put together some money, travel and enjoy ourselves. Working six more months is easy, after that the weather starts to change a bit but eight months is doable. Then comes Summer which is no fun for me but with only a few months to go I can surely finish my contract and pick up the significant bonus' on offer. Don't let anyone tell you this job is hard to do because it's not, but that doesn't mean it's always easy.

To cope with things better, I plan to go home for a week next year. Something to look forward to and hopefully something that will make me appreciate my lifestyle in Korea more. There remains things to be done here, places to see and good times to be had. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in....

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