Apologies Matter

My school has a history of fucking up.

Information isn’t given to us – or is given to use too late for it to act on it effectively – and each of these fuck ups is followed by an apology.

After all of the apologies I’ve heard, I’ve learnt a few things about apologies.

A good apology can soothe ruffled feathers, but a bad one can cause irritation to get under someone’s skin and fester. An apology starts with I’m sorry, but it’s what comes next that can make it or break it.

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The Differentness of Things: Korea Round 2

About a week ago, a friend from home asked me whether or not Korea was treating me better this time around. I didn’t give a particularly good answer, but I did promise to blog about it when I’d had some time to think.

While it’s difficult to determine offhand whether it’s worse or better, I have found that there are some key differences between how my life is now, compared to how it was here before.

Continue reading “The Differentness of Things: Korea Round 2”

And So The Blog Returns To Life

In a point entirely related to the things I created this blog to blog about, I have returned to Korea, to the same city, to the same school I was teaching at before.


The feeling of “But why?” was strong before I left SA (again), and is strong among the people who are still here.

Well… in short:


Well that wraps that up.

Ugh. Fine. If you want to know more… Continue reading “And So The Blog Returns To Life”

Money Can’t Buy Happiness?



I think the two years I lived in Korea were the first (and perhaps only) time in my life when I felt financially secure. In the two years between my father’s death, and my departure for Korea, I needed to help support my family. We lived paycheck to paycheck, and I have never tried to pretend that money was not a part of my decision to apply to EPIK and be an EFL teacher.

The out of money experience

During those two years, money was a constant worry and source of stress. It plagued me during my waking hours and kept me out of sleep at night. I would like awake, going over  my expenses and the money in my account again and again, trying to find ways to make it stretch just a day or two more, hoping that nothing unexpected would come up, because we couldn’t afford it.

Continue reading “Money Can’t Buy Happiness?”

Reality Hits: When the Elation of Returning Home Starts to Wear Off

I love to sing. I sang in choir when I was in high school.

But I didn’t like being in my school’s choir. It was a rather notorious organisation – infamous for the fact that once one joined, one was unable to leave. It wasn’t until my final year at school that we were allowed – expected – to leave. For a long while, the thought “I don’t have to go back to choir!” made me unrealistically happy. No matter how shitty it was being in matric, I wasn’t in the choir anymore.

Part of me wanted the choir to tank when that the people who had been forced to stay had finally been allowed to leave. Another part of me – a more magnanimous part – hoped that it would do well and that the new members would be happier there than I had been.

Sometimes, I missed singing in the choir.

I railed so long against something, I couldn’t wait to leave, and leaving made me so happy, but sometimes I still missed it.

Coming back home is starting to feel like that Continue reading “Reality Hits: When the Elation of Returning Home Starts to Wear Off”

“Was it worth it?”:  of Value and Regret

Was it worth it?

People don’t ask this as often as they tell me that I’ve changed, but if I’m honest, I think this is a much more valuable and interesting question. It requires insight, and perspective that I might not have this early into my return home.

It’s also a question I’ve been considering since I decided to renew my contract (over a year ago), and doubly so since I signed the form stating that I wouldn’t be staying in Korea for another year.

So… was it worth it? The answer is, as always, much more complex than the question I’ve been asked.

Continue reading ““Was it worth it?”:  of Value and Regret”