Tag: expat life

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.

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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.

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“You’ve Changed”: On Coming Home and Facing the Accusation of Change

You’ve changed.

You've changed Chips

People are fond of telling me this – so fond of reminding me that Heather-of-five-plus-years-ago would not have said/done/thought/dressed as I do now. As an observation, this is a harmless sentiment. People change. I too have noted how my friends have become different from who they once were, and been surprised by who they’ve become. Unfortunately, the tone often indicates that this isn’t an observation. It’s an accusation. It says You’ve changed and I don’t like it.

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Yes, I Hate My EFL Job

Despite having written posts to the contrary, I do actually hate my job.

I know a lot of people find my blog because I’m an EPIK teacher, and they want to know what they’re getting themselves into.

A lot of other people find my blog because they’re EFL teachers who hate their jobs.

A lot of people find my blog by looking for midnight runs (still far and away that most read post I’ve ever written), though I doubt that what I said is in any way relevant to what they’re searching for.

I wrote this last year, when my job stressed me out and upset me from time to time. But this year… everything got worse. I found myself looking back on the posts I’d written about how to stop hating your job, and how I did it before, and I shake my head. The advice that I gave there in no way pertains to the things that are making me hate my job now.

But let me be clear:

Continue reading “Yes, I Hate My EFL Job”