culture shock

What Happens When Public School isn't the Dream Job

I have been reading the blogger, "What Would Eve Do?" and noticing that she has been having a hard time at her Public School. It reminded me how when I was working at a hagwon (my first job here) I thought that Public Schools were a lot better. I quit that school after 5 months and moved to a Public School. Indeed, many improvements were felt and life was somewhat less stressful. But the fact that I was working in a Korean work environment never transformed.

Today I am addressing the allusion some people might have that Public School jobs are somewhat more magically better than hagwons. However, at PS jobs you definitely get paid on time and have solid vacation.


For some reason, I never bothered to ask, I have Monday off tomorrow. Yesterday,  I went to Noksapyeong with the goal of going to an art and music event. When I got there I was very hungry and took the photo above.

I thought I would eat at the place called, Fat Panda, but couldn't find it. I ran into someone familiar and they told me it had closed down. So instead I ate at Buddha's Belly Take Out. A smaller version of the real thing over in Itaewon. It was good, but a bit too salty.

Maybe Next Week

Today our school held our usual monthly meeting. On the agenda "contract renewals." When I saw this I got excited and thought something along the lines of, "If you put down 'yes' as your response, then you folks got the job" was going to be announced. Instead, they just announced that people need to make up their minds by Nov. 8th and someone will be coming to you around next week to talk about the contract.

wrong side of the road...

It's my fourth day at my new school, Little Dragon's International School and I am exhausted. It was a long day at the zoo yesterday, I have been teaching a class all week for a sick teacher and it is the most intensive training possible. I have been quite busy and therefore slacking on writing, about Thailand and about my travels, and I have a lot on my mind to share!

A few things I have noticed about Thailand thus far (I will share pictures and stories from our trip soon, I promise!)

- I am living in the suburbs of Bangkok, I had no idea there were rich spoiled suburban children here too. But boy is there. And I am their teacher.

Life in Korea: your first week

Author’s note: ‘Life in Korea’ posts are geared toward the newer expats – in this case, those just starting out in Korea. Comments are open!

As one semester ends and another begins, a new wave of English teachers will be coming to Korea. If you just arrived off the plane, welcome – here’s how to get started in your new Korean life:

Day 1 – Unpack. This sounds simple enough, but it’s too easy to want to explore the country while living out of a suitcase. Korea will become your home, and it’ll still be there in a day or two. Anything you’ll need over the next month or two should be unpacked, but you can probably leave the winter clothes in the suitcase to save space.

faces that made me love Asia (4): Lee Byung Hun-이병헌


Wanting to know more about Korean culture, I drawned myself into Korean cinema and I must admit that, when I started to watch them a few years ago, Lee Byung Hun didn’t really made a strong effect on me. I guess it’s because I hated the first movies I saw with him ( won’t tell the names of those movies I disliked, as it is not the subject , and, as the few times I told my point of view I got yelled at for my lack of appreciation of those movies…so the mystery will remain…).

Busan e-FM Week 33: Humour/Humor, Satire and Ire

Who is this guy?

Ever since I moved in to my new place here in Nowon, I have on occasion heard a sound outside my door. It's a "Unnnnnnnnnnnnnnn" drowning sound with a lot of reverberation. It sounds like a fire alarm toned down a little bit. I thought that is what it was, the building ahjusshi testing our fire alarms every week. But what was strange was hearing this sound occur at other buildings throughout my area.

Today, as I was heading to the elevator I heard the sound very close by. The next thing I knew a man opened the hallway door while saying, "Ahnyeonghaseyo" and then went down my hallway. The sound was coming out of him!

He was going floor to floor making this sound as he went. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why. I don't even think JH knows. My suspicion is that he is Buddhist and he is chanting for some reason. Perhaps, to bless everyone?

How To Unclog Your Drain in Korea

Have a clogged up drain somewhere in your shoe-box of a house in Korea? Find yourself standing in a hairy-watery mess in your shower? Or perhaps you were like me finding the water in the bathroom sink not draining and making it hard to keep up on cleanliness.

Have no fear for the 배수관청소기, or as I like to call it the, "Korean Hand Drain-Snake." Well, you can call it whatever you want but this thing really helps in this situation.

Really Korea, really?

진짜, 진짜! (I am OBSESSED with that word and it is not okay anymore) A few thoughts about the culture differences here in South Korea that shock me and make me want to just scream, "Are you KIDDING me!?"

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