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My Korean Apartment

I Am Not A Tree

homesickBeing homesick sucks. Some days when I wake up in the morning, I roll over and hope to magically find myself back in my own bed. Or, as I’m shuffling through the line in the lunchroom, I take one look at the food in front of me and wish like hell that I was about to eat a hamburger. Harder yet is seeing new pictures on Facebook of friends and family from home as they continue to live their lives…without me.

I knew this feeling was coming. It was inevitable. But that hasn’t made it any easier to deal with. What has helped, though, is when I:


Letter to Korea, August 2014

Dear Korea,


No Direction Home

Wow, it's been a long time. All my grand intentions to keep up on my writing while I went back home for 2 weeks evaporated under the pressures of 3 towns in 2 weeks and more family and friends to meet than seems possible. I didn't even see everyone I wanted to, and I still felt like I needed a personal assistant just to manage my social calendar.

The oddest thing about being back home for two weeks was the way it made my life in Korea seem almost...unreal. As if it was nothing more than a very vivid dream. Now, part of this was caused by how much jetlag was addling my brain, making everything a bit more confusing and strange. It was a scary feeling, though. Before I moved to Korea, my life wasn't great. I was done with Seattle, and I felt like my life was on hold, like I wasn't moving in any useful direction. I was anxious all the time, frustrated, unclear about what I was supposed to be doing with my life.

A Month In

By now you will have gathered that I haven’t been blogging with the same level of ferocity as you may have been familiar with. I have given the blog a bit of a rest so that I can settle into life back in Ireland, as well as concentrate on other projects and writing goals. It […]

(The Last) Letter from Korea, June 2014.

Dear Ireland,

If you’re not already aware I’ll be leaving in about a week. I know I’m going on about it a fair bit, but it is what I’ve been building up to for quite a while and it feels appropriate to me to talk about it a lot. Right now, in terms of being in Korea, it doesn’t feel like there is much else I should be talking about. One thing though that I’d like to make clear though is my intentions.

Never at any point have I turned around and said I have to get out of Korea for some abhorrent reason, like the usual tripe you hear about the inadequacies of Korea, Koreans, or indeed the inadequacies of those who cannot accept that this is a very different country to the one which they were raised in. I could go on here, but I won’t.


Of Suwon No More

I am no longer a resident is Suwon. It’s a sad day, I suppose, but one myself and Herself talked about for a while. It may be a new idea to you but it’s one thing we’ve known about for some time.

Over the past week boxes were filled, as we’re plenty of those 100 litre rubbish bags. The bags went to the dumpster down below, the boxes to the post office. Thankfully there’s surface post from Korea to Ireland.


Undol -v- Radiators

In a classroom I teach in the heating hasn’t been working since who knows when. It has probably been broken since the summer. It’s one of those awful heaters that doubles as an air-conditioner, blowing out dry, heated air, in the winter, and flimsy puffs of cool in summer. Yesterday, I was sitting at a desk rubbing my knees and grimacing one of those ‘oh well you know’ friendly kind of faces towards the students who came in wrapped for artic exploration. I actually felt sorry for them because at least I could stand up and walk around for a little warmth.

I turned to one student, who I knew had lived in the UK for several years and proclaimed ‘what we need here are some radiators!’ to which she gave me a blank look. I remonstrated with her, trying to job her memory to which she replied ‘I prefer undol’. And I thought, ‘oh yeah…but no…’


Peter Clarke

By Ray Hyland

The first adults you meet in life will forever leave an impression. Family notwithstanding you rely on your teachers and headmasters to guide you along the early roads.


November in Yeongtong

Just as I had my camera on the way home from work last week, I had it again yesterday as I walked to and from work. This time it was nice and bright out and ideal for catching the last of the autumn leaves. In Korea you’ll never hear the end of the talk about […]

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