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The August Expat Bloodbath 2014 Edition: A Preview

Buddhists and motivational speeches have both taught that nothing in life is permanent or guaranteed. This becomes clearer when time is measured in one-year contracts.

With the first semester coming to a close in South Korean public schools, many expats are preparing for their next adventures. Many of them I consider my friends.

I wrote about this biannual occurrence, dubbed “The August Expat Bloodbath,” last year. Much of that remains true, so instead of repeating myself, I’ll just quote myself:


The Update You've Been Waiting For...

This is going to be LONG. It just has to be that way. I hate reading long blog entries, so I will try to break it up with pictures…

 I have received so many emails and Facebook messages about what has been going on in my life since my surprising last 3 posts. (Read these before continuing FIRST POST, SECOND POST, THIRD POST)

(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.


10 Things About Korea…

So I won’t be along here much longer, so I thought I’d give this a shot. There’s plenty about Korea that I’m going to miss, without a doubt, and then there’s a fair amount of things I won’t miss about Korea. It would be fair to say the same about anywhere, of course. So here […]

In Recognition for Contributions to Irish Culture in Korea…

 

On Thursday night I was invited over to the Embassy of Ireland in Seoulfor a special event. It had been a while since I’d been there, having been in on occasion helping promote Irish Association of Korea events, and for other reasons. I brought the family with me this time, and remembered to take a shave and a shower beforehand. The visit was worth the effort.


This Could Be (one of) the Last Time(s)

 

The fact that I live an apartment on the twentieth floor is not news to this blog. This high position allows for a fine, if not a little post-apocalyptic at times, view of Suwon on all but the most weather beaten of days. I have grown fond of taking photographs of the many perspectives this home of ours provides.


Booting

 

There are times when I wish I could get a new computer, but I worry what I’d do with all that lost time. Now, I sit and I wait. I tap at my phone, which sometimes feels just as slow. There is a whine and and grind, and a flicker inside behind all the plastic tells me that something is eventually going to happen.


‘Silly Season’ in South Korea

It’s “Silly Season” in South Korea.

In my former life, as a news reporter, I got firsthand exposure to Smalltown America’s version of “Silly Season,” the time when politicians and wannabe politicians rise from the muck and mire to complain about everything the other team is doing, kiss babies, make promises, show up to every public meeting until they lose, and then never be seen again (at least not until the next election).

But, you don’t have to be a reporter to know when “Silly Season” is in full gear. At least in America, all you need to do is look at the front lawns of your neighbors, grassy street corners overflowing with signs telling voters their horse is the one to beat, and your mailbox, stuffed with postcards from D’s, R’s and everyone in between.

Korea does things a little differently, and a lot bigger.


Learning to Read and Other Skills

 

It’s still amazing to me how many people are unable to understand text. Now, I don’t mean the people who are actually illiterate, which is a genuine concern, I mean people despite being able to read cannot actually understand what is being said and the context and content fully. Such people are the type who have been gifted with the ability to actually read, unlike so many deprived of the skill, but who cannot use it to living a fulfilling life.


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