Seriously I wouldn’t work in Daegu ever again. It is a small minded town, and if you think they are xenophobic in Seoul or Pusan it is much worse here as it is in boon dock towns.
I have lived in Seoul and Geyonggido province. I have experienced tensions in the formerly mentioned but it is much worse here. In Seoul or Geyonggido I never had problems if I approached women in café’s restaurants or bus stops etc. Here in Daegu I have had women look at me in utter shock or they have walked away very quickly.
In Seoul or Geyonggi province I met more people, male and female Korean and non Korean very easily. In Daegu it has been quite the opposite. People here in Daegu congregate in clans. In Seoul or Geyonggido it has been the opposite.
In Daegu I am treated like a complete outsider when I am out on my own. In Seoul or Geyonggido it is the opposite. Seoul and Geyonggi-do is more liberal and nobody cares much about what other’s do.
There is more to do for foreigners in Seoul, Geyonggi do or Pusan. Yes they are coveted places and for all the right reasons. Why would you want to live in a city or province of narrow minded peoples who view Westerners as trouble with a capital T?
Daegu is also a big American outpost and if you happen to look like a Westerner you will be labelled American. Thanks to army personnel’s level of intelligence we have them to thank for all the misdemeanors, social and public display of idiocy, the harassment of Korean and non Korean women that is beyond the ken. So, average heterosexual men are lumped in to the same basket because I am a whitey.
Every where I go, if I attempt to strike a conversation with a woman or in some instances even a Korean male I am treated with contempt. As an American female friend said to me, Daegu appears to have a high percentage of latent lesbians. These words are from a woman, I did not fabricate them.
Then if you are an English teacher, Certified, registered, faux or not woe is you. You will be treated equally like army personnel. We are all at the bottom of the social barrel no matter how much you try to impress with knowledge, self acquired or formally acquired.
IMHO Deagu is not the place for foreigners and sometimes I think why does South Korea keep hiring or requesting Western teachers when we are always treated like third rate specimens. Then Korean xenophobic actions and sentiments are well felt by all, it really begs the question, why small cities in South Korea bother to hire Western teachers. The schools, public or private in isolated areas regardless of the rapidity or frequency of public transport are inhabited by myopic peoples. The concept or possibility of getting on a bus or train to go to Seoul or Pusan every weekend is a ludicrous and expensive endeavour.
So when people say ‘I do not want to work in small towns or cities smaller than Seoul or Pusan’ who can blame them? Korea is not internationalised like it claims it is. Internationalisation means multiculturalism in all its facets. Meaning, with all the difficulties of a multi ethnic society, internationalism is present and permeates a culture from the doorstep of the airport to the Turkish restaurant in your neighbourhood. Think of Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, London, New York, Chicago and you know what I mean. (In a nutshell)
Cities like Daegu, Masan and Daejon are hick towns not used to foreigners, if they were why do they keep treating us like outsiders? Remember Korea you invited us here. Have some respect for us too.