Archive for the 'foreigners' Category

27
Oct
08

Semi-Silence

I realized today that I haven’t spoken to another native speaker of English in 11 days, other than a skype session with Marc mid last week.  At this rate, I’m going to return to the US with halting, pidgin-esque speech patterns.

Strangely, this (the lack of contact) doesn’t really bother me.  I have never had much trouble being alone.  I entertain myself by talking to imaginary people (mostly real people who are merely absent, though the occasional fictional character makes an appearance) and daydreaming a lot.  I have traditionally found that I am far better at retreating into my own mind without going nuts than most people.  I spent most of my childhood in a very rich inner world, and I think that probably was a major contributor to that ability.

I probably won’t see any of the other foreigners until Thursday at the earliest, and mid next week at the latest, which would bring my total days without seeing another native speaker up to around 20 days.  There are 7 other foreigners on the island, and I don’t dislike them, I just don’t really have that much of a drive to socialize here.

Anyway.  Just some thoughts.

17
Sep
08

A Few Things

Driving around on the scooter has given me a wicked farmer’s tan. Between driving, my walks, and trips to the beach, I am probably more tan now than I have been since I was in middle school. I will try and get a photo soon, to show just how absurd it has gotten. It”s nice to be tan again, after being pretty pasty throughout college, but by the same token, the farmer’s tan is a bit…hickish.

I moved into my new place yesterday. It gave me not one, but two headaches, and set off my OCD something fierce. But, Kara, the new foreigner, came over in the evening and helped me rearrange furniture, and chatted with me while I unpacked. It was very much appreciated, and I felt much better afterwards. I like my new layout, and I have a desk (albeit tiny) at long last, for free. I think it will work. If it doesn’t, I will buy one in Mokpo, but I really don’t think I need a fancier one (the one I have is actually a student desk!) and I don’t really need to spend more money either. I have moved the dining table into the kitchen, as well, which frees up space and makes the main room feel less like an all-purpose room and more like a living room that just happens to also be my bedroom. I hope to finish unpacking today, and I will have internet again by this evening as well.

Now that I have a cell phone, I find that the Koreans call me ALL THE TIME. They are really tied to their phones, and they get a little irritated if I don’t answer. I’ve never been a very big phone person (except for a short period after graduating high school, and it somewhat annoys me, but it makes organizing so much easier. I’m still one of only two foreigners here with a cell phone, but once the other foreigner with a cell phone has her baby (sometime in the next two weeks), I think I will probably be a large source of organization.

I cried this afternoon, for the first time in awhile. I was really missing Marc, feeling like a nuisance, upset at difficulties with moving, and frustrated with the (temporary) return of hot weather. Plus, due to the hurricane, my parents are near impossible to contact, which is a bit stressing as well. Plus, with the news that large swaths of both Galveston and Bolivar were essentially washed away, I was a little depressed. I spent a huge portion of my childhood and teenage years on Galveston (most weekends in middle and high school, working on the Elissa), and so the thought of it becoming an even more economically depressed area than it already was is a bit disheartening.

At least I only have a two day work week this week. I’m at Seokgyo today, and will be at Jindo tomorrow. But, starting next week, I think I will be going to neither, in the future. Two new Americans are arriving tomorrow to work at Seokgyo and Jindo (they’re a couple), and so I will no longer be going to either of those schools, I think. Lee Myung Bak, the president, wants to have a foreign teacher in every school by 2010 or so, and he’s working on focusing on the small villages first. By the end of the week, Jindo will have 8 foreigners, which is pretty incredible. And I’m willing to bet that by the time I leave in May, there may be one or two more. I think that at that point we will be less of a “waygook posse” (as we jokingly call ourselves at times) and more of a “waygook mob”!




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