In case you hadn’t noticed, I LOVE Korea. There are no two ways about it. Just in case I thought I’d put together my top 10 reasons for staying;
10. Holidays around Asia– Every chance I get, I go to a different place in Asia. Long weekend in Hong Kong? Ok! Why not! Would I be doing that if I was in Ireland???? I think not………
9. Consumption of chocolate– The chocolate here isn’t great, actually it’s pretty terrible. But fear not. The kind people in Ireland have taken to sending me boxes of my chosen chocolate for the big occasions (christmas, birthday, easter). If I received a huge box of chocolate in Ireland…………scrap that…. why would I receive a box of chocolate in Ireland? Here though, when I get chocolate, I devour it like it’s going out of fashion and it’s seen as perfectly acceptable to eat as much as I like “ahhhhhh the poor foreign girl just got a package from home” Nice…..
8. Food…….food….food…and beer– I love food and I love beer. Here they usually come together! It’s perfect. Not only that but food and beer are both cheap. And as if all that wasn’t good enough, you can get beer anywhere and drink it anywhere (within reason). Sunday- what’ll I do?????? Oh I know, how about we go for a beer????? Excellent. Bars never close and there’s always somewhere to eat. Why would you leave this?????
7. I’ll always have a job– No denying it. There will always be some school somewhere in Korea looking for the token foreigner to “teach” English. Excellent- job security forever.
6. I will never again have to worry about rent money- Undeniably the best thing about being foreign is that the school sorts out your apartment for the year. That’s as long as I stay teaching……..
5. You can get away with anything-If you don’t feel like queuing or waiting, you can simply pull out your “foreigner card” Skip the queue and then if anyone says anything, be like “oh I didn’t know, I’m foreign……” and of course we don’t understand Korean……..Are you convinced yet?
4. Technology; Korea is light years ahead of Ireland in terms of technology. When I left Ireland, I was using some random old buttoned phone. I come here and I have a super cool smart phone (that I’m a little addicted to). Also anything that does anything is here. My favorite piece of technology is at the bus stop where you can check the balance of your tmoney card or check where the bus is and how many minutes it’ll take to get to you. Hours of endless entertainment right there.
3. Paju Outlets– I live in Paju, by fluke. It just so happened that my first school was here. And since we’re so close to North Kore, the cost of land is cheap. So of course, the Lotte and Shinsegae jumped on that bandwagon and put f the nicest outlets within a bus ride form my apartment. All the brand labels you can think of…..shoes that actually fit……….and so much cheaper that Ireland. Happiness……….
2. Service— Anyone reading this who is not in Korea will not have a clue what service is. Service is the free stuff you get when you buy something. I’ve concluded that the more foreign you are the more stuff you get…….irrespective of the money you spend. For example, if you buy makeup from any of the stores, you should expect to leave the store with the makeup and at least 10 samples (if not more). North Face give the most and after I bought my backpack (for less than 100,000 won) I left with the backpack, a notebook, a phone charm and a pair of hiking socks. Bad thing is that I’m so accustomed to getting free things that I literally stand at the counter waiting it now and sometimes on the rare occasion when there is no service I’m mighty disappointed.
1 I am foreign– After a lot of thought, there simply is no better reason to stay. I can’t speak for anywhere else but here in Paju being foreign is kind of big deal. People constantly ask for pictures, compliment me on my beauty(white skin, blue eyes), come over simply to touch the whitest skin they’ve ever seen. And life for a foreigner is amazing. We have a great group here in Geumchon, so there’s always something to do, someone to hang out with, somewhere to go. Once you learn some Korean everything becomes easier and people respond to you more. Ya it sucks that your family aren’t here with you and sometimes people think badly of foreigners simply because we’re foreigners but at the end of the day, the positives outweigh the negatives.