There is a sort of rule of thumb around these year-long teaching sojourns whereby the first few months are adventurous and exciting, full of new experiences and new people, thus making it easier to be away from your friends, and family, cats and dogs, food and television that you love so much. It is around this time, so the theory goes, that the '3-month itch' kicks in. I have very much reached this point.
The '3-month itch' consists of the following -
- missing your friends and family so much that even people you barely like from home enter your consciousness and you crave their company
- you salivate uncontrollably at the prospect of a decent slice of bacon or a full-bodied glass of beer
- the aspects of the foreign culture in which you exist that were previously exhilarating and fascinating become annoying and even mundane
- a mild depression descends that sits over everything that you do.
Please, don't get me wrong. We're having a great time here. Work has become much more fun and rewarding over the last few weeks and I really feel like I am making headway in terms of getting to know the children and my teaching is consequently improving. We are studying Korean and reaping the rewards that this pastime brings. We feel more embedded in the culture and find that people relate to us much better now that we are making an effort to learn the language. We feel settled in Seoul and have enjoyed exploring the city, especially the culinary side of things, and now feel almost at home here. We are certainly happy. The problem is, quite simply, missing home and there's nothing I can do about it other than man up and get on with it. So I shall.
Anyway, the most exciting thing to happen to us in recent weeks is that we received confirmation from Kendra's recruiter that she has been accepted into Cardiff Uni to do her PGCE and so we are getting closer to our first choice move for next year. Now we only have the small matter of Kendra getting her visa (and my getting into Uni, ahem) and we will be all set! Anyway, even if I don't get in, we will certainly be moving to Wales (presuming the visa application goes without a hitch) and we are very excited to move to an English-speaking country (sort of), relatively close to my friends and family. Thrilled, even. Only 9 months to go!
Anyway, I'm going to leave this very short post here as we have to go out soon but I have pledged to keep this blog up more often. There may be less pictures, the posts may be less interesting, but I shall be posting every passing thought that enters my head. If you wish to unsubscribe, I shall perfectly understand. I just won't talk to you anymore.
Oh and, very briefly, let me recommend that you check out my friend the Postman's blog, The Sententious Vaunter. If there was a way of doing this without him knowing I was kissing his arse then I would, of course, pursue it but, as I know he will read this, I suppose there is no way around it. However, this is a very, very well written blog which I know would be of particular interest to my father and sister due to the Postman's recent pursuit of his pilots license. However, I have absolutely zero interest in aviation and even I find it fascinating. I wouldn't wax lyrical about something like this unless I actually meant it. Give it a read. Seriously, it's brilliant.
Anyway, I'm gonna go eat some dak galbi. For those of you that know what that is, I'm sure you'll be jealous.
Take it easy.
Love, Smithy x