I really don’t write here much anymore. I really should. I’ve been mostly concentrating on Jian’s blog for personal stuff.
Hat Dave called me last night. He’d been fired from his new teaching job. He had only recently returned to Korea after a year-and-a-half absence. It looks like this experience really hit him hard, and he’ll likely not return this time.
I had dinner and drinks with him tonight to see him off. He’s leaving Sunday. We reminisced a lot about our times with the old gang at CEA. But then we went even further back. I had known Dave since my first year in Korea. He worked at the Wonderland school across from us. We said hi to him every day as he walked to work while we waited for the kids to arrive from the buses.
We both agreed that the mood in Korea is changing a bit. We’re in for another dark period–like during the swine flu. The MBC piece that everyone’s talking about has caused a large stir. It’s larger than anything I’ve seen so far. But the Korean response has not been encouraging. Roboseyo says things are getting better, and I agree. But I also feel some clouds coming. A lot of long timers are saying this is the right time to jump the Good Ship Korea for good.
Barely anyone is left in Anyang. The long timers have mostly left. I know of maybe three people here. Ironically, Anyang has gotten better. Yes, we’ve lost Atlanta bar and a few others, but we now have Taco Bell, On the Border, Maekju Barket, and some other nice hangouts.
I do have this itchy feeling that this recent scatterage of expats is like the birds and dogs getting antsy before a major disaster. The visa rules, though seeming more liberal on paper, are getting tougher for more people. The Korean psyche is becoming even more isolated and turtle-shelled.
Along with this, EJ is getting concerned about Jian. Even though she is a gorgeous kid who gets attention wherever she goes, EJ is worried about her being an outscast–a wangdda–in school. Korea famously has little tolerance for anyone who’s different. Kids are even worse. I keep hoping that Jian would develop some good social skills early as a defense. She’s already getting a social conscience.
Things are tense in the ZenKimchi household. The business is not making steady money yet. Contracts are on the near horizon. And I am putting together some more marketing cashola to help with the existing pillars. I’m also working to monetize previously money-draining projects. We’re under stress because the housing prices continue to rise crazily. Our tiny apartment will go to $120,000 this year in key money. It’s only slightly less than the buying price of $150,000.
Thoughts of returning home are tempting. I also consider this my home–especially this apartment. I’ve never lived so long in one place my entire adult life. It’s my rock. My roots. I enjoy the view, and I love hearing the sounds from the Buddhist temples. With Jian, it’s feeling smaller.
I just want to get things steady again. It feels like how things were before the divorce. I think that’s one of the reasons I stuck with teaching English so long. I appreciated the stability more than normal. I’ve always known that this moveover to Korea was temporary. Yes I still don’t wat to oeave