Sunday, October 5, 2008
La Dolce Vita
I just realized (once again) that my life is pretty fun and easy here in Seoul. Sometimes it's hard to believe when I go through bouts of homesickness, culture shock, and not being able to find the food I like or the places I enjoy. I still don't really understand the language, and being a foreigner in Korea is not easy: you get refused many things (such as some services at the bank, cell phone contracts, and many other perks), and it can be so frustrating to not understand what is going on. Also just the term "foreigner" can get so annoying, it's quite condescending and politically incorrect (as I once stated to my supervisor, one day that I was in a bad mood).
Yet, this year is a vacation for me. I went from working over 60 hours per week, 6 days a week, and not having much of a social life. I'd come home late, try to fit in a workout, eat a quick meal I'd pick up at the grocery store, then pass out for the night. I'd usually work on Saturdays, so Sundays would be dedicated to getting some rest, doing laundry and chores, watching movies and perhaps fitting in a few hours of quality time with my friends.
In Korea I work way less hours (as opposed to Koreans, who have the longest working hours in the world), so I have so much free time. I actually enjoy going to the gym, and I even started reading books again. On weekends, I explore different neighborhoods of Seoul, or go hiking, or take short trips out of the city. I can go to brunch every weekend, go to museums, go to cafes. I even started cooking, something I've never tackled before. I also joined a bunch of different meetup groups such as the "dining out" club and the "French" club. I keep meeting new people, which is great. I read my Korea Lonely Planet and pick out places I should go to, I have a list of things to accomplish before I go back home. I just hope I stick with my new resolutions when I go back home.