In the Land of the Not Quite Right...

Monday, April 25, 2005

They call me a Jaemigyopo...

which means that I'm a Korean born in another country.

It's too hard trying to explain to them the truth. I've been in Korea for close to 9 months now. I am teaching English at a Hagwon, which is kinda like a Sylvain Learning center in America except that these places are like super popular.

Koreans are super focused on education. I mean high school students will go to school from 8am- 10pm at night. Personally, I think it's a little extreme, but it's their culture. Koreans love to work. Actually, they don't love to work, they just have to work. There was a girl that I was dating in Korea and her parents have a restaurant and they work everyday from 5pm-5am 7 days a week. Most of the people here work 6 days a week. They usually start at 9am and they work until their supervisor leaves which could be any time between 6pm - 10pm. You, see they can't simply get up and leave when the minute hand touches the hour hand. Nope, it don't work that way because if they leave before their boss leaves, it's a sign of disrespect.

One of my Korean friends has been working from 9am -10pm 7 days a week for the last couple of weeks because her company merged with another company.

Also, it's not like they're getting paid a whole lot either. At my institute I make around 2 thousand dollars a month, (which is kinda crap, but the living expense here are like minimal) but I only work 30 hours a week. These people work 60 hours a week and make the same cash. I think the average monthly salary is about 3 thousand a month, but you must realize that most of the families only have a single income. On that salary my friend Kimgyver must support his wife and two children and pay the mortgage on a house. It's crazy man, simply crazy.

Anyway...

It's my second tour if you'd like to think of it in those terms. My first tour was kind of a wash. I mean I was born in this country but well, I wasn't quite accepted because my mother was some kind of bartender/cocktail waitress and my father was a soldier that was married and already had 3 kids of his own. In this country family is everything. Now if you're a son born out of wedlock then your future is kinda shot. If I stayed in Korea, I wouldn't have had any sort of future because of my social status. I wouldn't even have my father's last name, which means that I couldn't go to school or even get a job.

This is going to have to continue later, I must teach Koreans the difference between the
"r" and the "l".

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