I feel a considerable amount of disgrace today. It’s subsided a little – yesterday was agony. After feeling the pressure of having to find a new job, working out a savings plan (still not complete!), having an argument with my best friend and just feeling utterly lonely – I sat at home on Saturday night and got drunk alone. I rarely do this, in fact I think it was the second time I have. But, naturally – the evening went on until after 5 in the morning and a call log to USA, South Africa and Skype calls to USA and Paraguay. There was just too much that went on on Saturday. Saying and doing things I regret. I spilled drink on my laptop, which is now royally fucked.
Not feeling too pleased with myself.
In case anyone wondered what life was like living in Korea as a foreigner? Please check out this tumblr. It’s incredibly funny and shockingly accurate.
This existence, with nothing but the sound of the rain hitting the roof and a language you don’t understand. Your life has been dismal, and there is nothing you can do about changing the past. There is nothing to change the feelings of regret that you harbor. So you sit in agony and think about this very moment where time feels like it’s standing still. You find your beauty in broken pieces that equal something not worthy of love. When all you have to hold onto is the hope that tomorrow will fix what has been broken today.
I’ve been on my lifestyle change now for seven weeks. I want to call it a diet, but that sounds so – I’ don’t know – blah. It’s been more than a diet. It’s been the opportunity for me to dig deeper, read and do things that inspire me, explore my connection with food, taking time off from men and actually, friends. Even though I am starting to feel awfully lonely, I keep telling myself it’s the sacrifice I’m making. That’s not to say I am not allowing myself any fun, I am. Partly, I’ve been lonely because I’ve reached a point where I don’t really have that many close friends in this country. I sat down last Saturday and thought “How did I get to this point?” from someone who always had a bunch of friends and people around me that were always supportive. I always had a friend I could call during an emotion, and I feel like I don’t have that anymore. I can’t call up my friends in South Africa at any given time, and that’s really starting to frustrate me. I think anyone who has ever been away from home, especially in a foreign country, can agree that you get to a point where you just need to be home or in a western country to be OK again. I feel like I am reaching that point.
But again, the sacrifice – so it’s half on my part that I am feeling lonely and half on the part that I just don’t have many people to see. Either way, it is keeping me focused. However, work is very chilled right now, and in two weeks I will be going on a one month vacation – which I actually dread because I already have so much time off. I want to be able to have a busy and active lifestyle, yet even after gym this week (I have ended work at 11 am every day this week) it’s 1 o’ clock and I am cold, at home and bored.
I think this post has gone a bit side-tracked – it was supposed to be about my eating habits, yet I think this rant was overdue. Anyway! Given the fact that I’ve had so much time off I’ve taken to eating a bad snack after lunch for the last few days. Today, my routine goes back to normal for 2 weeks (end work at 4:10 pm) and I am glad about that. I am still as focused as ever, but this week has perhaps given me some insight as to how vacation time may be. I really do need to make some plans.
I am currently in the process of finding a new job in Korea, starting in March. Having worked for a private English Academy as well as a Public School, I can tell you with confidence that I would always pick working at a Public School. So, I sent my resume and shoulder-length professional photograph (as asked) to a few recruiting agencies in Korea. The application form is about 12 pages or more which include every inch of detail of your life – medical history, address, numbers, experience, comments, where you’ve lived for your entire life, height, how many times you smoke or drink a week etc etc. One of these questions includes your weight. After filling out the form, which also included a 2 page lesson plan and an introductory essay, I receive an e-mail from the recruiter: “Can you check your weight, is it true” she says. “Yes, it’s true” I reply. After which, I am asked to submit a full body photograph. I told her that I do not have a professional full body photograph and that if a hopeful employer would like to see me, I would be more than happy to have an interview with them face-to-face. She responds by letting me know that the education board will decide where I will teach, should I get chosen, and that I will not know the location until I get there, perhaps rural Korea. I kindly declined her assistance and told her thank you.
Problems I have with the above mentioned interaction: after filling out a form that took me some time for a job that I am more than qualified for, the only concern is my weight and a “full body photograph”. In what professional world is it OK to want a full body photograph to decide whether you’re capable or qualified for a job? And let’s not forget the HIV and TB mandatory tests which need to be done before you’re employable. Should I have HIV I will be put straight back on a plane home to my country. I am so sick and tired of Koreans being superficial, about looks and weight as well as their tact in dealing with it. It is of no issue for them to tell you how big you are or pointing out one of your attributes – whether it is good or bad.
Does anyone in Korea ever realize the sacrifices that us foreign English teachers make coming to Korea? Leaving our families and friends, leaving our language, our country and starting a life in Asia, alone. And at the end of the day, we’re scooted off like cattle to some unknown location and school, all on the basis of our appearance?
Yes, “Mary” I am not happy with my body, and thus I am in the process of changing it and if I am -so lucky- to receive a job in fuck knows where on the basis that someone is happy with my body – yeah, no I will pass, but thank you.