I like to joke about how easy this job can be, but there are some real consequences to coming to Korea for a year. You’re under a contract, and though you have the BMOE to protect you (if you work at a public school), mediate problems, and provide support, your well-being and the enjoyment of your time here is determined in large part by your school and the people who work there.
Tthere are some constraints that all of us have to face, the most obvious of which is living in a foreign country. Being a foreign guy in Korea isn’t all that hard. You feel a bit taller, maybe a bit more attractive as a fluent English speaker. As a foreign girl...I don't know, guess.
Living in Korea isn't the issue so much as not living in your own country. I had a friend who lost one of his best friends (a dog) recently, and he couldn’t be there with his family, or to comfort him. That's a tough thing to go through.
Last year, my uncle in law’s lifestyle of cigarettes and not exercising caught up to him at 53. When they called my mom to tell her he had a massive heart attack and was waiting to die, there was nothing she could do for him or her sister. Two weeks later, she flew across the world to attend his funeral.
A few months later, my old as fuck grandpa was trying to catch a Squirtle but caught pneumonia instead. Mom flew across the world again, but didn’t get there in time. So it goes.
My dad’s been at a low point in his life for the last 6 months, and to be honest I didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for him at first. Someone else suffered because of his arrogance. He’s suffered his penance, but it’s gotten worse. He needs surgery to remove a gall stone. He won’t be able to pwn noobs at tennis for a month, which is what he lives for. He got some other bad news from Canada too, the rub salt in your wounds type of news. And his son forgot his birthday.
Things are different when you’re a million miles away. Things fall apart, and you can’t be there to fix them.