I've been on hiatus for a while now for the usual reason- I started getting laid again. A lot, actually. There's more to it than that, but right now I'm getting ready for 10 days in Laos and not much else is on my mind.
I'm approaching the 6 month mark of being in the Korean countryside, and it's not that bad. The food has less variety, but its overall much higher quality and much cheaper than what you'd get in a city. People are friendlier and more casual. In the last 3 months I've gone to Seoul, Daejeon, Busan, or Daegu more weekends than not, and I like it out here in the shit farms more than I do out there. It turns out that everything I thought I'd miss about a big city actually isn't important at all. Korean behavior in the subways is an atrocity, and my exposure to Korean middle-aged men has been vastly reduced out here. What little interaction I do have with the natives is amiable, even friendly at times.
Okay, I do miss the white people, but not enough to miss the same bars every weekend, no matter where you go, it's all the same. The bars are the same, the conversations are the same, and if the people aren't, they will become the same. After one year, expat life becomes so...stale.
Case in point: I met a girl who's been in Seoul for 3 years. In her first year, she went out all the time. Put on enough pounds to catch up to the rest of the expat women, and had 20-25 one night stands with the native population. That's pretty fucking boss.
Year 2, she meets a charming Korean boy, he turns out to be just as sexually dissatisfying as the couple dozen before him, and musters up enough self-respect to dump him after a year.
Year 3? By the time I met her, she was at the end of her contract, and was just going through the motions. She hadn't had sex in 11 months. Her Asiaphilia descended into naked contempt and public ridicule of Korea(ns). That's what having sex with Korean men does to your mental health. That's what living in Seoul does to your mental health.
I spent my first year halfway between indulgence and saving up for nothing in particular. I've spent the last few months looking for ways out of here, and. I'll be here a third year, and you can be damn sure it'll be spent executing my escape out of this dead field, and more importantly, this dying country.