Tuesday, October 2, 2012

People Leaving

This subject doesn't necessarily pertain to normal Korean life, but to the life of us foreigners living here.  The fact of the matter is that most foreigners living in Korea are only here for a short amount of time.  A majority of them are English teachers or military so they are temporarily placed here for a year or two.  I go to the English service at my church so it's filled with these types of people. There are also a lot of study abroad students.

This is important because this means that you know instantly that a lot of your relationships with people won't last very long.  You get to be friends with people, but if you know they are leaving in a few months, you tend to not allow yourself to get too attached. I'm the same way.  When I meet someone new usually I try to assess how long they are going to stay in Korea.  I also tend to try and make a lot of Korean friends because of this. 

Its very tiring having your relationships constantly shuffled around.  I've only been here six months now but I already feel it. I plan to stay at least a few years so I know it will only continue to become more difficult. 

Making Korean friends can also have its difficulties.  I can speak a little Korean, but not enough to have full conversations with people, so they have to speak some English as well.  While every Korean learns english growing up, they are often way too shy to actually use it.  The second factor is that Koreans are too busy. If they are college students they study all day, and I mean all day! If they are graduates or close to it they are studying to take tests for job applications. If they have a job, they work overtime! Koreans are busy busy busy. Even my own students have to go to private acadamies after their normal school hours. 

I have lucked out when it comes to foreign friends though. All of mine are planning to stay at least one more year.


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