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10 years went by fast...
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chaparrastique wrote:
bluelake wrote:
When I first lived here ('84), it was a true dictatorship with Chun Doo-hwan in power. Interesting times.


I know someone who was here around that time. He said the stares were quite extreme, people literally gawped open-mouthed in amazement at the sight of a foreigner.


Yeah, that's quite true. However, for the most part, we weren't usually looked at with disdain--more like curiosity.

The number of expats in the country at that time was quite small, so I may have known, or at least bumped into your friend at one time or another.
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluelake wrote:
Chaparrastique wrote:
bluelake wrote:
When I first lived here ('84), it was a true dictatorship with Chun Doo-hwan in power. Interesting times.


I know someone who was here around that time. He said the stares were quite extreme, people literally gawped open-mouthed in amazement at the sight of a foreigner.


Yeah, that's quite true. However, for the most part, we weren't usually looked at with disdain--more like curiosity.

The number of expats in the country at that time was quite small, so I may have known, or at least bumped into your friend at one time or another.


Yeah I remember meeting you guys at around that time. I'm surprised that you are still enjoying your life in Korea. Do you still carry that gun around with you?
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With You wrote:
bluelake wrote:
Chaparrastique wrote:
bluelake wrote:
When I first lived here ('84), it was a true dictatorship with Chun Doo-hwan in power. Interesting times.


I know someone who was here around that time. He said the stares were quite extreme, people literally gawped open-mouthed in amazement at the sight of a foreigner.


Yeah, that's quite true. However, for the most part, we weren't usually looked at with disdain--more like curiosity.

The number of expats in the country at that time was quite small, so I may have known, or at least bumped into your friend at one time or another.


Yeah I remember meeting you guys at around that time. I'm surprised that you are still enjoying your life in Korea. Do you still carry that gun around with you?


The one in my avatar? LOL--I'm feeling old, but not quite that old Wink
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it'd make a cool fashion statement though. lol

Very Happy
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it would certainly make a statement... Shocked
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluelake wrote:
There weren't very many expats in the country compared with today. In my city, you could have just sent a letter to The Foreigner and I would have received it (today, that same city has many, many expats).


I find this tidbit so funny. Smile
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zyzyfer wrote:
bluelake wrote:
There weren't very many expats in the country compared with today. In my city, you could have just sent a letter to The Foreigner and I would have received it (today, that same city has many, many expats).


I find this tidbit so funny. Smile


Actually, when the first other expats started moving into the city, their mail was delivered to me. It's how we first met up--I ended up finding them and delivering their misdirected mail.
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Weigookin74



Joined: 26 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chaparrastique wrote:
bluelake wrote:
When I first lived here ('84), it was a true dictatorship with Chun Doo-hwan in power. Interesting times.


I know someone who was here around that time. He said the stares were extreme, people literally stopped dead and gawped open-mouthed in amazement at the sight of a foreigner.


Yeah, five years ago in my old country town, little children freaked out and screamed "Foriegner!" "Hello" "Hello". Nowadays, nothing. Ha ha. Folks did stare at me, though not with gaping mouths or anything. Again, now, nothing. Korea has changed so quickly.
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Milwaukiedave



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Location: Bucheon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluelake wrote:
Oh, one other thing... Class sizes.

When I first started teaching university classes way back when, there weren't any real caps on class size. It was nothing when I had a class of 60-70 students; even a hundred students wasn't unheard of. Once, I was given a class of 500 students (and a classroom meant for 25). That was a fun one Shocked


I bet you had students hanging out the window.

Reminds me of clowns trying to get into a VW bug.
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Milwaukiedave



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Location: Bucheon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oatmeal wrote:
I think it's more a matter of perspective. You make life what you want it to be. Sometimes it's because people wanted to "leave" a situation they were in back home kind of like an "escape", for others it was an economic push/pull, a migrant worker so to speak, and for some, they genuinely dreamed of and wanted to be an ESL/NET teacher in a foreign country and are living it.

All I can say is, for those of you who have been here for over 10 years, you must've loved the first few years when the exchange rate was ASTRONOMICALLY in your favor (esp. canadians hehe).

Yes, time does go by so fast doesn't it? For me, it'll already be almost 4 years and I feel like I just came here a year ago.


Actually to the contrary, the first two and a half years were rough (although not all bad). I had a tough time adjusting.

The exchange rate really only matters if you are going to send money home. At times I've held on to my money here in Korea until the exchange rate was more favorable (late May/early June 2007 comes to mind when it was down to 900=$1). Since I now live here I only have to send money home on rare occasions.

As for coming here, I like most only planned on a year but got married after my second year. My father died the year before and there was a certain appeal to traveling. I was almost 33 when I came to Korea, so I wasn't a young person like most of the people who come here who are in their 20's. It was a very last minute decision at the end of an awful year.
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milwaukiedave wrote:
bluelake wrote:
Oh, one other thing... Class sizes.

When I first started teaching university classes way back when, there weren't any real caps on class size. It was nothing when I had a class of 60-70 students; even a hundred students wasn't unheard of. Once, I was given a class of 500 students (and a classroom meant for 25). That was a fun one Shocked


I bet you had students hanging out the window.

Reminds me of clowns trying to get into a VW bug.


The "500" was even sillier looking than that. Not only was the class packed like sardines, but so was the hallway in two directions. I had to get inside the class via something akin to being in a mosh pit. My one and only act was to send everyone home and head to the departmental office. In the end, I was given an auditorium (200 seats) and whittled the class down the best I could; we ended up with about 180 students.
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Milwaukiedave



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Location: Bucheon

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you got to mosh for free. Can't beat that. 180 is a lot better than 500.
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fosterman



Joined: 16 Nov 2011

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

17 years and I still don't speak Korean. flame away. I don't care.
I tried, got into it in the early days, then just gave up, went through cycles, then finally just gave up and thought I know enough to survive and make daily conversations and express myself. sure no political discussions but then again, I have no Korean friends. and I don't work with any Koreans, or have a family network through my wife as she is estranged from them(marrying me)
so , like my wife says to me, "you know, actually it's a good thing you don't speak Korean, because you will just get yourself into fights with Korean men if you spoke fluently and then I nwill have to come and bail you out! LOL"
she has a valid point there LOL

but yeah I know, it's pretty bad, 17 years, only 3 years of that time was spent outside, but really, like the OP said, Time flies.
maybe I should find all those Korean books I have bought over the years and wipe the dust off them.
but it's all to easy when you have a wife and two kids who are fluent in English and Korean who just translate for you when I need them too,
which really isn't that often anyway.

on returning home. well my mum begs me to come. I just say, I have been away so long it wont feel like home anymore, Here is home now.
but then again I know this is not really my home, just my permanent dwellings for now. but I wont die , I don't want to
I am 40 this year, got here at 22years old back in 97.
but I think I will find another country to call home soon.
probably in Europe, 40-60 (20 years) 60-80(20years) then 80-100(dead)
so I am thinking I have two more places where I can really feel like it was my home.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluelake has me by a mile lol. I was here in the late 80s while in the Army, but didn't move here until 1993. And like many others, that was, 'just for a year.'

Did my MBA here, got married, and both the better half and I have done all different kinds of work including starting up (and subsequently closing up) a couple of companies.

Other than the two years in the early 2000s when I was back and forth to the US when I did my doctorate back there, we've been here straight through. I have a great university job now and my wife retired early. Korea has been very good to us indeed.
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRagic wrote:
Bluelake has me by a mile lol. I was here in the late 80s while in the Army, but didn't move here until 1993. And like many others, that was, 'just for a year.'

Did my MBA here, got married, and both the better half and I have done all different kinds of work including starting up (and subsequently closing up) a couple of companies.

Other than the two years in the early 2000s when I was back and forth to the US when I did my doctorate back there, we've been here straight through. I have a great university job now and my wife retired early. Korea has been very good to us indeed.


Not really a mile (a few yards, maybe)... Well, you've had your doctorate longer than I've had mine Very Happy I know some who have been here longer (overall) than me and others who were here before (and returned after) me. Time has really gone by fast--it doesn't seem that long.
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