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How do you keep positive in Korea?
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:20 pm    Post subject: How do you keep positive in Korea? Reply with quote

At times the job, the people, and many other factors seem to conspire to make life here miserable. Remaining with a positive attitude requires a feat of the will and spirit. Now in my 2nd year, I've found that its the only way to be:
In the workplace:
1)Always make the effort to greet and be friendly to co-workers. The brighter and warmer your disposition, the more chance that your overall environment will lift, - in response to you.
2) Work: keep doing your best, no matter the adversity. Prepare your lessons properly for productive lessons. Keep thinking of and trying new ideas.
3)Bad students: No matter how naughty they were the last lesson, start each day and lesson with a clean slate.
4) Wonjangnim: treat them with respect and politeness- highly important in their face saving culture. They may be clueless cheating sharks, but if you can form some degree of friendship with them, they are far less likely to exploit or make life difficult for you.
5)People: Koreans are often pretty miserable and negative people on the whole. Don't let them try to offload their general unhappiness onto you, thats their problem. Keep control and responsibility of your own morale and outlook. People can only get to you if you let them.
6) weekends: try to vary your activities. Drinking to destruction every weekend in Itaewon will drown you and your savings in a cesspit. Get out there, explore long neglected hobbies, visit new places, make your time productive.

Any more suggestions?
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mo



Joined: 14 Sep 2003
Location: A place where messageboards aren't life.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Drinking to destruction every weekend in Itaewon will drown you and your savings in a cesspit.


Uh-oh... (Come on though, it's the only place you can watch the Premiership).
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bravo! Good post.

I will add that I am re-visiting my off and on relationship with Buddhism and meditation. This is a great place for that, and my students who are Buddhist really like that I am interested. A great place to unwind? Temples abound in Korea, and there is no proselytizing.
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indytrucks



Joined: 09 Apr 2003
Location: The Shelf

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you keep positive in Korea? Reply with quote

rapier wrote:
5)People: Koreans are often pretty miserable and negative people on the whole.


Rolling Eyes
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ratslash



Joined: 08 May 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonjangnim? directors of hagwons?
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Hyalucent



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: British North America

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice but I'd like to add in something to #5. Being receptive to a coworker's problems helps put your own into perspective. It's easy to think that you're having a bad day/week/year because of the cultural differences but sometimes it's just reassuring to know that everyone is miserable. Very Happy
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Butterfly



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look for the good in everyone. If you meet bad people, don't give them another thought.
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Indytrucks, it was a bit extreme to say Koreans are miserable on the whole...but some days it really looks like they are. Maybe I just had a bad couple of days!!
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justaskdan



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Location: Me in Pohang - Oct 20th

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rapier I agree with everything you said. I myself try to have some very close Korean friends and my motorcycle and my girlfriend are the two greatest things in life.
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sid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do as Koreans do and maintain good relationships within your different 'horizontal' groups. Of course most of us don't have high school or university alumni here to associate with but there are co-workers (foreign), co-workers (Korean), drinking friends, hobby/sports friends etc. Mixing in different circles which had little or nothing to do with being the 'foreign teacher' helped me a lot.

The 'lone ranger' approach I've seen some foreigners take just seems to make them unhappy and completely alienated from Korean life.
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Hotel Cheonan



Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Location: Gwangju

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe having a good group of friends is one of the keys to staying positive in Korea. Also, it does help to vary your routine.
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just roll with it, basically. Good days, bad days, good hours, bad hours sometimes. I've lived (like a lot of other people on the board, judging by that thread a while back) all over the bloody world, and every country I've lived in and the people there (including good ol' Cancuckada) have annoyed the crap out of me at one time or another.

I realize, and try and remember, that it's me, not them.

Well, OK, it's them too, but I can't do anything about them, so I'd best work on myself.


Also, beer. Lots and lots of beer.
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just try to remember I'm a human being, and try to always stay in touch with my inner self. That's it. Thankyou and good night.
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find an English speaking church. There are a lot of cute Korean girls, other English speaking Asians and as well all the other Waeguks. Girls there like to socialise.

Eat in those cheap restaurants that are always crowded, and as the only foreigner it's kind of fun to feel all the vibes.

Never stop working out
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Ilsanman



Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Location: Bucheon, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 2:50 am    Post subject: g/f Reply with quote

Get a hot g/f, and have lots of sex.
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