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10 years went by fast...
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WT: "Most Dave's posters are old men who have been in Korea since the 90's."

Well, I can't speak for most posters here, but it was 30 years ago this month that I first came to Korea, having been here continuously for the past 25. Although anything can happen in the years to come, chances are I'll end my days here.

Funny thing, though--I originally returned to Korea in '89 with my wife and son and planned to only stay for a year (I left a successful teaching position at a college in my home state), but year after year eventually went by. Sometimes I still joke with my wife asking, "Is the year done yet?" Wink Way back then, I was a young guy, but it is true that no longer is the case... Still, no regrets.
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happiness



Joined: 04 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

almost 14 here, 3+ in Japan.. Its a good life, for sure.
Life in mundane in the US? I think life is mundane here, but Im not mundane, thats the point.
When I go home for vacations, I enjoy it on my own, but I get the point of it being a bit boring. Luckily, I taught myself alot about many different countries and I can enjoy alot of things most people dont, like international foods, etc. I do like the ex-pat life....
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

happiness wrote:
almost 14 here, 3+ in Japan.. Its a good life, for sure.
Life in mundane in the US? I think life is mundane here, but Im not mundane, thats the point.
When I go home for vacations, I enjoy it on my own, but I get the point of it being a bit boring. Luckily, I taught myself alot about many different countries and I can enjoy alot of things most people dont, like international foods, etc. I do like the ex-pat life....


Yes, I found life mundane in the U.S. Of course, you can join clubs and do stuff, but life in North America simply doesn't have the same appeal as it does in Asia, as evidenced by the numbers of those who ended up returning to Asia.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:
I'm really surprised to hear about the reverse culture shock. Not trying to take way from those that experience it… but whenever I "go home" for a few weeks, I feel like a fish in water - I love it.

Gym memberships and the like - I can't see that being any sort of issue.



Going home for a few weeks and moving back is quite different Captain, believe me.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: 10 years went by fast... Reply with quote

Milwaukiedave wrote:
Last Thursday marked 10 years since I came to Korea. When I first got here I would have never guessed I'd end up staying.

Never say never......



Yes time does fly!
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaya wrote:
life in North America simply doesn't have the same appeal as it does in Asia, as evidenced by the numbers of those who ended up returning to Asia.

More returned to their home countries, but yeah, I see everyone's point. Being overseas can be fun and exciting. (I personally think the United States is great as well, but that's just my opinion.) People should do what they love and find happiness where ever they are (or move to a place they think would be best for them). Life is short. It goes by fast. That's why it's important for us not to waste our time and to rather use it wisely.
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oatmeal



Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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oatmeal



Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluelake wrote:
WT: "Most Dave's posters are old men who have been in Korea since the 90's."

Well, I can't speak for most posters here, but it was 30 years ago this month that I first came to Korea, having been here continuously for the past 25. Although anything can happen in the years to come, chances are I'll end my days here.

Funny thing, though--I originally returned to Korea in '89 with my wife and son and planned to only stay for a year (I left a successful teaching position at a college in my home state), but year after year eventually went by. Sometimes I still joke with my wife asking, "Is the year done yet?" Wink Way back then, I was a young guy, but it is true that no longer is the case... Still, no regrets.


You know, I'm always fascinated by people who have been here as long as you have. I wish I could pick your brain about past stories, experiences, and how things have changed in both the jobs/schools, and korean life/culture/society as you experienced it. I'd also love to know how you feel you have changed in all these years teaching here, like things that you learned, know now that you didn't know then, etc.

That's amazing that some people on here have been in Korea for over 20 years or more, before the average family even had internet.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BlueLake, I think you have the record among Dave's posters for most time in Korea. I met I guy in Itaewon who has been here continuously since 89, but I think you've got him beat by a year because of when you were in Korea in '84. (How long has Pragic been here? He said he was in Korea in the 80s, and he's here now, so maybe he has the record.) Thanks for posting on Dave's. It's cool to hear your perspective.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaya wrote:
I'm thinking that Pax Americana is by and large over, and though the U.S. remains the world's top superpower, who knows how long that'll last. Lots of jobs and opportunities have disappeared since the 2008 financial crisis, and well, having lived life abroad, the U.S. seems so damn mundane and boring in comparison, though I'm not saying Korea is necessarily better.

So pessimistic, man. Have hope. America is doing well. There are opportunities there. It will not go under anytime soon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_hour_worked
Quote:
The U.S. has the highest mean and second-highest median household income in the OECD as well as the highest average wage

America's unemployment rate: 6.7% (which is lower than Canada's).

America's unemployment rate for those with a college degree: 3.4%.
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earthquakez



Joined: 10 Nov 2010

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swashbuckler wrote:
I'm With You wrote:
hogwonguy1979 wrote:
We just finished 17 1/2 years there and have moved back to the states, now the hard part has begun, trying to transition to life back here

We miss our friends there and I will miss my 5 months vacation etc but the cold or dealing with Koreans


Yeah, it's hard to transition back to the homeland. Really tough. I hated it. In fact, I disliked it so much that after the first year at home, I came back to teach. If you've been out of the country for several years, don't underestimate reverse culture shock.

5 months paid vacation? Forget it back home! People are consumed by their jobs. People work long hours and are really tied to their work. How can you go from 5 months vacation to 12 days annual leave? That's a huge adjustment.

OP,

I've met many teachers here who are now in their 15th - 20th year here but only came for 1 year to teach EFL and then go home to pursue a career.

This lifestyle is addictive and hard to quit for many, regardless of all legit beefs that we may have. And some were just meant to live life on the road.


lazy bums


Many of those people you call 'lazy bums' have more than the solitary BA you boast. They also don't find it necessary to post their tally of women they had sex with in one month on the eslcafe forums.

4 women in one month? Good for you sunshine, now how does that make you entitled to talk shizz on these forums? Besides sounding immature, you actually sound desperate, what a loser. Rolling Eyes
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oatmeal wrote:
bluelake wrote:
WT: "Most Dave's posters are old men who have been in Korea since the 90's."

Well, I can't speak for most posters here, but it was 30 years ago this month that I first came to Korea, having been here continuously for the past 25. Although anything can happen in the years to come, chances are I'll end my days here.

Funny thing, though--I originally returned to Korea in '89 with my wife and son and planned to only stay for a year (I left a successful teaching position at a college in my home state), but year after year eventually went by. Sometimes I still joke with my wife asking, "Is the year done yet?" Wink Way back then, I was a young guy, but it is true that no longer is the case... Still, no regrets.


You know, I'm always fascinated by people who have been here as long as you have. I wish I could pick your brain about past stories, experiences, and how things have changed in both the jobs/schools, and korean life/culture/society as you experienced it. I'd also love to know how you feel you have changed in all these years teaching here, like things that you learned, know now that you didn't know then, etc.

That's amazing that some people on here have been in Korea for over 20 years or more, before the average family even had internet.


A lot certainly has changed, both with the country and personally. I first came to Korea like many twenty-somethings--so sure of myself, thinking I had the answer to everything, only to find out how little I really knew (and still find that out even today, so many years later). When I first got here, I looked at the country from my home country's cultural goggles, wondering how I could change this country to suit me. As I'm sure other long-timers experienced, I got cultural slaps upside the head many times (eventually from my wife... still do sometimes Wink ). Over time, I changed to suit the country; that's not to say I don't ever run into things I don't like or agree with (I run into them daily), but I learned not to let them bother me like they used to--I think that's one key to living here happily (along with finding a hobby or two you can enjoy).

Yeah, the country changed quite a bit, too. When I first lived here ('84), it was a true dictatorship with Chun Doo-hwan in power. Interesting times. Not many cars (rich people and taxis, mostly), as there was almost no middle class and the upper class was also quite small. Most people got around by walking, bikes, buses, trains and, occasionally, a taxi. I think the exchange rate was something like 800 won/USD (and it bounced around 600-800 until the mid 90s) and I earned less than $1,000/month.
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).

When I returned in '89, already many changes had taken place, especially as the Olympics was held the previous year. Along with that, Korea had its first democratic election; that a friend of Chun Doo-hwan's (Noh Tae-woo) was elected was because the opposition split--still, he was elected relatively fairly. From here on, changes happened by leaps and bounds. I had one of the first Internet accounts in Korea in the early 90s (a prof friend of mine was a key player in setting up Korea's original Internet backbone and he provided me with access); it was fun doing things using Unix commands at a command prompt on a dial-up connection (I later got a commercial connection, but I had to pay by the minute and that wasn't so much fun...). By the mid-90s, foreigners started pouring into the country and there was soon a glut, but the financial collapse of 1997 sorted things out for a while and things have gone back and forth ever since.

That's kind of it in a nutshell. Of course, there's a lot more to the story than that, but I'd probably have to write a book to really do it justice. Maybe someday.
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
BlueLake, I think you have the record among Dave's posters for most time in Korea. I met I guy in Itaewon who has been here continuously since 89, but I think you've got him beat by a year because of when you were in Korea in '84. (How long has Pragic been here? He said he was in Korea in the 80s, and he's here now, so maybe he has the record.) Thanks for posting on Dave's. It's cool to hear your perspective.


I'm not quite sure, but I know there are at least a few others who have as much, if not more, time than me here. It will probably end up Last Man Standing who actually gets the record Cool
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bluelake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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Chaparrastique



Joined: 01 Jan 2014

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


Last edited by Chaparrastique on Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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