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telling people goodbye
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esglumac



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Location: In the middle of contractual litigation!!!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: telling people goodbye Reply with quote

What did you tell people before you left to come to Korea ( your friends, family, etc)..what did they say?
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darkhorse_NZ



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I told them that I wanted something different for a while and that I'd see them next March. I told my Dad the night before I left, the rest of my family knew but didn't quite click 'til I walked through departures. Soem of my mates didn't know til a month after I got here.

They of course thought i was crazy, but family tends to overreact like that.

-"what about North Korea?"

-"but you dont speak the language"

-"you're going to get a mail order missus, aren't ya? ya dirty ba5tard"

stuff along those lines...
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shantaram



Joined: 10 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I broke it to my parents in December 2005 that I had a TESOL certificate and was going to live and work in Korea for a year. They had eight months to adjust to the situation because I was applying for an EPIK position and waited for the August 2006 intake. During that time I jetted across to see them (they live in NZ and I live in Australia) and they came to see me in Australia. Big deal I know, but if I hadn't done that they might have thought I'd fallen off the face of the Earth. My partner meanwhile was the one who suggested I go in the first place (about three years ago) because he knew I wanted to give it a go. So it was no surprise to him. I told my friends several months in advance and they were all supportive. I think a few friends love it when I complain to them about Korea because they would like me to fail, but I've experienced tall poppy syndrome over bigger things so frankly couldn't care less what they think. Doesn't stop me bitching to them every now and then. I'm more worried about how I'm going to say goodbye to my friends here when I leave (in four weeks). A Korean friend of mine is spinning out, and I might never see my new friends again... sob.
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safeblad



Joined: 17 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i told everyone my decision straight up, my friends and parents were all very supportive...the problem will be when they realise that i'm not going to be home for good too soon...
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beachbumNC



Joined: 30 May 2007
Location: Gumi

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great thread idea.

a few of my "college educated" friends who don't know the difference between the two Koreas cautioned me strongly about going to live in a communist, anti-American country.

my dad acted like it was the stupidest thing he had ever heard of, until he realized i was actually going to do it. then he became supportive.

my grandad has thought it was totally awesome from the get-go. he traveled a lot in the USA when he was young, and i think he's always wanted to travel the rest of the world and never really got the chance.

my grandma did the whole "oh i won't see my baby for a year, sob sob sob, but if it's what makes you happy...blah blah..." thing.

and since my cat doesn't speak English, he is probably very upset since i left him with my grandparents. of course, they love him and they have a big yard in the country, so it's a great place for him, but you know how cats are. i doubt he will speak to me again when i return.

Monkey is his name, and i think i miss him the most, since i can't talk to him.
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coler651



Joined: 24 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost everyone I know thought it was a crazy, stupid idea. They also could not tell the difference between North and South Korea and thought SK was some 3rd world country. I had to explain it to all of them the perks of going and the experience I would get out of it. But still people thought I was crazy and should be getting a "real job" whatever that means. You're only young once and to decide on something like this should be YOUR decision. You do not want to live life with regrets and the wonder of what if's. Besides, its only 1 year of your life. Im sure the "real world" can wait on you fo that.
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oneofthesarahs



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Location: Sacheon City

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, I got a lot of "oh, we'll miss you"s, but almost everyone was really supportive. Probably because I've always been a little bit spontaneous and odd, so me deciding out of the blue to go to Korea really didn't surprise anyone.

I thought this would be a one contract deal, but lately I've been thinking that I'd like to put in a second year. I think that will be harder for my family to take than me being gone this first year.
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elliemk



Joined: 01 Jul 2007
Location: Sparkling Korea!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:04 am    Post subject: saying goodbye Reply with quote

It's always interesting to hear people's reaction to the news that I'm going BACK to Korea after ten years. It's the same as it was then. People are either delighted for me (the most part) or they're jealous and don't really want to talk about it at all.
My family is 100% behind me, except for my unfavorite brother, of course - he's never behind anything I do! My good friends have been helping me with moving sales, offered storage, etc. - one may even buy my car (I hope, I hope).

For me, the hard part was coming back to the US after my first stint in Korea. Most people weren't really interested in my pictures. Nobody wanted to hear much about my time there. Nobody understood the reverse culture shock I went through on my return. Nobody understood why I loved my time in Korea so much.

Oh well, time to go back - this time for a LONG time!
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LuckyNomad



Joined: 28 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I had been planning on spending the next 10-20 years living abroad for many years now, so nobody was surprised when I finally said I was finally leaving.

Most people thought Korea was a 3rd world country and wondered if there would be TV's, cars, or electricity there.

My mother's reaction was:
"there might not be clothes there so you should buy lots of clothes before you leave."

My father was very happy. He's been to lots of countries and I'm the only kid who inherited his wanderlust. He was very jealous because he loves traveling and he wishes that he was living abroad right now.

Basically I'm the only person that I know who is doing anything interesting with their lives. Everyone else is just living their boring lives back home.
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chipotle



Joined: 30 May 2005
Location: brooklyn

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have to agree that it seems harder for friends/family to understand when you decide to do another year. The first time around the idea of Korea was shocking to everyone, but once I explained what the living situation [salary, hours, and safety (esp. w/ N Korea)] was like, people got excited for me. Not to mention I had a lot of visitors who, after their visits, left quite jealous.

I've been home in the states for a year now and decided last month to go back in October. My sister wasn't at all surprised and was excited to be able to take a trip to Korea again. My parents understand that it will make me happy, but it's harder for them to accept this time around. Some of my friends are really excited, but there are a few who are kind of upset that I won't be sticking around.

In general, I suppose that when you make that decision to do more than a year, your friends and family kind of get the picture that you probably won't be in one place for too long for the rest of your life, nor will you be constantly available (physically and emotionally) for them.


Last edited by chipotle on Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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swetepete



Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Location: a limp little burg

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dead gramps had a good line I trot out on these occasions:

"There's only one good-bye in this life. Otherwise, it's just see-ya-later."

Plus, leaving home reminds the folks that they needn't be so goddamn rooted, and that they can split too if they want. It's the age of jet travel after all, not like we gotta go six months in the bowels of a ship to visit our people. What's the big f***king deal, when you look at it sensibly? If you got no pets, career, spouses, or crippled dying parents, why the hell doesn't everybody back home take off for a while?
I'll answer my own otherwise rhetorical question:
it's cause they're tiny little chickens.
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mikowee



Joined: 03 Aug 2006

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone share their experiences with saying goodbyes when leaving Korea? Especially if you had to leave a girlfriend/boyfriend behind.
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esglumac



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Location: In the middle of contractual litigation!!!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, i will be leaving in a couple of weeks...
most everyone reaction has been everything from well miss you to youre going to korea???? what??? the country??? ( my bosses reaction when i handed in my resign letter)
i have been planning to leave for 6 months now.. Its not hard for me b-c most of my friends have already left.
I really dont think my parents or friends took it too seriously untill I signed the contract.
i don't know if i would like korea enough to stay past a year, but I have a feeling i wont be back in the USA for several years and that will be harder on them.
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kimchi story



Joined: 23 Nov 2006

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with swetepete on this - a lot of 'seeya laters' going on around departure time. The family was kinda funny.

Mum: "You know, your sister really enjoyed Japan. If you went to Japan we'd come visit, but Korea?" Not a problem.

Dad: "One thing I know about Koreans is this - back in 'Nam where the Korean Army was, the VC was not". Not exactly sure what to make of that one.

That was the second time around. The first time around mum said pretty much the same thing and dad said "hmmmm".
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paquebot



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Location: Northern Gyeonggi-do

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kimchi story wrote:
Dad: "One thing I know about Koreans is this - back in 'Nam where the Korean Army was, the VC was not". Not exactly sure what to make of that one.


Maybe he meant don't mess with the Korean Marines?

Everyone that I've talked to recently has been really enthusiastic about the opportunity this will be for me, and they know that my plan is to stay there for two or three years. Then again, I did have a coworker who seemed shocked that I would choose Korea. Her response when I asked what she knew about the country:

"Well, I've heard there was a war there. I don't know if it's true though. And all of Korea is nothing but sweatshops!"

Rolling Eyes
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