Posted in Korea, Teaching, Uncategorized

Signing away freedom

March 2016 marked two years for me in Korea. two years and my third company in the same field.

While I have said this on multiple occasions, this time I am fighting the urge to quite my job and move on. But if only life was that easy. Every day, I feel more and more trapped in my work place and the tiny room that I should be calling ‘home’.
I know, you are probably wondering “what is stopping you if you are that unhappy?”. It’s pretty simple. Contract.

Being an ESL teacher in Korea means that you have to get an E2 visa which is bonded with your employer. Once you want to stop your employment with the company you have signed a contract with, you have to get a ‘Letter of release’ and you can transfer to another visa (D-10 or another E2).

Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

Most companies refuse to give you a letter of release if your contract is not finished. Honestly, if you have completed your one year contract, there is no need for you to obtain a ‘letter of release’ anyway. The only people who need a ‘letter of release’ are those who wish to finish their contract earlier than one year or, those who have been fired and wish to stay in Korea. But when a company refuses to give you one, it is almost impossible to do anything about it.

When I signed my contract, I saw that there was a section which said that I will not receive a release letter if I end my contract before the 1 year mark. Even if I give the requested 3 months notice before leaving. I know I shouldn’t have signed the contract if I didn’t agree with that term. The problem was, I didn’t want to face another hard time of trying to find a new job. It took me three months the first time, I wasn’t going to go through that again. So when I was offered a job on the second day of unemployment, I went for it. It was a reputable company funded by Seoul government, what could possibly be wrong? Honestly, I love this company. The staff, the fun classes, my students, but teaching just isn’t for me.

When I came to Korea, I came with the hopes of teaching English for a year and either start my career as a journalist/editor or go back to university here to get my masters degree. My first job was a disaster. For my second job, I got promoted fast and I loved it, but then management changed and it was a nightmare. So, when I hit my two year mark in my third school, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I have wasted two years of my life. Two years where I could have been doing other things to do with my degree and my dreams.

So, next Tuesday marks three months until my contract is finished. Within these three months, I will be searching for jobs and blogging more in order to get back in the flow of writing. I will try to write blog posts at the least 3 times a week. If I fall behind, scold me guys!!

This week, I have already posted twice, so I will post another on Friday. I am going to try something new so, keep an eye out!

Posted in Uncategorized

2 years old!

Happy Birthday to my blog!! Today you turn two years old!

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This week has been great for my blog! On Sunday I received my highest views ever on my blog, thanks to my blog post about the Jay Park concert. I received over 200 views from Korea alone and about 500 views all together in one day! And now it is my blogs birthday!

Thanks to the success of my Jay Park concert review, I am more determined to write more. Soooo, although I am not a K-Pop fan, I will be going to more K-Pop, K-Indie and K-HipHop shows. There are only a few shows in the UK, but the number of K-Pop concerts are increasing here, and I hope that K-Indie would become more popular or at the least, just have a few shows in London.

As today is my blogs birthday, I decided to read my first post and reflect on how much my blog has changed and grown.

Of course, visitors to the site have grown, but I believe my blog has kind of started to fit in to a target audience. I have always had an interest in Asian culture, but since I came back from Korea, it has been the main focus of my writing.

Having said that, my blog is still random and although I posting more about Korean related stuff, I will always have the random posts about other things.

I hope that my blog will become more successful in the future, and I think that will be more possible when I am in Korea. My goal is to receive more subscribers! Although I do get a lot of hits on here, I don’t have many subscribers (but to those of you who have subscribed, I love you the most!). With an increase of subscribers I believe my blog would be more interactive because I do want to talk with my blogs visitors and I want to write what you want me to write about. So comment below already!!

Honestly, thank you all for reading my blog posts, If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be so motivated to actually publish my blog posts. I hope this next year will be better than my last two and I hope my blog becomes more interesting for you.

Again, Happy 2nd birthday blog!!!

Posted in Korea, Reviews

Review: The Greatest Shows on Earth (South Korea)

Well! Last night Daisy Donovan’s TV programme, The Greatest Shows on Earth, was aired on Channel 4. This week her country of choice was South Korea.

Honestly, last night was the first time I had watched Daisy’s show and I am disappointed in myself because it was really interesting! Obviously I watched it because it had something to do with Korea, but I wish I had watched all the other episodes where she travels to different countries in the world. The Greatest Show on Earth is unique and has an outstanding idea which I would have never thought of.

Daisy Donovan visited Seoul and discovered 5 different TV shows which are popular in Korea. BJ King of Cookery Biryong (Afreeca TV), 무한도전 or “Infinite Challenge”, 이제 만나러 갑니다 or “Now on My Way to Meet You” & an e-Sport show, were the shows which Daisy discovered and analysed.

What really interested me was the show 이제 만나러 갑니다 (Now on my way to meet you) and the e-sport show. 이제 만나러 갑니다 grabbed my attention because I had no idea that such a show existed. Similarly I didn’t know there were e-Sport shows either. But Now on my way to meet you is so unique and is a show which can only exist in South Korea. 이제 만나러 갑니다 has been described by Daisy Donovan as the Korean equivalent to the UK’s Loose Women. However this show has more than what meets the eye.

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이제 만나러 갑니다 has a panel of North Korean defectors, known as ‘Defector Beauties’. All 15 women have escaped from North Korea and are now living in South Korea. The show has male celebrity guests who entertain and flirt with the Defector Beauties. But what gives this show a different kick is that, the defector beauties also discuss their stories and how life in North Korea was for them. As Daisy also mentioned, the show is clever because it makes you emotional as in the beginning, the defector beauties dance around and have fun. The show then takes a turn and becomes more serious. When Daisy was on the show, a male North Korean defector came on the show to share his story and with the hopes that his family which he was separated with would discover him and reunite. The show is unique to other shows in Korea and even around the world.

Although The Greatest Show on Earth was roughly and hour and a half, it was far too short! I enjoyed the programme as it covered a wide range of South Korean TV shows, but what the programme lacked was an understanding of the audience and a bit of information about funding and production. Either way, I was satisfied with the programme and I would love for there to be a continuation.

***** Five out of Five this time round!

Posted in Korea, Uncategorized

City Hunter [Episode 20]

I recently started watching the Korean Drama, City Hunter. This drama is action packed, unpredictable and keeps you anticipating what will happen next! I suggest that you should watch it as it was very exciting and interesting!

I will not be reviewing City Hunter in this post. Instead, I am going to answer the question that I asked myself after watching the last episode, as I am sure it is a question that many people asked. I don’t know if anybody knows why the ending was so brief and rushed, but I will write this post anyway to inform the people who said they thought the same as me! The question is: Why did the series end like that?!
I will not give anything away about the drama because I hate it when people spoil stuff for me!

While I was in Seoul, I was lucky enough to meet somebody who worked behind the scenes of City Hunter. I can’t remember if he was the direct, producer or screen writer, but I know that he worked on City Hunter and spoke about it in a presentation. He was a guest lecture at the summer school that I was attending, and spoke about City Hunter and other dramas that he had worked on.

As City Hunter was a very popular drama, he let us in on a few secrets! He spoke about the budget of the drama and showed us how the scenes were edited, (he showed us that one of the opening scene with the people in the sea, was actually filmed in a swimming pool and then edited to look like it was out at sea!). He also spoke to us about the last episode of City Hunter.

We were told that, the actors involved with City Hunter, were stressed out. Instead of the whole drama, (or at least a majority of episodes) being filmed before airing, episodes were filmed just days before the episode was aired. This put a lot of stress on the cast of City Hunter and the editors, producer and directer. I remember him mentioning Lee Min Ho (of course I would remember this!). He mentioned to us, that the reason why the season ended so abruptly and without any explanation of what happened after the final action scene, was because a few of the actors did not turn up to the filming.

I personally was disappointed with the ending when I watched it and I forgot that I was told before why the ending was the way it is! I was disappointed because we don’t know if Lee Kyung-Hee fully recovers & what happened to Lee Yun-Seong? Is Kim NaNa crazy or did she really see him? What about the President?…

So I turned to twitter, and my followers who had also watched City Hunter, expressed the same disappointment as me! It wasn’t until around 3am, when I woke up from deep sleep that I remembered what the guest lecturer had told us at Hanyang University!

So I thought I’d write this blog post to inform my friends as this is too much information to write in a tweet! I hope they read it! =D

I just wish that Korean actors didn’t have so much stress put on them. The guest lecturer told us that the actors of City Hunter and the people who made City Hunter possible, did not get any days off while filming the drama. I know it is their job and they became actors on their own accord, but they are human and do deserve a day or two off every now and again!