Posted in Korea, Uncategorized

The box.

With a new job, comes a new apartment. There is usually no choice when it comes to being an English teacher in Korea. I was very comfortable in my home in Bucheon. When I got this job, I knew that staying there wouldn’t be an option as it would have meant an hour commute to work every day. While it didn’t bother me much, I knew that the company wouldn’t agree, just in case I turned up to work late.

While I was happy to have gotten a job in Seoul, I knew that ending up with an apartment as amazing as mine, was going to be impossible. When I was offered the job, it was made very clear that the apartment was going to be small. I asked for pictures, and while they looked terrible, I thought I had to suck it up. There was no way I was going to let such a good job go.

However, the apartment which I was shown in the pictures was nothing like the apartment I was taken to on the Friday that I was supposed to be moving in to my apartment. Although it was made clear that the picture I was shown may not be my apartment, I was shocked.

The place which I am going to have to call my home is so small that I can barely move around. I went back to my home in Bucheon that Friday night and started to repack. I had to throw out more things than I already had since I would be living in a shoebox for a while.

The Saturday after I was shown the apartment, I reluctantly moved my things. I said goodbye to my lovely home in Bucheon and hello to my box in Seoul. I tried my hardest to stay positive. I told myself that it was just somewhere to sleep and that I would hardly spend time there. I thought maybe if I unpacked my things and decorated, it would be better.
So I unpacked, while it made the room a tiny bit better, I still hated the new place. It’s depressing. There is a window, which honestly might as well not be there. There is no sunlight coming through. I worry for Aurora everyday because I know she is used to having a big bright apartment. Her pupils have been dilated since we moved in. Whilst I have read it is okay for cats, I thinking, it’s a bit like torture.

There is terrible brown coloured wallpaper which makes everything seem darker and dirty. It is the most revolting wallpaper you could imagine. Not only is that wallpaper terrible, it is only the accent wall. The rest of the room is what used to be white wallpaper. It is dirty and has stains that I can’t even identify.

I have a single bed. After having a Queen sized bed for over 6 months, I felt like I was going to fall out of the single bed. Not only is it a single, it is also the hardest, must uncomfortable bed I have ever slept in.

The kitchen, or what is supposed to be a kitchen, is so tiny. I have one electric stove hob thingy, which is built into the counter. The cupboards are a terribly bright orange colour. There is literally no room for a kettle, toaster, or any kind of utensil stand or things that you usually have on a kitchen counter. Also, if I wanted to use that hob, I would have to put on my shoes because the only floor space there is the place where you take of your shoes as you walk into the box.

And, right next to it, 1 step away and I am not exaggerating, is the bathroom.

The bathroom is tiny and literally everything gets wet when I have a shower. It has the smallest window you could ever imagine so I smell mould every time I walk in to my apartment, even if the window is open. It is also a terrible brown and grey tile scheme.

Having said that, the bathroom is my favourite part of the box. That’s because it is the newest and cleanest part of the apartment.

On my first day of work, I bumped into the director in the lift. He asked me how my apartment was and so I told him how things were broken and that it is too small and dirty and everything that was wrong. He told me to tell the coordinator so that they can fix things. I told him everything because he was the first person to ask me.

The next day, the guy who organises apartments and stuff for the foreign teachers asked me what my door code was. I asked why and he told me that the director wants to see my apartment and the apartment of the other girls that live in that building.

I was a bit reluctant, but the guy reassured me that it was going to work in my benefit and he hinted at us possibly being moved. I told him my door code and then I was told that because I complained to the director, who apparently does not usually speak to the teachers, he wants to see the condition of the apartment and help us a bit.

He hasn’t come to see my apartment yet. But another person in a high position told me that when the contract of that apartment ends, I will be moved to a bigger and better place. The catch is, the contract finishes in March. So I have to wait about 4 months.

I have decorated the place a bit better now but it is still far too small. I guess I just have to wait a while and hope that the next apartment I am moved to is better. It will be my 8th apartment since moving to Korea.

But as I mentioned before, the job is amazing. I just feel that I would do a better job if my apartment was nicer as my mood would be better.

Wish me luck!

Posted in Korea

Inspirational sad day

Today is problem one of the first times I have had a bad day at this job. My day wasn’t even bad but something extremely sad and touching happened while I was at work.

I was sitting in the staff office at 5:45 waiting for my next class to start at 6:45, when the owner of my school comes in and says to me.
‘Dina, you have a class at 6pm?’
‘No I have a class at 6:45pm’
We actually teach the same class but he is there Korean teacher and I am their English teacher. He asks me if I can teach them at 6pm instead of 6:45pm. I think yes, thank you. Because it means that I can finish teaching at 6:40pm and then go home or if not, do paper work until 7:20pm.
When I asked why, I did not expect to hear this story.

He explained to me that someone came in and asked for lessons. This person is disabled (handicapped). His wish is to learn English. He wants to learn so that he has more chances of getting a job or living abroad so he can live a better life. However, because of his disabilities, every company has turned him away.
I’m not sure of his age but when I saw him, I could tell he is older then other students at our school because we only teach Kindergarten and Elementary.
My director/ boss said he will teach this boy because he can see how happy it makes him.

You are probably thinking, other companies rejected him because it is unfair to take his money. I even thought the same but my director is teaching him without taking any money. My eyes were watering when he told me about this person who has been rejected to education. The one thing that he is actively searching for and I thought to myself, what world are we living in? And how amazing is my director?

Education is one thing that everyone takes for granted at one stage or another. But it meant so much to this young man that even after rejection because of his disabilities, he kept going to different companies and schools until he found  someone that accepted him.
Allowing one student to enter your academy for free is not going to cause bankruptcy.

The kindness that I saw from my director was so touching and I was so sad that this young man was rejected by so many companies.
My director is teaching him English from scratch. I am going to keep asking for updates on this student because he has touched something in me today that made me realise again that we live in a horrible world. But there are amazing people like him and my director who give this world a little bit of hope.

Be kind.

Posted in Uncategorized

Goodbye 2013

Well I am very glad to say 2013 is almost over. I have had a really weird year but not many good things happened so I am glad to see it end.

Good things that happened consist of; me finishing university, meeting some amazing people & my mum coming home from hospital. But apart from those things, this year has been really bad but I don’t want to focus too much on the negatives.

I have exciting ideas for 2014. I just hope they all go smoothly and work out.
I hope that 2013 wasn’t as harsh to you as it was to me. 2014, please be considerate & kind.

Posted in Korea, Uncategorized

No regrets

As some of you know, I was recently dating a guy from Korea. Unfortunately, he went back to Korea and he decided that a long distance relationship was not the way he wanted to go. Although I was upset, I am grateful for the time we spent together in London and while most people will regret everything in my situation, I don’t. I did doubt that a long distance relationship would work but I had the intentions of trying it but I suppose it really wasn’t meant to be.

Although we were aware that our time was going to be short when we started dating, I had a great time with him. I really enjoyed his company and I felt that we had a connection. I’m usually really awkward when there is silence, but I felt so comfortable with you.

I am far from the adventurous type but I was more open to trying things out of my norm with him. We went to Liverpool and Manchester on our last weekend together, you took me to my first football match, we went to my favourite museum, the theatre and would just hangout when we wanted to. You were really supportive when I found out about my mum and you asked about her progress almost everyday, as if you had known her. We had a lot in common that we didn’t realise. I loved the way you would ask me what I wanted to eat even though you knew I would always answer, ‘I don’t know, anything, I don’t mind!’.

And our last sunset together was beautiful.
liverpool sunset

Our time together was short, but our relationship meant more to me than any of my longer relationships. When I cried on the coach I must have really freaked you out! I’m sorry. =P I was emotional from lack of sleep and I kept thinking about the fact it was our last weekend together. I miss you but to have you as a friend is awesome and I hope we will meet again when I go back to Korea. I know time difference is a big problem and you are probably really busy but please stay in contact as often as you can.

The only thing I regret, is not telling you how thankful I am for everything you did for me and our time together.