Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sort of good news,,,

So, the Times contacted me today. I'm at the top of their list, but they are still waiting on management. I guess to OK the hire or something. Anyway, he said wait a couple more days and HOPEFULLY he'll have some news for me. Of course, last time he said HOPEFULLY by Friday I would have something for you. And the time before that HOPEFULLY I'll have something for you by the first of May. I've been hanging on HOPEFULLY for about two months now.

I'm happy that he contacted me. But this time, I'm just not that excited about HOPEFULLY having news for me in a couple days. It could be a couple days (which I doubt) or it could be a week or a couple weeks. But at the same time, I'm not as worried as I was before. I'm looking for some private students and freelance work, so hopefully I can get enough to generate some funds to get me through without completely depleting my savings.

So, for now I'm just going to go to a coffee shop and study Korean for a bit and hang out with Stella for a bit. Then come home and have my home-cooked kimchi jigae for dinner. Hopefully, my friends will help me out a bit and I can set up some private lessons. I hesitate to get a lot because I could be working in a couple weeks, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

But on a brighter note, here is a picture of me and Yong Sang from our trip to Lotte World last week. Perhaps the most fun pseudo-date I've ever been on...

Life is Tough, Sweet, but Tough

I woke up this morning feeling a bit depressed. I've been out of work for about a month. I'm probably going back to teaching English. And I came into the realization last night at a friend's Going Away Party that I've managed to alienate myself from some friends that I use to consider very close.

So I was sitting in my apartment wondering how things got this way and what I could do to fix things. I was worrying about money, rent, friends, my attitude and faults. I thought back to a recent conversation with a friend who told me that I often try to manipulate people into thinking that I'm always the victim. Which often comes across as me being childish and unable to take care of myself. She mentioned that I often make my friends feel like they have to take care of me, which was one of the main reasons things went down the way they did with James.

I wasn't angry with her when she told me these things, because she wasn't doing it out of spite and anger, she was telling me because she wasn't sure if I realized how I came across to a lot of people or why some friends stopped contacting me. She knows that I'm a good person who really does care about her friends. She did also follow that up by saying she was proud to see how I've changed in the last few months and that I seemed more grown up.

I started thinking about these things because I know I've said some things in the past that I realize were very bitchy. And I'm ashamed to say that at that time I was doing it to get people on my side. And the result of it is, is that two people who I thought were really good friends of mine have now stopped contacting me. I only realize this now and it could possibly be too late for me to make amends.

So now you can imagine how horrible I felt this morning. I sat around thinking that I was a mean, manipulative person, and that I have no job, and if I go back to Berlitz, there is a possibility that some people won't be happy that I'm there which will make work difficult. It doesn't help that this whole time I've treated Berlitz like it's a bad place since it was my last resort. Berlitz is a great place and teaching English is a respectable job, I just would like to do something more related to my career field.

And then, a crazy thing happened. I suddenly realized that somehow, even though I can't see it, I knew that no matter how horrible I had been or where I end up working, I've recognized my faults and somehow everything would work out fine. Maybe it was because I remembered my friend Yoav telling me last night not to get bogged down and that things would work out. Or as crazy as it is, maybe it was watching a movie where despite everything trying to keep a couple apart, everything works out because their love was strong enough.

So even though I've screwed up. As long as recognize this and work hard to overcome them, and as long as I have the will power, things will work out. I suddenly felt better. Instead of moping on the couch I got up and started laundry and tried to be productive around the house. Things will work out. I just have to hold on and not let pessimism get the best of me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rude Awakening

So, as some of you may know, I haven't been sleeping well lately. Last night I woke up at 2 a.m. after a horrible nightmare that someone had broken into my apartment (that's what I get for watching too much CSI, Law and Order, etc.) and couldn't get back to sleep so I stayed up until about 5 a.m. watching So You Think You Can Dance. I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m. Even though I'm unemployed, I need to start getting into a more normal sleeping pattern so I can actually be productive during the day and not lay around like a bum.

So, I'm in bed and then suddenly there is banging on my door around 7:30 a.m. I was half asleep and didn't know what was going on so I ignored it. It came again, so I got up and came out of my bedroom in time to see my landlady and her husband unlocking my front door. She's shouting something about water, so I automatically pick up Issie and run towards the laundry because I know she means the washing machine.

I call Jung Min, because I figure I should have someone explain what's going on. They work for a bit. The landlady talks to Jung Min and seems to be upset. The machine is fixed, my kitchen has water and gross stuff trailed to the bathroom where they dumped the water (the floor I had just swept and mopped yesterday) and they leave. Jung Min then tells me that the landlady blames me for the washing machine (which I haven't touched in a week, mind you) and that she is angry that the apartment is so dirty (which it wasn't). Since I was up and couldn't go back to sleep, I spend the next two hours scrubbing the floor, picking up clutter, cleaning my room, picking up clothes, etc. I was a bit pissed about the washing machine. That wasn't my fault. And that she keeps complaining about the apartment and not being about to rent it out after I leave. My lease isn't up until the end of September, so I'm not moving out anytime soon. Ugh.

But, on a happy note, I am happy to have the apartment cleaner than it's been since I moved in. I'm already calculating how much she's going to insist on taking out of my deposit for the floor that is ripped in my room (moving the bed for cleaning purposes) the ripped wallpaper (was like that when I got here, but I know she's going to insist it's my fault), the sink ( stopper got stuck and my friend made it worse by trying to fix it, the sink was horrible and needed replacing anyway). I'm wondering if there is anything I can do now to help offset that. And to get myself back into my landlady's good graces again... and perhaps to get her to stop checking in on my apartment when I'm not home and going into my bedroom while I'm here when the door is shut.

Ugh...like I need more drama right now...At least she didn't tell me to get rid of Issie again...

Hanguk-o yosshimi kongbuheyo.

So, I'm still waiting on The Times, but I won't get into that more...

I'm incredibly happy with how my Korean lessons are going. I went to a coffee shop and studied for about three hours and then met my teacher for about 2 and a half hours. I actually had a successful, complete conversation in Korean that my teacher understood. (Granted it took awhile to complete each sentence.) But my teacher was very impressed and said that she was going to brag to her professor about how much progress I made in two months. I think my success for today was due to the hours I spent studying, so I'm planning to go back tomorrow for a couple hours. I got a lot of homework this week, and I just need to work on building my vocabulary.

So, I'm determined to really work at it. My teacher thinks that within five more months I should be able to watch Korean television shows and be able to understand most of it. I don't know what it is, but there is something fulfilling about learning a language. Today I read a paragraph about a party and understood all of it as I was reading. It's crazy. Though, sadly my listening comprehension is still pretty bad... Jung Min said she would speak in Korean from now on to help me work on it and to get me practicing speaking more since I still speak rather slowly.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to everyone coming to visit so I can show off my amazing Korean skills. ^_^ Misuda, here I come!! Give me five more months and I'll be ready. ^_^

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm sick of wedding pictures

Every time I get on Facebook there are more wedding pictures. Seriously, why is it that every single person from my university and high school has magically decided to get married this summer? I'm starting to think there is something in the water back in the States.

It's a bit disheartening, watching it all from afar. I haven't receive any direct pressure to get married. In fact, my parents push me in the opposite direction. Telling me that 24 is too young and that I should wait until I'm 30. But it's really hard when everyone else around you is settling down. I don't think I want to settle down, but something in me secretly desires it. Which is something that I find hard to admit since I'm suppose to be the independent one. My sister is the one who everyone expects to settle down young.

And I'm in Korea. My family doesn't want me to meet anyone here because they think that I'll never come home. Which leads me to question my reasons for striving to stay single. Am I doing it for my family? Waiting until I get back to the U.S. so that I can honor their wish of me settling down close to them? Giving up on the fact that he could be in Korea to look for him in the U.S.? Or am I doing it because that's what I really want? They say things like, "If you marry a Korean, just make sure he knows that you're coming back to the States." But do I really want to go back there? Do I want to wait just to make them happy?

And I know that marrying a Korean won't be easy. There are cultural differences. And family is insanely important here. The bride is expected to leave her family to join her husband's and I know my parents would not like that. Plus, there is the risk that my in-laws might not accept me because I'm foreign. It's fine to date a foreigner, but marrying one is a different story, especially if she doesn't speak Korean and the family isn't good at English. Plus I have to learn how to make kimchi... I would, in a way, be an outsider in his family, even if they are welcoming. Just because I don't know Korean culture and traditions by heart. So that is something to think about. I often wonder if I think about that too much and that's what makes my relationships here go awry.

At this point, I'm not even sure what would make me happy. If I met the one tomorrow and we got engaged, would that make me happy? Or would I regret marrying at 24? I suppose the fact that I ask these questions prove that I'm not ready. But part of me admits that I would kind of like to meet someone that could potentially be the one. I'm sick of going through the jerks and the wrong ones. I just want someone. I wonder if my problem is that I keep looking for someone when I should just wait for him to come to me.

Argh, and all these thoughts just confuse me even more because there could be someone, but I'm not exactly sure what he's thinking right now. We've been friends for a long time, and I know that he's interested in me and that I'm interested in him, but there are obstacles. A kind of big one, that I won't really get into. I guess I would just like the opportunity to see what things would be like together. Ugh, I wish he would just call me or text me...

Bleh, I hate that I have too much time to think about these things. When you're unemployed it's kind of hard to find things that will get your mind off stuff. I'm either worrying about a job or anxious about phone calls, or thinking about a boy. I need to start working on my stories again. Maybe concentrate on finishing my book.

And staying away from Facebook and those blasted wedding pictures.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In an attempt to cheer my readers (and myself) up after the last slightly depressing post, here are some pictures from "my bar." I love this place, mainly because of the bartenders. They are great people and always seem to make me smile, even if I'm having the worst of bad days.

The guy above is Nots, or Oppa as he likes to be called. He's bright and bubbly and a little on the "pyuntae" side, though all in jest. He is also really good at flair. (Tossing around liquor bottles, for those of you who aren't bar talk savvy.) He does a weekly show involving a table on fire which is quite entertaining. He also likes challenging me to "Kai, Bai, Bo" (Rock, Scissors, Paper) and arm wrestling.

Then there is Dio, who is like the head bartender. He's the oldest and speaks the best English (though still minimal) and has worked at the bar the longest. In a way, he's kind of the big brother of the bartenders. Occasionally I get text messages from him asking where I'm going if he sees me walking home (at times I want to say, "Home, duh. It's 2 am"). And some nights when I'm bored I send him texts and we'll talk about movies or house music (my latest interest and something he loves). In a way, he's sort of become my big brother as well. He's also probably the best at flair and does a snazzy little number with two flaming liquor bottles.

The two girls, Honey and Mini are wonderful as well. Honey gives me a hug every time I walk in and tries talking to me even though she doesn't speak English all that well. We manage to have conversations in a funny mixture of English and Korean with her often forgetting that I don't understand Korean that well and going off in rapid speech. Mini is the youngest and the cutest. Everytime I walk in she shouts "Emma! Hi-ee!" which always makes me smile. And now there is a new girl, Lime, who I don't know very well but I have a feelings she'll be just as fun. I knew I would like her when they brought her over for an introduction and she immediately said that my skin was pretty, and yes I know that makes me sound slightly narcissic. (Koreans seem to be fascinated by foreigners' skin, especially the face...not sure why...)

Lastly is Hoon, who is a giant sweetheart. And not too hard on the eyes. ^_^ We all think he looks like an actor from the popular show "Coffee Prince" which is coinsidentally the bar's Saturday night theme. (See above picture. Those of you who are familiar with it can probably guess who is who. Though I need to get a new picture since they all look more like their designated roles now that some have changed their hair i.e. Honey, Hoon and Nots.)

And those are my friends from Bar Ireland...wow, I suppose this post makes me sound like an alcoholic or something since I've become good friends with the bartenders at my local bar...I don't really go to drink there very often anymore, but I walk by the bar on my way home nearly every day, so I see these guys pretty often. They make me stop and come in to chat for a little bit, sometimes using interesting measures to get my attention since I'm often listening to my iPod. Once Nots came flying to the outside patio like he was going to hit me in the head with a metal ashtray. Yea, I screamed when I looked up and saw metal glinting in front of my face.

And I suppose that's all. I'll leave you with a video of Nots doing his flair show. I wish I had one of Dio doing his, but alas he only performs every once in a while. Mostly he just dances behind the bar or comes over to bug me and Jung Min.


video

The Waiting Game

I find myself sitting at a catalyst. The newspaper hasn't contacted me yet, and so I have a choice to make. I can wait longer or just go to Berlitz and take the job. There are plenty of pros for going back to teaching. The money. I'm use to it. The hours are sucky but not so bad. I know how to do it. I get 13 days of paid vacation.

But the newspaper job would provide me with valuable experience. The hours would suck, and the pay wouldn't be much. But I suppose my pride is getting in the way a bit. I don't want to go back to teaching English. In a way, I feel like a failure. I set out to get an office job and then going back to teaching English feels like I failed. It's not a big deal, but for some reason I keep holding off going to Berlitz. I need a job, but I want the newspaper job. And it looks like I'm not getting the newspaper job because, let's face it, if they were seriously going to hire me, they would have contacted me by now. The job starts on June 1st and I need time to get a visa and two weeks is not long enough. Unless they think I have a visa that lets me change jobs easily.

Argh, I guess all I can do is try calling the newspaper and seeing what they say. I don't know what to say really. "Hi, I'm the girl that you keeping blowing off about the copyeditor position. I was just wondering if it's still open and if you really want to hire me? Because I need a job and I'm going to my old English institute if you're not serious."

Oi...keep praying you all...I'm about to pull my hair out...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too much time to think...

Being of the unemployed persuasion has given me much too much time to think...and overthink...which always leads to me throwing thinking out the door and do something rash and stupid...like get a boyfriend..

No, I don't have a boyfriend. I'm not even really dating anyone...or seeing anyone... But spending all this time alone, even just going out with friends, makes me miss Young and wish that I was in a relationship again. Which is kind of crazy that that's what I'm thinking about, especially since everything is so crazy and out of control right now. I don't know. As I write this it doesn't even really seem to make sense.

But I do know what would probably happen. I would start dating one of the guys I'm currently interested it. Probably agree to be his girlfriend in a rash moment and then after a few weeks suddenly wish I were single again. Or, I start dating someone. Take my time with things and end up experiencing something really great. I don't know...

I have way to much time to think about things. Maybe dating would be a way to help get my mind off things...Ugh...