It Finally Happened

That euphoria I felt when I first arrived in Korea almost 3 months ago? Yea, it has disappeared swiftly. I’ve become been a grouchy so and so lately. The lady who looked me up and down as she walked in the tiny ass space between me and my friends on the subway platform? Yea, her! She got sista girl eye and neck roll right back for that foolishness. The rude ass people who skip me while I’m waiting in line to buy my dessert at the bakery muttering the equivalent of “I’m more important than the foreigner” and the cashiers who don’t check them on this? Yea, kiss my ass. For the last week or 2 I’ve had an overwhelming feeling that I don’t belong here. I suppose it’s true. Even if I learned the language and lost 100 pounds, the fact remains. I will NEVER be able to blend in here. For whatever reason, that’s really getting on my nerves lately.

And it’s not just Koreans who are pissing me off. It’s also some of the expats who are getting under my skin as well. The condescending prick I met at a bar who was so keen on turning up his nose at my choice to work at an elementary school instead of a university? Kick rocks.  I know you’re all high on the feeling that for the first time in your life you’re making money teaching at a uni with only a Master’s degree. But here’s a newsflash for you, buddy… I don’t play by your rules or try to live up to your standards, so spare me the smugness. When I’m ready for another uni gig, I’ll ask for your input. Until then, shut it.

Oh, and this whole long-distance relationship? It’s definitely for the birds. I want to hold hands, frolick in the park, go on dates, and dance the night away in my man’s arms. And while Skype and Facetime are amazing for simulating face-to-face contact, it most certainly won’t physically give me that loving feeling I very much desire. Boo and triple hiss!

I’m pretty much over Korea today and finding it hard to see the beauty I once saw upon arrival. I’m ready to go home where 3 non-organic limes won’t cost me $8. Where I can curse rude people out and they’ll understand me. Where people don’t spit and hack whatever is in their disgusting system wherever and whenever they damn well please. Where I can wash my clothes and dry them in 2 hours. Where I can find stylish, affordable clothing to fit my curves. Where banking hours are longer than 9am – 4pm Monday through Friday only – I’m looking at you Korea Exchange Bank.

So, there’s that… Don’t worry. I’m told this is all normal. It’s part homesickness (gasp!), part depression (double gasp!), and a level of irritability that is the result of surfing the crimson tide for 9 friggin days. The remedy? Plan more things to do so you have something to look forward to – and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I have some fun things planned for June to celebrate my 29th birthday. And, actually, just getting this rant/vent out of my system seemed to really help.

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10 thoughts on “It Finally Happened

  1. Rant away – it’s good for the mind. It’ll pass eventually if you just hold out until you start to enjoy the little things again! Best of luck 🙂

    • I’m always hesitant to post the not so pretty or not so fun side of this adventure, but keeping that much negative energy inside is toxic. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Good on you for posting this! I’m just hitting my 3 month mark as well. Though I haven’t really mentioned it in my own posts there are some moments when I am so livid at certain people and cultural aspects that I feel like I could just blow! But then something sweet happens and the moment passes, thank goodness.

    • Kayspeedy,
      Ha! As I hit “Publish” I had a slight panic that I’d come off as the abnormally sensitive foreigner. Good to know this is within the normal course of things. I’m holding onto the something sweet for dear life 🙂

  3. hang in there buddy! I feel like once you get over that starry-eyed fascination of a new culture, THAT’S when you start actually learning about it. I totally understand that feeling… like you’ll never be able to blend in. Try to embrace it! Be the GRINGA (I don’t know how they say gringa in korea haha). Learn from them and let them learn from you…and screw those who don’t get it, they’re not worth the time any who ^_^…. I love and hate this part and it never really went away for me…but this is actually the type of thing that really let me learn about myself, and I discovered all these new comfort boundaries that I didn’t know I had…which let me try and break ’em! Tough..but sooooo rewarding. You can do it!

    • Kocsiska,

      I always wondered how it was for you living in the barrio as a Gringa. You seemed so cool and pulled together like nothing bothered you. I remember when we got ice cream after teaching the kids and one of the boys called you “mono” and just stared at you. I was waiting for your reaction and it was so nonchalant and non-to-do that I was determined you were the coolest gringa I knew 🙂 I suppose I caught you at a time when you were embracing the Gringa-ness. I haven’t quite been able to embrace mine yet. Being a waygook (Korean for gringa/foreigner) of color here means I will never blend in here and I totally wasn’t prepared for how much that would drain on my psyche. But you’re absolutely right! This is necessary and will help me learn even more about myself. Thanks again for the encouragement, chica.

  4. Woo woo woo. I wish I could give you a big hug. I really admire you for this adventure. Hang in there, feel free to rant anytime.

    • Tazzee,

      This made me guffaw in my office. I’m sitting here acting like I’m doing a lesson plan and your comment gave me away. LOL! All I can see is Sinclair James patting my back. Thanks for that.

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