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Author Topic: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!  (Read 8058 times)

Offline tamjen

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2015, 10:29:33 PM »
As a place to live, in my opinion, Canada stinks. The weather is horrible. The people are generally unfriendly and prices are freaking outrageous for everything.

I speak of the people being unfriendly as having experienced a decade of life in SE Asia and 30+ years in Canada. It's a matter of perspective, that's all. I have lived in Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Victoria. I've travelled everywhere else.

Newfs are the friendliest Canadians bar none. They get progressively less friendly as you move west.

There's no doubt that Canada, as a country, is a great place to live. But, it was a whole lot better back in the 70's and 80's.

I'll stick with my little house in SE Asia. The folks there are nice. Nicer than any other folks I have met.

I so completely disagree with the attitude of "make the best of your situation" if you don't like your situation.

What's that jive all about? I despise winter, but if I learn to ski, winter will become enjoyable? No man, I don't think so.

If your situation is not to your liking....change it.
Hail Caesar

Offline cereal killer

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2015, 10:28:04 AM »
To anyone thinking of going back home, you'd better have a decent gig lined up before going. If you're attitude is, "well...screw Korea, I'll get a decent job when I get back home." Brother, are you in for a surprise.

Offline Rusty Brown

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2015, 04:43:55 AM »
To anyone thinking of going back home, you'd better have a decent gig lined up before going. If you're attitude is, "well...screw Korea, I'll get a decent job when I get back home." Brother, are you in for a surprise.

Speak for yourself. I left Korea six months ago with nothing lined up and now I'm going through the process of buying a house.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 04:55:48 AM by Rusty Brown »

Offline shockdrop91

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2015, 07:33:19 AM »
Quote
What makes it miserable is probably mostly due to focusing on too many negatives rather than doing new things, going with the flow and emphasizing the positives like my first 2 or 3 years here.

But to answer your question more specifically: Probably the lack of general social etiquette, last minute decisions and lack of communication, decisions that make no sense (sounds vague but most veteran foreigners will know what I'm saying when you can only describe some things as "because Korea"), the whole hierarchy thing and people with power and old people acting like dicks because they can, loud, emotional public outbursts and adjusts making scenes on the street, the perception that foreign people have no personal boundaries, the acceptance of racism and gender inequality, constant talk of culture culture culture culture culture culture, constant comparisons to my home country in every conversation, pushing and spitting, sheep mentality, and just the overall stifling feeling of the culture and how everyone seems to be doing the "face" thing rather than being genuine (most people are just at a distance and quite fake, theres just a few genuine Korean friends I've made and it seems like they are all well travelled and are sick of the cultural stress here and have escaped from the brainwashed attitude that a lot of people have).

Now, you can make a long list of good things about Korea too, and counter everything above I'm sure - but these are just some of the things that begin to stand out more and weigh on you after being here for too long and losing the motivation to really explain them away and focus on positives. Are there things that I could do to keep improving my experience here? Yes.

But it seems that when I travel outside of Korea at this point things just feel so much more relaxed, genuine and normal in terms of interaction with people that things feel more and more stifling when I return.

I have many fond memories of Korea and enough positive bonds that it would be hard for me to leave, but its definitely time to head off somewhere new or at least take a long long break.

Sorry for the late response but thank you so much for the detailed answer. I feel the same about the practiced "etiquette" here at times as well. Thankfully though not all people are the same and of course there are mannered people here. It is definitely what you make of it.


Quote
To anyone thinking of going back home, you'd better have a decent gig lined up before going. If you're attitude is, "well...screw Korea, I'll get a decent job when I get back home." Brother, are you in for a surprise.

Cereal it sounds as if you are trying to discourage people from going back to their home countries to purse a career. Now you may want to stay here and continue esl but not everyone here is in it for the long haul. Some may wish to go back home and open a business, go to graduate school, or do something that they may not be able to do here. Yes, it would be best to have something lined up but that is quite difficult to do while living over here. Heading back home without another path lined up is most common for those going home. The opportunities ARE out there you just have to look for them.

Online kyndo

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2015, 09:28:28 AM »
As a place to live, in my opinion, Canada stinks. The weather is horrible. The people are generally unfriendly...
I'm going to politely but firmly disagree with the above statement. Experiences may vary, of course.

I despise winter, but if I learn to ski, winter will become enjoyable? No man, I don't think so.
Well actually, ... yeah, it might actually change your outlook on winter.  Counting down the days until the nearby ski-hills open so I can break out the ol' snowboard pretty much means that I really really look forward to the first snowfall of the season. :smiley:

I mean, it's probably not going to magically rewire your head and turn you into a snow junkie, but having winter hobbies does tend to make people a little less bitter about the cold weather.  :undecided:

Offline travelingCeee

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2015, 10:10:15 AM »
First of all, Saudi Arabia is uping their standards and is not super reliable, Japan pays just enough to keep you alive, Taiwan is very competitive as is the UAE, China has the pollution, Africa pays pennies, and the EU only wants Brits. All of the ME and Asia jobs have the same work environment problems we so love about Korea. Korea's public sector ESL job market has seriously contracted to just a fraction of what it was, and will continue to decline. The private sector ESL market here sucks more than ever, with hagwons becoming even more shady and offering less pay. Changing your situation will not be easy or quick unless you get lucky.

If your situation is not horrible, I think toughing it out is better to the end of your contract. If your situation is genuinely horrible, than I think its worth the sanity to change it regardless of the money. Having a plan that you stick to is the best way to go. It will determine what is and is not worth your sanity.

Korea is definitely not for everyone. A lot of people ARE inflexible and have trouble adjusting to Korea's way of doing things. They can't relax here and end up stressing out over stuff, and then they get angry at Korea for stressing them out. It depends on what stresses you out, but it doesn't matter where you go, there will always be something that does so, even in your home country. In my opinion its all about perception, and so it is, any where, totally what you make of it.

To wrap up, I think its all about your plan. If you didn't come to Korea as part of a life plan, then yeah if it didn't jive with you, then you're better off going some place and doing something that fits into your life plan. That way you'll feel like you're achieving something for all that you have to put up with where ever you are.

That's my 2 cents from my 3 years working abroad.

 



« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 10:19:32 AM by travelingCeee »

Offline cereal killer

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2015, 10:31:35 AM »
Quote
What makes it miserable is probably mostly due to focusing on too many negatives rather than doing new things, going with the flow and emphasizing the positives like my first 2 or 3 years here.

But to answer your question more specifically: Probably the lack of general social etiquette, last minute decisions and lack of communication, decisions that make no sense (sounds vague but most veteran foreigners will know what I'm saying when you can only describe some things as "because Korea"), the whole hierarchy thing and people with power and old people acting like dicks because they can, loud, emotional public outbursts and adjusts making scenes on the street, the perception that foreign people have no personal boundaries, the acceptance of racism and gender inequality, constant talk of culture culture culture culture culture culture, constant comparisons to my home country in every conversation, pushing and spitting, sheep mentality, and just the overall stifling feeling of the culture and how everyone seems to be doing the "face" thing rather than being genuine (most people are just at a distance and quite fake, theres just a few genuine Korean friends I've made and it seems like they are all well travelled and are sick of the cultural stress here and have escaped from the brainwashed attitude that a lot of people have).

Now, you can make a long list of good things about Korea too, and counter everything above I'm sure - but these are just some of the things that begin to stand out more and weigh on you after being here for too long and losing the motivation to really explain them away and focus on positives. Are there things that I could do to keep improving my experience here? Yes.

But it seems that when I travel outside of Korea at this point things just feel so much more relaxed, genuine and normal in terms of interaction with people that things feel more and more stifling when I return.

I have many fond memories of Korea and enough positive bonds that it would be hard for me to leave, but its definitely time to head off somewhere new or at least take a long long break.

Sorry for the late response but thank you so much for the detailed answer. I feel the same about the practiced "etiquette" here at times as well. Thankfully though not all people are the same and of course there are mannered people here. It is definitely what you make of it.


Quote
To anyone thinking of going back home, you'd better have a decent gig lined up before going. If you're attitude is, "well...screw Korea, I'll get a decent job when I get back home." Brother, are you in for a surprise.

Cereal it sounds as if you are trying to discourage people from going back to their home countries to purse a career. Now you may want to stay here and continue esl but not everyone here is in it for the long haul. Some may wish to go back home and open a business, go to graduate school, or do something that they may not be able to do here. Yes, it would be best to have something lined up but that is quite difficult to do while living over here. Heading back home without another path lined up is most common for those going home. The opportunities ARE out there you just have to look for them.
 

 You got me all wrong. I highly ENCOURAGE people to go back home. It really makes makes things easier here when there are less "teachers" here. All I am saying is that you damn well better have a plan before going back. Believe me, I have personal experience in this. I just get tired of reading the endless posts where people drone on and on that going back home is going to be the panacea to all their ills(uh, no it won't. The problem is with YOU). Also those whose grand plan is "going to grad school." Heard that a million times.  Yeah, make sure to get into even more debt and become, more than likely, underemployed in the future.

As you say, there are potential empolyment options out there. I never said that there weren't. I'm just saying that you shouldn't assume everything back home is cookies and ice cream. And yes, everyone, PLEASE go home. I am all for it.

Offline the_test

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2015, 02:44:03 PM »
Quote
Yes, it would be best to have something lined up but that is quite difficult to do while living over here.

Agree 100%. A lot of folk say, 'make sure you have a job to go back to when you get home', which would be ideal, but obviously a lot of companies require interviews in person. The best I could hope for would be lining up interviews.


Offline the_test

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2015, 02:46:51 PM »
Oops my post doesn't look right...

Offline shockdrop91

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Re: The grass is definitely greener on the other side!
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2015, 02:50:43 PM »
Quote
Agree 100%. A lot of folk say, 'make sure you have a job to go back to when you get home', which would be ideal, but obviously a lot of companies require interviews in person. The best I could hope for would be lining up interviews.

Yes either that or just waiting until you arrive home. Most companies what face-to-face interviews and can that can pop up at any given time. Which is also why I believe going home first and then applying would probably be the best approach.