Korea: Round 2

October 26, 2012

Well, here I am; back in the eastern hemisphere about to embark on my second year in Korea.

My two months at home was all at once hectic, relaxing, foreign, and familiar but thoroughly necessary. I was able to catch up with family and friends to exchange stories of the year we spent apart. I also spent this time indulging in foods and events that I would be without for the upcoming year: Canadian beer, poutine, Tim Hortons coffee, live music, Blue Jay games, Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving dinners. Evidently nothing makes me feel more stereotypically Canadian than living abroad; All I was missing was the hockey practice and moose hunting.

Being back in Korea has been an interesting adjustment so far. I've been here for about three days but it already seems as though I never left. Since I didn't renew my contract, I'm essentially starting from scratch like I did the first time around. While I was at home I had to go through the motions of getting a new E2 visa, and now I'm spending a week in Gwangju where I am doing orientation just like I did last year.

Doing orientation for a second time gives me a pretty unique perspective; I am able to remember what it was like to be a bright-eyed newcomer to the country while being familiar with the country/job. Perhaps this time I'll be more able to absorb information that I missed last time due to jetlag or nerves, and maybe I'll be able to share experiences with the other teachers (without seeming like a pretentious douchebag). That's me taking a ride on the optimist train rather than the bitter bus. Free Western breakfasts and endless choco pies are never a bad thing. So, I'll be reviewing/sharing Korean culture and teaching methodology until next Wednesday when we'll be shipped to our schools.

I'll leave this post with a small summary of my Canadian life:

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