Sneaky Selfies, Karma, and Loneliness
Right now I’m sitting in a place called Cafe Sunrise. As I type this, there is an elderly gentleman with a gold watch on sits in front of me. He’s in sunglasses smoking a cigarette. I caught him taking selfies, and thought oh how cute. Then I looked closer, and noticed that his selfies were carefully composed to feature me typing on my computer in the background of every shot.
I eventually decided to just go up to him and strike a pose.
It’s weird to be viewed as so special and cool when I haven’t done anything except show up. For example, the other day, my boss, who I’ll refer to as Tree, and my coworker, who I’ll refer to as Skippy, were invited to a “conference.” I had no idea what this would entail, only that I would have to teach a class at seven fucking thirty in the morning, in formal attire.
When we got there, we walked through a funnel of eager, excited students and shook each one’s hand. Then I was thrust into a classroom of about forty teenagers in crisp white and maroon uniforms. I had two pages of material to teach to them and I had no idea how long the class would be. I was also filmed by a giant fancy-looking video camera. And after class was over, they begged me to sing a song, so I did the hokey pokey to much applause and delight, then posed for a series of seemingly endless selfies.
So I’m getting a lot of attention, but I’ve been really down lately. The initial excitement I had from leaving Korea and coming to a totally new place has worn off, and the reality of my situation has set in. For six months I’ll be here in Quinhon. No convenience stores. No tampons. No falafel. No boyfriend to snuggle me. No girlfriends to talk with. No two-day weekends. Possibly no days off for a while. I miss home. My time here feels like heavy weight on my shoulders. I’m sad, and I’m sad that I’m sad.
Also, the couple that used to teach here quit. They pulled a midnight run last week, which means I’ll have more teaching hours and less days off, if any, for a while. Dude, talk about karma.
Although I feel bad for ditching my coworkers and friends in Cheonan, I don’t regret what I did. I was treated totally unfairly by Chungdahm, and was put in a really uncomfortable position. When you’re in a foreign country with no support system and no one who knows you well, you’ve got to do what’s best for yourself and look out for Number One. So, I don’t blame that couple for peacing out. Blaming others for your problems is a total waste of time.
Going forward, I hope to develop some sort of routine here, and of course focus a lot of energy on teaching. Teaching here so far has been great. The curriculum is relatively easy to work with and the students are chill and pleasant. Hopefully with time I’ll adjust.