Year 2 in South Korea

I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in Frankie and Benny’s at Birmingham Airport tearfully saying goodbye to my parents over a lemon and lime. I assured them, and myself, that this would only be for one year, and it would fly by. My mum replied that we didn’t know how we’d feel in a years time, it might not be just one year, and that it was absolutely fine if it wasn’t. Still I insisted that it’d just be the one year.

Turns out mums really do know best. Who knew?

We recently decided to extend our stay in Korea for another year, and are in the processing of re-signing at our current schools. It was a surprisingly difficult decision to make actually, in some ways harder than deciding to come here in the first place. So far it has been over nine months since I last saw my wonderful and incredibly supportive family. I am counting down the sleeps until I go home for Christmas (161 to go!), and I miss each and every one of them like you wouldn’t believe.

However, we only have two months left of our initial twelve month contract and I am nowhere near ready to say goodbye to this fascinating country and the experiences it is giving us. Every time I look at the BBC website I see various doom and gloom headlines, not only about the UK, but also about Europe, and I can’t help but wonder what we’d be coming home to.

Currently South Korea just has more for us; independence, a stable job, and good money combined with a good lifestyle. All of that compared to England’s measly offering of living with our parents (I love you Mum and Dad!), working in the village pub, breaking into my childhood piggybank just to fill my car with petrol and only going to the cinema when it’s Orange Wednesday? Sorry England, but Korea wins this round. Hands down.

Countdown to Christmas

I absolutely love Christmas. It’s always been a big deal at home; huge, real Christmas trees, shopping for new decorations, big family get-togethers, leaving a Guinness out for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. This is my first Christmas away from home, in a country that doesn’t really celebrate it, and it’s kind of strange.

My Korean co-workers seem to be constantly amused at how excited I am about Christmas, and how many cards and boxes have ended up on my desk. I’ve been counting down the sleeps every morning with my kindergarteners and teaching them Christmas song after Christmas song.┬áSince December 1st I have been nagging Nath to let me put up my Tesco Value Christmas tree that I found in Homeplus, and this is the finished product!

My wonderful Mum sent me a package of proper Christmas decorations for my apartment so it feels like the next best thing to being at home (thank you Mum!). Another huge thank you to all of our parents for the growing pile of presents underneath the tree, and a big enough supply of Cadbury’s to last us until the summer! Thank yoooooooou!