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ever been to south korea?

tella

TRIBE Member
i've been given this excellent oppurtonity to spend some time teaching english in s.korea and i'm SERIOUSLY, SERIOUSLY considering it. i've done a shite load of research on the net but personal accounts from people who i can (somewhat) relate to is what i'm really interested in. has anyone been to south korea before, more specifically seoul? any good stories to share...bad experiences...pictures, anything? i want to hear it all!

serious replies are appreciated. boo-urns to whoever hijacks this thread. :cool:
 

MBoy

TRIBE Member
I think JEMZ went to korea last year to teach english. Might want to fire a PM his way. He had lots of positive things to say about the experience, from what I recall.

Cheers. (I say go for it, by the way... sounds like a great opportunity)

-D
 

Dave Lee

TRIBE Member
I'm Korean and and have been to Korea a couple of times... once in Grade 4 for 3 months and once in grade 11 for 1 month. I'd have to say it's a city that will overwhelm you if you're not ready for it.

The first time I went I was really embarrassed at not being able to speak fluent korean (I still don't really speak fluently but I sound like a "FOB"). They seemed to look down at you for not being able to speak the native language. I also heard if you were white or pretty much any other color than "Korean" you were looked down upon. Up until recently I've heard Koreans can be Xenophobic, and I've experienced that first-hand.

The second time I went there was a huge change. Speaking english was considered to be an asset, and the kids thought it was really cool. People of all colors seemed to fit in nicely too. The culture of the whole city (Seoul) seemed to change within just a few years. Things seemed to revolve around faddish culture and Americana.. pretty much like Japan.

Now getting to your question about teaching in Korea. I've heard both horror stories and stories where the person had a great time and had a great experience. The "great experience" stories seem to outweigh the "bad experience" stories though.

So before I ramble on senselessly any more I would have to say, if you're big on travelling and are very outgoing and socialble and have no problems getting along with people then go for it. Seoul is a great city with a lot of culture surrounding it (amazing day trips to be had).

If your program takes you to some of the other smaller cities you might have an even better time of it. I also hear Pusan is a great city to teach in (although I've never been).

Hope that gives some kind of insight.

dave
 

Skip

TRIBE Member
I lived in Seoul from 1994 to '98, four glorious years. I went to teach English initially and then me and a buddy of mine opened up a bar called The Reggae Pub in Seoul. It was awesome.

That said, Korea is definately a land of ups and downs. The people can be frustrating to deal with at times, and awesome at others.

Very crowded, and loads of cool shite to do. Be very careful with drugs there as they are super strict about that. (I have a buddy who spent two months in jail there for failing a piss test)

Be prepared for everything to be different. Be prepared to experience new shit, some good, some bad.

As for the nightlife, it absolutely rocks. Not too much in the way of raves, but my friend Scott actually started the first rave promotion company there. He actually just had Max Graham over two weeks ago.

What type of deal did you get offered? Be warned, many offers seem really great from over here, but when you get there, you realize that you got hosed. But hey, that's just your first year. That's one other thing, you may THINK you are only going for a year, but once you fall in love with Asia, you'll be gone gone gone.

Ane one final warning. I have 5, count 'em, 5 friends who all came back with Korean wives. Strange but true.

Cheers, and if you get there, have an OB lager and take a good look around, and realize that life is for livin'.

Peace.

Skip
 
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Skip

TRIBE Member
One other note,

I am one of the 5 who came back with a Korean wife (thank God). We just bought a house and are about to move in on Thursday.

YEAH for us!!!!!
 

rentboy

TRIBE Member
damn Skip...sounds like you had a great time...how did you settle back into the frantic society of North America after that???
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
i've heard a fair bit of really messed up stuff from people i know who've went.
i've only heard good things about japan though, save for the cost of living there.
 
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stir-fry

TRIBE Member
wow Tella, that sounds really hype!

i have nothing to offer to your questions, but i wish you lots of good luck if you decide to go!
 

Skip

TRIBE Member
Well, I'll tell ya, it sure wasn't easy. Reverse culture shock was WAY worse than the initial shock of going to asia.

I was home for 3 days, and I just had to pack up my backpack and head out. So I went camping all the way across Canada. It took 6 months to get from here to the west coast of Vancouver Island.

I then lived in a hippie commune in the forest on Van. Island for a month, then finally came back to the T-dot.

This is in 1998 (got back here from out west in Nov.) and to be honest, I don't think I'll ever totally re-adjust. Life here is really really FAST, and I have kind of got sucked into the same trap (the rat race) to some degree, and it does cause some inner torment every now and then.

But fuck, what are ya gonna do eh?

Smoke a nice bowl and say 'ta hell with it.
 

tella

TRIBE Member
<---isn't coming home with any wives!

i'm actually dealing with a consulting company called omega. so far, everything i've been told seems pretty good, i got a copy of the contract today. i would like to see some pictures of the apartment that i will be living in tho...and i'd still love to hear more personal accounts. i'm quite excited because i've been hoping to do something like this forever..but at the same time i'm quite scared..but it's a good scared.

thanks to everyone who replied. a special :mad: to rentboy for mentioning the leafs.

<---a habs fan at heart ;)
 
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Skip

TRIBE Member
Thanks MBoy.

Nice to bump into you every now and then on here.

Hope you're keepin' well.


By the way, did someone just private message me? It said I got a private message but I couldn;t view it for some reason.

Anyways, if ya did, just eamil me at
chris@freethoughtproject.com

Cheers.
 

HMHA

TRIBE Member
Korea

wish i could go to Korea to watch some of the world cup this year... but it ain't happen'in.

i've heard some mixed reviews about Korea but i would have to say that spending some time there will be nothing but a great learning experience.

good luck.

hmha
 

rentboy

TRIBE Member
Re: Korea

Originally posted by HMHA
wish i could go to Korea to watch some of the world cup this year... but it ain't happen'in.

i've heard some mixed reviews about Korea but i would have to say that spending some time there will be nothing but a great learning experience.

good luck.

hmha
Nick! i haven't seen you in ages...how's it going?
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
memories from my 3 week stay in soeul:

- very crowded
- excellent nightlife
- motorbiking through the most insane traffic in the world
- the reggae pub ;)
- the ladies in hongdai
- the *hill* in itaewan
- j.j.'s at the hyatt (wow)
- music intelligence
- saab
- the hodge podge
- that crazy restaurant on the river where the tables were actually in the water and the waitresses waded out to bring the food
- girls cannot smoke in public
- very racist but you learn to deal with it
- 99% of white guys get the "yellow fever" (including skip and company)
- crazy street markets at night
- soo-jee and ji-in

basically, i had the time of my life in soeul. it is like a different planet but you will come to appreciate (and resent) the differences. it is important to spend time in places like this because it gives you perspective on where you came from and where you will eventually choose to live the rest of your life.

it will be insane this summer because of the world cup.

i say go for it nat! :)

if you do decide to go, you should meet up with skip (a.k.a. parker) in toronto for a coffee so that he can give you the lowdown properly. i met skip my first night in itaewan.
 
G

Guest

Guest
s. korea

Originally posted by Klubmasta Will
memories from my 3 week stay in soeul:

- very crowded
- excellent nightlife
- motorbiking through the most insane traffic in the world
- the reggae pub ;)
- the ladies in hongdai
- the *hill* in itaewan
- j.j.'s at the hyatt (wow)
Traffic is much worse in Taipei.
I stayed at the Hyatt on top of the *hill*...its funny that I know exactly what you are talking about.

a few things to add to your list:

- beep em bob
- garlic
- kimchee (there is a kimchee museum in soeul as well)
- ladies and their HUGE make-up boxes
- prada knockoffs in itaewan

Seoule is a lot of fun and its easy to meet people there...i'd suggest going ;)

swack:eek:
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
^^^ i didn't think the traffic was nearly as bad in taipei. then again, i wasn't zipping through taipei on motorbikes so who knows.

ps. taipei rocks too. fuck, do i ever want to just hop on a plane and lose myself for a coupla months.
 

Tyler

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Klubmasta Will

ps. taipei rocks too. fuck, do i ever want to just hop on a plane and lose myself for a coupla months.

Be patient Will. I am sure you will more than lose yourself at the Burning Man.

;)
 
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