As you can tell from the direction our blog has been taking, David and I are looking for new work. This is very difficult for reasons I have already outlined in this post. So we (mostly I) began looking for work in other countries. As our search continues, I have become more and more depressed about the prospect of going to another country (with our main option being China because of the roaring English market there). Almost all the jobs I find seem a bit sketchy at best and like a complete scam at worst. David and I took a leap to come to South Korea, one we admittedly should have been more careful about, and we are not ready to make the same mistake twice in another country. So, we have decided to FIGHT. We are not going to be pushed around by some obscure boss that hardly even shows his face. We are going to threaten, kick, punch, and scream our way to a letter of release. Even if we have to wait for the investigations we have going to come to fruition, we will do it. So on a more positive note than of late, I wanted to make a list of reasons David and I find staying in South Korea so highly appealing.
1) We can easily read the language. Korean is one of the easiest, if not THE easiest, languages to learn how to read. Unlike other Asian languages, Korean has an alphabet and not a character based writing system. David learned how to read in about one day and I learned a little slower over the course of a few weeks. We can now read any sign presented to us, maybe not well or quickly, but we can do it. Going to another country and not being able to read anything, sounds like a nightmare when we are both so used to understanding what little we do in day-to-day life.
2) The perks here are almost unheard of in other countries. When paid on time and in full, you can make a lot of money here. From all the research I’ve been doing, I only found one job that we both qualified for that paid us more than we are supposed to be making here. However, it was a two year contract. On top of a cushy living wage we get free accommodation, air fare reimbursement, a huge end of contract bonus, and a fair amount of paid vacation, is part of the contract. Like I said, IF you have a good job that adheres to these guidelines, it feels like a dream job.
3) The government has support systems for foreigners. While I haven’t done a lot of research into other countries, I feel like Korea has a pretty good system for foreigners, even though it takes a long time. The Labor Board and Immigration will do investigations and force employers to pay money and allow you to switch your visa. This will only take place after the investigations however.
4) Even though this has been a bad experience, we really like Korea. Korea has lots of great things going for it. Cheap delicious food, really awesome and hospitable people, cheap travel options, and lots of beautiful scenery to name a few.
5) South Korea is a developed nation. Contrary to what some people might believe from hearsay, gossip, or confusion between North and South Korea, South Korea is very much on par with the U.S. in many ways. Yes, they have squat toilets. Yes, many Koreans enjoy sleeping on the floor (on mats of course). However, these things are all more cultural and choice related than anything else. Western style toilets are in every place that I have visited. And for every Korean that sleeps on the floor, just as many have mattresses. The economy is booming, opportunity is everywhere. South Korea is a great place to be nowadays.
6) The technology is far greater than most places (including the U.S.). I can’t even describe to you how great it is to press a button on a webpage and it loads almost instantly. If I were to travel to China, where the great firewall rules and fast internet is near non-existent (or so I hear), I would probably have a fit every time I had to use a computer. Especially after being so spoiled in South Korea. Even going back to U.S. speeds will probably be annoying at first.