The best of this week’s quotes from my life in South Korea
Around three weeks ago, I was informed that the English teaching program at my school would no longer be continuing and I would have to search for a new job. Now, searching for a job is fine. I’ve job hunted lots of times in my life. I’ve job hunted when I had a job just to see if there was anything better out there. I’ve job hunted in Ireland, in England, in various other European countries but nothing, nothing, compares to job hunting in Korea. Nothing.
What’s important here isn’t qualifications. It’s isn’t experience, references or personality. It’s are you pretty and are you white, and mostly, are you male?
Questions I’ve been asked by recruiters:
Recruiter: ‘Are you a vegetarian? It’s very important to the school that you’re not a vegetarian.’
Recruiter: ‘Are you religious? They like Christians.’
Recruiter: ‘Do you have lots of friends?’
Phone rings once. I pick it up. It cuts off.
I get a text: ‘Call me for interview.’
I head to the desk to get a pen and paper to call the number back and write down any information the caller gives me.
Phone rings again.
‘Hello. I message you. You get my message?’
Me: ‘Yes, just now. I….’
‘Do you have Kakao talk? I only talk on Kakao talk.’
Me: ‘Ummm, well, yes but I don’t use it. Can’t we just talk on the phone? Like we are now. On the phone.’
‘Why you no use Kakao talk?’
Me: ‘I usually just talk to people on the phone. We can’t do that?’
‘No, we will communicate by email.’
And then he hung up. He’s since emailed me three time, called me four times and text me twice. He’s been flagged on my phone as ‘Crazy Person’.
I turn up to a job interview at a ubiquitous looking glass building.
Recruiter: ‘This is the 3rd largest church in Korea.’
Recruiter: ‘Oh, I see you are Irish. I have Irish friends. When I go drinking with them, I always wake up and think f**k!!…Do you drink?’
Me: ‘I would like a job in Seoul.’
‘I have a job in Suwon.’
Me: ‘Suwon is not in Seoul.’
‘Suwon is in Seoul.’
Me: ‘No, it’s not. It’s far from Seoul.’
‘Suwon IS in Seoul.’ (Note: Suwon is NOT in Seoul)
Me ‘No, it’s too far.’
‘You can get to Seoul easily by train or subway. It’s very quick. It’s in Seoul.’
‘It’s not in Seoul…I lived in Cheonan. I know where Suwon is!’
Her: ‘I will call you back.’
‘You have an apartment.’
‘You will move.’
Me: ‘No, I don’t want to. I want to stay in my apartment. It’s my apartment.’
‘You don’t want to move?’
Me: ‘No. I live in the apartment. I don’t want to move.’
‘Hmmmmm, but if you move you will be 2 minutes from school. Now you are 30 minutes.’
Me: ‘That’s ok.’
Loooooong pause like I’d just said the sky was green and it was about to rain kittens.
Trying to convince me to go to Cheonan, a 90 min journey south, to work.
Him: ‘Cheonan is not that far away.’
Me: ‘Yes it is. It’s a bus ride. A long bus ride. And I’d have to be with the kids 9 til 9.’
Him: ‘You will have Korean teacher.’
Me: ‘That’s not a help. It’s too far.’
Him: ‘It is short. Short bus journey. And then we will pick you up at the train station.’
Me: ‘I lived in Cheonan. I know where it is.’
Him: ‘You….you lived in Cheonan? Before?’
Me: ‘Yes, for two years.’
Him: ‘You don’t want to go to Cheonan?’
Me: ‘No, no I do not.’
And finally, asked during an interview when the interviewer noticed I live in Gangnam, an affluent area of Seoul’s elite (except I live in the part that’s not rich and elite and is full of meat restaurants and hookers):
‘Ah, do you live Gangnam style?!!’
Referring to this video, with it’s addictive beats and disco style, it’s been played constantly over here:
This week, The Canadian One and I ventured to see Snowpatrol.
Mam: ‘I dunno why you like Snowpatrol.’
Me: ‘They’re Irish!’
Mam: ‘So is Jedward!!!’
Me: ‘I think I’ll have some peanut butter.’
The Canadian One: ‘We don’t have any peanut butter.’
Me: ‘I saw some in the fridge.’
The Canadian One: ‘Oh, that’s empty.’
Me: ‘Then why’s it in the fridge?’
The Canadian One: ‘To make the fridge look less empty.’
For more Quote Friday’s, check out: