This is just a little update mostly about money money money. Everybody’s money. Our money, Korea’s money, and then our future money, I suppose.
We’re pretty chuffed to announce we paid off Chris’s loans in full over a month ago. It was a pretty nonchalant deal, no parties were had or thanks shouted to the heavens. We paid it off and by the time it cleared we still owed a dollar in interest so we paid off the dollar and that was the end of it. We always knew we would pay it off in Korea easily so they were never a crushing force on us. Which was lucky but not really because luck didn’t get us to Korea.
Korea apparently has enough money to renew all the English teachers. This is really quite comical if you remember this time last year. If you don’t, here’s the story.
A bunch of places fired all their teachers. Particularly the city of Daegu (where we almost went instead of Daejeon). Daegu claimed it had no money so they fired a lot of people. Most everyone else left out of fear of losing their jobs later anyway. Now Daegu is sending out emails to all those people offering them their jobs back. Whoops. Except “whoops” couldn’t possibly apply to a government making that big of a mistake.
Daejeon offered us our renewal earlier this year than last year which means their budget was finalized earlier. Aka things are probably going well for our office of education. Maybe things are completely stable again. Now if only the exchange rate was better for us when we send money back.
Our Future Money:
The renewal page landed on our desks two weeks ago. I’m not exaggerating when I say we’ve been talking about renewal on a near daily basis since August. Almost everyday if not about twice a week. We sort of hate this job. On and off. If we don’t hate the job we are very very tired of Korea’s shenanigans. So there has been loads of discussion of the benefits of staying or going.
If this job was in any other country I could maybe do it for 10 years but sadly it’s not. Korea just is not a very good place for us. We aren’t happy here. The poisonous air, yellow dust, almost getting hit by cars and buses en route to school. The xenophobic and racist behaviors – getting glared at, pointed at. Kicked out of taxis, ignored in shops, laughed at. Koreans go all out -they’re either the nicest people or the biggest jerks.
So we looked for other jobs – some low paying jobs in Japan, long term positions in Hong Kong or Taiwan and even looked at going to Rwanda or Macedonia through the Peace Corps. But we forgot how much it sucks to apply for new jobs. If you think it’s hard in the US try doing it across borders and time zones. We would be requesting papers from home to be shipped to Denver then to Washington DC then to Korea where we would ship it to whomever we needed it to go to (Japan, Taiwan, etc). This would take over a year so we’re already SOL.
Ultimately we’re staying.
- We know what’s going on and we’re pretty comfortable. Next year should be a breeze. All of our lesson plans are already made and fine tuned. We know how things are run and it will be easy. This also means we’ll have about 18 extra hours of paid time we usually put to lesson planning turning into free time. We could write a book, learn a new language, read books or do anything we want with that time. We’re thinking of next year as a huge opportunity to prepare for and build skills up for the next thing. Whatever that is.
- We like the class of 2017. They were first years when we started teaching. We’ll see them through to their graduation in February 2017. Those kids are all pretty amazing so I’m happy we got to stick with them. The class of 2018 on the other hand – we’ll both be happy so say goodbye to them.
- We’re making good money here. We would have loved to go to the low paying job in Japan because Japan is an amazing, civilized, clean place. Teaching there for a year would almost worth it. But Korea pays almost the best in all of Asia. And I’m sure you can guess why- because Korea isn’t an easy place to live and so all the benefits and high salary was created so people would be enticed here.
- We’re building up a fund. We paid Chris’s loans off and so now we’re looking at saving quite a bit of money next year (how much is nunaya business ). Half of that money is going to go to bumming around the world or bumming around the United States until the money runs out. The other half is going to go to getting our feet planted firmly wherever we’re going to live next. So far this is the plan but it could change. Also if you don’t like this plan we really don’t care. It doesn’t effect you anyway.
- Things change when it’s the last... This year has been bad because it was the middle. Nothing was new any more but there wasn’t any pressure to go try something new because we always knew deep down we would stay for another year. Next year should be a little different psychologically because it’s the last.” Do you want to do X?” “Not really but we probably should because we won’t ever get a chance to do it again.”
The papers are already in with the office of education and we should find out today if everything is okay. In the tiny chance that we’re losing our jobs then things will be very very interesting and busy for the next few months.