12 September 2013

Bittersweet Bye-Bye

One of the toughest things, I think, about living abroad is making friends. That is, making friends with a bunch of people whose habitation in Korea is mostly short-lived.
As foreigners in this country, we automatically have one thing in common: we're foreign. We all have the drive to explore something new. We have many reasons for doing so, including a job, travel, money, new adventures, or "finding" oneself. Still, it is relatively easy to start a conversation with a foreigner, since a lot of us are from English-speaking countries, and don't speak Korean.
It's really fun to meet people from other cultures, and to compare how different or similar they are. In the teacher's perspective, I like to hear how others work in their classrooms and what kind of students and coworkers they have.

However, a lot of these friendships are cut short by time allotted by visas, job opportunities, homesickness, etc. It's not that these friendships have to end, necessarily, it's just that distance does put kind of a strain on trying to build a stronger bond.
I think the worst part is when you get the feeling, "Hey, I wonder what so-and-so is doing," only to message them and realize that they are living hours behind you, most likely asleep, and won't be answering you for a while. I suppose the same happens to people who are back home, wondering about friends in Korea.

It's difficult to say goodbye to some people, as you know in your mind that you probably won't be seeing them again.

Just to make this post a bit lighter, I am pleased to say that I have met some awesome people in the short time I have been living in this country. Every six months brings a new batch of teachers fresh off the plane, giving the city plenty of new faces to meet. Some of those may be here for a long time, some may take a midnight run in the next month. Though while they are here, I'd like to think that one of the positive aspects of living and working in Korea is meeting new people.

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