A Korean story


Andrew Bolt was kind enough today to publish a photo of the view out the window at the Korean elementary school I teach at.

Reader JB asked for some stories.

click to enlarge

My reply is below (1. to share it here and 2. in case it goes walkies over there)

Happy to oblige. The kids are at a camp today so there’s lots of free time.

First came over in 2002 after uni. Basically, I think it was Mum kicking me out of home, plus I’d piss-farted around at uni too much and journo jobs are hard to get. Thought “why not?” and jumped in the deep end.

It was after about nine months of teaching ESL at an after school academy that I realised I really truly love this job.

It was an amazing year that first year as the soccer world cup was being played out here and South Korea did amazingly well – semi finals. After every match, you’d see cars and scooters going up and down the streets, honking horns and waving flags. Crowds of thousands would gather in the streets to watch the matches on massive screens. That year, I saw the true spirit of this little country; a country of people who’ve copped from all sides for centuries yet despite all that, have emerged strong, capable and rightly proud.

Came back permanently a few years later. Too many stories to fit into one comment, so I’ll tell just one.

It was about two and a half years ago, and a dear friend of mine back home been killed in a car accident.. It was a horrible time. Soon after was my 30th birthday. To say the least, I was in no mood to celebrate, however some Western and Korean friends organised a birthday party at the “German” brauhaus we used to frequent. We loved that place, the mix of Koreans and Westerners, the Filipino band who I’m still good friends with to this day.

Anyway, about three weeks prior to the party, an American mate had started dating this Korean girl. Two friends – a Korean and another American – decided to invite that Korean girl’s best friend – a Korean – to the party.

It was arguably the only night out since I was a teenager where I wasn’t looking to pick up.

That girl was beautiful, classy, smart, funny, elegant. She spoke good English but I was so down and nervous, I could only write notes to her on a napkin.

Two and half years later, and that woman is my wife.

PS. Mags. Any Korean stories for us?

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    • minicapt
    • July 13th, 2011

    … second opinion?

    Cheers

    • Can’t print most of the other stories…

  1. Great story! I had not read how you met Mrs. Bing-Bing, but it is definitely one to tell the children.

    • Certainly is! Glad you liked it, mate.

    • Winston Smith
    • July 14th, 2011

    Noice.
    Always good to hear a love story.

    • Dminor
    • July 15th, 2011

    I think I need a bucket…

    • The wife still can’t cook?

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