Looks like I picked the right time to high-tail it outta here!
It may seem like Korea’s in the news a lot but trust me, the coverage you’re getting on CNN or BBC is just the tip of the ice berg. All everyone talks about is FTA and mad cow disease here (at least that’s how it feels). The protests are daily and if you live in my area (close to the presidents house) then evidence of unrest is around you night and day. You saw the huge protest on the news, but there are smaller protests daily. The police presence is up, of course, as well. Unfortunately, traffic to my area of town has been diverted more than once. I have even had a cab driver refuse to take me here last weekend. Even better, he told me I shouldn’t go there— thanks but… I live there!
The protests have for the most part been peaceful, it’s not like I live in fear, but it is worrisome as it takes just one idiot to cross the line– and if that were to happen I wouldn’t want to be there! Obviously, I avoid the protests as much as possible!
I was saddened by how the debate has come up in my classrooms— muttered comments, more discipline problems and rude behavior than normal plus some inflammatory essays about the topic (people keep assuring me this is not fanning anti-American sentiments– my response: Are you f*%@ kidding me???)
Don’t get me wrong, most Koreans are as friendly and polite as usual, but situations like this can really be used as an excuse for bad behavior by some. I won’t get into my opinions on the debates here– if you want to know why– read this guy’s experience and this article.
I went to the beach last weekend with friends and had a lovely time. I can’t believe I have one more weekend left before taking off. This week will be filled with grading essays and finishing up at work. This weekend will be a few goodbye drinks and a friends wedding.
Next wek, everything I’ve been putting off all month (fun, fun) visas, post office, getting rid of things and canceling utilities. I will leave for Uttaradit on the 27th.
Wish me luck!