Goodbye Jon – hello Korean classes and Kimchibilly, Japan and uncertainty

Somehow June has been and gone. How did that happen? It seems that I spent the entireity of June saying “blimey is it already June?”. It was mainly in my own head so you may not have realised.

So exactly a month ago Jon, my twice ex-housemate left Korea to rejoin his family and his new fiancé (didn’t see that one coming), Ashley, in Great Britain.

I can’t help feeling a little wrong-footed here. Following my self-assurances that getting a job over here would be too easy if anything, it took months of nothing to happen before I finally got a position, thanks to Jon. We spent a lot of that cold, cold winter wandering about Seoul, socialising with the local teachers and Koreans we knew, watching weird Korean television and talking about breaking technology news a bit too much.

I find myself trying not to be sentimental, so, cheers Jon. You were a pretty good housemate (again), don’t think I’ll enjoy Korea as much in your absence.

I think that I’ve just had a month-long pang for being back in England. I’ve recently missed both the summer solstice and Glastonbury Festival – two of my regular summertime land-marks. Not to mention cycling about to old pubs on weirs, arguing with people who think it’s a good idea to put ice in cider (cretins), wandering about Bristol with my favourite friends and generally soaking up the good times.


That was the line I’m drawing under that, there’s plenty of time for those things when I’m back at home. Should really be making the best of my time in Korea.

Up to a few weeks ago, I had the rest of my time here pretty mapped out, with only a flourish of details following. I was going to extend until February, possibly take the trans-Siberian back to Europe with Rich and then head back to Seoul for another year (at least). At this moment those plans seem quite a bit less certain and my remaining time here shorter as I’ve been taking about returning to the UK with Ha Young, possibly even this year.


Other things:

I’ve started going to a more formalised Korean-language class – I joined the CLS (Conversational Learning Seoul) group to get some more Korean practice. It’s been useful and I’ve met some more people, which is always nice. It’s also free and is staffed by volunteers which is just lovely. Click on their logo above for the facebook page with more info.

I saw the RockTigers in Hongdae on Saturday. Their genre is rockabilly with Korean lyrics. They call it Kimchibilly, seriously, they even have a song all about kimchi called Kimchibilly. They are regulars on the Seoul indie scene, not that I knew there was one, so I hope to see them again soon. It’s so refreshing to get some real rock band music in this country where just about every music artist is either singing recycled love-ballad pulp, weird-old-man crooning or as the largest majority, bubbly lobotomy-victims harping on about LCD screens for whichever electronics company owns them. This is exactly the kind of culture I hope spreds in Korea. Click on the picture above for their profile on ReverbNation and links to their facebook/twitter/download stores.

Final thing, my holiday time is looming at the end of this month. 50% of the time I’m allotted per-year at a hagwon. It’s been a bit uncertain as to what I am to do with it. Ha Young and I were planning on perhaps Burma, but since she can only get two days holiday from her company, that’s out the window. It looks like I’m going to go with my original plan and head off to Japan for a week of hitching with a friend I’ve met at the CLS classes! Half way through we may be visited by Rich and his Mum, who’s visiting him over here. I hope the spattering of Chinese symbols goes some way to helping me navigate Japan. I’m going to dedicate tonight to learning their phonetic alphabet. I hope it’s as scientific as hangul.


About Dave
I used to teach English in Korea. I used to write in this blog reasonably regularly for a fair while, take a read why not?

One Response to Goodbye Jon – hello Korean classes and Kimchibilly, Japan and uncertainty

  1. Pingback: Hongdae Photo Day « Bristol to Seoul

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