Sunday, May 30, 2010

a life free of lies and a meaningful relationship...

Hopefully, this is the only time I ever do this in this blog.  I don't want this to be one of -those- blogs.

I left a lot of anxiety behind in Canada, and, for the first while, it had seemed to have stayed there.  Unfortunately, it's back, and stronger than ever.

I left a tumultuous relationship in Canada.  I will not go into the details, other than to say that I loved him more than anything, and despite many misgivings and hurtful actions towards me, I still do love him.

We stayed together for my first two months here.  That was the agreement, we would try and make this work.  Unfortunately, his view of making this work consisted of 1 email, created only out of the fact that I sent him an email first, and three or four short conversations on Facebook... in two months.  That was the extent of the effort, and I soon became jaded and upset.

Why?  Why would he tell me he wanted to make this work, and give me all of these grand plans for how we were going to make this work, and how, I would come back and we would get married and live happily ever after, and then, when I left, it was almost like I ceased to exist in his mind.  I tried to tell him numerous times, to no avail, empty promises of trying harder.  So, after trying too many times, and becoming disenchanted with this ever working, I told him I couldn't do it anymore.

It should be noted here that we've broken up a million times before.  I've been left feeling hollow and used, crying for months... and then I take him back every damn time.  No one ever believes it anymore when we break up.  We're one of -those- couples.

The problem, the reason it never sticks:  I love him too damn much... and, deep down, I hope he loves me that much, too.  He says he does.

Either way, I have come to realize that dealing with heart ache in another country, so far away from your loved ones, is hard.  And confusing.  And it makes you feel like you're having a breakdown.  Maybe I am having a breakdown.

I don't want this to define my year here, I want to be able to experience all that Korea has to offer, I want to live life and do crazy shit that I know I'll never get to do again... but some days my heart hurts so bad that it makes the rest of me hurt, too.

We had a month long fight.  We blocked each other from every part of our respective lives... except email.  We can never just get rid of each other... there's something about three years of dating and four years of being best friends that stops a person from being able to just remove someone from their life entirely.  I never recommend dating a friend, even if this whole thing works out.  It's too messy, too complicated, too painful, there's too much on the line.

We wanted to get married, we made plans to get married, have a life together, but it seems as though everything is telling us no.  But we keep trying, and trying, and trying, and trying, and trying, and trying, and trying, and trying... and then there's more trying.  It fucking sucks, excuse the language.

So, after fighting for a month, having a mid-week meltdown that I had to deal with by myself (loud music + crying + sitting on my bathroom floor with the shower on + bottle of soju = bad news bears [apologies to Noreen for the weepy, emo, "I'm going to die alone" facebook message, and many thanks for making me feel at least better enough that I could stop crying long enough to go to sleep]... luckily many Koreans go to work extremely hungover on a regular basis.  I just told them I was homesick), we've resolved to supposedly give this another try.  Again.  For the millionth time.  I -had- blocked his email, resolved that I could handle losing him.  I couldn't.  I unblocked him shortly after I blocked him in the first place.

So, what has this new episode included so far?  Me, trying to fix things, and him ignoring my emails and phone calls until I reach the breaking point and tell him I quit, at which point he assures me he loves me and that he just needs time.  Does he love me?  If he did, wouldn't he want to fix this, not go out and get plastered all the time and ignore me?  Or is that just me?

Either way, I'm reaching my wit's end.  I'm tired of being ignored, and having my fears that this will not change be realized.  Is this even a viable future relationship?  If he doesn't have the time to keep in contact with me here, to send me emails and arrange skype dates, and talk on stupid facebook chat, how will he have time for a marriage and a family?

This makes me feel stupid.  This whole relationship has made me feel stupid.  I'm in love with someone who makes me feel expendable... but every time I go to leave, we fight and fight and fight, and he waves our future in front of my face like a prize I'll never have, and tells me how much he loves me and how he'll never move on and he'll always wait for me... and I fall for it every damn time, like an idiot, and always come back, and things never change.  He has me wrapped around his finger, and I hate it.  NEVER DATE A FRIEND.

I told him that this was up to him now.  Two weeks of trying to get him to do the work to pull this back together, two weeks of trying to get him to communicate, two weeks of trying to get him to put in the effort, two weeks of ignored phone calls and emails... well, if he really does want this so bad, then he can do the work now.  This is effing ridiculous.  I told him that the ball is in his court... where I'm pretty damn sure it will just get kicked to the side and forgotten about... until I come back to Canada, at which point, all of a sudden he'll been keen to put effort and interest in again, after getting his fill, yet again, of single life while still, actually, in a relationship with me.

I should just get a rabbit, they're way less complicated and douchebaggy.  And at least rabbits are the cute kind of hairy, and you can train them.

So, here's to change, and me growing a pair of balls--figuratively, of course--if that change never comes.

In the meanwhile, I have to hang my laundry to dry (I miss clothes dryerssssssss), and I'm going to buy an exercise bike tomorrow, so I can watch Sex and the City all damn night and work my ass off--literally.

I swear this will be the last time my blog update consists of me complaining about my love life.  How embarrassing.  But, really, I just needed to vent.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

dancing for votes...

This weekend was a nice weekend.  It was relaxed and I had a lot of me time, which was nice, because I generally spend my weekends doing a lot of things.  I'm not going to complain about all of the stuff I find myself doing, because, honestly, after the past few years of not really doing much, it feels nice to... have a life?  But it also feels nice to have some time for oneself.  Also, there was some baking, roof relaxation in the sun, and spending some time with good friends involved! <3

So, Yeosu is having some sort of election, and it is coming up soon, resulting in some very noisy  noisiness around where I live.  Mipyeong-dong is generally pretty damn quiet and laid back (other than the fact that I live right by the university, and that means that all of the drunk university kids come out of the woodwork at night with their crying and yelling and singing and talking loudly.  Saying this makes me feel old... I used to be one of those kids, and it makes me sad that I'm now older than those kids.).  Anyways, I think campaigning works a lot different in Korea than it does in Canada.  For starters, the politicians put themselves wayyy out there.  As in, sometimes you see them standing in traffic wearing a big yellow or green sash and bowing at passing cars.  If -I- did that, I think it would become a good ol' fashioned Korean game of run over the foreigner.  Another different, the dancing.  Yes, you heard me right, dancing.  All this week the politicians have been sending out roving dance crews armed with mini trucks with not so mini sound systems.  There's choreography, there's matching dance outfits, there's big white gloves.  I'm not sure if who you vote for is actually based on their platform, or if it's like the Miss Universe pageant, sure your "if you could change one thing about the world, what would it be" speech counts for some of the grade, but your dancing and bowing skills also come into play.  And who could forget the swimsuit competition!

I'm going to maybe try and start incorporating pictures into this blog, if I can figure out how... I am not as blog savvy as I would prefer to be.  Oh, wait... I just figured it out.  Heh, I'm glad you were all here for that conversation.

My little monsters!  These are the kids from my after school class.  The class has changed a bit, some of the kids left and I gained some more.  I'll try and get an updated picture soon.  The little boy in the center of the picture who looks like he's doing work is one of my favorites.  I somehow managed to capture with my camera the one time this kid has EVER done work.  He's a little terror, but he's cute as hell.

I think when I get paid next week I am going to order an oven.  I miss not having one.  It'll just be a small oven, not like a real kitchen sized one.  They're only about $70 Canadian, can't really go wrong!  And, a baking adventure at Annie's apatuh this weekend has proven just how deliciously useful an oven is.  Brownies and fresh baked bread!  Mmmm mmmm.

I made lasagna this weekend... on the stove top!  Who knew it was possible!  It didn't have the delicious crusty baked cheese taste of oven lasagna, but, really, it was delicious.  I was impressed with myself.

I feel kind of sad having to go back to school tomorrow.  A longer holiday would have been super fab.  But, hey, summer is coming up soon!  The next few weeks will be filled with some fun stuff!  Taking the Seoul train with Annie (Seoul adventure, I'm so excited!  The only time I've been to Seoul is when I first got here, and that doesn't count!), and another Wando beach party (and who can say no to Wando?!  It's so beautiful there!).

Well, I am going to go reheat some delicious stove top lasagna and continue to relax until it's time to go to sleep and get rested up for another school day!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

i'm sort of like a neglectful mother...

Not that I've left any babies on busses or in carts at Wal-Mart (or E-Mart or Lotte Mart) or anything, I've just been neglecting my poor little blog.  I would feel worse if I haven't been so busy lately.

School has been going really well, I really love where I work, the kids are amazing for the most part, and I absolutely love the ladies I work with.  The ladies in my office are all really young, and three of them are not married, so we hang out a lot.  It's great!  It's nice to have some Korean friends as well as foreigner friends (also, calling oneself, and anyone not Korean, a foreigner all of the time feels really weird, but you kind of get used to it, I guess).  They speak English really well, and they're helping me learn Korean things here and there.  I've taken to playing Badminton with some of them on Sundays, and I've made other Korean friends through them.  I love it!

A while ago, on a Wednesday, a bunch of the ladies and I went out for dinner (we ate what I'm pretty sure was monk fish, which, if you google it, is possibly the ugliest fish you will ever see, but it was actually delicious), and then we went to Ti Amo, a coffee shop, and drank coffee for two hours and sat and talked and gossiped.  You get used to a majority of the conversation around you being in Korean, and you can almost figure out what they're talking about from the random body language and expressions that they use, sometimes they even translate the conversation for me.  Either way, I think the girls decided that they're going to try and set me up with a nice Korean man... which leads to the following Sunday at badminton when I was introduced to a nice Korean man, and told about one million times that he was single.  I won't deny that he's cute and really nice.  We were supposed to go out for dinner and a movie, but had to take a rain cheque because the private academy he's a Korean teacher at made him work late.

Shortly after, some of the girls and I went to one of their apartments and had pizza for dinner, and I was asked if I had been keeping in contact with said Korean man (he had asked me for my phone number Sunday night), and when I said that we had been texting and that we were supposed to go to a movie, they informed me that every night after he finishes school, he goes home and studies English so that he can talk to me better. Adorable?   I think so.

A few weekends ago, Robyn and I went to Gwangju, a city about two hours north of here by bus.  It was pretty damn awesome, we got a lot of shopping done.  I bought some new shoes, because I clearly have a problem and need to go into shoe rehab, and a really cool vintagey purse, and we went to the craziest coffee shop!  It was called Coffee Story, and the walls were wallpapered with velvet, and all of the tables had really lush velvet couches around them, and each table was made private by the fact that they were surrounded by curtains!

It was insane.  Also, our waiter was wearing heels.  Waiter.  Not waitress.  We got fresh Kiwi juice, and Robyn ordered what she thought was one or two scoops of ice cream, but we found out it was three scoops of ice cream, two pepero, two dollops of whipped cream with sprinkles, vanilla ice cream wafer cookies, two saltines (what the hell??), corn flakes, and underneath it all was fruit cup.

Random.  Oh, we also learned that in Korea, you cannot just assume something will be the same as it is in Canada.  Case in point: Hawaiian pizza.  We got really excited when we saw Hawaiian pizza on the menu at the Italian restaurant, but when it arrived, it was not what we expected.

Nope, instead of ham and pineapple, it was pineapple, strawberry, orange, and fruit cup.  Disappointment.  We did, however, get manicures!  The shop was really confusing at first, there was a lot of commotion, and we weren't sure what was going on, but then things got underway, and the girls that worked there were so nice!  The manicures took two hours, and cost 15 000 won, which is like $12 Canadian.  They tried talking to us in English and it was a lot of fun.  There is definitely a huge difference in vibe between Gwangju and Yeosu.
Oh, and the norae boys incident...  a bunch of us were hanging out at Annie's house, drinking wine, when we decided we should got to norae bang.  We got about halfway there before we found a soju tent (AKA a temporary looking shack made out of a metal frame and some tarps that Koreans like to drink in.  There's lights and everything inside, even a little kitchen for food preparation).

I had never been in a soju tent, so we decided it would be a grand idea, and our entrance promptly scared away the rest of the Koreans.  We ordered a bottle of soju, and, since a bottle of soju is only about $1.50 Canadian, we decided that we should probably order food too.  Fish was on the menu.  So, we picked out a sea cucumber.

The lady that was working in the soju tent promptly sliced up the sea cucumber and served it to us raw.  I swear it was still moving.  So, you have these wriggly, slimy chunks that you need to pick up with metal chopsticks and then dip them into this sauce that tasted like spicy spaghettios.  It wasn't bad tasting... it didn't taste like much at all, it just tasted like salt.  It was really leathery, though, kind of hard to chew through.  Anyways, eventually we went to the norae bang, where Annie and I were approached by a group of boys who wanted us to go to their norae room.  They kept asking us to do a sexy dance, so, knowing the sexiest thing possible, we sand Wannabe by the Spice Girls for them.  Oh how cruel we are.  Anyways, they ran out of time afterwards, and we invited them back to our norae room.  We finished up our time, and then tried to get them to take us to another bar.  Oh!  And when we asked them how old they were, they told us they were 24 (Korean years).  We were doubtful, especially since one of them tried to tell us his name was Rain (like the Korean pop star, next time pick something more believable) and that he was visiting from Japan on business. (I call bullshit).  Anyways, the attempts to get them to take us to another bar fell flat and they later disappeared... and so did we.

I was waiting to cross the street by my school about five days later, when someone stopped and stood behind me.  I turned and looked, and they sort of half smiled and looked like they were going to say something.  A few seconds later, the boy behind me (-boy- he was wearing a high school uniform) tapped me on the shoulder.  When I turned around to see why, he asked me if I remembered him.  He was one of the norae boys!  24 my ass.  Unfortunately, that light takes a painfully long time to change.  And it definitely took its sweet ass time that day, too.

There was also the bronchitis incident.  I knew I had bronchitis.  I've had bronchitis a million times before.  I am capable of detecting the symptoms shortly after they begin.  The only thing I needed was a prescription so that I could get over the stupid thing.  I went to lay down to go to sleep on Tuesday, I felt the watery lungness, knew I had bronchitis, couldn't go to the doctor Wednesday because it was Children's Day and a national holiday, so on Thursday, when I got to school my co-teacher told me she was taking me to the doctor.  Actually, I apparently looked so ill that the children were becoming alarmed, so my co-teacher switched some classes around so that she could take me to the doctor.  The doctor I was taken to was an idiot.  Grade A idiot.  I told him that I was prone to getting bronchitis and that I had the exact symptoms, he took one look at me and asked me if I was stressed.  Then he tried to tell me that I wasn't sick, that I was homesick.  And then when I refused to take that for an answer, he listened to my chest and told me that it was my stomach causing lung problems.  Seriously?  My stomach?  Really?  What a moron.  Of course, I don't have medical training, so when I argued with him for five minutes, I automatically lost in the eyes of my teacher, and I was told not to argue with him, paid the stupid doctor fee, and then had to buy the useless prescription.  I explained to my co-teacher on the way back what bronchitis was and told her that I had to go to a doctor that knew what the hell he was talking about so that I wouldn't get pneumonia and die.  She took me to the hospital after school.  I literally had to just tell the doctor there that my lungs felt liquidy and that I was prone to bronchitis before he told me that I had chronic bronchitis, ordered a chest x-ray, examined the x-ray, and then gave me a prescription.  When we told him what the other doctor had said he almost shit himself laughing.  At least SOMEONE knew what they were talking about.  Oi.

Of course, I got bronchitis right before the big Wando Beach camping trip.  And, to rub it in my face even more, my camping stuff all came in by that Friday.  I was not going to let a lung illness ruin my fun (I am clearly a good decision maker).  So, despite my better judgement, I decided I would bus to Wando that Friday with Anthony... and go camping.  Could I have stayed in a hotel on the beach?  Yes.  But, am I stubborn and cheap?  Absolutely.  Anyways, I was glad I went, because, despite being one of the only sober people there for a majority of the time, I had an amazing time.  Wando Beach is beautiful (and, it's not called Wando Beach, it's called Myeongsashimni Beach, it's just a lot easier to spell Wando).

I had a fantabulous time and I met a lot of really cool new people.  It was just a little chilly at night.  But, I took my meds and I'm all fine and well now.

Last Sunday I played badminton with my Korean friends.  I love hanging out with them so much, they're so kind and so much fun.  After badminton we all decided that we wanted to go to the beach.  So, we went to Lotte Mart and bought a bunch of stuff to make samgyupsal (basically grilled meat) on the beach.  We bought huge shrimp that were sooo yummy, and sausages and thick pork belly.  Oh man, food cooked over the fire is uber delicious.  And, the night before, I had gone out drinking with two of the guys from the group.  They're so funny and so nice.  It was a really good time.  I have a lot of fun hanging out with everyone, they're really laid back and so welcoming.  I didn't really expect to accepted like that by the people I work with when I moved here.

I may have broken a little boy's heart, as well.  I was leaving the cafeteria after lunch one day, when
I heard "Tara, Tara teacher" from the stairwell.  I walked back and looked up, and there was one of my grade 4 boys standing on the landing.  I waved at him and said hello, and he motioned for me to come up the stairs to him.  So, I did.  When I got up there, he got all serious, looked me straight in the eye and said: "Tara teacher be my girlfriend?"  It was the sweetest thing in the ENTIRE world.  Oh my goodness.  My heart melted.  Of course, I had to explain to him that I was way too old for him, and that we should just be friends.  And I swear I saw his little heart break.  It was so sad!

I will try and keep more up to date with my blog, and hopefully not neglect it for a whole month at a time, like I've been doing (eeps).  Anywhoodles, I must get back to lesson planning!