Monday, October 15, 2007

Dinner........a second time round!!!!

I remember the restaurant exactly. It was the night that Sung Hyun picked me up for a date in his sisters car, 3 weeks before I was to return to Canada forever. It was also the night that I got my manager to write him a letter in Korea saying that I was unable to extend my contract and would be returning home soon, very soon.

He knew that something was off. Upon opening the letter it didn't take long for him to realize what the problem was. Folded it up he quickly hustled out of my house.

I'm sure he was crying..........

The car ride to the restaurant was quiet. Who am I kidding, I had only known him for 2 months and because of his limited English ability it was always quiet. But this silence was not soothing.

"It was nice to meet you...........we have fun together.............I think you are a great guy............." I was rambling and I am sure he didn't understand what I meant, even if he was listening it didn't change the fact that I was leaving.

"Look, don't be sad..........we have 3 weeks left, so let's have FUN!!!!", that's all I could say really!!

I'll never forget his response when I asked him how he felt.



Last month (a whole year later) we made a trip down the same stretch of highway up to the same secluded restaurant. All the uneasy feelings of the last time rushed back making me feel impatient and uneasy.

But I was happy to know that this time around there was nothing standing in our way. No invisible boundaries, visa deadlines, Korean letters. As my friend says it best 'love is not between country to country, but rather person to person'. And that's what we are, two people in love -- simple as that!!!!

I'm so lucky to have someone who is able to make me laugh. Someone who looks at the bright side of everything. And someone who has loved me with an open heart from day one.

I must say that I feel pretty blessed to have parents that support what I do. And although I am sure they want me back home a.s.a.p they continue to provide me with encouraging support and love.

My mom is a pretty easy going person and it doesn't take much to please her. She's the type of person that finds pleasure in doing the most mundane things -- laundry on Sundays or, when unloading the dishwasher, counting how many spoons, knives and forks there are, for instance. I knew that she would like Sung Hyun (and I was right).

My dad on the other hand................well let's just say that I told Sung Hyun not to be surprised if my dad didn't have anything to say about him.

I think it was really important, for Sung Hyun, to have my parents like him. Afterall Koreans do place a lot of emphasis on their families and marriage is really not a union between couples (as it is in Canada) as it is between families. Let's face it, if Sung Hyun's mom/ 5 sisters didn't like me, then most likely Sung Hyun would not be dating me now, that's just the way it goes.

Anyways last week I received this email from my dad. And since I don't have a strong bond with him like I do with my mom, This letter meant the world to me.

So thanks dad. I love you.

Regards your life - what can I say - It's your life. I would strongly
suggest you should live in Canada, however ...

with respect to Gym Guy being in Canada - there are programs for
immigrants: ESL (English as a second language); training (SIAST - if
he likes doing what he is doing presently) and quite frankly an energetic
person would have a difficult time not getting a job in our present market
conditions. From what I saw - he appears to be an honest, sincere gentleman
- only you can decide if he is the one. (Your mother thought I was the one - her
mother certainly didn't feel the same way).

... but trust me on the sunscreen.

Oh about the sunscreen...........does anyone remember that sunscreen song (or speech)?
Here it is:


Amanda said...

Awwww, so sweet! Very nice!

Professor Amy-Michelle said...

Hey Jenn,
Wow... that was a super sweet post you wrote. It was awesome. You two are my walking proof that romance isn't dead... it's alive! I love how your real life love story started out as the foreign girl meeting the local dude, and there being the language struggle. I can totally see your story playing out on the big screen.
All the best for you two. I love reading your stories and can only hope that'd be so lucky to find a guy like that. You're an awesome girl and so I know he totally adores you, as you do him.

Sandra said...

Hmmm. I honestly think it would be easier for you to get a job in Korea, than for SH to get a job in Canada. But that is something for the two of you to discuss. (love the butt scratching picture :)

Why am I here??? said...

Yah I will always have a job here is Korea. I'm white and I speak English.

But I don't think the demand for Native speaking English teachers will be as prevalent in 10-20 years. All these kids we are teaching now will grow up speaking English. The fad of hiring Western English teachers will soon fade out.

Korea is not my home. As much as I enjoy my time here and am willing to stay here for 5 or so years (giving Sung Hyun a chance to improve his English and enough time to set us up finacially) I am NOT willing to live here forever.

I miss my family and friends too much back home to not return there some day. Sung Hyun knows that!!!! I would be back in Canada now if I wasn't with him. I don't have the social support system here that I have back home. I love Koreans and embrace their culture but I will never be one, and they will never understand me. I'm an independant, thick headed, stubborn girl who refuses to adapt to a certain mold. I refuse to follow certain Confuscious rules and customs blindfully without questioning their impact on society, on women. I will always be an outsider, a foreigner.

Sung Hyun's job here is Korea sucks. Since he didn't go to university he is already looked down upon by many. He does labour work for his brother in law, working long hours 6 days a week and getting paid $800 less than me a month (not factoring in my free apt.)

Currently in my provice there is a shortage of skilled labour jobs (ie. plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders) who make a killing. These jobs, although strenous and difficult, are definately paid more than teachers.
So I think that is what my dad is talking about. Plus, I'm sure he does miss me and wants me to come home sooner than later.

Anways, sorry for the rant

Sunny sunny SUNNY said...


Ouch ouch ouch. OK that hurt.

I know plenty of Koreans who have settle quite nicely in other countries, so, I'd be on the side of you two hitching up and moving to Canada while you are still young enough to take advantage of some of those opportunities your dad speaks of. Because, I do think you are right about the market for foreign English teachers having some changes in the future.