Today is Thursday, March 13th - a rare day off for me, the specifics for how I was able to get a day off in a society where such a thing is as rare as the hope diamond shall remain a secret. Let's just say it involved a lot of extra work in preparation for the day, and a bag full of cookies.
Working in Korea kind of gets under your skin - at least it does mine. I don't mean that in an entirely bad way - I simply mean that it can have a way of changing your outlook on what the working week can entail. For me lately, the "working week" has entailed a lot of work. The thing is though - most of it is by choice.
There is a certain sense of obligation that comes with most jobs here - even office people seem to opt to stay in the office with their co-workers late into the night in order to simply feel better about their productivity. Truth be told, that choice does not always increase productivity as much as it should or could, but it gives the impression of productivity, which at times seems to be of equal importance.
For me, I seem to have taken to the idea of "working to get-ahead". I'm not entirely sure what that means... but for now it seems to involve me choosing to work extra long hours, ensuring that I'm busing it into Bundang at least two days a week to shoot some online lessons for some extra cash and then booking it back to Suwon for some teaching action until 10 PM - somewhere in there is where I also find time to prep for both things, mark essays and do those boring little details like eat, sleep and clean the shower drain. Makes for a bit of a miserable existence if I stop and think about it. But when I stop and think about it, I also allow room for thoughts of coming home at the end of this first contract with less debt and a car that's paid for. It's kind of a nice idea.
But I've got better things to do today... beginning with having a shower, heading into Seoul, running into Harry Connick Jr. at Gyungbukgung Palace and getting a nice facebook profile pic of him and I playing Nintendo DS (sorry, Andrew). Then it's off to dinner with my good friend from home and off to sit in the front row for Harry's "O My Nola" tour. A review is coming this weekend - I promise.