Seoul Man: 12 Months in Korea

Like so many other twenty somethings, I have come to Asia looking for excitement, adventure and hard currency. And rather uninspiringly I have become an English teacher. Yep! You too can become an English teacher. Just send a passport photo and some vague evidence of a college education and you can walk straight into a job that in most countries takes years of training.

Along with thousands of other unqualified drifters, I am teaching English in North East Asia. The aimless, sordid world we inhabit is something I will try and document over the next six months or so. While for others Taiwan or Japan was the destination of choice, Korea was my pick (due more to a free apartment and flights than any cultural considerations) and Korea is where I will stay…well for the time being at least.

Latest Update
13: Korea Recap
South Korea has been in the news recently with regards to the war in Iraq, with one of her citizens being kidnapped and killed. Conor Purcell observes the reaction.

Catch Up On The Journey
12: Magnum PI, Philippines
The Philippines is not a place for the faint hearted. But Conor Purcell believes an open mind will reward you with one of the most intriguing countries in Asia.

11: Office Space
Conor Purcell left the twilight zone of the Korean classroom for the altogether more civilised office space. He should have known better.

10: Anarchy in the R.O.K
More shocking to Conor Purcell than the car accident he was in, or the rape he witnessed, was the Korean reaction both these events.

9: Last Exit to Bucheon
Conor’s dismissal from the English school was a blessing in disguise and he offers his advice to incoming ESL teachers to avoid some of the traps he found.

8: Provincialism
Anti-American sentiment may be high in Korea at the moment, but Conor doesn’t think that should put anyone off from coming over to teach.

7: Pattaya, Thailand
Conor likens Pattaya to Florida on viagara after spending one night in the sex capital of Asia.

6: Dynamic Korea?
Korea would like to be portrayed as a dynamic, progressive country. Judging by their television content, Conor thinks they need to just grow up.

5: How to Survive Korea
Following Conor’s pointers on staying sane will help get you through your Korean adventure in one piece.

4: The Business of Knowledge
Conor’s take on the English teaching system in Korea is that it is being sabotaged at the most basic level.

3: The Nightlife
While it mightn’t rival the Patpong district of Bangkok or downtown Amsterdam, there is no doubt that Itaewon is the epicentre of sleaze in Korea.

2: Korean Logic
From what Conor has seen in his first few months in Seoul, ‘logic’ and ‘Korea’ are not two words frequently used in the same sentence.

1: Korea and the World Cup
Conor found that for most Koreans, the World cup wasn’t about football at all. It was about participating. Noisy they may be, football fans they ain’t.

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