Jun 26, 2012

Other titles considered for this blog:

Update: My brother also suggested "I Can See North Korea From My House." 
Also a solid contender. 

1.   Megan In Korea
2.   Insert Seoul Pun Here
3.   The UnAmerican Dream
4.  Annyeong, B*tches!
5.  Bigger Fish (This comes from one of my mantras for the last few months, which has been variations of  "Whatever. I have bigger fish to fry.")
6. A Broad Abroad (as it turns out, this title has been claimed)
7.  I Love The Smell of Kimchi in the Morning
8.  I Hate The Smell of Kimchi in the Morning
9. I'm Average-Sized in Asia

and last, but certainly not least:
10.  F*ck This Sh*t, I'm Moving to Korea.

Jun 20, 2012

Article: The Financial Exiles

"As they’re confronted with [..] few job prospects, many young Americans like McCloskey have suspended their plans to succeed in their own backyards. Instead, they’re biding their time abroad, working in countries where decent pay, a prestigious title, a pension, and affordable health care aren’t just wistful aspirations. Often, there’s no experience needed. These recent grads are moving to Asia, where there is a demand for native English speakers and the pay is relatively good."

That's an excerpt from this article. I think it does a really good job at articulating the financial situation that many people my age face (cough cough we're all broke cough cough), and the recent phenomenon that I discussed in an earlier post about how young Americans are being forced to leave the country to gain financial security.

Wow. That was a long sentence.

Still waiting for my contract and start date.

Peet out.

Jun 16, 2012

An Open Letter To My Coworkers

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

If you're reading this, it means that you have recently found out that I have been keeping a rather large secret from you for the last six (ok, fine, eight) months. Yes, the rumors are true. I'm moving to Seoul, South Korea. I'll spend a year teaching English to Korean elementary school children.

I'm terribly sorry for not letting you in on The Big Secret, but this was such a fragile house of cards that I couldn't risk telling everyone, only to have it all come crashing down around me.

As you may have gathered, I am tremendously excited and nervous about embarking on this adventure. I invite everyone to follow my blog and keep in touch.

If you want to read through it now, I suggest you start at the beginning.

Don't worry, I'm not leaving until the end of August, so you'll have plenty of time to say goodbye.

Annyeong for now,

Jun 14, 2012

Barely Literate

Hey everybody-- look! I can write my name!

메간 핕

Google tells me that this doesn't mean anything obscene in Korean, but I'm always wary. My single-syllable last name has gotten me into trouble in other languages (for example, in Arabic, I would be related to Dr. House).

So all you Korean speakers out there (cough cough Britta), please alert me if my last name (or my first name, for that matter) means something awkward, or if you have a better spelling suggestion.

핕 out.

Jun 11, 2012

Korean cuisine, you are my Everest

One issue that keeps coming up when I tell people about The Epic Adventure (see what I did there?) is this: "Isn't the food...like... weird?"

The simple answer is no. It's not weird. It is, however, very spicy and contains a lot of meat. The meat thing might not be an issue to most Americans, but if you know me in real life, you know that I have been a vegetarian for the last 8 years.

"But Meg, what are you going to eat?!" When in Rome, my friends. When in Rome.

This brings me to the meat of this post (pun absolutely intended). I have begun the slow process of easing meat back into my diet.  At this point, I am proud to announce that on Saturday, while at a bar to watch the Celtics crash and burn in game 7 against the Heat, I ate... wait for it... A CHICKEN WING! That's right, friends.  I, Megan Peet, held a chicken wing in my bare hands... and ate it. It was even the kind that had a bone in the middle.

Aside: It may very well be true that all chicken wings (the food, not the poultry anatomy) have a bone in the middle. Forgive me. I am new to your meat-eating ways.

 Naturally, the people I was with were aware of what a momentous occasion this was, and watched me take my first bite with baited breath. I think they were secretly hoping that I would have some dramatic reaction, along the lines of gasping with pleasure and/or projectile vomiting. To those friends (you know who you are), all I can say is that I'm sorry I'm such a champion. Much to their disappointment, absolutely nothing happened.

As sad as they were, this was a very reassuring piece of information to me. The knowledge that I can eat greasy, fatty meat without my stomach being all "OMFG I HATE YOU" is one less thing I have to worry about.

Now to the other issue at hand, which is developing a tolerance for Korean spices. Now, I'm pretty good at tolerating spicy food-- for a white girl (a comment that provoked a chuckle from an Indian friend of mine recently).

My goals in this department are twofold:

1: Become more tolerant of the presence of hot chilis in my food

2: Develop an amicable relationship with that Korean staple: Kimchi

I would like to take this moment to introduce my two new friends:

I've started drizzling a few drops of Sriracha sauce on just about everything I eat. My aforementioned friend said this was definitely the way to increase spicy tolerance. I believe her. 

Also, last night I made Kimchi Fried Rice.  My theory is that the best way to get acquainted with a new food is to cook with it. When you cook with something, you become accustomed to the way it smells, the way it feels, how it reacts when cooked, and how it interacts with other foods.  

I think (hope) my fried rice turned out. It certainly smelled tasty. I haven't actually tasted it yet. It's currently sitting in a tupperware container so I can eat it at work tonight.

Before you ask, no, I didn't add any meat to it. 

Baby steps, people.

Update: The fried rice is delicious. I drizzled some sriracha on it before I brought it to work, and I still found myself thinking "This isn't even that spicy." Look at me go!

Jun 5, 2012

The Dog Days Are Over

Well, it's here. I got my confirmation from EPIK that I have a position in Seoul! I can't believe it. I'm sitting at work right now, trying to keep it under control.

Be cool, Meg. Be cool.

I can't believe this is happening.  For the last few weeks, I've been battling secret (or not so secret) fears of being placed in a tiny town where nobody speaks English, or worse.... getting rejected all together. Along with those fears came the feelings of "Gee, Meg, if you're so afraid of really experiencing a small town in another country, maybe you're not cut out for this in the first place." It was a fun little spiral of self-doubt and (some) shame.

But that's all over now! Don't you worry no more. Gonna go west... to the sea...

Ahem. Sorry. Sometimes I burst into Elton John lyrics when I'm anxious.

Anyway, now I have a teeny bit more waiting. I'll get my contract in the mail some time in the next few weeks. From there, I can go to the Korean consulate and get a visa, and then I can get my plane ticket.

In the meantime, I get to break the news to my boss.

Meg out.