So the other night I was having a drink with my friend Mina when we started talking about life in Korea and other countries. It was a nice talk, what we look for in a country, what we like about Korea and whether or not to stay here. See, if you haven't talked to me within the last couple of days then you wouldn't know the reason for this discussion. Perhaps you're thinking, as I have been saying for the last few months, that Debbie is leaving Korea in October and then moving to the UK, right? Well, yes I've been talking about that for about a year now. Now as the time to depart Korea approaches (46 days) I am looking more intently into the logistics of moving to the UK for work and eventually graduate school.
In looking for a work visa that would allow me freedom in work, I discovered that to apply for this visa I'll have to pay 1200 USD...just to apply. Well, I gave myself a heart attack when I saw that. So it's just been a bit of a shocker to realize that not only must I wait 3 months after getting 5000 in a bank account to apply, but I must also have 1200 to give them to look at my application and pray they accept it! Oh yes, and I have to still pay bills and live for that time as well! ugh, to say the least.
The last few days, therefore, have been spent in serious contemplation on what I am going to do- whether to apply for this visa and hope for the best, or try to get in on a tourist visa and then wing it and pray to get a regular visa before being deported for illegally working in the UK, or put it all on hold and apply to graduate school in London earlier than planned and in the meantime work in the states, or choose to return to korea for a third year, where I know I can get steady work and be able to delay theatre work for yet another year. This was the dilemma I had all weekend.
So voicing my concerns to my friend Mina was a good way to weigh options (I also subsequently did this on the phone with Laura and then with my mom today). Along the way we somehow came up with a title for a book I could write. It will be called Surviving Kimchiland. Either it will be a how-to guide to surviving life in Korea or a funny travelogue of an individual american woman living in a diminuative country of unity. (the diminuative is referring to the size of the people here...I've had so many experiences because of my curves here that I could fill a book of just those stories!) I'm intrigued by this idea of writing down stories that have happened to me here. I don't know if it'd ever be published. But it could be a really fun project to work on while I'm living at my parents' house working as a substitute teacher! So who knows...maybe someday there will be, next to Bill Bryson's humorous travel books, my own humorous account of spending two years living in Korea (hey, if a guy can write a book about traveling around Ireland with a fridge, then I can do this!). I guess we'll see what happens. It would be good to get down all that's happened to me here before I forget it all!
Oh yeah, about the decision on whether to apply for the visa...I'm going to do it. I realized, talking to Laura and my mom, that if I were to not do it because of money, then I would always wonder if I could have gotten it and whether my life would end up differently because of it. So, I'm going to take that chance. Sure, finances are going to be tight for awhile, but I'll make it work. I want to go to the UK. I want to work for a couple years before going to graduate school there, so this is what I have to do. Wish me luck!