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Well. It’s happened. I had my 10,000th visitor on Friday, October 9, 2009.

I have spent a few weeks trying to think of a special commemorative post for this, but honestly nothing worthy has come to mind.

I guess I’ll just make this another reflection.

I’ve been a Seoulite for 1 year and 2 months. It really doesn’t sound like a long time, but trust me, it is. This city has its own personality to me now. Different areas have a different meaning to me. Gwanghwamun brings back memories of sipping a Starbucks latte on a cold November night. Apgujeong brings back memories of the shock and horror that I felt when I first arrived here. The mountains I’ve visited… Dobongsan, Suraksan, Gwanaksan, Bukhansan, and many others… the food I’ve eaten, the (few) friends I’ve made, the girls I’ve dated (I’m not a “playboy”)…

The confusion I’ve felt, the amazement I’ve felt towards myself when I finally figured out how to read Hangul, the sadness I’ve felt from being apart from my family, the sicknesses, the heartbreak, the feeling of being almost as a parent, and definitely as a role model to my students… Yeah, I know these are sentence fragments.

For me, the teaching side of this experience has been planting the seeds of curiosity in the minds of my students. The first step towards being a ‘lifelong learner’ is curiosity. The one thing I’ve always tried to infuse in my students is the need to know the unknown. I’m not talking about the origin of the universe, or theoretical physics, but I have always tried to bring a little something extra to my lesssons, other than strictly teaching English. This is why I love my science classes so much. We can start on a lesson about skin, and end up talking about the brain and nervous system.

I digress. Yeah I know that phrase is pretty cliché. And yeah, I know the ´on the e is pretty cliche as well.

I made this blog for a few reasons. One is so that I don’t have to repeat myself a 12 times about the same stories. When people ask about my experiences, I can just refer them to my blog. Another reason is because I simply love writing. Another is my narcissistic manor, hoping that people are actually reading my blog. The major reason was to inform potential English teachers who are thinking of coming to Seoul to teach.

I’ve tried my best to be honest about my bad experiences, while also being fair to the fact that I am somewhat uncultured, other than having a lot of Asian friends from my tutoring days at my alma mater, Brock University. At the same time, I have to be fair about my opinions on Korea, since I am pretty ethnocentric, I’ve come to a conclusion about ‘bad things’ that happen to us. No matter what, there’s always good in a bad situation. There is always a lesson to be learned from the bad things that happen to us.

I’ve also learned that I write my best posts when I’m either in a taxi or on the subway. I’m not sure why.

Well, now I know why. It gets me out and shows me things that I might have missed.

I was writing this post as I was on my way to sell my old hard drive to some guy, and I came out of the station to get a cab back home. I’m sick and I don’t want to spend time on the subway. ANYWAY. I came out of exit 6 of Jonggak (정각역) and there is this awesome drum and dance party going on. So, I whipped open my MacBook and made a video. I’ll post it along with this.

If I weren’t feeling like garbage, I would be out today, seeing the mountains or shooting the city. it’s a perfect day. Not cold enough for a sweater, but not cool enough that you’d be hot if you were wearing one. Not a cloud in the sky. And I’m stuck in my apartment, sick as a dog, watching House MD.

It’s days like this that will make me miss Seoul when I come back home. I’m already starting to make a mental list of things I have to do before I leave. I’m panicking because I haven’t been to the mountains lately, and before we know it, it will be winter again. I really will miss this place, and I hope I’ve done a good enough job to be able to return here again. Apparently job references are a big thing here. I plan to come back around August of next year to teach some more. My brother and his wife (!!) will accompany me. Hopefully I can talk them into coming to Seoul, since they’re considering Pusan.

I’ll end with a few more words, and I’ll try not to sound too philosophical. It’s probably only my parents and brother who will read this far anyway.

It’s been 14 months since I’ve come here, and I still can’t use my iPhone 3G. I miss and love my family. Half of my heart is in Thorold, the other half is here in Seoul. There are some things we can control, and some things we can’t. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a family like mine, who will stand behind you no matter where you are, or what you get yourself into.



  1. Great post Mike, keep it up.

  2. Great pictures and story lines, you are doing a great job keep up the good work. Sandy

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