Tuesday, August 10, 2010

an interview with gypsy feet

a year or so ago, i had a long correspondence with gypsy feet, who was teaching in korea at the time. she was just going to start a blog and for some strange reason, turned to me for advice. we had a really nice series of emails and i told her that a blog is first and foremost what you want it to be for yourself (i still believe that). and then she kinda disappeared. i'll admit i worried that i'd scared her off blogging, but it seems that i didn't after all...she just had lots of changes...moving back to her native canada after seven years in korea being the primary one. i think that's a pretty good excuse for not blogging. but she's blogging again and you should check her out...

1. what was the best thing about living and working in korea?

The feeling of freedom and adventure and travel. I love the feeling of living in a foreign country. Even though I was working and living and paying bills there, I was still a foreigner and could pretend to be a tourist whenever I wanted.  that was always fun. But my co-workers- expats and Korean, made it feel like home. My korean co-workers took me under their wing, as a guest to their country,and taught me things,no matter how long I had been there.

The expat community, as transient as it was at times, was like a giant safety net while you walked across a tight rope, trying to balance all parts of your new and old life at once. They were people that knew what you were going through, and understood your growing pains. I miss them all dearly. All those things gave my time in Korea more permenance and meaning, which I loved as much as the freedom and adventure.

2. what do you miss most about korea?

I miss all those peeps that made my life so wonderful. I miss walking through markets and practicing my Korean with the old aunties. I miss eating Soonduboo Jigae, spicy tofu soup when I had a cold. I miss walking though the artsy alley-ways of Hongdae and Samcheong. I miss the meaning and signifigance behind small mundane things. I miss the Lantern Festival for Buddha's birthday. I miss the humble nature of Koreans. I miss bartering. I miss my old appartment. I miss the unpredictability of living in a foreign country.

3. where will you go next? 

I've been contemplating heading north to Nunnavut Territory here in Canada. but right now I'm not sure. I'm kinda happy living and working in the woods of a national park for now.

4. how did you live so long without an iPhone?

Haha I have no idea. Not many people have them in Korea. It's definitely a "western" way of life. Once I got back to Canada I realized what I was missing out on... that's a lie. Initally I was super annoyed at how 'apps' had taken over the world, but finally I gave into the absolute usefulness of everything about it. ...sigh. i heart my phone.

5. what do you appreciate most about canada after so long away?

The diversity - of EVERYTHING - food, people religion, race, language, cars, hair color and style, music and anything else that is part of 'melting-pot' of Canada. That, and wide open space - lots and lots and lots of just uninhabited, grassy uncluttered, space.

6. what drives you crazy?

In general? or about being back in Canada?
In general, pretentiousness. snobby, rude people who act like they know more than everyone.
About Canada- people not realizing how good they have it living in a country like Canada. that makes me sad more than anything.

7. everyone should own a...

Glue gun.

8. if you could do one thing over, what would it be?

A couple of years ago I was going to take a break from Korea, and go live on the beach in Santorini, one of the Greek islands. I put the plan on pause for someone I met, and then ended up not going at all. I always wish I had gone to the island instead of pursuing the relationship, which never worked out, but such is life. It just means I'm supposed to go at a later time in my life.

9. what inspires your creativity?

Other happy, positive, creative people, being near the ocean and windy or stormy days.

10. your life philosophy in one sentence:

Live for today.

I have "Follow Your Bliss" tattooed on my left forearem, but I guess it's kinda similar - follow your heart, do what makes you happy, don't worry about tomorrow etc. I spent soooo many years worrying about things that didn't matter or never came to be, planning and stressing and panicking. So now, being older and wiser (HA) or maybe I just care less about things, I've relaxed alot, and decided to just live in the moment, or day by day, as much as I can.

* * *

thank you, gypsy feet! and welcome back to the blogosphere! you give me a bit of a traveling bug here. and you definitely make me want to get that tattoo i've been pondering...


Char said...

love the adventure...makes me wish i had done more of it before settling down to the life here

mrs mediocrity said...

that was wonderful, it is so easy to forget how big the world really easy when you never leave home...loved these little glimpses.

Lisa-Marie said...

Everyone SHOULD own a glue gun!

Also, How interesting, to have worked somewhere with a completely different culture!