All I had to do when I got home was prep my documents, which shouldn't have been a problem. Got everything I thought I needed and sent it off, but an email soon arrived - apparently I needed not only a letter from my previous employer, as in my manager at ECC, but one from my previous employer in the UK as well. I asked my old boss to provide me with one, then it was time for the trans-Europa express. I returned home two weeks later and still there was no letter. It took further badgering but eventually I was able to pick it up and send it off to Korea. I sent it Monday, it arrived Thursday. The following Monday there was an email in my inbox informing me that all the places were full and I wasn't going to Korea. I'd taken too long - or someone had. On Wednesday I got some even more devastating news, but that sorted itself out eventually.
So there I was. All my stuff - my suit, my shoes, all my winter clothes, my PS3, my orange folding bike - they were still in Korea. And I was stranded. It was the same for the guys I worked with, and so followed the aforementioned void of brain-clawingly frustrating workless existence.
Turns out it's a damn sight more difficult to get a job in Korea this year than it was in 2008. I must have registered with forty recruitment agencies and applied for scores of jobs - and the response was alarming. Ninety five percent of the jobs I applied for went nowhere, there was no reply, positive or negative. The rare occasions that I did hear back, there might have been a phone interview arranged for early in the morning so I'd get up, wait around, and.. nothing would happen. A couple of times I did get to speak to someone, but there was no follow-up. Then, at the end of October I had an email from one of the jobs I applied for a couple of weeks previously.
It was an English guy who was going to be opening a school in Incheon in January. He said he'd like to talk to me. We arranged a phone interview for 8am. I woke up nice and early and waited patiently. By 10.40 I'd run out of patience and went for a shower - it was almost 7pm in Korea. I did take my phone in the bathroom though. Just in case. I'd just got wet when it rang.
Turns out I got the job.
Still, I had another six weeks to wait and filling time was challenging. I watched most of the West Wing, then all of Battlestar Galactica and Band of Brothers. I started Mad Men. On one day, I watched ten movies, back to back. I've watched around 115 episodes of Urusei Yatsura. I started writing. I memorised all the capital cities in the world, and all the US state capitals. I became amazing at Kakuro, Sudoku and crosswords. I reached a personal record of 208 football keepy-ups. I bought known time-sapping computer games like Football Manager and Civilization. I went on morning cycle rides. I'm getting close to visiting every article on the list of unusual wikipedia pages. I took my elderly dog on inadvisedly circuitous walks. I read the novelisation of 24. And many more things I'd rather not revisit.
I start next week. I'm going to be a PE and art teacher.
Since I'll be in Incheon, this blog will be inaccurately titled. If I do continue blogging I'll do it on another piece of blog. And it'll be miles different to this one.