Newsflash: We are both expats no need to give me the low down on living overseas or the ins and outs of South Korea.I'm pretty sure I live here too! Yes I've traveled around the world but you don't hear me pushing my experiences on others. If you ask I'll tell you.The concept of the single serving friend was first introduced to me in the book Fight Club. I laughed and thought how clever. Unfortunately the sad realization about living overseas well in South Korea anyways... as an expat teacher is that most people you meet are just that. I'm not sure if people figure " Hey I'm only going to be here a yr better not get to close" or they are just too lazy to form real friendships. Now don't get me wrong I've made a few good friends. Btu as for the countless expat teachers I've come across most leave me wanting. I've met lots of flakes, lots of immature women thinking they're "grown" because they live on the other side of the world, and a hell of a lot of prentious globe trotters posing as teachers . I think those are the worst. Don't get me wrong I'm sure a number of us took these less than glamourous teaching positions to feed and fund out wanderlust. None of us woke up one morning and said oooh let's move to Korea I can make "man man won yall". But most, if not all have an itch travel and living here allows us to do so. Now let me make something clear, you must at minimum possess a Bachelors' degree to teach here in any subject ( which by the way I think Koreans should change, because some people should not teach) But I digress, these pretentious globe trotters posing at teachers get under my skin. You meet them and at first your are deceived...they seem interesting , then they start in their diatribes about traveling, as if you don't even own a passport with stamps in it. I don't mind a good story,but talk to me NOT at me. And here's a hint try listening instead of just waiting your turn to speak. Ugh!
Second on my list of most wanted obnoxious expats are the non-friend friends. Now I don't know what is socially accpetable because I am far from appropriate at times. I know some times we can be strapped for cash over here, but if it's someone's birthday it is bad form to show up to a social gather, or dinner party without a gift or a bottle of something and especially dont make the guest of honor pay for you or their own meal. That's just TACKY! These non-friend friends are the same ones posing in a million pics and shouting you out as their bestie on FB. Womp womp womp FAIL! I am sooo not impressed.
Lastly, are the single serving friends you could spend all weekend hanging out with, exchange phone numbers, text like crazy, take photobooth pics, have a Korean adventure, buy matching phone charms, have a couple nights of ridiculous drinking and dancing, maybe even plan a vacation together. If you think this makes you friends, I'm sorry to be the one to inform you ,but in Korea...no dice.
You could see said "friend" out in Seoul a week or two later he or she may have quite possibly forgotten your and introduce him/herself to you again for the "first time". Now I know this seems crazy but I've seen it happen.
"Friends" like the ones mentioned above make me miss and cherish my friends stateside that much more!
I trudge on to hopefully come across a couple somewhat normal people in this crazy country to call me real friends. In the mean time in between time...
In the words of Edward Norton "Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my cham friends".
Confucius say: In South Korea if REAL friends are what you seek, you better get a Skype subscription because you're without a paddle up shit creek