True North, strong and unemployed

So we have been back in Canada for about two months now, and I have to say…. it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  Having lived abroad for the past 2 and a half years, Pete and I really got to experience all these amazing and wonderful cultures around the world. And when people asked us “where are you from?” with such pride we would respond “Canada!” and know it was the best country in the world.  We would tell people about how clean and wonderful and amazing Canada was, and we believed it… until we came back.

Being born and raised in Canada we grew to love and respect our home country.  But as we grew older and more world traveled we came to realize that the Country we loved doesn’t quite love us back.  It is like a bad relationship where you keep telling yourself “it’ll get better, we’re just going through a rough patch”.  But as you look at all the people around you, in the same situations, you begin to realize its not just a rough patch, it’s Canada.

Our whole life we were pressured to go to university because that’s how you get a well paying job. But after spending forty grand on an undergrad you never utilize you leave this wonderful little bubble called university and step into the rat race.

You start working an ok job, thinking to yourself it only gets better from here but 10 years later your stuck with the same company doing relatively the same job and only getting paid slightly more. But as time goes by, you realize how much stuff you absolutely need, a new TV, a new car, and the newest ipod, ipad, iphone, i-everything.  You start the cycle and your life becomes more work than life. And the hardest part to adapt to all of this is the fact that these companies, this country, doesn’t really value you or your hard work… if they could have someone in china do it for cheaper, they would.

Pete and I came from Korea, where they admired our education and realized it was a great feat and respected us.  Korea is such a proud country, they buy Korean because they know it supports their economy, where Canada has followed suit with the States and to turn he biggest profit they outsource.  When does it stop being about the money and start being about a better life and future for your country?

Being back in Canada the only jobs we have interviewed for are entry level minimum wage jobs that are quite frankly insulting to all our hard work we have done and all of our achievements. I feel as though our pride in our country diminishes when other countries offer us a much brighter, more financial stable future. It is frustrating and hard to accept that rejection from the one thing you loved so much growing up. It is like that boy you spent your entire life trying to impress telling your flat out “sorry you’re just not good enough”.

So, as Canada day is approaching you see the stores fill with towels covered in maple leaves, clothes in red and white and maple leaf hats, bags, cups, stickers, shoes, ipod case for your latest model ipod… all of course sporting their little “Made in China” tag. In my heart of hearts, I love Canada and always will. I will still respond with excitement, pride and happiness when someone asks we where I am from. I just wish that there were better opportunities here for young professionals wishing to succeed and not wanting to settle for minimum wage… but until then Canada will just remain that distant, out of reach dream.

Aside

Month of Sam

So I have officially survived the last six months of working 14 hours of overtime each week.  Needless to say I have had no time to do anything other than work, eat, sleep and catch up on all my TV shows.  Although I have greatly enjoyed having the extra money, it was definitely not worth my sanity which I felt I was ever so slowly loosing, along with the size of my waist band.

For the past six months, working in the mornings meant going out for lunch with auntie and the two younger boys.  Unlike Canada, there are no salad options and hardly any vegetarian options at all.  So in true Korean fashion my lunches consisted of large helpings of carbs, carbs, carbs and more carbs with a side of veggies.   At one point, I thought of renaming this blog to “my year of thigh enlargement”.  I ate so many different types of rice and noodles that I would dream of salad at night and wake up craving broccoli.  Don’t get me wrong, I did fully enjoy eating these delicious Korean dishes, but there are only so many noodles one can eat without wanting to kill whoever invented such food. 

But alas, it is March, the third month, and in Korea there are no actual names for the months so the third month is “sam”, plainly meaning “three”.  So it is literally the month of Sam, it is MY month.  I am saying goodbye to those delicious spicy noodles and those little bowls of rice and hello to the gym and I couldn’t be happier! Although I managed to work out about 2 or 3 times a week during the past months, it was not nearly enough to offset the amount rice I consumed. 

On March 2nd, I fitted my shoe with my new Nike plus running partner, signed up for a 10K race in Gyungju and stepped on the scale of doom.  Ok, so not as bad as I thought.  I had only gained about 3lbs, but in my mind it felt like 100lbs.  I just didn’t feel right.  My clothes were tight where they shouldn’t be and I noticed an extra jiggle here and there.  It’s only been 6 days into March and I have clocked a solid 30km on the treadmill, cut out those delicious carbs and started counting down the days until the 10k race. I have never been happier to have time to myself.

Although I am extremely glad to have my Visa paid off by the mass amount of overtime hours I worked, I am tired and worn out and I still have 6 more months to go.  I look forward to the next few months as the weather is getting much warmer and I finally have the time to enjoy it! Yes, I was a little late getting started on my new year’s resolution but it’s not when you start but rather the journey you take to get there.