All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front

By , July 30, 2012 11:53 am

Very quiet here in the house with DongHyun.  He sends a letter home once in a while, so MyeongHee gets pretty excited when that happens.  With 98% of the male population required to go into the military, they’ve developed some web technology to help soldiers communicate with family. They took a picture of his unit and posted it on a military website and MH was thrilled to see him in uniform.

DongHyun’s basic training unit. He is 2nd row up, 4th from right

He seems to be doing well and doesn’t complain much about the heat, the hard work or the food, but that may just be the watchfulness of his superiors.  I guess we’ll get the real story when basic training is over and the family can visit, sometime near the end of August.

As for me, I’ve picked up another company job. I was teaching English to little ungrateful kids in both a private school and in an elementary, but no longer.  I signed on with S-Oil, one of Korea’s largest oil companies.  Their CEO is from Saudi Arabia (it’s a Saudi-owned company) and so there are several executives at the refinery operations that need to speak English to him. So, I got hired to teach English for about 6-9 hours per week, which is worth almost $2.7K per month.  My hours just got reduced, my pay went up significantly and no more classes of noisy kids. So I work about 15 hours per week but make the equivalent of about $48K in US dollars.  But even that’s not comparable, since I only pay 3% in Korean taxes and fall way under the US tax exemption threshold for paying US takes.  So that’s more like the equivalent of  $60k US and working less than half a regular week.  It’s a tough life, but someone’s gotta do it. The only downside is that since I work several part time jobs, I get no vacation or holiday pay. But since I don’t work that hard, I don’t mind.

I also just signed on to redesign another website. This is the third website I’ve contracted to redesign and add functionality to.  I’d like to do more smart phone programming for $, but hopefully that will come later when I’m back in the USA.   I can make a decent living here, but it sure would be better if family was a lot closer.

Summer is definitely here. We’ve been running our A/C for the past several days, which is rare. Last year we only had it on a single weekend.  This is a rare summer heat wave for this part of the country.  Highs in the 90s and lows in the mid 70s.  Nothing like Texas, but that’s a good thing.

Just for fun, here’s an article I wrote late last week on a cute little neighborhood near me.  I found it while out riding the bike and thought it was just adorable.  Most neighborhoods here are very dull and drab and have little or no character. This was a nice change and worth sharing.  MyeongHee and I went back there on Sunday to walk around and she loved it, too.

2 Responses to “All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front”

  1. Peggy says:

    So sorry you have it so rough, Mard.

  2. Peggy says:

    Loved the article on the neighborhood. Very cute.

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