Last October, I received an email from a site known as Expat Interviews. They asked me if I would like to fill out an interview form for publication on the site. The very first interview was by Stafford of the Chosun Bimbo, and I decided that if it was good enough for Stafford, it was good enough for me. So I got the interview form, filled it out in one sitting, and then forgot about it for nearly three months.
This past weekend I finally looked over what I had written, cleaned it up a bit, and sent it in. I got an email yesterday saying that the interview is now online. You may already know about this, because I have been scooped by two of my chums, the Big Ho and Dr. Demento (sorry Doc, I’m afraid that nickname’s going to stick). I realize that I’m usually not on the breaking edge of the news here at Liminality, but it’s kind of embarrassing to be scooped on my own story. I did consider posting an excerpt of the interview on Saturday after I sent it in, but then I thought, “Well, what’s the point of that if I don’t have an interview to link to?” I also had better things to do than sit here and write a note for Liminality (shocking, but true)—Hyunjin and I dove into a Lost marathon to finish up the third season and all of the special features.
The third season of Lost will probably be my next entry (and boy do I have a lot to say about it), but for now, go read the interview if you want some of my ideas about life abroad in a nutshell. I should thank both Gord and Dr. Hodges for the conversation we had where a lot of these ideas were tossed around. Even though I wrote the first draft of my answers long before the conversation took place, it helped me formulate some of the ideas that were bouncing around in my head. It also reminded me that I had never sent my answers in, so I guess you can thank them for having this lovely reading material today.
That’s pretty much it. I’m not going to quote bits of the interview because it’s not that long, and I figure if you want to read it you can just go over to Expat Interviews and do that. I do want to talk about some of the questions, though. More specifically, some of the questions had parenthetical questions after the main question, and for some reason these parenthetical questions are left out of the interview. These questions are as follows:
- When did you come up with the idea of living in that country (and what factors helped your decision)?
- How do you make your living there? Do you have any type of income generated? (if you have a job there, how did you get it? Did you get it in your native country or did you look for a job when you got there? If the latter applies, how long did it take you to get a job there and how hard was it to find one? What tools did you use to land a job -- a website, agency, etc.?)
- Do you speak the local language and do you think it's important to speak the local language? (please add your thoughts on local customs and whether it's important for expats to respect/observe local customs)
- Do you miss home and family sometimes? (and describe your favorite recreational activities there or those that are available)
- Do you have other plans for the future? (future travel, business plans, etc.)
- What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it? (or give a ballpark figure on how much a home with X number of rooms would cost in your area)
- What do you think about the locals? (also how they treat foreigners)
Most of this is fairly innocuous, of course, but seeing the questions that I actually responded to might help you make a little more sense of my answers—especially the odd parenthetical question about favorite pastimes after the question about missing home and family. In addition, while I think Expat Interviews is a pretty decent site, I find it somewhat disingenuous to ask certain questions and then not include them in the final interview. The parenthetical clarifications about the importance of expats respecting local customs and how locals treat foreigners strike me as two good examples of this principle. It’s not a big deal, of course, but I wanted you, loyal reader, to have the whole picture.
Coming soon: thoughts on Lost, and the second installment of the Korean Beer Review!