My birthday, and a fractional increase in pace

I’ve reached the ripe old age of 25. Clearly I’m about to disappear over a very steep cliff edge of a hill. For my birthday, Helena and I went for a very authentic Korean meal, which even included Seoul’s local beer, ‘Hite’. Oddly, Hite tastes a good deal better in Dublin that it does in Seoul. English menus in Korean restaurants are hilarious. Reading the descriptions of the dishes in English leaves me without the slightest clue what I’m going to get, despite 18 months of eating almost nothing but native Korean dishes. I ended up asking for a Korean language menu, which made far more sense to me than the English one. We had ‘DubuJjigae’ (a spicy Tofu soup), ‘Jjeon’ (Korean pancake) and a peanut flavoured cucumber salad. We were the only non-Asians in the restaurant, and – Dublin prices aside – it could easily have been back in Seoul.

After the meal we went to the cinema to watch Australia, which is a great film. It’s a shame it’s based on such a ridiculous premise (Darwin being taken by the Japanese during WW2), as it’s a very charming bit of cinema. Thanks for all the presents – especially those who sent stuff out to Dublin, very much appreciated!

Berlitz are still offering me less work than a beggar could get by on. Fortunately, I’ve managed to pick up a decent number of private classes, which are actually more lucrative (in terms of hourly rate, at least) than working for the company. I have a class nearly every day of the week now, and I’m still getting requests for more, so things could actually work out quite nicely. Perhaps the recession’s effect on companies – limiting their ability to sell lessons to the hard up – could work out to my benefit, being able to sell lessons on the cheap as there are no middle men. My hourly salary actually works out as a decent amount more.

I’ve finally got myself properly sorted out in Dublin. Up until now I hadn’t had a bank account. Once my pay cheque clears later this week, I’ll actually be using a credit or debit card in the shops for the first time in almost two years. Odd what being abroad does to you – I’m so used to carrying whatever cash I need around with me, having never had a credit or debit card in Korea. Exciting stuff… not! As you may have gathered, things are still very much on the slow side!

On the published articles front (I promised to keep an update on this on here at the start of the year, partly as motivation…) – I’m still on 3 of the 100 I targeted at the start of the year when I only count what has actually been printed, unfortunately. I do, however, have another four articles already lined up to be published at the end of the month, and five more commissioned for sometime this year. So I guess that’s 12/100 on some level, but still 3/100 officially. Must work harder…

James x

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