Wednesday, February 28, 2007

peace of mind -- Gustave?

So many things I do these days seem to be for peace of mind, whether it be my own or that of somebody else.

I'm shifting all of my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend photos, something I guess I should have done earlier for Rosi's peace of mind. I guess it makes sense. It's just that when you have an album full of printed photos what you do is put them away into a box which gets dusty and you forget about it. But when your pictures are all on the internet and you don't think about them.

BANG! They just turn up.

I don't teach privates for peace of mind. It's illegal to teach private lessons in Korea. Most foreigners I've met have taught privates and many still do, despite the risk that the penalty of being caught is to be sent back to your home country (at your own expense) and a big fine.

Some people think that the fine is waived if you cannot pay it from your savings, but the Korean government is far from soft about such things. If caught breaking the law you could be imprisoned until a family member pays your fines for you, and then you'll be sent back to your home country at your own cost.

Teaching at a location not mentioned in your contract is also a major offense, and so, my unwillingness to break the law for one kind of peace of mind brings my ex-boss the headache of finding a foreign teacher -- all of a sudden -- as she might put it. It's funny that it becomes my fault that her business is suffering when many months ago I told her how it was possible for her to do the paperwork so that I could indeed work with her at the same time as another employer. But she still hasn't done the research to figure out how it can be done.

I gave her more than enough fair warning and now she is very angry at me because I won't break the law to help her business.

I'll admit that I haven't been the most law-abiding of citizens in the past. However, breaking the law is a very personal and private thing. If you break the law to help somebody it had better be important and it better be for a damn good reason -- Otherwise there is just too much risk -- unless you enjoy living in close quarters with deranged, sex crazed men (I don't).

I have a lot more peace of mind than I did a few months ago. Of course I will also be making a lot less money than a few months ago. But, I trust that the peace of mind will extend my life, even just an increase in the quality of life is enough to make up for the loss of income. Despite the fact that breaking the law is as natural as eating for Koreans -- it's not for me.

I've written journals for years, starting about ten years ago, so that I could obtain peace of mind. I started off by keeping note of my bizarre dreams and eventually progressed from there to a point of writing just to convince myself I wasn't insane. Later, much later, I didn't need to write any longer to maintain my equilibrium, but it still helps.

At the moment writing in this blog both adds to, and detracts from my peace of mind. On the one hand writing here helps me to stay sane, but on the other it is such a public forum and so many people have stumbled upon it and recognized me that I cannot really write what is on my mind, out of fear that my boss will discover that I have this blog and fire me because I talk nasty about her or that my neighbour will recognize me and turn me into the police for teaching privates or jay-walking.

These all seem quite remote possibilities to the non-blogger, but I have met many people who knew me in advance of our physical meeting. One of them even said something nice about my blog, most were suitably friendly or unfriendly depending upon the particular post that they thought best represented me.

And now Rosi is reading this and looking through my photos to find any little reason to be jealous. It's more than a little disheartening to have left my daughter and wife behind in the Philippines just to come back to this lonely exposure. I hope that we will soon overcome this little fight so that we can begin to celebrate our new baby. What shall I call him/her? I guess at this point I won't worry so much about putting expectations out there. I have one daughter, why not hope for a son? How about Gustave?

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