Okay guys, all roads lead to this. I am actually about to write the last post about Korea; and in order to justify all the critics that has been aimed at me from various persons and countries around the world, I decided to write it in English. It's Mayday and the summer is just around the corner, despitet that I can still see that my thermometer displays a temperature of 13 degrees Celcius and the rain is falling as if the doomsday has come. Just for the record I can mention that I faced the same scenario 9 month ago when I left for Korea, and even 5 month ago when I returned to Sweden. It's almost as fun as it is sad, but in Korea we got to see a late summer, a breathtaking fall and even a siberian-like winter within barely four months. Looking at the journey from an intellectual point of view I think it can be concluded that most of us exchange-students also experienced something of a spring, metaphorically speaking.
Life has just begun and I think being an exchange student, in whatever country whatsoever, is of paramount importance for teenagers these days. I remember hanging out with friends and doing all sorts of activities just to wake up exhausted and get a A on some boring test the next morning. For me life was always easy and I didnt kind of grasp what could possibly go wrong in terms of educations and a succesfull career. Getting the opportunity to see the parallell reality in Asian, and especially in a country like Korea, I received a badly needed wake-up call. After have been introduced to a totally different society and met a lot of students from all over the world, the deduction that the world is getting smaller is not foreign news for us, I guess. What changed my view on the world is the fact that the modern society with all its machines and the brand new technology for every day that goes is in less need of human labour. As closer as we get to the society of tomorrw, the middle class is getting closer and closer to hit the bottom in a very high speed. Just a decade ago the human race stood at the top of its evolution having both time and chances to evaluate everything from a totally different perspective. The question back then was: Are we as humanity ready to jump of this amazing cliff in order to test our wings? We did, and the consequences is just about to be seen as some of the accomoddated predators are flying meanwhile the rest are about to be sacrifaced. This can be clearly seen in the politics too; the Swedish society is for example more and more turning into a service-society from outmoded days when they used to be a manufacturing society. The pensions decreasin, schools getting worse, businesses perishing. Everything is a result of the new modern society where jobs are simply dropping away. If this continues I dont even want to think about what kind of corrupt and segregated society my generation is supposed to inherit. Actually it doesnt matter, because even though I overslept, I still have the chance to catch the bus to make it in time. As the world is getting globalised we will not compete with a farmer from the plain in north Sweden for a job, we will compete with students that litterary live on the school and study some 16-17 hours every day, not to mention the fact that a lot of koreans used to attend "the academy" where they studied during the weekend. The only thing thats on our (westerners) behalf is that they perhaps arer too systematical in their ways of thinking, but considering the fact that specialization is seen as a more important and succesfull modus operandi than multitasking we are still the losers.
I had a grate time, ironically the last fakl was perhaps the best time of my high school education, because what you learn as an exchange student just cannot be compared to what you learn sitting at the desk in school. This week I decided to return to my blog as I felt that the whole journey had settled down. Reading all the posts now afterwards (I never read any of them after writing them) I realised that there is so much things and impressions that my poor vocabuary cant describe, Some days ago we held a presentation at our school trying to recruite new students for the next term. Looking at the kids I realised how much this exchange has generated to me as a person. Besides the academical and constitutional progresses, I learned to know a lot of new individuals. Starting with my classmate Johanna, the one year younger Helena that prior know a LOT about Asia and then Sina, the Guy that made this journey way better than it would have been if any other guy would have been chosen in his place. We were an awesome group! The first group that we got to meet was the american crew that we clicked with almost emmediately. Daniel, a guy with a big heart that forever changed my view on both americans and believers (in a good way), Hope, that always played the role as a brain and advisor when we planned on doing something that wasnt in line with korean habits, Eli, an intelligent social girl from Illinois and Berenice, who in fact was Swiss. Then in late October arrived King David from Cali but not as an exchange student but as a real one, though his father got a job in Korea. Then in late October we also got visitors from Russia, China, Japan, Indonesia and... KAIST? What made a huge impact on me was that korens appeared to be pretty nationalistic in their way of meeting non-white foreigners, which is sad. Looking back now its strange how you go to a country on the other side of the globe and then just returdn to your normal day life. Its like the life in Korea was just some kind of non-existing world that we will never ever return to. I had a great buddy at the school taking care of me and helping me with all thpossible situations that could go wrong, huge respect. As to the hostfamily that took care of me during the weekends, I simply have no words. They took me to various places in Korea, even a vacation to Jeju, experiences that I will probalby never be albe to give back. Its painful to think about everything now in retrospective, bacause it feel like the life on the other half of the globe never even existed. Everything would be so much more different if we had some more time to get to spend it with all those persons we got to know and the ones we didnt...
In one month I am about to graduate from highschool. A lot of my classmates, in fact everybody excluding me, are going to take a sabbatical year and work/travel. I myself am happy with this great opportunity that I got and that realised the chance to study and travel simultaaneously. Because even though I know that happiness isnt a destination, but a way of living, I believe I have to recondition some parts of my vehicle in order to get the most out of the ride that is to come. Peace!
To all the people that in some way made our stay, especially the american crew