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Snakes in the Grass

Yes, you may have forgotten this popular saying with the Snakes-on-a-plane talk going on all over the internet - and I can only assume it's in the papers and on tv, some new thriller with Samuel Jackson and the craziest gimick title ever.

Yes, the oringinal snakes in the grass has been coming to my mind over the last week.

To coin another movie phrase, Houston, we have a problem.

Living in Korea can sometimes make you feel like you're trying to avoid a snake in the grass at all costs. Or maybe it's more a wolf in sheep's clothing.

On the outside, all Koreans are courteous nice, polite and welcoming. Always wanting to make you feel at home and shower you with hospitality.

I've read to be careful of those wanting to give you something as it's never something for nothing. So, I know, free dinners, free drinks, free anything is not actually free.

This is true everywhere, but there just more subtle here.

And that's not to say they are insincere. Sometimes by just being a good English teacher to someone's child deems you worthy of a gift.

There is a bit of drama going on at work and I'm beginning to see the true colours of a few Koreans. This is not a lovely rainbow people, this is black black black.

It's actually not to do with gifts but with promises or what in North America we like to call contracts. Yes, we all know that when we get a job, we sign a contract, we are entitled to what's in the contract. That's the whole point of having them.

I have read that Koreans put contracts together for the foreigners, to make them feel better, to lull them into a sense of security. To make them think they are being valued in a way that they are used to being valued at home.

And sometimes, they are followed. And sometimes there are no problems.

This week, we're having some problems and I worry that this will taint my experience of this country.

I just want the drama to be over so I can get back to my quirky observations and interesting insights (insert smirk here).

Note to family members: no need to panic. Just unloading some thoughts swirling in my head. All will be clearer next week.

A bit of a downer but no point in painting this experience in pink just because it sounds nicer.

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