Weeks, months … and is it too early for a plan?

Tuesday, 30 July 1996

Arrived in Korea on 30 June. I survived my first week, and … what do you know? My first month has just seen its arse.

It’s once again one of those things you know is going to happen, but you have to go through the formalities first. I had to live through the first month day by day and hour by hour before I could reach this point.

It’s 30 July 1996. I’m moving into my own room either tomorrow or this weekend. And on Saturday I’m getting approximately ₩700,000 [$700/R3,500] cash.

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I also want to marry and have children at some point. Still, I don’t want the kind of life my friends are leading, even though I was thinking, just two months ago, that they had wonderful lives.

What I’m currently experiencing is an adventure within a relatively stable environment. I have a place to live; I have a job; I earn about R3,600 per month, and I live in a country in Northeast Asia with all the potential for discovery that keeps you busy in boring times. And, I’m not in a position where I think I’ve arrived now, that this is going to be my life for the next 40 years, with the existential panic that usually goes with that.

I’m in a position where I experience a fair degree of security. But, I’m also aware that I will only be here for another 11 months, so there’s no reason for uncontrollable anxiety.

I can say: “Okay, this is my life for another 11 months. What then? England? Eastern Europe …”

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