As we say in Korea, "Assa-byeong!!!" Just finished my last day of work at Evan-Moor School, got my final salary and severance pay (total 4.4 million Won - 400 thousand deductions, so about $3500 US) without a hitch, and left on good terms with the director.

I am now financially quite well-off for a 24 year-old who's only been out of university two years, and isn't an engineer or hacker. For those who may be thinking about coming to Korea, if you're wondering how much money one can save here (or how much of one's student loans one can pay off), in two years of solid work, without travelling out of the country, but without actively trying to be particularly frugal (most of my money goes to booze, actually), I have saved... *drumroll* $26,500 Canadian. And that's with the Canadian dollar quite strong these days. If the exchange rate was what it was a year ago, I'd have close to $30,000. This is without any prior teaching qualifications.

I am now in the best mood I have been in for months, and looking forward to a nice vacation of beer, Oh Hell (my favorite card game), Go and writing (will be trying to finish my latest short story, "Balance," and my entry for the 2003 IFComp (interactive fiction competition), "Pestilence") at my parents house in Montreal.

After that, the plan is to go back to school. I'll probably do one of those 5-day TEFOL or TESOL certifications so that I can teach at the ESL schools in Toronto if I want, or get a university job back in Korea if I come back here. Then the plan is to enroll in a special journalism program at Ryerson University in Toronto, meant especially for people like me who already have a different kind of degree (Astrophysics, in my case).

So, everyone raise a glass to me finishing my second contract in Korea. Be happy for me, I'm on top of the world.