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Browsing Archive: December, 2011

Make promises not resolutions

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Saturday, December 31, 2011, In : Observations on life 
So it's December 31st here in South Korea and I'm gearing up for a couple of parties and the inevitable discussion of New Year resolutions. This is one of the few topics of conversation that will cause me to instantly glaze over - a safer course of action than getting into a debate/argument.

My problem isn't with the practice but the theory. Let's start with the word itself. According to 'resolution' can mean:

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determinatio...

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Seven things most people don't know about me

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, In : Observations on life 
The other day a friend here told me she really wants to be famous. She meant it in a "I have a blog/site that people read and bookmark" kind of way, rather than being so sought after that you can't leave the house without make up on.

I'd quite like to be famous too, in an anonymous kind of way. (I had a brief taste of the other kind a long time ago, definitely not my thing.)

So, just in case I am ever 'discovered' as a blogging genius it seems fitting to record some interesting facts about my...
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A day in my life: the hospital visit

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Friday, December 23, 2011, In : A day in my life 
Last month something weird happened to me - I got a really bad cold! I rarely seem to catch anything bad enough to make me want to stay home, but this was a stinker. Everytime I coughed - think five minute intervals except in the night when it happened every  two minutes - I had the most excruciating pain around my ribs on the left side.

As usual I ignored this, and it did get better. Then a week ago the cough/pain returned and I have limped through the week alternating between a 'woe is me' ...
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Identity theft, privacy and EFL job applications

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Saturday, December 10, 2011, In : EFL teaching in Asia 
Since the job hunting season kicked off for me a few months ago there's been something niggling at my mind.

Why do I have to share so much of my personal information, documents and life history? (And worse, what happens to this paperwork if my application is unsuccessful?)

Most job adverts in South Korea require teachers to send much more than a resume to register interest in a post. It's actually pretty standard to be asked for some or even all of the following:
  • resume
  • photographs
  • reference lett...

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Being sick in South Korea

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Thursday, December 8, 2011, In : South Korea 

Although I rarely get homesick the one thing that makes me long to curl up on a comfy sofa and veg out on daytime TV is when I get sick! In this fantasy scenario there are willing people on call to replenish my snacks/drinks and basically be my servant as I feel sorry for myself.

It's just not the same when you're sweating it out alone, grateful if you have a friend living close enough to pop by with a few essentials. (Try getting to the shop for toilet paper and water when you feel close to...

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EFL job seeking and product placement theory

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Sunday, December 4, 2011, In : Being an expat 
It's that time of year when a lot of EFL teachers here in South Korea are looking for something new. So far I haven't applied for very many jobs, largely because I don't want to stay around to do something that ignites no major passion for the new location/conditions/opportunities.

Last night I had an insightful conversation with a good friend. We discussed opportunities in other countries, and the kind of qualifications needed for each. Pretty soon I noticed there is some similarity between j...
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Group dates - Japanese style

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Japan stories 

Recently a lot of my time and mental energy has been spent wrestling with my new nonfiction book in progress. In a nutshell it tells the story of a South Korean woman who has got to be the most prolific 'blind dater' I've ever heard of!

I've never been into meeting potential romantic partners this way, perhaps because it's just not something that people do that much in the UK. Or at least they didn't. Since I left in 2000 Internet dating has blossomed, and changed the way people make connect...

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About Me

Valerie Ann Hamer Global nomad, writer, teacher


"bary inn kuala lumpar #100 happy days 'shopping confusion" 'teaching english in asia" 1970s music 50 shades of grey 50th a korean village abba abba tribute affiliate marketing african children's literature air anita maccallum anna bianchi apartment in korea asia auschwitz authentic teachers be a better teacher beijing beijing sideways being a writer birthday birthday. blind dates blog blog notes book stores in asia books books and expats bread british culture budget airlines budget travel busan busan dog cafe business class upgrade candy crush candy crush saga cargo ship passenger cargo ship travel cbrbound charity chatterbox cafe china chris backe chuseok clearly writing comfort food comments communication complimentary medicine concierge travel cornish rock pools coronation street costco creative writer's workshop creative writing courses creative writing courses in ireland cultural identity culture currency confusion dentists in korea dictionary definitions of expat dina porell dirty dancing dog blogs drinking at convenience stores driving in korea driving in the uk e-books efl efl activities efl and esl activities efl game efl games efl job applications efl teacher resources efl teaching in korea efl teaching tips egyptian food egyptian street culture emotional spring cleaning english engrade esl jobseeking essential efl classroom tips exceed driver training exchanging driving licence in korea expat expat friends expat friendships expat life expat medical care expat women expat writers expatriate expats expats in asia expats in korea facebook facebook fan falmouth university falmouth university ma professional writing filters fire risks foreign food shopping foreigner foreigners driving in korea france free esl teaching aid friends friendship frugal living fun efl activity fundraising galley girl tales getting a korean driving licence gift giving in south korea gift sets girl scout cookies golden baobab prize goukon great wall of china group dates guest blogging gypsies habarana hanjin brussels help korean kids hepatitis a in korea hi tech japanese toilets hite hoarding home how to engage efl students hygiene in korea identity theft inequality insurance for foreigners in korea interaction jackie bolen japan japanese apartments jeffrey miller jeongnamjin group home kindle konglish korea korea and road safety korean korean apartments korean convenience stores korean culture korean education korean education system korean thanksgiving korean toilets korean wedding halls ktx language language learning mistakes language learning. japanese lavender icecream learning japanese lee min ho left brain right brain writing little house on the prairie living in tokyo lost in translation louder \than words ma professional writing manu fieldel marketing marmite massage chair medical treatment in asia mid term test motivating teenagers in efl class motorbike motorbike and sidecar muslims naked without books nanowrimo national coffee day national novel writing month negombo new year resolutions nina davalun noise noise sensitivity noisy neighbours nomad nomadic lifestyle nomads nonsense english on the buses online food ordering onsen ordinary expats page paid forum posting patriate patriot pepero picky sticky or just plain icky? poland possessions prejudice private students in japan pyeongtaek questions racism readathon reading reading and expats recording student grades relationships relocation reptriation returns reverse culture shock self publishing in korea sento sewol ferry tragedy sidecar sigiriya. single malt female smashwords smoking plug social media social media marketing society songtan south korea south korean hospitals spa resort malaysia spam spewings of a sophist sri lanka stereotypes tb in korea teach efl in korea teaching at a university in south korea teaching efl teaching efl at a korean university teaching english in a south korean university teaching in korea the the archieness the hobbit the power of words the women in turkey project to tokyo tokyo coffee shops tolkien top websites travel by freight ship travel by freighter travel insurance travellers treasure hunt turning points twitter uk uk holiday uk travel university apartment south korea university grading efl university jobs in south korea university of falmouth us visa waiver usa to korea by ship used book stores in korea used bookstores in tokyo vacation plans varna virtual book tour want to write a novel weardale what is an expat? what the book whisky wholegrain bread winter in korea words writer's block writing writing articles writing competitons yorkshire tea
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