Monday, December 2, 2013

Ha Eun Park/ Final Draft Oral History/ Tue 3-4

Early and Brave Decision



In one of my classes, we always have a group discussion. During the break we were talking among ourselves about our future plans and a girl said that she was going to Canada.  Whenever people tell me that they are going abroad, it always draws my attention. Although she seemed diffident and reserved I asked her anyway why she was going to Canada. Her answer was not at all what I had expected. She was married. Since the average age of marriage is late 20s and early 30s for most women, I was taken off guard by her answer. Although it was unusual, it was intriguing for me and I wanted know more about her love story.

I went up to her to ask whether she wanted to participate in an interview. Though she agreed to the interview, she seemed little nervous about what I was going to ask her. I offered we go to a coffee shop to talk more comfortably. After ordering a cup of coffee I started to ask questions about her childhood. I wanted to know whether she had any experience abroad during her adolescent period. Again, her answer surprised me. I imagined that her bold decision came out of her pass experience in another country but I was wrong. She was born in Dae-gu and had moved to Suwon for her elementary school and lived in Suwon since then.

Since the first answer was not what I had expected I quickly moved on to the next question. "Where did you meet your husband and how long did you date your husband?"  She started by telling me how she ended up in Canada. She always wanted to go abroad as an exchange student. At the end of sophomore year, she decided to go to Alberta, Canada as an exchange student. In the process of getting ready, she decided to also apply for "Working-Holiday" visa. "Working-Holiday" is a program run by the Korean government that allows you to go to countries such as Canada or Australia to work. The reason why people add the holiday at the end is because you can also travel during the weekends and holidays. So, when she realized that she was going to Canada, she decided to apply for this so that she could extend her stay at Canada.

When her exchange student program was over, she decided to go to Toronto to find a job for the "Working-Holiday". When she arrived in Toronto, she decided to go to a Korean people gathering that she found through Twitter.

"If you go to school, you get the opportunity to meet different kinds of people but, when you are working you don't get the same opportunity."

There she met her current husband. After couple of days she realized that she clicked really well with Phillip, who is her husband, and started dating after a month.

"I'm not the type of person who goes to these types of meetings and neither is my husband, so I think it is really surprising that we met through this meeting."

I was really curious about how she knew that Phillip was the person that she wanted marry. So, I asked what made him so special that made you say yes to being married. She told me with other people that she dated, there always was some sort of a misunderstanding, but with him it was easy for her to understand him.

When her visa ended her husband came to Korea with her in 2011 winter. Although her parents did not disapprove, she told me that her dad felt a little reluctant. In order to persuade them, Phillip stayed in Korea for about a year, talking to her parents about their future plans and convincing them that they have a solid plan. Phillip is 28 and he is currently working in Canada as a software engineer.

"Although it is not a lot of money, I think it is enough to get by."

She told me that she didn't have a wedding yet, but she plans on having one this year.

"It is difficult for me to prepare all the wedding details without having my husband in Korea." I encouraged her saying that she can do it.

I told her that her decision was very brave since it is not common for students to be married at a young age especially in Korea. I thought that her decision was very interesting since she was born and raised in Korea. Usually, for people who are born and raised in Korea, I found that they usually do not go against the norm. After talking to her I realized that she really pushed through with her decision because she believed in Phillip. I sincerely wish her the best of luck with her marriage. 

No comments:

Post a Comment