Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You would return there?!?!?

I once lived in a city, in a province, in a country and didn't like it. While there were some good points I just didn't like living there. I found the place too crowded, too busy, had too many rude people, and was too polluted compared to where I came from.

I was happy to leave there and return to where I had come from. People asked me if I would ever return to the city I had come from and I said yes.

"What?" some of them would say "Why would you go back there if you hated it?"

"Just because I didn't like it compared to here doesn't mean I wouldn't go back. Or that I hated it. There are more job opportunities there than here and if it means having a job I enjoy I would try and put up with things I don't like. Besides, I complain about things here."

"But you complained about it a lot."

"People complain a lot about things where they live but it doesn't mean they hate the place."

Most of my friends understood what I was talking about but you always get one or two who are a little slower than others and just can't grasp some concepts. I would later see the same lack of comprehension reflected in many Koreans and some ex-pats.

If I were to use their logic I would not be able to live anywhere. After all, we all find fault with things around us and complaining about them, especially the daily grind, is a way of venting and getting rid of the emotion.

I always had to chuckle when Koreans would get out of sorts when I complained about Canada. They couldn't comprehend someone would complain about their country. I actually had a student once say;

"But it is your country. Don't you love it?"

To which I replied "Yes, but it isn't perfect. No country is."

He just couldn't grasp that concept. You can love your country but point out it's faults. Just because you point out faults or complain about things that bother you doesn't mean you hate your country or the one you are in.

To a Korean complaining about your country seems to be in the same league as thinking outside the box. It isn't normal. With close friends or family it might happen but it is not usual. In the West it is fairly common. Many even consider it their right and duty to bitch about their country.

Just because I complained about life in Toronto doesn't mean I hated Toronto and there is no way I would ever live there again. Sometimes you have to go where life takes you. Sometimes you go where the work is. It could be another place in your country or it could be to another country. That is life.


  1. Toronto? Isn't he the Lone Rangers mate?

  2. Yes. He is so popular in Canada we named a city after him. :)