Korea has gotten really cold again recently. I mean like REAL cold. I’m wearing my heat-tec long johns everyday, and really bundling up for the freezing Siberian wind that comes down from the North, which makes me wonder how my grandma survived those cold-ass winters near the China-North Korea border.
I can barely make it from the subway station to my work place in Myungdong. I shiver, I walk as fast as possible, I think of beaches, anything I can do to take my mind off the cold. But if anyone has walked through Myungdong, you will know that there are many make-up shops with girls handing out free samples to get you to come into the stores. They stand outside all day in the freezing cold. When my trilingual ex-girlfriend was looking for work, she saw some ads for this and found that they make about 6,000 won an hour, close to minimum wage (about 4,600 won/hr). And that’s the crazy thing… they’re all bi/tri-lingual! They won’t be screaming at you to come intp the stores in Korean. They’re doing it all in Japanese, Chinese, and sometimes English!
I find it amazing that these multi-lingual people are working 6,000 won/hr jobs in the freezing cold. It’s a whole different pay-scale that I, as an American, am totally unused to. I can see students taking on jobs like these. But these are women in their 20′s, with multi-language abilities. Standing out in the freezing cold, yelling loudly (being really aggressive I might add), working really hard days, for what native-English speakers (no matter what field you work in) can make in probably one to two hours.
The reality of Korea’s pay scale is immensely different than what foreigners in Korea are used to . Foreigners are spoiled in this crazy country, where you can make a days worth of work in an hour or two just because you speak English.
Hey, part-time Korean worker… mad respectsss!!!!