Well, since Camping screwed up on the date again and we’re all still here (although the day’s not over), I guess we’ll have to keep on trucking with this whole survival thing.
“Survival” in the U.S. these days seems a bit more of a struggle than, say, back in the 1980’s when I used to roll out of Gekko’s penthouse, throw some frilly underwear over my clothes, air out my armpits under the bus stop hand dryer and “get into the groove” with all the other Working Girls in Manhattan (no, wait, did I work in Manhattan in the eighties….can’t remember….30 years ago….too fuzzy….) Anyway, 2011’s version of hanging out on Wall Street is certainly a horse of a different color. Can’t say that I plan on “Occupy”ing any Tea Parties any time soon, but I do totally catch their drift of frustration. Our family is broke and in debt. My husband and I are working, but eating peanut butter for breakfast, because, C’mon! $5 for a jug of milk? $7 for a slab of bacon? Have you tried turkey bacon?!?? But, rather than camp out in protest (sorry, ever since working the Faires, I’ve had an aversion to bunking with unwashed Rennies full of dragon piss), we’ve chosen to constructively focus our frustration into a win-win patriotic form of outsourcing.
Oh yeah, I said it, the dirty word that causes the pockets of American IT workers to shiver in terror. But, repeat after me, “Outsourcing is Good. Outsourcing Works.” — when another country is outsourcing to us. In our particular case, our nouveau riche South Korean buddies are shipping over their kids and paying us to watch them.
Yes, South Koreans actually seem to like us and trust us enough to belabor their precious accomplished, multi-lingual, well-behaved offspring with our unhealthy, greedy capitalistic, ugly American customs.
Awww, gosh. We kinda like them too.
As I’ve mentioned, this is a win-win situation. The area of South Korea is only 38,622 square miles with a population of 48 million people. In order to give their kids a leg-up in this heavily competitive market, S.Korean parents send them to private schools in other countries where they can pick up different languages and customs and benefit from a more well-rounded education. On our end, struggling private schools are now using “foreign aid” by signing up with agencies that import eager students from Korea, China and other countries; and American middle-classed families provide these students with room and board so they can hold on to their homes.
I’d discovered this opportunity in Craig’s List of all places. In the past few years we’ve hosted three kids through different agencies, one girl and two boys, all teenagers. And, yes, you have to question the sanity of someone who would voluntarily invite more teenagers into their home.
Some of them do eat a lot.
But they’ve been great, actually. It’s been a terrific experience so far, and I plan on happily sharing stories about them in some of my future blogs.