I'd like to introduce you to 3 people:
Name: Mark Jones
Age: 22 years old.
City: Southampton, The United Kingdom
Occupation: Trainee Financial Controller
Interests: Cricket, Drinking and listening to live music
Name: Mark Jones
Age: 23 years old.
City: Seoul, South Korea
Occupation: English Teacher, Private Institution
Interests: Running, Drinking and listening to live music
Name: Mark Jones
Age: 25 years old.
City: Saigon, Vietnam
Occupation: English Teacher, International University
Interests: Running, Drinking and blogging
Now these 3 different people may share the same name, even the same job but their daily life is much more different than you might think. So, let me talk you through the daily life of each. Draw your conclusions on which life style you'd prefer....
Mark Jones - aged 22
Beep Beep Beep - This is the joyous sound of my radio alarm clock! Why does it always go off so early in the morning! 6:30. Of course I hit snooze and feel like shit. At 7:00 a.m. my phone alarm starts screaming at me and at which point I decide that my day really does have to start. Half dressed and half in a daze I stagger to the kitchen to make my first cup of tea of the day. If I'm fortunate, I will have ironed a shirt the night before, but that's a rare occurrence so I stoke up the iron and do the necessary while, of course, demolishing my second tea. About 45 minutes after I rise from bed I'm ready and after my 3rd cup of tea I'm safe to attempt the drive to work.
The drive to work is relatively easy. A short 25 minutes on the motorway to Petersfield. I'm a car singer, so I enjoy my self performed concert and roll up to work at about 8:30 and pop the kettle on. As the office junior, I know my place. I fire up the computer and attempt to clear some space on my cluttered desk for my tea. As Norway is an hour ahead, and they start work an hour earlier than we do in the UK, I check my emails and reply to anything that in red. If it's in red it must be important right?
At work I'm left mostly alone to get on with my accounts. Most of the time I'm playing around with invoices and spreadsheets. Occasionally I'll get up to get a round in, or answer the odd call from the Nigerian accountant. However, the day is largely uneventful. I do my work, get stressed because I haven't got a clue where the difference is in my accounts, and where possible I chat on msn messenger which is difficult because of the central location of my desk. I take a short half an hour break to buy a bread roll, cake and some fruit and roll back into the office to continue staring into a computer screen until 5:00 when I jump back into my car and the concert continues!
The traffic on the way home is disearnably heavier than it was on the way, but I patiently wait in line and inch my way up the slip road which is an agonising 3 minutes from my house but takes me 15 minutes to get to. However, safely negotiated, I jump onto my computer to put on some music and chat to people on messenger as in Southampton I have absolutely no social life until my housemate gets home. I wait.... Eventually he gets home, and the first thing (well actually the third after 'Hey' and 'Fancy a brew?') is 'Pub?'.
At about 6:30-7:00ish we're in the pub (which is about 5 minutes from our flat) catching up and having the same conversation about which barmaid is the fittest and kidding ourselves that we actually have a chance with any of them. As the hours drift on, and 8/9 pints later, I get goded that I can't drink as much as him and true to form, I rise to the challenge and suggest continuing to drink at home after closing time (which is 11:00p.m). However, we invariably stop at the burger van to get double cheese burgers and chips before punishing our livers further.
At home we switch on the TV and wait for 2 pints to come on tv. At this point I have a Baileys (or cheap supermarket equivalent) in my hand and promptly fall asleep clutching my drink. My bemused housemate mutters to himself before retiring for the night, leaving me cradling my drink non the wiser. At about 2/3 I wake up, finish my drink, which is remarkably still safe in my hand and stagger to bed to wake up the next day to do it all over again.
Mark Jones - aged 23
Beep Beep Beep - This is the joyous sound of my radio alarm clock! Why does it always go off so early in the morning! 5:00. I'm a zombie. If I wake up great, if I don't I have another 6 alarms programmed 5 minutes apart that should do the trick! Instinctively I put the kettle on before jumping into the shower to wash some life into me. This time I do have ironed shirts so I throw on some clothes and race out the door to catch the subway.
5:45 I'm at the subway station listening to music and hop on the train. After making the necessary change I eventually reach my destination and crawl up the steps onto the street. I stop at my favourite sandwich lady's stand and wait for my egg and salad butty and make my way into school with 20 minutes to prepare for my first class. At about 6:40 the other teachers rock up, all looking like death warmed up, and we all complain that 6:45 is an ungodly hour to start teaching (welcome to Korea) and wait for the dreaded sound of death...the bell for the class to begin.
At 9:45 I'm done. Class taught, students and teachers feeling much more awake after several rounds of caffeine, and the 5:00 a.m. start paling into insignificance (until tomorrow). Happy times. My next class starts at 12:00 so I have enough time to go to the gym which is 2 minutes from work. I get changed and hop onto the running machine to run for 40 minutes and watch the TV which is conveniently placed directly above my treadmill. At about 11:30 I shower and get ready to teach.
At 13:00, class successfully completed, I have about 4 hours until I need to be on the bus to my next class. What to do? Well, I could go for coffee, prepare for class or try to learn Korean. However, I think I'll choose the easy option, I'll do nothing! So I proceed to waste the next 4 hours pissing around on the internet, annoying my manager and watching dvds.
At 21:00 we eventually finish for the night, feeling exhausted as the split shift is pretty draining. However, I'm hungry now and the inner socialite means that dinner and a beer and/or soju is required. At about 22:30-23:00 I get home and go to bed, dreading the 5:00 sound of doom!
Mark Jones - aged 25
ZZZZ ZZZZ zzzz - I wake up when I naturally regain consciousness. These days it's about 7:30, but how nice it is to wake up of my own accord and I actually feel good! I purposefully go into the kitchen for the morning ritual and hop into the shower, singing or humming the song which is stuck in my head. As my shirts have already been ironed for me I get dressed and contemplate the motorbike ride to University. As my class doesn't begin until 13:00 there's no hurry, but I like to get there early to prepare so I leave home at about 8:30 and am at my desk by about 9:00 via the bakery where I pick up some bread and various cakes.
At work I talk with my coworkers, who help me enormously with my planning, and do some marking. I also play on the internet and wait for 13:00 to come and I teach my class. At 17:40 I leave the building and return home with nothing to complain about, musing over what I should have for dinner. After watching England pommel (I hope I'm not counting my chickens) Australia in the Ashes, I get changed and go for a run. 7km later I return sweaty but satisfied after stretching my legs.
At 22:00 when my housemates return, we go for a quick beer and some tucker before going to bed at about midnight with a full belly.
Simplicity at it's best!