Today marks one month since my daring escape from South Korea, and my return to a humdrum suburban life in Western Australia. I’m not unhappy at all – I’m hanging out with my best friend again, I’m in a relationship for the first time in more than a year, and I’m generally enjoying a return to normalcy, peppered with news from my past about other native teachers at my school quitting in frustration. The only thing that bothers me is that I still don’t have a job.

After several weeks of failed applications I went crawling back to my old supermarket job, but they can only offer me enough shifts to stay afloat, not to actually save enough money for travelling in 2010. (Besides which, I’m sick of working at Coles.) So the jobhunt continues. I’ve lost count, but I think I’ve applied for around 30 positions so far. In the last ten days alone, I’ve applied for bookstores, wine stores, a video rental store, a pharmacy, a travel agent, two telemarketing jobs, three copywriting jobs, JB Hifi, an editorial internship, a bar on Rottnest Island, and a slew of generic marketing/sales/PR/promotional positions.

Of my entire jobhunt so far, I’ve had two interviews. One of these I got through a friend. The vast majority of applications are either ignored entirely or rejected by email. I’m becoming more and more depressed and convinced that I’m unemployable.

Of course, this is the first time I’ve ever actually had to hunt for a job. My first two I got through friends, and my third I got in a strange and illogical country where anybody with a police clearance and a university degree can earn $24,000 a year.

And of course the most important thing is that I’m not a prisoner of Wonderland anymore – that I escaped intact – that I can thank God that I am…