Thursday, May 26, 2016

What the .... posers?!?!?!?!

A woman I work with, let's call her Delilah, found out that I lived in Korea. The first time she tried to actually talk to me instead of just a passing hellos, involved using Korean. A good old anyung, and some broken Korean. I know she was just trying to chat so I replied politely in English. We talked a bit about Korea, when I was there and how long. Delilah shared the same info and that was that. (She is in her mid-30s and it turns out we were in South Korea around the same time. Different cities and circles though.)

Afterwards, whenever Delilah saw me he would try chatting in Korean. And by chatting I mean using the same sentences/questions she had memorised in Korean. I lost most of the Korean I knew in the years since I have returned home. Korean just isn't a language I use in daily life. Hell, in life in general. Now I have to think about it before being able to reply. Delilah was funnily cute at first and then it just became kind of annoying.

Delilah seemed to enjoy the short time (2 years) she had spent in South Korea. She lived in Seoul, partied a lot. Going by her stories she had a solid group of friends (fellow ex-pats) who hung out. They always seemed to have travelled in a group. A lot of partying. Good for her and them. Delilah was basically one of the type of foreigners I didn't hang out with while I was there, or tried to avoid, 1 year wonder frat boys.

I decided early on not to share what I thought of Korea with her. I had made some comments about not having enjoyed my time there but they went over Delilah's head. It seemed better, meaning not actually getting into any heady discussion, to just let her share the memories of her "good times".

When I look back at my time in South Korea there was good and bad. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good. I did share that with a few co-workers. One of whom mentioned it to Delilah. Of course she just had to approach me about it one day.

Delilah just couldn't believe I didn't completely enjoy my time in South Korea. She went on about how great the partying was. Her answers to anything I had to say reminded me of shit the apologists would say. For example, when I said that I found South Korea to be the most racist and bigoted place I have ever lived her response was "You have never been to Africa then!".

I gave her an eye roll and said "As I said, 'place I have lived'. So either I have never lived there or did and didn't find it as bad." (Never lived there. Haven't even travelled there. Yet.) Based on that I just let it drop. I didn't need personal shit fucking up the workplace.

Then a week ago I got to spend a shift working in an area with her and another co-worker. When it wasn't busy she would talk, and started off talking about ... Korea. She still couldn't believe I didn't like my time there. So, I decided to ask her about her experiences.

Me "What was your favourite Korean food?"
Delilah "Oh god I hated Korean food."
Me "So, what did you eat?"
Her "Western food. Oh, yeah I liked dunkas."

Turns out she is a REALLY fussy eater. Vegetables must not touch meat. Nor should they touch other vegetables. Vegetables get eaten first then meat. It was basically cook your own, western style restaurants, and bar food for her.

She also talked about partying with her friends. No Koreans were in the circle of friends. Lots of stories about drunken revels and not knowing how she got home. However, when the subject of Korean alcohol came up it was the same result as Korean food. She hated Korean alcohol and wouldn't even try most of them, including the beer.

Me I still love some dong ... dong ju. :)

So, she spent over a year living there but not really experiencing Korea. I can point to experiences that shaped the opinions, good and bad, that I have of South Korea. And every other place I have travelled to or lived in.

I ended up deciding it was best to just not to talk about Korea with her any more.

Seriously, how the fuck can you spend time in a country and not experience the country? It always gave me a headache when my students would talk about going to another country and not really experiencing the country. Did you eat their food? No I ate at Korean restaurants. Did you check out their history or culture? Only in Korean tours that gave ample opportunity for pictures in front of things.

And Delilah is just like them.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What the ... top list?!?!?!?

Yet another top list about South Korea. :(

A friend sent me a link to The Top 7 Things South Korea Does Better Than Anyone Else. Against my better judgement I took a look at it. The author (who is never given any recognition) says it is 7 things that South Koreans are world champions at. That automatically had me shaking my head. It can only go down hill from there. And it did.

When I first read this post I had hoped it was a tongue in cheek one. But after reading and rereading it I don't think it is.

Here are the Top 7 and my thoughts on them.

#1 Flight Attendant For their service and beauty. Seriously? First off, that is subjective. Second off, everything I saw (experienced living in Asia for 10 years) and read had Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore ahead of any Korean airline. While I would rather travel any Korean airline before Air Canada they weren't the best I experienced. Close but not there.

#2 Plastic/Cosmetic Surgery I always heard that was true. Is it something to be proud of though? Your kids all want to look "western" and get double eyelid surgery instead of being proud of who they are. Yeah. Something to feel great about.

#3 Working Hard & Drinking Hard First off I call bullshit on this. Having lived and worked in South Korea for 10 years this made me laugh. It should have said Seeming to Work Hard & Drinking Hard. They definitely drink hard. Work hard? Fuck off. They LOOK like they are working hard. My co-workers always looked busy unless you actually looked at what they were doing. Shopping online. Playing online games. If you wanted to LOOK like you worked hard all you had to do was have a LOT of photocopies to hand out to your students.

As for the drinking not negatively affecting productivity. Please fuck off. I guess I was just imagining those days after the drinkfests when my co-workers would show up late, INCLUDING my boss, and hung over. They couldn't do their job properly. But what the fuck do I know.

#4 Credit Card Transactions  Is that really something to be proud of? Credit card debt is a big problem in  South Korea.  It is a reason why people kill themselves and get divorced.

#5 Starcraft   Once again is that something to crow about? Not even Starcraft 2 which is more recent but the game that came out in 1998. Get with the fucking times, and for god's sake not The Korean Times!

#6 Cosmetics Yes they are obsessed with beauty. Is that something to brag about?

#7 Internet Connectivity FINALLY, One I can agree with. The internet in South Korea is fucking amazing. The cost is low and the quality is high. Canada can only dream of having the same level as South Korea.

1 out of 7 actually made sense as something to brag about. Wow. What a load of shit. Then I looked at the site itself. Koreaboo. What a load of shit. Even though the post wasn't meant as tongue in cheek it was definitely a joke. Much like the site.

There are a LOT of things Koreans should be proud of. This list and site isn't one of them.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What the ... title?!?!?

A friend showed me the cover of a Korean magazine that is making the Social Media rounds. The Catholic University Magazine.

Or as they call it CUM Story. :)

Ok, I had to take a break to stop laughing. I can continue now.

The reaction of a lot of people I know reminded me of how friends would react when I told them some of the things that happened in Korea, or that Koreans say and believe. They can't believe people would really do or say that. They think it is made up. Then they learn that the wackiness is real.

"Why would they give a magazine a title like that?"

Odds are, and this is from personal experience, the person who came up with the title is a senior who thinks he knows English. Which meant that the juniors would just have to bit their tongues, IF they knew it was wrong, and agree with him. A lot of the time, when I lived in Korea, the answer was just that simple and that stupid.

"Why didn't they get someone who knows English to give input?"

Odds are for the same reason as above. It would tell a senior he was wrong. Or hubris. They just thought they knew best and didn't accept or want any input

It does seem insane considering how many Koreans study English and how many English speaking foreigners live and work in Korea that this sort of shit happens. I think of some of the stupid t-shirts with horrible or insane English on them that I saw when I lived there.

"What the fuck does 'Window of the challenge' mean?"

Who knows? Jut another example of Konglish. Like 'Hyorish". And seriously how can this be the first thing someone noticed and not teh title of the magazine?!?!?! But I digress.

There is another possible answer, one friends and I would chuckle about over drinks. Maybe somewhere there is a Native English speaker in charge of t-shirts, signs, magazine covers, and the like. Sometimes, just for shits and giggles, he approves the fucked up stuff just for a laugh or to see if Koreans actually notice. ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Oops, I posted this on the wrong blog. It should have been posted here.


Tonight I watched "Kite". I had never heard of it before, or the anime that came before it.

It started off gory enough. I found out the impetus of the main character quickly enough. Samuel Jackson is in it!!!! Damn!

Sawa, the main character, is out for revenge. Someone killed her father, a cop, and mother. Jackson is her father's partner.

The film has a gritty look to it. Gangs running the streets. Lots of violence.

The acting so far is kind of shite. The action is waning. Damn she just ganked the fucker! Damn, a dildo gun! Ok. It just got a bit better.

The plot is kind of blah. She kills someone who will lead her to the one who killed her parents. Then SJ gives her a drug to make her forget everything. But she remembers ... something.

Meh ... it is hard to get into this movie. It is too jumpy. The fight scenes are pretty good though. It kind of helps make up for everything else. But not really enough.

God damn. Stun gun to the nuts!!! God damn!!!!

Yet I keep having to skip forward for some reason.

Ok, the skewer up the nose was great.

Too predictable.

Oh fuck it. Had to just stop watching this one.

I want my time back.

What the ... rut?!?!?

It is strange how things come to mind sometimes. The other day, while talking with some co-workers, I realized that South Korea was my rut.

We get stuck in a rut at times. Whether it is literally or figuratively. Figuratively, our lives are going in a direction we can't seem to get out of for whatever reason. Often because it is what we know. What is comfortable. Or at least safer than the unknown. Literally, especially here in the winter, our car tire gets in a rut and it is hard or impossible to control where it goes.

For me it was a combination of things. While South Korea is the most racist and bigoted place I have ever lived it wasn't all shit. I actually enjoyed what I did. Add to that the fact that because I enjoyed it I found it easy to do. So good money, easy work. Fear of the unknown.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that. Fear of the unknown is a powerful motivator, or de-motivator, depending on how you think. I had a job I liked with good pay. I had friends and a good social life. I could travel and have fun on my free time. If I left what was I going to do? Would I find a job I liked? One that made good money? Or would I be miserable. Great de-motivator to making any changes.

Oh yeah, and I was also morbidly obese and didn't give a shit. What a combination. Kind of surprised I am still here and actually happy with life. Surprisingly change was good. This time.

Why did I go to South Korea? I actually wanted change in my life. Something I feared. I had a job I hated. REALLY REALLY hated. Pay was good. Benefits were good. Job was shit and I hated it. But that is a story for another time. ;)

I lucked out when I got home. After taking a year off and shedding a lot weight I found a job. I didn't think I would like it. I didn't think I would last long if they hired me. I have been there for almost 4 years now and have started the move into the management side of things. I never saw this coming. Luckily, I got over my fear of change, and out of the rut, came home and took a chance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Same Racist Shit Different Year.

Oh Korea, you never fail to show your ass to the world. When asked by people at home if I would ever go back to Korea to live my answer is no. I just couldn't put up with the racist and bigoted bull shit again. If I hadn't used the internet as an outlet to vent when I was there I probably would have lost it. I would never willingly put myself in that situation again. Hopefully, things will change there but looking at some of the current headlines it is a long way off.

An American teacher was turned down by a school for the fact he was black. In fact, that was the reason they told his recruiter and was TEXTED to him.

Sadly, this still doesn't surprise me when talking about South Korea. Nor does the response of the Korean Human Rights Committee.

An official at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea acknowledged that there is no anti-discrimination law in Korea and it would be difficult to take any punitive action in most of the cases.

It would be difficult so we won't even try to do anything about it. Way to protect human rights. It was a better response that a guy I know got when he contacted them back in 2006 about CYJ English Academy's racist ad.  He was told that while it was discriminatory it wasn't discriminatory enough. These are the same fucktards that said banning the use of cell phones in schools was a violation of students Human Rights. What the kimchi?!?!?!?

The official from Butler Child Academy in Sangdo Seoul made all the usual comments to excuse their actions. The children would be scared of him. We had to fill the position quickly and had already found someone. (Yet he was texted his rejection on his way to the interview.) They then fell back on a variation of  an over used Korean cop out ...

“I suspect that there was some miscommunication between him and the recruiter.”

Ah, miscommunication and passing the buck. It was the recruiters fault. It was miscommunication. The recruiter shouldn't have told him the racist reason we gave. It wasn't our fault. Mind you calling it miscommunication is a step up from the over used misunderstanding. Which I found Korean's tend to use when they had lied and you had caught them.

It seems like Korea hasn't advanced that much since I left, at least when it comes to racism. While I could visit there it isn't a place I could live in again. Or even advise others to live in.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Social Experiment

What can I say, I am proud of how this "experiment" turned out. It proves what I have always though about Canada and Canadians.

I heard a lot of people (which means foreigners) in South Korea talking about how they would treat Koreans if they encountered them at home. It pissed me off. I hated how foreigners were treated in South Korea. I would never want to make someone feel that hated in Canada. It is something I actually thought about while there. Something I thought about before I came home and after I returned.

In South Korea I was pretty much labelled as a piece of shit just because I was a foreigner. In my first couple of months I was labelled as having aids just because I was a foreigner. I was labelled as a just wanting to rape/molest "their" women. I always felt like a 3rd class or worse citizen there. Which is why people talking about "giving it back" to Koreans in their home country bothered me.

If I hated being treated some way why the hell would I want to treat someone that way. It would make me a hypocritical piece of shit. Which is worse than being a piece of shit. I wanted to make sure I never treated a foreigner in Canada the way I was treated in South Korea.

While I don't like these ambush type of "media" stories it does make me feel good. I have always thought of Canadians as being tolerant. That "we" wouldn't put up with racist bullshit. This "experiment" actually confirmed it for me.