Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Report Cards

Something else that used to bother me but I just slough off is report cards. If you are working at a hagwon they are a fucking joke. In my first year I tried taking them seriously but wasn't allowed to. You weren't allowed to say anything negative. You weren't allowed to give a mark below C. In fact you really weren't supposed to give a mark below B. What the kimchi? So I railed against the machine. "Why waste our time if we aren't allowed to give a real report card?" "Because you must."

I quickly caught onto how to do it but still felt it was a waste of time. I would use words say what the student was really doing that our director wouldn't know, and odds are the parents too. Sometimes I would slip in the plain truth and see if it got past the director.

At one hole I worked at we weren't allowed to send any mark home that was below 70%. So you would have siblings going home with different size envelopes. The good one would have a thick envelope of tests and assignments all graded. The bad one would have an almost empty envelope. The parents weren't amused and the director would of course blame it on the foreign teacher not giving assignments or tests.

The last hagwon I worked at was great. We were actually allowed to say the truth in report cards. In one case we were painfully honest and it worked. For whatever reason within 2 weeks of getting the report card the student changed and became a good student. Unfortunately those days are done. I am at one that wants you to sugar coat or lie. What the kimchi? Why get worked up. Just play the game.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bowing to the inevitable.

I have been here long enough that some things do kind of slough off my shoulder when they happen. Case in point being informed of changes or plans.

We got a new teacher at my school last month. A Korean-Canadian, or rather a Korean who moved to Canada when 18, spent 10 years there, got citizenship and is now back in the motherland for some reason or another on an F visa. (The reason ... well maybe in another post. I don't want to digress too much. Oh but to digress a little more they are going to TRY and pass her off as a native-speaker to the parents.)

Her first day of work and she was already bitching like a pro about Korea. The rude people. The smells. The drunk taxi driver hitting on her. Made me think I may not be such a cynical bastard after all. Then she asked about her schedule. I shrugged and said "You will probably get it 10 minutes before your first class if you are lucky. At the bell if you aren't." She wasn't lucky.

This last minute bull shit usually happens no matter where you work in Korea. Even when they have weeks to plan and prepare things get left to the last minute. From what I have heard from others this isn't limited to hagwons or foreigners.

It used to drive me crazy and would see me blow up at whoever was in charge. Then I guess I just got used to it, and the fact it would always happen no matter how much I tried to avert it. Like death and taxes this too is inevitable. I don't know when it stopped bothering me. Actually it never really stopped bothering me, I just got good at ignoring it and saying "What the fuck?"

Take today. We were doing level tests. Basically, as busy work, I had to give a short speaking test to all the kids. Pull them out of the main test. Ask 5 questions and record their pronunciation and such stuff. When was I told about "my duties"? 1 hour before the tests started. I was gobsmacked! In real work place time that is like having a weeks notice!!!

When told what I had to do I thought no problem. Ask some basic questions and the higher the level the longer their answer should be. Easy peasy. Then I fumble the ball and ask "So, is there a form? Where do I do the testing?"

Bad Flint! Bad! Never ask, just do. I was told to ask a Korean teacher who (and this is 30 minutes before the start now) wasn't there yet. I slough it of and say "Tell her to let me know what is up when she gets here." Ah, passing the buck.

Of course no one came to let me know anything and the bell went. I just kept reading Korea Rum Diary and killing time. Someone noticed the bell went and "Oh Flint teacher you must go do the tests."

"Ok. You have the forms I put everything on?" Uh oh. Bad question. I already knew the answer. :) They didn't have them.

After about 10-15 minutes of farting around. I was given a report card all in Korean and told to use the parts of it that apply. I was also given questions that they had pre-made and forgot to mention. None of this late notice or lack of preparedness bothered me. In fact I had to chuckle at it. The Korean teachers were scurrying around like chickens with their heads chopped off.

I found a room. Got the attendance sheets to make notes on. Ignored the report card. Ignored the questions I was given. (As the office manager would say himself an hour later "These questions are no good for what we are doing. How should we do it Flint?") And I did it Myyyyyyy way! (Salut Frankie.)

No frustration. No stress. No stroke. Once you accept that this bizarre way of planning and doing things is always going to happen and that it is easier to bend with it you can just muddle on. It still amazes me, considering my temper, that I actually learned this lesson. The new teacher is having trouble learning it.

Monday, December 28, 2009 now has a link to a blog site. Could it be the "creators" blog site? Who knows. But it is a funny read too. :)

Korea is Best also has a new section on ... dogs. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Korea Times is worse than a tabloid.

When I looked into the article claiming the Christmas tree as Korean I had to look into the Korean Times Nation section. Now when you associate the word nation with a country it is normal to expect that section to be about THAT country and things that affect it. Not with the Korea Times though.

The Nation section contains such hard hitting news stories that are definitely Korean as ... Flatulent Pig (a story from Australia), Woman's Abusive Calls (from Texas), and the heart wrenching story Me! Dog. Not horse. (from Arizona). Unless Korea is claiming these are now parts of Korea why the hell have them in the Nation section. Then again ... why have them in a NEWS paper? (Ok, every paper does fluff pieces from time to time but they tend to be categorized properly.) None of these foreign stories are properly attributed either. But hey, why have standards?

Oh wait didn't a Korea Times editor say they did have standards and policies they follow? Mr. Oh, there is a time when you need to see that the nit picking is because your paper is infested with nits and is getting worse and worse as time goes by. Here is a free lesson in journalistic integrity. When you "borrow" a story from another source and don't cite it as such, or worse try and pass it off as your own work, that is called plagiarism. It is considered unethical. I am sure your electronic dictionary can explain the big words to you.

If you want to be viewed as a REAL news outlet it is time you started cleaning up your act and behaving like one. It isn't a misunderstanding. It isn't "just" nit picking. Seriously dude. ME! Dog. Not Horse??? What the fuck???? Your paper is SHIT. Hell I wouldn't even use it as toilet paper.

After seeing that Arizona, Texas, and Australia were part of the Korean Nation according to the KT I had to zip over to another site and check out their National section. To their credit, the Korean Herald has none of this type of crap in their National section. Only Korean related stories. A tip of the hat to you for that.

The Korean Times is worse than a tabloid. Even tabloids know what they are. The Korea Times seems to think it is something much better. Time to wake up and smell the kimchi Mr. Oh. Your paper needs to do some house cleaning if it ever wants to be taken seriously as a news outlet. It seems to me that you don't care. In which case you should change your email from to because that is what you look like.

Sesons Beatings Korea Times.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Twelve Days of Korean Christmas

The Twelve Days of Korean Christmas
Another Stig and Flint Production

On the first day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
A bill for my Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Five Baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Seven schoolgirls whining (Cho-ah!),
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Eight ajummas elbowing,
Seven schoolgirls whining (Cho-ah!),
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Nine SNSDs dancing,
Eight ajummas elbowing,
Seven schoolgirls whining (Cho-ah!),
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Ten mooks a-shambling,
Nine SNSDs dancing,
Eight ajummas elbowing,
Seven schoolgirls whining (Cho-ah!),
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Eleven adjossis pissing,
Ten mooks a-shambling,
Nine SNSDs dancing,
Eight ajummas elbowing,
Seven schoolgirls whining (Cho-ah!),
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
A Korean gave to me,
Twelve "Do You Know Dokdo?" T-shirts,
Eleven adjossis pissing,
Ten mooks a-shambling,
Nine SNSDs dancing,
Eight ajummas elbowing,
Seven schoolgirls whining (Cho-ah!),
Six Gay Dragons mincing,
Five baek-so-ju,
F distinct seasons,
Three kimchi pots,
Two Hanbok outfits,
And a bill for my Christmas tree!

Friday, December 25, 2009

What the ... Christmas Tree????

As I have said before, I don't read the Korean Times or Herald. A friend told me about a story he read in the Korean Times. It sounds like something you would read on Korea is Best, @koreagov, or Dokdo Is Ours. It sounds like a joke.

Korea's National Institute of Biological Resources (NBIR) has declared that the fir trees we use as Christmas trees in the west are ... KOREAN! They claim that "type specimens" of Korean fir trees were taken out of Korea in 1904 by a European botanist. He donated them to the Smithsonian Institute where they are today.

Now, you are probably wondering why it would matter. Money. NBIR seems to think that they will be able to make money out of this. They want a slice of the profits from the Christmas tree industry in the west. According to a spokesmook for NBIR the tree originated and still grows in Korea, but western companies saw it's value before Koreans and made profits from it. Which they then twist to mean they are owed part of the profits.

What I find funny is that the tradition of the Christmas tree goes back much further than 1904 when the dirty foreign botanist absconded the, then useless now supposedly money making so great and Korean,"type specimens". According to folklore it goes back to the 7th Century or further. Historically, it can be traced back to the 16th Century. There is documented proof of Christmas trees in the 17th century and beyond. Well before the dirty foreigner took the "type specimens".

In Europe there are 8 types of fir, spruce, and pine trees that are commonly used. In the Americas there are 13 types of fir and pine tress that are commonly used. There are a myriad of others trees that are less traditional but sometimes used. All of these trees are the Korean Fir?

So where the hell does the idea that this ONE Korean fir tree is THE Christmas tree? From the kimchi addled brains of NBIR who think they can scam some money out of it.

Well fuck me. Two can play at that game NBIR. Hmmmm ... kimchi addled brains ... Kimchi ... Spicy ... Hot ... Hot pepper ... Gochuguang ...Gochu. Hey! Let's look at that staple of the Korean diet the Gochu or hot pepper. Is it REALLY Korean? They have made money off of the peppers and products made from it in Korea haven't they?

Oh dear. It seems as though the pepper originated in the Americas and NOT Korea. People have been eating them there since 7500BC. There is evidence that it was domesticated over 6000 years ago in what is now Ecuador! Why that is LONGER than Korea has a history! The history of the hot pepper is longer than Korea's history! Oh my!

Once again dirty foreigners STOLE the peppers and brought them to Europe in the 1400's. The Spanish introduced it to Japan in the 16th Century and it made its way from there to Korea in the 1700's.

So, using the errr umm dare I say "logic" of NBIR Korea owes money to the America's for the centuries of use of the pepper. See, revenge isn't a dish best served cold. It is best served in all of it's spicy goodness.

Now stick a gochu up your ass NBIR and see if it turns into a fir tree. What a bunch of fucktards.

A Christmas Miracle!

I'm feeling the same way about Christmas this year as Flint. It just doesn't seem "Christmassy" at all. I tried like hell to get a flight home, But I left it to late, and a cheap one was not to be had. I was feeling very lonely.
To top it off, my cigar order was delayed and delayed. I have cigars shipped to me from a store in the JW Marriot in Seoul called Maska's. It's a very good store, very well managed, with a fine selection of premium handmade cigars.
The last time I put in an order, it went very smoothly, and I had them within a day of depositing the money in their account. But this time, I waited a week with no answer to my order. I e-mailed the owner, and he prodded his assistant to get on the stick. Then she got back to me with the final price.
Shipping only costs 10,000 won! Cheap like borscht!
After I deposited the money, days went by with no cigars. I was getting worried, Finally, on Christmas Eve, I sent another e-mail to the assistant, and a copy to the owner, Vince, expressing my discontent.
Later that day, Vince called me to apologize, and to assure me that he would send the cigars as soon as possible. Well, it was evening already, and I wouldn't be at my school (where I have deliveries sent) until Monday. It was looking like a smoke-free Christmas, and I was bitching to Flint when I received Vince's call.
When I explained about the delivery address, Vince asked me to send him my home address, and he would have them messengered so that I would have them the next day, Christmas.
I was going to wait until Flint and I had had dinner to send the address, but Flint would have none of it. He sent me home straightaway. He wanted his cigars, and you do not get in the way of Flint when he's after something he wants if you know what's good for you.
Plus, I wanted the cigars as bad as he did.
So, I sent the address off to Vince, and texted him what I had done, and he got back right away.
By this time, Flint and I were enjoying dweji galbi at Nolboo.
Mmmmmmmmmmm drool. Everything was very good, and even the kimchi had a nice little bite to it.
After dinner, Flint and I headed to the drinking area, and were enjoying some Cass Reds with a couple of "rat tail" cigars that are available at a local convenience store. Balmorals. Passable for the first half or so, but very harsh once you get towards the end.
As we were sitting out on the deck, freaking out the locals and enjoying the scenery, I got a call from the courier company. They wanted to confirm my address. I thought Vince would've given that to them, and it would have been better for them to talk to him, because their English was almost as bad as my Korean.
After a second call from them, in which I think I talked to at least three different people about the address, I contacted Vince and asked him to give them some more direction. He said he was on it, and if I didn't hear from him, that would be good news.
Flint and I went off to Seduce, a bar that makes arguably the best Long Island Iced Teas in Cheongju. And the scenery there is not too bad, either.
Flint was just remarking that we hadn't heard from Vince, which meant good news, when my phone rang. It was another delivery guy, with not too bad English, and I divined that he was WAITING OUTSIDE MY HOUSE.
Flint and I were just about ready to move on, anyway, so I told the delivery guy I would be there in a half hour or so. Flint almost came with, but he said he wasn't in a cigar mood at that time. I think he feared he couldn't do it justice, but he's kicking himself today.
In the cab on the way home I got another call, this time from Vince's assistant Enya, confirming that the delivery guy was waiting outside my house. Well, I was there within twenty minutes, and I received the cigars with great relief and appreciation for the service.
I don't think anyone in Canada or the U.S. would go out of their way like that, and I would just like to say that Vince will be getting some return business from Flint and myself.
It was looking pretty grim there for a wile, but he more than redeemed himself by making sure that his customer got what he wanted in good time.
So, if you like cigars, and if you like good service, give Maska's Cigars a try. You won't regret it. As I said, they're in the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel in Seoul, right next to the Gangnam Express Bus Terminal. Their e-mail is, and their web site is They have good quality cigars (mostly Cuban) and you cannot beat their delivery charges.
After making my call home, and speaking to all the family, I joined Flint at the patio at Dunkin Donuts (more freaked out locals), for a coffee and a fine cigar. Our shipment this time consisted of Romeo y Julieta No. 2's, and man! Were they were waiting for! All we had was a regular coffee with the cigar (no... special... additives), and we were buzzing! Flint almost couldn't ride his scooter home he was so light headed. Nothing beats a fine cigar.
So, that's my Christmas miracle. I hope your Christmas is just as magical, and may the bleessings and peace of the season be upon you all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Memories

Ok, enough maudlin complaining. Maybe it is the booze, A Colbert Christmas, or it could even be starting to feel like Christmas. Ok, it is the booze. Sitting in my postage stamp drinking and thinking and writing about how last Christmas Eve sucked made me think of the good ones.

One of my favourite Christmases was when I was in High School. My Great Aunt had a cottage on the ocean and it was winterized. The plan was to spend a Christmas there with her. Around 10 AM Christmas Eve day Dad packed mom and I, along with 3 dogs, into the van and off we drove.

Normally it was about a three hour drive to get there. Of course the fickle finger of fate would make it more of an adventure for us. It came in the form of a nasty snowstorm with whiteouts at times. Luckily, dad was a trucker and a great driver. It took us about 5 hours of so but we made it there.

It was surreal at times though. Driving through small towns with no one in sight. The swirling snow distorting the lights and creating visions of a magical wonderland outside the van. Or just how beautiful the woods looked when there were breaks in the storm as we drove through uninhabited areas.

We stopped for a break at a truck stop (the dogs needed a break too ... damn they had good bladder and bowel control!). Mom stocked up on munchies and something hot to drink while I walked the dogs. Dad called to let my Great Aunt know we were still on the way and checked out the road reports. He said "Bah, I have driven through worse storms" (and he had) so we pushed on.

We made it to the cottage safe and sound. The storm had abated and it looked so beautiful. The only sounds we could hear was the waves lapping up on the shore in front of the cottage. The dogs made a B-line through the snow to the beach.

Inside it smelled like .... heaven. My Great Aunt had done a lot of baking. Bread, cookies. Plus she had started dinner. The air was filled with so many exquisite aromas. I am drooling now just thinking about them.

I played with the dogs in the back. Or was it side? Never could get it straight. The part facing the ocean. :) We had a ball. I lost track of time. Next thing I knew it was getting dark. The yard looked beautiful. There was a huge window in the living room, looking out towards the ocean. The lights from the tree were shining through and reflecting off of the snow. What a sight.

Dinner was fantastic. Afterwards we sat around talking. I loved listening to their stories about life. We each opened a present. It was a great night. Plus I wore myself out with the dogs. Slept like a log listening to the wind and the crackling of the fire.

Dad cooked Christmas breakfast for everyone. Sausage, eggs, toast, coffee, tea. Of course we opened presents first. The storm had finished during the night. It was a sunny and very white Christmas. Late in the morning we drove my Great Aunt to her home (in town about halfway from our place to the cottage). Then we headed home.

One of the best Christmases I have ever had.

Happy Ho Ho to you and yours.

Deck The Halls

Ok, Korean Rum Diary inspired me to try my hand at this again. Unfortunately for you Stig wasn't around to help.

Deck the Halls

Deck the halls and beat them soundly,
Fa la la la la la la la la
They pissed me off and thats their folly,
Fa la la la la la la la la
There is G-Dragon in his gay apparel,
Fa la la la la la la la la
Let's dump the fucker in a barrel,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

See Kang ShinWho mooking before us,
Fa la la la la la la la la
Let's all moon him while singing this chorus,
Fa la la la la la la la la
Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la la la la la la la
To the Room Salon to find some pleasure,
Fa la la la la la la la la

The stench of kimchi soon it passes,
Fa la la la la la la la la
Pinch your nose and find some lasses,
Fa la la la la la la la la
Drink we joyous all together,
Fa la la la la la la la la
If we survive the hangover then any storm we can weather,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Happy Ho Ho!

It's Christmas Eve! Isn't it?

It REALLY doesn't feel like one to me this year. It has been a craptastic week. New shit to deal with every day. Instead of looking forward to celebrating Christmas I would rather just say fuck it and grinch about my tiny apartment.

I used to look forward to going to my favourite haunt every Christmas Eve. (Or rather ex-favourite haunt as I don't frequent it as much any more.) Last Christmas cured me of wanting that tonight.

WORST time I ever had on a Christmas Eve. The music sucked. Ok the band wasn't that bad but I really don't want to hear songs yelling on about "Fuck you and all the things you do." on Christmas Eve. Surely to god they could have learned some rock style Christmas songs. Hell Twisted Sister put out a GREAT Christmas Album. (Listening to it now.) WAY too many mooks were there. Every year one of the regulars would read The Night Before Christmas. The fucking mooks wouldn't even shut up and let him do that! He ended up giving up.

Thus went my Christmas Eve tradition in Korea. I don't have the energy to start a new one. Like I said it just doesn't feel like Christmas to me.

Merry Humbug to all
And Seasons Beatings to the mooks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What the Christmas?

Ohno! This site now has bideo!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This site, if meant as a joke, is funny. Odds are it was written by a foreigner. :) The Homeless Sexual, the Aids, etc. Heh. Well done. :)

The hardest thing ...

Racism and cultural differences aside I think the hardest thing about living in Korea is not being home when something bad happens. Being halfway around the world means you can't just be there. And you are usually the last person to know when something does happen.

One of my Aunts died a couple of days ago. Everyone was so caught up in their grief that no one told me. I happened to call home last night and was told. She isn't the first relative who has died since I have been in Korea, hopefully she is the last. My oldest brother died back in 2003. I was told fairly quickly but couldn't get a flight that would get me back in time for his funeral. It is something that bothers me to this day. I wish I could have been there but it just wasn't possible.

2 years ago my mother almost died. Luckily, I had a great boss (and a great friend who could cover for me) and I went home for 2 months.

I am lucky that I come from a big family. My brothers and sisters are there for mom and each other. But I still feel guilty when something happens and I am not there, can't make it there, or get there late. And powerless to do anything. Guilty and powerless. Not good feelings as they tend to lead to depression .

I have also been lucky to have some good friends (foreign and Korean) here to help me get through the bad times. I could never have survived this long without them. I don't know how someone could cope without that kind of support system. I hope everyone has that kind of support.

The Christmas season always makes me think of family. This happening made me think even more. I guess I will stop now before I get all maudlin on you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What the kimch ... errrrrr ... sushi?

No matter how bad you might think your life is there is always some dumb shit out there that allowed you to feel better. After reading about this guy all I could say was "God damn! Life is pretty good! I have one!"

Seriously though, what the fuck? Talk about someone in need of an intervention. Or alcohol. I remember reading a couple of months ago about how Japanese housewives were angry that their husbands spending too much time with virtual girlfriends. They complained that they were more attentive to the VR girls than their wife. Hmmm ... ok I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by this article. It is the next logical step for someone with no fucking life.

Twas The Night Before A Korean Christmas

Twas The Night Before A Korean Christmas as Bastardized by Stig and Flint.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Korea,
Kang Shin-woo reported all foreigners had gonorrhea.
The Korea Times was printed without any care.
Of plagiarism, or copyrights they just weren't aware.

The mooks were all settled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Blian Golden Balls danced in their heads.
And Omma in her kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a soju-induced nap.

When out in the street the noise became too much,
As the loudspeaker truck driver ground out his clutch.
Away to the 'balcony' I staggered and stumbled,
and looking out I angrily grumbled.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of cleanliness to the dirty city below.
When, what to my rheumy eyes should appear,
But a piece of shit Kia with the logo of Cass beer.

With a babo old driver, all 'luuded and slow,
He cut off another who wanted to go.
Slower than an ajumma crossing the road,
He hocked up a loogie and spat out his load.

Ya sheepal! Ya Nom! Gaeseki waegook!
Jeshu obso! Our women don't fook!
We're the tops in the world! The top of you all!
But with our tiny weiners we just cannot ball.

Like call girl cards all plastered on cars,
The swear words multiplied like ads on the doors.
The drivers bumped chests and threatened to punch,
But their ardour (like honour) was truly out to lunch.

And then their stumbling led into my hall.
They continued to bluster, but not really brawl.
I had opened my door to see their fake fight,
And they stupidly blinked in the automatic light.

They were dressed in fake track suits
That read "Fuma" and "Abibas."
They didn't wear socks and
On their feet were plastic slippas.

Their eyes how they glared and glowed shiny red,
For baeksoju (their fuel) had gone to their head.
Their puckered little mouths drew down to a frown
For they now knew foreigners watched as they clowned.

Thin little ciggies were clamped in their teeth,
And the smoke stank like the toes at the ends of their feet.
Each had a wrinkled face, dirty and brown.
Showing that their status was considered low down.

They were thin as thin rails, these mean little wights,
And I laughed in their faces at their excuse for a fight.
The squint in their eye and slack look on their mouths,
Soon gave me to know they'd soon shamble out.

They spoke not a word and went out the door,
And peed in the gutter right next to a store.
And digging their fingers into their noses,
They staggered off southward re-arranging their clothes.

I went to my wife and kissed her soft cheek.
This story would last me for more than a week.
And I said to my dear as I put out the light,
"Melly Chlistmas to all and to all a good night!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mookishness continues.

It was a great cap to a week. Ribs and soju for dinner. It was snowing out. So Stig and I decide to sit on a bench and have a beer. It was nice to chill out, literally and figuratively.

Then I hear some stupid fucking mook shout something at us at the top of his lungs. I THOUGHT I knew what he said and immediately responded with 'Fuck off asshole!'. Then I said to Stig "Did that fucking mook say what I think he said? Did he say 'You are cold! Go home!'" Stig confirmed it.

We had some people come by and ASK if we are cold. To which I simply replied if I was I wouldn't be sitting there. Unlike most Koreans I dress for the cold when it is cold. That way I don't have to stumble around like a moron complaining that I am cold.

We never expected some stupid fucking mook to come along and shout something like that. I guess there is a lesson there. No expects the Spanish Inquisition! Oops I mean always expect the unexpected from a mook.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Weather

Winter weather is finally here. Damn cold on a scooter when you forget your gloves. Damn damn cold.

Mind you I LOVE winter. I enjoy the cold weather and snow. Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad. Korea doesn't get a lot of snow by my standards.

One of the benefits of the colder weather is that less people are mooking about outside. Maybe it is just my anti-social feelings talking but I like having less noise. Oh it is still noisy at times but not as bad as summer. Then I am happy to have the aircon on because the windows are closed and it is harder to here the people outside.

I remember the night I got home in June (went home for a month.) Made it in time to watch hockey. During the 2nd intermission I went out on the back deck. It was sooooo strange. It was ... quiet. I could hear a car in the distance. I could hear insects. There were no loud speaker trucks. It was eerily peaceful. Kind of creeped me out for a few minutes. ;)

Strangely enough I guess I did miss some of the background noise I have grown used to in Korea. Something just felt off for a little while because it wasn't there. Then I got over it and ejoyed the quiet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What the .... Graveyard?!?!?


Thanks to Korea Beat I started the day with a great laugh. As I said previously the Korea Times is a piece of shit. I wouldn't even wipe my ass with it. They have no right to consider themselves to be a true media outlet.

Case in point. They actually reported on an ET graveyard in Rwanda? What the ..... f.... err kimchi?

The same reporter in a story on Keira Knightley actually wrote "Keira Knightley (24), an actress who has long resisted nude scenes in her films and photo shoots due to her small breasts, has finally agreed to pose nude."

Thank you Korea Times for showing yet again how much of a rag you are. Maybe's next article (although will he copy it from a tabloid or actually write it?) will be about how on their way to Rwanda to retrieve their dead the aliens stop in Korean and learn about the universal healing qualities of kimchi.

What a bunch of fucktards!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

CYJ English Academy in Seoul

CYJ English Academy in Seoul. For "some" reason I was reminded of them lately.

It was 2006 and the Korean media was running a spate of anti-foreign English teacher shows. The Anti-English Spectrum people were starting their lynch mob, errr group, to get all those dirty foreigners dating Korean women, errr I mean committing acts of evil arrested and/or deported. Someone on Dave's ESL made a post about a racist school in Seoul. CYJ English Academy.

It turns out that this Academy started an advertisement campaign aimed at taking advantage of the BS the media was spouting about foreign teachers. The one that came to our attention was their ad on the CYJ website.

I had it translated by my gym buddy and another co-worker. Mainly I wanted to make sure that the translation I read years ago was right, and my memory was good. They are pretty much the same and it doesn't paint a pretty picture. Here it is.

We Don't Hire Native Speakers. (Only Koreans.)

1) Most foreigners are just in Korea for a year and are irresponsible. They don't care about the students.

2) Foreign teachers are not qualified and don't care if their students learn or not.

3) They didn't major in Education.

4) Most do not have a high quality education, they have 2 year certificates and not 3-4 year diplomas.

5) We have no way to check on their character. Many foreigners do drugs, are gay, are criminals, have aids, and have been convicted of sexual violence.

6) They don't prepare for class or counsel parents.

7) They have no passion for teaching and don't care about their students.

8) They don't care about properly developing their student’s English skills.

9) Many are not really Native Speakers. They are immigrants or the children of immigrants and therefore not fluent as fluent in English as a true Native Speaker.

10) It is impossible for parents to talk to them about their child’s progress because they can't speak Korean.

This caused a small shitstorm amongst the expat community. I remember reading one Dave's poster talking about contacting the Korean Human Rights Commission about this and being told that while it is discriminatory it isn't discriminatory enough to take any action.

A while later the same list appeared on the site with a disclaimer added. It basically said * Not all Native Speakers are like this.

Wow, gee thanks for the vote of confidence you racist bastards.

So, after having this translated and talking about it with my co-workers I asked one of them to see if it was still on the CYJ website. He was a bit harried, we were busy, and said he couldn't find it. I thought that was great they removed. Nice to see.

Then I remembered the type of fucktards I was talking about and decided to check myself. I found out that the list IS still there, in the last form I mentioned, in about 2 minutes.

Go to (Oh it is one of these moronic sites that only seems to be IE friendly.)

There is a long white bar with some links in the middle. The left most is 헉 원 소 거. Click on that.

On the left you will then see 5 links you can go to in orange. Click on FACULTY. (It is there in English and Korean.) You will then be given 4 links to go to. Click on the second one.

Voila. There is the old list pared down to 9 with the same disclaimer. At least the assholes are consistent. (And these assholes are still jumping on any bandwagon they can to drum up business. One of their popups declares they are an influenza free zone.)

The list exploited the fears the media was starting to build up in Korea then and continues to do so today. They were meant to scare parents off of Native Speakers and paint us as a bunch of diseased, drug using, perverts.

Nice to be made to feel so welcome isn’t it?

Shut the fuck up!

Loud people come in all sizes, shapes, and colours. It isn't limited to just Koreans. Today was a prime example of that.

I was meeting Stig for a late lunch at Popeye's. (Popeye's it's the shiznay!) I was early, wish I had been late. The only other people were a couple of foreigners who sat at the other end of the restaurant.

Interesting people. NOT!

She is from Georgia, hasn't been in Korea long. Hates fried chicken. (What the fuck was she doing at Popeye's eating ... fried chicken?) Growing up they ate fried chicken for most meals because her father loved it. They had to stop when her mother developed an illness. Then they switched to boiled chicken. Blah blah blah blah.

He is an American too. He has been in Korea a while. However, the most important thing is that he wants her. You see "we" have been going out all the time for three weeks. What does that mean? He likes to complain about nothing. she got exactly what she ordered and he was actually bitching about the fact she got what she ordered. The mind wobbles. I was actually hoping the clerk would turn up the volume of the K-Pop music to drown these idiots out.

They both like to think the know Korean. I would never say I know Korean well but mine is WAAAAAAY better than the incomprehensible sounds they uttered. Oh and he is teaching her Korean.

You get the idea. Loud and giving me FAR more information than I care to know about them. I usual wait a bit before telling people to shut the fuck up. Stupidly hoping some common sense will kick in and they will tone down. They left just before they hit my threshold

I got to see more of their stupidity in action just before they left. As I went to the counter to order. (Stig showed up for the tale end of these 2 mooks.)

The woman gets to the counter just before me. Looks at the clerk and says to her snarkily "Do you speak Korean? No you don't."

Then the bitch turns to the cook, who happened to be out and says "I want a napkin!" He just looked at her so she repeated "Napkin! Napkin!"

Isn't her Korean wonderful? I never knew the Korean for Napkin was napkin. Thank you loud mouthed bitch for that Korean lesson. Now I don't have to use the English word tissue that 99.99% of the Koreans I have encountered know as napkin.

The cook figured it out and gave her a napkin. Then, thank the powers that be the mooks left.

I hate people like that. Bloody obnoxious assholes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fucking mook!

If today wasn't Friday, or should I say Gold Day?, it would have been a feh kind of day. Overcast but warm.

After work I was waiting to meet up with a friend at Dunkin Donuts. I am sitting on the patio, talking to him on the phone. Then I see this fucking mook throw his garbage into the basket of my scooter. I lost it. I started yelling at him in English and a little Korean. He had this surprised look "What? I did something wrong?" which really meant "Oh shit I got caught." I made the stupid bastard go back and get his garbage. He tried to pull that stupid smile and wave crap as he picked it up and left.

What a mook, in the truest sense of the word. I suppose I have been here long enough to know there is little respect for other peoples property. Assholes like this just piss me off. I am glad I was able to catch him doing it. Too often you find people have dumped trash in the basket well after the fact.

I did have to apologize to my friend, he kind of got blasted in the ear when I first started yelling at the moron. He said I I was loud enough to scare his taxi driver.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Violence Against Women

Last Friday I was talking with a friend who goes to my gym (no not my co-worker.) She spent a lot of time in NYC. The subject of racism came up. Racism in American and here in Korea. We talked about the case of Bonojit Hussain. She was glad to see the Korean courts do something about the racist (only identified as a Mr. Park) who insulted and harassed Mr. Hussain.

What sticks in my mind about the incident is how the Police and the courts did NOTHING about the actual physical assault on his friend Ms. Han. She was verbally abused, pushed, actually kicked by the racist piece of shit because she was travelling with a foreigner.

When I mentioned this to my friend she just nodded her head and sadly said "What could they do? If they charge him for hitting her they would have to charge most Korean men."

What the fuck? I was gobsmacked. My surprise wasn't because I had never heard about it before. Rather it was to hear a Korean acknowledge the problem. It is one of those things you KNOW goes on but never seems to be talked about.

I remember encountering violence against women my first night in Korea. I went out with some co-workers and their friends. On the way home I heard a woman screaming. When I looked toward the scream I saw this douchebag yanking down on a womans arm so hard I thought he was going to wrench it out of the socket. Needless to say she started screaming again. I shouted "What the fuck are you doing asshole!" He started pulling her, she kept screaming. I started heading towards him saying "You are dead motherfucker."

That is when two things happened. He noticed me and started blathering in Korean and a little English. In English saying "sawry...sawry" in Korean, well I had no clue. Probably the same, trying to excuse his bullshit. The woman took off because he let go of her arm when he noticed me.

The second thing that happened is my compatriots grabbed me and dragged me off. They droned on about you shouldn't get involved. She will end up with him later and he will just beat her worse. It is an attitude I would see a lot from foreigners in Korea. Don't get involved. To some degree I can understand it now. You can quite easily end up being the one in trouble with the law here because you aren't Korean. Mind you I still can't sit by and see a woman beaten.

I don't care if it means charging half the men in Korea or more. This kind of violence and abuse is something they should be trying to stamp out and not sweep under the carpet. In the case of Ms. Han it boggles the mind why that piece of shit wasn't charged, although I understand the Korean "media" is better at ignoring things like this than reporting it.

Signing In

I'm going to call myself Stig. My buddy Flint and I are going to be reporting on the wonderful land of Korea, and our experiences in the Land of the Morning Calm and Afternoon Difficulty. A tip of the hat to my old buddy Gerry for suggesting the addition to a title that Koreans don't use or seem to be aware of.
But I think as this blog develops, you'll see that Koreans are unaware of a lot more.
Stay tuned.


Ok ... there is an addition to the Kimchi jar. My buddy Stig will be co-blogging with me. If things worked they way they were supposed to. Or else I am all alone here. ;)

Setting the record straight (Korea Times)

Ok, I broke down and decided to send a Letter to the Editor to the Korea Times. Since they wanted to set the record straight I would like to see them honestly answer MY question. Why did they NOT cover what is a major story affecting their readership? Below is a copy of the letter I sent them.

Re: Setting the record straight

Here is a question I would like you to set straight for the record. Why didn't the Korean Times report on the serial rapist that was working between Choenan and Cheongju for the last 6 years?

He was caught last year and even then it was ONLY reported in the Korean media. What makes never mentioning the serial rapist a HUGE failing for something calling itself a news outlet is that he was targeting part of YOUR audience. He was targeting foreign women!

Why should I consider the Korean Times to be a real news outlet when it ignored a story like that?

To be honest, I haven't really bothered with the Korean Times for years. I found the quality of the reporting to be low and thus I moved on. From what I have seen lately, especially the "reporting" of Kang Shin-who, it hasn't changed. It has gotten worse.

Oh and just so you don't think I am only picking on the Korean Times, NO Korean-English media covered this story. None. Zero. Zip. Shame on them too.

P.S. Now for something that is probably nitpicking. Is it REALLY professional to have your business email address as A little professionalism can go a long way to having people take you seriously.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I was going to file this under What the ... kimchi? but it does fit in the Selfishly Oblivious category more.

A friend and I were sitting on the patio at Dunkin Donuts a few weeks ago. It is on a pretty standard intersection. Cars, especially taxis, constantly park illegally and block a lane. It should have 3 lanes per side at this point. However, the Dunkin side is usually relegated to 1 or 2.

This day, there were three assholes parked illegally. One of them, the one we will be discussing more, was blocking half of the crosswalk. (It is normal here for the taxi queue to stretch down and block the crosswalk.) They were there for a good hour before 1 of them left.

Finally, about 20 minutes later, the stupid bitch gets back in her car. She sits there with the car running. As soon as the light turns green for the PEDESTRIANS to walk she backs INTO the other pedestrian lane. The she turns left INTO the lane an drives THROUGH it while people are crossing! (I didn't have my camera out so I missed the first few seconds.)

I probably shouldn't be astounded by the stupidity of this driver, but I was. It isn't the first, second, or even the third time I have seen something like this. I once screwed up my ankle dodging some stupid bitch who pulled a stunt like this while I was using the crosswalk. Unfortunately I was busy kissing the pavement so I wasn't able to smash her window in or dent her door.

Which leads me to the reaction of the Koreans crossing the road. Except for some looks ... nothing. No yelling. Nothing. I was expecting at least some yelling. No one tried denting her hood.

As for the driver, she is and always will be nothing but a Cunning STunt!

Oblivious or selfish?

I was working out at the gym one day when my work out buddy (a co-worker) showed up late. He was PISSED. He spent the next 15-20 minutes ranting about how selfish Koreans are. About Korean drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists. It was strange because I am the one that usually rants about things.

He was late because of some stupid (or as he put it selfish) drivers. Idiots obstructing traffic, driving too slow, cutting people off and slowing down. The usual sort of things that drive people crazy. Then he started talking about how Koreans usually pay no attention to what is going on around them, whether they are walking, driving, bicycling, shopping, etc. This is why the tend to walk into people, cut people off, and drive like idiots. If it isn't a direct part of their little world then it doesn't matter to them. Hence his calling them selfish. He also said that they learn this growing up from Korean Society. Watching how their family and peers are.

I always considered them oblivious. Koreans just don't seem to use their peripheral vision. (I remember a guy on Dave's ESL getting slagged as a racist because he asked Do Korean's have peripheral vision?) They don't seem to pay attention to anything around them. Just the night before I had been shopping at Home Plus. Just going from the back of the store to the front, which should have taken a minute took 4-5 minutes because of these stupid zombies. A couple, each with a cart, had to walk side by side taking up a whole aisle. Then a friend of the woman was pushing a cart towards them. They just stopped, blocking the whole aisle. The women squealed and whined greetings while the man just stood there. They were totally oblivious to blocking the aisle. In the time it took to get to the front of the store I ran into another 9 morons like these ones. Some whacking you with their cart because they aren't watching where it is going. Others stopping in the middle of the aisle and then moving their cart sideways to block the aisle while they look at something on a shelf. A bunch of oblivious morons. Or so I thought.

My friend didn't agree. He said the obliviousness is part of it but it is because they are selfish. They just don't care how their actions affect others. So they don't pay attention to others or what they do.

It was an interesting discussion after the rant, although the rant was interesting too. Oh before the apologists start jumping on my friend for being a racist (and I am sure I can hear them salivating now) I should mention he is Korean. Not Korean-American, Korean-Canadian. Nor has he lived abroad. He is a Korean born and bred.

Taking all of what he said into consideration, and his insights into Korean culture, I had to switch from obliviousness to selfishness as the reason Koreans are the way they are.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Very strangee

This is hot off the presses, just happened. My head is still shaking.

One of my coworkers had to call a parent because the son wasn't there yesterday. He figured the kid would be dropping out of the hagwon. I guess the kid complained to him about working too hard.

Sure enough, according to the mother, they are looking for a new academy. Evidently ours makes the students work too hard. She just wants her son to go and have fun in English. It doesn't matter if he doesn't actually have the ability to speak English well. He should just play and have fun in English. (Oh the student is grade 5 Elementary school. Not kindergarten. Nor is he special needs.)

Now why the hell not tell us when you sign him up that you don't care if he learns or not? We could easily have opened a special class for him and any others like him. Age/level wouldn't matter because they aren't there to learn. Teachers would be fighting to teach ... errr have ... this class since it wouldn't really require any work.

Mind you what REALLY had me shaking my head and saying "What the kimchi?" is that most parents are the OPPOSITE of this mother. They want their kids pushed. They want them to have homework. If they don't think their kid is progressing fast enough they will yank them and find a new hagwon. (I could easily rant on and on about this kind of Korean mother.)

Such is life in the Land of the Morning Calm and the Afternoon Confusion.


Welcome to my blog. I was going to call it Flint's Follies but What the kimchi ? sounded better since I am in Korea and it will mainly be about life in the Land of the Morning Calm, and the afternoon confusion.