Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What the ... attitude 2?!?!?

All that talk about rude Expats and the banter with Mr. Anonymous got me thinking. Who were some of the rudest Expats I encountered in South Korea? What nationality were they?

Some of the rudest, most obnoxious, arrogant Expats I had the bad luck to encounter in South Korea were ... Mormon missionaries. Some were yanks. Some were Canucks. Some were supposedly from Europe. Which goes to show that mookishness knows no boundaries.

The first school I worked at was nicknamed "The Mormon School." The owners were Mormon. The morning desk staff were Mormon. If you walked in during the AM you would hear the front desk singing hymns. Mormon Missionaries would drop in all the time. And the Missionaries seemed to be the worst of the crop.

You would be having a conversation with a co-worker or student and the missionaries would feel the need to interject. Regardless of the topic. Without so much as an excuse me. Or even introducing themselves. That is when they weren't hogging the ONE computer we had for staff and students to use.

One time a co-worker and I were talking in the staff room. One of the missionaries let himself in. I was telling Matt how I learned what "do you want to die" was in Korean. This mookanary felt the need to chime in and lecture us on how no one should be teaching us words like that. He was given some prime examples of other words he didn't like ... and told that since he didn't work at the school he could get the fuck out of the STAFF room.

Several missionaries felt the need to inform me, and friends, that they don't care about us. By "don't care about you" they meant they didn't care what we did in South Korea or what our religion was I assume. Or maybe they meant they literally didn't give a shit about foreigners at all. And that is the wording some of the used ... "we don't care about you". They were in South korea to "save the heathens". Nice attitude. Great way to make introduce yourself. "Hi, I am Elder Asshole. I don't care what you are doing in Korea. I am here to save the heathens. Hoo Rah!"

Then you had the ones that insisted you use their title "Elder". Imagine some snot nosed little shit 10 years or more your junior insisting that you call them Elder.

Some of them even fell into the "sense of entitlement" category I discussed in a previous thread. I remember one day when I was hurrying to work. I had a couple of minutes to go or I would be late. Two Moron ... errr Mormon missionaries ... were coming up the sidewalk. It was a huge sidewalk, 4 Expats could walk side by side on it. At the last second these two cut in front of me. I had to stop or plow into them. Unfortunately, I chose to be polite and stopped.

One of the mooks said "Hi. are you in a hurry?"

Biting my tongue I said "Yes, I am almost late for work."

He said "oh" and then started asking some inane question. I ended up shouldering them aside and hurrying to work. Made it with seconds to spare.

I know friends who had ok encounters with Moromon missionaries. I know those who had encounters like mine. Unfortunately all of my encounters with them were bad in some way. They just came off as too full of themselves and too mookish.


  1. I told one of those "elders" that I will NEVER call an 18 year old an elder, period.

  2. Tamar

    Heh ... I don't think the one that insisted I called him Elder was that young, maybe 21-22. If I had thought he was a teen he would have been subjected to intense jokes at his expense. :)

  3. Churchie's are annoying anywhere in the world. Mormons take that to a new level anywhere. It's not like they are establishing a new level of performance in this specific country though.

    I can't believe you worked at a school owned by mormons. Did you actually make it through your whole contract???

  4. Brent

    No, I didn't. They started having money problems and couldn't afford 6 teachers. They released me 2 months early (made sense my contract was the next to end) but WITH the bonus, plane ticket, etc that I was owed.

  5. The worst Christians I get are usually Korean. Unfortunately the best English speakers are usually Christian. And you don't learn anything interesting about Korea from talking to a Korean Christian.

    I had one crazy lady stop me and she started saying something crazy about Judiahism, then I had another guy - who met Hwang Woo-suk, before the scandal - tell me that Dr. Hwang himself blamed the Jews for his situation. Those were some uncomfortable conversations.

  6. 3gyupsal

    Oh I could go on and on about Korean Christians ... but for this I was only thinking of Expats. :)

  7. Hwang the vet(erinarean) blames the jews for his embezzlement, lack of ethics and trying to con the scientific community.
    Is vet Hwang the one who said Koreans were smart because they use chopsticks?
    Mormons in Korea....I was at an SLP that had 2 Mormon "sisters" sharing an apartment. They were actually lesbians who were shacked up together in the living room. Guess when you have a Mormon who talks equally about the patriarchy as church, that's kinda a giveaway.Always thought it was an odd mix myself, but then not everyone is into bigamy with a husband who wears cult underpants.

  8. Mr. P

    Ah...the magic underwear, Hahahahahaha. :)


    Sounds like Hwang would make a good nazi.

  9. It's hard for me to sort the objectionable expats I have met into an identifiable group. I tend to judge people individually, rather than as a (fill in the blank).
    Some of the people I've met have a superior attitude, and they don't have any qualms about showing it. I remember one guy in Daegu who I was introduced to time and again, and he always acted like it was the first time. He didn't remember me at all.
    What the kimchi?
    Another expat I met had the angriest, saddest, and most paranoid personality all at the same time that I have ever seen. He was my first roommate, and contributed more than any other factor to my desire to "do a runner."
    He really fucked me over, and he'd better hope he doesn't meet me in a dark alley some day.
    Another expat seemed very nice, but had a double life. He was married, and said he was monogamous, but that didn't mean that he couldn't chase any skirt that came within range of his radar. People who have "values" like that tend to make me question my association with them.
    It's a crapshoot. Sometimes the people you meet are as insubstantial as today's fashion, and others you'll never forget, like Flint.
    These are people who make life in a strange land bearable, and who keep you grounded, act as sounding boards, and keep you connected to reality.
    After my initial experience in Korea, I've always tried to help newbies as much as I can, and I will continue to do so wherever I end up.
    But if you don't want my help... it's your loss.

  10. I found the self-importance of people who'd forget they'd met you before quite odd yet predictable. They tended to be "ex-marine" and/or "making 10 million per month" and shouted what Korean they knew to the ecstatic delight of the ajummas but their tagalong girlfriends oozed lack of personality and high maintenance.
    Korea is a perplexing place. Seoul has no grass-grass, grass. Just a little tuft outside city hall, and that's it. Little or no outdoor culture.I don't know how Koreans put up with it outside of boozing and bonking and I'm not going to say such things are wrong but how many Koreans have managed to lay down flat on grass. I'm thinking under 1/5th.
    I feel sorry for Koreans in a way but the excesses of their poor man of asia complex constantly grates.They don't have sounding boards or a sense of reality. They're cut off, willfully, from their most developed neighbour. The most ignorant are the loudest. The xenophobia (ie the suspiciousness and mistrust) grinds you down. Kids have the poorest of social lives. You'd think it was a run-down country.
    This is the unpleasant state that expats find themselves in and it can put the zap on people.
    But they're still dicks if they get caught up in their own overcompensations.