Friday, August 6, 2010

What the ... whackjob?!?!? 2

Talking about Ross reminded me of another greasy, stringy haired, dirty blond head case. He went by the name of Tyrell. He was one of those people that you meet and just feel ... that you don't like them. Their later actions and words prove your instinct right.

The first time Tyrell introduced himself to me I was sitting at a table with some friends. The friends were all female. Tyrell walked up, quickly said hi, to the women, sat down, and then started hitting on the women.

I don't mind meeting new people. I don't mind if they are interested in women at my table who I am not dating, or interested in. If you invite yourself to someones table at least be polite about it. Don't be an asst. And Tyrell was an ass.

He started droning on and on about himself. He was from Canada and is a poet and musician. He was a neuro-surgeon back in Canada. (Yes, he really said he was a neuro-surgeon. I will never forget it because it was SO fucking out there.) Now he worked on his poems and music. (Yes, he never mentioned that he was really in South Korea doing what most pale faced foreigners are ... teaching English at a hagwon.)

I get a kick out of the number of foreigners who are teaching English in Korea but never identify themselves as a teacher. I am a poet. I am a writer. I am a musician. You are there on an E or F VISA teaching English you are a fucking teacher. I know quite a few musicians, many of whom have started bands. Some of them have recorded albums. One of them complained about his job interfering with his music. Your job is what got you hear, your music is a hobby. If it is that bad quit you job and live off your music. Oh yeah, you wouldn't be in Korea if it wasn't for the job. But I digress.

The ladies weren't really interested in talking to him but it took a while to clue in. He noticed some women at another table and eventually left. I was then subjected to listening to the women folk talk about how "oily" and fake Tyrell was.

Another time. the first night one of my co-workers, lets call her Sissy, from the hell hole known as Ivy School came out, Tyrell reared his greasy head. He immediately started hitting on her, badly. The usual obviously fake stuff. She blew him off, and not in the good way.

An hour later she went to another bar with some co-workers. Who did she run into there? Tyrell. What did he do? Acted like it was the first time he had met her and started the old BS again. She almost pissed herself laughing at him. (I said acted but he seemed so spaced out at times that it is entirely possible he wasn't acting. His addled mind just had extreme problems with memory. And truth.)

The incident that still has me laughing the most happened when I was at the the "foreigner bar" I usually frequented with 2 female friends. One I was REALLY interested in. We had been spending a lot of time together. The other was a friend of hers who barely spoke English.

I left the table to use the bathroom. On the way back I stopped at the bar to pick up some more drinks. Who do I see at our table? Tyrell. Once again trying to chat up the women. EunJin had this pleading look on her face. like "please come and get rid of this asshole." I sauntered over towards the table, listening the closer I got.

Tyrell was once again going on about his fantastic life and career. It was basically the same old BS rehashed. He talked about his previous life as a neuro-surgeon. He went on about his music. then he added a new dimension to his BS, he told them he was half owner of the bar and played his music here every Wednesday.

Now in case you ever use that lie, make sure the people you are talking to aren't regulars at the bar. Also, make sure they aren't friends with the owner. Your house of lies tend to be revealed and fall apart quite easily when that happens.

I decided it was time to get rid of Tyrell. The funny factor had moved into pathetic. I made some comments about his part ownership and then called the owner over. Tyrell left before the owner reached the table. :)

Most people couldn't stand Tyrell. He was just too fake. Everything he said and did, including how he carried himself, screamed fake.

One summer he died. There were rumours of how that ranged from legionnaires disease to, from the Koreans, fan death. (Turns out it was his heart.) The people who a few days before had been ignoring him or deriding him started to organize a memorial service. I didn't go. When asked why I said because I am not a hypocrite.

When Tyrell was alive I couldn't stand him. I didn't wish him dead, just wished he was not around me. He was fake and sleazy. He wasn't someone I would ever hang around with in Canada and just because we were both foreigners in South Korea didn't mean I would hang around with him there. Why would I go memorialize him?

In fact, I found the people memorializing Tyrell to be a bunch of hypocrites. When he was alive they didn't want him around. They would make fun of him. Many of them would drink booze he paid for and as soon as he was out of earshot start making fun of him. The memorial was all about them assuaging their guilt or putting on airs. I dislike that more than I disliked Tyrell.


  1. Man that is a pretty sad story. I think another sad story related to this is - if the neuro-surgeon story is true - how a neuro- surgeon ends up teaching in Korea. I know that brain surgery is pretty stressful and all, but how you go from making 100k per year and saving lives to making 30k a year and singing songs to Korean kids is beyond me. (I don't mean to demean our profession at all - I am happy to have a job in this shitty economy, I'm happy to have a job that allows me to buy designer clothes and still save 15k a year while spending most of my time facebooking, but still being a doctor kind of has that whole heroic feeling to it. To me, being competent with powerpoint while trying to make kids laugh just isn't a substitute.

  2. One of my old co-workers was an engineer from Canada. We were talking one day and I asked him why the hell he left the profession to come teach in Korea. (And at that point he HATED Korea and all things Korean.) He said the job was too stressful. To each there own.

    As for Doctor Tyrell ... if true, yeah that would be a weird job change.

  3. It is ... well was since I am no longer there. :)

    There are things a person can complain about wherever they live. Some legitimate some not. Overall, I did like living in Korea. Life was pretty good. Venting always helped me cope. :)

  4. One of the things that got me about foreigners in Korea, was that they were ALL writing a book.

  5. *cough* MOST ... I was never writing a book. :)Although I would have worked on one if I was skilled enough ... so maybe that does count.

    But I ken what you are saying. The majority of the foreigners I met were either writing a book or "working on their music".

  6. The ghetto name really doesn't with the claim of being a neurosurgeon. Why neurosurgeon?? Why not something a little more general? That reminds me of the Korean Art Professor chick(Shin?) who was in charge of the Gwangju Bienalle and who claimed to have a doctorate from Harvard. She could have chosen 30 other top schools and no one would've batted an eyelid.

  7. Mr. Pharmacist

    Yeah, I was stunned the first time I heard him use neurosurgeon. Not doctor. Not surgeon. But a highly specialized neurosurgeon.

    Harvard ... I still don't understand why people look at it with such awe. George W. bush GRADUATED from Harvard. That doesn't speak well about their ability to educate.

  8. It's odd the attitudes Koreans have towards Universities. For the most part it's Harvard and Yale together...and everything else is everything else. Most won't even know where Cambridge is much less that it's a University. When SK saw Cambridge CELTA on my Cv they thought it was in the States (like MIT or something?)
    I guess I've seen countless hagwons called Yale, Harvard (maybe Oxford and Cambridge unless they were just tailors)....then you move "down" to Toss English and Ding Dang Dong etc.
    It's a thin correlation.
    I guess it's not such a big thing-I know Koreans aren't too hot on geography and they do love to name/ place drop-at least, the pushier and more trouble causing, overeducated yet uneducated variety of ajumma.

  9. Mr. Pharmacist

    Hell 3 of the 4 hagwons I worked at named their classrooms after Ivy League universities. :)

  10. You must have taught somewhere flasher than me. The classrooms were named after animals and fruit.

  11. Damn Mr. P ... animals and fruit?

  12. Yes.....Naksongdae ECC had me teaching in Lion, Penguin and Pineapple Rooms. The first two I barely noticed but getting to the third always gave me a little angst. Well, more than a little.

  13. The more I think about it....kudos to Dr. Tyrell. The expats I'd meet would always bs along similar lines. It usually involved them making 10 million, being an ex pro icehockey player despite being 5 foot 7 and 175 pounds, making a killing after taking up recruiting the last month yada yada. They tended not to put much thought into it. But a neurosurgeon!!

  14. Heh, that is a good way to look at it. :) I should have given him some points for creativity.