Monday, November 29, 2010

What the ... reasoning?!?!?

I was talking with some of my family today when the topic of North Korea came up. My brother asked "Why did they do it?" (It being things like the artillery attack, sinking ships, etc.)

My answer was "Because they can."

North Korea has been acting out like this for a LONG time. South Korea and the West (US) would scold them, tell them not to do it again or else, then give them food, money, or whatever. North Korea would quiet down until the next time they wanted something. Then they would act out again and the cycle would continue.

In a perverse way it IS the fault of South Korea and the US/West that North Korea shelled the island. They have caved in to North Korea's bad behaviour for so long no real reaction is expected. North Korea EXPECTS to act out and not get punished. Yes, they have to listen to the US chatter on about it, and South Korea (but not all South Koreans, some back the NorKs.), but that is about the extent of it.

I have said it before and odds are I will use the analogy again. North Korea is a child acting out. It hasn't been properly disciplined from the start. The parents kept letting it do things with verbal warnings and no real consequences. Now there is no expectation of real punishment so they keep acting out. Which makes it harder to actually start taking a stand because it will be a complete surprise to the child and who knows what they would do then.

What are they getting out their latest antics? Isn't the South Korean government taking a hard line against the North now? Well, the South Korean government is now talking about LIFTING the travel ban affecting South Korean businesses in Gaesong, North Korea. Nothing like sending potential hostages to the kidnappers home eh?

It seems like the same old same old.

After 9+ years of living with shit like this happening in one form or another every year, sometimes several times a year, you just stop taking it seriously. (Not to say people dieing isn't serious, I am talking about the actions and reactions.) I don't expect anything to really come of it. It would be nice to see the South and the US actually take a stand. (God knows how badly the North would freak out once they realized it was really happening.) I actually thought it might happen when George Jr was President, but it didn't. I expect lots of noise and nothing of consequence coming from the South/West.

What the ... cartoon?!?!?

A HUGE tip of the hat to Brian for the link to this cartoon! Damn it was funny.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What the ... bimbo blunders?!?!?

First you had Sara "I can see Russia from my house" Palin confuse North and South Korea. On Glen Beck's radio show she said;

“Obviously we gotta stand with our North Korean allies."

Beck quickly corrected her and moved on ignoring the gaffe.

Now you have former Miss Universe Alicia Machado confusing the two Koreas with China and Taiwan. In a tweet she said;

"Tonight I want to ask you to join me in a prayer for peace, that these attacks between the Chinas do not make our situation worse."

Appropriate she twitted that since people who tweet are called twits. Due to a number of insulting and threatening posts she closed her twitter account saying;

"I now have a lot of psychopaths on the account and it's best I start another one, kisses."

Hmmmm ... psycopaths attacking someone online. Who could she possibly be talking about?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shit Koreans Said ... about US Beef.

I was looking over some old emails when I came across a discussion I had with a friend about the whole "crazy cow" bullshit that swept South Korea. In one email was a list of some of the things I had heard directly or reported in the media.

1) Koreans are more susceptible to BSE (mad cow disease) than Americans.

Some study supposedly showed that Koreans have a gene that makes them infitesimally more susceptible than Americans. We are talking like .0000something. That was all.

This was often said with the add on that this means the US is DELIBERATELY trying to kill Koreans. It is amazing how often the Koreans twist things to blame them on the Americans. I couldn't keep track of the number of times I heard this from adults and kids. When my students brought it up I asked where they heard it. It was split between hearing it on the internet or being told by their parents.

2) Korean Beef is safer than American beef.

Actually, according to the EU's 3 tier rating system US beef was rated as SAFER than Korean due to little things like unsanitary meat production facilities, little to no testing of animals for disease, etc. etc. etc. And who started this rumour? The Korean Beef Industry.

3) Americans want us to eat meat that they won’t even feed to their dogs.

Basically Koreans would say that since Americans don't eat it it must be infected, and that is why they sell it abroad. US fast food chains import cheaper Canadian and Aussie beef. That must mean the US sells off meat they refuse to eat. Or some such nonsense. It was a hard argument to follow let alone swallow.

4) Using (insert name of product here) will give you BSE.

There were claims that using any of about 600 products that use cow’s gelatin or collagen, such as cosmetics, maxi pads, diapers, etc., would give you BSE. At least they got the BS part right.

Kissing will transmit BSE.

Reminds me of the old herpes scare in the mid 80's.

5) U.S. meat packers plan to dump beef from older cows - considered at higher risk for mad cow - on the South Korean market.

Only a small percentage of the beef was coming from older cows. That would hardly have been dumping.

6) Restaurants and shops will lie and say the beef is Australian so US beef should not be allowed.

It is the Americans fault that Korean businesses would lie? Wouldn't that be the fault of the Koreans who would be lying? Wouldn't it be prudent to do something to stop them from lying?

7) The Democratic party created the Beef issue to shoot down the Korea-USA Free Trade Agreement.

Of course this would mean the Democrats got the Koreans to start protesting and rioting. The Democratic party got Korean media to start spreading the lies. Like I said, the lengths Koreans go to blame Americans for their problems is amazing. If only they put the same energy into solving their problems.

8) GNP (the governing Party in Korea is now the GNP) chairman Kang Jae-sup told the US Ambassador that;

“in Korea, beef is not simply a product; our people’s unique sentiment, which cannot be explained with science, permeates beef.”

Which basically translates to screw the science that says your beef is safe. It is now a cultural issue. Which just leads to other Shit Koreans Say "You must understand our culture!" That is supposed to trump reality.

Speaking of stupid things coming out from the Korean government at the time ... the Korean government actually asked the United States Government and it's officials to speak and act carefully. So they won't "spark" any anti-American protests and sentiment. Once again, the blame for things being dumped on the US . Americans dared to say science shows the beef is safe ergo they are inciting anti-American protests. Fucking insane.

9) Koreans even turned on Korean-Americans who didn't blindly agree. They droned on about how Korean-Americans weren't standing up for their country. They were lapdogs of America. They would be the ones pointing guns at Korea if the US and Korea went to war. What the kimchi? Yes, the BSE BS actually devolved to the point where it became a matter of trashing people over a fictional war.

BSE is one of those things that isn't safe to discuss with Koreans, like Dokdo. Unless you agree blindly you are screwed. Rarely is it discussed rationally. It is best to leave it alone unless you feel like riling some Koreans up.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shit Koreans Say ... about North Korea

"They are our brothers. They would never attack us."

"We share blood. We are safe with them."

"I trust Kim JongIl more with nuclear weapons than George Bush."

"We have more to fear from USA than North Korea."

"North Korea would never attack South Korea."

"I am glad North Korea has nuclear weapons. Now America can't push them around."

All of the above statements were made to me by Koreans. Each statement was made by several different Koreans. Some of them were well traveled and educated. Some were University students. Some were business men. All left me wondering what kind of tobacco they were smoking.

It is hard to believe but a lot of Koreans bury their head in the sand when North Korea acts out. It isn't that they don't react strongly, it is the lengths they go to deny reality. North Korea would never attack? They attack South Korea in one form or another EVERY FUCKING YEAR. Whether it is border shootings, lobbing some artillery rounds, sinking ships. Yet, many South Koreans live in denial of this. It makes the mind wobble.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What the ... news?!?!?!?

Holy shit!!! It will happen!!! Look what the experts have to say! Will anyone survive? What about the children?

Yes, some douchebag in the Church of England says William and Kates wedding will only last seven years. Can the earth survive?

Oh yeah, and North Korea attacked an island killing a few, scaring others shitless, and destroying property.

Seriously though, the number two headline in the Korea Times following North Korea attacking South Korea yet again is about Will and Kate? The Korea Times has some seriously fucked up priorities. I can see the Brits getting all stupid over it (the impending nuptials) ... maybe even Commonwealth countries but South Korea? What the kimchi?!?!?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Who are the ... Craziest Protesters?!?!?

In the red corner we have the Kamikaze Kimchi Kommandoes known around the world for their insanity and vindictiveness.

In the blue corner we have the Taiwan Troublemakers. Brash rookies trying to make their mark in the world of protesting.

Who will get the title of Craziest Protesters?

We have assembled a blue ribbon team of experts to compare and contrast the abilities of these protestors. Arman Flintarian and the Stigmeister use the latest scientific methods and technology to gather data about the two opponents. The data is then entered into a computer program developed by Blathering Batshit Studios to determine just who is ...

... the Craziest Protester.

Thrown Weapons

Koreans: Firebombs, pheasants they bludgeoned to death, and cow shit

Taiwanese: Eggs at an elementary school

Advantage: South Korean Protestors. You just never know what they will throw at you next but the odds are it will have a greater shock value than eggs.

Internet Antics

Koreans: Crashing servers, email campaigns, message board campaigns, blogging, death threats, bomb threats, posting of personal information

Taiwanese: Crashing servers, email campaigns, message board campaigns, blogging

Advantage: South Korean Protesters. While they use the same basic tactics those wacky Koreans are always willing to up the fear and stalking factor.

Flag Desecration

Koreans: Not content to just burn flags Korean protesters have been known to eat full size flags or tear up giant size US flags.

Taiwanese: Burning tiny flags

Advantage: Korean Protesters because size matters as much as what you do to it.

Public Displays of Frustration

Koreans: Vigils, riots, dropping of pants, ripping of piglets, cutting off fingers, shaving heads,
covering themselves in bees, stabbing themselves in the stomach

Taiwanese: Rallys, riots

Advantage: Korean Protesters. It is impossible to compete against animal or self mutilation with simple rallies and riots.


Koreans: Calls for boycotts, No Foreigners Allowed signs, No Americans Allowed signs

Taiwanese: Calls for boycotts, No Koreans allowed signs

Advantage: TIE

Government Intervention

Koreans: Calls for investigations, renegotiations, and batshit crazy statements that deny reality. (1)

Taiwanese: Calls for investigations and then calls for calm.

Advantage: Korean Protestors because sometimes their government is as batshit crazy as they are.


Clearly, the Korean Protesters beat their Taiwanese counterparts hands down. It was no contest. They beat them like a government mule. They stomped a mudhole in them and walked it dry. The Taiwanese didn't even show up for the competition. I am running out of cliches.

It is clear the Taiwanese have much to learn from the Korean Wave of crazy. They may take solace in the fact that while they did over react they have a ways to go to be known as THAT crazy.

Korea YOU have the Craziest Protesters in the world. You may want to dial down their batshit before whining about Taiwanese, or any other, protesters in the future.


1) During the U.S. Beef bullshit the GNP Chairman (GNP was governing party at the time) Kang Jae-sup told the US Ambassador that “in Korea, beef is not simply a product; our people’s unique sentiment, which cannot be explained with science, permeates beef.” basically saying that even though science proves them wrong it doesn't matter.

Hurry up and wait!

One of the most frustrating things I found when preparing to come to Korea was the "hurry up and wait" and "hurry hurry" mentality that seems to infect Korea. Things tend to get left undone and there isn't a lot of communication. Then everything becomes a great rush with a lot of stress. What brought this to mind was talking with a reader through email about the stress he is going through getting ready to go and work in Korea.

He found a hagwon that looked good a couple of months ago. Emails were exchanged and a month ago they said they wanted him. They want him to start in late December, after the 20th. Then, nothing. He would email asking what documents he needed to get for them and heard nothing. After a couple of weeks, last week, he got an email letting him know some of the documents he needed and telling him they would send him a list in a few days. That was a week ago and he hasn't heard anything. Hence his complaining.

He wanted to know if the were jerking him around and what the chances are of actually getting to Korea in the time frame they said they wanted him.

I don't think he is being jerked around per se. This is typical for dealing with Koreans. Hurry up and wait. Then everything is "bally bally" or rush rush. Lots of last minutes stress and frustration. I ran into this with hagwons and I ran into it with EPIK. It is completely unprofessional but that seems to be the norm when dealing with South Korea.

It is getting down to crunch time for him if they REALLY want him there around the time frame stated. He has to get his documents together and courier them to South Korea. That can take anywhere from a few days to a week. Then they have to put everything together and submit the paperwork to Immigration. That can take a few days to a week or more. Then the Work VISA paper has to be couriered back to him. Then he has to send it to the nearest Korean Embassy for the VISA stamp on his passport. Will they want an interview? Then they have to send it back. THEN he can legally go work in South Korea. (I say legally because I wouldn't be surprised if the hagwon asked him to come at the original time with NO VISA saying he can get it later.) He is looking at a three week period at least with all the couriering. It is getting to the point where the time frame is not realistic.

That doesn't mean he won't get there. It just means it won't be when he expected. And it will probably be a stressful and frustrating rush at the last minute. Which is par for the course when dealing with Koreans.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What the ... other foot 2?!?!?

Ah Herr Consoleman, head Kleagle of a Klucker Klavern. He has got to be the best example of the stupidity of the Kamikaze Kimchi Kommandoes. And the best example of how Koreans can't handle their own tactics being used against them.

Here is his solution for dealing with Taiwan's over reaction with the Taekwondo incident during the Asian games.

"I'm fed up with their childish claims and accusations and groundless Korea bashing, Korea have not even caused any damaged to Taiwan and their people, but Chinese, Japanese, American, Dutch and Spanish did damaged their pride and dignity.

Let's kick all these island Chinese out of Korea! and boycott Taiwanese goods & brands! They're useless to Korea."

I can just picture him stroking his mustache while ranting at the drooling masses.

Hmmmm ... wouldn't it be interesting to see how fast Herr Consoleman's head would spin if the next time Korea over reacted THAT was the response of their victims?

Korean's having a tantrum because they lost in football? Kick the fuckers out of FIFA.

Korean's riot because of the US military? Fuck you, guard your own country time to bring the troops home en masse.

Korean's acting up because of a bad referee decision at the Olympics? Guess who isn't invited to the next Olympics and most certainly will never host one?

Heh ... ok ... I have to admit I am chuckling more than a little imagining just how fast his head would spin and how high it would fly. When children act out they need to be taught how to behave. And Koreans tend to act out like spoiled children when things don't go their way, or they perceive a slight.

Don't get me wrong, the Taiwanese are acting like ... like ... Koreans. They are taking something not that important and blowing it up into an international incident. However, Koreans are the LAST people who should be trying to lecture the Taiwanese considering how THEY act in similar situations.

Korean pot meet Taiwanese kettle. Now go make some fucking tea and quit whining.

Shit Koreans Do... At The Theatre

I was at the movies today. I went to see the new "Harry Potter" film. I quite enjoy the books and the movies. I wasn't aware of Harry Potter until I went to Korea in 2000. I started to see stories on the news about kids lined up to buy each new book as it came out, and dismissed it as something that I was too old for.
But during my first year in Korea, I became desperate for things to read. I picked up the first Potter book and I never looked back.
Watching the latest film, I became aware of a family of mooks sitting behind me. The little girl asked questions about what was happening every five minutes, which her mom did her best to answer. Neither one of her parents asked her to be quiet, and her persistent whispering went on and on. The dad was not impressed with the film at all, and complained loudly as soon as the end credits started to roll. Things like "garbage" and "waste of time" and so on. The little girl seemed like she enjoyed the films; I wondered what she thought of what her dad had to say.
The rest of the audience was pretty well behaved. There weren't any other talkers and nobody fiddled with their cell phones at all. There were a couple of times when some kids left to go to the bathroom, but they returned to their seats with little hullabaloo.
How different from a Korean movie theatre!
The amount of mookish behaviour that goes in there has to be seen to be believed. People coming in late, people going in and out all through the film, kids running up and down the aisles, people talking, people talking/texting on their cell phones - it was no wonder Flint and I went to fewer and fewer films as time went by.
Once, when we went to see "Miami Vice," it was like we were surrounded by mooks who came to the movie expressly to talk to their friends on the phone. Silly Flint and I had actually come to see the film, and nothing else.
I was sitting next to a woman who just would not leave her phone alone. I finally leaned over and started yakking in her ear, "Who is it? Is is for me? If it's for me, I'll talk."
She shut the phone off, but she was not happy. Her big plan to get back at me was to wait until I took a swig from my drink, and then fill the cup holder on the armrest between us with her own bottle of water.
I chucked it on the floor.
She started chattering away at me, and I said something like, "I'm trying to watch the film!" I kept expecting her boyfriend to do something about me. What I didn't realize was that he had made a motion to put me in my place, but Flint had loomed up behind me. The boyfriend scuttled back into his seat like a turtle retreating into his shell.
There's nothing so frightening as Flint when he looms... or smiles.
Well, that was the "high point" of our theatre-going experience in the Land of Morning Calm and Afternoon Difficulty.
After Flint left Korea, I did go to a couple of movies with our mutual friend Spock, and whenever the usual mookish behaviour began, I took to throwing popcorn at the offending mook.
The look on their faces... still convulses me with howls of derisive laughter!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Douchebags I knew.

Writing "Shit Foreigners Say ... to deny reality." brought back a lot of memories of things BuMSuk said and did.

As a friend he just wasn't that reliable. The only time you could really count on him was when he wanted something. He also had a tendency to say and do douchey things. Two incidents really stand out in my mind.

The first one happened during a night out with friends. We were having a good time. I had smoked a nice Romeo & Julietta No. 2 and left the tube on the table. A little while later I was coming back from the bathroom and noticed BumSuk and an American friend (Jon) "play fighting". As I got closer I heard Jon saying he was going to kill BumSuk and the fight started going into another booth. It was a real fight ... or at least an attempt at one.

I managed to get them apart and BumSuk retreated to the bar befofre leaving altogether. What had gotten Jon so pissed off is that BumSuk picked up the cigar tube and told Jon he wanted to stick it up his (Jon's) girl friends ass. What the kimchi?!?!?

BumSuk claimed he was drunk, until later when he was home and on the phone. Then he would say he claimed to be drunk so as not to get beat up and he was really sober. He just thought it would be a funny thing to say to someone. Strangely enough, the female friend who made the stupid comment denying the rape bragging tried to defend what BumSuk had done that night.

The second one happened pretty close to the rape bragging BS. We were talking about a woman I liked but who wasn't interested in being anything but friends. To me that means move on, stay friends, but don't bother thinking of anything else. Evidently it meant more to BumSuk.

He said "Just get her drunk and fuck her."

I was flabbergasted and said "What the fuck did you just say?"

He smiled and said "Oh, I was just joking."

It didn't feel to me like he was joking but he did have a strange sense of humour. So, I let it slide. In retrospect, I don't think he was joking.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What the ... other foot?!?!?

I guess this should be filed under "The shoe is on the other foot." South Korea is being subjected to the same sort of crap that they do to others ... and they don't like it.

In a nutshell. A Taiwanese athlete was disqualified from the Taekwondo competition in the Asian Games. At first anti-Chinese sentiment was growing.

Then anti-Korean sentiment started showing as Taiwanese started complaining about the Korean Judges deliberately disqualifying their star. Taiwanese fans are calling for boycotts of anything South Korean. Taiwanese nutizens crashed the Taekwondo Unions website.

Sound familiar? Except for, thankfully, a lack of bomb threats it sounds like the type of stupidity people have become used to from Korean fans/nutizens when Korean loses in sports.

Which makes it amusing to watch the Korean nutizens whine about the behaviour of the Taiwanese. It has the KKKunts on Korea Sentry in a tizzy. Some of their comments are interesting in light of past over reactions by Koreans.

Sett: They blame Korea because they believe we are secretly trying to prevent Taiwan from winning a gold medal. Gee ... kind of like Koreans made Ohno winning the gold out to be a conspiracy perpetuated by the US.

Herr Konsoleman: Island Chinese have serious issue within themselves, why they do this to themselves??? You mean like Koreans crashing servers and sending death threats to the Swiss Embassy? The Australian Embassy? The Australian judge?

Chucky3176: Now the entire Taiwan media is on this, as mass hysteria sweeps over Taiwan, over a lousy fucking Taekwondo match in the Asian Games which no fucking people really care two hoots about. Kind of like the reaction of some people to things that happened in Speed Skating?

So, we now see the shoe is on the other foot. And Koreans don't like it. Not so much fun when people over react, lash out, and treat you like shit is it?

Will this make people like the KKKunts think twice before acting that way in the future? I doubt it. I don't have a lot of faith in their intelligence.

Shit Koreans Say ... on birthdays.

"Happy Birthday dear my friend."

Come on, that is just fucking lazy! Would it kill them to get someone who actually knows English to translate it or correct it for them? I don't sing it in Korean because I know I would fuck it up. If I did sing it in Korean I would make sure I had it written down properly, or was taught it properly, before singing so I don't look like a lazy wanker.

It is right up there with the laziness of "Merri Kurri" or" Have a Merry" instead of Merry Christmas. Marry curry? I prefer to eat it. Have a merry? A merry what???

But hey if a K-Pop star sings it then it must be proper English. You go gull.

Korea Times - New Degrees of Pathetic

The Korea Times has reached a new level of pathetic. Their current number two headline is ...

... Triangular UFO spotted over UK skies for 3rd time.

Mind you they left out some of the title of the article they STOLE from the Mail Online. The original healine read;

Dudley Dorito Triangular UFO spotted over UK skies for the 3rd time in three years.

And the wonderful 4 sentence article was actually made up of 4 sentences the unnamed Korea Times reporter lifted out of the Mail article. If you took out all of the sentence parts that were "sampled" from the Mail you would be left with an article saying ;

" triangular the Daily Mail reported on its website, Wednesday. "

Wow. What amazing skill the reporter must have had to steal errr write such an in-depth article on UFO's in the UK. A story of such importance to all Koreans considering UFO's are flown by evil aliens and foreigners are evil aliens too. No wonder it appeared as the SECOND HEADLINE.

Seriously though, how fucking low can this rag lower the bar of journalism in Korea and still call itself "First in the Nation"? If this piece of shit is REALLY considered "First in the Nation" by anyone except the morons who work there it doesn't speak highly of the intelligence of Koreans or those who read it for their news.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shit Foreigners Say ... to deny reality.

"I have never had the happen so I don't believe it happened."

This phrase, and similar ones, are often used by apologists to discount or diminish the experience of others in South korea. They seem to have the strange idea that if something never happened to the, or if they haven't seen it, it couldn't possibly have happened. Kind of a scary way to go through life, in denial of anything you haven't seen.

I had my own encounter with a friend who used a version of this to ignore reality.

One of the reasons I stopped hanging out with BumSuk is because he was a sleazy asshole. Once he bragged to me about him and a friend (MJ) picking up a high school girl who was passed out drunk in a park. They took her, unconscious, back to MJ's hotel room to fuck. He seemed proud of the fact that they raped a girl. I don't hang around people like that.

A while later I was meeting a friend, another ex-pat. I had stopped hanging out with BumSuk and did NOT want him or MJ around. If they were going to be around I wasn't. So, she asked me what my problem was with them and I told her. Her reply was;

"Well, they never told me about that so I don't believe it happened."

What the fucking kimchi?!?!?

What the ... Racialicious commenters?

Bobbie was venting about something again. This time about Blackout Korea. He pointed to a link at a site called Racialicious which has Epic Fail of the Week. It featured Blackout Korea.

To a point I can agree with them. While I have no problem with people snapping pictures of others who make themselves look like assholes in public, and getting so pissed you pass out in your own sick qualifies, there is a line. Posing in pictures with the passed out, especially ones that make it look like you are fucking them in the ass, cross that line for me.

What caught my eye wasn't Racialicious' comments so much as some of the commenters. One in particular named Katie came off as an extra-strength whack-a-do. She started going on about Korea being occupied by the US military and how the pictures of people posing with or over drunks looks like soldiers lording it over Korean casualties.

"I look at the photos from the offending blog and I’m struck by how they could be pictures from a war, with White soldiers lording it over Korean casualties. Korean bodies have often been portrayed as disposable in the US imagination. Korean prostitutes, Korean war deaths ... "

This cunning stunt is actually equating these pictures to ones from a war? What a stupid bizzy ditch.

Then you have some asshole named Keith spouting off saying;

"I dislike ESL teachers immensely. You don’t even have to have credentials to become one in some places. Not only that, their have been scandals where these low life’s have taken advantage of their female students high school and junior high."

Could someone please point out these scandals to me? The ONLY ones I have heard about, where teachers have been diddling their students, have concerned KOREAN teachers. Considering how hot the Korean Times is to print shit about ex-pat English teachers, even when it isn't true, it is surprising that even they haven't printed any stories about this.

I love the way Keith parrots the line about ESL teachers not being qualified. If the QUALIFICATIONS to teach ESL do ONLY require you to have a 3-4 year University degree, and you have one, then you ARE qualified. IF the qualifications called for a teaching degree and they didn't have one THEN assholes like Keith would be right. Instead they are just a bunch of assholes with an axe to grind against ex-pats. If it wasn't ESL teachers I am sure they would find something or someone else to whine about.

Guess what Keith, a lot of ESL teachers feel the same way about douchebags like you.

What a bunch of fucking morons.

What the ... headline?!?!?

Once again the Korea Times, Worst in the Nation, is headlining a story from another country. A story that continues their goal of making foreigners look evil. Why would I say that? Well, look at their track record of stories. Look at their use of lies and innuendo to make foreigners, especially those teaching English in South Korea, look evil.

I am not saying they shouldn't have this story. It is news. Many other countries have carried the story. Only the Korea Times carried it as a Front Page, 2nd Headline story. Which kind of makes you wonder about their intentions. OK, if you know anything about the Terrible Times you don't wonder. This kind of bullshit is par for the course with them.

As usual with the Korea Times, Worst in the Nation, it doesn't attribute the paper/online site it lifted the story from. A story which is verbatim what appeared on The Daily Chili. The title, the content, everything was plagiarised for your reading enjoyment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shit Koreans Say ... about healthy food.

Koreans will prattle on about how healthy Korean food is. It is "well being" this and "well being" that. (Koreans have seem to have never heard of a phrase they couldn't beat like a government mule.) To a point I would agree with them. A lot of Korean food is healthier than "Western" food, but not everything is healthy. And eating something several times a day, every day, isn't always healthy.

As great a health food as Koreans claim kimchi is it has also been talked about as a cause of gastric cancer. Koreans actually lead the world in cases of gastric cancer. I am not even going to get into the salt level of a lot of the kimchi I have tasted or the fat content of most SamKyubSal.

When talking about "healthy food" Koreans, usually men, are often talk about food that is "good for men's stamina." Eating dog is good for men's stamina. Eating eel. Drinking deer blood. The list goes on and on. I never heard any mention of what would be good for women's stamina.

The whole "well being" idea ended up becoming an over used and abused phrase. Fast food restaurants would slap the phrase on something and all of a sudden it became health food. It lost a lot of it's meaning in Korea.

The Weather

It is kind of funny, I always used to tell people that the temperature difference between Cheongju and Halifax was 8-10 degrees. Halifax being the cooler of the two. For the most part that was true ... until now.

The last couple of days Cheongju and Halifax have had the exact same weather except that Cheongju is colder!!!

Right now, according to the weather through igoogle, Cheongju is -1, foggy, light wind from the west with 100% humidity. Halifax is is 10, foggy, light wind from the east, and 100% humidity.

Strange days indeed.

Monday, November 15, 2010


KopJang, or is it GopJang, is cow intestine. No surprise that it is considered "healthy" food in Korea. I haven't had a Korean food that some Korean didn't try to tell me was healthy for you, or good for men's stamina. According to one web site;

"Eating beef intestines does have health benefits she says. “It’s good for your complexion and digestion because it contains collagen.” According to the book Dong Eui Bogam, written by Joseon Dynasty doctor Hojun, in 1610, 곱장 (beef intestine) has more iron and vitamins than other meat, it’s not too expensive and it tastes unique. Weak or sick people eat it to give them strength. In addition, Hojun says, consuming beef intestines enhances your stamina, helps prevent diabetes and is good for your skin. "

Damn it sounds like it could give kimchi a run for it's money when it comes to curative powers.

It may sound disgusting to a Western who is not used to eating tripe or offal. The first time I encountered it a Korean friend was getting some at a restaurant near my apartment. It smelled like shit burning. Reluctantly I tried a piece and it tasted as bad as it smelled.

Flash forward about 5 years. After work we went to a restaurant in GaGyoung dong. It wasn't big. Your typical hole in the wall Korean restaurant. Nothing fancy in terms of decor but usually good food.

It turned out to be a KopJang restaurant. The food didn't smell bad. It came with sides that included raw liver and stomach. The Koreans ate the liver and stomach as soon as the plate touched the table and asked for more. I like liver but I hadn't eaten it raw before. I had raw stomach once and din't think that much of it. So, I was prepared for a bad meal.

Boy was I surprised. The 1st KopJang restaurant must have been run by people who didn't know how to cook. Not only did this KopJang NOT smell like shit ... it tasted fantastic. The restaurant became one of my favourite work dinner spots.

If you can find a restaurant that knows what it is doing I would recommend trying KopJang.

(Unfortunately, thanks to the great computer crash of '09 I lost most of 3.5 years worth of pictures. So these pictures aren't from that restaurant. I am going to ask some friends in korea to get me pictures of it.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mook of the Week

Crosswalk mooks, as in those who block the crosswalks, are a dime a dozen in South Korea. In fact they are so common it is hard to know how to label them. Garden Variety mooks? Commonplace mooks? Mooky mooks? But I digress.

To readers of this blog the intersection should be very familiar. One of the busiest in Cheongju. Taxis are constantly blocking not just the crosswalk but at times the intersection itself. Cars dropping people off or picking them up don't usually help things either. always a great source of mook pictures and stories.

Along comes some mook selling stuff from their tiny van. I almost said mini van but hell mini vans are bigger than this little piece of shit. She pulls to the edge of the cross walk and starts setting up shop.

Of course this leads to all sorts of fuckery as she is now blocking the lane taxis use to enter the queue for the bus terminal. A lane THEY usually use to block the crosswalk.

This mook led to some massive traffic jams in the intersection but it never phased them. They just went on mooking about.

Shit Foreigners Say ... about Korean culture.

"No. That is a Korean tradition. You don't know what you are talking about."

This was said to a Korean by a foreigner in my presence. That is, we were all sitting around talking. BumSuk was telling us what was and wasn't traditional Korean behaviour or culture in a bath house. This twat tried telling a Korean what was and wasn't Korean. Talk about arrogant.

It never fails to astound and confound me was when you get ex-pats who just got to Korea try to tell you what Korea is like. Usually the stupidest comments would come from people who just got off the plane or had only been there a year or so. Because the mere fact they are in Korea means they are now experts and even if you have been there longer they know better than you. Then you have the way apologists do something similar.

"It isn't rude. It is Korean culture."

Apologists LOVE to use this line to excuse bad behaviour by Koreans. I think the first time I heard it used was by someone explaining away why Koreans point at foreigners and why it wasn't rude. Now, one of the first things I was told before coming to Korea was not to point at people. You gesture using your whole hand because pointing is rude in Korea. You don't want to offend people.

After the apologist said that I decided to ask some of my students, I taught kids and adults my first year, if it was rude or cultural. They were unanimous, pointing is rude. It is not "cultural" to point at people. When I told the apologist this they said "Oh no it is cultural. They were wrong." What a fucktard.

People like that need a smack upside the head to reboot their brain.

Shit Koreans Say ... about Fan Death

"Canadians don't have fan death because it is too cold to use fans there."

This was said to me once by a Korean trying to defend the myth of fan death. He was implying that Canadians don't use fans or air conditioners because of the climate.

So here was someone who had NEVER been outside of Korea trying to tell me what it is like in Canada. When I pointed out the error of his, dare I say, logic I was told that I was wrong. Yes, the Canadian was told that he didn't know what it was like in Canada. What a ricetard.

The person who set up actually makes a similar statement. He wrote;

"I do agree places like Canada and other northern countries have no use of electric fans, so maybe they could not make the discovery, yet."

How much of a fucking moron does someone have to be to make a statement like that? Evidently, they know jack shit about "northern" countries or they would know that most have .... FOUR seasons. The length and severity may vary but except for those in the FAR north these countries have four DISTINCTIVE seasons.

Then again, having read the Fan Death site I am not that surprised. The author of the site left out some choice tidbits about fan death. Like when he talks about how fans kill. He mentions the notion that fans use up oxygen and create carbon dioxide. What he left out was the evil way the fans do this. Many Koreans believe the BLADE of the fan CHOPS the oxygen molecules thereby removing oxygen from the room and helping to create CO2.

Sorry, I had to stop typing and take a laugh break.

Fan Death. It still boogles my mind when Koreans go on about ... and defend ... the whole concept. Korea is the ONLY country in the world where anyone believes in it. And the lengths they will go to in order to perpetuate the BS is astounding.

In my first year in Korea I actually heard an explanation for fan death that made sense. We were teaching the police. One of them told us that fan death is often used in cases of suicide because they worry that it may lead others to try and kill themselves. That sounds a lot more reasonable than the BS usually spouted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shit Koreans Say ... from commercials.

"Bravo your life."

I remember the first time I heard it. A student had done well on a test and I said "Great work Bravo!" In unison a few students said "Bravo your life!"

I had no idea why they said it. It seemed very strange. A few days later it happened again in another class. So, I asked them why they said that. A student explained to me that it was from a commercial. I think he said a Samsung commercial, but I am open to being corrected.

It struck me as strange on two levels. First, that so many students would parrot that back so quickly. It was like they had one mind. Secondly, it is a stupid phrase. It is bad English. Of course, bad English is common in Korean commercials. And Koreans seem to like to repeat what they hear in commercials and movies. Some days it seems like the stupider the phrase is the more Koreans repeat it.

Even weirder was seeing Koreans break out into song when a commercial comes on. I am not talking kids here either. I remember once Stig and I were having dinner at Popeye's. The TV was playing there and a commercial came on with (insert name of female k-pop group popular at the time here) singing the jingle. This woman broke out into song along with it AND was doing the dance moves while seated. You could see a few others mouthing the words or singing along lowly. I wish i had my camera out it would have made a funny video.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Canadian PM Figure

Does anyone have a picture of the figure of the Canadian PM from the doll exhibit where the Koreans fucked up the Australian PM's "traditional" clothing? One of my readers emailed me asking if I had one. He says it looks like the Canadian PM is wearing a kilt or shorts but it is hard to tell from the pictures online.

It is hard to tell. I think it could be skin there which means a skirt or kilt. Would I be surprised if the Koreans cocked that figure up too? Hell no.

I WAS surprised that he wasn't in a Mountie uniform or dressed up like an Inuit.

Shit Koreans Say ... about blood.

"I would like to donate blood." says a foreigner.

A Korean Red Cross worker, with a look of horror on their face replies "No. Foreigners can't donate blood. All foreigners have aids!"

At another donation clinic the reply is "No. Foreign blood is too different from Korean blood."

I was actually told the former when I tried to donate blood at a Red Cross clinic my 1st year in Korea. A friend was told the latter line of bullshit when she tried to donate blood. I have heard similar experiences from many foreigners.

Shit Foreigners Say ... about what they do in Korea.

"What do you you do?"

"I'm a writer." or "I'm a musician."

No, you are fucking ESL teacher who does something else on the side.

I can't count how many ex-pats have given a stupid answer like that when asked by a Korean, or other foreigner, what they do in Korea. I am not talking about people lying about their job when hitting on a woman I am talking about people who are either embarrassed to say they are an ESL teacher or who have deluded themselves into thinking they are something more, or sometimes less, in Korea. If you were hired as an ESL teacher and/or your VISA is for doing that then guess what? You are an ESL teacher.

If you don't want to be an ESL teacher quit your job and try getting an entertainer VISA to be a musician. Or get the proper VISA and go work for a newspaper if you want to be a writer. God knows you can't be worse than some of the assholes who write for the Korea Times. IF you have an F VISA quit your job and get one doing whatever.

I remember one ex-pat whining on and on at a bar about how teaching was interfering with his music. I had enough and said;

"Quit your ESL job and get work as a musician or shut the fuck up. You are here on an E-2 VISA to teach ESL. That is your job. Not playing in a band. Not making an album. Quit your whining."

Then you have the ones that don't want to say they are a teacher. I remember one ass on YouTube who went on about not wanting to be called a teacher. He is an English coach. He actually wanted his students, and people leaving him YT messages, to call him coach.

I don't know why some people are so embarrassed to call themselves a teacher. You are in Korea, or where ever, teaching English. Whether your skills are being underutilized, misused, over utilized, or ignored you are here so people can learn English.You teach and they learn. You are a teacher. If the thought of telling people that embarrasses you get another line of work and piss off.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A few family members died while I was in Korea. It was hard dealing with the death of a loved one while not home. When my oldest brother died I couldn't even get a flight that would have me at the funeral in time.

I think the strongest feeling I had other than grief was guilt. The guilt was for various reasons. not being home when it happened. Not being there for my mom and other family members. Not being at the funeral.

My Aunt died this morning. It has been hard to deal with but for different reasons. She has been hanging on for while. The strongest feeling tended to be one of helplessness. There is nothing I (or anyone) could have done to heal her. She was almost 94 and had a happy life. She knew the end was coming and was ready for it. It had been a few weeks coming though. But it was hard to just stand by and watch he die.

I is strange to say but I think it was actually easier to deal with a death in the family when I was in Korea. Usually I found out about the death after it happened. I missed all the time spent waiting for someone to die. Watching helplessly.

I am glad I was home for this. I had the time to see my Aunt and talk with her while she was lucid. I was able to be there for my mom and other family members. It was harder than dealing with it abroad in some way but I am glad I was here.

What the ... name game?!?!?

According to the Terrible Times a Korea-US friendship group plans on giving Obama a Korean name when he comes to Seoul. They have decided to give him the Korean name Oh Han-Ma. What the kimchi?!?!?

Why the hell would someone not Korean WANT a Korean name? It is bad enough that I had to try and convince most students to give me their REAL name instead of an English name. (As I mentioned in a previous post there are some Koreans who I would advise to take a Western name in the West. Such as someone named BumSuk. But for the most part we should learn their real names.) Has Obama actually agreed to this? After reading the article I don't think he has.

According to the article the name means "our hope that the Korean and U.S. leaders will exert their efforts to strengthen Korea-U.S. solid alliance made during the Korean War, to iron out the negotiation of the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and to reactivate the sagging world economy by actively galloping like horses at the bilateral summit on the sideline of G20 summit." Wow ... THAT is a mouthful and then some. It means all that when translated to English? Maybe they should have said it "represents" that instead of "means" that?

Oh wait it TRANSLATES to "O meaning nation, Han means Korea and Ma is a horse." So He is no longer B.H. Obama. now he is Korea Horse Nation. What the kimchi?!?!?

I remember in my second or third year in Korea a couple of my co-workers decided I HAD to have a Korean name since I was oh so Korean. that means I could use chopsticks, eat kimchi, and drink soju. They named me something that translated to "likes the cold". Yes, I can't remember what name they gave me, nor could they a few days later. THAT is how important a made up name is as opposed to your REAL name.

What the ... dress up?!?!?

Ah Korea. Sometimes you just make it too easy to poke fun at you.

To welcome the G20 leaders the Koreans did up figures of them in traditional clothes holding their flag. There we see the leader of Australian bearing the Australian flag while proudly wearing traditional Austrian clothes.

What the kimchi?!?!?

It was also interesting to see the traditional clothes of some other countries. The traditional dress of the US is a Revolutionary War uniform. For Britain it is a suit and ... top hat. What no monocle? For France it is a military uniform that makes the leader look like Napoleon.

This type of cock up is pretty much par for the course with Korea. And then they wonder why people think they are a little dense.

At least they didn't go with traditional Korean depiction of blacks and dress Obama up like a Zulu warrior with a spear and a bone through his nose.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What the ... inquiry?!?!?

You gotta wonder about the lack of logic in Korea at times. There is going to be an inquiry into Quincy Black. No inquiry into the Korean teachers who have been caught diddling students. But here you have a guy who's only crime was to video having sex with Korean women and put it on the net. Oh, and Quincy isn't even in the country anymore.

Was there an inquiry into Baek JiYoung's manager when something similar happened to her? Of course not. She ended up having to leave Korea for a while because she is a bad girl. (And I know just the blogger to give her a good spanking.) He got a radio job and nothing else really happened to him other his cred going up for nailing a Korean popstar.

So what did Quincy Black do that requires an inquiry?

Were the women his students? No. Were they underage? No. Were they raped? No. Were they blackmailed into performing? No. Were they blackmailed with the videos? No? Were they Korean? Yes. Was he a foreigner? Yes. Was he black? Yes.

Oh, yeah. That explains it.

I could understand the women wanting charges laid (if possible) because he put the videos on the net. But an inquiry? What the kimchi?!?!?

Shit Koreans Say ... about directions.

A few years back I was hired by a hagwon near Cheongju. I asked if I could live in Cheongju, eventually buy a car, and commute to work that way. My director told me quite specifically I would live near DreamPlus. DreamPlus is a shopping center right across the street from the inter-city bus terminal. Coincidentally, it is across the street from the Dunkin Donuts with the patio.

Flint's apartment was also near DreamPlus. It was about a 5+ minute walk away. Great! It is always nice to have a friend living near you.

So, I get into town, and my boss picks me up and takes me to my con-apt. It's actually more than a few blocks behind the "Kiss" nightclub, which is more than a few blocks away from Dreamplus.
Flint calls and says "Lets meet at Dunkins. Where is your apartment?"
The truth floored him. My con-apt was as close to DreamPlus as his hagwon was. His hagwon was about a 20-25 minute walk one way, while my apartment was about a 20 minute walk the OTHER way.

Yes, my boss considered a 20 minute walk away to be "near" DreamPlus. The apartment wasn't even in the same Dong!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shit Koreans Say ... when they see a foreigner.

You have heard the expression to "break out in song" right? Well, sometimes in South Korea people seem to "break out in English."

Koreans will say the stupidest things in English when they see a non-Asian foreigner. )Keep in mind most Koreans believe that any white person is American, except the blonds who must be Russian and all blacks are from Africa. but they will still use English if you are black or blond. Logic ... not a strong point.)I am not even counting the insane ways they will use and abuse hello. It seems as though if they know a word or two of English other than hello they MUST use it because a foreigner is there. Like they get some sort of prize or boost in stature for using English.

Here are some examples of what I mean.

I was waiting in a line in Dunkin Donuts once and two Korean women walked in. as soon as one saw me she stopped speaking in Korean to her friend. In English she says "Yes. Yes. I speak English." What the kimchi?!?

Another time walking down a sidewalk. As a group of Koreans pass by one of them starts saying "I am speaking English now." Really moron? I thought it was Swedish.

One time in a line up for a bank machine some ditz was yammering at her friend when she noticed me. Then she switched to English just to say "Yes. Yes. Ok. Ok. He is a foreigner." before switching back to Korean.

One time at a bar, and at least this guy had the excuse of having been drinking, a guy invited himself to our table. When I told him that we were having a private discussion and he should go away he says "I will sit and listen to your English." No, you will move your ass as far away from my table as quickly as you can.

I always taught my students not to do things like that unless they wanted the foreigners to think they were mentally challenged.

You would return there?!?!?

I once lived in a city, in a province, in a country and didn't like it. While there were some good points I just didn't like living there. I found the place too crowded, too busy, had too many rude people, and was too polluted compared to where I came from.

I was happy to leave there and return to where I had come from. People asked me if I would ever return to the city I had come from and I said yes.

"What?" some of them would say "Why would you go back there if you hated it?"

"Just because I didn't like it compared to here doesn't mean I wouldn't go back. Or that I hated it. There are more job opportunities there than here and if it means having a job I enjoy I would try and put up with things I don't like. Besides, I complain about things here."

"But you complained about it a lot."

"People complain a lot about things where they live but it doesn't mean they hate the place."

Most of my friends understood what I was talking about but you always get one or two who are a little slower than others and just can't grasp some concepts. I would later see the same lack of comprehension reflected in many Koreans and some ex-pats.

If I were to use their logic I would not be able to live anywhere. After all, we all find fault with things around us and complaining about them, especially the daily grind, is a way of venting and getting rid of the emotion.

I always had to chuckle when Koreans would get out of sorts when I complained about Canada. They couldn't comprehend someone would complain about their country. I actually had a student once say;

"But it is your country. Don't you love it?"

To which I replied "Yes, but it isn't perfect. No country is."

He just couldn't grasp that concept. You can love your country but point out it's faults. Just because you point out faults or complain about things that bother you doesn't mean you hate your country or the one you are in.

To a Korean complaining about your country seems to be in the same league as thinking outside the box. It isn't normal. With close friends or family it might happen but it is not usual. In the West it is fairly common. Many even consider it their right and duty to bitch about their country.

Just because I complained about life in Toronto doesn't mean I hated Toronto and there is no way I would ever live there again. Sometimes you have to go where life takes you. Sometimes you go where the work is. It could be another place in your country or it could be to another country. That is life.

More Shit Foreigners Say

You hear some batshit crazy stuff coming out from ex-pats in Korea at times especially the apologists. David Thiessen is a prime example of this. One article he had published in The Korea Times, Worst in the Nation, actually claimed that racism did not exist in South Korea.

He goes on in his diatribe to claim there is no such thing as racism because we are one race. Religion finds it way in as he further claims that what we call racism is really sin. Then he went on to blame the genome. Pretty fucked up stuff.

Hate to break it to you Davey but there is Racism and you can find it everywhere. The only difference is the degree to which it appears and how it is dealt with. In Korea it is pretty overt.

He has also claimed, in another article/post, that foreigners are always responsible for the bad things that happen to them in Korea. What can I say, he is quite the fucktard but good for some batshit crazy quotes. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shit Koreans say ... about Kimchi.

Koreans will say some of the craziest stuff when talking about kimchi. I actually had a Korean doctor tell me "Kimchi protects you from STD's." When I was reading one of Prestige Korea's posts I was reminded of that one.

Here are a few more gems I have heard about kimchi;

"Kimchi prevents SARS."
"Kimchi prevents cancer."

"Kimchi prevents swine flu." Some Koreans actually handed out surgical masks saying that ... in NYC.

"Kimchi prevents obesity."
"Kimchi prevents diabetes."
"Kimchi prevents baldness."

If it is a problem odds are Koreans will claim that kimchi cures it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What the ... stolen story?

And now another post brought to you thanks to the actions of The Korea Times, Worst in the Nation.

One of my readers emailed me a link to a Korea Times story. It is about a male Elementary school teacher who admitted to abusing 8 students. The story is one of the TOP headlines on the Korea Times website, second only to a G20 related story.

However, the story IS NOT about a teacher in Korea. It is from the world section and comes out of Oxfordshire, England. As usual, the Terrible Times ripped off a story without properly attributing it. In fact, their title is ripped right off from the Telegraph's own story. Hell, the bulk of the Time's "story" was ripped right out of the Telegraph's story word for word. Why paraphrase when you can steal.

Here is what the Terrible Times story would look like if everything that was ripped off from the times verbatim was removed.

" the Telegraph reported Saturday. "

That is it! Everything else was ripped right out of the Telegraph's online article without proper attribution. Oh and Korea Times, attaching those 4 words to the opening sentence doesn't give proper credit to the original story and the reporter who wrote it. Of course this kind of shoddy journalism is no surprise to anyone who follows the Times and knows what they are like.

My reader asked the rhetorical question "Why do you think they made this a headline?" Anyone who follows the the K-blogosphere and the BS the Korean Times does knows why. To make foreign teachers look bad. It is just another way for them to paint foreign teachers as degenerates and a threat to Korean children.

I wonder if the City Editor would consider this post to be nitpicking?

Shit Koreans Do

Well, Flint has had some good posts going, so I thought I'd expand on them. It's not that I don't have any examples of shit Koreans say. I have plenty, but I was thinking of the incident I'm about to relate, and thought I'd get it down while it was fresh in my memory.
One of the things Koreans do is touch your stuff. They're endlessly curious about foreigners, and don't feel any compunction about examining you and your things like you're one of those special exhibits in a museum.
My students do this, but they're kids. I teach them to be more polite (something their parents seem to neglect to do).
Flint has already talked about how people in supermarkets'll go through your cart, but this incident occured while we were drinking.
Once, when Flint and I were at Road King enjoying some cigars, a Korean friend of Flint's noticed my lighter. It was a Zippo I had picked up in Japan, featuring The Beatles' logo on the side.
He asked me if it was genuine, and I said that I assumed it was. Whether it was genuine wasn't really important to me, the fact that it had "The Beatles" on the side (and it worked okay) was more to the point, I thought.
But apparently the genuineness of the item in question was important to this mook.
I call him a mook even though he was a friend of Flint's, because he proceeded to take my lighter apart without so much as a "by your leave."
That's right. He took out a screwdriver and began to disassemble the lighter right then and there.
What the kimchi?!
I was too gobsmacked (and maybe a little TOO polite) to do what I should have done - smack him liberally about the head and shoulders.
Well, I got my lighter back okay, and Flint and I continued with our process of withdrawing from going to Road King because the people there were just getting too fucking weird.
That mook could never understand why I refused to drink with him from that point on.

Shit Foreigners Say

A reader emailed me and asked me if foreigners ever said stupid things. My reply was "Hell yeah!"

Often you will hear some ex-pat go on about how being stared at, pointed at, and talked about makes them feel like they are "a rock star". They call it being treated like a celebrity, rock star, movie star, or some similarly stupid comparison.

It is just a way of ignoring the fact that you are an oddity in South Korea. You are the exhibit in the zoo, where people come to point and stare. In some cases, especially with the South Korean media, you are an object of derision.

Rock star my ass. Get the rose coloured glasses off and face reality.

Some More Shit Koreans Say

If you have been in Korea for any length of time there are some things you will here that are just seem monumentally stupid. What I found compounded the stupidity is that Koreans who knew me for years or knew I lived in Korea for years would STILL say them.

"Kimchi is too spicy for foreigners."
"Foreigners don't like spicy food."

The same Koreans who say that will then shy away from Thai or Indian food as being too spicy. God help them if they get some spicy Mexican food.

You will even encounter Koreans who refuse to sell you something because it is spicy and since foreigners don't like spicy food and you are a foreigner you won't like it.

Then you have the shock some Koreans get when they see you using chopsticks correctly. They will look at you as you use them and say "You can use chopsticks?"

Yes, Captain obvious. I can. I used chopsticks before I came to Korea. I have lived in Korea for X number of years. It isn't rocket science. Sometimes I will look at the idiots who say that and ask "Can you use a fork? Spoon? knife?"

Speaking of being Captain obvious, you will have the Koreans who see you and tell you that you are a foreigner. Seriously.

I was getting out of a cab once and there were a couple of hags ... errr older Korean women just about jumping in as I exited. One looked at me and said "You are a foreigner." To which I replied "Yes and you are a mook."

It is like these are canned questions and responses that Koreans HAVE to use when they talk to a foreigner. Kind of like "How about the weather?" but stupider.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Yet More Shit Koreans Say

Sometimes when you meet Koreans for the first time they say stuff or ask questions that just leave you gobsmacked. And I don't mean asking your age or if you are married.

A friend and I were at a bar and met a Korean friend. She brought another friend, a guy, with her. When the guy found out my friend was dating a Korean woman he asked questions that almost got his ass kicked.

"Do you have sex with your girlfriend? Do you like to fuck her?"

To top it off my friend is more than a little homophobic and the Korean guy kept touching his knee. It could have ended badly but our Korean friend took the idiot away.

Of course we all know that the Korean wasn't gay so my friend had nothing to worry about. After all, as many Koreans have told me;

"There are no gay Koreans."

Or the even more mind boggling;

"There are no gay Koreans. It is a Western disease."

Mind you when Koreans say it a person isn't gay. He is a gay.

I remember when I first came to Korea there was a comedian who had come out of the closet, and made a lie of the above statements. He had to leave Korea due to death threats and no one wanting to hire him anymore. His mother supposedly made an impassioned plea in the media for him to return home to Korea and kill himself with her so they could restore their family honour.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rainy Days

There was a park near my last apartment that had a small hill. One side of it kind of dropped off. There was a pagoda on top overlooking part of the city. It wasn't the view that made it a great spot. It was rainy days.

It was nice to go there on rainy days. No one else would be around. I could just sit under the pagoda and listen to the sound of the rain beating on the roof. Days there was lightning made it even nicer. Sometimes I would bring a book and relax there.

I mentioned liking to do this to some students and Korean friends but they couldn't understand how I found it relaxing. It was rainy ... how could you enjoy being out in it? I wasn't ever able to explain it to them.

We are having the second of a predicted five rainy days here and it made me think of the pagoda. I wish I had one in the back yard.

What the kimchi?

Lately I have been thinking about ending the blog. Korea is in my past now. The only really new topics to talk about come from rehashing old complaints, talking about old times, and the stupidity that crops up from their government (latest over HIV tests) and their so called media from time to time.

I find that it has been making me more belligerent on the blog. Brian was right in his comments in a previous thread, he should have been given the benefit of the doubt. I did think he misspoke yet I still tore apart what he said. I am not happy with how I handled that.

I always figured that What the Kimchi?!?? would end up going the way of the Dodo after I, and then Stig, left Korea and I would focus more on Flint's Follies. That hasn't happened. Even after being home for 5+ months the bizarre shit that happens in South Korea just doesn't happen here that often. Even the number of mooks you encounter is SO low compared to South Korea.

The "Shit Koreans Say" has given me a new impetus, and I have lots of material for that, not counting what friends and readers send me. So who knows?

You never know, I could end up back in Korea and that would make for lots of new stuff. ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Even More Shit Koreans Say

Texts from Korean Girls is an interesting site to see some of the shit Korean women say through text. Often Koreans will use a translation program and then copy what it says to send as their text. This usually comes out as gibberish.

Students rely on their English dictionaries too much and don't know or check the context of the word they use. Like one student who told me he missed having intercourse with his best friend. He meant talking with him, the friend had moved but the way the word was used made it sound like he missed having sex with his friend.

Students will often write out assignments in Korean and then run them through a translation program. What they hand in looks like English to them but is gibberish to anyone who can actually read English.


Writing about Chuck and the Porn Taxi (sounds much more interesting then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) got me thinking about him. I often say that I have met a lot of people in South Korea but most of them just aren't memorable. Chuck is one of the memorable ones.

I met Chuck at a bar in YongAm-dong called Buck's. He was working at one of our competitors, Little America. (For those who don't know Little America is a chain of English Hagwons in South Korea. They don't always have American teachers and some acquire nick names like Little Australia. ) Chuck was rarely sober. :)

When you think of the "bad examples" of English teachers in Korea Chuck would have fit the bill. He was rarely sober and always on the lookout for a good time. However, he was a nice guy and a loyal friend. A lot of Chuck stories I can't/won't repeat here. But it was rarely dull with him around.

One time we were at Carrefore and Chuck bought one of those pump action plastic pistols that shoots little plastic beads. I had met Chuck around 10AM at a coffee shop, he was already in his cups drinking beer. By noon we decided to see a movie but had a couple of hours to kill for the next show. So we went shopping and he picked up the toy gun.

We ended up at the food court and of course being foreigners were the object of some staring and pointing. Chuck was starting to sober up and get a hangover and the mooks were starting to get to him. He had to go to the bathroom so I waited at our table.

He came back with an evil grin on his face. Some kid (8-9 years old) was in the bathroom and kept sticking his hand under the door to Chuck's stall. He warned the kid to fook off (imagine it with a Socttish brogue) but the kid persisted. So, he hauled out his gun and shot the kid in the hand. Opened the stall door and shot at him a few more times. The kid ran out of the bathroom screaming. Chuck calmly walked out and told me what happened.

On one hand I thought it was hilarious and maybe the little shit would think twice before annoying people in a stall. On the other hand it was just a kid plus if he cried to daddy we could end up confronted by a pissed off adjosshi. I figured we should get out of there before that happened.

Eventually, after another adventure, we ended up at our movie. It was "The Core". What a horrible movie. Think of "Armageddon" but in the Earth not in space. Chuck was almost sober now and hung over. That isn't a pretty sight and his tolerance for crap movies is pretty low. He started acting a bit mookish and complained loudly about the crappiness of the film. I managed to quiet him down with the promise of more booze after the movie. We never did finish watching it ... and we were happy for that. We did get some booze after the movie ... and were happy for that too.

Chuck ended up leaving South Korea on a midnight run. His school was having money trouble and was jerking him around. He went to Thailand, back to Scotland, and ended up in Vietnam. We kept in touch from time to time thanks to the internet.

Unfortunately, he died in 2009 after an accident in Vietnam. He was a good person to call friend but at times he could be mookish. Mind you, he would be the first one to admit it when you called him on it. Then he would buy you a drink. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More Shit Koreans Say

This one was provided by a woman who worked with me last year. As with most woman (foreign and Korean) in Korea I knew, she had a lot of bad experiences with taxi drivers. They tend to be pretty sleazy with women traveling alone.

At least twice a week a Korean taxi driver would ask her to marry him. Usually before trying to grab her boobs. Some of them would make comments like "You beautifurr but hebby sizey." when proposing to her. Often they would do this while driving.

A Korean-Canadian co-worker stopped using taxis when alone because of drivers like that. Her last taxi driver reeked of soju and kept trying to take her somewhere for breakfast, booze, and sex instead of where she wanted to go.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What the ... deadline?!?!?

A friend sent me a job posting from Dave's ESL. They are looking for people to come and teach English at their winter camp at a Graduate School of Law.

The ad was posted November 1st 2010 and the deadline to have all your documents to them is .... October 30th 2010.

Does this stupidity surprise me? Hell no!

I wonder if graduates of this university helped come up with Visit Korea Year 2010-2012.

Shit Koreans Say.

I am going to steal a couple of ideas and roll them into one. Recently Prestige Korea wrote about Shit My Korean Wife Buys On The Internet. It got me thinking about the TV show 'Shit my Dad Says." Great show. So, I decided to start up "Shit Koreans Say." Feel free to add your own experiences.

To recap one I used on Prestige Korea, a few years ago one of my co-workers asked me if I was still going to the health club (gym). I replied yes. He then said "Then you are looking healthy."

There was a student in my first year in Korea (she was in University) that I used to hang out with a lot. We would meet for coffee, dinner, go on short road trips. Sometimes her brother would come along. After a couple of months she started taking another class and all of a sudden wasn't answering calls or showing up when we had plans. Since she was still in the school I worked I would see her there. I knew her mom was sick and figured that must be why. One day I asked her what was going on. Her reply boggled my mind. "You aren't my teacher anymore so I can't spend time with you. I have to spend it with my new teacher."

Then there was the student-friend of mine. He was a Middle School teacher, later high School, at the time and in his late 40's. He was well traveled too, in fact he went to the Australian Olympics with the coaching/training staff of the South Korean boxing team.

One summer day we were out driving around. While stopped at a light he asked me what the middle finger meant exactly. I told him it usually meant fuck you or fuck off. So ... picture this ... he proceeded to start giving the finger in all directions while shouting "Fuck You" "Fuck You!"

It was summer and his window was open. I wish I had a picture of the cab drivers face beside us. I think he believed the FU's were directed at him. My friend did this until the light changed.

Another time, and not so funny, we were walking down the street when he saw an African-American. He walked right up to the guy, almost nose to nose, and with a grin said "You are black! You are a nigger!"

I told the guy he was insane but I understood if he wanted to kick the shit out of him. He commented on Koreans and left instead.

You just never know what will come out of a Korean's mouth.

What the ... negative image?!?!?

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the stupidity of some of the nutizens and Koreans. Take Herr Konsoleman of the Kamikaze Kimchi Kommandoes for example.

Once you get past his poor writing and absent reasoning abilities you are left with the impression of someone, a Korean someone, who is a racist, hates foreigners, is a rabid nationalist, and has the tendency to over react.

He exemplifies a lot of the nutizens who post in English (and Korean). Some of them are ethnic Koreans (ie Korean-Americans), many of whom have never been to the Fatherland. Yet they will tell you what it is REALLY like in Korea. Many are like Herr Konsoleman, Koreans living abroad. They rave on and on about how great Korea is. How evil the foreigners are who go there. How evil anyone who doesn't agree that Korea is the greatest country in the universe is. (Which does beg the question ... If Korea is so great and life is perfect there why are you (Herr Konsoleman) living abroad (New Zealand)?

Then they complain about people who lived in Korea taking a negative image back to their home country. Here is Herr Konsoleman whining.

"With all these U.S soldiers, foreigners and ESL people they have been taking "negative image" of Korea back to U.S because most of them are low graded people who only went to see some Korean hookers and redlight districts, and U.S media doesn't want U.S citizen to know about rise of S.Korea. Also, U.S media have Chinese and Japanese working for them so if you combine Chinese, Japanese and past ESLs in U.S, there is no way they will portray positive image of Korea."

If you pay any attention to the Korean Blogosphere you know about the bull shit foreigners have to put up with from the Korean government and so-called media. Let alone what they put up with from Korean citizens. Herr Konsoleman mirrors a lot of what they say.

Yet, for some bizarre reason, they can't fathom why foreigners would return home and not sing the praises of South korea. They wear some seriously big blinders if they can't understand that.

Let's see ... you go to a foreign country to work and live. You are automatically labelled a low life degenerate and often treated like one. Wow! How could you not go home and sing the praises of that country?!? (And that is without even bringing up Hagwons screwing over foreign teachers, and businesses screwing over foreign workers.)

If Koreans REALLY want foreigners to leave Korea with a positive image of the country they need to start by cleaning up their act. The nutizens tend to give Korea a black eye every time they power up their computer. A Korean team or athelete in some sport lost ... let's make death threats, bomb threats, and post peoples personal information. Someone talks about a bad experience in Korea ... they must be lying! It's time to get out a lynch mob and go after them!

And HE has a problem with how Korea is portrayed in the media? Try being a foreigner in Korea and subjected to the media BS that goes on. A place where the government knows E-2 visa holders aren't causing the HIV problem but regulate them like they were, while not testing the visa holders who probably do bring it in. Why? In response to parents who are fueled by the anti-foreigner media. Why would someone NOT have a negative view of Korea and send it home?

"Hi mom. I had my HIV test. It is negative of course."
"Why did you have an HIV test?"
"It is the law all for all E-2 Holders, especially us dirty English teachers."
"Oh. I see. Is there a problem with foreign teachers having HIV?"
"No. In fact the government said they knew we weren't a problem. They do it just to keep parents happy."
"Why do the parents think you need HIV tests?"
"The media here hates foreigners, especially English teachers, and makes it seem like we are all a bunch of diseased degenerates."
"Well ... at least everyone gets tested."
"Oh no. Only the E-2 VISA holders do. The hookers who come over on E-6 VISAs don't have to anymore. Plus it doesn't affect the Korean men who refuse to wear condoms or the HIV infected teenage prostitutes they go to."
"Oh ... I see ... so you are coming home soon right? I can buy your plane ticket."

Do I expect this to change? Unfortunately, no. At least not in my lifetime. Which means whack jobs like Herr Konsoleman shouldn't be surprised it foreigners keep returning home with a negative image of South Korea.