Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What the ... hypocritical mook?!?!?

I was reading the latest post on Blackchild when I saw a link to one of his previous posts I had missed. Back then I was subscribed to a blog run by someone that tended to make a lot of inane posts. Thus causing a lot of spam and I would miss posts by others. But I digress.

Mike's post was about some of the BS foreigners face in South Korea. It was a good post, funny in parts. Especially how he dealt with the old mook on the bus.

In the comment section an Anonymous poster made some comments that had me writing a reply too lengthy for a comment section. So I am putting it here.

The anonymous Mook said

"ur so lucky that people pay attention to u. "

Evidently someone doesn't know the difference between good and bad attention. Pointing, staring, and harassing someoen isn't considered good attention by most people. From later comments of yours YOU didn't appreciate it.

Mr. Anonymous also seems to have missed the fact that when assistance was needed Koreans DIDN'T pay any attention.

"as an asian living in states i didnt have my native language conveniently posted everywhere or people try to speak my native tongue."

Be happy you didn't have hordes of people saying hello to you seemingly at random in the States. Shouting it repeatedly. Or people stopping you to practice their English by asking the same stupid questions the last 20 idiots asked and the next 20 will ask.

As for English being posted everywhere ... thanks for the laugh. Yes, there is a lot of English out there. However, there is a lot of BAD English out there too.

" people in states look at u funny automatically judge u bc dont speak perfect english."

Sounds like Koreans dealing with non-Koreans. I would guess you didn't appreciate that behaviour in the states so why should foreigners in Korea like it? When it comes to using Korean I have found a lot of Koreans do NOT want to speak Korean with you, they want to practice their English.

When you do use your Korea, no matter how good or bad your accent is many don't seem to understand you. I remember going to the corner store to get some bug spray. A Korean friend told me that all I have to do is ask for "combat", or as he said it "com bat uh". So I did. I asked about 20 times and the guy still didn't understand. So I called my friend who said exactly what I said but this time the guy understood. Or taxi drivers that don't understand when you say left or right in Korean. But if you say "leftuh" or "rightuh" they understand.

"dont expect koreans to adapt to ur ways. if your going to stay in korea u should learn their culture and language."

It is always funny to hear a Korean lecture about that. When in doubt blame the foreigner for not understanding Korean culture. What always made me laugh was when students went to study abroad and only left the Korean community to go to class. Which meant the only time they had to use English was in class. When they came back and would make comments like yours, how important it is for foreigners to learn the Korean Culture and language I would laugh at them.

For the most part foreigners aren't even asking Koreans to adapt to their ways. They want to be treated as a human being, not an animal in the zoo. They want to be treated politely. According to any Korean I asked it is rude to point at people in Korea. It is rude to stare. Yet, if you are a foreigner it happens all the time but it is ok because you aren't Korean. Like I told my students if it is rude to do it to another Korean it is rude to do it to anyone.

I love history and learning about other cultures. So I made a point of learning about Korean culture. Of course whenever anything came up I would be told "you don't understand Korean culture". Even when you were right.

As for learning the language, I learned enough to get by. However, the more I learned Korean the more I realized just how fucking rude so many of them were when they didn't think we understood them. (And to the apologists yes, Westerners do this too ... and when they do it around me I tend to tell them off. Two wrongs don't make a right.)

For a while this led me to actively stop learning Korean. Mike's reasoning was pretty close to mine. I wasn't out to learn Korean just to get in a woman's pants. Nor was I impressed with the way so many Koreans would not want to use Korean but insist on English, a lot of the time it felt like they just expected a free English lesson. More than a few times it was actually expressed that way ... "I practice Englishee on you."

So, Mr. Anonymous, your comments were kind of disjointed bordering on hypocritical. You complained because you were treated badly in the US but expect foreigners to just suck it up when in Korea. You sir are a fucking mook.


  1. I've been to Canada before, and I'm sure you know better than I, but you people are incredibly polite and nice (sorry to generalize), so maybe it's hard to know how bad Americans can be here especially since we're so close to you. I know Koreans are awful in dealing with foreigners; Korean-Americans (especially first generation) are terrible too. Their racism is so natural and profound it shocks me. It's not even that they hate foreigners as much as they look down on them. However it's also so terrible how bad the Americans can be. They are incredibly condescending towards Asians. I wouldn't go as far as say that they treat us like animals, but it's irritating how many of them sees us as being... uncultured? immature? When they talk to me, they do that loud and slow talk because they think I'm slower with the English (how surprised they get when I tell them I double majored in Literature and Speech!). Their tone of voice is also similar to the way elementary teachers talk to their students rather than the way they should be addressing an adult. And the media! The American media portrays Asians in such a negative way that I believe our image in this country will not improve without the growth of Asian media in America.

    Yes, Koreans are bad, but so are many other people. Koreans prefer to talk to foreigners in English, so do the Germans (although they are much less offensive about it).

    It's cool that you call out the Koreans for their bullshit. I'm Korean and I saw it when I visited the country. But I think a lot of expats complain about Korea as if that kind of problems don't exist anywhere else. I'm especially shocked by how many Americans and British expats mouth off about Korea, considering how awful they can be to the "foreigners" (you know, cause I'm AMERICAN even though I have Korean skin) in their country.

  2. Some of the expats in Korea do live in a fantasy land where they think that similar problems don't exist. Or they know it exists at home but it is different when it happens to them, then it is wrong. They are idiots too.

    We have a lot of idiots in Canada too. Every country has them.

    One of the things that irks me about people like that particular anonymous commenter is that they have have been treated bad and angry about it but don't really care when it happens to someone else.

    I always prided myself on saying something when people acted in a racist or assholish manner in Canada. I didn't like the way I was treated at times in Korea but I don't want to see Koreans (or anyone else) treated that way in Canada.

  3. "I always prided myself on saying something when people acted in a racist or assholish manner in Canada."

    *Thumbs up*

    I think this is the area in which Korea REALLY needs to improve. By not speaking out against the racists, they are supporting the racism and perpetuating the negative image of their country and people. They simply don't care because the racism is directed towards foreigners. That's terrible.

    "I didn't like the way I was treated at times in Korea but I don't want to see Koreans (or anyone else) treated that way in Canada."

    I would think, people like the anonymous commenter you mentioned, would have a more mature attitude towards foreigners. They've experienced what it's like to be mistreated, so they should be a part of the solution instead of continuing the negativity. I really commend the attitude that you have. I'm sorry for the shit you have to endure over there, but I admire that it hasn't made you a hateful person as it so often does to many other expats.

  4. A hat and sunglasses and I speak Korean just as good as a native.

    What I loved about the foreigners was how they always wanted Koreans to pay for English lessons, but wanted free translation service. A1

  5. I knew a few ex-pats like that. If a Korean asked for help with something they wanted money. But wanted their help for free.

    Most I knew though, as long as they were approached politely and in the proper setting (as I always say time, place, and manners) didn't mind helping out.

    I remember going to a museum, King MoRyeong's tomb area with a friend in 2002. The curator ended up approaching us and asked if I would proof read their brochure. I said sure, I was going to look at the area anyway. So she let us in for free. That was nice of her. (So if there are English problems with their brochure I guess I can be blamed. Oops.)

    Now someone approaching me while I am shopping or out with friends and expecting me to check their essay or whatever I would say no to.

  6. I don't know too many foreigners who would go up to random Koreans asking for translations. Most of us had people to do those sort of things for us. I find asking a professional to do something for free is very rude. If you want Wolfgang Puck to help you move that's fine but if you want food you should pay his hourly. I sell English services if you want them pay me .

  7. That is true BB. In fact, I can't think of anyone I know who needed something translated that didn't ask a friend/colleague ... or use babelfish. :)