Friday, May 27, 2011

What the ... idiotic expat rules?!?!?!? 2

What is it in Harry Potter about a name? People are afraid that if you speak Voldomort's name he will appear. Not to compare Chrissy Snowflake to Voldomort, the big V is much cooler, but I mentioned his name in conjunction with a horrible article on CNNgo and what do I find after that ... Chris responded to the article as well. A reader sent me a link to Chris' post. It turns out Chris wrote his with his own list of rules for expats to follow.

One of the things taht always irked me about Chris's style of writing is that he appears arrogant and condescending at the same time, dare I even say a tad pretentious. He starts right off with the arrogance by telling you that his list is THE list to follow. Or to quote him

If you’re coming to Korea to teach, work as a business person, serve the military, or otherwise hold a respectable position in Korean society, THESE are the 12 rules to follow.

Because only Chris can tell us what is right and proper. The way some people go about talking about rules makes me wonder if they actual know what a rule is. Personally, I don't like people, especially some internet mook, telling me what the rules are. If anything you giving GUIDELINES, tips, advice.

Let's look at some of his advice.

5. Along that same line, be aware of your surroundings – not because of safety concerns, but to avoid returning those unintentional bumps.

No, be aware of your surroundings FOR safety reasons asshat. You aren't safe from being hit by a vehicle even if walking on a sidewalk. If driving, you have to be uber-aware of pedestrians as well as vehicles. Talk about playing the importyance of something down.

Below he says you must respect Korean culture, even an aspect that leads to a lot of fuckery.

7. Respect the Confucian mindset – older above younger, etc. Your boss gets a bow (whether they particularly deserve it or not), and those younger than you should treat you with some deference.

He follows it by saying;

8. Tip – but only for good service. Despite the cultural mindset of ‘don’t tip’, I firmly believe it’s appropriate for good service.

Make up your mind. Are expats supposed to respect their culture or not? If it is cultural NOT to tip who the fuck are you to tell people they should? Not even getting into the fact that even in a tipping culture a person should only be expected to tip for good service. If you are giving out rules try to make them contradictory. Even if you are giving out guidelines it is bad form to have them contradict each other.

9. Get really good at one aspect of Korean life (at least!). There’s plenty to choose from – the sel-ca (self-portraiture), the jimjilbang (spa / sauna), the noraebang (singing room), etc. It’s a source of interesting anecdotes, and at least one area where the locals will compliment you on your effort to embrace culture.

Koreans will compliment you? Yeah, in a condescending manner by saying "Oh, you could be Korean!" as if that is the greatest compliment on Earth.

And how the hell does someone "get really good" at going to a jimjilbang? Korean's will compliment you on your bathing technique? What a fucktard.

He ends by saying

Wonderful readers, what did you think of the original CNNGo article? What other rules would you suggest for new expats coming to Korea.

Wonderful readers? Is he trying to land a blowjob or write a post?

Now I understand trying to match what the CNNgo article said point for point. Unless every point you have is good it is stupid to even try. In many cases you can't match point for point unless you are going for satire and just mocking the hell out of the article. Chris takes himself much too seriously to do that, and it doesn't look like that was his goal. I would have just said the guys article was shit. Pointed out some examples of why. Then maybe added some of the ADVICE or GUIDELINES I thought were important. Or just mocked the hell out of the writer's stupidity.

There really is no magic list of rules for people to follow to be a good expat because you can't make a rule for every situation people will encounter. It also implies that there are rules citizens of the country you are in always follow. Anyone who has lived in South Korea knows just how much bullshit that statement is.


  1. I agree with everything you wrote. I also laughed my ass off. :)

  2. I saw this blog

    look how Rob-o-SE-yo posts "Don't forget about Chris."

    I think the two of them just blow each other for kicks.

  3. The way those two wank off each other kind of makes the stuff Toad Man used to say about a click or cabal of expat bloggers seem true.

  4. They always struck me as people trying to do thoughtful and responsible observations in a precocious NPR This American Life sort of way. I think they feel a need to be the Nemesis Enforcers for all things Korean because they stepped in some kimchi poontang and they don't like to be reminded how shitty and awful Korea generally is for most people.

  5. Heh ... that is a good way to describe them. :)

  6. @Blackchild - While I find the term "kimchi poontang" distasteful, I actually had never thought about the situation with those two bloggers in quite those terms.

    When I do look at the situation using that framework, however, the whole thing with Chris and Rob-o-se-yo makes A LOT MORE SENSE.

    Gross. Gross. Gross.

    I can't believe I didn't think of that before.