Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I wasn't surprised. Were you?

South Korea's largest tobacco company is in hot water over their ad campaign for the new This Africa cigarette. The campaign uses monkeys instead of people.

Unsurprisingly, people are pissed off and consider the ad racist and offensive.

Unsurprisingly, KT&G (the company in question) never thought the ad would be considered racist or offensive.

Unsurprisingly, KT&G even tried to blame foreigners for the "problems" with the ad campaign.

I would have been surprised if the company just said "Yes, we fucked up. Sorry." But I know better than to expect something like that. Why accept responsibility when you can pretend to do so while blaming foreigners.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What the ... bureautards?!?!? Part 2

As mentioned in the previous post on this subject I mailed my info to the branch of the Canada Revenue Agency dealing with Canadians living abroad. Thus letting the branch know what the main office didn't, that I had been living in Canada, and filing taxes, since 2010. That way they would know I don't owe them a dime for having my Tax Free Savings Account ... since the main office doesn't see fit to keep the branches informed on peoples status changes.

That was around August 25th 2013. Today, October 3rd 2013 I received a letter from CRA dated September 27th. A MONTH after I sent them the information. Information that couldn't be given over the bloody phone to start the process. Information the main branch has but couldn't simply memo them about. It had to be mailed to them from me.

Stupidly, I kind of expected it to simply say everything has been cleared up. Of course it wouldn't be that easy. Of course it will be a longer process. This letter was to thank me for the additional information about my 2010 tax return (what about 2011? 2012? Everything was mentioned in the letter.) And to let me know that they will review the information and advise me of the results.

What a bunch of bureautards.

So, once again, to warn those who played by the rules and let CRA know you were a non-resident Citizen of Canada, YOU have to the specific department within CRA know when you have returned. Filing your tax returns is not enough. CRA itself will NOT inform them of your status change. Kind of makes me wonder if the BS is worth playing by the rules for.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What the ... BureauTards?!?!?

I have been home for over 3 years. Filing may taxes. Working at the same job for 2 years. In 2012 I opened a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). Imagine my surprise when I got a letter from Canada Revenue agency (CRA) telling me that I owed them money for deposits I made to my TFSA. The reason? I am a non-resident Citizen and am putting money into the account that I made abroad. Really?

Like I said, I have been filing taxes since I got back. I actually talked to someone at RCA when I filed my first return because I hadn't made money that year, I was living off my savings. My 1st return also reflected my change in address and status.Which means, or should have meant, that RCA knew that I was living in Canada again.

I called the 1-800 number for RCA and after going through several options that were of no help talked to a real person. They transferred me to the department that handles TFSA. After waiting a while I got to talk to a person. I explained the letter I got and my situation. They immediately knew the problem.

One section of RCA doesn't let the other know what is going on with people. The main office doesn't let the one that deals with Immigration issues (that is the word she used) know about changes in status. YOU have to contact them and let them know. Would have been nice to know that. Seems kind of stupid since the main office knew my status changed but what the fuck, it is a bureaucracy and the stereotypes do have some basis in reality.

So know the onus is on me to contact a section of CRA and let them know what the main office knows. Fucking bureaucrats.

So, if you are one of the Canadian ex-pats who actually let the government know you are living and working abroad, which resulted in a change to your resident status, let CRA know when you return because they don't keep their own departments up to date.

You have to send them a letter explaining the change in your status. When it changed. Shit like that. send it to:

St. John's Tax Centre
ATTN T1 Speciality Services
290 Empire avenue
St. John's, NL
A1B 3Z1

HOPEFULLY, that will resolve the bullshit before I get another letter from RCA saying I owe them money.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

What the ... reason to live in Seoul?!?!?!?

It has been a while since I have had anything to post here. Today a friend pointed out a BuzzFeed post. A "Community Contributor" named Alex Reichert posted a list of 11 reasons to live in Seoul. Thanks to the likes of Chrissy Snowflake, I am pretty jaded when I see that a list like this has been posted about South Korea. Sadly, Alex proved to be about as bad as Chrissy.

There are only 4 items that really deserve to be on a list like that, and 2 could actually be lumped together. None of them are actually Seoul specific, ok plastic surgery capital is but plastic surgery isn't. From his list;

2. Fastest Internet in the World. That is pretty spot on. He could have added inexpensive in there somewhere as well. It is one of the things I miss about not living in South Korea any more.

4. and 10. could really have been lumped into one category. (A category that would ignore 7.) Amazing Food. Koreans do a great fried chicken, but the pizza, meh. (Ok, have to say that Potato Pizza did make me go Mmmm.) And of course Korean BBQ. How he could rank pizza and chicken above Korean BBQ I don't know. Probably because he is a bit of a fucktard. You can find some great food in South Korea, especially in Seoul.

5. Insanely cheap and quick public transportation. I would have called it inexpensive and reliable public transportation. Potato Potato.  I loved the inter-city bus system and from those I know who used it the city services were just as good. Taxis are pretty cheap too. This is a good one.

That is it. The rest of his list pretty much sucked hind tit and smacked of the ramblings of Chrissy Snowflake, although not as pedantic. Let's look at the rest of the list.

1. K-Pop. Really, the fuckwit listed K-Pop as the Number 1 reason to live in Seoul. The way he writes you would expect to see people randomly dancing Gangnam Style down every street in Seoul. What really made me shake my head was when he wrote;

"With cell phone shops on every corner blaring music, you’ll be in K-pop heaven."

He leaves out the fact that it isn't just cell phone shops blaring music. It is pretty much every shop. Or maybe every other shop. From my recollection on most bocks there were 4-6 shops with music on outside. Oh yeah, duelling speakers maxed out at 11 whether playing the same or different songs every 30 feet or so is heaven. What a fucking moron.

3. Plastic Surgery Capital of the World. Yeah, that makes a city great. Easy access to plastic surgery. Better yet, the following comment;

"You can’t walk a block in Gangnam without getting the feeling that you just saw the same girl walk by a half dozen times."

It could be because Koreans tend to dress the same and style their hair the same. It must be plastic surgery. Or maybe he is just a racist twat who wants to say most Koreans look alike to him without appearing to be a racist twat. Or he is just a fucktard.

6. Make an unreasonable amount of money teaching English. Up to this point I was thinking, nay hoping, that this was just a tongue in cheek attempt at satire. Then this anal nugget popped up including links to other stuff Alex wrote about teaching in Korea.  It included this gem;

"You can easily save $15k by the end of the year if you’re not trying to save, or $20k+ if you are."

Wow, did the bullshit alarm in the Flint Cave ever start blaring when that showed up on my screen. At first I thought the fuckwit was playing K-Pop on his page Then I realized it was just the BS alarm. It looks like I wasn't the only one to have such an alarm go off.

This was picked up in the comment section. Todd Parker wrote;

You're not going to get rich teaching English in Korea. I've looked at the rates pretty carefully when I was considering doing it myself. It's not poverty-wages - it beats the hell out of working minimum-wage in the States - but it's not going to make anybody wealthy.

Well said, Mr. Parker. Speaking as someone who worked there I saw people who did make oscene amounts of money. They were Ivy League graduates who worked insane hours at the most expensive hagwons in Seoul. NOT people who could just speak English fluently and had any old degree.

To which alex replied;

You won't get rich, but considering how "qualified" the teachers are and how much you can make tutoring, it's a pretty good gig. Teaching in Japan is much less lucrative. You can easily save $20k after a year in Korea.

Easily saving 20k a year isn't getting rich? Your stupidity is showing.

Matthew Cross pretty much finished swabbing the BS into the outhouse where it belonged when he posted;

no you really can't. Most people with effort can save on average about 1 million a month. That's only $882/month x12 + severance. Unless your severance is $10000 you aren't going to make $20k in one year, unless you are also working illegally. Face it, your list is awful.

Well said Mr. Cross. Well said.

I could go on and talk about numbers 7, 8, 9, and 11 but why bother. None of them are specific to Seoul. None of them are really things that would entice someone to live in a city let alone make it great. As I mentioned above, I had hoped this was an attempt at comedy. A pathetic one but still an attempt. However, when Alex tried to back Number 6 up with links to "serious" posts/pages he made off of BuzzFeed it made it seem less like comedy and just plain fucking stupid.

Alex also tried to defend himself later in the comment section when Mr. Cross posted what he thought of the post and Alex. He wrote;

I'm sorry, you're completely right. I just finished a teaching contract in Korea and thought it would be fun to throw together a list of quirky things I've come across there, but I'm far from being an expert. It's only purpose was to entertain, and I apologize if it offended you.

So, he did try to play the "comedy" card. It was just quirky things meant to entertain. It wasn't meant to offend. I highly doubt it offended anyone, it just made you, Alex, look like a fucktard. When you actually tried to defend your make unreasonable amount of money comment it kind of puts the lie to saying the list was just in jest. Regardless of your intent, it is a terrible list.

P.S. FYI Alex, it is NOT an article. You are not a journalist. It is a post about a list.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Buh Bye Kozilla

Wow ... watched Episode 5 of The Great Food Truck Race and the ending was a bit of a shocker. Yet not completely surprising. Why? The Korean team was disqualified for cheating. They added $2700 of their own money to their till. Strangely enough they DIDN'T NEED IT! They still would have finished in the top and not have been eliminated. Morons.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sejong the Burgermeister

I was watching the 2nd season of The Great Food Truck Race and there is a Korean (by way of NYC) based truck in it. The guys are phenomenal! The food, I wish was available here.

In epsiode 4 they are are in Manhattan, Kansas taking part in a challenge. They have to make a dish based on a maximum of $5. They make a burger and have the hutzpahs to tell the celebrity taster that Sejong Taehwan was the first person to ever taste a burger. THAT is thinking outside the box! I wish they had won that challenge.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What the ... violator?!?!?

Heh, I read a post on Gusts of Popular Feeling that left me laughing. It turns out that Psy's video for his new song "Gentleman" has been banned by KBS because ... heh ... he kicks over a traffic cone at the end. Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!

It reminded me of when ... surprise surprise ... KBS banned Rain's video for "Love Song" because he ... ran across a deserted street. Which of course is a violation of Korea's traffic laws. And you know how much Korean's love to obey their traffic laws.

And Korean's wonder why the get ridiculed. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What the ... high cost of living?!?!?!?

I was talking with a friend about the high cost of dental care in Canada. He didn't think it was that bad. Then I told him that for the price he paid for a root canal, post, core, and crown last year he could have paid to fly to Korea, have the work done, and stay there for the time it would take for LESS than that. A root canal, post, core, and crown will run you around $4000+ here. The same in Cheongju cost $400-500. The prices are bloody insane here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What the ... reasoning?!?!?

A friend pointed out an article "50 Reasons Why Seoul is the World's Greatest City". Many of the reasons would apply to any city in South Korea, not just Seoul. Some of them are just stupid. 9-10 of them are about food that isn't only found in Seoul. Only 11 of them are definitely about Seoul, 2 more can be stretched a bit to be about Seoul. Most of them are about Korea in general. It makes me wonder if this article was written by Chrissy Snowflake.

The article opens with the comment;

There's a reason Asian tourists have ranked Seoul as their favorite world city three years in a row.

Yes, there is a reason. Korean Nutizens flood any open voting site. Remember Rain being voted Time Magazines most influential person in the world? Three years in a row? :)

Lets look at some of the 50 reasons the article gives.

47. Best airport in the world. Ummm ... isn't the airport by Incheon? Which is why it is called Incheon International Airport? Then again when has a silly thing like reality ever stopped someone from making a list?

41. Most committed celeb stalkers. That is a good thing? Something that should attract people to a city and makes the city great?

30. G-Dragon? Really?

28. Excellence in flight. See #47.

23. Road trip to the axis of evil. If the DMZ is a couple of hours away then it ISN'T IN SEOUL. Fucktard.

16. The kimchi miracle. Really? When the fuck did CNN become the Comedy News Network?!?!? Are they trying to put the Daily Show out of business? They actually mention kimchi as something that prevents SARS and other diseases? Did the twat who wrote this article actually read the BBC article this one references? The SECOND sentence says:

The researchers said the results were far from scientifically proven and if kimchi did have the effects they observed, it was unclear why.

Fucking moron.

18. Canine coffee breaks. Wow, the author tries to slough off eating dog with this one? Love the opening sentence.

Koreans have an unfortunate reputation for turning man’s best friend into man’s next meal, 

An unfortunate reputation? That makes it sound like they don't do it but people think they do. They do eat dog. If the dog restaurant I was in, and others I have seen are any indication it isn't limited to a small number of the population and old people. For my part, I don't care that they eat dog. It is a meat to them. The fact some believe that a dog beaten to death tastes better bothers me.

The list is a joke. The authors could have done a much better job. There are a lot of reasons why someone could say Seoul is great, or Korea. Most of what was used in this article is too general (applies to all of Korea) or just stupid.

Then you have the comment section which turned into a war on dog eating. Actually dog and cat eating. Which made me scratch my head and wonder. In my 10 years in South Korea I never once heard anyone talk about eating cat nor did I ever see a cat restaurant. Lots of dog ones but NEVER a cat restaurant.

Some of my favourite comments:

Alyssa: To all that are condemning South Korea for the consumption of dog and cat meat; Are any of you vegetarian or vegan?

Because if you eat any form of meat, according to this vegetarian, then you have no right to complain about how dogs are treated in South Korea. There are better arguments that can be made Alyssa.

Anneyong: Seoul is a beautiful country.

So is Africa. Fucktard. S/He then goes on to use that old tactic of "People do bad things in your country so you shouldn't say anything about other countries". Super fucktard.

Jeffrey Heo: How the heck did this comments section turn into a lynching over a cultural cuisine that a very small percentage of the population actually eat? 

He tries to bring some sanity back but is it REALLY a small percentage of the population? Based on my experience I don't believe that to be true. The same people who used to tell me that when I lived in Korea also said it was only older people who ate dog. Yet that wasn't true.

The best argument to use about eating dog is a simple one. (As long as they aren't tortured to death. And talking about the conditions food animals are raised in on the factory farms is a very valid point.) It is a meat. Go fuck yourself.

Ana: Just because some people do it does not mean that all Koreans are "scums of this Earth" as you so stupidly put it. 

Funny isn't it? That is just how Koreans like to lump foreigners together. Yet they don't like it when the same tactic is used against them.

Guest: The cats and dogs are not the domestic pets that you are thinking of but rather wild animals,

Your stupidity is showing. They are not wild animals. They are bred for eating. Much like cows, chickens, etc here. At least try to know what you are talking about.

sbarto: So Miss I'm From Forward Thinking UK, How does that horse meat taste?

Well said. :)

Michael Hughes: I went to Seoul in 2011 and I can say this is a great list of all that is great about going there. Seoul is certainly recommended. See it now before everyone goes there!

Yes, it is one of those places in the world that isn't frequented much but will be soon. Then it will lose it's uniqueness and be just another Bangkok. ;) What a fucktard.

The last commenter I will mention reminds me of a lot of Korean apologists I have encountered. They will lie to make Korea look good.

Kris: omg SHUT UP PEOPLE. I lived in Korea for years, let me say this: EATING DOG IS RARE. Let me repeat that for you dumbshits that can't comprehend this. IT'S EXTREMELY RARE. The only people that actually eat dog are just 80+ year old people. Why? Because they're used to it, that's what they ate when Korea was dirt poor and starving. Young people won't eat it. Stop getting your information from extremely biased websites. Maybe you should actually talk people who lived in Korea before. Stop embarrassing yourselves since you've never lived there.

This fucktard is so full of shit that nothing really needs to be said about his comment.

The article is disappointing but the comment section is entertaining.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What the ... copy cats?!?!?

I had thought that I mentioned the culture of copying that exists in South Korea long ago. It turns out that while I can say I did it was really a reference to a great post by Dokdo is Ours. What made me think of it now? A message from a student.

In 2011 I got a smart phone. One of my old students mentioned a program to me called Kakao Talk. According to her it was a great Korean invention that would change the way people used smart phones to communicate. I didn't have the heart to ask her if she had heard of instant messanger or Facebook. I just chalked it down to the usual Nationalistic zeal you see in Koreans. A zeal which often causes them to ignore facts and try to rewrite history. But I digress.

I installed it and it was cute. Nothing really new in the world outside of Korea. I still use it today to keep in touch with some friends and old students. I like the ability to share pictures and videos as well as text.

Last year the same person introduced me to Kakao Story. It is a decent program for sharing photos and stories. When she talked about it being innovative and a game changer I could see where she was coming from. Mind you, I had never used Instagram.

Yesterday I installed Instagram on my phone. Or should I say Kakao Story in English? Wow. Kakao Story is such a rip off of it that it isn't funny. Just when you thought you could believe that someone made something original it turns out to be just another rip off. And not a rip off that actually improved on what Instagram does.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Return to Korea

I was watching the tenth season of "Top Chef," and one of the chefs, Kristen Kush, remarked that she was going to use some money she had won in a competition to go back to Korea.
Although a native Korean, Kristen grew up in the States after she was adopted to Kentwood, Michigan.
I would be interested to find out how her trip to Korea turned out for her, and what kind of reception she got there. I would imagine that as the winner of the tenth series of Top Chef, she would probably be taken in most warmly by Koreans, who tend to see success like that as validation of the superiority of those born with Korean blood.
I would be tempted to warn her that she can't "go home again," and not to waste her money, but who knows? She may have  a positive experience. And she will certainly get some good ideas from the food that is available in Korea.
I just finished reading some books by Anthony Bourdain that Flint lent me. Bourdain writes well, and some of my favourite stories are when he talks about going to some out of the way hole in the wall in an obscure corner of the world and eating and drinking to excess.
It reminds me of the many times that Flint and I did that.
There was the seafood restaurant in Jeju-do, where we ate fresh fish and drank and drank and drank. How we got back to the hotel, I just don't know. I'd love to go back to that place.
There was another seafood place that was near Flint's apartment in Cheongju that served up a shellfish feast that can't be beat. All kinds of shellfish done all kinds of ways. We would just waddle out of that place, cross the street to the platform outside the corner store, drink beer and smoke cigars, and laugh at all the mooks that came our way.
There was a pork place near his con-apt, as well, that served up the tastiest samgyup sal. It still makes my mouth water, especially the kimchi that went with it. Mmmmmmmmmmmm drool.
So, Kristen, I wish you luck, and hope you to enjoy the food.
But be careful of the natives.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Liquor Truck

A facebook friend posted a sign the other day that read: "If children can have an ice cream truck, why can't adults have a liquor truck."
That recalled fond memories of the liquor truck that Flint and I frequented in Cheongju. It was run by a pretty woman who was generous (to say the least) when she was pouring. We usually got the Long Island Iced Teas, which were mixed in plastic ziploc bags that had a base on them so they would stand up. We'd have to drink off quite a bit off the top before we could close them and carry them bavk to the Road King.
At least, we did until the proprietor told us to stop bringing in outside drinks to his bar.
That was just another reason to stop going to Road King. He served rum and cokes that were okay, I guess. I mean, you could drink them, but the rum was nowhere near the quality that I can get in Canada. It was a brand called "Baita,' which I had never heard of before and hope never to see again.
But I digress.
I had hoped to include some pics of the liquor truck, but I neglected to take any at the time, and Flint is still searching for his. Maybe he can post them later.
Anyway, here's to the liquor truck, wherever it is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What me worry?

I read a post on ROK Drop this morning that made me think of my time in South Korea. It was about the fact that most South Koreans don't seem to be concerned that the North is going to do another nuclear test. According to the article cited the government, media, and some politicians are concerned but your average South Korean isn't.

The blogger finishes up by purporting;

"When Koreans have lived under threat of artillery and chemical weapons barrage for decades it is hard to get to excited about nuclear weapons. Especially when most Koreans know the nuclear weapons are being used by the North to extort the international community."

I believe it goes deeper than that. It is due in large part to the whole "pure blood" and "we are all brothers" theory. They use that in order to bury their head in the sand and ignore the antics of The NorKs. Or to divert it into anti-USA crap.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What the ... similarity?!?!?

It looks like Canada has something else in common with South Korea, and Japan. Compensated dating.

I recently saw a news story on CBC about Sugar Babies. II couldn't find a link to the CBC story but found one for CTV.) A website where men can find University women looking for a sugar daddy. It reminded me a lot of what I heard about compensated dating in South Korea. Except that this is for University women and not High School or Middle School girls.

This site appears to be for legal aged women/men  to find a sugar daddy/mommy, to take care of them. You can look for sugar daddies, sugar mommies, sugar babies, or male babies. It is interesting to see how much money some want (or are willing to put out ;) ) monthly.  As long as all involved are adults  more power to them. Is it a form of prostitution? Probably but I don't really care as long as all are consenting adults.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What the ... spammer?!?!?!?

This guy keeps making me laugh. Ok, it may not be the same person but someone using whatever program this fucktard uses keeps trying to make posts on  WTK. Here is one from December.

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Appropriately enough the latest posts from this fucktard appeared in the thread "Speaking Of The Spam Folder" or rather would have if I had let them be published. :)

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Sometimes they even make me do a double take. The bad grammar always gives them away though. Keep trying fucktard. Some day you may get it right. Then I will just put you in the spam folder for being a spammer and not a fucktardic one. :)