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.