Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Friday, July 25, 2014


Thursday, July 17, 2014

No Soju!

The only New Year's Resolution that I made in complete earnestness: 2014 would be a no soju year.

I know what you're thinking: you expected a post on how I had run out of soju and was about to share another first world problem, since the nearest convenience store is like, more than a kilometer away.

But listen: hittin the soju everyday is an easy way to a tomb on sugar candy mountain.  The seasoned waeg is well aware of this, but it doesn't stop many of those who finally learn they really have nothing left to lose.

I mention this now despite how I'd promised myself I would not talk about it until I had successfully achieved; thus far in 2014, I have not touched a drop of the devil water.  Yet here I find myself facing the first real challenge to my will: a trip back home.

Every time I go back, I always bring numerous green plastic bottles of South Korea's number one consumer product.  It's cheap, dirty, slightly exotic, and serves nicely as a conversation starter.  As I am about to head back to visit my family in the next couple of weeks, I know I must once again bring about 20 plastic bottles of the soju goodness.

Save: who wants to drink something that the purveyor won't stomach?  You're appealing to the few intrepid and those who don't give a fuck.  It becomes more difficult when you know that liquor back home isn't cheap.  I've already spent more than ten grand on tickets and a rental car.  There will be many expenses, and being able to shave a few hundred by drinking the soj would aid in the procurement of other goods.

We'll have to see how it plays out.  In anticipation, I offer: Please forgive me, great world spirit!  I am not weak, but needs must needs meet!

Time for some more rice wine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Becoming Adjusshi!

On my way into work this morning I mused over how I should keep more of the balls that get kicked into my yard. As you get old, and see youth being wasted on the young, it's a common response. Being a cantankerous old fuck is always an easy response to ijits who think they know what they can't even begin to perceive. But I digress, and could be labeled arrogant.

A good immigrant works hard to understand the place they've chosen to call home. It's always a hard go, since calling shit for what shit is is far too easy and essentially forbidden.  A true immigrant is busy trying to make their way while hoping their kids don't lose focus of where their folks came from while hoping they don't get so angry they get too much liberal victimhood complex or shrapnel bombs tied all over them.  This is the bane of the perpetual outsider.

Your goal is to to impress upon the locals that you are more than a hogwan teacher or contractor, and it's a steep slope.  You would think that your go is made much easier by stories of all the Asian trash in your country (prostitutes, bear gall bladder hunters, spree killers, etc.), but sadly as you are educated and know better, this is obviously not the case.

So what should you do?  This is the hardest question faced by the long term waeg in this finest of peninsulas.

Gettin all angry and shitting on everything is an obvious response.  It can be highly entertaining and very cathartic.  The plethora of blogs on this subject is testament.

But truly, the best way is to fully assimilate.   As an older male, my goal should henceforth be: become adjusshit.

Only then can you really embrace who you are and what you can fully contribute, since you made the effort to be full on, but were thankfully in the case of the Waeg told to be lacking.

The first step is to embrace and emulate all the worst qualities of what it means to really be an older Korean male.  Go to south east Asia and fuck a bunch of underage whores while on a 'golf'; trip.  Divorce your wife when your kids hit university and marry some Chinese or Fillipina 20 year old.  Demand coffee and benefits from your secretaries, and when they spurn you, fire them.  Put a picture of yourself on the wall of your abode that your family must look at everyday, salut, and ensure they think of you as the center of the universe.  If they refuse, drink soju excessively, frequent room salons, double pole barber shops, and completely ignore your family.  If you've got enough scrilla saved, abandon them and head off to warmer climes.  In other words, become the stereotype ascribed to white men that really is the epitome of the adjusshit as perceived in southern Asia. . .forget whatever ethical upbringing you were given, since it is about full on integration.  This has the double effect of living up to the chestnut of white men and their dating habits in Korea from the 50s to the present day.

This is a mugs game for the waeg of course, since you'll never really get any of the full on adjusshit benefits in Korea as a waeg, which is total bullshit. . . I can never really do as the Romans do, since well, I can't even get serviced at the busiest whore paradise in Pyeongtaek, unless I'm willing to pay a near triple premium due to my 'big' size.  This is fine however, since it will make reconnecting with your roots easier.

For the waeg, it is good to remember that you are intrinsically racist, inferior, and didn't do your military service, so shut the fuck up.  You must atone for all the women your brethren and undoubtedly you have fucked and stolen from us.  If you say anything about how most marriages to waegs in Korea these days are Korean dudes buying wives abroad, you've obviously got a bad attitude.  Atone for the sins of your fathers! And whatever you do, don't post links to porn websites that feature black dudes and white women, which basically strive to feed on the same insecurities in white dudes that the typical Asian lame ass beta / gamma males and females are attempting to negotiate when they go on about said white guys, since this will again serve as evidence that you have a bad attitude and are not fully committed.

The Japanese know this is bullshit, since in Asia if you admit fully to any wrongdoing you'll be constantly riding it for the next 5000 years. . . Koreans like to talk about how the Germans stepped up to acknowledge their history, but the fact is no government agency in Europe is going to harp on about how the Germans never did enough to atone, since well, Europeans understand far more about redemption and forgiveness.  A common complaint from many a waeg is that Koreans have issues with personal responsibility, as they so rarely acknowledge mistakes or wrongdoing, yet are quite happy to bring up the mistakes of others over and over again despite apologies and compensation being offered.  But then, again I digress. 

The main point is that you should let none of this interfere in your pursuit of becoming the best approximation of adjusshit your conscience will allow, all while losing the conscience bit of the equation.  Only then can you fully embrace what it is you really are, and could never be.  We all have to sell out at some point, right?  Best do it in the pursuit of cross cultural understanding.  For me, it's all good, since it's just another example of appreciating what you are when you have no agency, since this position gives you license for a sort of freedom, and at times you can gleefully not give a shit. I expect most of the more intrepid weags on this greatest of peninsulas know this all too well, couched in terms of 'developing perspective'.  Still, still.  It seems most waegs are caught up in the expats' version of second wave feminism, blaming and pointing fingers, while not making serious attempt to be full on in their attempts to truly understand the special situation.  To really do, I encourage all those who are fence sitters to strive to become full on adjusshit or adjucunt, the latter of which will be discussed in a later post.

ugh.  I'm feeling a bit off.  It happens when I get called up by this particular old adjusshi 'friend' to go out and drink. Usually I ignore his calls but as most of my contacts were lost when I drowned my old iPhone, I blithely answered his call.  He's always about getting together, drinking too much whiskey, bitching about his wife, then going to greasy old room salons.  Tonight was no exception.  Best to think about it in the morning I guess.

Time for sleep.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

So many kinds of wrong

Been a while, what can I say?

So little time to earn stars from websites that have earned stars from other websites that have earned stars from reddit that have earned stars.

But I did remember these as I'm sure you've either forgotten, or at least need a reminder of what you used to watch.

So many kinds of wrong

Yuck - Rubber from Yuck on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Friday, June 20, 2014

Galaxy S5!

Today around the water cooler Mr. Choi was complaining about his crap old phone.  His wife refuses to allow him a new one, since they must save money for their children's education and his old 2G phone still works fantastically thank you very much so suck it up.  I showed him my new Galaxy S5 and told him how he too could get a new phone: simply have an accident and drop it in the toilet or the bath.

You see, last week I was finally successful in destroying my old iPhone4.  Apparently, falling asleep and submerging the iPhone in the bath for 20 minutes is not a good thing.  Trying the old put-it-in-a-bag-of-rice and taking it apart thing didn't work, as the battery and headphone jack were totally shot.

Whether or not I was being a complete idiot or subconsciously trying to get rid of it is a matter of debate and conjecture, although it should be said that I was getting a bit tired of the broken microphone speaker, the repeated dropped wifi and network signals, and the now seemingly tiny screen and slow graphics rendering compared to all the new devices out there.  Having to constantly use my headphones to make and receive calls was tedious, as was the fact that it had uploaded some rather compromising pictures to my shared iCloud account, thus providing opportunity for more tension between June and I.  Whatever the real reasons, after almost 5 years the phone went oops and would cost a fair amount to repair.

So I called up my brother-in-law and asked about deals on new phones.  He runs a number of small businesses, among them a number of cell phone shops.  He said I could get an iPhone 5, but he could offer a fantastic deal on the new Galaxy S5 LTE.  I'd had a love-hate relationship with my Galaxy S2, but the price was too good to pass up.

I can't fully comment on the new phone fully yet, as it's only been a few days, but the speed, screen size, and overall hardware is solid, as I'd felt generally about the SG2 despite how fragile the phone felt.  This version seems more solid.  Supposedly it's also waterproof, but I'll save that test for a later date depending on circumstance. I'll play around with it more before I comment on functionality and software, as this was my biggest beef with the SG2, feeling that in those departments it didn't hold a candle to the iPhone 4.

Still, it is fun and fast.  I did leave out some of the more salacious details while talking with Mr. Choi, but he did seem quite intrigued as to the possibilities of my methods for getting a new phone.

Time for coffee.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Over the weekend the girls and I went out to the mountains outside of Wonju. Years back while hiking, I found a number of mulberry trees; the girls had been lamenting how they were forbidden to eat the berries on the tree next to their school as it wasn't on school property, and the owner was a stodgy old codger who was often heard to mutter about 'damn kids' and regularly kept balls hit into his yard.  Being a Good Dad and as a way to celebrate Father's Day, I thought I'd take em out to collect a few buckets so they could satiate their craving.

We brought along a huge tarp and a saw.  Once at the spot, we could see that 2 of the trees were heavily laden with berries, and that one of them had been blown down some time ago.  No matter, there would be enough berries for all!  After laying out the tarp and cutting a long thick branch off some dead wood, I went to work knocking the shit of the branches as hundreds of delicious ripe mulberries fell and were dutifully collected by the girls.

Once home, I soon realized why mulberries are generally not sold in stores: they are quite fragile, and cleaning them is a serious pain, as the stem runs through the length of the berry; to prepare them for stewing to make jam and pie took considerable time.  By the time we were done, we ended up with 6 good sized jars of delicious mulberry jam. 

My hands are still stained purple, despite using lemon juice then vinegar to clean them.  I'll have to wait a few days for it to disappear.

Time for coffee.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


It's Thursday night.  While the premise was a company dinner, there are but two left, sharing war stories while working out boundaries.  Male and Female, clearly into the other, save: office. Gossip.  Idiocy.  Both are cognizant of these facts, but here they find themselves, sisters and cockblockers far removed, having an unadulterated conversation.

It's lively and fresh, real.  Fate seems to be drawing them to a pure conclusion, when the male says:

What's that smell?

He only draws attention to it, as he knows he must, even if it did come from his puckered, fetid ass hole.  Yet this isn't an attempt to be gentle and astute, it's more like: how can I ask for a gas mask without appearing too rude?

The female giggles.  The male assumes that this is an acknowledgment that it didn't come from his shithole, as he well aware of his own flatulence power.  He can't entertain this for long though, as another noxious wave near renders him incapacitated.

That was seriously awesome!  I had my mouth open hur hur. . .  good one!

The female looks at him strangely for a moment.  Then it is very obvious that it hits her as well.

Waaaa . . . what did you eat??!  That is so nasty!

When she says this, the male hears her rip another juicy cliffhanger.

Wait, you thought that was me?  LOL?  You think of me as the dog you can blame your gas on??!!  You are so white! hahahaha

The mention of whiteness ruffles the male's feathers; he'd been having a bad week, spending too much time reading Asian American hate websites.  The male appreciates the angst that hanging out with a Korean American can introduce.  In the past, he'd known more than a few who expected they would lecture on what life was like in the good 'ol West for a non Caucasian coming from a relatively well to do family, while dismissing whatever experiences a white dude married to an Asian female living in the east could bring to the table, as the white dude no matter circumstance was obviously fulfilling some weird fantasy related to yellow fever or an inclination towards fulfilling a Lolita fantasy. . .  that is what you are expected to internalize as a person of color at a top school in the US after all, and in need of affirmation.  Living in Korea, dealing with Korean dudes telling all the women expressing an interest in non Korean dudes that they are scum, and understanding the life of a woman who had chosen to do so regardless of social stigma and censure, has always meant nothing to most Asian Americans, since it's always about the white dude stealing women and generally being a loser and never about love or the women thinking they might have something more than what is expected from cows. . .

The male knows it is time to go.  He thought he might have something to contribute, but then he is too old, too white, and too much of a visible target.  If only he were sensitive, working at getting in touch with his feminine side. . . but he really is nothing more than he is, so knows that he is expected to sit quietly and endure the sins of those he could never understand: the forefathers that he is expected to atone for.

As he thinks all this, another ripe nasty cloud occupies his olfactory range.

Wow, look at how late it is!  Guess it would be time to go!  Busy day in the morn!

On the walk home, the male wonders what made him think this particular female was different or special.  He drops the idea, since well, there is no opportunity for engagement, and he'd rather not spend time working at being a bitch responding to only be fed the 'special situation' line.  After all, this male has little sympathy for twinkies who play the race card.

Friday, June 6, 2014


There was a moment where I thought I might write something.  I'd suggested watching Into The Wild to a Korean coworker for how you might understand a more pure, ijit, vision of what a liberal arts education can do to a person in their 20s unfettered by sustained study in philosophy and serious reflection in yesterday's 1990s America, despite how so few to none Koreans have ever got it, while even fewer of those who rejected what you were supposed to reject, before you knew what it really meant to reject what had been rejected, all of them too busy lamenting how hard done by they were at poetry slams and lines at night clubs and in articles exposing 'blindness' when really they had yet to come to see, ever really got . . . 

That Mccandless fucker wanted to give himself to the land, there really is no other way to know it.  Why let yourself be so blind if the goal is to self improve through challenge, yet you never listened to those who tried to tell you what was?  At least he had that going for him: real information.  Yet he did die. And it was lame.  But some might argue the land needed the blood. . .

I only speak of him now, some near 25 years on, as I did for a brief time what he had.  What I learned was that most people are twats: I met some fine folks when I went walkabout, but most were fucks.  Serves me right for trying to understand people so much, as opposed to thinking that being blind is the best way to live your life as Mccandless did, since not having to be 100% with those around you is a huge burden removed.  Allow me to educate you!  As opposed to understanding what I've become by being here and now. . .

Bah.  I say all this as I'm about to go camping with three families.  For some reason, the two other dads won't be making it.  Guess I should work at getting my own harlot to lie for  when I'm expected to represent at some social event.  I'm jelly.