Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Word on the street is that not a whole lot of snow has fallen this winter.  Driving around today, I was quite surprised to see how low many of the rivers are.

Seems old man winter has decided to make up for it in spades.  While it hasn't really snowed a whole lot yet, the stuff is piling up pretty quick.  I was surprised to see that nearly 2 inches had fallen in a couple of hours.

And of course this happens just after I got the fam van washed. 

Time for some Max.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Eye!

Tonight I was the recipient of The Eye from some young punk at the grocery store.  The Eye usually involves being stared at with mockery or contempt, sometimes with outright hostility and hatred.  This variety was more of the former, flavored with some bemusement and a touch of incredulity.  I figure it was because I was inside wearing sunglasses, which on occasion has been the cause of receiving The Eye.

The Eye is nearly exclusively the province of the male, coming more often from the younger types.  The reasons they may have for giving the eye are speculative on my part, but then I don't really lose much sleep asking why.  Just par for the course for a waeg living in the ROK.

I was surprised that it was coming from a worker in the store as usually they're too busy genuflecting to bother.  I did what I usually do, which is smile, wave, and carry on.  I'm a busy guy.

I suppose I could take off my sunglasses when I go inside, but I'd rather not risk scratching up the lenses.  I had them replaced before heading back home.  Looking out through a scratched lens can really suck.

Time for some rice wine.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Today was a total domestic holiday.

In the morning I went to the local Hanaro Mart grocery store and bought a chicken and some root vegetables. I threw it all in a pot and made a soup. It is fucking delicious. Daddy I'm hungry? Eat a bowl of soup with cheese and crackers. Luckily I hit the Costco on my way in to the dinner on Thursday. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with how I was able to deal with all that before hitting the German restaurant.

I listened to June work hard to convince the girls they didn't want to go out with her. She said she was going to the library, but I insisted that she take them with her. If I'm going to be domestic guy, I don't want to see the girls zoned out in front of the idiot box all day. Besides, they could use some quality time with their mom.

While chopping up veg, I thought about how the girls now call her mom even when speaking Korean, and how they've adopted a number of regional colloquialisms from only a month back home. I'm sure the former will only last a bit longer. Still, not a bad result for the 8-9 grand I blew on the trip.

I tried hard to ignore how June has been riding me for going back home. She's justifiably concerned about retirement. The D word came up when talking about how with even what I'd give her if the split came, she'd be able to save money. So where are the savings now darling? Hurry up and get rich off your business so you can truly feel free and independent.

I cleaned the kitchen and took out the garbage. Then I watched The Rum Diary and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've gotten into the bottle of rye my aunt gave me, mixing Manhattans with the left overs The Professor left his last run through the Wonj. I'll take my liquor mixed with some liquor thanks. I'm almost out and must resist the urge to hit the town. These are times of austerity after all.

I've had several invites to hit the town the last couple of days. I'm all over that except I'm broke. I need to invest a pile in the next bit in professional development, and I'm worried about where I'm going to get it all.

Buy me drinks! I'll be marginally entertaining, correspondent with how much liquor you feed me.

I promised myself a while back that I'd try to not write so much about the stoopid shit between June and I.

The Korean netizens just eat that shit up. They love to see ijit white boy fail in their pure minjok homeland. It makes them feel bona fide.  Really it's just another boy / girl story.

Friday, January 27, 2012

So many kinds of wrong

This week: breast edition

It doesn't get any more puerile than this folks.

So many kinds of wrong

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ich weiß Nicht Deutsch Sprechen!

Tonight I booted up to the big smoke for a business dinner.  It was at the German restaurant pictured here.

As I was taking the photo, an older Korean man came up and started speaking to me in German.  It took me a minute to say: I'm sorry I don't speak German.

He was thoroughly bemused.  He immediately switched to English and began telling a tale of how years ago he had migrated to Germany and had just recently returned home to retire.

The Korean-German connection comes up now and again in the waegosphere, so I had some idea where he was coming from.  He went over as a miner years back, stayed and opened a number of successful businesses.  He was very friendly and we had a great chat.  I wish I had asked for his number as I'd love to hear more about him and how he made his way.

I work with a German guy who met his Korean wife while she worked as a nurse.  He came to Korea back in the 80s and never left.  He'll probably be buried in the hills behind work.  Everyone loves and thinks he's awesome: not only is he a hard working bastard, but contributes significantly to any project he's involved in.  I think he's a pretty stand up fellow.

I met a kid with a Korean mom and German dad at a college I worked at years ago.  He had come back to the Fatherland to reconnect with his roots.  He couldn't speak Korean that well and left after a year.  Nice kid.

If this were a more intellectual type of blog, I may be tempted to poke around and write up more about this Korean-German connection, and how men were encouraged to learn German so they could study for free in Germany while women were encouraged to learn French as German is too harsh for the pure virtuous fragile Korean woman; lucky for you this is not the case.  I'll do some more reading, suggest you go read this for starters, then go look for more idiotic videos for this week's edition of So Many Kinds of Wrong.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Consumer Heaven!

Free Junk Food!  Better Buy Three!
One super awesome aspect of being a consumer in Korea is the often amazing A/S, or after service, and E/S, or extra service, that comes bundled when buying anything from a household appliance to a carton of milk to an insurance policy.  The E/S is usually pretty obvious, seen in the form of extra milk or yoghurt scotch tapped to the side of your milk carton; one thing the neophyte waeg needs to get in tune with is the A/S side of things.

Today was a perfect example: I was unloading a pile of material from the fam van that I had stored at home when I had an incredibly dumb brain fart and locked my keys inside.  I thought about getting old skool on it with a coat hanger, or easier still taking advantage of the nice big rock sitting next to the parking lot, when instead I simply called June and asked her for the phone number for our insurance company.

Within 30 minutes of the call, a dude showed up in a tow truck and had that puppy open in about five minutes.  I work a bit out of town in the hills, so this was pretty good time indeed.  I've used the service to get my car jumped, a tire changed, and the fam van towed to a garage, although with the latter they only give the first 12 kms free.

Sure, yes, I can change a tire and with patience could have gotten that lock open myself.  But why get dirty or frustrated when some guy is only a phone call away and will come take care of that shit for you, FREE?

So if you aren't in the know, consider which company will offer you the best A/S, and don't be afraid to make that call.  This will give you some well earned time to sit on ass and contemplate the immensity of the universe.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Welcome reader, waeg here again.  As of this moment, I'm back in the ROK, unpacking suitcases and planning a trip to visit the inlaws tomorrow.  No rest for the wicked, eh?  But then, I have just spent a month overseas.

Coming back to Korea has been pretty much a brutal reminder of some things I successfully forgot during the last month: the taxi stand in the Wonj involved an entrance that was barely big enough to fit my suitcases through, I was ignored as I cussed out some young punk who cut in line and grabbed my taxi, my house was empty of food and drinking water despite how June has had a month to prepare for our arrival.  Just saying, but after her and the girls came back from 5 months overseas, I had a full fridge and a pot of kimchi stew with rice waiting for them when they walked in to the house.  She did come meet us at the airport which was nice, but once home started complaining about all her ailments and how I'd forgotten to pick up some omega 3 for her mom.  Here I thought we'd already sorted out that it was cheap enough to buy at Costco, but I guess I am wrong.

So I did the only sane thing I could: I grabbed a couple of bottles of rice wine at the corner store and proceeded to download a pile of movies.  I haven't watched anything in a while; even on vacation it was mostly reading or out doing stuff.  I was happily surprised to see that someone had uploaded the first episode of Spartacus: Vengeance on the Pirate Bay.  Once I unpack some more shit, I plan on getting into some more rice wine and working out my jet lag.  Work starts on Thursday, but I'll be going in on Wednesday to get things started.  I did have to work on a pile of stuff while away, including two separate trips to Singapore.  Looks like I'll be going there in mid March first, then maybe in July. 

Back to it.

Friday, January 20, 2012


One of the more interesting Korean related experiences of our trip involved a visit to a Greek restaurant run by some asshole.

Way back in the day I did time there as a server, being the token male who was hired as a fuck you by the sister of the owner. He had been dealing with charges of sexual harrassment at the time, so he relunctantly agreed to hire a young, virile male. It didn`t take me long to realize that he really liked women with a big booty, but I digress.  He also hated the fact that I existed.

It was a torrid, passionate, short lived affair that resulted in charges and a small disbursement to me for my troubles. The food is awesome, so of course we took a visit. We just happened to be there when a group of Korean students walked in. While I clocked them upon arrival, it took the girls a good hour to realize that this group was speaking Korean.

As we were leaving and I was saying goodbye to some old friends, the girls kept staring at the people at the table obvioulsy causing some discomfort. Excuse them, they speak Korean as well. Their mother is Korean. An obvious wave of relief was followed by some charletan who declared: I know, since I could feel something familiar with them.

Really. Wow, that is amazing. You could sense the Minjok flowing through their veins. Whatever that is we should bottle it. Instead, I smiled and continued with my greetings and goodbyes with old friends.

But that one moment really encapsulated a lot of what is Korea once you unpack it.

One more Pabst before bed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

So Many Kinds of Wrong

Hark! you need no longer be disappoint!

Special extended edition with  28.6% misogeny!

So many kinds of wrong

 something light before I be completely politically incorrect:

I think they're going to need more vagina:

oh, there it is:

Thursday, January 12, 2012


In a nod to the awesomest buy useless junk day, the most Korean Pepero Day, I have not posted anything at all since New Year's Eve. A little less junk in everyone's life isn't such a bad way to start off the year of the apocalypse, so you're welcome.

I'm almost ready to head back to Korea as I've consumed most of my kimchi, soju, and cheap smokes, so I should have more to write about shortly.

What have I been doing? Glad you asked! Some of it was all kids' days, ice fishing, museums, sledding, train rides, skating, the first six Harry Potter movies, the daily chores. . . the rest of the time was meeting famous actors, huge hairy woolly mammoths, cheap dirty liquor in cheap dirty hotel rooms, clowns, possessed taxis and bent cops. OK that's not true. There weren't any real clowns.

After a night of festivities with various family members, I almost decided to quit my day job so I could set up a few websites. The first one would be, which for some weird reason does not exist. Color me surprised! I started to go through the motions to buy the domain name and others associated with it when I was called to gut a rabbit. This involved prolonged discussion on proper techniques which culminated in the consumption of a copious amount of beer and one uncle calling the other a moron. This video was involved:

Probably for the best.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We ended the year with more visits, hikes through the snowy woods, and soju / redbull / cranberry juice cocktails. I'm about to head out to Bob's Place, the finest drinking establishment for near twenty five miles. The bar keep is decent and they have pool tables. Happy New Year to one and all.