Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

Letter from an Avid Reader!

Recently I received the following email:

Hi Waeg,

I'm S, a fan of your blog.  I came across it one day while reading Expat Hell and have been following you since about July.  I've read about 90% of your posts (I work in a public high school so I hope that explains my stalker-esque tendencies) and I dig your writing.

You said you like emails, which is good because I like writing them and I have a few questions for you if you don't mind answering them when you have a free moment:

1)  Where do you find such awesome pictures for your posts?  

2) What do you think of the people at  No, I am not that woman with the weird haircut or her gay husband, just wondering if my general distaste of their blog is shared by anyone else. 

3) Have you ever taken an MBTI test?  If so, what is your type?

4) The woman at the desk next to mine hums ALL DAY LONG.  Is it acceptable to wear headphones/earbuds all day or is there a way I can casually mention that her habit is really fucking annoying?  (Yes, she speaks English.)

5) When you find yourself in a mental rut, what do you do to get yourself out of it?  I've found myself falling into them more often than not lately.  I've been in Korea for ~3 years and feel like I should and could be doing more.  I have an awesome high school, but I feel like I've gone about as far as I can in a lot of respects.  Any advice?

Ok, Waeg.  Those are all of my questions.  I hope you're having a nice day.


Hi S thanks for writing.  I like receiving email, so feel free to send more along.  The address is in profile. 

At last count excluding comments and including this post, there are 887 posts on my stoopid little blog.  Some are only a sentence long, some are long winded rambling affairs.  I'm happy you found enough of them enjoyable to keep at it.

1 - Sometimes I'll come across an image and will write something that popped to mind when I saw it.  Other times, I do a Naver or Google image search for something that fits what I wrote.  It isn't uncommon to spend more time searching for the right image than time spent actually writing.  If the image isn't from some random place, I'll embed a link in the photo; there are quite a few photos that contain these.  Other times, I'll edit an image or two together to make it more fitting for a post.  Sometimes I draw something random or craptacular.  These last of course depend on workload.  I also take a fair number of the pictures myself.  At times I'll also remember an image or a scene from a movie or TV show I may have seen ages ago that fits the post, and will search for that or take a screenshot and clean it up for posting.  I've also got 1000s of images saved to my computer. 

2 - Eatyourkimchi are the hipsters a lot of the expat community love to hate.  I get that, since they can come across as pretty damn smug and annoying.  Still, while I don't go to their site often, I think what they're doing is aight.  Mostly.  Sure.  But then again, I think I've been there maybe five or six times total.  I just know too much of it would be bad for me.  So we're on the same page.

3 - I've taken the free version of the test four times over the years for what that's worth.  I've scored ENTP twice and ENTJ twice.  Guess it depends where the moon is when I take it.

4 - Depends.  How comfortable is your relationship?  If not at all, or nicely so, the direct approach i.e. Sorry, but that really drives me batshit, would be the best way of sorting it out.  Go with what you feel would be best.  Do you want / need  / care to stay friends with her?  No?  Then start blasting tunes on your iPod, or even better, through the speakers of your computer.  Otherwise, get involved: ask what song it is.  Get her to teach it to you.  Hum along with her.  Become an expert hummer. Draw attention to it in some friendly way; she could become more self conscious about it and stop.  Maybe.

5 - Mine seem to occur with frequency in the spring, like now.  It usually takes me a few weeks of constantly kicking myself in the ass to get out of it.  Usually I'm not completely wasting my time, I just prefer to research / read / think about things that aren't seemingly related or helpful to the task at hand, yet prove helpful later.  I've come to realize that in my case it isn't so much a rut as my brain trying to focus on other things that require attention.  That said, getting out of your comfort zone helps.  Get out of town, away from regular surroundings, change the routine.  This is why I like going into the mountains from time to time and camping.  That can help, as can going for long walks.  Sometimes alcohol can be effective, but that's a double edged sword, since when you're too hungover you get absolutely zero done and feel like crap to boot.

I hope these answer your questions.  If not, feel free to write again.  Send a pic.

Best Regards,



Anonymous said...

That email sounds almost exactly like something I would write. I despise Eat Your Kimchi too, those 2 are married? To each other? I found your blog through Expat Hell but I wish I was able to read his older stuff as the Prestige. Ive read all your blog entries and check in every day for a new one. I'm a HS teacher too so I have a lot of free time at my desk (no humming teacher luckily) so I check all the current blogs for whats up. Keep up the good work and you sound like a good dad to your daughters.

F5Waeg said...

As far as I know, Jake brought most of his stuff from the Prestige over to Expat Hell. . . some of the best stuff is there, like the ajeossi interviews, pure gold.

I know when I did my stint with Epik I spent many an hour reading blogs, until I realized no one really knew where I was supposed to be at any given time, so I'd leave the school, go for a walk, a drive. . . as long as I was in class when expected, prepared.

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