Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This morning over breakfast the youngest informed me that today was a very special day: the sprout's birthday.

How old is it sweetheart. Uh, I think, it is one month old.

Didn't look like a month old to me. But I sat down during the tea party the girls put together. It's not everyday you celebrate a sprout's birthday after all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mountain Bear!

An actual conversation, Saturday night at Piers 8, Itaewon.  Waeg is happy drunk and dancing.  He does not give a shit about much of anything.  He is approached by two men:

You know, in the gay community, you're known as a bear.  We like bears, don't we?

Oh yes we do.  Bears are grrrrreat hahahahahaha.

They each tweak one of waeg's nipples.  He laughs.

Thanks guys, I'm flattered, guess I still got it.  But sorry, not gay.

Are you sure?  We could have a lot of fun you know.

Oh yes we could.  Don't knock it till you try it!

Waeg laughs again, keeps dancing.  At the end of the song he heads to the bathroom.  One of the men follow him.

Mmmm you are just deeelish.  Are you sure you're not gay?

Haha, thanks friend, you've made my night, but no, not my thing.  But thanks, seriously.

He heads to the bar and gets another drink.  When he gets to the table, he relays the story.  The group laughs at him.

Hahahaha Gangwon country boy mountain bear! The group roars.  For a moment he knows: I am bear.  Generally solitary, avoiding large groups of people, somewhat cantankerous at times, behavior affected by fermented fruits and grains.  He laughs again.

The conversation moves on to other things, but waeg doesn't hear; only the music fills his head.

He gets up to dance.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lamb Stew!

For dinner, I made a big old pot of lamb stew.  This time around I got distracted and put a bit too much salt in.  It isn't horrible, but it now resembles more of a soup than a stew.

As usual, June refused to eat it.  She hates lamb, which I can get.

The girls devoured each a full bowl.  While we ate, I shared how when I went to buy the lamb, I saw a woman in burqa.  We talked about what that meant, and how years ago in Korea women also had to wear clothes that pretty much fully covered their faces.

Everyone is quiet and sated at this point.


The Morning After


A bottle of "Condition" and some eggs Benedict nearly brought me out of it.

A quick stop at the international food store for some lamb, then train to the Wonj. Fitful sleep, as the train now only takes an hour from Seoul.

Home. Time to make some lamb stew.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Big Smoke!

Today I'm up to the big smoke for a meet and greet with clients at a swanky hotel.

I feel somewhat unprepared, as I have not brought any little plastic bags to fill full of expensive food. I know this is what is expected, as I've seen it happen at more than a few do's over the years. Ostensibly, you are supposed to be somewhat surreptitious, although this is waived if you are adjumma.

After, I plan on hittin' the 'twon to meet up with some peeps. I'll be the guy wearing tweed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

So many kinds of wrong

Been home nasty sick the last couple of days.  In between bouts of sleep, had a chance to catch up on some vids from the internetz.  Hence, here we have a long overdue extended edition of

So many kinds of wrong

lucky you!

Friday, November 2, 2012


It started as a night on the Wonj like any other; get primed at Rumboat by playing darts and winning a bunch of free beers, head over to the Kraken for some top shelf single malt.  At the bar, a couple of waegs are sitting musing on life.

I'm telling you, being married to a Korean woman is hell!  All she does is take my cash, berate me when I can't give her more, all the while leaving me with the biggest case of blue balls this side of the Han river!  Thank god she lives in the US with the kids; at least my spawn won't end up thinking like they do here!  So I decide to take matters into my own hands, you know?  Meet someone here.  I mean cmon, I'm alone, it's been years.  So I meet this very nice married woman, similar situation, doesn't get along with her husband.  It being a small town, now everyone knows, and now I'm a pyrriah, the lowest scum on earth.

He's telling this to a fairly attractive woman.  I hear you mate, but moaning on about it isn't going to make it better and will only make you look insecure and foolish, and it certainly won't help you score with the ladies.  Instead of saying all this I lean in:

Dude, you already are the lowest of the low, you're a waeg in Korea.  Sure some might get all starry eyed with you from time to time, but when push comes to shove you are dirt.  Why rant on about it?

Guy buys me a beer and then we have another.  After a round at the tent bar, I decide I should head out.  He suggests we hit the disco, but discos in the Wonj generally don't let waegs in.  Even if they did, I'm not in the mood to drop another couple hundred.

As I walk home, I think of nothing in particular.  The streets are full of people living life.  So many stories, so little fucks to give.

As I walk by a Family Mart, I accidently bump into a guy milling about.  Sorry, and I keep walking.  Apparently this isn't enough for him as he and a buddy decide to take offence.

Hey, you, waeg!  Why did you bump into me?  Why are you so clumsy?

Yeah, sorry about that.  Good night fellas.

They run up to me and one of them grabs my arm.  Hey!  Why are you so rude, you should apologize to my friend.  What is your job?

His fingers grip my arm tight.  I yank hard and something in me snaps.

My job?  My job?  What does it matter what my fucking job is?  What is your fucking job?  I apologized already, it was an accident, get over it.   Why are you guys being such assholes?

Ashhole?  You call me ashhole?  Dude then calls the police to report a crazy waeg walking on the streets of the Wonj.  I encourage him.  Yes, call the police.  That will be a nice conversation to have, how you accosted me and are acting like complete twats.

His friend tries to get him to stop the call, but buddy is adament and won't let it go.  I press my advantage:

How old are you muppets?  Cmon how old are you?  32 and 33.  Great.  Guess what, I'm older than you by about ten years, so why don't you go drink a big old cup of shut the fuck up?  What is your job?  Computer programmers both.  Ha.  Too much time as netizens, staring at a little screen.  Just shut the fuck up.  At this point I'm yelling in English, as I can't get the Korean out fast enough, I'm too angry.  They actually do speak fairly good English though, which is fine by me.

The cops show up in record time.  I'm impressed.  I calm right the fuck down and when they approach I am serenity incarnate.  When the cop asks what's going on I very calmly state:

I was walking and accidently bumped into this man.  I apologized and kept walking.  They started following and yelling at me.  I thought of running as there were two of them and I am a foreigner, but this man roughly grabbed my arm and started yelling rude language at me.  

This sends the two guys into an apoplectic fit.  Their bodies are flaying as they claim I shoved him, spoke rudely, was generally a public nuisance.  I remain calm.

Cop quickly assesses the situation and tells the two dudes to calm down and go home.  He says they are making themselves look like idiots, and they should have just accepted my apology.  They are acting like racist morons.  The two dudes looked almost as shocked as I am, then they are embarrassed.  They apologize to me and leave.  He apologizes and off I go.

Sometimes life is just and good I think as I walk the last 2 kilometers home.