Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meltdown!

Last night driving back from Seoul I completely shat on my coworker Ryu.  He had been henpecking all night, as if I were some zoo animal that he could freely observe and comment on.  It started during the meeting, when I asked some higher up about the possibility of getting some menial work expedited.  The answer was unsurprisingly no, since you must follow the chain of command.

For those not in the know, to step above an immediate supervisor in a Korean company is a form of social suicide.  If you need something done or need to request more resources, you must follow a very specific route to get it, usually involving 6 people too many.  While the pecking order exists in most bureaucracies, there is generally far less room to maneuver in the Korean version.  I find the process slow, inefficient, and cumbersome, but have mostly gotten used to doing it that way.  Having stepped over a few supervisors in my time and dealt with the blowback, I've learnt it isn't worth trying to expedite anything, even if your request gets stuck in purgatory by simply being ignored by one in the chain.  This kind of situation can be fixed by offering to pay for a night drinking, or showing some aegyo and presenting a gift or three, so by trying to step around you are ignoring your social responsibilities.   This is a problem for me, as I'm too poor to constantly oil the machine, a situation exasperated by the fact that I don't get near the amount of gifts to 'redistribute' as the Koreans.  Last night seemed ideal to create a shortcut, as the higher up was in his cups and being very congenial, and an opening presented itself.

Ryu said: I find it interesting that waegs think they can simply change the game plan.  This is Asia man, and in Korea you do things the Korean way.  A Korean never would have tried what you just did.

I smiled and enjoyed some more chit chat.  At one point I ended up having a rather animated conversation with a hot ajumma named Lee who works in a division in Seoul.  We were having a great time when Ryu came over:

Hahaha Oh, you two crazy kids.  Must be nice to be able to be so free.  I envy you.  Koreans don't have that kind of freedom, as we must follow very strict rules of acceptable social behavior hahahaha

As I'd just been totally cock blocked, Lee excused herself and walked away.  I bit my tongue.  It was getting late, so I said to Ryu: let's go.  We need to drive back and I'd like to get at least 4 hours sleep tonight.

On the way back, I found myself stuck behind some moron driving 80 kms/h.  I hate that: I'm paying to drive on the expressway, it's my god given right to drive at least 120.  We had just entered a tunnel when I decided to pass.  Ryu said:

Wow, Koreans would never pass someone in a tunnel like that.  It's too dangerous.

I said nothing until the next tunnel, when sure enough two cars passed a slow moving transport truck.

Yes, I see.  Those two drivers must not be Korean.  I may have thought they were, but because of your tutelage on the finer points of Korean behavior, I'm now enlightened enough to know they can't possibly be Korean.  Thank you for sharing your observations Mr. Ryu.     

No need to be sarcastic Mr. Waeg.  Generally people don't pass in tunnels.  That's just not the way normal people behave.

*Snap*

Normal people. . . yes normal people.  You know what?  I don't know what your problem is, or what kinds of issues you've got going on in your life at the moment, but I don't appreciate being lectured like some middle school kid on social niceties and appropriate behaviors and how to follow the pecking order.  I also don't appreciate how you feel it incumbent to interrupt my conversation with Ms. Lee, insulting me by insinuating that again I lack understanding of basic social mores.  And saying that I'm not normal because I had the temerity to pass some slow moving car in a tunnel?  Lay off.  Go home and beat your wife or something.  I'm not your whipping boy.

Let's just say things were very frosty after that.  When I dropped him off, he didn't even say good night.

Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to create a few shortcuts to make my job easier, and while I did try to ignore the obvious condescension in his voice and still remain positive, he just didn't let up.  He isn't my supervisor, and while I technically hold a higher position, he does have seniority for years in so is in tighter with many.

I'm sure I haven't heard the end of this.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Loaner!

yessss. . . moar sugar. . .
The eldest had been after me for about a week, asking if I could loan her class one of our tents for their class camping expedition.  I said no.

Don't get me wrong: I want to support my kids and the community of which they are a part.  But when it comes to loaning out a tent in which a bunch of rugrats will be bouncing, eating, maybe pissing, all of which will be 'supervised' by a scant handful of teachers who have nothing invested in the equipment, well I have some concerns about that.

So I said no.  I explained that I needed the tent this weekend anyway, since I'm heading out with some of the boys for an evening of campfire and beer, maybe a little fishing.  Should be a blast.  It wouldn't serve if the tent was messed up in some way by over exuberant, under supervised, sugar addled giggle factories.

I just googled giggle factory and realized I didn't invent the term. . . drag. 

Time for coffee.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dog Pension!

Around the water cooler today I asked a coworker what he did over the long weekend. His response was that he and his missus went and stayed at a dog pension.

??

Yeah, it's like a pension that accepts dogs. They also have activity courses for them to run and a dog friendly swimming pool. The one we went to wasn't all that great as it wasn't as decked out as some of them out there.

I wasn't sure if he was being serious or just pulling my leg. A quick Naver search didn't bring up a whole lot at first except a lot of dog friendly places to stay, although I did also see some places that offered dog funerals and even dog friendly restaurants. I'm assuming that the latter isn't a place where little Fido is an item on the menu, although that kind of restaurant just might have a certain appeal: bring your own dog and we'll butcher it up and stick it in a pot for you.

I have to admit I was a bad coworker: all I could do was laugh for a solid three minutes as he stood there with a look that suggested disemboweling me just might be OK under the circumstances.

Still, different strokes.

Time for some dandelion wine.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Camping 2.2!


Today is camping with some of the coworkers. The eldest is along as well. June and the youngest are out camping with friends.

Most of them aren't as clueless as I thought. Things have been pretty smooth so far.

Jusr finished splitting a pile of wood. We should have enough for the night. The rest of the gang are wandering down by the stream.

I'm thinking it would be a great time for some rice wine, but I may need to head off and pick up a couple more campers shortly.

Time for coffee.

Friday, May 25, 2012

so many kinds of wrong

awful commercials, wtf parrot, art (NSFW), drunk, speeding

so many kinds of wrong









Weekend!

one of my finer endeavors
The last few days have been madness: so many things that need to be done, so little time.  One of the more pressing items has been organizing the camping club's first outing.

Last night I ran around buying up gear.  By the time I got home, there were several pressing emails requesting info for the trip to Singapore in July, and for the major project due early June.  By the time I actually got through it all, it was near eleven.

This morning I was a bit late for work as I had to load up the fam van with all the camping stuff.  One of the supervisors made some tut tutting noises when I walked in, which I completely ignored.  Hey, I'm busy here.

It's only ten in the morning and already I feel exhausted.  No rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Positive!

Today I participated in a meeting of the big wigs at work; I was ostensibly to watch, answer questions appropriately, and generally be unobtrusive.

Ha.

What I didn't know was that I would end up basically taking charge of the Q and A.  Many of the waegs had very pointed questions to ask about production facilities, delivery dates, and costs.  It seems in this case most of the Koreans that were on the other side were lower level peons who didn't really have much to say during the meeting itself.

To toot my own horn, I handled the whole situation admirably.  However, things went a bit south over lunch when one of the low-on-the-totem-pole gyopos stated:

You must have an easy job.  If you're a foreigner working here, you must have a pretty good gig, with not a lot of work to do.

Slap.

At the time I didn't miss a beat: actually, you'll find that the expats who work here generally put in more hours than the majority of their Korean peers due to the specialized nature of our work; just check our time sheets.  But then, most of us didn't take this job thinking it would be easy haha.  You'll find that the vast majority of us actually have Korean spouses, and have decided to make Korea our home. *smile*

Interesting.  What percentage of your expat staff are males married to Korean women?

Well, I think we do have some available women and men at the moment, would you like to be introduced? 

This drew a loud guffaw from one of the waegs in the visiting party, and the conversation moved on to other things.

Afterwards, I got angry.  WTF was going through that moron's head for her to ask those kinds of questions?   I don't see any advantage for her putting me on tilt if that was her goal, but if it was she'd garner better results trolling someone fresher off the boat. After a while, it is easier to deal with that kind of nonsense.

Funny, usually I don't have to deal with that kind of idiocy, at least not as much since leaving the EFL circuit.  There, it wasn't uncommon to be painted with such a broad brush: no matter how hard you work or what contribution you make to society, in the eyes of some, you are detritus which has washed up on these shores, are shown kindness, then abuse and demean your most virtuous and benevolent hosts.  Admittedly, it is hard to stay positive when you run into some douche nozzle that would talk on such a topic in a professional environment.

Best forget about it and move on.  Tomorrow is another day. 

Time for some rice wine.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Interloper!

Last Friday I was asked by one of the COOs to join in a meeting scheduled for tomorrow.  Apparently there are a bunch of waegs showing up to finalize some deal, and the COO decided that it would be a great idea to have one of the house waegs participate.

I don't mind, as usually I don't get to see how the sales department does their thing.  By the time I come in, they've usually sealed up the general details and I work with design specs with a different group.

Armed with an outline of the schedule, the company name, and some of the key people, I spent an afternoon googling and was able to piece together a fairly clear idea of the game plan. 

I'll just smile and say all the right things.

At least it'll give me something different to write about in my monthly report.

Fish and Chips!

Not mine.  We ate them all before the camera had a chance
Tonight was fish and chips night.  It had been a very long time since I'd made it, but I happened upon some nice frozen cod filets my last run through Costco and was inspired.  I whipped up my secret beer batter, cut up some onions, and deep fried the lot.  For tarter, I did that white trash thing: mayo, chopped up sweet pickles, lemon juice.  It was delicious.

After dinner I regaled the girls with stories of growing up with my dad as he taught me the value of a good work ethic.  It was related to the girls doing the dishes, but degenerated into much laughter and silliness.  I suppose they are still a bit young to be doing the cleaning. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Squirrel!

Today I went wandering downtown to look at clothes.  There isn't a whole lot to buy in the Wonj, but I did make the mistake of buying a hanbok outfit at the local Dolsilnai

As I was heading back home, on a whim I decided to pop in the bank to see if there was any cash in there.  Usually there isn't, as June will usually vacuum whatever I leave behind from my monthly allowance in pretty short order.

Imagine my surprise when I found 80 manners.  A quick check showed that some of it came from expenses for driving to Seoul for the weekly seminars I've been hosting, and some more came from expenses for my last trip to Singapore.

I did the only thing I could: I quickly withdrew the lot, walked down the street, and squirreled it away into one of my other accounts.  Hopefully, June won't check the transactions for this month.   

Couldn't have come at a better time: the fam van needs a new windscreen, new brake pads, and a new battery.  At the very least I can now get that all dealt with this month without worry.

But I also decided to stop at a nearby liquor store and buy a bottle of vodak and Kahlua.  I'm looking at it now, but I've decided that there shall be no liquor this weekend.

Time to do the dishes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

so many kinds of wrong

no preamble

so many kinds of wrong









Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teacher!

The more astute neophyte waeg will quickly apprehend that many Koreans love to express their general bodily feelings emphatically.  Whether it be tired, cold, hot, full, headache, stomachache, boredom, or ennui, these waegs will wonder why most Koreans feel the need to share such banal comments about their physical state, often stated as a single word accompanied by the inflection and intonation appropriately emphasizing the feeling of the moment.

It has even been suggested that a Korean spouse constantly expressing how cold it is or how spicy is the soup is one of the causes of the higher divorce rate between Koreans and waegs, but I digress.

What these waegs don't get is that those Koreans are simply attempting to help these poor new waegs learn some of the local language.  Koreans are not surprised when waegs say they have difficulty learning the Korean language; since Koreans have some of the highest IQs in the world, it stands to figure that those people from lesser nations with lesser levels of intelligence would experience trouble mastering the only purely scientific language in the world.  By repeating these very basic words that are usually the first children learn, the most benevolent and kind Korean hosts are giving an opportunity for waegs to feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging through finally understanding a handful of terms and expressions.

So remember: next time you feel irritated by hearing a Korean express how refreshing the hot soup is, or how comfortable is the hard stone bed, ask yourself how well you speak Korean, and whether you had ever heard the word used in that particular context.  It could be simply an example of a Korean serving as your teacher, and welcoming you into the tribe.

You tubin'!

Today is all about some electro-swing and acid jazz












Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day!

30000 Won Slab of Sirloin yum
On our way home from the in-laws, we did the obligatory stop at Costco. One of my goals was to buy a nice slab of meat and grill it up for Mother's Day dinner.

I made mashed potatoes and gravy along with a mixed green salad with feta, served with balsamic vinaigrette; this was also used to dip slices of baguette. It was delicious.

After dinner, I cleaned everything up nice. June went to bed while I was doing this. No idea if she enjoyed it, but she did like the cards I'd had the girls make earlier this week.

Time for some vodak.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Visit at the Inlaws!

Today I packed the gang into the famvan to visit the inlaws. My brother in law came with his Chinese wife to celebrate their marriage.

A good time was had by all, despite how I had to weather a string of small slights from June. She'd look at the river and remark how dirty it was, mostly she said from all the tanneries and US military bases; she'd complain how I wasn't driving carefully enough whenever I was forced to drive defensively due to asshattery from ijits. These were relatively small. I drew the line when we started talking about my new sister in law's visa, the F6.

They must have given her that instead of an F2 because they don't trust her like you, you are from a rich country.

Actually the F6 is a better visa, since it can't be cancelled by the Korean spouse. Too many Korean dudes marrying other Asians threaten to cancel the visa if the new wife doesn't cook him breakfast.

Well, she can't get the F5 like you.

Actually, I had to wait for an F5. She can get one too if she stays married living in Korea for the right amount of time.

Well every time we went to immigration you got your papers processed so much faster than all the Asians waiting.

Sure, there is less risk that you are importing me under false pretences, pretending to marry me then selling me off to some room salon. Immigration needs to spend more time checking that kind of thing out.

At this point I thought it best to drink with another brother in law. We're at their place.

The kids are all running wild and I'm playing matgo, watching stoopid Korean dramas. He keeps ripping these nasty farts, to which we each take a shot of whiskey. Classy.

Time for more liquor.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Missionary!

On my way home from work I passed a couple of Mormon missionaries.  They were busy chatting up a bunch of kids outside an elementary school.  As my window was rolled down and I was stuck in traffic, I could hear that one spoke fairly decent Korean while the other sounded like he was auditioning for English Cafe on Arirang TV.

Every Mormon needs to do two years of missionary work once they hit 18.  They usually train for two years before heading off on assignment.  A good missionary will always learn as much as they can about the local flavor.  It makes it easier to find an in, something the Jesuits perfected.  The Mormon variety expect you to call them Elder, which can defeat their purpose in Korea.

I do have to wonder how a very American centric religion explains itself to Koreans.  Sure, you could get the Koreans who love America and see it as the Promised Land to join, but how can they explain their place in the Mormon world, which sees the second coming as slated for America and how Native Americans are actually the lost tribe of Israel?  Seems far too disconnected to really gain a lot of traction here, but still they come wearing their clean white shirts and ties.

I remember back in the day working at an English pub.  One of the dishwashers and I had a total trash competition.  I was winning until the day he sent a group of four to the pub during lunch rush.  They approached me and asked if I was D, as my friend X had said I would be most interested in talking about Jesus.  It took every ounce of self control to not rip into laughter, which wouldn't have served as I was carrying a tray of food at the time. 

I invited them back to my little shit hole of an apartment.  This was while I was working on my MA, after the wife of the couple had decided to jet.  It was rather fortuitous as I had been toying with the idea of including some of the religious Mormon stuff into my thesis.  We scheduled for the Wednesday.

When they showed, the leader of the clan asked his buds to sit outside, since he had trigged from our short conversation that I was up for playing with the less intellectually gifted of the lot, who seemed about ready to denounce me as an agent of Satan.  We discussed for a solid hour before I had to head back to work.  As he was leaving. I thanked them for their time. 

Glancing down on the floor, I clock that Crusader has 'accidentally' dropped his credit card on the floor.  I guess he really wanted a reason to come back.  I ran after them and handed the card back.  No point giving them an in as I'd pretty much gotten what I needed anyway.

The morale of the story?  I put X on every single religious mailing list I could track down.  Years later, through at least two change of address, he was still getting pamphlets and visits from weird sectarians. I did feel a bit bad about it after, as on my last night in town he took me out to a never ending tour of awesome bars, after which I woke up confused and disoriented in bed with a very hot female.  I ended up meeting up with one of her roommates a year later, which also was a great time.  Still, Mormons. 

Time for some more of the cough syrup berry soju I made last year.

So many kinds of wrong

This week's edition: gullibility, death, fighting off rapists, how the previous vid offers no solution to overcoming the psychic damage of having watched the next one.  End off with talent.

so many kinds of wrong









Thursday, May 10, 2012

Birthday Pizza!


Tonight a crew of rugrats gathered at a local Mr. Pizza to celebrate the birthdays of the eldest and one of her classmates.

The insanity reached fever pitch when they unwrapped the kazoos I'd picked up on my way over.  Big fun once they figured out how to play them.  Best 2 manners I spent this week.

They first wanted to hit the local Pizza Hut, but I worked diligently all week to plant the idea that going to Mr. Pizza was a much better idea. I was thinking partly with my pocket book, partly because I promised to throw money at Mr. Pizza after seeing their "original pizza" commercial.

The food was what you'd expect from a Korean pizza chain: cardboard like and overly sweet tomato sauces. But they did give us some Mr. Pizza birthday socks, and looking at plates that read 'love for women, Mr. Pizza' combined with a generally friendly staff was enough.

Tired. Time for bed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hahm for Sale!

Tonight I came home from Seoul a bit earlier than usual after booting it back at a near steady 140.  As I negotiated my way to the apartment, I found myself in the middle of a Korean betrothal / bachelor party called the selling of the hahm.

It isn't common to see peeps selling the hahm these days.  Instead, most Koreans choose to go to expensive restaurants and straight out exchange gifts instead of playing out the selling of the hahm by the groom's friends.  As the costs of weddings can become debilitating and the cause of many problems after marriage, many Koreans have simply given up on following every traditional custom to reduce the financial burden on each family.

From what I've heard and seen, the selling of the hahm is basically the official consent from the groom to marry the bride.  Modern versions see friends dressing up and bringing a box which contains the groom's family registry, documents consenting to the marriage, and gifts such as jewelry or cosmetics.  From what I've heard, modern interpretations have the box representing the groom's friendship / loyalty, and the friends bringing it demand a payment since they will in a sense 'lose' their friend, as his loyalties will now reside more with the bride and her family.  The bride's family is supposed to offer food, drink, and negotiate the buying of the hahm, with generally 50 manners being the smallest amount ranging up to several million won.  This can go on for quite some time and be quite rowdy as the group gets progressively drunker.  When the amount is finally settled on, the friends take the money and use it to go get completely shitfaced.

This was only the third one I'd ever seen.  By the looks of it they were well on their way to blotto, as already some of the party selling the hahm were passed out under some shrubs.  I thought about my own Korean wedding: a wedding hall, girls with swords, a smoke and bubble machine.  The quick change into the hanbok, the piggy back around a table of mostly plastic food, the horror from the photographer when I demanded a picture of June trying to piggy back me.  That moment when I first saw June in her wedding dress. . . amazing.  I stopped thinking, as I was feeling light, caught up in what was happening around me, and didn't want to get caught up in anything else.

I left after about 20 minutes, as I had a jug of Max chilling in the refrigerator at home and some reading to do before bed. 

Time for that Max.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Me and My Big Mouth

Pass me the bottle
Sometimes people say all kinds of crap without thinking about it too much.

This blog is a case in point.  I just speak my mind, when I should just sit quietly.

This afternoon around the water cooler I ended up spending time speaking with one of the Gold Misses at work. She's in her mid to late 50s, a woman that even as a younger man I would take a run at. She was asking pointed questions about what I did before I came to work at the company.

I talked about the immigration work I did, helping several families make a new life in xyz country.  I talked about the private tutoring I did, the business classes and the gigs at companies.  I talked about the bread and butter, teaching kids how to face interviews or speech contests, and how to read a book and write an essay.  I talked about teacher placement, setting up classes in Chinese and Japanese.  I also talked about copy editing, proof reading, and ghost writing.

Ghost writing? 

Sure, I bragged.  Technically I have three PhD s. 500 manners and six weeks and I too can write your thesis.

She was aghast.  This was for Korean universities?  I was clueless to the warning signs and forged ahead:  Sure.  Two in English education and one in Biochemistry.  I don't know a damn thing about biochemistry, but dude was accepted.  And the two in English education actually made me a better teacher.  Too bad I can't list them on my resume haha nudge nudge wink wink.  I actually had to get somewhat nasty with one of them, as they were demanding I accept a lesser amount of money since it had been 'too easy' for me.  Never mind that the thesis was accepted, the fact that I pulled it off in 5 hard weeks when they had been working at it for 3 years necessitated in their mind I get paid less.  It was awful: of what they sent me more than 50% had been simply ripped verbatim off the web.  When they tried to pay me less, I simply offered to send dated files and emails to their advisers, showing exactly what work had been finished when.  They paid up.  Two are now professors, one at a SKY school.  The other is a researcher for a major Korean conglomerate.

It was at this point that one of the younger guys chimed in: would you care to be interviewed by a newspaper?  My friend is a reporter and would love to hear your story.

Shit.  No, definitely not.  I shared my stories of dealing with newspapers, and how they seem hell bent on only making waegs look bad or writing stories about them making kimchi; if they aren't white, they'll write stories about how hard done by they are.  Fuck you.  It seemed a moot point to bring up that you do what you can to get ahead, especially when you live in a place that leaves you little choice but to get maverick

While I said all this, she looked sullen silent and judgmental.  I think she may be sore at me.  Given the many scandals concerning degree forgery, and how many Koreans have been caught faking it, with even those who study abroad taking advantage of the same service, I must have twigged the ethical nerve.

Now, I do believe that stupidity is a universal constant, and I'm hoping she won't hold a grudge against me and that her panties aren't in a knot about it.  From experience, these types of conversation never end well.  You can't win and its best to just smile.  When will I ever learn?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Idealism!


On Friday, one of my coworkers asked: why do you enjoy camping so much? Isn't it boring? Don't you get bored? All people do is cook pig, kimchi stew, instant noodles, and get hammered. What's the point of all that?

I felt like saying if you need to ask then you just don't get it, but thought instead of how I'm away from my computer and TV, outside of my little box of a room surrounded by hundreds of other boxes, hear no car horns or people fighting with one another. I see and do things I can't normally, and meet people I wouldn't otherwise. Mostly it's about being in nature, which generally calms me down and makes me feel better. I can think with a perspective I can't easily achieve surrounding by all the distractions of the urban world.

Sounds too idealistic he said. Enjoy collecting plants and pretty rocks. I'll be having a great time at home watching movies, playing games, with maybe some pron thrown in.

I'm sitting on a rock by a stream. There's a nice breeze, birds are singing. I just had a bowl of delicious chicken soup. Last night I had a few beers but nothing really hardcore. I feel clear and light. The girls have played games, caught tadpoles, gone exploring.

Nothing wrong with a little idealism from time to time.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Camping 2.1!


This weekend we're out camping with three other families for children's day. I told a few of my coworkers about this new spot and three of them came with their families as well. We've nicely cornered a nice chunk of the campground.

Everything was great until the youngest disappeared. After a frantic 30 minute search she was found near a mile and a half upstream. She'd gone exploring with a boy.

Earlier, she had ignored me when I told her not to use another kid's innertube. She did anyway, and eventually the kid flipped her; when I fished her out she was covered in leaves and dirt. I felt little sympathy.

The second exploring incident caused all my children's day indulgence to evaporate. The girls have strict rules to always let someone know when they're off somewhere. I am paranoid, as being bicultural females makes them easy targets. After stern reprimands and a lengthy time out, she's now running crazy again.

Can't wait until she's a teenager.

Friday, May 4, 2012

So many kinds of wrong

This week: outrage, internet dating, art.

So many kinds of wrong:









Thursday, May 3, 2012

Microaggressions!

This could end up being you!
Late this afternoon the professor sent me an article about micro-aggressions.

I won't dig em all up, but I've written about that kind of thing before.  In fact, many of the Me and My Big Mouth posts are about dealing with similar kinds of situations.  The bit about scripted responses to being asked the same questions over and over again also resonated a little too loudly.  Maybe carrying around cards (NSFW) would be helpful in some situations.

This is a topic that has had a lot of ink spilled on it, and one that is guaranteed to drive the waegosphere into spasms.  You've got the: 'yup, that's so true' crowd, ruined by the 'waa waa they're so racist' crowd, the 'no, it's not true, you're simply maladjusted, you're too sensitive, it's never happened to me, it's nothing compared to what I dealt with back home, if you've got such a problem you should just get out' crowd, and the 'it's nothing compared to what I've dealt with in your asswipe of a country!' angry kyopo crowd.

Usually the discussion is far from productive, and quickly degenerates into name calling and accusations of racism all round.

As far as I'm concerned, to say it doesn't happen means you're either fortunate, oblivious, or wearing kimchi flavored sunglasses.  How you deal with it and not completely lose it every six months should be the focus of the discussion.

If all the long time waegs put together their collective hard earned 'wisdom', I'm sure we could come up with a 3 step program to resist the impulse to go completely batshit insane and snap, thus avoiding the scene of the waeg snapping at people at Emart, barking at some ajumma cutting in line on the subway, throwing 10 won coins at cab drivers who 'needed' to cut in front so as to save a whole 2 seconds, or hopping on the hood and urinating on random cars parked in the handicapped parking zone once again.  No, no, those are all BAD.  Bad waeg!  Down!  I said DOWN!  You USE cHOPSTickS sO WELLLL..... good waeg, there now, have some more soju.

There, there . . . get yourself right with the world, hmmm?  Try to keep it steady.  Can I get a smile?  See, I knew you could!

yeah.

Time for bed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ill!

I've spent the last two days fighting a nasty bout of food poisoning.  Yesterday I spent the whole day puking the water I was drinking to flush it out and nursing a ring of fire.  The rest of the time I spent curled up in a ball in bed, covered in sweat. 

Today was marginally better.  I was exhausted and still fought a cold sweat all day.  Around supper I was finally able to keep some rice porridge down.

I'm pretty sure it was a nasty bit of tofu.  As soon as I put it in my mouth I spit it out, but it would seem even the miniscule amount that did make it down my gullet was enough to lay me out for the last two days.

Still not right.  But I can't take another day off work: too much to do. 

Time for bed.