Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Friday, January 25, 2013

So many kinds of wrong

The first edition of the new year!

I have been collecting them sporadically for the last few months.

Some are NSFW. 

So many kinds of wrong

Awesome dancer:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Tonight the girls and I started work on a 1/700 scale model of the Titanic. It was bought months ago and sat on a shelf until the eldest rediscovered it and asked that we could put it together.

I knew it would be fun: dealing with the 100s of tiny little pieces would not only be awesome, but the joy of getting contact cement off my fingers would also bring delight.

Working on it brought new meaning to 'rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic', as at least 20 of the pieces are minuscule benches and chairs. We had great fun getting them into place then slathering them in glue.  The girls took turns cutting out the little pieces and trimming off the excess bits of plastic.

We got about half of it done. We'll finish it off tomorrow.

Time for some Max.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You Tubin'

Tonight I showed the girls a bunch of music videos.

They'd seen most of those before.  What got it started was how they kept singing the peaches tune over and over while playing Yahtzee.

We got heavy with the muppets.  The Swedish chef has been a fav for a long time.

We commandeered the TV and plugged the computer into it.

A good time was had by all.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ice Fishing!

Today I focused a bunch to drag asses out and go ice fishing.

It had been a while since I remembered that ice fishing in Korea involves using maggots to catch what I'd use for bait back home.

Today was fairly clement.  That helped overlook the peeps who pretty much ate whatever they yanked out of the ice slathered in red pepper paste.

Didn't hurt that numerous hot honies dotted the ice. Luckily, ski wear can indeed be sexy!

Remember kids: when you go skiing, you should keep the lift tag attached to your jacket for at least two weeks.  It not only tells the world that you're active and cool, but lets everyone know just how trendy you are by displaying which 400 meter mountain you skeetered down.

Funny.  I remember high school back home being all about the same.

Our group only caught two minnows. I wasn't that keen on fishing, more interested in getting the girls out and enjoying the fresh air. June was at a seminar in Seoul. I was planning on going camping next weekend with the guys, but June informed me tonight that she has another seminar to attend next weekend. I may end up having to pass.

We all gathered at our place afterwards and enjoyed a seafood buffet.  We had scallops wrapped in bacon, raw salmon and oysters, prawns boiled in beer and water, gallons of various types of liquor, topped with half dried squid and an actual salad and steamed broccoli. We fried up fish sticks and fries for the gang of kids.

Tired now. Thinking about how I could go camping and ice fishing next weekend, but I've got a feeling June will sort something out for the kids. We'll see. I'd rather not take them along. Best to sort out a few reliable winter camping spots first, no?  That and it would be nice to not listen to complaints about cold feet and requests for putting ski pants over boots for the 50th time.

Everyone has gone home or gone to bed. Time to finish off the bit from the last jug of Max and sleep.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Lately I've been pretty stressed over money.

June's business is floundering.  She needs a massive infusion that I can't muster.  Her insinuations are that it is my fault since I don't work hard enough nor make enough money.  I waste too much when I decide it is time for us to go back home and let the girls know more about who they are.  She has stated the main reason she hasn't made it is due to my flagrant abuse of our resources, and the only success she's had is due to support from her own.

I've picked up a few side jobs in the last couple months to reassert my commitment, hence the lower amount of posts.  It wouldn't serve to do basic math now, as to years of income in - vs - income out.  Doing basic math = What I've earned - what I spend + what she earns (max 1.5 million) - investment = Damn, Korea, where's the bitches with liquor flowing outta their teets???  Good thing I love my kids, hear what I'm sayin??

But the only thing that matters is now, right?  Never mind that you came with nothing and made what is;  the only thing that matters is: how you gonna sort this out and represent, right?  Well, work more so she'll shut the fuck up!  Of the gigs I picked up, one was a complete disaster: I taught some kid with awesome English skills, winning speech contests, bitter about not getting accepted at top schools.  I knew as soon as I met her why she hadn't been: serious emotional imbalance.  By the second lesson she was going on about how her father beat her mom.  I should have walked away.  Instead, all I thought was: money.  This will make June happy, as I could buy her a nice anniversary present, you know what I'm sayin!

Sadly, now it's my fault June is losing money.

One day I made the kid upset when I kicked the computer at June's hogwon.  I spent a Sunday trying to get it to work as kid was coming in the evening and I needed the comp for the lesson, and when still it refused to comply by the time she showed I gave it a kick.  It wasn't a serious kick, but to hear kid tell it I picked it up and smashed it against the wall repeatedly.  Now I'm bad teacher.  It has been a while since I've had to deal with individual mother neurosis, but I reminded myself that in the future, pass on the ones that just don't feel right.  This one did not feel right from the get go: Stoopid.  I suppose I could make myself feel better by focusing on how the kid also said her former English teacher had been a US Navy seal who had messed her up, but it doesn't.  I should have known better, between showing anger and telling the mom it wouldn't work out.

                       *                                      *                                       *

I also should have known better before I had a mini meltdown in front of one of the board members when I told exactly what is.

My two year contract is up for renewal; I just may end up back in the trenches teaching again as I shared far too much about the general perception of the CEO among his peers when discussing fair compensation to meet what is expected from my end.

What's a waeg to do?  When in Singapore last, their CEO met with me and made it fairly clear that the antics from our top representative had been duly noted. 

Of course, the board member was not surprised.  I try to imagine what could be going through his mind: This is irrelevant.  We are well aware of his strengths and weaknesses.  All I care about is getting the most out of you for the smallest investment.  I know!  I will think: why you know what's best for company?  You can only understand a little of our special situation because you fuck and impregnate one of our lesser, dirty girls who would go waeg.  You shut up and sit down!  Write letter, make design, and smile!  You only get this much raise.  My hands are tied, this is the situation.

Translation:  you only get this much raise because this is what we must give you by Korean law, as Koreans get.  We want to treat you exactly the same as we would a Korean, aren't we progressive?!

Nevermind that the benefits and bonuses available to Koreans are not available to you, nor are basic services.  No, you can't yet get a phone directly in your name, nor can you get a credit card directly in your name, nor can you get into the local clubs and certain businesses.  An international banking card is still iffy.  You are your dirty wife's bitch.  That is not our problem, we are treating you the same as we would a normal person.

Should I dare to say it?  I'm not a normal person by that standard.  Pay me more or GTFO.

The place I'm at prefers waegs with the F5.  They think the Korean connection makes something special, which it does.   Dae Han Min Gook!

All I can hope is that my experience will make it better for the next crop, as the Asians have done in my country.  Eat that shit, deal with it, and know your place, son! There is a chance your kids could be awesome and have a great position, but they could end up as shit.  LOL!  This is South Korea they probably will end up as shit, unless of course they marry pure Koreans and their kids learn what is right. .  .

It is on five years on with the same place and I do feel the need to change things up.  I'm the kind of guy who needs new situations to thrive, and I've never truly excelled at office politics.  That is evident in how I've been toyed with consistently since taking the position, and responded generally well, albeit with a few notable exceptions when I've opened my big mouth.  This will increase over the next two years, as I will become less willing to suffer fools.  There is much to be mined at my current gig, and I do feel like I'm doing something good.  Still, still.  It is all about maximizing return on skill, talent, and investment now, isn't it.  Once you've proven you can shake it, if they don wanna pay the tab, shouldn't we move on?  Let em sort out a new guy who has no bias nor sense; it's cheaper, right?

I'm gonna be old eating at the soup kitchen.

See you there.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year!

climbing wall koreaThis year's New Year celebration was pretty lame.  I stayed in and got mildly toasted as we'd decided to head to some hot springs near Uljin on the first.

Nothing like a little radioactivity to add something awesome to your bath!

But even that wasn't enough to stop me thinking the trip was a colossal waste of precious Won.  We ended up giving some of it to a bunch of very needy individuals, as of all the chaebol they've been the most hard done by.   Shame, Korea Inc.!

All the chaebol have a piece of this little spa town, directing their fraction of the hot springs into their hotel, and the one we stayed at sadly seemed to only get a small chunk.  Maybe that's why he got bullied by the prosecutor, but I digress.  Wouldn't serve to talk about how the bigger boys have been trying to break apart that little empire for years!

Their patio was nice, and there were plenty of trails to hike.   Not too many out in this cold, but it certainly helped space out the Monopoly games.

June drove back on the Expressway for about an hour.  She claimed to be completely wiped and couldn't do anything when we got back home.

If you ever get up to JangHo, they have a pretty nice climbing wall right beside the ocean. Would love to try it out during a more inviting season.

Letter from a Reader!

Sifting through the hate and troll mail, I found this:

Hello wang!

I'd sure like to know what you got your kids for xmas.  Where did you find it?

Sign me 
Wonju Newbie

Hello Wonju Newbie, thanks for the email.  I like email, please send more.  As I'm an attention whore, it would be great if you all sorted out how to find it in the profile and send me along a few missives, thanks.

Well Wonju Newbie, what did the kids get from Santa?  Let's see:

-Monopoly (no more of that junior s***t.)
-study / reading books (math, English)
-piles of stationary and 'brain games' individually wrapped in stocking, along with anything else that could be stuffed in there
-a Sylvanian house along with a Sylvanian rabbit family (Sylvanian Family is cool now, although I was buying that shit like three years ago man!  So 2008!  kids today!)
-several bottles of cheap liquor

no darlin' the mom isn't always the one manning the stove
Wait: that last was mine.  I really tried to avoid unnecessary things this year.  Next year I'll be wrapping up socks: look darling, Santa brought you socks!  Isn't that awesome??

I found it mostly at: the best stationary store in Wonju, English Plus, Homeplus, a decent toy store.  If you really want directions, let me know and I'll share.   The toy store has a pile of Sylvanian, and I imagine that will be gifts for the next year or so.

The games have been a big hit, although the girls aren't as crazy at finishing a game of Monopoly as I was at their age.  I'd see it through to the bitter end, but I never saw it in any other terms then: I'm not out yet?  let's keep playing!

Time for some somaek before I hit the town.