Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Friday, April 19, 2013

Best <*v*>~~!


I am have something important to say you.

The Korean is best at many thing.

It is true!

Korean have best manner.  Other country have poor manner and no Jung.

This is also Korean best thing!  No other no Korean can know the Jung~

You should know!

Korean respect elder.  If other try respect elder, they have better life, it is a true!  Beliebe ame!

I say something to you: Korean are best technology!  We have best family!  You know the Chusok and the Solnal. it is best special day!

Waeg nods, smiles, finishes his drink, and goes home.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts and Wishes

going out to those in Boston.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Last weekend I met up with an old Wonju Waeg hand for a few drinks and conversation.  This year he's really into planting a garden, and asked me if I planned to get one started up again.  I hadn't really thought about it much, but I was prompted to go walkabout Sunday afternoon in the fields surrounding the Wonj. The aroma of manure was ubiquitous, so I figured yeah since it is planting time, get out of the house and grow some stuff.

I used to maintain a plot near work, but have neglected to do so the last couple of years.  Until this year I have also helped with the plot at the girls' cooperative kindergarten.  We usually brought in quite a nice pile of cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, radish, and chili.  We used some of it for the kimjang every year.

One very cool thing about Korean cities is that nearly every empty space is used by someone to grow food.  It is true that in urban centers back home you do see private or communal gardens, but not to the extant that you see it done in Korea. 

This year I think I'll start up some corn, tomatoes, sunflowers, and potatoes. 

Time for coffee.

I wonder if Koreans in South Central have gardens.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Me and My Big Mouth

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 morning around the water cooler Mrs. Ji said:

Mr. Waeg! You look so tired and sad! Cheer up! We Koreans say that April is the cruelest month; do not worry so much! Soon things will be better!

I stopped and looked at her then I asked: that's very interesting Mrs. Ji, and thank you for your concern. I do wonder though: why do you think Koreans say that?

Ah, Mr. Waeg, it must be because of our agrarian past! By April, most of the food saved for the winter is gone, and new growth hasn't begun yet. April is surely a lean month, so this is why we say that.

Yes, lilacs out of the dead land, and all that, yes? Tell me Mrs. Ji, have you read T.S. Elliot's "Wasteland"? Great poem.

I open the poem on my phone and show it to her.  She reads the first few sentences, quickly hands my phone back to me, and walks away.

Now I'm sure Mrs. Ji is mad at me.  She wouldn't look at me and is obviously stewing.  She was simply trying to make small talk and be nice, and instead of just accepting it, I became asshole incarnate.  Who knows, maybe there is a Korean saying that is the same, just as I'm sure April Fool's must have it's origins in Korea as one of my other coworkers informed me last week.  So why?  I was still thinking about last hwaesik, when she also said that I obviously did not like kimchi since I had not eaten any during dinner.  Usually I don't eat kimchi in most restaurants since it is garbage and not that tasty, but I wondered why she would say that after knowing me for so long.  Odd.

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?

Friday, April 5, 2013

So many kinds of wrong

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


No, this is not a post about that badass group of Germans who decided to go walkabout while raping and pillaging whatever lands they passed through; this is about how the fam van was recently used as a fireplace for burning paper.

When I saw this Sunday, I immediately went to the guard to access the CCTV.  The old guy working there was obviously perturbed that I would dare interrupt his Sunday afternoon snooze, and insisted that I come back on Monday to get the film from the general office.

Come Monday, the general office had to admit that they hadn't recorded anything with the CCTV in quite some time (years), and I was shit out of luck.

Now, whether this was just some random drunken ijits doing random stoopid things, or whether the fam van was a specific target, is a matter of conjecture.  The perps also pulled up the window washer sprayers, but I was able to fix that fairly easily.

We moved out of one place years ago when our taxi driver neighbor decided to start leaving piles of feces outside our door and writing racial slurs on the walls outside the elevator, on top of vandalising the fam van.  I guess he was still mad that I had dared interrupt his wife beating one night.  No matter, we had been planning on moving to a better place for some time, and our next apartment was much nicer with generally much nicer neighbors.  If anything, we were the ones causing trouble, what with the girls running wild all the time.

Still, I've taken to parking only in high traffic areas since this incident.  We'll see if anything happens over the next while.  This round of vandalism didn't cause serious damage, save a small brown spot on the hood.  Let's hope it was just a bunch of drunken ijits and not something more sinister.

Time for coffee.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hallyu in Brunei!

A commentator asked that I pass along the video below celebrating Hallyu.  What can I say?  The Waeg abides.