Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Any long term waeg worth their salt will have at some point drunkenly ranted on about the ridiculous regional festivals found throughout this greatest of peninsulas. 

What these waegs don't get is that their excessive whinging and hand wringing is beginning to corrupt the purity of ancient Korean traditions dating back to the late 1990s.  These types of festivals aren't supposed to be just about throwing yourself off a mock cliff while holding the effigy of a Japanese officer, (as the logo at the top of the link states, "Be Inspired!") in Jinju, or contracting a skin disease at the mud festival in Boryeong; it's about drawing in as many tourist won as possible while engaging the locals in chest thumping celebrations of local pride to help reduce one of the world's highest suicide rates.

Sadly, this reality has been dismissed and undermined by judgmental waegs and led to the neutering of these most necessary traditions, all in the effort to appear more in tune with global sensitivities.  This was evidenced in the recently held Dunnae tomato festival.

Curious when I saw the poster, I called the number to find out more: no, there would be no tomato crushing. No, there would be no tomato hurling. And no, you could not eat your tomato with salt at the event: sugar was mandatory. Yes, you could eat them with salt after making your purchase once in the confines of your home, but everyone knows tomato is best with sugar!  So please buy many many 3000 won glasses of freshly made sweetened tomato juice!

I asked the nice lady on the other end how the festival was to serve as an outlet for the pent up frustration of living in Dunnae if people weren't given the opportunity to hit their annoying neighbor with that damn dog that never shuts up squarely in the face with a half rotten tomato.  I questioned the vision of Dunnae's town elders who decided to host a tomato festival which didn't involve some form of barely controlled chaos.  She suggested I avail myself of the opportunity to visit the exhibit on specially created Dunnae tomato, and instead purchase many many kilograms of world unique under-ripe tomatoes from farmers at above market value.  Dunnae tomatoes are number one world best, and can cure cancer and hantavirus!

At this point I called her a globalization shill and suggested they hire me as the festival organizer for next year if they were truly intent on profiting from excessive tomato crops while reducing incidences of farmers drinking pesticides.  This was when she hung up.  I figure I'll wait a few weeks and call again; someone has to do it, and if the Dunnae city council is too scared of misinformed waeg blogs mocking these most necessary forms of social release, I will act in their stead.  The potential for big fun is too great, and if you've ever been to Dunnae, you know it needs a real festival more than many a place on this fine peninsula.  My first step will be to head over to Dave's ESL Cafe and other hotbeds of waeg sedition to attack those who would dare befoul the honest and carefree nature of all people native to the fine, fine Korean peninsula.

Don't wish me luck: I am fire incarnate, ready and willing to act, and have no need of fairy tale ideas of fortune.  While some may see it as a burden, I know I act most righteous and pure, an ideal I learned from my most generous Korean hosts that is too near extinction. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A teacher friend of mine asked me the other night, "So are you going to any festivals this fall?" Pretty sure the look on my face said it all.

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