Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Like/Dislike Korea

Things I like about Korea

Binch Biscuits

I used to work as a flight attendant for Qatar Airways. Don’t ever work for them. It was there that I met my girlfriend, who still works for them. Just after we started going out, she visited home and gave me a box of Binch Biscuits that she bought for me. I ate the first one and I was hooked.

My addiction to these is as bad as it was with Cadbury’s Fingers in England, but if you think about it, then you will realise that they are essentially the same product. My way of controlling my addiction is to not buy the biscuits.

Last week I bought four boxes in preparation for my visit home. I bought them on Sunday and by Wednesday they were no more. The worse is, like Joey from Friends when he ate his date’s cake: “I’m not even sorry.” I had to buy four new boxes and it is been hell not touching them. One of them is no more.

Public Transport

Some of the busses are old and a few of the bus drivers are crazy, but the busses are regular, mostly on schedule and the bus and train drivers are so nice. If you are late for the bus, here in Icheon at least, then the bus will wait for you to run the last 20 metres. We have even stopped a little after the bus stop to pick someone up and more than once drivers let people off at a random place on the route because the bus was not moving at the time and the people asked.

It happened to me in Seoul that I arrived just as the doors closed for the train. I am not one of those people will run for the doors or throw my hands up when I don’t make it. There is always another train coming so, as usual I just walked towards the closing doors and took a position to wait for the next train, and wouldn’t you know it, the driver opened the doors, just for me. I had to wave to him before entering the train. You nice to me, me nice to you.

Everything is SO KOREAN

It seems stupid to say because I am in Korea, but sometimes you can’t explain things other than saying: “It is Korea!” or “Koreans!” This goes for all countries in the world and I am sure Koreans in South Africa do the same. I am from there and I often say: “South Africa!”

The Internet

The Internet here is possibly the fastest in the world. YouTube clips start playing immediately and I can watch them on high quality. It takes me only two hours to download a 700 meg DVD Rip of that obscure film I can not find anywhere. Keeping up to date with news and Podcasts is a breeze.

I am not a geek yet, but I am definitely on the nerdy side. Maybe I can upgrade my status by getting some geek friend.


I do not mean just the mangles English or the strange direct translations like a sweet potato being a “potato friend”, but also the “English” written in Hangeul. You can often read a whole menu once you realise that it is actually English, written in Korean. Just Saturday I was a t-shirt that read “WOW the blond eats bananas”. A Korean mentioned that bananas are yellow, like blond hair. The only time I think of blond as yellow is when I see a really bad bleach job, but I can see the Asian view though.

Almost forgot, lyrics, not just in the songs, but in the way they are used in advertising and TV in general. Remember “Give me your banana” for Olympus Cameras?

Short skirts

This is going to fuel the gawking foreigner stereotype, but I love the short skirts here. Girls wear them so shot that one miss step will show me the girl’s whole ancestry.

I am a butt and leg man. Not many Korean girls have nice butts, but they beat Western girls and for sure African girls hands down when it comes to legs. What better way to show of legs than in a very short skirt.

The interesting thing is, I as a South African, tend to see the short skirts as slutty. I’m getting used to not looking at it in that way, but it is not easy. Koreans, on the other hand, think South Africans girls are often slutty for wearing revealing blouses and spaghetti string tops. Interesting, isn’t it? Naked up to your butt is OK, but don’t show your shoulders.

Things I dislike about Korea

People not walking straight

I know think sounds strange, but it is the only thing that I absolutely despise, hate and loath in this country. It drives me up the wall.

People seem to follow completely random lines when they walk. When you are the only one on the pavement or in the downtown area, then it is OK, but when there are people around you then surely you need to have a little more awareness.

I will be walking somewhere, keeping close to the relatively natural lines that things like bricks form, so I know I am walking straight. Then, for no apparent reason, someone will just slowly veer to the side and walk straight in front of me. When I want to pass on the other side they will just, veer to that side again. Amazingly they are then surprised that they nearly get tripped by someone who was right behind them. Tripping people has become one of my favourite activities. It helps relive my stress

Similar to this are the idiots in the cars who will stop right across the pedestrian crossing, just so that they can gain 2 metres to their destination.

Rude children

I am sure all the Western looking people get this. You are walking, iPod or something in the ears, minding your own business when children scream “Hi” at you. They don’t know you from a bar of soap, but they SCREAM at you. If you don’t answer then they will continue until you are either gone or answer them. If you answer they will start laughing or to something equally stupid.

I understand that they don’t really get taught that Hi is akin to Annong, but even so. Will you scream at a Korean you don’t know until they greet you back? What will a older Korean do to them if children treat them like Ronald MacDonald.

A few weeks back a Primary school girl, I’m guessing final year, screamed “Hello” at me. She was still in the school grounds and about 25 meters BEHIND me. Also I had my iPod in my ears. When I didn’t answer she thought it OK to SCREAM “Hey! Waegugin!” at me. Waegugin means Foreigner or Foreign Person. When I came back from the shop I passed her again and this time she screamed: “Hey! Guy!”

Luckily I was in a strange mood. I have learned enough Korean by now to be able to ask her name, her grade and teacher’s name. If I had found that out she would have been my one and only target for school next year.

I put most of the blame for this at the feet of the parents. What are they teaching their children about non-Korean that the childen think it is OK to be that rude to someone unknown to them?

Interestingly, at this same school there is one little girl who, on about 3 occasions now, stopped in front of me, give a little bow, say “Annyeonghaseyo” before the walking on. I have no idea who she is. “Annyeonghaseyo” is the polite way to greet someone. It is, in a way, similar to saying “Good morning/afternoon/evening”. Well done to her parents.

Being out of the loop

This is, in a way, may fault. I am in Korea and it is, I feel, my obligation to learn their language.

Because I don’t understand the language, yet, I don’t get all the information about what is going on at school. I get told on the morning of the day what we are going to climb the mountain. Everyone knew about it days before and brought extra shoes and clothes. Let me not even talk about schedule changes that I get told about as I walk in to class. If I didn’t have the yearly plan that the one teachers game me in English, then I would have found out on Friday that I don’t have class for the first three days of this week. It happens to Korean Teachers as well, but not nearly one the same sale.

Racism and hypocrisy

These two, more often than not, go hand in hand. Let me state from the outset that not all Koreans are like this, and maybe not even most, but the ones who keep silent about the misdoings of their countrymen should accept part of the criticism for not speaking up.

Koreans sometimes act like they are the master race. Interesting that most people in the rich Western world will not be able to find Korea on a map if asked and know next to nothing about the country except that Samsung comes from there. Some people know that the Olympics and World was around here some time in the past.

Let me give some example to illustrate the Racism / Hypocrisy.

Hongdae is currently a big issue because lots of Western men go there to pick up Korean girls for one night stands. Who do you think gets blamed for this? The over sexed men, of course. Everyone knows that Korean girls who go there are all innocent virgins who would never have known about sex if it wasn’t for the Evil White Men.

According to the media all English Teachers are habitually use drugs just before class. As far as I know, if you look at the percentages, then drug use is double that of foreigners. I do admit that a teacher who is only here for a good time is more likely to use drugs, but even if they are twice as likely, then that only puts them on par with Koreans.

Crime is another big issue. Of course crime by Foreigners will increase. If you increase the number of foreigners then the amount of crime will increase. That is just obvious. The more realistic thing though is that Foreigners are more careful because we have more to loose by doing something wrong. We get deported. We don’t get a slap on the wrist and told not to that while drunk. If I am drunk then I am a problem, yet the general Korean society says it is OK for Korean men to walk the streets drunk every night. And in any case, how on earth does anyone really know what the crime levels are with a police force as useless as that of South Africa

Fake Qualifications. Hmmm. So, me, with my proper qualification have to suffer because the Korean Employers are too lazy to pick up the phone and call the university and ask if I studied there. Phone numbers to these institutions are not secret. My student number is not secret. Korea is not cut off from the rest of the world. Do your job and stop blaming others for your incompetence in checking.

The Sex Industry in general is the last thing I will mention. Somehow it is bad for foreigners to do anything sexual, and it is bad to have clubs where foreigners are allowed to pay for sexual favours, but once you find out what to look for you will see just how big the industry catering for Korean men is. Here in little Icheon there are about 7 or so Red Light room, that I know of. There is an amazing stationary smack bang in the middle of these and when I walk past I can see that there is more than one room per establishment.

Wait, one last thing. Foreign men and Korean girls. Let us say that 1% of the foreign girls are hot. Let say there about 10 000 Western girls in my general area (I include the ones who live relatively far away). That gives me 100 hot girls. Let us say, just to play with numbers, that only 0.5% of Koreans girls are hot. Most of the foreign teachers or the like will be about the same age, so let us say of the 10 million people living in Seoul, half are women, and maybe about 2 million of them are around my age. 0.5% of them will give me 10 000 girls. I’m my opinion, Korean girls are really pretty, and so I know there are way more than those, but still. Do you really expect the Western men to fight over 100 girls or do you think they will just say: “Why not one of the 10 000 really pretty Korean girls”.

The “Leave out girls alone! (but we can take yours)” mentality is quite common around the world though. It is better for me to have a black girlfriend in South African than for a girl to have a black boyfriend.


I do not think it is a crap hole or the worse country on the world.

I do not think Koreans are bad for being Korean.

I do not think any other county or the West in general is better than Korea or the East in general.

I do not think Koreans are Barbarians.

I did not renew my contract because I dislike Korea.

I do think Korean girls are pretty.

I do think Koreans are crazy, but show me the nationality that isn’t in some way.

I do wish to learn more about the country and stay here for a while, hence my renewed effort to learn to speak Korean.

I do feel Korea and Koreans have a lot of potential, once they get of their high horses, but even then Africa can learn from Korea. They are not even on high horses, they are on bloody gigantic horses. Come see here what can be done with a little hard work and what work actually mean.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Finished in Korea

Tomorrow it officially the last day of my contract, but I am only leaving on Saturday. End of contract means I have to leave the country for a tiny bit. Have to and WANT to. I need a break from Kimchi, Koreans, the Korean language and Korean logic.

I actually like it in Korea, but I need the chaos and senselessness that I understand. Now I will have two weeks of the occasional incompetent “English” newsreader, African Logic, 15 languages and LOTS of SA food with no sugar added

Most people do not know this, but the current blog is actually version 2. I started out on Friendster and then moved to Google’s Blogger. I am getting fed up with the mess that is this blog, so I over the next few months I will go through the old posts and edit the labels to reduce the number to about ten in total. I also want to learn a bit more about CSS to enable me to edit the whole look of the Blog. Lastly, I am thinking of changing the name.

Right now I am thinking of these post labels:

  • News & Politics.
  • So Korea – about things that makes Korea SO Korean.
  • Photos & Movie Clips.
  • Entertainment.
  • Travel.
  • Teaching – My students, my school, my work.
  • Culture and History – I want to know more about the history and origin of the culture here. This will include small things that I might think of, like how people serve Soju.
  • Food.
  • Other Stuff.

As a Blog name, I am thinking of something like “East will be East”. There is a film called East is East and I actually think that might be better.

I have recently found out that more than five people read my blog now, so it would be nice to hear what all of you think.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Let's Dance!

Something business love to do to attract attention is to hire Dancing Girls. The girls have elaborate dances that I suspect they do every day, all day. I have never bothered to stand there and watch them to see how often the repeat the whole process.

You can see these girls just as often on music shows or concerts. It seems Koreans cannot stand the idea of someone singing without someone else distracting you with their dancing. I can understand that some people need attention drawn away from their lack if singing ability, but surely not everyone.

A while back, as I was getting back from Seoul earlier that usual, a new mobile phone shop was promoting using the obligatory Dancing Girls. I was crossing the street walking straight towards them, so I could not really miss them. The one girl was hot, I mean really hot. Of course, being the only blondish person on the street, I was attraction the normal bit of attention. Normally they give me one look and then look away because I am sure they are used to men gawking at them, so they might rather ignore them. I do not normally look because I do not find them particularly sexy, except for this girl.

The hot girl was not ignoring me though. She thought it was much more interesting looking at the Waegugin crossing the road than ignoring said Waegugin. How am I supposed to steal glances at the sexy girls if she keeps on looking at me? I can not even smile at her and try to pick pull het because, a) I don’t speak Korean, b) I will be in the media because I am the sex crazed maniac and c) I am happy with my GF, even if I do she her only one ever 4 months.

I include some YouTube Clips of Korean Dancing Girls.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

News of the Week

I haven’t done News of the Week for a while, however, I finally set up my Google Reader to check everything that I like, so now it is as easy as going to one place to read news, sport news and blog sites. That makes it easy to pick op what is going on during the week. Now, without further ado, the news of the week…

Teaching the World changes it's header image.
Full article at, you are looking at it.

I thought it was about time to get a new header. Because I am putting serious effort in to learning Korean now, I thought I would reflect that on my header. It says "I am Otto. I'm studying the Korean language." I had someone check for me to make sure of the spelling, and wouldn't you know it, I made a mistake.

"But Teacher, dippicult!" I am using a book to study, and that is where the barcode thing comes from.

Thousands of pupils fell pregnant last year.
Full article at the Sowetan.

This is not Korean news, but I still find the situation interesting. School Girls in South Africa are getting pregnant and, apparently it is the Education department’s responsibility to stop this. Baby, if you have sex without a condom or you snip the front of to “not miss out on the feeling”, then you are going to get pregnant.

People, please keep in mind that it is not uncommon for a high school girl or boy might be 21 years old in SA.

First cloned dog to produce offspring.
Full article at IOL.

How is this different from the sheep a decade ago how? The issue might be that it is the same guy that faked the results on Human Cloning, but they don’t exactly say that it the problem.

Korean Cops: “Raped? Not Our Job”
Full translated article at Korea Beat.

Makes be long for home. “What? We have to work?” Did you know the SA police hire security companies to take care of the car outside the station? If they do not then the public who visit might com out of the station owning one car less.

South Korea Braces For Olympic Torch Protests.
Full article at VOA News.

The torch is coming to town and the protesters are using it to make their points. I suspect Korea is not so much concerned that people are protesting, but more likely more about the world seeing that this is a normal country with actual problems. Some countries are almost proud of the fact that people are allowed to protest, but not here.

From listening to others, the torch run was used last time by Dokdo Island lovers. That is another story all together. I think I might get a few links up to the people who did the decent research on the issue.

Is there cricket in North Korea?
Full article at TimesOnline.

I am sure they are already playing football, but now they are going to the quintessential game from the greatest Imperialists of history? Cute!

SKorean convicted for ancient gate fire
Full article at topix.

The A-hole who burned down Namdaemun’s gate is getting it at last. 10 years in prison for a man of 69 is not going to be that easy, but then again, this is Korea and I suspect something like “But he is old and us guards have to give him everything he wants,” will happen.

Icheon Marathon.
Full article at Icheon Marathon.

Yes, we seem to have one. I wonder what this will do to traffic. Also, where on earth do these people train?

Lee bows out.
Full article at The Economist.

Lee? Really? We are getting a president? No, dumb ass!

About 1 in 3 people here are named Lee. If you want to name someone without really naming them then you will call them Lee or Kim. No one will have any idea who it is. In this case, we are actually talking about the chairman of Samsung, the biggest company in Korea. There has been a big fraught case surrounding Samsung for a while now.

South Korea's economic growth slows in 1st quarter on exports, spending.
Full article at the International Herald Tribune.

WOW! I hope this gets sorted soon.

Korea Should Revamp Its Image.
Full article at

Korea is worried about loss of image? I did not even know they had an image. Sure, some people know that Samsung and Hyundai come from Korea, but that is it. Ask them where korea is and they will not even be sure where to look for it on a map.

Korea need to get an image in the world, I feel. It is not going to be easy when you have to compete with neighbours Japan and China. From my experience more people know about the Philippines that about Korea.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Notes Sexy Mong Returns - Episode Two

I missed the first episode yesterday evening, because, lets face it, I am not going to miss sleep for a few breasts and butts on TV. Last night, however, I watched the complete second episode. My TV was set to CGV, so as I was getting ready for bed, and wouldn’t you know it, Sexy Mong Returns starts. I go to bed at midnight, if you haven’t figured this out yet.

I must apologise for a previous post where I thought I was watching the new season. It turns out I was watching an episode of the old season. Anyway, I was entertained within the first 2 minutes and got hooked for the rest of the episode.

We start the episode with two girls in their, what appears to be, university dorm room. The one is already in bed and says good night before pulling the blankets over her head and curling up in to a ball. This gave me my first strange moment. She had a huge teddy bear on her bed, at her head, leaning against the wall, so we were left with balled up blanket containing a girl and a strange bear staring at us. When the girl not in bed left the room the only thing I could look at was the bear. I wasn’t sure if it was creepy or funny, but I wish I hade a screen shot to show you the weirdness.

Just minute of so later there appears on the screen what seems to be the dorms girls getting ready for class, with shower scenes and everything. Seeing nude girls is rarely bad, but it is also rarely weird. The one girl had implants that looked exactly like those fake rubber boobs men can put on. You know, the big joke ones? I couldn’t take my eyes of them. I so with I could poke them to see what would happen.

First 3 minutes gone, we get in to the actual story. There is suppose to be a story line to this detective show, but is not good enough to cross the language barrier successfully and make it really interesting. The three girls, who are suppose to be some sort of detective agency, starts receiving videos of one of the girls who appeared in the first scene (the scene with the bear) having sex in various places in the dorm. I'm still not sure who did the filming and how.

Interestingly, the girl gets taken from behind every time, about five times in total (Yes, I was making notes for the blog). At one point they show the guy opening hit jeans' zipper to take out his penis, top button still done. He then sticks his hand inside to pull the “unsee-able on Korean TV” thing out, I have to wonder though, was this a women writing the program or just a really bad director? Men have to be careful with jeans and zipper just to go the toilet, so imagine the danger to an erect penis. The possibility if injury is just too great to justify me EVER trying that.

There is also the exotic foreign girl, a Bulgarian or something, in the program, who rarely says more than four words at a time. I can’t figure out if they stuck the lolly-pop in her mouth because they think it will somehow look sexy (she is not) or if they are trying to keep her mouth shut so that she can’t say more than 4 words.

The last thing I remember from the show was the photos they took with the “criminal”. The girl used a phone camera and she took the photos of herself with the guy. I have no idea why she felt she needed to be in the shot. Anyway, she used something that looked like one of those older Nokia phones that had the big camera lens thing on the back, but this being Korea, I know that isn’t a Nokia. Problem was that she somehow managed to take the photos with the lens pointing away from her. Amazing what technology can do in TV these days, isn’t it?

I made a whole list of stupid things I saw in the program that kept me up till 12:30, but I forgot the list at home. I normally write my blogs at school before class starts and then between classes, if I'm not busy. I am sure there are a few things I forgot, but not to worry, I will watch the sow again and make notes of more oddities.

Brian did a an interesting on the first episode. Have a look at it here.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Strange Products

Products over here are strange for various reasons. In my case there is the addition of another language's interpretation.

Take “Pencil Sharpener” as an example. In Korean is it “Yonpeel GGaggi”. Keep in mind that the K and G in Korean is pronounced very close to the same sound, so if you were to say “Kkakki” instead of “Ggaggi”, you would likely still say the same thing.

For the Afrikaans people who are not sniggering now, listen along with them English folk. “Yonpeel” sounds like you are saying “Jong Piel”, that is “Young Penis” in Afrikaans. “Kkakki” will sound just like “Shitty”. Therefore, if I ask for a Pencil Sharpener, or a student asks me for one, using Korean, I have to try and keep a straight face. You try asking for a Young Penis Shitty with a straight face.

Languages are fun!


When I was in E-Mart the other day I saw the condoms. Nothing strange there. It is just that they moved them from where ever they were before to right next to the toothpaste and soap. My eye fell on a box that said “Jellydoms”. This I HAD to know more.

I bought a pack of Jellydoms and didn’t waste much time at home to open them. It turns out there is nothing made from jelly, no tube of jelly or or anything of the sorts. Basically, no jelly to be seen in the whole box. I had just bought a pack of 12 condoms that are the same as any other normal condom. Bummer! So much for something new.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Time for a few more "visuals"

I haven’t had a real photo post in a while, so I thought I would do a few this week. For today I thought I would show the beauty that is Couple Shirts.

In the first photo the couple set is not that obvious because you are not looking at the couple from the front, but in the second photo it is quite obvious. At least in the second one the shirt colours are not the same.

June wanted me to get a set, but I told her the only way we get it is if mine says “She forced me to wear this.” And hers says “I owe him now.” I would like to add a bit more sarcasm or irony to it, but I fear it will be completely lost on 99.9% of the people who read it and I’m being generous now.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Study till your butt actually falls off.

I have mentioned before how many classes these students have to attend, and anyone who knows anything about Japanese and Korean students, it is that they are always studying. Interestingly, Korea has overtaken Japan as the country with the highest suicide rate.

Even more interesting is the parent who asked me yesterday which student I considered the in my class, in other words, is her daughter the best. Whether or not she is the best, I am not going to tell her that, even if she did send her to Canada for 6 months to help improve her English.

Let me get back to the students and their study time. Students here attend what THEY refer to as academies (English) and WE refer to as Hagwons (Korean). It’s strange how we use each others words, don’t you think? On my way to the doctor yesterday, I caught up with a student who was suppose to be in my extra class later that day, so I asked him where he as going. It went a little something like this:

“So, where are you going?”
“Urm, academy.”
“No English with me today?”
“No. Study for the exams.”
(It's next week, so I expected them to disappear on me.)
“OK. What subject are you going to?”
“All subject.”
“Really? OK.”
“Yes. Six hours.”

Keep in mind that he might have to do this all week before the exams and that this conversation was as he was leaving school to go to the academy, then you will get a day like this…

  • 7am, wake up and get ready for school
  • 8am, go to school to be there at 8:20am at the latest
  • 9am-3pm Classes with a 50 minutes lunch
  • 3:30pm (maybe) 9:30
  • I am not sure where dinner will fit in there though.

This gives you about 12 hours of study a day for a boy of 14 years old. WOW.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Simple Plan - Crazy

Tell me what's wrong with society
When everywhere I look, I see
Young girls dying to be on TV
They won't stop till they've reached their dreams

Diet pills, surgery
Photoshopped pictures in magazines
Telling them how they should be
It doesn't make sense to me

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell me what's going on?
Tell me what's going on?
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something is wrong.

This song was playing during the highlights of a K-League (football) match over the weekend. It is a punk rock song with a nice hard beat and rough lyrics to make for a "man's" song. The producers have, in that Korean way, not listened to the lyrics that might as well be pointing straight to Korean Culture at the moment, with the girls absolutely obsessed with looks and plastic surgery. Here, if I ask my students who their favourite singers are they will rather pick the no talent Wonder Girls because they are cute/pretty than someone who can actually sing, and singers have to go to Japan because they are not good looking enough to "sing". You might say, "just children" but I have heard this from people out of school as well.

Anyway, the song just had nothing to do with the game.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Korean Names

The thing with remembering and using Korean name is not that they are difficult to pronounce, but that it all sounds the same. It is like Korea has a list of ten family names, 3 of which cover 75% of the population, and 10 parts-of-names that get combines in to various full names.

As an illustration I give you the names of my extra class students. The names are written in a way that is easy to read in English and with a similar sound to Korean, not with the official writing system.

Ee Hyae-Een
Ee Jeen-Yeong
Yeon A-Yeong
Jeong Eun-Jeong
Jeong Eun-Gyeong
Yu Won-Hee
Won Dong-Cheol
Kang Gyeong-Cheong
Gwong Do-Gyeong
Ju Meen-Hee
Kim Su-Min
Kim Su-Jee
Ee Jee-Su
Chwae Mee-Su
Oo Sang-Gyoo
Nam Hae-Jeong

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Sekshi Mom Retunj with Pibu Girlsu

I normally go to bed at about midnight, so I get to see many of the adverts for the more “Shady” Korean programs. The current two big ones are “5 Girls” and “Sexy Mom Returns”

“5 girls” suck. I watched it once, didn’t like it and saw it a second time while I was reading a book. In this one there are five girls, four of them Korean, who I assume are underwear models for an underwear company or something. They are OK looking, but nothing like the surgically altered beauties you normally get on the little screen. Their biggest problem is that they can’t act to save their lives, unless they are suppose to be that bad because in the East you can never be sure. There is even one white girl who rarely says more than one word at a time, which I can never make out to look up in a dictionary.

The shady side of “5 Girls” is the underwear-ing as well as the occasional nude scenes that don’t seem to fit in the story. Not nearly enough to keep me from falling asleep.

“5 Girls” has been running for a while now, however, the program that started last night is much better. They girls are prettier and the program’s name actually fits. I know beauty isn’t everything, but my Korean sucks, so a little eye candy helps me a lot.

This program is called “Sexy Mom Returns”. I can’t rally be bothered to wait up until 1am for the program to finish, just to see if I get a nice boob view or something, but at least I can say the acting doesn’t suck completely and there seems to be some kind of story.

In this program the girls also seem to have had boob jobs. The one girl was sporting HUGE, and I am speaking about Korea here, B+ or C- breasts. In Africa or Europe that is not such a big deal, but believe me, on a Korean girl that size is very obvious.

What really amuses me about this particular program is that it is Korean made, in Korean, with Korean actors, yet the name is “Sexy Mom Returns”. Of course they have to write this in Korean, which means it comes out “Sekshi Mom Retunj”. (Note, British “O”, not American “A”) I can still see some kind of sense in not changing foreign film names, but this is a Korean production. Why give it an English name if you can’t even write the English and barely pronounce it? Oh, the joys of Korea.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

More Strange Titles

A few days back one of the TV channels was running the film “Double Jeopardy”. If you are not sure, it is the one with Ashley Judd where she is sent to prison for killing her husband, who turned out to have faked his own death.

Anyway, after trying to read the Korean I figured out that, in that odd Korean way, it spelled “Double Crime”. I do love reading the movie names and trying to figure out what I’m watching.

What intrigued me is that they thought it necessary to change the name at all. If Koreans can’t even read the actual English name, what makes people think that they will really understand what “Double Crime” means, even when it is written with Hangeul? Granted, “double” and “crime” are easy words, but still, why not just get a Korean name?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

You legal side, now a bit more secure.

At last, something to help you fell a little bit more assured of your position in this country. I suspect that teachers, working at publish schools of, say, Gyeonggi-do, have a little less to worry about because we have decent contracts, but Hagwon teachers often have a hard time of it.

Here is an article that will interest them in particular, but this is useful information for all foreigners working in Korea.

Monday, 14 April 2008

I think I am in love!

Friday my English co-teacher gave me a printout of all the holidays, exams and tests for the year. This means that I know the weeks in advance that one or two of my classes will be cancelled. I even know what class and why. How great is this?!

A side effect is that I can plan better because now I know when the mid terms will be running. There are even a few other almost useless bits of information on the printout.

I know some people think I am just wining about the school changing things all the time, but keeping in mind that this can be done, why am I normally kept in the dark until 5 minutes before something happens.

I wonder if this woman is interested in getting married. *wink*

Friday, 11 April 2008

Strange Friends

We went for dinner with a Korean friend and his girlfriend a few nights back. He was trying to tell someone what a dish made of. The dish was made with Goguma, but he could not think of the English word. After thinking for a bit he opens his mouth to have these words come out "It is potato friend."

I was listening to him and knew he was trying to say sweet potato, but wanted to leave him to figure it out on his own. Eventually it came out what he meant, and then someone else told us about how her students do this "friend" thing as well. Apparently, a table friend is, in fact, a chair. I am guessing that a spoon friend would be chopsticks, a pen friend a pencil, and so on.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Vice Guide to NK

I had completely forgotten about this guy’s series. I was waiting for it to finish before I watch everything at once. Anyway, have a look at it now. Sometimes cynical in a bad way, but still informative.

Wednesday, 09 April 2008

Point Cards

You can get point cards for everywhere in Korea. Because of this I was wondering why the coffee shop I go to all the time as no card.

The very next day, after having me there almost every day of the week for 4 weeks, the lady working there decides that she might offer me a card. I have no idea why I didn’t ask earlier. I suppose it IS my own fault.

Tuesday, 08 April 2008


I used to listen to a Podcast called "Seoul Survivors". It was by a guy living and teaching in Seoul. He would get together with one or two co-hosts and just talk about living here. They would talk about almost anything that came to mind. Sometimes you would be forgiven for thinking there was no topic of the day.

Carl left Korean and his Podcast has come to an end, but just at the right time Bomb English appeared on the scene.

Bomb English is actually meant for people who want to improve their English, but I find the discussions on the show very interesting no the less. The have a web site but you can also find them on iTunes, or link from the site itself.

Monday, 07 April 2008

Nanta and Itaewon

I went with the girls to see Nanta. Nanta is a show where they bang on music instruments a tell a bit of a story along the way. It was good, but I expected a lot more. Jump was a lot better.

Because if that, I will conclude the comments on Nanta and mention Itaewon afterwards. We were hungry and in the mood for decent Western type food, so we went to a Mexican restaurant. After two pitchers and shots shared between the 6 of us, people were getting a bit happy.

Now, I don't need to be happy to see or even mention this, but I was distracted by the names of the shooters on the menu. This is the list, with the order we came up with after I mentioned that you can tell a story with the names...

1. Horny Monk
2. Blue Balls
3. Blow Job
4. Orgasm
5. Swallow
6. Quick Fuck ( I know, but we were six people)

Friday, 04 April 2008

More Korean Weddings

I heard about this clip, but I was unable to find it until Brian made a comment on my blog, giving me the link.

You would think that this woman would wait for just a few seconds before going to her seat, but she is, in fact, an infamous Ajuma. I haven’t really had this here in Icheon, but you can see this senselessness in Seoul all the time. Waiting for one second is just too much for them. Everything has to happen NOW.

I have had a few amusing moment when I wanted to get off at a Metro stop just to have an Ajuma try to push me out of the way to that she can get of one second earlier. They normally quickly realise that I am not Korean and will not be moving aside for their senseless time grabbing.

Thursday, 03 April 2008

Olympus Advertising

I heard about this one, but yesterday was the first time I was it on TV. You, are not mistaken if you hear:

Give me your
Let me taste
your banana
nyum nyum nyum

Erm, OK. Your place or mine?

Wednesday, 02 April 2008

Drunk Man Beats Up a Girl

I was looking at news on a TV in the bus terminal on Sunday and saw a man beat up a women in an elevator. I didn't really know what to make of it as it was, needless to say, all in Korean.

On Monday read on the blog of Brian in Jeollanam-do that the man was actually beating up an elementary school girl. I also got to see the clip more clearly and let me tell you, it is sickening. the reaction of the police is just plain infuriation.

Brian's post says it all much better than I could and he even has updates on what is currently happening. It pays to be able to read the Korean news, doesn't it.

Have a look at his post by clicking here.

Tuesday, 01 April 2008


My extra class for Friday afternoon was cancelled, so I was catching up on a few things in the office. No one informed the students of this, so they would periodically pop in and ask what was happening. I sympathise because I feel that what all too often.

The last girl that came in went to the Korean English teacher and asked him about it. I wasn’t paying attention, but I did hear her leaving the room, saying quite loudly, “아사!” (Assa!), followed by giggles all round.

I know that “assa” means something along the lines of “Let’s Go!”, but it was the first time I heard it used in this way. I asked what she was on about and the teacher explained to me that she was happy about the cancellation. I could not help but smile as well.