Korean Quickie – Male Bonding

I wasn’t sure what I was seeing at the time, but after my first few months in South Korea a reality about life here made itself clear: Koreans like to drink. Even more, many like to get drunk. Like any and all observations based solely on one’s own experience, it’s biased, and I accept the fact that I may be totally wrong in this generalization. But I don’t think so.

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Korean Quickie – Mothers and Daughters

The stuff described here happened a while ago. A lot of interesting things happen to me in Korea, but I can’t always think of a way to frame them for a blog post. Some recent events made me think of this incident. They gave me a reason to write it, as well as something to tie it all together. Hope you think it’s well written, that the few alliterations and assonances are clever, that it had something to say, and that, overall, I’m pretty dope. If you do, thank you.
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When I first came to Korea there were a few things I noticed. Firstly, I’m strange and deserve to be gawked at. Secondly, Korean women dress half naked, at least their bottom half. Anything short of showing pubic hair is socially acceptable. Third, Korean kids are damn cute.

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Korean Quickie – My Home Until I’m Home

I live in South Korea. It’s my home, but it’s not my home. This is a fictionalized true story of me coming to some resolution about the contradiction. It happened about two weeks ago and I hope it’s as fun to read as it was to write. Please comment if it is. Thank you.
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My summer vacation was fun enough. I went to a beach; I drank apple martinis; I spent time writing; I slept late; I got really physical with a Korean girl in a damn sauna of a club called Club Maktum down in Busan on a night where I was a good wing man to a sexually frustrated friend, but slept alone. It was fun enough, but it wasn’t what I planned.

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Student Q and A – “I get the money”

Student after student during my speaking test

Some time ago I had to give my students a speaking test. It consisted of me asking them a series of questions to test there fluency in English. These are some of the questions – and some of the more interesting answers I received:
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QUESTION: Who is your favorite music artist? Why do you like them?

Answer: You know Hip-Hop? I like Nas because… he is very famous.

Answer: I like Lonely Island because they have very sexual content songs like “dick in a box,” “Jizz my pants” and whatever.

Answer: I like Girls Generation because they so cute. Ahh… [he adjusted himself in his seat and smiled] Yes, they are so cute.

Answer: My favorite artist is Kanye West, because his voice is very charming.

QUESTION: What school subject are you interested in? Why are you interested in it?

Answer: I like science because teacher is girl.

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Korean Quickie – Bad Teacher

I went to work a few weeks ago and saw a print out of my name near the front door entrance. The sheet of paper had some Korean characters on it. Not being able to read Korean I asked one of the school staff members about it: “Why is my name on this poster? Did I do something wrong?”

Based on stories I’ve heard about private academies (hagwons) in Koreaas, well as some of my recent experiences, I was concerned for my job. Jinny, the staff member, seemed pleasantly surprised however and said, “Really. Wow. You won the Cross Cafe contest.”

“The what?”

I had won a contest that honored the teacher who had most students participate in my Academy’s new project – an attempt to get kids to do more work outside of the classroom. Cross Cafe was an online platform that allowed students to post presentations and projects. They were also able to comment on the posts of other students…

I didn’t know I was even in a contest. Nodding at Jinny I said “okay,” and walked toward my classroom, quickly forgetting the sign and my temporary fear of joblessness.

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Korean Quickie – There is hope

The things in this story happened to me as I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that I lived in another country. It was an understanding that was great, but saddening at the same time. The kindness of many random Korean people was the great part. If you enjoy this story please use the social media tools below. Thanks.
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Throughout most of my life I’ve kept a relatively pessimistic perspective on things. A glance at my childhood pictures show cold stares sprinkled with regret. There was never a specific reason, and though I abhor the idea of blaming it on “my nature” (whatever that is), happiness was, and is, a elusive thing to me. The things I desired didn’t desire to be around me, so I grew up always expecting very little out of the life that I counted everyday of.

Moving to South Korea was an extension of that phenomenon. I wanted to be in the publishing industry just as mergers were allowing companies to fire their staff, and print media in general was walking the path worn out years ago by the Tasmanian tiger, the Bermuda Ern, and the eight track tape. During my internship as Farrar Straus and Giroux an assistant editor talked to me:

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