Friday, June 29, 2007

NewsFlash: Tall White Guy Plans to Shag 29 prostitutes in Bangkok

The slight goodwill I was feelings towards Koreans has evaporated within a week. Not really a surprise there. The new foreign teacher, Nathan, big improvement over David, like he doesn't show up to work drunk. Minor things like that. Anyway, he's been a lot more friendly than I was when i first got here, trying to start conversations with the Korean teachers and generally just being nice to them. But of course, they are cold, ice-cold, either that, or they are mentally impaired. Which is quite possible since teaching at a hagwon here, if you're Korean, is liking working at the Burger King of the education system. No one takes it seriously, especially the kids, it's their after "real" school playground. So yesterday one of the Korean teachers started, I won't say scolded, but telling him in a not so sweet way, that he had to give more tests to his classes. But here's the thing, nobody ever told him how things work at the school. I filled him in on most of the details, but there's no orientation, none of the bosses explain how to teach. But still, the Korean teachers get all pissed when he does something wrong. It's like if you took a carpenter, threw him on jumbo jet, told him hey you're a pilot now, then after he crashed the plane into a mountain, you bitched about how could this possibly happen? Didn't he know how to fly a plane? Sometimes I honestly think that all Koreans were born with some kind of genetic disorder that makes them act in the most retarded way possible.

We got pretty wrecked last Friday, which is always the recipe for a worthless weekend. Since Bender was making his last rounds around town, we got a bunch of free drinks. Apparently I also drank one of the bartenders drinks and then immediately forget because when they tried to charge us for it, I bitched like a little girl. We had big plans to get downtown and dance with guys on Saturday, and I was gonna try to sneak out the horsehead, but instead we woke up for 20 minutes to get dinner and then went back to sleep. I hope Bender's last weekend in Korea was all he ever hoped it would be.

It's monsoon season now, which means it's 85 degrees everyday with a humidity level of "I can't get them off my leg" on the well-respected Sack-Stick scale. It also rains everyday, and even when it's not raining, old ladies insist on putting up tent-sized umbrellas over their tiny heads. Then they just stand in the middle of the sidewalk all day waiting for me to try to get around them. Actually, Koreans basically love to use umbrellas for pretty much all weather conditions. If the sun is out, umbrella time. (Hats and sunglasses have not yet been invented in Korea.) If it's cloudy, it might rain and god forbid a drop of that nasty water touches their skin, umbrella time. When it's really raining, the umbrellas are up and Koreans immediately seek safe, sturdy shelter.

One more day of work tomorrow than it's off to Thailand for a week, where my life will be awesome. However, since this trip will involve four different flights, that means there's at least a 95 percent chance of me dying in a fiery wreck so for my own comfort, I just want to say goodbye now. So goodbye and I love you. If I do get lucky and make it back to Seoul, when I do, I will be under three months left in Korea, at which time I will be able to taste America.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Suck my Toes.

J.K. Rowling Hints At Harry Potter Date Rape

Al Qaeda Also Fed Up With Ground Zero Construction Delays

These videos are from the Onion, and they are hilarious.

I have to give Korea some credit here, right when I was about to write it off as a terrible country, it produced some nice surprises for my birthday on Wednesday. After work, grabbed a few beers at Woodstock and out of nowhere, this girl I had met before around town, popped up from the side of the bar with a birthday cake. Then yesterday, the Korean teachers got me a cake and we had a little party, I didn't tell them it was my birthday pretty much to avoid just that, but it was a nice gesture anyway. Although, as was to be expected, I got to my party and then just sat there listening to them speak Korean for a half hour. Today one of the students gave me a present, it was a picture frame that says "Nice memories" on it. That was nice, but I may have actually shed a tear when I read the note she gave me "To Ryan, Happy Birthday to you--Happy Birthday to you--Happy Birthday Dear Ryan Teacher--Happy Birthday to you. Sorry!! I'm late! But, always thank you. I'm meet you very happy :-) I wish you a lot of happy day--always smile--and many many Happy Birthday to you"

I went to the dentist yesterday. I had a good one picked out I found online, it said he went to Harvard and spoke good English so I was all excited. But then I got off the subway and couldn't find the building so I just wandered into this random place. It said dental clinic on it and after 3 hours of sleep the night before combined with xanax, I would have been fine getting a root canal from a drunk guy on the street. That is what I needed though. I'd prefer to go to the dentist when I got home, but a root canal here costs $6. As I expected, since the dentist was Korean, he did not wear gloves at first, but his soft skin in my mouth was quite soothing. He put them on later for some reason, which was a bit of a letdown. Luckily I have five more visits lined up with him, hopefully he doesn't have AIDS though, otherwise I have a 110 percent chance of getting it. But I don't think Koreans can get AIDS, since they are not able to die.

Hold on, is this my second post this week? Oh, forget this. It's Bender's last weekend in Korea, we should be on the sixth bottle of soju by now.

Monday, June 18, 2007

No you steal icepop, silly white man!

One of the worst decisions I've made in a while was not putting on sunblock at the beach this weekend. It's not even that I'm burned that bad, but I failed to remember that part of job requires my back to serve as a punching bag for kids everyday. Maybe they are just being bitches today because they seem to be hitting me just a bit harder than usual. And while I usually pretend that it hurts when they do it, today it actually did, so I guess it's my fault.

Busan was a good time, though. Spent basically all of the time just sleeping on the beach. I sleep a lot. I had heard that the people in Busan were more friendly than the Koreans in Seoul, and I'll agree with that, although I still would have preferred to share the beach with an entire different race. One impressive thing was that the trains that run here are all so efficient, like down to the minute. Always leave on time, get you where you want as scheduled. Not really that big of a deal, but when youve taken the train in America dozens of time and every time it's 2 hours late, and it takes you 12 hours to get home for what was supposed to be a 5 hour trip, well then, the system here is pretty amazing.

Took it easy on Friday night since Bender forced me to wake up before 10am on Saturday, but during the short time I was out, I was still lucky to encounter some of that lovely Korean racism. We went into a convenience store, I bought two icepops, put them in my pocket and then waited for Bender to get his vaginal cream. As I'm standing there, just being white, a Korean guy starts yelling and pointing at my pocket. Eventually I realized he was trying to tell the cashiers that I hadn't paid for the icepops. So I took them out, waved them in front of the cashier, for a second terrified that this was some sort of conspiracy and the cashier would call the cops, but the cashier told the guy, that I, in fact, had no just stolen two strawberry icepops. We left the store, and as we got outside, just for a minute, I knew what it was like to be black in America. And it sucked. So to that drunk Korean guy who had a stuffed monkey wrapped around his fat neck, you win this weeks "Worst Person in the World" Award, which has now been given to a Korean for a record 75 straight weeks.

In my last class, a girl cried because I told her to stop hitting the girl next to her. At first, I thought she was faking it, so I was all pointing at her and telling the class "Oh, she's not really crying, I can see her laughing." I did this until it became quite evident that teasing her was just making her cry more, which it seems is what she was doing the entire time. The one good thing about making kids cry is that means they will be quiet the rest of the class, and this girl is really active, so it's about a wash on the guilt-benefit to my sanity scale.

Up top are a bunch of pics from Busan, a nasty stuffed animal threeway, along with a classic college video that will be amusing to, well, the other three people in it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dirty whores, horny animals and pretty pink flowers

One of the advanced classes was debating today whether children should be required to help out with household chores. Four of them were suckups and said they should and the other two were honest about it. One girl said that children were too busy studying to do chores, plus "doing work in the house is the mom's job." Before adding, "If I helped my mom clean the house, she would get lazy." I tacked on a couple points to her test score for that gem. Do Korean kids really do that? Their mom asks them to set the table and they turn around and say "Nah, mom, I don't want you to get rusty."

I'm down to about my last 100 days here and while that's not right around the corner, it's enough to get my through almost anything terrible that happens from here on out. As anyone who has even skimmed this blog recently can tell, my opinion of Korea and the culture in general has taken a nosedive in recent months. While I saw friendly, smiling faces when I first got here, now, I see nothing more than the awkward glance, no hint of warmness. I imagine nothing has changed here, the people are still the same, but I've been here long enough to be well past that euphoria of living in a new place. Now I just see Korea for what it really is, and to be honest, it's really a depressing place. Nobody here seems happy. Which is why I'm considering smuggling five of my favorite students in my suitcase when I'm heading home. Kids are happy anywhere, but man, sometimes it's tough for me to look at these kids and not think, man I wish you could grow up somewhere else. What are they doing in school at 10pm? It's freakin child abuse. Pull them out of all these pointless academies, sign them up for a soccer team, maybe teach them what a TV is. This whole society is so warped in what it considers important in life. Yeah it's one thing if working 80 hours a week and torturing your kids is a satisfying experience for you, but all it does here is make Koreans kill themselves.

Whenever we go out and decide to drink an obscene amount at one bar, it always leads to lameness. On Friday, we ordered a pitcher of gin and tonic at this place, because hey, it was only $22. All this did was make me arrange stuffed animals into inappropriate poses and then make awesome song requests, see Nsync's masterpiece It's Gonna Be Me. It was club night at woodstock on saturday, which is weird, because woodstock is not a club. I didn't get there until 2am because I was sleeping until 11pm, but anyway, within 10 minutes of being there, this really short Korean girl started dancing with me. I think she was just like "Oh foreigner, this will be funny". But it was weird because I'm not sure how you dance with really short girls. Are you supposed to come down to their level or just let them lick your nipples for a half hour?

I almost forgot that there was one really funny part about last Friday night and of course that happened at McDonalds. I went in to get a massive and Bender, like usual, pretended he didn't want it and started walking back to my place. 30 seconds later, he walks back in with what can only be described at the grossest Korean ever, and man, that's saying a lot. The picture above with her hand moving up his leg doesn't capture the nastiness. She only had two teeth. That's not a joke. She might have been a whore, but Bender didn't have enough money. She asked us if we were gay, and I don't know why, but I have never answered No to that question in my life. So I said sometimes and then told her Bender likes little boys. I believe in the photo Bender is trying his best to explain that he doesn't in fact like little boys, and instead prefers them to be around 15 or 16. When we got back to my apartment, I smeared sausage and egg all over my body...

We're heading to Busan this weekend, which is 3 hours south of Seoul on the bullet train, which apparently goes 7000 mph. Staying at a place on the beach, which should be a nice appetizer for Thailand in a couple of weeks. However, we booked a $56 hotel and my confirmation email said "Reserved 1 Twn" Now if twin stands for one twin bed in our room, I suspect I will no longer be an anal virgin after this weekend.

Friday, June 08, 2007

If they served McDonalds breakfast all the time, I would be 600 pounds.

The textbook for one of my middle school classes is designed for college students and this always leads to awkward situations in class. "Teacher, what does cleavage mean?" Ask your mom to show you, kid, I'm not touching that. One of the suggested writing topics today was to choose a side on the debate of "Should colleges hand out free condoms to students?" First of all, I don't think Koreans learn about condoms until they're 35, and also, it's one thing if the kids already know the meaning, but if a 13 year old asks you to explain what a condom is, especially if I'm the person who will be doing the explaining, either the kid is going to be traumatized, I'm going to jail, or both.

My buddy Jacob got his leg busted open by a cab last week. Now it's one thing if you're walking around in the middle of the road, but he was standing on the side, when the cab driver just lost complete control the car, brake failure or something, and ran over him and his girlfriend. The girlfriend escaped with a few bruises, but Jacob is holed up in the hospital for a while. That's a picture above of him pounding the soju bottle outside the hospital. If you're in the hospital here, you're still free to leave whenever you want. Broken arm? Bleeding from the head? Doesn't matter. Just keep your IV and wheel this bag around and you can go outside, have a cigarette, go to the local bar. You just can't get out of your hospital bed in America and be like "Hey, I'm leaving." Well, maybe you can, but I've never seen someone rolling around an IV or pushing it into a 7-11, and if I ever do, I can almost guarantee it will be a Korean.

Yesterday was some holiday here, memorial day maybe, which just meant saturday night activities on a tuesday night. in one of the funniest things i've seen here, as we're sitting at the bar at woodstock, talking to a couple of Koreans, one of them, the girl, suddenly just falls backwards out of her chair. yeah, it's not that funny when it's a normal chair, at least two kids do it at school everyday. but damn, this was a bar stool, she was a good five feet in the air. i almost died. afterwards, she was quiet the rest of the time, probably suffering from a mild concussion and definite retardation. showbar, where we always go late night to play darts, is my favorite place in suyu, the bartenders are all cool guys, and it's guaranteed that at least one them will be completely tanked. they might hate us though, cause we never order more than one drink there since we've usually already polished off a handful of soju bottles.

what is weird though, is one of the bartenders, Terry, is usually a pretty chill guy, but whenever I leave that place, as I'm walking up the stairs, I get sexually assaulted by Terry. One time as we were paying he thought I said F-you to him, but I explained that I was in fact just saying this to Bender, so we're cool, but then he grabs my ass like three times on the way out. And then the other night, he runs over to the stairs again, and I'm thinking oh shit, he reaches up under my arms and goes to town on my man breasts. It seemed like he was trying to honk them or something. I'm not sure what the deal is, I don't really mind if he wants to play around with my boobs, but on the stairs? Well, that seems a little dangerous.

We went to the Korean War Memorial on Sunday, where a bunch of the photos were taken. Definitely one of the nicer places to see in Seoul. And then we went to Itaewon, definitely the filthiest place in Seoul. Even after 8 months here, we're still idiots and spend countless hours walking around in circles for no reason. There are restaurants everywhere in Seoul, but we'll still look around for the perfect place. And then as an added dose of stupidity, we will end up at a burrito joint. Which is exactly what happened on Sunday.

I'm so sick of Korean food right now. I can only eat like three things without feeling terrible or wanting to slice off my tastebuds. Thai food is the biggest appeal right now of the trip there in a few weeks, I plan on packing on at least 30 pounds while there. Hopefully I can just live off that fat for my last three months here. If ever even catch a glimpse of a piece of kimchi after I leave here, I'm going to rip my eyes out with a rusty nail.