Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last night out downtown

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Am I still here?

Any gains I made at the gym were wiped out over the past five days, with multiple trips to McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut, plus 85 beers, 15 jager shots and 10 gin-tonics. It had to be the first vacation I've ever had from work were I just wanted it to end. That wouldn't be the case if I wasn't 10 days from going home, but since it was, I tried my best to sleep 20 hours a day, waking only for alcohol and food intake. Before the holiday, I decided that I would hit up a few of the touristy sites around town during the break. I don't know what I was thinking, though. I had no desire to do that. There are two cool things to check out in Seoul, and that's Seoul Tower and the Korean War Museum, everything thing else is either a crappy temple or just crap.

I made my last trip out to Itaewon the other night and thankfully, it left with me with that dirty nasty taste in my mouth like always. On the bright side, we did go to this country bar uptop of Hooker Hill, where they seriously had every country song ever made. It was almost like being in Nashville, just chilling out and listening to some quality music, except there were $10 whores right outside the door and my friend was plowing his Korean girlfriend in the bathroom.

At Woodstock Tuesday night, unfortunately, I met a Korean guy who spoke perfect English and had traveled the world. And if there's one thing worse than a normal Korean, it's a douchebag who has been other places, comes back to Korea, and still has the nerve to defend Korea against it's insular, pure-blooded, f-the foreigners, attitude. He said Koreans have cause to discriminate because of poor behavior by American soldiers, namely when they ran over and killed a few people several years ago. I honestly almost brought up the VTech shooter, not because I believe for a second that would justify any sort of backlash against Koreans, but because that is the kind of ridiculous logic that flies in Korea.

Another foreigner posted this on a web forum, and it sums up the experience of white guy perfectly, and the fact is, if you don't agree with this as a foreigner, you're either drinking too much or you've got thicker skin than a elephant:
"The constant endless little things are what get to a person. Each tiny racist or discriminatory thing builds and builds. Imagine a paper cut and everyday you get a new paper cut on the same place...that's Korea."

Going out to lunch with my co-workers last week was about painful as expected. Me and Nathan were put in our little imaginary cage and separated from the rest of the group. Credit to the new Korean teacher, though, who planned the event and pretty much did talk to us the entire time. I worry about her, though, since she is constantly violating Topia's most cherished rule: Make the foreign teachers feel as unwelcome and uncomfortable as possible at all times...or face death.

Not much else to report, this is the homestretch and I'm just trying to make it through it alive. This weekend will be the last, which only means I won't remember it. Nice life.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Old Korean guys honestly don't have penises

That top photo basically sums up just about every experience I've had at tinpan in Hongdae. I get there and there's nobody dancing on the tables. I promise myself that I will not get on the table under any circumstances. But incredibly enough, after double fisting a couple jack and cokes and just a little peer pressure, well, that picture is what happens. They really shouldn't let people dance on the tables at that place. Since it's not really a table, but a two foot wide bar, and people tend to keep their drinks on top of it. Also, take a look at the girl hanging from the pole in the other photo, I almost wanted her to fall and die. Almost. But I've done the same thing. Basically it's just a terrible terrible place. (That I love).

I went to the gym here for the last time today. Somehow I made it an entire month, I really didn't think that was possible based on past observations of myself. My body fat percentage dropped from 13.8 to 9.3, which is amazing considering how much ice cream and sausage egg mcmuffins i eat. My body is still pathetic but I like to think I could beat up a 12 year old girl now, or at least keep it close. So, goodbye, gym, I probably won't be near one of you again for a solid 5 years.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my last day at the gym, but another awful work event has taken its place. The new Korean teacher, who is actually friendly to me and Nathan and makes an effort to treat us like humans and not white circus animals, suggested that the whole office go to Outback tomorrow for lunch since a five-day weekend is on tap for Korean thanksgiving. While this might be a nice thing for other places/offices, going out to eat with the office at my school is usually worse than getting your man-sack chomped on by a bulldog. Honestly, I'm not sure which I prefer. The worst part is that since it's for lunch, I can't get trashed, which is usually the only way I can remain even partially insane for these events.

One would think that with only a few weeks remaining here, or 7 more work days, I'd be able to just coast through my classes, happy to finally be able to see the end. Turns out, not true. Today I threw a kids notebook across the room. I wanted to hit him in the head, but I suspect not doing so was for the best. I'm trying to keep my brain on about 25 percent power at work, but even though I'm ready to relax and call it quits, kids are still kids and Korean kids still treat foreign teachers like they're some homeless guy lying on the side of the street. The racist attitude is branded into these kids at an early age, all for the purpose of setting them up to fit right in with their awful parents when they get older.

I spend most of my time in class now explaining to the kids what English words are curses and which ones are acceptable. Example, today I taught them that "Oh, shut" was fine to say when frustrated or upset and that "Oh, shit" should never be used, when adults are around. They have been having some trouble understanding how "Son of a Bitch" works though. First, they pronounce "bitch" as "beach" so I had to get them over that and make sure they knew how to spell and say bitch. Next, since most of them never heard the word "bitch" before one of their douchebag friends told them about "son of a bitch", they don't understand that the word "bitch" on its own is in fact a bad word. After I told them to stop saying s.o.b., they simply just starting shouting "Son of a" or just "Bitch". This does not work. One girl, in an attempt to annoy me, wrote on the board simply "Ryan= Son". I have never been less offended when someone has tried to insult me. So these kids have some serious work to do if they are ever going to properly curse someone out in English. I think I've at least explained the basics to them, the good words and the bad words. But they might need another lesson. At the end of class today, when they finally understood that bitch was a bad word, one kid said, "What about fuck?"

I've probably got two more blogs in me before I head home, which is a damn relief at this point, who is reading this crap, really? But more importantly, I have a solid 8-9 days of drinking left to do in this country. Because if there's one thing I haven't done enough of in Korea, it's drink soju alone in my apartment and blackout. The bartender at Showbar, who has grabbed my ass at least 5 dozen times, kissed my hand last weekend. And then, since I was drunk, and I'm gay, I kissed his hand. The bartenders said they are going to have a going away party for me, and if that does actually happen, I just can't imagine returning to America as an anal virgin anymore.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

13 days left of work until 3 years of unemployment

Warning: This video contains children using the term "son of a bitch" repeatedly and also relentless mocking of the crusifiction of Jesus.

I've resigned myself to routine for my last month here. There was time, many many months ago, where I enjoyed the excitement of new things and new experiences in Korea. But now I'm perfectly content with gym-work-sleep during the week and going to the same two bars every Friday and Saturday night. Really, the only thing that changes is the names of the one-night Korean friends I make at the bars each weekend.

The end is near, which has caused needless worrying on my part. I stayed awake for about 3 extra hours the other night trying to figure out how I'm going to exchange my money before I get home. Teaching contracts are also heavily backloaded, meaning you gets most of your cash and benefits right before you go home. My school has given me no indication that they plan on screwing me over, but still, I won't be able to relax until I'm on that airplane flying across the ocean. I also obsess about the price of the flight. Which is absolutely retarded. Because the freakin' school pays for the ticket! Why the hell do I care? I blame all of this on the internet. I have too much free time and too much stupid, pointless information to consume.

In nearly a year here, I still cannot understand this: Why is it that Koreans will never, ever, never, hold an elevator door for you? If I walk into the school building and see the elevator door open before I'm right next to it, I already know I'm not getting in it. I could be sprinting towards the thing yelling and screaming and it wouldn't matter. Koreans won't even look up. They are like robots, get in, hit button, do not pass Go and definitely don't hold the door. In fact, I bet the open door button has never been pressed by a Korean unless it involves pushing a foreigner out and down into the elevator shaft.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Teacher, do you like to masturbate?" That one is real.

Video- the small girl in the pink t-shirt is pure evil. prior to this video, she had already smashed me in the balls twice when i wasn't paying attention.

One month. Solid. I'm starting the mail-it-in period at work. Which means a lot of hangman and also a lot of kids drawing pictures of me on the board with a beard and turban and labeling me "Taliban". During a use a verb in a sentence with a different tense thingy, one student insisted on saying "I love Jason. I loved Jason. I will love Jason." He insisted he was not gay, although Jason was clearly embarrassed by these homoerotic gestures. I told that class to make up a story for homework and I already know one of the topics is going to be "Ryan is gay." I know this because at the end of class one girl said "I'm going to write about how Ryan is gay." I'm cool with that, though. If these kids can write a story in English, I don't care what it's about.

Last week, two students, twins, came into the office and said "Teacher, do you know masturbate?"I made them repeat it about six times before my brain was able to acknowledge what was going on. They said they learned it from a friend, and even though I don't think they know exactly what it means (One of them asked today if "masturbate is a movie?", they think its hilarious because I turn red whenever they say it. Actually, now that I think about, one student did ask me "Does masturbate feel good?" Too much. Even for me. These kids are 10 years old. I didn't even know I had a penis when I was 10.

I've cut out drinking during the week, even though I wasn't really doing much of it before anyway. Wait, actually, I got drunk last night. But that doesn't count because I was out with my co-workers and the alcoholics who work at the front desk kept pouring beer in my glass. I can not be to blame for that. But anyway, the result of this lifestyle change has only been to make me blackout more on the weekends. I have to make up those missed beers somehow. So that happened last Friday night when apparently I met a bunch of Koreans at a bar, hung out with them for a couple hours. Then I went back to the same place on Saturday, saw the same people again and had no clue that I had met them the night before. If that doesn't make me a terrible person, then I don't know.....screw it, I'm terrible.

The Korean government, and therefore, a large majority of Koreans have no clue how the world works. In order to get the hostages released in Afghanistan, they basically exposed their vagina and fucked over the rest of civilization. Sure, remove our troops, no problem. Want a hospital? We'll build that if you want. $20 million? It's all yours. All Koreans care about is other Koreans, and they don't even do a very good job at taking care of each other. I guarantee if the offer from the Taliban was "We'll release the 20 Korean hostages in exchange for the deaths of 500 " the Korean government jump on with a full hard-on. I wish I was exaggerating, but that is a fact. That is how this country operates and that's the mindset of most of its people.

Even though I'm more than ready to go home, it's kind of scary. Home means real life decisions and crap. Sign a contract and teach in Korea for a year and all you need to worry about is showing up for a work less than an hour late and remembering to brush your teeth. At home I'll have to get a car and crap. I don't even remember how to drive. Thankfully I do remember how to play video games and sit on the couch all day, and if there's one thing Korea has taught me over the last year, it's that I love videos games and the couch. And I'm sure they miss me too.