THE KOREA KRONICLES: Moving On Up, and Other Recent Developments

The New ViewThis past weekend, my fellow teachers and I finally moved into our new dorms (see my new view at right). This is a move I’d been expecting since I first arrived in Korea. Before I even began working at Daegu Gyeongbuk English Village, I’d been told not to settle in too snugly in the teacher’s dormitory as, in April, we’d be moving into fancy new dorms that were secluded from the main campus and, by extension, from the children that overrun it five days out of the week. So April turned into July, big deal. The point is, we’ve moved, and the new place is spectacular. I mean, even the old dorms were way better than anything ORU was able to slap together or hold together with duct tape, but my new address is, minus a few to-be-expected bugs to be worked out, without a doubt the nicest dormitory I’ve ever seen. Continue reading

THE KOREA KRONICLES: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

IMG_0019I have never had a nosebleed. Nope, not one. I say this because a lot of people find that little tidbit about me really interesting. “You mean you’ve never had a nosebleed?,” people ask. “Not even once?” I know, crazy right? I’m not sure about this, but maybe nosebleeds are like flammable flatus. Only about a third of humans have the bacterial cultures and genetic background necessary to produce methane-rich farts. And, yes, before you ask, farts are indeed flammable if they contain methane. That said, it’s not advisable for you to attempt to light your body’s natural gas on fire: if it does catch, it burns faster than it can exit your body and can burn your intestine (or so I’ve been told). True or not, it’s enough to make me not really want to try it as that’s an injury I’d be mortifyingly embarrassed to explain to an emergency room doctor. Continue reading

THE KOREA KRONICLES: Why Han’guk Is Better Than Mi’guk

ChilgokHow do you tell your best friend he or she really doesn’t sing that well, despite whatever strong beliefs he or she may have to the contrary? How do you tell your wife, husband, or partner that while you definitely appreciated the thought and the effort, he or she should take more care to put two cups of sugar, not salt, into the cookie batter next time? How do you tell the people in your home country they need to extract their heads from their collective asses and get their shit together? I’ll be honest on the first two: hell if I know. The last one, however, is a much easier conversation to provoke. Simply remind America using cold, hard facts that this self-perpetuating mythos that its the greatest thing to ever happen to humanity amounts to little more than a national circle-jerk. Actually, it’s even worse than that: we’re talking about a massive sausage party consisting of old, balding, obese men who’ve long since passed their primes repeatedly telling each other they’re still God’s gift to women and, since it’s so often repeated, actually believe it. That’s really sad, folks.

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