THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART XVI: 38 Days

2014-02-15 12.27.09-2Before you say anything, yes, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Thank you, Captain Obvious. My last post was written the day before my twenty-fourth birthday (not counting the filler post I wrote in April of last year because I felt guilty about not having written anything for almost two months) and, since then, I’ve been in an interesting place mentally, spiritually, so I felt a long hiatus from putting my thoughts down in written form was in order, at least until they could be mustered into some sort of coherence anyway. Well, that time has come. I’m back, bitches.

As of this moment, I’m less than six weeks away from the end of my teaching contract and, ergo, will soon be turning the final page in this chapter of my life and putting the final period at the end of the Korea Kronicles. That’s right, I am leaving Korea. For now, anyway. Admittedly, I spent most of the past year operating under the assumption that I would simply find new employment in this country once my job at the English camp had run its course. However, when I was home in Oklahoma for Christmas and the New Year a few weeks ago, the realization dawned on me that I currently have no desire whatsoever to remain in Korea. Given my current attitude both toward Korea in general and the ESL industry here in particular, staying on for another stint would be profoundly unwise. Continue reading

PERSONAL FILE: We All Know Robert Frost Was Bullshitting

Two PathsWhen I first started writing this post, I was sitting in a street-side coffee and gelato cafe called Coffee Namu & Zzoo. Don’t ask me what that means: I’ve no idea what or who “Zzoo” is and why he/she/it bears standing equal enough with Namu to warrant deployment of the ampersand. Although it’s probably just two Korean words written phonetically in Roman letters, it’s possible that whichever Korean came up with the name thought it meant something cool and trendy in English. Using English in the names of businesses or cafes and writing English phrases on the walls in fancy letters is a thing here, sort of like how we sometimes do with French or Italian or Spanish. Examples: a quick mart wittily called “Buy & Bye,” a shoe store almost-cleverly dubbed “O My Sole,” and a bank unfortunately named “WooriBank.” They seem to think it adds an exotic and cosmopolitan flair to a venue, except of course when it’s less English and more Konglish. For example: “Sometimes, fall in love when two people meat in the night \ I asked for her relationship and she asked me her accommodation.” It makes me wonder how often something similar happens when an Irish-American pizzeria proprietor pastes an Italian phrase in Vivaldi font above his cafe’s double glass doors. It’s okay though, Koreans. A lot of Americans can’t speak English very well either, and they’re supposedly native speakers.

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