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So, I take it your Australian work holiday experience was less than satisfactory

The Korea Times dedicated a two-part series to the problems—well, alleged problems—faced by Koreans who participate in the Australia Working Holiday program (HT to Rod).

Two Koreans participating in the program were recently killed in separate incidents.

Anyway, just to give you an idea of what we’re talking about, Kang Tae-ho—who wrote a book critical of the program—complains he was subjected to racist treatment at the hands of his Aussie coworkers:

Working as a janitor in the Working Holiday Program, Kang would often find rolls of toilet paper stuck in china and scores of stickers attached to the floor that he had to clean up.

“I found out that my Australian coworkers put them there to harass me,” said Kang, who stayed in the country from July 2011 to June 2012.

That’s just mean.

Other problems cited were labor exploitation on fruit farms and the temptation for female participants to engage in prostitution due to its legal status and relatively high wages.

In the second report, the Korea Times notes that many participants find it difficult to improve their English because their inability to speak English limits their job opportunities:

But the reality is that participants can hardly land decent jobs which require a good command of English. Their choices are therefore limited to manual jobs in rural farms, menial jobs or working for Korean immigrants which rarely offers an opportunity to improve their English skills.

“I worked at a farm which only hires Koreans. Almost all the colleagues whom I talked with were Koreans so it was hard to improve my English. In fact, we spent most of time working without any conversation,” said a 28-year-old office worker who had been to Australia on a working holiday visa in 2009.

Other issues included exposure to crime due to insufficient knowledge about where they are and exploitation by, ironically enough, ethnic Korean employers.

Brendan Berne, the Charge d’affaires of the Hojustani embassy in Seoul, wasn’t especially pleased with the reports—in a letter to the KT, he says more and more Koreans are participating in the program and participants have shown a high level of satisfaction with it. He concludes:

The feedback we receive from citizens from the other 27 countries who participate in the program is also overwhelmingly positive. Your newspaper is rightly proud of Korea’s impressive achievements. I would ask at the very least that your paper adopt a more balanced approach when reporting on developments in Australia, a close friend of the Republic of Korea.

I wouldn’t blame Berne for being annoyed—some of the recent reporting in the local press has made Australia look almost like something out of a Mad Max movie. Or Detroit on a good day. That can’t make his job any easier.

And in case you were wondering, no, not many Australians come to Korea on the working holiday program. In May 2012, there were only 23 Australians in Korea on working holiday, roughly equivalent—or so I’m told—to the number of Australian bartenders per square kilometer in London. Simultaneously, there were 15,000 Koreans in Australia. In fact, there were only 1,120 people in Korea on working holiday visas, the overwhelming majority of whom from the Evil Island Nation We Dare Not Name (i.e., not Australia. Or Kiwistan). The Korea Herald did manage to find a real live Hojustani in Korea on working holiday, who explained that Korea was not as popular because of a) Australians knew little about the place, b) it didn’t have quite the tourist draw as some other countries, and c) language. I do wonder, though, if perhaps there’s more to it—in 2012, the Canadian ambassador complained that the working holiday program was biased:

Canada requested Thursday that its citizens on the working holiday program in Korea be granted the same benefits their Korean counterparts enjoy in the North American country.

“We have about 5,000 Canadians teaching English in Korea,” David Chatterson, Canadian ambassador to Korea, told The Korea Times, explaining that they were E-2 visa holders and would not be eligible to teach if they were here on the working holiday program.

According to the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, the North American country allows Koreans on working holidays to find work in a broad range of fields, including teaching, while Canadians are not allowed to teach English in Korea.

I have no idea if that alleged bias has since been fixed.

And for what it’s worth, I’ve yet to read press reports of Koreans having a rough time in Canada with the work holiday program. Weird sex cults and cultural “misunderstandings” about corporal punishment, yes, but no bitching about racism. At least none that I can remember, and I’m too lazy to do an archive search.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Every Korean I’ve talked to who did a working holiday in Australia did manual labor on a corporate farm or cleaned hotel rooms. Oh, and one had to pretend to be Japanese because she worked in a sushi restaurant. Yet every one of them said it was a great experience and they wish they were still in Australia.

    And for the Koreans who went abroad yet failed to improve their English skills, it means they didn’t socialize enough with the locals. There’s no one to blame but themselves.

    So his Aussie co-workers put stickers on the floor for him to clean up? That really does suck. But I’m curious – if a young Korean got assaulted by an older Australian man, would the Aussie cops tell the young Korean to fork over $1,000 cash to his assaulter as a settlement payment?

  • PeterDownUnder

    I think the issue is the popularity of young Korean uni grads spending their 2 years of working holiday working as massage girls or prostitutes.

    Its become sort of a Gap Year program for unemployed young girls that had a fun time in highschool, come to Australia and make some money, but sadly they develop a spending habit that equals their large income.

    Even if you make 100$ an hour, if you buy a couple of designer bags and shoes and live in the Sydney CBD and take a couple of international holidays or worse develop a gambling or drug habit which were impossible in Korea but easily accessible in Australia.

    It’s no longer the Korean prositutes driven underground in Korea coming here but all sorts of girls finding difficulty getting a job in Korea coming here en masse.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Young Koreans in Canada on these visas occasionally get semi-interesting jobs (or unpaid internships) in design or marketing, but usually end up working in pizza take-out places or, yes, sushi restaurants. The hot ones get to be ‘hostesses’ in Korean karaoke parlours. Very few of them become teachers of any sort. As for the imbalance: one country is an oppressive hellhole next to the world’s largest dictatorship…and the other one is South Korea. Which one would you choose?

  • seoulite

    This is the second incident within the past two months involving a foreign embassy having to officially and publicly complain about how their country has been represented in Korean media.

    Korean journos, the ‘soft power’ ambassadors.

  • seouldout

    Were these Canadian diplomats really this thick? Anyone familiar with Korea in 1995/96 could have easily forecast this “imbalance”; the one job that would most appeal to Canadians is forbidden and the dips signed the dotted line? You made a stupid agreement, now suck it up.

    And for the Koreans who went abroad yet failed to improve their English skills, at least you weren’t as foolish as your fellow countrymen who actually pay to study overseas and spend those years exclusively amongst other Koreans. In Koreatown.

  • windsor99

    Of course they have a better time in Canada. It isn’t filled with the descendants of the bottom rung.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Oh, I see what you did there.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I’m confused – if Canadians can come teach in Korea on an E-2 visa, what’s with the complaining that Canadians can’t teach while on a working holiday visa?

    Do working holiday visas not require a bachelor’s degree (or an HIV check)? Is it that E-2 visas are tied to a single employer and working holiday visas aren’t? Or is there some tax benefit to being on a working holiday visa versus an E-2?

    Real questions BTW, not trying to be snarky.

  • ryuNchoosk

    Darnit, when will the world stop the rest of the world from cheating on Koreans? 11 thousand Chinese suspects involved with drugs in Guangdong China since last July, are S. Koreans so innocent?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-25585275

  • wangkon936

    “… at least you weren’t as foolish as your fellow countrymen who actually pay to study overseas and spend those years exclusively amongst other Koreans. In Koreatown.”

    This is a real problem. I’ve met Koreans here who have spent 4 years in the states and have ended up learning very little English. Such Koreans should have studied in Boise, Idaho or Fargo, North Dakota.

    However, if the job itself does not allow for frequent interaction with native English speakers and/or doesn’t allow for enough free time for that kind of interaction, then there is an issue.

  • wangkon936

    I would say that most of those women are not university grads. Most of those women tend to have their white collar opportunities rather limited due to their lack of education, thus they have to resort to those kind of “professions.”

  • PeterDownUnder

    지방대

  • wangkon936

    Well, you’re rather cynical, aren’t ya?

  • PeterDownUnder

    Its the truth bro….

    I have interacted with above mentioned massage girls a bit more than I’m proud to say. Outside of the establishment as well. To be honest, 2-3am clubbing in Sydney you will see a sudden rush of day shift finishing Korean girls en masse.

    And with the high percentile of Koreans going to university now a days, even the rural ones counting, seriously how many 20-28 year olds nowadays have no degree in Korea.

    Korea produces the world’s most educated working girls lol.

    Combined that with visa free travel plus easy working holiday visas, you get whats happening here.

    You check out these girls facebooks or kakaostories and they be like “studying english or hotel management in Australia”

    My friends have told me they know some actual 유학생들 that work part time as massage girls, I have not met these ones though.

    Worst thing I reckon is the increasing number of old school exchange students the ones the parents sent since highschool or even primary or even girls with their entire families here working as massage girls after becoming friends with some of the girls since none the less the Korean community is still closely knit in here.

    Pretty much be wary of fob girls.

  • seouldout

    It is an issue for the I-wanna-learn-English applicant who chose to accept a job where everyone else is Korean. That issue is: dumb choice.

    Anyway, I understand the work programme merely provides an opportunity to work legally. It doesn’t guarantee “frequent interaction with native English speakers and/or doesn’t allow for enough free time for that kind of interaction.” For that to happen requires some appropriate decisions by the job seeker.

  • wangkon936

    I have to say that I’m familiar with a segment of that underground economy as well. Actually, my exposure is a little different than yours. I was close with this girl who was Korean American and spoke fluent English. Yet she did spend some time doing first 룸살롱 then 도움 later on in Los Angeles. I have to think that it’s somewhat similar to the “massage” parlor industry. Yes, different services but similar supply and demand dynamics and clientele.

    This gal, because she was a fluent English speaking American citizen like me, had more options than the typical fob girl with a B-2 or F-1 visa. However, she was able to pretty much work where she wanted to because she was fully bilingual, which is, uh, rare in that industry. Any ways, the point is she got a good sample of the industry both in its more corporate incarnation (i.e. 룸살롱) and it’s more freelance version (i.e. 도움). The verdict is that these girls aren’t really that educated. They are, more often then not, college washouts, not college graduates. They fill the “some college” bubble in most applications (or anything else that would eventually prompt a formal background check), but tell their friends on Kakao Story of FB that they are graduates. A lot of these girls flat out lie. They say they went to such and such school in Seoul or Gyeonggido, when they actually went to some vocational school in Jeollado.

    My 28 year old cousin and her friends are true college graduates who came to the states after spending a few years in a white collar jobs they either got bored at or hit a glass ceiling. Yeah, she’s a fob and she does work what you can consider a menial job. However, she and her friends don’t really consider a 도움, let alone a massage parlor gig, a viable option.

    Look. I’m not saying that girls from Korea who have graduated college don’t do massage and/or 도움 services. I’m sure they do. However, such occupations do not favor literal college grads. They favor the “some college” crowd that have less marketable skills because they made poor life choices.

    I actually like studying an underground economy. It’s one of the purest ways to study economics completely under the radar of government controls, thus one of the purest forms of neo-classical economics.

  • will.i.aint

    Oh, and one had to pretend to be Japanese because she worked in a sushi restaurant.

    That’s pretty standard these days. In the US, a lot of sushi restaurants are owned and operated by Koreans. But unless a customer is Korean or Japanese – 99% of the customers don’t have a clue and don’t ever ask.

  • wangkon936

    I get tired of hearing shouts of “irasshaimase” when I can also hear the restaurant staff speaking obvious Korean.

  • wangkon936

    I really wouldn’t call China a dictatorship at this time. An oligarchy or plutocracy, perhaps.

  • seouldout

    Simple fix: stop pretending to be Japanese.

  • wangkon936

    Not so simple. Although the eating of raw fish is common in East Asia, the Western mind has it firmly locked down as “Japanese,” Thus, effective marketing need to make the Japanese association in the West.

  • seouldout

    If one chooses to ride on the coattails of trailblazers…

  • aligner

    You make it as if pretending to be Japanese to make a buck is unavoidable. It is one thing to try to market a Korean variety of raw fish, and another to pretend you are something you are not because most Westerners do not realize or do not care that you are pretending to be your arch nemesis.

  • wangkon936

    Well, I guess it would be like Americans pretending to be British when working at a “pub” in Hong Kong.

  • wangkon936

    The sushi business is high margin. Plus, cap ex is low. You don’t have to invest in a fancy oven or a huge grill. You just need really good knifes, which never break down. So, you have a lot of Taiwanese and Koreans get into the sushi business.

    I doubt you have ever opened up a small business on your own dime because you clearly underestimate the risks and don’t seem to care about mitigating them either. Clothing your raw fish business as “Japanese” or your noodle business as “Chinese” or your bbq business as “Texan” is a way for a small business owner to mitigate his or her risk. Does it annoy me that a Korean pretends to be a Japanese to make his sushi restaurant more appealing or if a California pretend to be Texan to hawk his bbq joint? Yes, to no end. However, I can understand why they do it.

  • wangkon936

    That is, unless, the recruitment literature promises “frequent interaction with native English speakers” or the job is too hard and difficult to allow for a proper amount of downtime to seek that kind of interaction out.

  • petiteflane

    A, yes, of course the dreaded Japanese had to come into your comments at some point.

  • seouldout

    Recruiter?!? One can apply for a work-holiday visa online directly to the Aussie gov’t. Recruiter *snort*. Heavens there’s no end to your wiggling to fabricate a reason why Koreans aren’t responsible for the choices they make.

  • seouldout

    The Aussie gov’t website states these are the approved jobs:

    *plant and animal cultivation
    *fishing and pearling
    *tree farming and felling
    *mining
    *construction.

    Seems those cleaning hotels or working in food service are violating the conditions of their working holiday visas.

  • seouldout

    Clearly you haven’t been told how the world conspires against Koreans and therefore they are incapable of making decisions. Against their will they are forced into these situations. All the effing time.

    Pity no one has pointed out the irony of Korean incessant moaing over Japanese appropriation of Korean culture whilst at the same time appropriating Japanese culture on a much larger scale. Viola! I just did.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    These jobs are actually prerequisites for renewing a working holiday visa. So in order to stay for a second year, workers must spend three months doing any of the above jobs in “regional” Australia. From what I’ve read, workers can do almost any job on a working holiday visa, so long as they don’t plan on renewing.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    There’s always enough free time outside of work to practice English. But many students are unwilling to break out of their comfort zones. Even at work, Koreans can use English with each other. Sound silly? That’s how learning happens.

    Brave students hang out in cafes and bars on their own or with non-Korean language students. They meet, hang out with, and date the locals or other foreign students. They refuse to speak their native language, even in the company of their countrymen. These are the ones who master English while abroad.

  • aligner

    Seriously? How many Californians have you met that are pretending to be Texans to make a buck? Even if they thought they could get away with it, which they couldn’t, would they really stoop so low? (no offence meant against Texans).

    Americans pretending to be Mexicans in Hong Kong is even more hilarious. Where do you get such stuff – certainly not from your travels to Hong Kong. I can never recall a Chinese running a Japanese restaurant. Even the Vietnamese that populate Eastern Europe don’t do this. Sure they might sell sushi on the menu, but they don’t appear to stoop so low as to pretend to be the people they hate so much as a nation.

    I can also understand why Koreans that don’t make it at Korean Chaebols decide to open brothels in SE Asia and pimp underage girls to Korean tourists (again, the end justifies the means for such people), but it doesn’t mean I could ever defend it.

  • SeoulGoodman

    Right, and what about Anglos naming their pizzerias some Italian name? Would you eat at Malcolm’s Pizza?

  • SeoulGoodman

    Let me guess…You’re the kind of guy who give a stripper a bigger because you believe her when she says she’s paying her way through university (they always seem to say they study anthropology, maybe because the odds of running into a real anthropologist are pretty small).

  • SeoulGoodman

    Not to mention the income disparity. I get paid considerably less than my equally qualified Korean colleagues, and my retirement benefits are a joke. It’s as if Koreans weren’t subjected to such inequality during the colonial period.

  • SeoulGoodman

    You also have to be interested in the popular culture, which is why there’s room for improvement in my ability to communicate in Korean. Korean popular culture simply isn’t appealing to me (too old, too cynical, and too educated to swallow that pablum).

  • BiginSouthKorea

    in Toronto, my hometown, a lot of Koreans work in Korean or Japanese restaurants, Tim Hortons, or seasonal work at places like The Ex. My girlfriend was lucky and was able to get a telephone customer service job assisting Koreans. Fluency makes a BIG difference. She also did a year in Australia and worked at various cafes and restaurants. Terrible jobs, but she had a fantastic time.

  • aligner

    Do Anglos have a national grudge against Italians? Are they pretending to be Italians?

  • Arghaeri

    Pizza Hut
    Dominos
    California Pizza Kitchen
    Papa Johns
    …..hmm your theory seems to be lacking somewhat

  • Arghaeri

    You need to get out more!

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I wanted to stay out of this discussion because I am also against Koreans opening Japanese restaurants at the basic level and when I am abroad away from Korea I try to make sure that the sushi, or any Japanese 요리 yori (e.g. udon, ramen and some home cooking) joints I visit are actually owned by Japanese, and this is so very easy for a Korean or a Japanese to figure out (already from the menu itself)

    But as to the accusation of pretending, I think you have to consider a few things.
    1. Japanese yori, sushi, or chobab in general has become quite ubiquitous in Korea. when they greet guests they also try to say “irashaimasse” to Korean customers who come in, as well. In a way what you see in the West is not an authentic Japanese restaurant but a carry-on of one of these Japanese restaurant culture in Korea.
    2. Pretending to be.. in Germany, I found a lot of Arab waiters serving at Italian restaurants, they love to put on the Italian thing. Grazie, Prego and the accent the whole lot. In the U.K. a lot of Indian restaurants are owned by Bangladeshi’s, now I don’t know anything about Bangladeshi cuisine or if there is a conflict going on between them and India, but I know I like my U.K Indian food cooked by Bangladeshi’s.
    3. I actually recently found out that Chinese had opened up a Korean restaurant and “pretending to be Korean” in the UK. The staff was not Korean but Asians dressed in *Korean costumes* and how they served food was all wrong, but they were riding on the Korean wave, and also the fact that there was not a single Korean restaurant in this mid-sized English city.
    4. In Berlin and a lot of other German cities, a lot of the new hip Korean restaurants also have waiting staff and the kitchen staff who are not Korean at all, but sometimes Asian of indeterminate origin. The young hipsters lap it up, and I think nobody really cares, though if you were not Korean you wouldn’t know that these were not Korean..

    Sure, if they wore the whole kimono, and if you asked their name they said Tanaka instead of Kim, then it would be pretending, but I don’t actually think it is that bad.

    Incidentally, it’s one of the reasons the Japanese are most upset about the Zainichi’s. They think that they are “pretending”, even if they had been born there, and cannot speak a word of Korean, and their parents and even their grandparents had been born there.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    What the hell is a 도움? Do you mean 도우미?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    And, I knew a sunbae girl in one of the best universities – I think it out-ranked yours by far globally, easily the top 10, if not the top 5 – in London who had a father in Korea who used to be the civil servant level of a 차관 or a 장관, who served as a 가라오케 도우미 during her undergraduate years, and went on to graduate. She described her work to plug in the microphone and show how to work the karaoke machines and so on.

    Of course I also remember at the time a lot of Korean colleagues badmouthing her for that, especially the same male ones who would go on to use the services.

    As to the bitching about Koreans going to work for Koreans for working holidays, of course in an ideal world, the roses are red, violets are blue, and working holiday is spent making English speaking friends becoming fully fluent by the end of the 6 months or whatever. However, the reality that nobody wants to hire Korean teachers on a mass,government level to teach Korean to 6 year olds straight out of any college denies the Koreans of such golden opportunities to fully immerse themselves in the native culture and become fully acclimatized so that they are watching the native TV instead of spending time on the expat bitchblog.
    C’est la vie.

  • ChuckRamone

    I read over you comment history. Your entire account is devoted to saying negative things about Koreans. Sad life you lead.

  • ChuckRamone

    99%? Is that an official figure? Here in New York I still have not seen Koreans posing as Japanese and running sushi restaurants. Maybe in bumfuck Iowa they do that to make more money, yet I still question the 99%.

  • will.i.aint

    Right, and what about Anglos naming their pizzerias some Italian name? Would you eat at Malcolm’s Pizza?

    Seriously?? You use the name of the pizzeria as a basis for deciding where to buy pizza?

    Suppose the pizzeria does have an Italian name … so many have been re-sold to non-Italians, chances are very good that even if it is named “Guido’s Pizza” – Guido ain’t in the back tossing pizza dough.

    Here’s another important tip for you: SpaghettiOs was created by Donald Goerke. I’m guessing he isn’t Italian.

    My top five pizza joints:

    Vinny’s New York Style Pizza
    Pete’s New Haven Pizza
    CDB Pizza
    Coalfire
    John’s of Bleecker Street

    Vinny might be an Italian-American … but I’m not sure. I don’t know his last name and he doesn’t look Italian. But you never know … maybe he is a descendant of someone who came over in the turn of the century Italian diaspora over 100 years ago. But his white cheese and garlic topped pizza makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

    By the way … had an amazing pizza at Pete’s New Haven Pizza in Washington DC the last time I was there (corner of 14th and Irving – right in front of the Metro entrance). They sell huge slices also – so you can buy the whole pie or just a slice.

  • aligner

    At least my comment history is public Mr. Chuck Ramone, Any reason for feeling so sensitive?

  • redwhitedude

    Only 3 tons?? I thought for an operation of that size it would be substantially more than that.

  • bumfromkorea

    A public comment history that indeed seems to be “devoted to saying negative things about Koreans”. I scrolled down once, and it was about Koreans fucking prostitutes in SE Asia and how that means Comfort Women issue is bullshit now. Fuck the Koreans who never even met prostitutes, fuck the actual comfort womens, it’s the Korean Jelly that he’s seeing. I wouldn’t call it sad though. It strikes me more as a PTSD thing, like that one other guy here.

    Who hurt you, aligner? It’s okay. This is a safe place.

  • pawikirogii

    ‘You make it as if pretending to be Japanese to make a buck is
    unavoidable. It is one thing to try to market a Korean variety of raw
    fish, and another to pretend you are something you are not because most
    Westerners do not realize or do not care that you are pretending to be
    your arch nemesis. It is always an option to try another line of
    business.’

    they ain’t pretending to be japanese, guy. i know several koreans who own japanese restaurants. not one of them tells people they’re japanese. if someone thinks they’re japanese because they see an asian face, that ain’t the fault of the owners. what are you saying? are you saying any korean who opens a japanese restaurant needs to make it very clear to his customers that he’s korean? should he wear a shirt saying such? funny thing is, ALL of the japanese restaurants owned by koreans that i know of have a small korean food section usually in the back of the menu that says ‘korean food’. one of the restaurants has large posters of kyeongju that say KOREA in big letters. doesn’t seem to stop the anglos from eating there.

    lastly, about yuna’s comment concerning her desire to only eat at japanese restaurants owned by japanese. good luck with that here in america; there simply isn’t enough immigration from japan to have japanese restaurants owned by japanese and that’s a fact. it’s the koreans and chinese who keep japanese cuisine alive in this country. what’s that? yeah i know but then i know lots of whites who don’t care for mexicans but still love mexican food. ya dig?

  • aligner

    Wow! The heat must really be getting to you in Arizona. Maybe you should try living in Korea for awhile so that you can learn to relax. It might even give you something relevant about Korea in which to comment on.

  • bumfromkorea

    I’d return that advice right back to you. Learn to relax, wherever you are. Whatever happened to you in Korea? That’s in the past now. It’s okay, honey. Those bad Korean Jelly isn’t going to hurt you anymore.

  • aligner

    Please calm down. I am not sure what this Korean jelly is, but please take some if it will make you feel better.

  • wangkon936

    Up to the early 80′s, both chain and mom and pop pizzerias had an Italian venere to them here in the states. Pizzeria owners gradually deviated from Italian cultural association when consumers’ consciousness moved away from associating pizzas with Italy. I predict the same for sushi when consumers’ start to disassociate Japan from raw fish. I see some of that happening today, but it’s happening slowly.

  • wangkon936

    도움 = doumi = “helper” in the vernacular but something totally different via Korean street slang. Yuna, you need to get out more.

  • wangkon936

    Maybe you go out too much?

  • wangkon936

    I never said “recruiter.” Where did I say that? Constructing straw man fallacies continues to you tedious tendancy of yours.

  • wangkon936
  • wangkon936

    Yesterday I ate at a “Japanese” restaurant that I thought for years was Japanese owned. Why? Because the little old lady at the cash register was Japanese, the server was Japanese and the chief was Japanese. This time I went there was an odd surprise on the restaurant’s wall. Photos of this one guy with Hallyu stars, particularly Lee Byung-hun. These wen’t just casual shots with Lee, but more like they were buddies drinking and carousing about town. So, I asked the little Japanese lady whom I thought was the owner and she said the photos represented the real owner who was in fact Korean.

    I just don’t think Koreans in American and/or those who choose to come to America care as much about Korean-Japanese relations at the end of the day. Thus, the fact that a Korean in Australia, the U.S. or Canada owning a “Japanese” restaurant doesn’t really mean what many of you are thinking or hoping it means.

  • SugarFruit

    The alleged Korean women engaged in prostitution are mostly Chinese
    and Chinese Koreans (65%).

    http://yanbian.moyiza.com/index.php?mid=kuanxiong&document_srl=87509

    I don’t know why Korean government keep taking them as 동포. There are shocking and heinous crimes committed by so-called Chinese Koreans in Korea (kidnapping, organ extracting etc). A serious problem….These people regard themselves as Chinese (not Korean).

  • redwhitedude

    Like that guy that killed woman and chopped her to pieces and was looking for bags to dispose those pieces.

    I don’t understand how these people could do such things.

  • PeterDownUnder

    Yes, I am one of those soft hearted men that kiss his whores…yes i do yes i do

  • SugarFruit

    MONEY!

    The worst thing No Mu Heon government did was taking these so-called Chinese Korean (unlike other 동포 – ie Korean Russians, Korean Americans, Korean Japanese, Koreans never regard Korean Chinese as their own.. Somehow, if you live in China for few generations, you become 110% Chinese.) as 동포 without checking their backgrounds.

    CCP is condemned all the world for harvesting organs from Falungong practioners and anti-communist prisoners for MONEY. From each person, nearly US$ one million can be made by harvesting and selling organs. People from all over the world – as a last resort – go to China for organ transplant surgery.

    China is right near Korea and Chinese criminals (including Chinese Koreans) just kidnap people, for organ extracting.

  • SugarFruit

    And the rest of the body is melted with hydrof hydrofluoric and poured into drainage well. You will notice a lot of coarsely structured drainage wells in Seoul.

    http://cafe.naver.com/godemn/10725

    Korea is no longer safe country.

  • seouldout

    Recruitment literature is used by those who recruit.

  • CataKana

    ChuckRamone, Chucky3176 and similar ‘Chucky’ IDs are all aliases of ‘bumfromkorea’.

    Don’t believe me? Look at the above accounts.

  • SugarFruit

    hydrof = hydrofluoric acid.

  • SugarFruit

    Sorry, I gave you a wrong link. This shows the coarsely structured drainage wells.

    http://www.godemn.com/xe/free_board/116162

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Eh? Is it some kyopo speak? 도우미is totally fine in this sense but never heard of it as 도움 at least not in korea.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    So if they dont care why are they putting up the memorials. Also it is very easy if you actually speak the language and to know it. It might get harder with zainichis to distinguish but most japanese restaueants in the states operated by koreans are sloppy in comparison of taste and presentation in terms of the authenticity to the japanese ones (of course they are usually miles better and closer compared to sushi joints by other asians)

  • redwhitedude

    Organ harvesting is an issue with the chinese government. If their idea of “rule of law” were aligned with everybody else’s they wouldn’t have as big of a problem. I’ll have to see how things play out with these Chinese Koreans. I’ve met a few in Korea and they seem to be decent individuals. It is perfectly within their right to consider themselves chinese nationals.

  • Bob Bobbs

    ‘Worst thing I reckon is the increasing number of old school exchange
    students the ones the parents sent since highschool or even primary or
    even girls with their entire families here working as massage girls
    after becoming friends with some of the girls since none the less the
    Korean community is still closely knit in here.’

    -Please tell me you aren’t an English teacher.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Weren’t you the guy who said that my knowledge of certain aspects of Korean society ‘said a lot about me’? How do YOU know so many prostitutes?

  • wangkon936

    When did I ever say I knew any prostitutes? I said I knew a doumi. You have serious reading comprehension issues there buddy.

  • wangkon936

    I believe 도우미 is acceptable as well.

  • wangkon936

    What do you mean by “memorials?”

    Yes, some Korean owned sushi houses are sloppy, but there are more than a few competent ones too. But, I guess it would have to depend on the clientele. If you have a lot of Japanese clientele, then they probably would not past muster. However, for the general rank and file American, i.e. most of their clientele, they would be fine.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Essentially shorthand?
    도우미 is the correct word, 도움 is the noun form of help, which is not used at all in this context in Korean. it is plainly wrong.
    The way it is used in a sentence is to give help or to receive help. 도움받다. 도움주다. A person who helps (either by serving in a restaurant or in any other capacity) is never referred to by this word, but just 도우미.

  • seouldout

    도우미 was created as a title for the young, attractive women who worked at the Daejun Expo, combining 도움받다 and 미 (beauty).

  • seouldout

    In response to this comment “I have interacted with above mentioned massage girls a bit more than I’m proud to say,” you strongly alluded to it here;

    “I have to say that I’m familiar with a segment of that underground economy as well. Actually, my exposure is a little different than yours. I was close with this girl who was Korean American and spoke fluent English. Yet, she did spend some time doing first 룸살롱 then 도움 later on in Los Angeles. I have to think that it’s somewhat similar to the “massage” parlor industry. Yes, different services but similar supply and demand dynamics and clientele.”

    I’m familiar = I know
    underground economy = illegal activities such as prostitution
    I was close with this girl = I know her
    룸살롱 = a bar where women are paid to entertain men and often arrange for-pay sexual intercourse outside the workplace
    it’s somewhat similar to the “massage” parlor industry = “massage” in quotes tells your reader that it is not a legitimate place. Since you wrote it is “somewhat similar” to a 룸살롱 do these “massage” parlors offer singing and scotch too? Thought not.

    “When did I ever say I knew any prostitutes?”

    Not only are you wigglyk, you’re shifty too.

  • SugarFruit

    “coarsely structured drainage well…”

    I’ve meant to use a word “corroded’.

  • seouldout

    the edit link can be your friend too.

  • SugarFruit

    “…..your friend ……”

    ?????

    I don’t get you!

  • Bob Bobbs

    You know a girl who works in a room salon. Same thing.

  • Pingback: And classy headline of the day goes to…

  • aligner

    A Korean owned Japanese restaurant staffed by Japanese would be rather unusual I think. Might I ask the name and location of this restaurant? I am not saying it isn’t possible, but rather convenient I think that you visited such a restaurant in time to provide anecdotal information to this discussion.

  • wangkon936

    Gen Grill in Irvine, CA.

  • wangkon936

    To seouldout and Mr. Bobbs. A room salon and prostitution are not the same thing. My friend was recruited with the expressed promise that it wasn’t the same thing.

  • wangkon936

    Have you ever been in a room salon?

  • wangkon936

    That’s an assumption you made. Recruitment literature can be a web site or a pamphlet that someone can just go to via a google search.

  • seouldout

    Yes, on a web site or a pamphlet used by recruiters.

  • seouldout

    I’m just quoting you.

    .”I have to say that I’m familiar with a segment of that underground economy as well.”

    Did you write this or not? Was it not a direct response to a comment where the guy wrote; “”I have interacted with above mentioned massage girls a bit more than I’m proud to say,”

    The “above mentioned massage girls” are prostitutes.

    Perhaps you ought to sharpen your writing skills.

  • wangkon936

    Uh, no.

    You should read the sentence immediately following the one you quoted:

    “I have to say that I’m familiar with a segment of that underground economy as well. Actually, my exposure is a little different than yours. I was close with this girl who was Korean American and spoke fluent English…. she did spend some time doing first 룸살롱 then 도움…”

    After that sentence and for 4/5′s of the rest of the comment I talk about the specific nature of my experience in a tangentially related, but different industry. You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. That, or you got to stop cherry picking.

  • wangkon936

    Yuna,

    It’s not easy to put a hard fence around slang. It becomes what it eventually becomes. Plenty of match covers that have 도움 vs. 도우미 that I have seen.

  • seouldout

    So the difference between a prostitute and a regular girl is just a “little different”. Golly!

    Since you’ve now clarified your friend did not work in a “full service” room salon why did you mention you’re familair with the ‘”underground economy” based on your friendship with her. Since no sexual services are provided how does it belong in the ‘”underground economy”?

    “Yet, she did spend some time doing first 룸살롱 then 도움 later on in Los Angeles. I have to think that it’s somewhat similar to the “massage” parlor industry.”

    Your “massage” parlor is one that provides sexual services – why else would it be in quotes? Is the 룸살롱 somewhat similar to a “massage” parlor because it has concrete walls and electrical outlets?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Wangkon, you don’t actually speak Korean. 도움 is not a slang, it’s just wrong. You cannot insist something which doesn’t exist as a slang exists, just to save your ego. The only possible explanation for your confusion is if you add an “이” –> 도움”이” kind of like a variant of the original slang 도우미 to express the same thing whilst sounding identical.
    You cannot get any hit, not one, with 노래방 도움 on google.

  • wangkon936

    See. That’s the better way of attacking my comment. I concede that at the end of the day there may not be as many “similarities” as I assume there to be between the massage industry and the room salon and doumi industries. However, economics seeks insight into an industry where there is little data by studying another industry that can be a substitute, compliment or competitor but also has more data. Like looking at the peanut butter industry to understand the jelly industry or the hot dog bun industry to glean some insight into the hot dog sausage industry, etc.

    Again, it isn’t out of the ordinary to look at a related industry to better understand another industry. It isn’t perfect, but in the field of macroeconomic it is standard operating procedure, particularly if data in the original targeted industry of research is lacking.

  • seouldout

    The “attack” was no different than my other comments.

    You’re floundering. Let me toss you a life preserver.

    Google “economics of prostitution”. About 5,540,000 results. There’s the data you’re lacking. See.

  • seouldout

    Keep in mind that your original comment wasn’t about the economics of prostitution. It was about how the prostitutes are college dropouts. Cuz your friend said so.

  • wangkon936

    “Google “economics of prostitution”. About 5,540,000 results. “

    Yes, but none that address’ PDU’s specific comment about the human resource make-up of the industry. Thus, I relied on personal experience for my comment.

    Your previous attacks were more personal in nature, questioning my “direct” experience in the subject matter. Your last comment was purely an issue of taxonomy, which I would more than admit is a viable point.

    Our goals appear to be different here. You seem to be out to “win” something and force someone to “lose” something. That is not my goal at all. I just want to throw out a reasonably well thought out alternative theory out there and have it heard. You can debate it if you want. That’s fine with me.

  • wangkon936

    An industry’s labor content, their skill level and their suitability for other types of job functions IS an economic discussion.

  • seouldout

    Cuz economists such as yourself rely on second hand info from one person who has no experience working in the particular sector. Got it.

  • wangkon936

    Maybe…. but it’s not to say that we don’t provide valuable data and insights:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudhir_Venkatesh

  • wangkon936

    To dispel any further doubt:

  • seouldout

    “You cannot insist something which doesn’t exist as a slang exists, just to save your ego.”

    Shhh! Don’t tell him that. Most of the fun I have here comes from calling him on his fabrications, his malapropisms, and his malarkey and watching him wiggle.

  • wangkon936

    Yuna,

    My colloquial Korean is very good. My formal written Korean is not good. I think I’ve mentioned that before in this blog. I haven heard 도움 used as short-hand for 도우미 That’s just me in my immediate geography. It may not be used as slang in Korea proper, I don’t know. However, I have already indicated that 도우미 is the more proper term. What more do you want? Do you have any other point other than picking at semantics?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Wangkon, sigh, 도우미 is *not the more proper term*, along with 도움이 which is passable, but it is not 도움, nor can 도움 be used to in the way you used it, which is what I was pointing out to you but then you get back with “get out more”, If you actually spoke the language, we wouldn’t be having this meaningless tirade in the first place. No Korean speaking person would be even bothering to defend what you are trying to defend, you could have saved yourself by saying it was a typo.
    Picking at semantics is too grand a term to describe what I am doing, which is calling something wrong wrong, until it is admitted, which is probably never going to happen, sigh.

  • wangkon936

    If you don’t that I speak the language, a quick Kakao free chat or Skype session should suffice. If you are not willing to do that then I would appreciate you not say that “I don’t actually speak the language.” You can say that my Korean grammar and spelling are bad. True. But, you can’t say that I don’t speak Korean unless you heard me try to speak it.

    Any ways, 도움 is wrong. You are right. What I really meant was 도움이. That’s how I have seen it used. However, 도우미 yields more results on google, so I would imagine that it is the more common, if not the proper, term.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Seeing as you just edited your comment to add “You may be ultimately right in that it could just be a gyopo thing” I will let it drop. I didn’t mean to deconstruct you so when you first wrote it, but your insisting on it so long, I had to argue.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Can you not type exactly as you speak? 어느 정도도 못하나요? 반말이라도, 띄엄띄엄. 맞춤법 다 틀려도 되니까..읽는 거는? 전부 구글 번역기에 의존해야 하나요? 뉴스 아이템 같은 거는 당연히 못 읽으시는 거로 알고 있는데..
    하여간, 남자의 자존심을 건드리지 않고 싶은데, 맞고 틀린것에 (옳고 그른것이라기 보단) 있어서는 끝까지 가는 성격이라…

    P.S. 자꾸 코멘트 편집하는 거 스톱! 무슨 진화하는 동물같아서 못봐주겠음.

  • wangkon936

    유나, 내 한국어는 그냥 집에서나 쓰던 한국말이에요. 영어보다 잘 못해요. 어릴 적 주말에나 한글학교 가는 정도였지 학교에서 한국어를 쓰지는 않았기 때문이에요. 언어는 복잡해요. 그래서 내가 글쓰고 나서 편집을 계속 하는거에요.

  • wangkon936

    미안해. 사무실에 한글자판이 없어서 답하는데 시간이 좀 걸렸어.

  • Bob Bobbs

    “Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for
    five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I
    suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… ”
    Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
    Socialite:
    “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill:
    “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the
    price”

  • Bob Bobbs

    Just what did you learn from this girl about the sausage and hot dog bun industry?

  • RElgin

    That sounds more like Bernard Shaw’s sense of humour than Churchhill’s.

  • Bob Bobbs

    The quote could be apocryphal. Whatevs, it’s totes hilar.

  • seouldout

    it’s certainly Churchillian

  • seouldout

    “THE STORY OF SUSHI: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice” by Trevor Corson is worth a read. Many of the first sushi chefs to go to the States were ones who couldn’t make the cut in Japan. Some bristled under the rigid hierarchy and long apprenticeship. Some weren’t even trained. Many wanted to get rich; the very first Japanese chef made a bundle in Little Tokyo, L.A. and he was a sensation when he returned to Japan. The first sushi place opened outside a Japanese enclave was in Chicago in 1967, right across the street from Second City. Fusion rolls were largely invented in the States. The Japanese chefs found they could sell the ends and old fish, pieces they would normally toss in the rubbish in Japan, by slathering it in sauce, often spicy. Yanks ate it up. These fusion rolls later became popular in Japan. Sushi restaurants in Japan became more Americanized by eventually serving women; the little 8-seat place that made up almost all sushi places was exclusively a male domain. Japan’s sushi places traditionally didn’t serve a dollop of wasabi on the side to be mixed with soy sauce. That’s an Americanization too. Sushi traditionally is eaten by most Japanese with one’s fingers, never with chopsticks. And the rice isn’t dipped into the soy sauce, the fish is. .Chopstick use and rice dipped in soy sauce are Americanizations also.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    괜찮아요, 그정도면 잘 하시네요. 계속 열심히 주변 분들 도움받아가면서 연습하세요! 파이팅!

  • RElgin

    I regret that today’s leaders have not the depth of humour or ability to express insight in such a manner.

  • yangachibastardo

    I can never recall a Chinese running a Japanese restaurant

    If you’re referring to HK you are indeed right, actually my most recent impression (last June) of the place is that it has been so utterly subjugated by the Mainland there isn’t really much room for anything not Chinese.

    If instead you mean the world at large, well there’s a strange phenomenon in Italy: Chinese-owned cheap (generally 20 euros) all-you-can-eat buffets of crappy sushi, sashimi and various Japanese staples

  • wangkon936

    My area’s most popular Japanese buffet restaurant (middle area between Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California) is called “Hokkaido.” It is staffed entirely with Taiwanese. When the restaurant opened at around 11:30am all the staff lined the entrance of the restaurant and in unison chatted, “Welcome to Hokkaido,” in a forced (and exaggerated) Japanese accent. It was hilarious.

  • wangkon936

    Some responses to your points:

    1. Thinking about it… I would have to say that if there were no Japanese in a particular area and I wanted Japanese food, then a Korean owned Japanese restaurant would have to be the next best bet. Say what you want about the Koreans… they still do sushi better than the Chinese or Americans.

    2. The Chinese do Korean food all wrong. The kimchi is too fresh, the portions too small, the meat is of marked lower quality, etc.

    3. Interesting that you bring up the Zainichis. I don’t think the Japanese should complain about them. Major Japanese food service companies have copied what the Zainichis have created and made a lot of money off them. The Zainichis invented the popular form of Japanese bbq called “yakiniku.” Japan’s largest chain restaurant is Gyu-Kaku, a yakiniku restaurant. The hanja for yakiniku is, of course, similar to the native Korean literal meaning of bulgogi. Typical yakiniku restaurants will have typical Korean items such as bibimbap[a], kim[mu]chi, chijim, j[o]bchae [soba], kalbi and soju (or shōchū).

  • yangachibastardo

    In all fairness the Chinese seem to do shit with all the food that is not strictly of the Chinese variety…

    On the other hand i was introduced recently to the heavenly pleasures of the Penang Hokkien culinary scene.

    Holy fuck how can the same stock manage to make a sad, unedible clusterfuck of the simplest Italian dishes while at the same time accomplishing so much when left to their own devices ?

  • wangkon936

    Yangachi, are you telling me that Chinese Italian food is worse than Pizza Hurt or Olive Garden?

  • yangachibastardo

    Lol a few months ago i ordered sashimi in one of those Chinese-owned places and in doing so i pronounced the word wth a remarkable stressed accent on the “a” cos well that’s how my k ex used to say it.

    The Chinese guy looked at me in complete disbelief while uttering a loud whoaaaaaatttt ? You mean sashimi ?? (with a strong emphasis on the first “i”)

  • yangachibastardo

    Olive Garden wasn’t that bad…at least it didn’t taste so terrible back then in Chicago. PH well yes it’s pretty sucky, mind you i really don’t like the American thick crusted pizza variety (and am not much of a pizza person to begin with).

    So yes i don’t know why but Chinese Italian in my experience is garbage. Out of curiosity i had a taste of it-food in an upscale place in Southern Kowloon last summer and it wasn’t much better…

    In KL i don’t even bother

  • yangachibastardo

    I always departed from Tokyo feeling like i was leaving some famine-ravaged land: definitely a gluttonous culture is not

  • The Sawon

    If you are referring to a 2012 Korea Herald article about Australians in Korea on the working holiday program then I think you were quoting me! The proud one of 23 hojustani! Actually my very first visa to Korea was the working holiday visa which runs the course of a year. Unlike the Australian working holiday visa, The Korean one restricts participants denying them to work legally in many fields including the most likely of English education. So without the ability to teach English what part time jobs can we do? Well they alternatively list that you could find work in a Hotel or Bar but as we know with hourly rates of between 5000 – 10,000 KRW it’s not exactly the best way to spend your time. Nor does it fit the ideal that you can work to pay off your travel!

    The reality is that Korea struck up these programs to give their youth a great chance to experience oversea’s culture under a fair visa program. On the flip side it is virtually impossible for a Australian, Kiwi or Canadian etc to survive on a working holiday visa without a decent amount of cash pre-travel or undertaking “illegal” English tutoring jobs.

    Typical junk journalism from the Korea times resorting to fact less fear mongering. Trying to degrade honest workers who are in the Korean eyes ‘unworthy’ because they don’t waste their life behind a desk to try and make money for a big conglomerate. Labour work is a perfect way to earn good money while travelling around Australia (oh no but god forbid it actually be hard work that involves the movement of muscles and not sitting around on messenger late night at the office)

    No mention of minimum wage standards being 3 times the amount that it is in Korea, no mention of the fact most sex workers are already in the industry before arrival (and at least here they can work legally in a safer environment). Residential prostitution is legal in Australia but it is ridiculous for the journalist to suggest that young girls are lured into the industry when quite clearly they are in the industry to begin with before coming to Australia not to mention that the sex industry is 10 times bigger in Korea (room salons, noraebang, motels, sports massages, brothels, hairdressers, dvd rooms)
    No gratefulness to the hundreds of Korean business which provide great part time jobs for someone only looking to work 6 months.

    To have such bias and unrealistic expectation of finding non labor jobs with no English, a short visa and not expect to cop a little racism shows how unprepared and unrealistic some working holiday participants are.

    Now with reference to the two recent deaths, both occurred between 12am – 6am and in notorious neighborhoods with the one case the culprit also being a Korean national after the victim advertise to exchange $10,000AU for KRW at a better rate over a craigslist style website! (if that doesn’t ring alarm bells then you may be from the most honest and safest nation in the world). I think both the government and media should be more concerned about teaching Koreans who do plan to go overseas about common sense when travelling abroad. Even now you will go into notorious neighborhoods in Australia during weeknights and you’ll find groups of Koreans still out having drinks making them easy targets for petty and violent crime. Just a bit of education about the perils of drinking, being out late at night and not having your wits about you.