- Continuing our campaign to make Chinese tourists feel more at home, the Chosun Ilbo warns that yes, Chinese do in fact understand what jjangggae (a Korean term of abuse for Chinese) means. To illustrate this point, another paper recently reported about a brawl in Yeongdeungpo between two Korean dudes and five Joseon-jok (three dudes, two dudettes) that the Joseon-jok claim began when the Koreans called them “jjangggae.” Which I’m not even sure is the appropriate ethnic slur in this case, given that the Joseon-jok are, last time I checked, ethnically Korean. Well, anyway, you really need to be careful nowadays, because the Joseon-jok are a sensitive sort:
경찰 관계자는 “조선족들은 평소 차별받고 있다고 의식하는 경향이 있어 사소한 시비도 폭행으로 번지는 경우가 종종 있다”며 “대림3동 사건의 약 80% 이상이 조선족 관련 사건”이라고 전했다.
- North Korea yesterday proposed that the two Koreas stop slandering one another. Seoul responded by telling Pyongyang to screw off.
- I have qualms about the US Congress getting involved in other countries’ historical disputes, although privately, it does bring a smile to my face when Japanese asshatery publicly backfires. That said, I have to ask, how did the Comfort Women issue get attached to a spending bill?
Topping the list of foreign nationals nabbed in the country are Koreans with 34 arrested, whose cases range from forgery, drugs-related crimes to heinous acts such as murder.
Koreans were followed by 23 Chinese, 19 Americans, three Japanese and two Germans.
Some 80 foreign nationals were arrested in the Philippines in 2013. Which sounds rather low to me.
- OK, if I hadn’t read about this story in the New York Times, I’d have assumed you were taking the piss:
Word ricocheted around the Korean enclaves of Queens, then onto the Internet, where it was picked up by Korean news media and sent in translation to the homeland. The situation inspired television news reports, an animated parody and on Thursday culminated in a summit on a Flushing street corner calling for a boycott: all because a McDonald’s had appeared to disrespect several older Korean people who treat a neighborhood branch of the fast-food chain like their living room.
On Thursday afternoon, several Korean community leaders hand-delivered a letter to a manager of the McDonald’s franchise at the corner of Parsons and Northern Boulevards, outlining their outrage that, over the past several months, the management has called 911 to oust older men and women who sit for hours hovering over a single cup of coffee. The dispute was reported by The Korea Times and this week by The New York Times.
To see what we’re talking about here, read the NYT’s earlier piece about this, ahem, culture clash:
For the past several months, a number of elderly Korean patrons and this McDonald’s they frequent have been battling over the benches inside. The restaurant says the people who colonize the seats on a daily basis are quashing business, taking up tables for hours while splitting a small packet of French fries ($1.39); the group say they are customers and entitled to take their time. A lot of time.
And though they have treated the corner restaurant as their own personal meeting place for more than five years, they say, the situation has escalated in recent months. The police said there had been four 911 calls since November requesting the removal of the entrenched older patrons. Officers have stopped in as frequently as three times a day while on patrol, according to the patrons, who sidle away only to boomerang right back. Medium cups of coffee ($1.09 each) have been spilled; harsh words have been exchanged. And still — proud, defiant and stuck in their ways — they file in each morning, staging a de facto sit-in amid the McNuggets.
I’m pretty certain if I and a large group of friends were to colonize an eatery here all day nursing a USD 1 cup of coffee—as if such a thing existed here—we’d eventually be asked to leave. And if we refused long enough, Seoul’s Finest would be called to the scene to encourage compliance.
At any rate, don’t the Korean churches, etc. have community centers where these guys can hang out and not spend money all day long?
Anyway, Christine Colligan, a leader of the Korean Parents Association of New York, is unhappy about all of this. Very unhappy:
“Senior citizens should not be treated as criminals,” said Christine Colligan, a leader of the Korean Parents Association of New York, as she stood outside the restaurant, her voice rising. “They should be respected.”
That morning, Ms. Colligan had contacted her sprawling network in the Korean community urging a “worldwide” boycott of the fast-food restaurant for the month of February. In a letter, she attacked what she saw as “stark racism” by McDonald’s: “We will teach them a lesson,” the letter said.
The silence you hear is me at a loss for words.
Anyway, if I write any more about this, I’m going to lose it, so read about it on your own and go to town in the comments.