Multicultural masterplan, pub racism, DPRK keeps it classy

The Seoul Shinmun reports that Seoul is now home to 400,000 foreigners (one out of 25 residents!), and to deal with the diversity, the city has announced a five-year “Multicultural Values Seoul Masterplan.”

The masterplan has four objectives: spreading human rights, cultural diversity, shared growth and bolstering the capabilities of foreign residents.

Anyway, some city official told the paper, “We prepared the masterplan to help foreigners from the position of our parents’ generation, who boarded planes to the United States with nothing but their bare hands for the American Dream… We will do our best to make Seoul an advanced multicultural city where we all live well together.”

Seoul might want to send a memo to local bar and club owners. According to a report in the JoongAng Daily, racism is pretty rampant in the Korean nightlife scene. To be fair, though, according to at least one bar manager, foreigners are bad and really deserve to be banned:

The fingerprint verification, the manager told the Korean reporter, is “just another way of turning foreigners away.

“It is discrimination,” admitted the manager, who said the ban came into effect after “too many incidents of rowdy foreigners who start fights and sexually harass women.”

Part of the reason the bar is cautious is because “foreigners won’t be punished by local law,” the owner said.

Speaking of rowdy foreigners, a US serviceman died recently after a street fight—with another serviceman—outside a Hongdae club:

Outside the club, which is popular among men and women serving in the U.S. military stationed here, the 20-year-old Lissone was knocked unconscious during a fight with another U.S. serviceman, according to a government source familiar with the situation.

Although Lissone was bleeding from his nose and ears, the three men brought him not to a nearby hospital but to a motel in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, near Camp Humphreys, where they are stationed.

Lissone was then taken to Good Morning Hospital in Pyeongtaek, where he was pronounced dead.

Anyway, back to the clubs. If there are any Korean club owners reading this, here’s a tip: while banning round-eye and darkie from your clubs may be both legal and perhaps even socially acceptable in Korea, you’ll want to avoid carrying this practice over should you expand your business to the United States.

One place you can be absolutely sure is OK with keeping foreigners out of the clubs, though, is North Korea. Last week, the KCNA let fly with some truly spectacular racial invective aimed at President Obama, likening the US leader to a “wicked black monkey”:

“How Obama looks like makes me disgusted,” Kang Hyuk, a worker at the Chollima Ironworks Factory said when translated into English.

“As I watch him more closely, I realize that he looks like an African native monkey with a black face, gaunt grey eyes, cavate nostrils, plumb mouth and hairy rough ears.

“He acts just like a monkey with a red bum irrationally eating everything – not only from the floor but also from trees here and there…Africa’s national zoo will be the perfect place for Obama to live with licking bread crumbs thrown by visitors,” Kang concluded.

On a positive note, between the Koreans and the racism, at least Donald Sterling could consider moving the Clippers to Pyongyang if the NBA tries to force him to sell the team.

  • JW

    The Seoul Shimun link doesn’t work for me.

  • shocked

    Speaking as a ex part time waiter in Hongdae , I understand what manger is saying- I am not saying it’s acceptable but .. I don’t know why but when foreigners fight they always always break stuff and threaten anybody who try to stop and some guys think if they speak fast and use slang ,koreans wouldn’t understand …well guess what ? There are always at least one customer who understand and things got ugly.. to be fair ,sometimes it’s korean guy vs foreigner who understand korean ..but result is same. More importantly even if we got foreigner who is responsible ..he usually play “dumb expat card”(owner named it ) and don’t pay the damage or left country..and even if he or she pay the damage ,that night’s sales is gone(more importantly ,my wage was gone too)
    sidenote. I don’t know why but after get caught certan number of foreigners shout ” You koreans (usually they use more unpleasnt words) don’t follow the law ,why I should obey the law? (some speaks excellent korean until police arrive) ” …I don’t know why .. just saying..

  • ExpatBateman

    Why do Koreans get to be racist and limit immigration, but all the Western countries have to let them all in? This is genocide of Westerners.

  • wangkon936

    Masterplan? Question. What is the Korean word (and/or Hanja) that’s being translated into “masterplan?”

  • redwhitedude

    A lot have to do with the type of foreigners Korea tends to attract, like GIs a lot of them don’t necessarily come from good backgrounds. It’s a crappy lot that rears its ugly head.

  • redwhitedude

    Yea, what’s with that term? Using masterplan or race related issue? Last I heard Hitler used that in that context.

  • JW

    The word “masterplan” itself was used in the article. Literal translation.

  • JW

    The words “master plan” is actually used quite often in the English language. Googling it returns 5.2 million results.

  • redwhitedude

    That’s not what I meant. I thought it is somewhat creepy to use it in race relation issues. Perhaps I am being too sensitive about it.

  • redwhitedude

    Hence why asian countries tend to lag behind the west.

  • wangkon936

    Can’t speak for the clubs in Korea (or in NYC for that matter), but the Korean clubs/bars in Los Angeles I can say that an unwritten code exists. It’s something like this:

    1) If a single non-Asian/non-Korean or a group tries to go in, one’s likelihood of getting in goes up exponentially if you have a Korean friend who’s with you.
    2) Hot foreign girls, no problem (this has got to be true pretty much anywhere, I would suppose).
    3) Rich foreign guy, no problem.
    4) Any foreigner if they know an employee and/or owner of the bar/club.

    If you are some random non-Korean or non-Asian guy or girl trying to get in and you don’t know any body it would be difficult.

    Again, can’t speak for the bars/clubs in Korea but in LA this process isn’t always a race thing. There’s a lot of things going on in a Korean place that isn’t bad for a Korean, but is illegal in the state of CA such as… smoking indoors and drinks after 2am. I’ll be honest with you… I get annoyed with my favorite Koreatown watering hole when it get’s “discovered” by Mr. Round Eye and I can’t smoke a cig or enjoy a drink after 2pm in there anymore.

    Also, to celebrate a big deal closing I took all the junior guys (none of them Korean or Asian) to a Korean club for a free night (i.e. I paid) of booze and partying. Some things I found out: they don’t respect the bottle service culture as much and snuck in a lot of alcohol. They were not getting as much play from the ladies as they, or even I, had expected. Turns out Korean/Asian ladies go to a Korean/Asian club to meet Korean/Asian men. Makes sense once you sit down and think about it, but it didn’t dawn on me until I saw it unfold like a National Geographic animal mating documentary. I’m sure the converse is true… that if an Asian/Korean woman wanted to meet a white man she would go to a bar/club where such men frequent.

    Koreans not having a more “open” policy to letting in foreigners is wrong, but I personally don’t see it as aggressive or sinister as say Apartheid or the Jim Crow south. It’s almost as if Koreans know that opening the flood gates to foreigners to a club means they have to provide a level of service or cultural awareness that they just don’t want to bother with. They also didn’t want to deal with cultural misunderstandings, which can get violent once alcohol is mixed in. That’s why they are more likely to be let in if they have a Korean friend in tow. That Korean friend can moderate and mediate, if needed, and reduces headaches for the bar/club owner. If they were really racist, then they would still bar a foreigner even if he was with his Korean friend and/or knew Koreans that worked at said bar/club.

  • JW

    I’m not trying to to be a dick here but googling “diversity master plan” returns 17,600 results. Sometimes, we’re just not familiar with a subject domain. This is news to me also.

  • wangkon936

    “I’m not trying to to be a dick…”

    The misunderstanding has gone up exponentially since 2010.

  • JW

    Seriously? Me? I thought I was one of the nicer ones in this blog.

  • wangkon936

    Correction. You WERE one of the nicer ones…. hahaha…

  • JW

    No way man. Before I used to get very angry and emotional at the likes of Sperwer here and rightwing nutjobs at other sites. Not any more. Perhaps getting married and having a baby helped in that regard.

  • wangkon936

    “… getting married and having a baby….”

    I never knew you had it in ya… but congrats.

  • JW

    Ha ha ha. Thanks!

  • redwhitedude

    I know you weren’t trying to be a dick but my initial reaction was that it was creepy using master plan in the context of race relations. It has a hitler ring to it as in his plans or race management.

  • redwhitedude

    If you want to get nostalgic about it go visit korean sentry. :-)
    The anti immigrant, korea is too nice to them, hissyfit nationalist dumpster. I guess that is their purpose.

  • wangkon936

    Mr. Korean Sentry himself lives in Australia.

  • redwhitedude

    Yup. Constantly dwelling on the downside of racial relations.

  • http://www.xlgames.com/ Avaast

    Off-topic, I know, but apparently Pearson (the education/publishing giant) has released a report on global education standards, placing Korea at no.1. The rankings are based on an interesting cocktail of criteria, which you can read about in the article below (would love any input from people familiar with the tests/studies mentioned). The article alternates between praising Korea and bringing up the old rote learning vs. creative problem-solving issue. Might be worth it to make a separate post for this, might not.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27314075

  • redwhitedude

    Well you could say that this is a Korean theme thing, and that Koreans tend to only know the Korean theme especially in Korea and not any other theme to base their club. Perhaps Korea need to encourage foreigners to set up their own clubs with their own “themes”.

  • wangkon936

    Me neither.

  • wangkon936
  • wangkon936
  • redwhitedude

    Sadly that’s the view of GI Koreans get everytime crap happens with them and makes it to the local news.

  • wangkon936

    I’m sure a lot are pretty cool.

    I like this guy: http://warisschlep.blogspot.com/

    But… he’s an officer, not an enlisted man… and in his comic even he makes fun of the “Walmart People” aspect of some of the enlisted.

  • johnny law

    yawn.

  • bigmamat

    I think it’s going to take a long time, if ever, before Koreans except foreigners among them.

  • redwhitedude

    Officers are a different breed from enlisted. But yea the shining example of American education.

  • redwhitedude

    A lot of the racism is due to ignorance not that they are far right bigots. Then there is always that impulse of “Koreans for Korea” hence they should adjust to us not the other way round.

  • redwhitedude

    Same here.

  • deanrd80

    Racial discrimination is the norm in American clubs as well. It’s just that most of it is implemented via self-segregation and implicitly, and that whether you get away with it, how much you get away, how much plausible deniability you enjoy, etc., will depend on who you are, how much power or money you have, etc.

  • wangkon936

    The Koreans have developed an ingenious way of “plausible deniability” when it comes to excluding groups. To get in you must “know” a waiter. If you don’t know a waiter, you can’t get in.

  • wangkon936

    Well…. “tolerating” foreigners among them, that’s already happening. “Accepting” foreigners is another thing. There is a level of that happening, but I’m sure there is the feeling of an “otherness” factor that most long-term foreigners in Korea find a little disconcerting at times.

  • flyingsword
  • flyingsword

    Had to be done….

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    I know a lot of cool soldiers here. When I lived in Germany, I noticed that each public fight I saw involved GIs, usually amongst themselves. Never saw Germans fighting.

  • Arghaeri

    They’ve been excepting foreigners for centuries, it the accepting foreigners that’s lacking!!!!

  • Arghaeri

    I think she had it in her!

  • Arghaeri

    No need to try just let it come naturally LOL

  • TopHatandTails

    Adopting the mannerisms of the natives?

    Like spitting and barging into people? Driving badly and shouting at people when you speak? Urinating in public places?

    No thanks.

  • bigmamat

    Bullshit. You send 20 thousand horny dumbass peckerheads that just barely left their mamas to a drinking, whoring paradise and expect them to behave? News flash. American males like to drink and get laid just like Korean dudes.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Need I remind you that the crime rate amongst foreigners is half of that amongst Korean citizens? Don’t throw us all in the same boat.

    That’s the problem in Korea. Far too many blanket generalizations are being made. Koreans who aren’t exactly well educated will hold xenophobic ideas, and foreigners who aren’t exactly the most astute will see the local scum as being representative of the whole.

  • bigmamat

    Yeah I thought it was pretty funny too that’s why I didn’t comment on it. Not for the same reason as yours. Just that it sounds like the same shit you hear from a lot of people in the U.S. about immigrants. Learn English. Stop acting so foreign. Talk like us, worship like us, be like us. Whatever the fuck that is…

  • Seoulgoodman

    If you only knew half of the stories I’ve been told by my wife about some of the patients she had to treat. Let me put it this way: not all Koreans are well educated, well mannered, and law abiding. The local media totally self-censures itself in order to hide the underbelly of society.

  • bigmamat

    I was thinking the same thing myself. I have to defend the U.S. military. It’s a cultural problem and it’s largely Korea’s fault. If the U.S. military went away tomorrow would Koreans stop drinking and whoring? I don’t think so. You can’t send a bunch of young men who just barely left their mamas to a drinking, whoring playground and expect them not to drink and get laid. It’s kind of a man thing, not a Korean or an American thing.

  • redwhitedude

    Not intended to make negative generalizations. The point is that the foreign crowd in a country may not be a representative sample of the country of origin. If for example there are a lot of migrant workers then you might have sample that could be slanted toward a lower socio economic standing(not the lowest though). Perhaps that type of crowd may cause more issues.

  • redwhitedude

    Yea. That attitude of messing with prostitutes. “Oh, it’s a GI thing”. GIs can possibly be the one single handedly generating the demand for all those prostitutes. Also aren’t there regulations now putting those places off limits to GIs because they are the end destination for trafficked women? At least that is the suspicion. As long as Koreans have that thinking of GI thing then there won’t be a honest attempt at tackling the problem. It’s not a man thing. It’s an upbringing thing.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Whatever. You can’t justify discrimination.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Assimilation? F off! You can’t justify intolerance.

  • redwhitedude

    Well the american education system does have people slipping through the cracks. How the hell do certain individuals with rudimentary reading level get to college? I mean even if he’s an outstanding athlete that is totally unacceptable. It’s an upbringing thing. Perhaps the US military should be more stringent about who they take in.

  • bigmamat

    Well what I read is that 1 in 4 Korean men visit a prostitute at least 4 times a month. The Korean sex industry is responsible for 1% of GDP and there are 100,000 or more sex workers in the country, 46,000 room salons and love motels. I really don’t think Americans are solely responsible for those statistics.

  • Seoulgoodman
  • bumfromkorea

    I really, really don’t get the bitching by the Expats about spitting, barging into people, bad drivers, public urination, or loud people in public in Korea. Do all Expats in Korea come from places like Bismark, North Dakota, or have they just forgotten about what it’s like to live in a giant metropolis?

    Last night, on my way from work? Two dudes urinating side-by-side onto the sidewalk from the street (as in, where the cars drive by) while attempting to sing what I can only guess is a Flogging Molly song. Not being a complete moron, my reaction wasn’t “Ugh, these fucking Americans and their barbaric ways.” That’s just me though.

  • Seoulgoodman

    And, heck, while we’re at it…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT9Oq3ISjfs

  • redwhitedude

    Not to mention that Koreans think nothing of it. It’s like they are not bothered by that at all. They must think that going to such places is like an American going to McDonalds.

  • bigmamat

    What does any of this have to do with American GIs in Korea? Nothing. They don’t get into this kind of trouble in the middle east. Why? Because they don’t drink and there isn’t a bar or sex shop on every other corner. You’re expecting a bunch of 20 something American boys to behave better than Korean men?

  • Seoulgoodman

    “…would Koreans stop drinking and whoring?”
    Well, do all Koreans get drunk every night and go chasing whores?

  • RElgin

    Yeah, men *are* kind of dumb sometimes. ^_^

  • Seoulgoodman

    You assume all Koreans think that way. They don’t.

  • RElgin

    I appreciate the JoongAng Ilbo’s penning of such an article. It is worthwhile to read but I don’t expect the other local rags to follow suit since their editors and writers are not very good.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Those figures, if I’m not mistaken, were drawn up during ’90s by a women’s group. It’s biased.

  • Seoulgoodman

    There we go again with blanket statements.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Actually, in order to come into Korea, the migrant workers need to go through Immigration. Immigration is a gatekeeper, and does its job well as shown by the much lower crime rate amongst foreigners than Korean citizens.

  • RElgin

    Smiling and being a decent person goes a long way too.

  • bigmamat

    Drunk men will whip it out and pee wherever as long as they don’t get arrested doing it. So what’s the point? I’m saying that I know the Americans aren’t doing anything the Koreans aren’t doing.

  • dlbarch

    If Korea wants to discipline its expat community, then start throwing the miscreants among them in jail. The message will get out.

    And if USFK can’t or won’t discipline its troops, then the same goes for them.

    Jail time — that is, avoiding jail time — is a delightful motivator.

    DLB

  • Seoulgoodman

    As long as you aren’t being discriminated against as wangkon suggests we should if we have the wrong haircut, skin colour, or clothes.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The crime rate is lower amongst foreigners, so really it’s not the expat community that needs discipline the most.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The local politicians are effete. That’s the real problem.

  • bigmamat

    How would I know but I know American GIs aren’t drinking and getting laid every night either so what’s your point?

  • RElgin

    If there is a place that doesn’t like my smile or demeanor, then I would not want to go there anyway. It could not possibly be a decent bar anyway.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Well, my wife has never had a foreigner as a patient who got into a knife fight, got injured because he purposely caused an accident in an act of road rage, or got seriously injured while being drunk and/or stoned out of his mind…and she sees people like that every day. So, spare me the BS. Foreigners are less likely to cause trouble in Korea than Koreans. The statistics don’t lie.

  • dlbarch

    Yeah, I said “if.” This is really a decision for Korea to make.

    BTW, crime enforcement is not a zero-sum game. Just because a crime rate is lower among one demographic does not mean one stops policing the other.

    I think the real priority should be on violent crime. But quality of life crimes are a scourge on the social fabric. If expats generally fall into the latter category rather than the former, then great.

    But increased policing of the expat community is perfectly legitimate.

    DLB

  • bigmamat

    I don’t think it’s dumb. People like to get sideways and people like sex. What’s dumb is constantly trying to deny it.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The point is that what you wrote could be interpreted as being a blanket statement.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Just admit you didn’t know that foreigners are half as likely to commit crimes than local citizens (which makes sense since Immigration acts as a gatekeeper).

  • bigmamat

    I read them recently, in several translated articles but if it’s old information then I concede.

  • pawikirogii

    they come from small or medium town america never considering the difference between their little burg and a city of 15 million.i wonder if tophat is willing to tell us san fran and nyc are clean and tidy. HA! wanna smell piss wherever you go? go to sf and you’ll smell plenty. this may be unknown to the guy from x-boro, usa. NEXT!!!

  • cmxc

    See, this is the fucked up attitude so commonly found in Korea.

    Koreans would rather make policies and laws, excluding and discriminating against non-Koreans for a perceived potential risk, instead of enforcing laws and seeing the real PROVEN risks from KOREANS that exist in the Korean status quo. Again, does it take 300 dead kids to wake the world up to how screwed up Korea really is?

    It’s like Korea’s crazy discriminatory policies toward Foreign Language Instructors. Those applying for visas allowing them to work as foreign language instructors in Korea must submit blood tests for HIV tests as well as drug tests and criminal background checks. Yet, KOREAN teachers have been proven to be committing sexual assault and harassment of their students at an astronomically higher rate than foreign language instructors. Not only that, but Korean teachers who sexually abuse their students, and are even found guilty of such offenses, are allowed to KEEP TEACHING!

    On the other hand, foreign teachers who so much as give a loving hug to a younger student are demonized and suspected of being a child molester.

    Koreans are so idiotic with their brainwashed ideas about how Koreans are somehow more trustworthy and less troublesome than foreigners, but it is the KOREANS who are the greatest risk to the children and the future of the country – NOT THE FOREIGNERS.

  • redwhitedude

    Nope. The original point I was trying to make with american GIs is that they may not be a good representative sampling of the American population as a whole. There are douche bags among them. Could it be that there is a higher proportion of douche bags among them than American population as a whole or maybe not.

  • brier

    I see nothing wrong with a private business regulating it’s costumer base. But if the Korean night life scene is being packaged as part of Hallyu, then having homing foreigners trying to participate and experience the sales package, I think more tourist friendly policy might be in order.

  • redwhitedude

    Well if bigmamat’s stat are true then there is a segment of population that goes there habitually and doesn’t think much of it. Sorry for not being clear. There are those that steer clear of those places.

  • redwhitedude

    Sorry I meant to say Koreans that frequent those places habitually. There are plenty who don’t go to such places.

  • redwhitedude

    Yeah but how many cases of them are there that they overstay say their visas and so forth?

  • redwhitedude

    But how many people would admit to that?

  • jfpower

    I can’t agree about the spitting. Spitting here among men is practically ubiquitous. It is not at all comparable to any other country I have been to.

    Plenty of other complaints might be trumped up, but let me assure you that this one is not.

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

    In this case, “다(多)가치 서울 마스터플랜”.

    I corrected the link to the Seoul Shinmun piece, BTW.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Overstaying one’s visa is not a criminal offence, nor is one who does so necessarily criminally inclined.

  • bumfromkorea

    The question isn’t about whether Koreans spit or not. It’s about whether the frequent public spitting is a Korean thing, or it’s a big cities full of assholes thing.

    Maybe it’s just a Korean and Phoenix thing, then. Oh, and New York, I guess. And Hong Kong. And London. And Beijing, apparently, according to this article:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-hollander/spitting-in-public-is-rea_b_706852.html

    Maybe a bigger perspective than “Ugh, these filthy barbarians” is needed when an, er, “observation” is made about one’s surroundings. Or maybe almost all Expats in Korea are indeed from Somewheresville, Idaho and Seoul is their first experience living in a huge city.

  • bumfromkorea

    My comment should’ve been the “reply” to Tophatandtail’s comment, not yours. My bad.

  • bumfromkorea

    This despicable piece of rat feces is already using the Sewol victims as his personal slogan. I figured this would happen eventually, but I apparently underestimated just how disgusting some of the human-shaped trashes can be.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Are you sure overstaying is not a criminal offense, or are you simply reciting from the Democrats’ hymnal?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    And if USFK can’t or won’t discipline its troops, then the same goes for them.

    With respect, Dave, you know nothing of military justice or discipline, and that makes this kind of statement foolish, even with the qualifier “if”.

  • wangkon936

    I know! 마스터플랜 = Masutohpullehn.

  • dlbarch

    The results of USFK courts martial and ROK criminal convictions are readily available on the USFK website for anyone who cares to look them up:

    http://www.usfk.mil/usfk/%28X%281%29S%28j0lp4zxjuuo35cb2dbad1q1h%29%29/court-martial.trial.results.december.2013.738

    I’ll leave it to MH’s gentle readers to decide for themselves whether the sentences handed out by USFK are commensurate with the crimes charged.

    But I stand by my statement. The history of USFK has long been one of disturbing indiscipline off-base. That the USFK community doesn’t quite see it that way is understanding, but doesn’t change the need for greater, rather than less, vigilance.

    DLB

  • Aja Aja

    What is happening with the anti Discrimination bill that has been proposed for ages? Why hasn’t it passed? The last time I heard was that the Conservative Christian groups are opposed to this bill because they don’t want anti discrimination bill to include homosexuality. Christians are the problem.

  • Aja Aja

    Like bumfromKorea says, please refrain from using Sewol to prove everything that you hate about Korea. Those victims are not tools to be used, and the country is in mourning. Let them be.

  • Aja Aja

    We don’t know what the real crime rate is, because the figures are unreliable due to under reporting. Crimes of foreigners on foreigners go unreported much more than crimes involving Koreans on Koreans, or Koreans on foreigners. Many foreigners, especially Asian foreigners, do not report crimes due to language barriers and also due to their own immigration statuses.

  • bigmamat

    I’d say that the military might not be a place to look if you’re trying to find the sensitive studious type. You have to remember these guys have been trained to do things like kill people and blow shit up. If not that then they are mechanics or operators of very heavy equipment. They aren’t guidance counselors or ballerinas. They’re soldiers.

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  • redwhitedude

    It is breaking the law. Perhaps this might lead to do criminal things just to stick around.

  • bigmamat

    I don’t assume anything. Don’t put words in my mouth. What I do know is that if the statistics are correct all Koreans don’t have to “think” that way but they don’t have to accept it either. I live within spitting distance of a stateside military base. Twenty five or 30 years ago everything within a 5 mile radius of the base was either a sex shop or a watering hole. Then the city got wise and zoned that stuff out. They closed down all of those places and made them less accessible. It won’t stop young GIs from finding somewhere to drink and get laid but it did make it harder for them to find.

  • redwhitedude

    Unfortunately ignorant Koreans might not take that into account.

  • wangkon936

    How do I like this 100x?

  • bigmamat

    I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like being a hypocrite?

  • Guest

    So what you’re saying is — Donald Sterling would feel right at home in North Korea. Right?

  • jfpower

    I don’t have that perspective. I just think it is fantastical to claim spitting is not more common in Korea than much of elsewhere. Anyone who lives here knows it is constant.

  • jfpower

    Agree in principle, but in reality it is unclear if most Koreans expect or want foreigners to adopt local norms. “Acting Korean” as a foreigner comes across as strange or hilarious to many here.

  • bigmamat

    Well don’t worry the world is full of ignorant people. However, the Korean media shouldn’t be and they fuel a lot of this expat and GI hate. I’ve been amazed at some of the things I’ve seen come out of Korean media. Not just about this but other things less important and just as stupid. I thought Koreans were supposed to be educated? Certainly if you work in media or publishing you should have some kind of education. I guess Korean media isn’t really any better than it is here. A lot of it is political pandering and just shitty lazy journalism.

  • wangkon936

    It’s not excuse. They are trained soldiers and like it or not, representatives of America, not frat boys on Spring Break.

    Furthermore, excessive solider abuse causes problems between allies. Example, re: Okinawa. The native Okinawans can’t wait to get the Marines off their island because too many Marines treat that place like their own personal playground.

  • bigmamat

    Yeah I read about it in expat blogs. I’m not sure I could stand to walk around and encounter people’s oysters left everywhere. It kind of engages my gag reflex just thinking about it.

  • bigmamat

    I don’t live in a big city but I know where I live us women put that shit in check when we see it. I’ll tell someone I don’t even know to share their bodily fluids elsewhere in a minute. Don’t care if I get cussed out either. I’ll cuss right back. I had to break my kid of it once when he was in middle school.

  • bigmamat

    Yeah I know. It is their own personal playground. You hit the nail on the head when you said Marines. Marines are trained that they are the baddest mofos on the planet and if you don’t like it then try me. Representatives of America give me a break. Let’s get real here. If Korea didn’t want soldiers drinking and whoring in their country they have plenty of opportunity to fix it. They haven’t because they don’t really want to fix the problem. It’s revenue and if there’s one thing Koreans like more than peace and quiet it’s money.

  • fintan stack

    It’s more like 4% of GDP and 99.5% of the prostitution in this country is pretty much inaccessible to foreigners (non-Northeast Asian, that is).

  • redwhitedude

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIgTq7VzSdA

    Here is video on reunification and US asian pivot on Korea.
    The 2nd presenter in the Q & A part does admit to the american GIs not being a good ambassadors. The problem with Korean media is that it is very tabloidy and sensationalist. It’s like a bad habit that is hard to kick so every time crap happens because of certain GI misbehaving they jump all over it hence it feeds to this misperception that Koreans(that is certain Koreans) have of “stupid GI”.

    Also note how many people say in his presentation that American troops can stay without SOFA. Disturbingly high.

    I think what is not covered is that it is the american troop presence that reassures investors as well. If they pull out certain investors could flee as well. But I’m going off on a tangent.

  • redwhitedude

    A lot are young, not familiar with Korea(hey they got assigned there as part of their enlistments they didn’t necessarily pick Korea) with instances of bad judgment. A few of those people if don’t keep them busy could go off and become a public nuisance.

  • wangkon936

    1) Once they put on that uniform that has an American flag on it, they are representatives of America whether they like it or not. There officers understand that… the enlisted need to be constantly reminded.

    2) Leisurely diversions and disorderly conduct are two very different things. Don’t make excuses for them.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You must understand their situation.

  • Bob Bobbs

    We are have not is like be foreigners should. Misunderstanding happen not do to be like will be. If to do when foreigner in club be, make understand like. Then is all ineffable.

  • Bob Bobbs

    In E Mart each night going am I. Taking pictures of Koreans not I am, as they discrimination claiming might be and human rights up ying yang have they. Generalizations not liking be me, yet willing am I said to make regarding people like me do not look. Nice day having being, small hypocrite in Los Angeles under protection of little men from Tennesseee being. Your subscription of Der Sturmer, how along being coming is it?

  • Bob Bobbs

    Their. Their officers.

  • cmxc

    If one truly cares about those lost lives, then one must never let it be forgotten what chain of events and circumstances caused those deaths!

    The Korean status quo, the same status quo that is so very discriminatory against foreign people, and regularly treats foreign people and businesses as THREATS to the nation of Korea, is the same status quo that is the REAL THREAT TO KOREAN CHILDREN.

    Already Korean ajoshis will hope that Koreans start to forget about those deaths so they can go back to the same old same old practices of corruption, embezzlement, fraud, bribery, prostitution, etc.
    The government of Korea doesnt make decisions or policies that are truly good for the children of Korea, but are only good for themselves, the ajoshis who have grown up in the system patiently biding their time until they can finally benefit from the system.

    I won’t let those deaths be forgotten and I won’t stop reminding people that the Korean status quo is the criminal here, not FOREIGNERS.

  • bumfromkorea

    Sentence fragment.

  • Seoulgoodman

    1) It’s not a criminal offence in Korea.
    2) I would hang myself if I were American.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Oh, please. If I wanted to make an equally facile argument, I’d reply that I could say the same about Korean on Korean crime: crimes are unreported because the victims don’t trust the police. The stats are there, and yet the local media, the police, and the government will have us believe that foreign residents are dangerous.

  • Seoulgoodman

    It still isn’t a crime. You won’t have a criminal record for overstaying your visa.

  • Seoulgoodman

    You’re assuming I was replying to you.

  • wangkon936

    No, BB is correct. Their, not there in my comment above (which I’ve fixed). However, if BB is volunteering to be this blog’s comment grammar officer, he’s going to be in for a very long night.

  • wangkon936

    Dude, what’s eating you? You’re not even American.

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

    Seriously, BB?

  • Seoulgoodman

    You can’t do anything better than a tu quoque? Go to any large city in the world (including Seoul) and you’ll smell urine. Don’t you know subway stations are the urinals of bums?

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

    That wasn’t your reaction because you clearly don’t live in Philly:

    http://gawker.com/roving-band-of-drunk-teens-take-over-quiet-philadelphia-1573837909

  • Sumo294

    Korean journalists work hard–it would be better to say “ineffective” journalism. The process in which a story gets out is inefficient and lot of times amateurs beat them to the punch.

  • bumfromkorea

    I’m just pointing out the Skitt’s Law in effect. 😀

  • Sumo294

    The majority of marines are nice well behaved young men. The real reason for their bad behavior as a group is that they are, well- young men. Groups of any men tend to goof off–and the younger the group gets–the rowdier it gets.

  • Sumo294

    There is a stretch of low rent high rises on line one from the skirts of Seoul all the way to Incheon. The poor and strange ones of Korea live there. Guys there go to drink and fight and the girls take buses to meet guys who can take them the hell out of that hellhole. At night–the place often becomes uncivilized.

  • Sumo294

    100K workers and about 50K room salons? Two girls per room salon?

  • Sumo294

    Foreigners go to their hospitals and also they might get into trouble so the soldiers just tough it out. Marines don’t cry over paper cuts like teachers do.

  • Sumo294

    Well said–well said. If a white guy brings his or her own interpreter than its cool. Also, if the non-Korean misbehaves the owner just needs to look at the Korean guy–who then is responsible for telling his friend what he or she did wrong. My American friends do not understand what constitutes grounds for fighting in a Korean club. A Korean guy putting his arms around you and taking your hat is just a curious drunk guy–however a guy who never touched you and is rudely staring and rolling his eyes at you can often be punched in the face. Koreans can tolerate a lot of physical contact such as pushing, grabbing the arm, and chest thumping as long as the anger is genuine and perceived as honest. An insult with your eyes or condescending speech will get you knocked out. An American on the other hand will take verbal abuse, but will throw a punch at the first sign of imminent body contact–often to the surprise of a drunk Korean guy. To club owners–it seems Americans cause fights for no reason and to Americans it seems Koreans start fights for no reason–each group is bewildered by the other group and both think the other culture is the aggressive culture. Let Koreans drink in peace in America.

  • Seoulgoodman

    And what hospitals would that be?

    Marines don’t cry over paper cuts? Cut the bull. Soldiers who think they are invincible are the ones who are most likely to suffer from PTSD. They are the ones who shit their pants when they see their friends blown to pieces.

    PS. FYI, this teacher was in the armed forces. Yes, I’ve been there, done that.

    PPS. My wife’s last patient who was a foreigner was a construction worker who accidentally shot a nail through his hand with a nail gun. It wasn’t no fkn paper cut.

  • que337

    ‘다가치'(多價値: multi-(cultural) value) is pronounced the same with ‘다같이'(together). I’d guess the choice of the word was intentional.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    But that cuts both ways. If you’re really part of the gang there is a lot of obligation that goes with it. Ugh. My office is really concerned about my health, because I’ve been “sick” whenever there is an MT, a field day, or some other mandatory fun.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Spitting isn’t just a big city thing in Korea – it’s everywhere. In fact, I’d say it’s even less prevalent in Seoul than in other places – perhaps because Seoul is a bit more cosmopolitan.

    I normally wouldn’t care too much, but I’ve been spit on twice and have had several near misses. People shouldn’t have to watch out for flying phlegm when walking on a busy sidewalk!

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    That’s very true. Living on the fringe is nice. And I like that term, “mandatory fun.”

  • I AM IN ODE

    This ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll – this is genocide!

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Sez you. Art. 94 of the Immigration Control Act, however, says that overstaying a visa is a crime punishable by up to three (3) years in jail or a fine of up to W20 million. Don’t confuse lax enforcement with something not being a crime. Here is Korea. Everything is a crime.

  • I AM IN ODE

    I have to sort of agree with you on this one. Personally, I never gave a shit about it. If the Koreans or Puerto Ricans only allowed their kind into their nightclub who gave a shit? Same went for any other group. There were always plenty of other places to go, and hanging out in a Korean place in LA or NY was never attractive, to me. I always preferred places without door policies where anyone could walk in; drink cheap beer; attire didn’t matter; etc. No big deal. Koreans want their only little nightclub world, fuck it, who cares?

  • bigmamat

    I am very hesitant to talk about the subject of the U.S. military in Korea. I am no expert on it and any opinion I give will very likely be met with a lot of corrections and perhaps even vitriol. What I will say is that despite all the minor social problems the U.S. military might be generating one thing is not without question, SK has benefited quite a bit from American money.

  • I AM IN ODE

    It’s not needed. Foreigners don’t want “foreigner only” places, but Koreans want “Korean Only” places. Just go to the next club, it’s right next door.

  • I AM IN ODE

    that’s true

  • bigmamat

    I wouldn’t dare make excuses for disorderly conduct. So out of all the Americans who have lived and worked in Korea with the U.S. military you’re saying as a whole Korean people think they’re a bunch of rowdy rule breaking jerks? Fine, maybe we should take our rowdy little ADD boys and our toys and go home. I don’t believe it for a minute. Don’t make excuses for Korea being a drunken whore chasing wonderland either.

  • I AM IN ODE

    I think you’re going too far. Learn the langauge, good idea. But, there’s no need to try to act like a Korean. I can’t stand foreigners who try to act like Koreans.

  • I AM IN ODE

    True, Jamaicans are world class spitters and snot blowers.

  • I AM IN ODE
  • I AM IN ODE
  • I AM IN ODE

    The USFK is extremely strict, you seem to have no idea what the soldiers are going through.

  • I AM IN ODE

    Military discipline is as severe as it gets. What more do you want?

  • Seoulgoodman
  • I AM IN ODE

    Donald Sterling was speaking privately. He did nothing wrong.

  • Seoulgoodman
  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    There actually used to be a lot of “Foreigners Only” entertainment establishments back in the day, and of course entry to Korea’s many casinos is also still limited only to foreigners.

  • I AM IN ODE

    True

  • Sumo294

    Point taken. My understanding is that the Marines have access to health care outside of Korean hospitals.

  • I AM IN ODE

    That’s true, good points.

  • I AM IN ODE

    True…
    (Why am I having so much difficulty replying here?)

  • Sumo294

    I am sorry you got spit on–if I saw that I would have definitely spoken up for you and if it was a young guy–I might have gotten physical.

  • Sumo294

    Ahhhh Brendon–the young guys like going to room salons and booking clubs! You must be getting old!

  • Sumo294

    They got the message on drugs–the Canadians don’t looked stoned anymore–just hung over.

  • I AM IN ODE
  • Sumo294

    The commies want to abolish private property, reeducate us and set up a central committee with technocrats in power–who care about the Christians when you see what your everyday Norkistan guy has to live through on a daily basis. We complain about nuances of a policy–they just want to eat a choco pie or at least have EGG with their grass and bark noodles.

  • RElgin

    As detestable as some of this commenter’s ideas may be, he does have an important point regarding the “threat to Korean Children” as being due to the system rather than some mysterious foreigner. Korean kids are often the victim of a ruthless educational system that has run amok and quite a few Korean parents know this as well but are not sure what to do about this.

    I will post a thread on this very topic in the near future too.

  • RElgin

    Save much of your wrath for the politicians, instead, that have been using this disaster for their own agendas.

  • RElgin

    I am very dangerous when I am missing my coffee.

  • RElgin

    I’m sorry to hear of that.
    Perhaps if you tried one of those drinks in the little brown bottle . . .

  • Aja Aja

    Very important bills like the anti-discrimination bill and the North Korea human rights bill are all languishing in the Korean parliament floors for years and years, because the politicians can’t get their acts together and can’t stop their political bickering.

  • Krystal Hampton

    Yep. I agree.

  • Aja Aja

    Nothing wrong with racial discrimination?

    But thankfully, this problem seems mostly reserved to night entertainment clubs, and not a widespread banning of foreign customers from other types of businesses.

  • Aja Aja

    Who said those kids and this incident should be forgotten? The most upset about the Sewol tragedy, and the old practices are the Koreans themselves. All I’m saying is there’s a time and place to bring it up.

  • bumfromkorea

    I fail to see how my “wrath” is a finite resource.

  • bumfromkorea

    He doesn’t have a valid point (you will, I’m sure, when you write that post about the cutthroat education system). His point isn’t about the welfare of Korean children. His point is very clear given this sentence:

    “I won’t let those deaths be forgotten and I won’t stop reminding people that the Korean status quo is the criminal here, not FOREIGNERS.”

    It’s about him. He does not have any important point in that writing.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    It’s always some guy walking who just hocks one off the side without caring who’s nearby. I understand the need to spit sometimes, but shit… Find a grassy area and do it carefully.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Mr. Carr, I hope you’re not succumbing to an auto-immune illness!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • redwhitedude

    Yellow journalism perhaps on the way American GIs are portrayed by the Korean press.

  • redwhitedude

    That’s still no excuse. There are plenty of well behaved young men.

  • ExpatBateman

    Please don’t yawn. I can smell your klown kimchi breath and it’s making me want to vomit.

  • Seoulgoodman

    If you’re doing so for criminal purposes, maybe. Yes, intent counts for something in law (come on, you should know that). If your boss screwed up your papers (as it has happened to me), the Immigration officer will give you a small fine, apologize for doing so because his hand are tied, and you won’t have a criminal record as it falls under the jurisdiction of Immigration, not the national police.

  • Seoulgoodman

    USFK members, particularly the ones who are Marines, make up a small percentage of the expatriate community.

  • Seoulgoodman

    That’s nothing. Lots of nuts here. My wife’s been assaulted while treating a patient.

  • jfpower

    I am constantly asked by Koreans why I would want to learn Korean, and regularly produce giggles or blank stares when I try and speak it. For good, bad and all in between, Korea is a country with a very clear divide between foreigners and locals. The question of fitting in can’t really be viewed through a Western lens.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Once again, the patients my wife had to treat who were stoned were all Korean. Besides that, the American war on drugs is evil.

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

    What are you up to, ChuckRamone?

  • cactusmcharris

    I know you’re not naive, so maybe you got sideways, or are suffering the aftereffects. The law in Korea is flexible, perhaps more so than other places, depending on who is being charged with what.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Tarring white people with the same brush a) IS racist and b) tars me, too.

  • ExpatBateman

    I’m an angry, self-righteous, racist expat in Korea who hates the Klowns. What do you mean what am I up to? There are lots of blogs online that reflect just what I’m saying.

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

    True. But they’re written by actual angry, self-righteous, racist expats in Korea who hates the Klowns. I was about to ban you as a troll until I saw the email address and was like, wait, I know that email.

  • Aaron

    since when did this blog become Dave’s ESL cafe? this discussion is so 2004

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

    I blame the JoongAng Daily.

  • wangkon936

    Hummm…. no. That’s not what I’m saying. Sometimes I feel as if many of the frustrated expats who don’t like their stay in Korea can’t really articulate what they don’t like about Korea and Koreans to rank and file Koreans and once they meet a person like me online they dump all their frustrations onto me, whether or not I may agree or disagree with some of the positives and negatives of Korea.

    There is a lot of straw manning going on here. Seldom have I heard any clarifying questions ever asked such as, “Hey WK, what you said here, does it mean that you believe such and such?” or, “I am interpreting your comment to mean that you believe such and such.” No one every asks me, they just assume. They take 20% of what I say, then take the gaps that are in there minds and fill them with their own assumptions, which often or not are of the worst kind.

    So, what ends up coming out of the fingers (via typing) out of one of my critics is a complete misinterpretation of what I said. I am rarely given the benefit of the doubt and purposely misunderstood and my words twisted by a crowd that consistently and willfully do so. Now, I consider myself a fairly patient guy, but there is only so much that I will tolerate because I don’t want to spend all my time here having to clarify and unwrap your confirmation biases. It takes a lot of time, time I’d rather spend elsewhere. It reduces my enjoyment of this blog. If I see a consistent pattern of it then I’m just going to delete the comment after a certain point. You have been warned (not just you, but also people of your inkling).

  • wangkon936

    “… you’re saying as a whole Korean people think they’re a bunch of rowdy rule breaking jerks?”

    Nope. That’s not what I’m saying. You took my distinction between the enlisted and the officers and you blew it completely out of proportion.

    Fine, maybe we should take our rowdy little ADD boys and our toys and go home.

    Since I didn’t say that, why do you bring this up? You know, you can talk about this all you want to satisfy some irrational emotional need, but it won’t happen for the foreseeable future:

    http://rokdrop.com/2008/07/04/why-immediate-withdrawal-of-usfk-will-not-happen-anytime-soon/

    Don’t make excuses for Korea being a drunken whore chasing wonderland either.

    When did I ever do that?

  • wangkon936

    Huh? Excuse me? I never talked about race… just stupid enlisted men doing stupid things in Korea. How does that equal “WK936 is against white people!”?

    Did it ever occur to you that I might be concerned of the conduct of some enlisted men BECAUSE I am American and don’t like to be represented overseas in that way? Is there a possibility that race may have absolutely nothing to do with my comments? Gee, perhaps you don’t know because YOU NEVER ASKED ME. You just went directly into attack mode.

    I will tell you that my patience is wearing extremely thin on that type of commenting style.

  • wangkon936

    “It is their own personal playground.”

    When someone says stupid shit like this then it makes you sound like a idiot jarhead. I’m sorry, but that’s what it makes you sound like. If you are a Marine for the U.S. that doesn’t give you a license to act like a moron overseas and get your “kicks” at the expense of the local population.

    One of my best friends was a jarhead. Enlisted straight out of HS, they soon found out he was bad ass and they pushed him into Force Recon. He wasn’t just a Marine, he was a bad ass Force Recon Marine. He had a head on his shoulders too because he did ended up doing ROTC at UC Berkeley.

    You are (or were) a Marine, part of the most professional corps sized heavy infantry forces of the U.S. military. You are a force for good in this world, just as the U.S. government claims that you are. Act like one. Behave yourself. You are not a part of Genghis Khan’s Mongol horde looking for rape and pillage.

  • wangkon936

    I agree. Spring cleaning is in order.

  • djson1

    I guess your wife’s sample of patients is pretty much all the statistics we need then.

  • wangkon936

    I would say that a lot of productivity gets wasted in MTs and evening business sponsored romps. I would say that part of Korea’s culture needs to change. However, if your goal is to end those entirely, then that’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future.

    It’s a bit like Mad Men. Yes, I know you watch Med Men. Korea’s white collar work culture is a bit like America’s of the 60’s.

  • Sumo294

    I get lectured by Jeju people for speaking the dialect. I told one lady I detected clear differences in five areas and she was shocked and then tried to hit me with her walking stick. Jeju native speech is very informal and sounds crude to modern Jeju people. Many refuse to speak it or teach it to others.

  • wangkon936

    Wow… schizophrenia is a nasty disease.

  • wangkon936

    Really? I gotta tell my dad to stop trying to act like an American then. And to think, all this time he would study up on American idioms and slap one of his American co-workers on the back and try to talk about yesterday’s baseball game in order to seem more integrated and approachable. I guess he’s been doing it wrong for all these years…. 😛

  • ExpatBateman

    Schizophrenia, megalomania, solipsism, arrogance, belligerence, contempt, delusion, pomposity … that’s why I’m ExPatrick Bateman.

  • cactusmcharris

    You’re a psychiatrist too?

  • wangkon936

    No, but like Mr. Koehler, I know who’s who in this blog.

  • wangkon936

    Hahaha… I get it. But you may want to rethink your strategy. Mr. Koehler does not appreciate the tactic.

  • wangkon936

    I guess it really depends on how long you want to be in Korea and what your level of involvement will be. If it’s “just a few years” then learning the language and culture may not be the best idea. If the answer is “a few decades and I have or am planning on marrying a Korean” then integrating yourself more fully into Korean culture and society is a more viable (and practical) option.

    The majority society may never fully accept you as one of their own. I know that the majority society in America may never accept my parents, who still speak English with a heavy accent and still have very Korean mannerisms and style, as American. My parents may never really fully consider themselves as American either. I think that’s reality for most recent immigrants anywhere.

    What you are going through is an immigrant experience. You have walked a mile in my parents moccasins! Maybe when you go back home you will look at the broken English speaking brown or yellow man’s experience with a little more sympathy?

  • wangkon936

    I am constantly asked by Koreans why I would want to learn Korean, and regularly produce giggles or blank stares when I try and speak it.

    Your pronunciation must be really bad. How long have you been in Korea? How much longer do you plan to stay?

    Despite the stares and giggles you should keep at it. Repetition will make you better and if you get to a certain point you will not get giggles and you will get stares displaying impressed faces.

  • wangkon936

    Well… I’m not defending or justifying it. I’m explaining it.

  • wangkon936

    You said it better than I did… clap, clap, clap (genuine applause, no sarcasm hinted or implied).

  • GerryBevers

    I was pretty good at speaking Korean when I was living in Korea and didn’t really feel any divide of significance, at least not until I started writing about Dokdo, and then, suddenly, it was like I was in a different country.

    I had lived in Korea for more than twenty years and thought I understood Koreans pretty well, but their reaction to my Dokdo writings caught me completely by surprise. It was like I had raped a child or something. One day I was a popular teacher with students and Korean professors, who would often come to me for help and advice; the next day I was a pariah who was suddenly unqualified for his job.

    Knowing the language makes a big difference and gets rid of much of the divide you may be feeling. Just keep studying it and don’t talk or write about Dokdo.

    I suspect that a Korean in the US who couldn’t speak English very well would probably also feel there was a divide. The difference is that Americans would not ask him why he would want to learn English. On the contrary, they would expect him to want to learn English.

  • GerryBevers

    I agree about the language, but what do you mean by acting like Koreans? Using chopsticks? Showing deference to elders? Going out to eat with coworkers? Exchanging drinking glasses? Dancing in a circle?

    There are some foreigners who try too hard to be Korean, and others who try too hard not to be Korean. I like those who are in the middle, those foreigners who respect the Korean culture, but who do not run around in shower shoes all day eating kimchi and drinking soju.

  • wangkon936

    I guess it depends and everyone is different, like you said. Make an honest effort, but go with what makes you feel comfortable, I guess. People can totally see it when you try too hard. Makes everybody feel uncomfortable.

  • wangkon936

    “I had lived in Korea for more than twenty years and thought I understood Koreans pretty well, but their reaction to my Dokdo writings caught me completely by surprise. “

    I think Andrei Lankov gave you the best advice on this matter in that ginormous comments section where Robert announced your termination. It was a few years ago and my memory is hazy, but he essentially said that every nation has its sacred cows and if you sacrificed those sacred cows then you had better be ready for the consequences.

    For the U.S. it would be something like defending Southern slavery. For Europe it would be Holocaust denial. For Korea it happens to be Dokdo (or more importantly supporting any major Japanese claim against Korea). Koreans have very little direct recourse for all the suffering they believe they have suffered under Japanese rule. Because of the lack of recourse, they have put so much emotional energy behind Dokdo and that one issue has been blown completely out of proportion to it’s relative size and/or realistic utility. If you are not on board with that, then they don’t want you in a teaching position. I would have to say that would probably be true if you took a position that Southern slavery was just or that there wasn’t enough evidence for the Holocaust. You would be booted out of most American and/or Western European teaching positions as well.

    However, it is what it is. It’s not my job to debate the fairness of the size or positioning of a mine field. I’m just telling you were the mine field is and how dangerous it is. It’s up to you to understand that and heed any useful advice on the matter from me or anyone else.

  • Seoulgoodman

    A migrant worker is not the same as a terrorist or a North Korean spy. Imagine that.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Why not? It’s not as if she picks her patients. She works at the largest hospital in the city, so she sees people from all walks of life.

  • Seoulgoodman

    You’re talking 30 years in the past. The Nashville Club in Ittaewon still had its old “No Koreans Allowed” sign out in the mid to late ’90s, and stepping in there was like walking in a tavern circa 1975. Great steak and burgers, but you couldn’t help but feeling pathetic for being there.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Explain why you’re whining, then?

  • Seoulgoodman

    Nonsense. You can’t discriminate against all because of a few. It’s against the law in Canada, and I’m sure it is also in the US.

  • wangkon936

    The marines have very few assets in Korea. Most of the Marines on this side of the Pacific are in Okinawa.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Acting Korean=assimilation. The funniest thing about it is that he doesn’t seem to realize that he himself has been assimilated to a certain degree.

  • wangkon936

    Sounds like the typical garbled stuff you get when you try to run hangul into Google translate. Bob must be well versed that exercise.

  • wangkon936

    Whining? What I’m I whining about?

  • Seoulgoodman

    Yeah, I get the opposite. I speak a few languages, so I have a good ear for pronunciation. Korean is also one of the languages that is spoken at my home. So, naturally, my pronunciation is quite good. Unfortunately, strangers take it as meaning that I am much more fluent in Korean than I really am.

  • wangkon936

    The streets of Downtown LA and NYC always smell like urine or raw sewage. I do think many expats must have come from either a small towns or a small city and haven’t lived in a big city. In terms of big cities, if they had some basis of comparison, then they would see that Seoul is actually relatively clean and well mannered.

  • wangkon936

    You talking about me? I am assimilated. Quite so. Because I am, I don’t feel foreign in America nor do other Americans make me feel like I am foreign. I think that’s exactly my point. Don’t wanna feel like a foreigner in Korea? Assimilate to some degree.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Problem 1) You use(d) your real name.
    Problem 2) Your approach. You were posting your data on a website that I understood as being anti-Korean and you allowed yourself to be interviewed by the Japanese media.
    Problem 3) You ignore(d) the last 60 some years of history during which South Korea has actively possessed Dokdo, which means that not only South Korea’s historical claims (right or wrong), but also Japan’s (right or wrong) are insignificant.

    But, yeah, one should not lose his job for pointing out that someone’s facts are wrong.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Nah, easier. Treat people with respect. Be tolerant and they’ll return the favour. I’ve lived in Korea for nearly 20 years and the only time I’m made to feel foreign is when they treat my son, who is a Korean citizen and speaks Korean as his first language, as something other than what he is: Korean.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Yes, people confuse the fact that Korea is an ethnically homogeneous society (less so now than in the past, but still…) as a sign that Koreans aren’t individuals. I’ve got more in common with my friends than many of their compatriots do.

  • Seoulgoodman

    ” I get annoyed with my favorite Koreatown watering hole when it get’s
    “discovered” by Mr. Round Eye and I can’t smoke a cig or enjoy a drink
    after 2pm in there anymore.”

  • Seoulgoodman

    It does seem so on a superficial level, but it isn’t what he did. He’s faking it. I won’t bother to explain why I think so, but you should be able to tell since you’re fluent in both Korean and English.

  • bigmamat

    No but I got frustrated with the comment about putting on the uniform and representing the U.S. What I see a lot on comment blogs is a different standard of behavior for one group while another group gets a pass based on any number of factors, often “culture”. Especially on blogs about Korea. I’ve suggested all along in this section that “boys will be boys” regardless of their culture when alcohol and women are involved. I didn’t really want to address the issue with the expat community because the baby bitch boys don’t sway me at all with their constant bashing of Koreans and Korean culture. American servicemen for better or for worse have literally no choice but to go to Korea.

  • Seoulgoodman

    We aren’t all American here. So, the argument that it’s the norm in America doesn’t go very far here, regardless of whether it holds true or not.

    Besides, such an argument is a logical fallacy.

  • Seoulgoodman

    You’re making me want to go to Koreatown so I can shame doormen for not being able to speak Korean as well as I do.

  • bigmamat

    My nephew is a Marine and will be going to Okinawa in the fall. All the marines I know are polite, well mannered and a credit to the corps. However, even my nephew has been surprised on occasion by some of the antics of his fellow Marines. He says the boys from Louisiana in his unit were crazy and reckless. Remember though, he enlisted when he was 19. When he came back from Iraq even he went through this phase of going into town on the weekends, getting drunk and getting into fights. I think he needed to depressurize. You also need to remember that these guys come from all over a very large country. I think a lot of non Americans believe that Americans have one monolithic culture and we all think and act alike. Of course the Marines is a very good place to train the regionalism right out of you.

  • jfpower

    Jeez, thanks a lot for the compliment. It probably isn’t great, but I don’t think my Korean is so bad considering I have been here 4 years and work a long work week in English.

    I think you are missing the point about laughter and surprise. Again, foreigners are strange here, as are white faces that come out with Korean words. I get plenty of compliments as well. The overall point is Korea isn’t used to foreigners full stop.

  • sloppycho

    You’re the hero Gotham South Korea deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

    I’ll call it in.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Threats. Always with the threats.

  • Bob Bobbs

    It’s interesting how much time you spend talking about what you aren’t. One more time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYXzTG9jtJw

  • Bob Bobbs

    The streets of Seoul actually have open sewers running through them. Garbage sits uncollected for days and attracts huge flying cockroaches,

  • redwhitedude

    Or he just happened to be drunk when typing that up.

  • redwhitedude

    Aren’t there going to build casinos for foreigners? What is it? That Korea is trying to rival Macau when the ban on locals gambling is in place? Is this some kind of joke, rival Macau while the laws are left like this?

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  • que337

    bigmamat: Marines are trained that they are the baddest mofos on the planet

    Is it necessarily so?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER4srD951bw

  • bumfromkorea
  • bumfromkorea

    It’s just that I heard the exact same complaints from friends I met in college who are from Anytown, America. (Some even from guys from queen creek or Ahwatukee)… Well, with the added bonus of methheads, that is.

  • bigmamat

    Isn’t that cute. The Marine reservist that works with me is one of the most polite, respectful, hardworking, helpful, upright young men I know. He’s also no child anymore, he’s 26. He also admits that in high school he got into a bit of trouble that he barely escaped, and he might still be getting loaded on the weekends and farting around if he hadn’t.

  • Seoulgoodman

    It will never be Dave’s ESL cafe because Robert doesn’t ban people left and right in order to protect his financial interests.

  • silver surfer

    ‘Here is Korea’? Ugh. That phrase is like fingers on a chalkboard to me.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Ha ha. Glad you like it! No gay in Korea!

  • A Korean

    “… Korea being a drunken whore chasing wonderland either.”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Language.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I guess you haven’t been there long enough to improve the country. Give it another 25 years.

  • Bob Bobbs

    More Americans are busted for drug trafficking in Korea than Canadians.

  • Bob Bobbs

    And how do you know this?

  • Bob Bobbs

    ‘Their hospitals’? Where are they?

  • bigmamat

    No but there’s a direct correlation between the drinking and most of the bad behavior….that’s all. I’m sure if I were a man I’d find it convenient.

  • RElgin

    Well, I’m assuming you will fall asleep sometime . . .

  • cactusmcharris

    Mine has similar stories, too, and she’s just taken on a family of Korean immigrants. Any tips so she doesn’t fall off the deep end for ggaktugi kimchi and Girls Generation?

  • I AM IN ODE

    Couldn’t care less about a person’s English speaking ability.

  • Arghaeri

    The local laws don’t matter much when you’re trying to exploit foreign one and foreign patrons. You don’t serious believe Macau’s gambling industry is built on Macauns do you?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Macanese.

  • redwhitedude

    Yes it is a tourist draw but it is odd to have locals banned.

  • sloppycho

    Curious where they picked up the habit.

  • 8675309

    Except for a few diehards and those with vested long-term interests in Korea (vis-à-vis businesses, marriage, etc.), the concept of a cohesive expat “community” in Korea is a misnomer and doesn’t really exist.

    At best, foreigners in Korea are a loose and informal network of transients on the prowl, far away from home — usually for the first time in their lives — who are either coming, going, or both. At worst, they represent a neverending sea change of rapidly turning over faces whose presence — or vagrancy — is typically a burden on those around them, including other long-staying expats.

    So let’s not combine two distinct and totally separate issues, one being the disproportionate number of high-profile rapes and drug offenses committed by a very small number of highly visible foreign vagrants with no vested interests in Korea (USFK members included), and the other, the fact that not every pasty-faced poseur on a short-term/holiday visa in Korea is necessarily associated with an expat community.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    What a strawman to say those who oppose the anti-discrimination bill are for discrimination. Most of us are not, we simply feel that a business owner should be able to regulate who comes onto his premises and who does not. In the west no one is really a property owner, people are renters and property can be taken away from you for numerous failures to comply with whatever regulations and taxations the government sets up. Korea seems to protect property rights far better if they leave it to the owner to be able to say who can come into the establishment. It is not a “human right” to enter a bar. Let the market regulate things. If some people don’t want the money left by foreigners others will set up places that caters to this business. There is no need for government to be forcing owners to allow people onto their premises.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Bucheon?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    What makes the Marines, and GIs in general so unruly is also what make them so valuable. Face it, the Koreans want them here because they are unlike the BOYS who get drafted into the SK army.

  • Wedge1

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if a bar owner doesn’t want my custom, I’d rather spend it somewhere else anyway. It’s better if they’re upfront about it.

  • Seoulgoodman

    In Korea. There are a lot more drug addicts in Korea than the government wants to admit.

  • sloppycho

    What drugs are these addicts taking?
    Where are they originating from?
    Where did they first get hooked?

    I know you know where I’m trying to take this.

    Let’s be forthright about this and not make this thread needlessly long.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Reportedly, methamphetamine is widely available and popular. It’s manufactured here, or in North Korea and smuggled here. But here’s the question: In the United States, methamphetamine abuse is highly correlated with a number of social ills, notably crime. But Korea is remarkably safer. Where is the Korean tweaker crime wave?

  • redwhitedude

    Who says I was saying they should pull out? You know if NK even scratches them the US is not going to let it fly.

  • sloppycho

    Better call Seoulgoodman on that question.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The same as everywhere else: the get it on the black market or they go from doctor to doctor and ER to ER.

  • 8675309

    While foreigners may indeed be half as likely to commit high-profile crimes like rape and drug offenses when compared with the general population in Korea, each crime they do commit is four times as likely to garner pubic attention and create a whirlwind storm of media hype and public outrage, hence, individual foreigner crimes alone and in toto always become much bigger and statistically more significant than they would have had they never been committed to begin with. That said, any foreigner who travels abroad and purposely makes a spectacle of or draws attention to himself by violating laws of said country, is an idiot.

  • brier

    The local citizens project their worst fears into these crimes only to help prop up and maintain their personal biases. Personal growth is difficult and highly unlikely.

    I do believe the crime stats speak for themselves.

  • sloppycho

    Yeah, let’s ignore North America(n)’s role in creating a drug culture that spreads with every part-time stoner who feels the urge to share his hobby with his new friends in Korea/Asia.

    Sometimes I think Singapore has it right regarding drug dealers. You deal / You die!

  • redwhitedude

    North America popularized the drug culture not created it. Let’s not forget the opium wars by the british on Qing China, or the Afghans with their opium trade. Latin America should get mentioned too.

  • 8675309

    “I do believe the crime stats speak for themselves.”

    Then you sir, have been had. To wit:
    “Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases.” ~Theodor Billroth

  • Seoulgoodman

    Koreans were using opium and cannabis long before there was such a thing as the US.

  • 8675309

    I don’t care what nationality you are or what country it is, club “discrimination” is de rigueur and standard practice in every city and country in the world. Typical pretexts used to justify non-admittance: 1) Not dressed right; 2) Didn’t have the right “look”; 3) Ladies’ night, so no unaccompanied men; 3) Too square; 4) Too fat; 5) Probably wouldn’t ‘put out'; 6) Not the right type; 7) Bad attitude; 8) Probably would cause trouble; etc., etc., etc. Bottom line: Clubs in the West are notorious for discriminating against Asian men; however, if you’re an Asian woman and NOT fat, you’ll be escorted to the head of the line and be given the V.I.P. treatment. Not so if you’re an “unaccompanied” Asian male, the exception being all-Asian clubs in L.A. or NYC. That said, expats need not get in a tizzy about this as what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • 8675309

    “For good, bad and all in between, Korea is a country with a very clear divide between foreigners and locals…”

    Wrong metaphor. In Korea, you are either on the “inside” or the “outside,” and no amount of mimicry will get you on the inside. Imo, if you’re a foreigner in Korea and you want in, just marry into a very large and well-established Korean family with a lot of connections and resources. That’ll put you on the fast track to becoming a “native son” in no time.

  • dlbarch

    I’m actually gonna vote up on this one. I’ll let MH’s prima donnas make the unexceptional argument that “discrimination is bad. It’s baaaaad.”

    Rather, I’d argue that a little bit of reverse discrimination is good for one’s character. If it gives the otherwise privileged even a small glimpse into what it’s like to be treated like the “other,” then something good can come from the experience.

    DLB

  • sloppycho

    That I don’t dispute. I only lament the fact that with Korea’s 300 year head-start on being dope-fiends they couldn’t come up with the idea to abuse bath salts before the US.

    America’s ability to innovate is always inspiring.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Do you think I care about what happens in the US? (hint: hell no!) Do you think what happens in the US is relevant to a discussion about Korea, especially when many of the participants aren’t American and have no interest in setting foot there? (hint: hell no!)

  • Seoulgoodman

    You obviously don’t get that whatever happens in the US is irrelevant as this is a discussion about Korea.

  • Wedge1

    Some of us have lived in Tokyo. That city of 18 million somehow manages “clean and well mannered.”

  • Seoulgoodman

    FYI, I’m not American, which makes your attempts to insult me so much more pathetic.

  • sloppycho

    Taking things too personally. Insults weren’t one way.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Most of the bath salts available in the United States are manufactured in China.

  • sloppycho

    What isn’t these days.

    There are clear warnings that say something like ‘Not for Human Consumption’ … but nothing gets in the way of American’s right to get high.

  • JPNdude1

    OMG, *THIS* is why you Koreans have such a horrible reputation for being racist — right there, Sumo924 completely justifies neo-Jim Crow practices by saying “Let Koreans drink in peace in America.”

    WTF?!?!

    Sorry, buddy. But you are not in the racist wonderland called “Korea” where Korean just shrug-off practices that will get you in SERIOUS hot water in the US. And guess what? If you don’t want to live in Seoul, you have to follow our laws about equal service.

    I mean, shit, did you not see the uproar about businesses that refuse to serve gays? You know why people were pissed? Because THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We certainly have our problems and we certainly make mistakes, but if there is one thing of which I’m proud, it is that MOST OF US ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO NOT DESCEND TO THE DEPTHS OF RACISM AGAIN. And this means that if you happen to be Korean, and you refuse to serve white men, then you will be call to task, fined and/or sent to jail.

  • johnny law

    waste of oxygen.

  • I AM IN ODE

    GB, not sure if you meant to respond to me but I meant people who try to mimic Koreans; the Korean accent; Korean mannerisms. For example, ending a question while speaking and then freezing their head and facial expression in a position as they imagine a Korean person might do.

  • I AM IN ODE

    Yes, acting is annoying.