The Marmot's Hole

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Category: Completely Random Crap (page 1 of 48)

USFK MREs STILL popular in Korea?

Apparently so.  Back in 2009 51 Koreans were arrested for illegally selling American MREs.  Well, last month more people have been arrested for selling American MREs!  Apparently, the people are being arrested not so much for selling the MREs but for selling expired MREs (i.e. after 10 years).  Supposedly, Korean hikers and campers like expired American MREs.  At $2 a pop for a meal containing 3,000 calories, it is hard to beat the price too.

Personally, I don’t see how Koreans can be all that excited about 10 year old (or older) beef “patties,” faux pork “ribs,” chili & beans, cajun rice & sausage, meat loaf with gravy, etc.  However, according to this video, even a Desert Storm era MRE can be edible.  Any ways, I just don’t see the aforementioned flavors being all that exciting to the Korean palate.  Anyone have some inside information here?

Lady Gaga wears outfit with hangul on it in Tokyo. Japanese netizens go ape sh*t

On her Instagram account Lady Gaga posted a few pictures of her walking around Tokyo with an outfit that had, gasp, hangul written on it- 컬러.  Evidently it’s Konglish for “color” (kol-lo), a play on the style of her outfit.

Why Lady Gaga's Outfit Upsets Some People in Japan

(Image from Kotaku.com)

Reported by the Asian pop blog Kotaku, evidently the fine folks at 2ch, wasted no time in getting a lively thread started to display their shock and aghast.  Some of the more interesting comments?

“She thinks South Korea and Japan are the same.”

“Wearing clothes with Korean characters and sauntering about Roppongi is giving hate to Japan.”

“Get outta here, you shitty white person.”

“Yep, just a dumb American.”

“Certainly looks like between Japan and South Korea, Gaga likes Korea more.”

There appears to be two schools of thought here.  One is that Lady Gaga is an ignorant American who doesn’t know the difference between hangul and hiragana and this is just a dumb mistake.  The other view (from the more paranoid 2ch members) is that Gaga knows full well that hangul is Korean and is taking Korea’s side on historical issues!  Her parading around Roppongi in a hangul suit is her way of thumbing her nose at Japan!

Personally, I don’t really know what Lady Gaga is trying to do, but I kind of think that she would know the difference between the two writing styles.  Crayon Pop did give her an outfit with her name stenciled in hangul on it:

(Image from Lady Gaga’s Twitter)

For those of you who may not know, it says Leh-yi-dee Ga-ga, in Konglish.

Now, in all fairness to 2ch commenters, if Lady Gaga was running around the streets of Seoul and taking pictures of herself with an outfit that had hiragana characters on it and prominently posted the pictures on the internet, then I would say that Korean netizens would react with similar butthurt and aghast.

I take it this is some sort of hipster humor thing, right?

I suspect this is somebody’s idea of humor, and to be honest, the “trying to get all up in your wonton soup” line was kinda funny.

Still, with what’s passing for racial dialogue on the Internet nowadays, I can never be too sure.

See the writer’s follow-up post here.

RIP: Harold Ramis

(Heard on the Armstrong & Getty Show this morning)

And for something a little different…

I don’t usually blog personal stuff, but…

A Canadian friend of mine—yes, I have Canadian friends—was photographing on a rooftop yesterday evening when he saw a man who looked like he was preparing to jump from a nearby roof.

Police and fire were called in to respond and, presumably, talk the man off the ledge.

Anyway, I get a call today from a French photo buddy of mine—a French photo buddy with a head for heights and fondness for ledges. He says, “Strangest thing happened to me last night. I was taking photos from a roof last night, and I ended up getting escorted off the roof by a cop, and their were firetrucks waiting below. The cop was very nice, though.”

Well, at least Edmure Tully’s wife is pretty hot

So, when you think about it, the wedding wasn’t completely horrible, was it?

I believe that should be ‘yeppEUN gongju’

This—well, really, the whole Tumblr—is hella funny.

Mrs. Marmot was particularly amused by how he felt the need to explain the meaning of “Twinkie.”

(HT to Wangkon)

Educators gone wild

From KoreaBang, “Korean Teacher Beats Up Student, Then Masturbates in Hallway.”

Somebody was clearly having a very, very bad day.

On a much more serious note, we have what appears to be a professor using, to put it charitably, a very poor choice of words (see the end of the video) towards a foreign student (HT to Twitterer).

The video is apparently courtesy Elvira Tanjung, an Indonesian-born researcher in lovely Jinju. Usual caveats about Youtube videos—i.e., you don’t really known what you’re watching—apply.

UPDATE: Elvira Tanjung wrote about the incident in the Korea Times:

After the professor returned to Korea, he visited my rented room. He was visibly angry and yelling at me. He threatened to cancel my degree. I was shocked but I wanted the world to know how horribly he dehumanized me, record it and upload it to YouTube.

I would like to give information to other prospective students out there, because I don’t want other people to experience the same thing we did. That video probably lasted only four minutes, but that’s what happened to me almost every day during the past two years I studied under his supervision. He never treated me with dignity at all.

Those words and treatment are unacceptable; we could sue him for insulting someone from another country. All we could do before we go back to Indonesia was to report this problem to the Indonesian embassy in Korea and send them the video. Staff from the international office at GNU talked by phone to staff at the Indonesian embassy to clarify the problem.

I’d say the university and professor in question probably owe the public an explanation.

The Body Language of Bill Gates

Speaking of winking and offending (see Robert’s post earlier), Bill Gates 빌 게이츠 is in S.Korea. He’s already given a speech to students at the SNU, and had lunch with 이재용 Jaeyong Lee (Samsung) yesterday. Today he was at the Blue House to meet with President Park 박근혜 .

Korean netizens are talking about his handshake with her (how he’s clued up in expressing his level of repsect according to what they deserve) in which he has one hand in his pocket, and comparing it with when he shook hands with Kim Daejoong 김대중. So of course, being a curious George, I had to look it up. LOL
Maybe it’s more to do with closeness in age (Bill is probably the same generation as Park and 2MB), but who knows?

Thank God he didn’t wink and slap his own backside, lick his finger and go “chzzzzzzz” (the sound when something burns).

Personally I think Park should change her hairstyle, maybe use less hairspray. She should also ditch her current stylist who seems to dress her up in Merkel suits.

North Korea and Iran for the win!

Today’s WaPo asks which countries do the U.S. hate the most?  Well, surprise, surprise, surprise.  According to the latest Gallup poll it’s North Korea and Iran.

How Americans view foreign countries (Data: Gallup)

So, what about countries that view the U.S. “favorably?”  According to the Pew study in 2011 and 2010 that would be Kenya, Nigeria,  Lithuania, and drum roll- South Korea.  Interestingly, the Germans are rather ambivalent about the U.S. and the Russians have warmer feelings about the U.S. than one might think.  Also, Americans view Germany and Japan, two former WWII foes, rather pleasantly today.

How foreign countries view the U.S. (Data: Pew)

The Pew appears to skip South Korea on occasion, but here are their results over the last 12 years.

Couple of ebooks of note

- Gyeongju’s Ian James has released a collection of photos and essays on Korea called “Teakettle Mountain.” Picked up a copy for Kindle, and I like what I see. I think any Western resident of Korea can relate.

Bart Schaneman has also released a travel novella, “Trans-Siberian.” Sadly, it’s not available yet for Kindle in Korea, so I haven’t read it, but I’m sure it’s good.

Hugo Chavez dead at 58

So I guess the fun begins now.

And now for something completely different: the SS Normandie

If you’re into this sort of thing, here’s a site offering a virtual tour of the SS Normandie, quite arguably the greatest ocean liner ever built.

An Art Deco masterpiece—even the chapel was Art Deco—the SS Normandie (great site, BTW) was sadly lost when it caught fire in New York as it was being converted into a troop carrier during World War II.

The ship’s bronze doors were apparently savaged and now adorn a Maronite cathedral in Brooklyn.

BTW, the greatest American ocean liner ever built—the originally named SS United States—is still with us, albeit in poor shape, and there’s a grass roots campaign to restore it and turn it into a museum ship. Visit the campaign site here.

Iceland considers porn ban

God, I hate these right-wing Christian nutjobs.

Oh, wait.

Apparently porn is only the latest target.

(HT to kuiwon, who probably has slightly different feeling about this than I)

The dangers of the Korean Wave – at least in Thailand

According to the AFP (25 January 2013), people in Thailand are undergoing more and riskier plastic surgery because “they seek to recreate the surgically enhanced, doll-like appeal of their K-pop idols.”

Be that as it may, I really don’t think anyone can blame the Korean wave for this increase of vanity on the part of the Thais.  There has always been an effort – at least in the past couple of decades – to appear whiter. I remember many years ago while visiting Thailand that I should stay indoors during the daytime so as to keep my complexion white (considering I had just left the howling cold of winter and looked like a zombie – keeping my pasty white complexion was not on the top of my list).

Apparently, though, things have gone way too far:

Alarmingly high numbers of Thai men inject olive oil, beeswax, silicone and even paraffin into their genitals, in a misguided bid to enlarge their penises, according to one Bangkok urologist.

Skin lesions or serious infections are commonly the result, said Surat Kittisupaporn of the Police General Hospital, which sees up to 300 patients a month after botched penis treatments.

“The body reacts to the foreign substances. When there is chronic irritation or infection, it’ll be very hard to cure… it’ll be hard to even walk or take a shower,” he said, making surgery inevitable.

In the worst case, Surat was forced to remove a 50-year-old man’s genitals in November after he repeatedly injected olive oil into his penis.

In Korea I believe this is called the haebaragi (the sunflower) treatment – injecting silicon or whatnot into your small soldier so that he becomes thicker and more like a French tickler.

But it isn’t just the men:

A product promoter, or a so-called “pretty”, died in October when a gel-like filler meant to make her buttocks more shapely was injected into her bloodstream.

Her friend and fellow “pretty”, Nutchanunt Angkuttarothum, 25, said the tragedy had not deterred her from further surgery to add to a litany of procedures, including a nose job she has already undergone.

“We have to always take care of ourselves and look good, otherwise we wouldn’t look different from others”, she said after pouting for the cameras at a recent motorcycle launch event in Bangkok.

For women, the quest for bigger eyes, noses, breasts and bums is just one step in a wider bid to transform themselves.

Off-the-shelf skin whitening creams, including vaginal bleaching soaps, abound in the kingdom with many believing that a lighter skin reflects higher status and is more attractive to the opposite sex.

Vaginal bleaching soaps?  Gold, too, is used to enhance their bodies – not in the form of bling but as implants.

I like this closing quote:

“People don’t have to be white to be beautiful—good personality, having knowledge and other capacities are much more important,” Professor Suwirakorn said. “It’s better to have beauty from within.”

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