I enjoy walking home in spring. I enjoy walking outside. I enjoy that lots of other people are walking outside. I enjoy the sunshine and the flowers. I enjoy that my walking is useful instead of recreational. I am walking to go some place. And yes, it is enjoyable, at least part of the time, while I am providing my own “transportation”. But I never go for a walk to “go for a walk”. That just seems like an inefficient use of my resources.
A Korean man with a badge and some device rang my doorbell. He said the word foreigner in Korean and then spoke to me in Korean. He handed me his badge which was in Korean. I handed it back and closed the door and heard him express his frustration in a traditional Korean noise.
This made me think about how I have lived in a country for almost three years where it is okay to express disappointment and frustration towards people because of systematic roles. And how when disappointment and frustration are expressed as an attack against an object, regardless of the object’s own state of being, it’s very discouraging and breaks down communication. At least for me it did, because I closed the door on him.
I ordered a salad without dressing at a burger joint by Busan University.
It had salt and pepper on it.
A lot of salt and pepper.
One of my favorite memories in Korea is riding the metro or train and seeing the countryside slip past through the windows.
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Today consisted of finally nice spring weather, a sick mother, a student hugging me, learning that students will be quiet if you won’t raise your voice (will to power, baby), and that Korean mothers teach their sons to pee in public. Yes, I actually saw a mom holding her son’s penis and then shaking it for him – all outside right next to a four-lane street. There is a reason Korea smells like a giant out-house all summer. Thankfully your brain quits processing that smell after three days. Unfortunately everything has traces of urine on it still.
However, it is a bit of a crazy show. Somehow the line of kings is still going strong in South Korea although North Korea is still communist. And there is a 3rd annual worldwide military officer competition with delegations from each country. Apparently American won twice. Also, there is a sinister Club M ran by some wacko Korean man who thinks he should be the rightful King of Korea based on his heritage randomly being that of Korean. However, Club M is a manufacturer of weapons bought by countries all over the world and seemingly the most powerful international corporation in the world. I could go on like the loser second son of the royal family is in the competition with an amazing North Korean female soldier who bests all the guys and just desperately wants to married instead of being a soldier anymore, but that kind of thing is just normal K-drama fantasy.
There are two problems I have with this drama: Korean language usage and the theory the drama espouses that if the two Koreas were left to their own devices, they would unify because they are brothers and understand each other (subplot: foreigners are bad).
Yes, I am biased – I hold an American passport and I have lived in Korea long enough to realize their fear and mistrust of foreigners applies to all people, except for other Koreans.
Okay, in the drama Kings 2 Hearts, a lot of Korean is used. Koreans from North and South speak to each other easily and the North Koreans even know some South Korean sogs. But Koreans also speak Korean to foreigners and international audiences … in fact, at one point in episode 3 a soldier yells at UN forces to speak Korean. That seems incredibly insane except for the Secretary-General of the United Nations is Ban Ki-moon – A KOREAN! Therefore, it is plainly logical that Korea has proven itself the dominant power in the world and all people should learn to speak Korean. (That was sarcasm, by the way.)
We were talking about Girls’ Generation yesterday and unfortunately my American neighbor knows all of their names! (He blames his Korean college roommate but I have some misgivings.)
So, Girls’ Generation or 소녀시대 (So Nyeo Shi Dae) is a wildly popular vocal group consisting of nine female members.
So, we were joking about their names being “Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy and Sleety,” when my neighbor added “Meatballs”. Now Meatballs is everyone’s favorite Girls’ Generation member. Remember her name is plural.