OutsideIn Korea
August 14, 2006 4:38 AM   Subscribe

OutsideIn Korea - brought to the world by our own stavrosthewonderchicken. He asked what you would like to see on the site here. Now sit back while he brings it to you. Or not. Probably not, now I think about it. In any case, the man writes like a demon on crack (except twice as interesting) and, whether or not you have the slightest interest in Korea, you will be entertained by the stories. If you follow his personal site, you know what to expect. If you have never read his writings before, strap in, you're in for a bumpy ride.
posted by dg (19 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I hope he does dog eating.
posted by A189Nut at 4:48 AM on August 14, 2006

Enjoy your fifteen minutes, fucker.

Seriously, though, I like it. For anyone who has studied the Korean language, people, history, or lived there, travelled there, whatever, it is quite enthralling. (the rest of you, though? We don't cotton to yer kind 'round here. Go on. Git.)
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 4:58 AM on August 14, 2006

Yikes, I just took down the paper on the windows. But thanks for the linking, dg.

Damn, I shoulda put out the good towels and crystal bowls fulla cocaine before I went public.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 AM on August 14, 2006

Fantastic blog, albeit perhaps a little too lenient on how absolutely sucky life is in Korea for anyone who isn't Korean. I, in fact, am moving away on my two month anniversary of arriving. Couldn't handle it for one more day, either.

I will, however, definitely keep up with this blog, since even in two months I'll be able to relate to a lot of what's going on. Bookmarked!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 5:43 AM on August 14, 2006

Great stories... wish I had more time to peruse from work, but sadly do not. Good work!
posted by antifuse at 5:44 AM on August 14, 2006

"Do you always talk like a Chinese fortune cookie?"
"Chinese! I am Korean. Korean is the most perfect creature ever to sanctify the earth with the imprint of its foot."

Ooh. Great for this newbie Korean language student!
Thanks, dg, and great work, stavros!
posted by zerokey at 6:09 AM on August 14, 2006

Thanks for the link, dg, and stwc, nice work...

I spent a little over a year living in Korea back in the early '70's. It's fascinating to hear how it has changed.

For the record, I loved living there. The people were great, the countryside was beautiful and fascinating, and I loved the sense of history that could be found by visiting the old palaces, tombs, etc.

I suspect that its Westernization has changed much of that, which is too bad.
posted by HuronBob at 6:40 AM on August 14, 2006

how absolutely sucky life is in Korea for anyone who isn't Korean

Typical myopic me, I hadn't even noticed. Goodness, I hope no one noticed me enjoying the past year; what a faux pas!
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:28 AM on August 14, 2006

Just spent half an hour there, and it's remarkable how different Stav's views are from mine, after 4 1/2 years here.

Like the snarky writing style, I suppose, and it's good to have a resource like this, I suppose. Or I'm supposed to suppose, at least.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:10 AM on August 14, 2006

I'm wondering, having spent time teaching English in Japan (and there are thousands of websites on the subject, it seems), is there much difference?

It does sound worse in Korea. Somewhat.
posted by kozad at 8:33 AM on August 14, 2006

Reeks too much of 'look at the funny Asian people!' Also the insights are pretty shallow. Comments like:

The idea behind these clusters of clerks is that such heavy concentrations of service-people enhance the feeling -- that wealthier Koreans, including the growing middle class, seem to just love -- of being catered to by hordes of low-born types or a reasonable facsimile, grovelling before the shopper's imperial whims.

aren't exactly inspiring. I guess the pepsi-tween voice works well, kinda.
posted by nixerman at 8:49 AM on August 14, 2006

I heard that when Steve Jobs read that story about straying off the trail and almost getting shot, he shit his pants.

No, really, this is good, but I would argue that in point of fact mrwonderchicken is only one-and-a-half times as interesting as a demon on crack.
posted by soyjoy at 9:24 AM on August 14, 2006

A friend caught a rare sighting of stav on his bike the other day after he stepped out of a very fresh public toilet on his way to Okjeong Middle School.

I'll be visiting S. Korea soon, so I'll definitely be reading Outside In Korea for weeks to come. Thanks, dg (and of course, stav!)
posted by shoepal at 10:46 AM on August 14, 2006

Yikes, I just took down the paper on the windows.
Well, now that the attention of the Webiverse is focussed on you, you can't slack off. Get writing, man!
posted by dg at 1:33 PM on August 14, 2006

A189Nut : "I hope he does dog eating."

I can field that in case he doesn't.

Korean dog is good. The dog I had in Beijing was terrible.

Then again, most of the food I had in Beijing was terrible.

Korean dog-eating took a tremendous dive in prevalence with their temporary ban to appease us round-eyes during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. A lot of stores that were closed just never reopened. It still isn't that hard to find, though. Nothing like getting dogmeat in Houston, where you have to know the owners of one of the few restaurants that serve it clandestinely in order to order it. (No, I haven't had any dog in Houston, but my biology teacher, who ran the tennis club at school, and thus was very, very good friends with quite a few Vietnamese students, did).
posted by Bugbread at 3:33 PM on August 14, 2006

Reeks too much of 'look at the funny Asian people!'

That's a shame, because that's precisely not what I'm about. Although the Koreans (including my smart, beautiful and irredeemably goofy wife) are pretty damn funny, it's true.

Also the insights are pretty shallow.

Don't mistake jokes for insights, or vice for versa. Ah well. Can't please all the people all the time.

And yeah, I've had 보신탕 (dog soup), too. Ain't no big thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:52 PM on August 14, 2006

You are as stymied as I in the ability to reproduce the schoolgirl howl, I see. I tried explaining it to my wife, who's visited Korea a few times but never watched much Korean TV, and it just wouldn't communicate, because I just couldn't. make. that. sound.
posted by Bugbread at 4:04 PM on August 14, 2006

Reeks too much of 'look at the funny Asian people!'

Bah. Ignore that, Stav.

I've been tarred with that brush before myself.
posted by bwg at 4:57 AM on August 15, 2006

Excellent, stav. Good on ya. And thanks for bringing it to light, dg. This will require further study....
posted by Doohickie at 10:22 AM on August 15, 2006

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