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March 27, 2006

The aching and mixture of noxious elements

This body needs an overhaul

Posted by alex at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2006

Molly tires of looking natural

molly.jpg

Sunday, Insadong


Posted by alex at 8:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2006

stumbling from foreign ghettos to dating and websites.

The area I live in Seoul is a peculiar little ghetto. Located next to Itaewon, Haebongchon sports a variety of foreignors. The area is an old part of Seoul (buildings 30-40 years old) and is the locale for Yongsan Military Base. The military base has been an important part of the residents lives with much of the business centered around catering to those living on and off the army base. The area has changed from a prostituion slum ("America Town") to a well developed red brick villages climbing up Namsan mountain with winding narrow alleyways. However, the imminent move of the base to a location on the outskirts of Seoul has the population in flux. Potential house buyers know of the great redevelopment that will take place once the prime land the army occupies is reclaimed. Nobody wants to buy into an apartment that may well be demolished in the next 5 years. This makes rent extremely cheap and it's proximity to Itaewon has made it the foreignor ghetto area of choice.

Along with high rank army officals, the majority seem to be the Nigerian community and long term English Teachers. The main body of foreignor teachers in this area seem to be have been here typically for a couple of years at least and are predominantly male. these are people who have found life in Korea to easy. The lax effort required work, the high pay and low pay make Korea an attractive location to while away a number of years. The country also acts as a convienient destination for social dropouts or deviants. Because most importantly to these residents, Korea is a haven for sex driven western men.

It's not uncommon to over hear conversations between white 20-40 year olds in Itaewons more glamourous parts about how many Korean women they have slept with recently. It seems it has never been easier for a western man to pick up girls and use them.... and funnily enough this is due to in part to the fact it is somewhat fashionable to have a Western boyfriend. I guess traditonally one could show off to friends the presents Western boyfriends would bestow upon the Korean girlfriend with their superior salary. With Korea's economic rise, money has become far less an incentive, but the lure remains, and it means a lot of English teachers do stay here primarily for Korean women.

It is curious situation as it seems both partners are trying to con each other. White boys are trying to hook up quickly and con korean girls into easy sex while Korean girls are perhaps trying to quickly con western guys into a relationship that will pay divedends in terms of gifts, status or possible commitment. I may be way off on this, but it seems it is more impoartnt to be in a relationship/married than the relationship itself. That view is changing, but it is a hang on that I think persists. In past times the union of marriage was celebrated far more than the love that may or may not be present between the groom and bride. At any rate it has meant an environment where white foreignors can think with there dicks and little else.

Such activity was brought to the fore a year ago when someone published a diatribe on message board instructing readers in fail safe method to get Koreans into bed instantly. A furor arose almost instantly and the media lashed out at the foreignor population, the relationship between the 2 already somewhat strained after a US army tank had run down and killed 2 school girls while performing army drills on the streets. The popular ESL job site was shut down and the korean govt spent a year implementing fairly useless policies aimed at appeasing the popular angtaonism directed at the foreignor community involved in such activities. Crackdowns on false university degrees in particular sent hundreds and hundreds of North Americans back to their home continent creating a huge void in possible employees.

This makes my current job search far easier for me. Which I must be off to now.


Posted by alex at 11:17 AM | Comments (1)

March 7, 2006

When the dawn comes

hangover soup.jpg

Posted by alex at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)