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Alright alright, let's be negative about korea then.
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narsty dog



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well cholla , no idea - never been there . i lived in shinchon/ itaewon/ back to shinchon for years , not exactly quiet and retiring neighbourhoods.
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magill



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: kyongbuk

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 5:51 pm    Post subject: subway fire Reply with quote

I don't think the Daegu subway fire is completely forgotten. I was passing through DongDaegu subway entrance 2 weeks ago and there was a big photo exhibition there. I didn't have an interpreter with me but it appeared to be showing the forensic efforts after the fire, with photos of hair, personal items and the aftermath of the fire. It looked quite grisly. OK, so an outside exhibition is not big media, but maybe the disaster is not fully forgotten.
As an aside, I was traveling onto Pusan where I used the subway system there. At one stop a destitute bagman got on. When the doors closed he pulled out a gaslighter and proceeded to light up and smoke a cigarette stub in the crowded carriage. Not one person attempted to get him put it out. What is the chance of another Taegu subway fire incident happening? Quite high I should think.
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jaderedux



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Lurking outside Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The way my secretary leaps onto the internet to research the schedule for a festival I've casually mentioned attending just makes me boil. Would they stop be so damn well meaning and helpful already? It's getting on my nerves!


Rolling Eyes Oh pulllleeeeze ...I have done my time as an admin asst. and would have done the same thing...ooooh guess what I am not korean just a good employee. Cripes...you have a secretary...well duh of course she is going to do stuff like that....I would too because generally I am a nice person and good employee.

I am often accused of being one of those with rose colored glasses but this is a chance for us with whine a bit and generally grouse about things that bug us.

There is another thread about the positive aspects (and there are many) of this country. But it doesn't hurt to let off a little steam too. I do the same about my own country.

Please don't be so self-righteous and condescending.

Jade
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Blue Flower



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Location: The realisation that I only have to endure two more weeks in this filthy, perverted, nasty place!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: can I get witness amen Reply with quote

jaderedux wrote:
6. The complete and total lack of respect for women as equals. The women teachers(married) at my school are frequently exhausted. While western men aren't perfect ....Men here seem to do NO housework much less EVER help with children. They come home late leave early and aren't much of a role model as far as I can see.


That is interesting. While having a conversation with my boss, in which she was extolling all the virtues of Korean men, she said that they help in the house, in the kitchen, with the children, etc. Though she was trying to get me interested in having a Korean boyfriend.

Not being here for very long, i am trying no to think too much about the negatives, as it will destroy any chance i have to enjoy this year, but what i have found so far:

1) The spitting. It is disgusting.
2) I'm sorry for this one - but the food. I don't like it. I fear I will never like it. Any of it.
3) The fact that I can't walk down the street without passing my school, and having my boss ask "Where are you going?". "Why are you going there?". Can I not leave my apartment????
4) The showers suck. They are a sad excuse for showers. This is, apart from food, the main thing I miss. Having a decent 20 min shower every morning.
5) The filth everywhere. For a nation obsessed with cleanliness, it is amazing to see everything so dirty.
6) The fact that there is no fresh air. When it rains, the rain doesn't make anything cleaner, it is just dirtier than it was before.
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well well. i'm curious to see if this thread provokes more responses than my positive posting. And will there emerge Narsty dog's alter ego, rushing to defend Korea?
"The worst things about Korea" needs a whole website to contain it... I've decided to cut short my stay this time, I'll be leaving Korea in August, 6 months early. You can all kick me if i come back. After my weekend visiting Japan I finally decided Korea's so inferior to many other countries. And, I just cannot go on being annoyed and angry everyday. Theres always something new to rile me, some inconvenience, some stupidity, and I'm sick of feeling like this. Once I leave I'll finally be free of that undulating whining intonation of Koreans that is always so much backround noise. My negative list of Korea is too long to attempt to post!
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itaewonguy



Joined: 25 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:20 pm    Post subject: Koreans are too emotional(somewhat like Italians). Reply with quote

Koreans are too emotional(somewhat like Italians).
OUCH!!
well the Italians have things to be Emotional over its in the blood!
look at our HIstory! our arts, our songs,our everything!!
Koreans are just children!please dont use Korea and Italians in the same sentence,, we are nothing like koreans and they are nothing as much as they wont to be like us THEY ARE NOT!!!
ok italians can be prima donas or what ever!! like I said think about why!
beauty does that to people
you know michel Angelo cried like a baby when Da vinci showed him the mona lisa.. what can I say, we are emotion when it comes to beauty
koreans are just cry babies and uptight! you're absolutly right about not ebing able to have a conversation without them tturning into an arguement!!
also
its like when I first got here, I had never met a CAnadian before until I came here, also an american I guess..
and I made friends with both, but sometimes I would be hanging out and the Canadians would be arguing like hell over a war called, the war of 1812
I have never seen such crying!!!
hahahahaha that was funny..
point is all people are patriotic!
I think we all saw the HEADS of koreans SWELL during the Worldcup!
shit should have seen it when ITALY lost to them!! hahahhaha
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jaderedux



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Lurking outside Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That is interesting. While having a conversation with my boss, in which she was extolling all the virtues of Korean men, she said that they help in the house, in the kitchen, with the children, etc. Though she was trying to get me interested in having a Korean boyfriend
.

hmmm? That is interesting to me. Korean men are great...I gots me one but .....I haven't seen anyone in the BF family male wise go near a kitchen. His mother doesn't even have her own place setting she just eats of hubby's or my boyfriends. His sisters even wait on him a bit. It is sort of weird.

He sort of expects me to be the one to get up and make breakfast in the morning.....EVERY MORNING...NOT cereal either I mean real live breakfast. Get up early enough to make rice and such.....gawd...was the awakening for him hard.

Once we were home hanging out and he casually mentioned was hungry. So I said there was some ramen or bread for sandwiches....he got this hurt look on his face and just sat there ...blinking....sorry there is this blinking thing some Koreans do ...If you haven't seen it I couldn't begin to explain it if you have you know exactly what I mean. Finally I asked what was wrong he said well...I said I was hungry and you didn't make me anything.... Shocked Needless to say we had a long discussion.......!

The thing that keeps me from jumping into marriage is I am not sure if I can handle it. I don't want to whine and complain and be resentful of him. So we are moving very very slow...mostly because I want it that way.

I think your friend must have an exception husband. I can only go by the experiences I have had, seen and the people I work with. I have to say however on holidays or Sundays families do things togethr. But ask a Korean woman if she likes Chusok holiday. MOST I know HATE it! They are expected to cook, clean cook some more and usually with little help from anyone.

Last year one of the women columnists in the K. Herald even chastised men for whining about store bought foods at holiday time. Since they didn't do anything to help and so many women work full time now , they shouldn't expect women to kill themselves making everything at homemade. Many of the women end up exhausted and completely stressed out.

I think that is the thing that I struggle with the most. The place in society or perhaps lack of place women have. I do see it is changing. I hope their culture survives and comes out for the better.

jade
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have tried to hold out from posting on this thread, for a lot of what I find 'not good' about Korea I feel could change if Korea was serious about becoming an international country, or even more out there, the hub of Asia. But Koreans aren't really serious, for it seems to me a truely twisted game they are playing with the rest of the world. There is a disconect from reality in Korea, that really bothers me. Koreans say one thing, and then do the other, not really seeing the realationship between their words and actions. That said, to be more clear myself I would have to say what irks me about Korea is the lack of a social compact regulating polite behaviors between stangers without the baggage of who stands where in society. General public politness is very low. Another irk, and I can relate to Narsty dog here, is the general feeling of unease Koreans have when you enter their social space, whether it be a restaurant, coffee shop, bar, or happen to be near them hiking, on a bus, in a park, anywhere. There defence they show, and for some the level of defence they show is usually ignored, but yet, I usually pick up on it. If anything, I feel surprised when there is no defence, and very happy.

Last edited by weatherman on Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to disagree (although I agree somewhat) a little on the Korean men vs/ men from other countries thing. I think in Korea that it depends quite a bit on the generation of the man. The generation thing is much the same at home (US) for me. That said, it seems like Korea is about 20 years behind the US in terms of the feminist movement--at least in some aspects of it. For one example, my school has a boys baseball team , but no girls sports team at all, even though it is a co-ed school. The girls are also all required to wear skirts as part of the uniforms at my school.

I know plenty of men in the US who just sit around and don't help their wives--and I lived with a Korean family that was very similar. I've seen my father and grandfathers hold very traditional roles at home and then start to do a lot more as they got older (especially after retirement). My own father (who has 3 daughters and no sons) commented on how my sister's husband doesn't help out enough and my sister pretty much manages everything to do with the kids and my mom told him--'Well how do you think it was for me? The same way!". This is a case where people can change and do, but let me tell you, I know it was really hard for my mom raising 3 daughters and holding a full-time job during all of the years her kids were at home. Many American woman have the same complaint--still--about holding a job outside of the home and then coming home to do a lot of work at home.

Sometimes I wish my Korean boyfriend here would help out a little bit more, but he is pretty good as guys go. He does most of the cooking and when he slacks I make him do the majority of the dirty cleaning (toilet, mold).

So while I think that Korean men (and Korean women) are a little behind the times, I see a lot of change and quite a few young families/couples where the man and woman have almost equal roles.

That said, I agree that the man/woman thing here is a challenge. I had a really hard time when I first dated my boyfriend calling him 'oppa' and having to use more respectful speech with him (in Korean) than he did with me. Maybe that's why we speak so much more English now...
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Chonbuk



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually-

The one thing that gets me more than anything else is stating the obvious.

"Oh look, its a foreigner"
"Oh look, its a tall person"
"Oh look, its a building....."

This drives me crazy.

Also, I think that the last poster is right, it is a generational thing with K-men more than anything else.
And ladies remember a good husband is trained not born. Not much of a nature or nurture question here.

Take care,

Chonbuk
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jaderedux



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Lurking outside Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That said, I agree that the man/woman thing here is a challenge. I had a really hard time when I first dated my boyfriend calling him 'oppa' and having to use more respectful speech with him (in Korean) than he did with me. Maybe that's why we speak so much more English now...


Since I am older than he is...I don't have to worry but I never got into trying to figure out which is more polite. I do so with this parents but he and I agreed to use mostly English so that neither of us gets a offended.

I think if you look at laws they are still a bit one sided. Divorce laws just recently changed. Women can now sue for assets. They might not be granted but at least they can sue for them.

Children are still considered property of father almost unquestioned.

Notice some local governments are offering bribes to women to have children. Alot (not all of course) just don't see any advantage to having children or a husband. Can't say I blame them.

Of course there are lots of individual cases where this might not be the case and I do believe things are changing.

Anyway enough whining for today.

Jade
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mokpochica,

Are you comparing the social status of Korean women today to that of American women in 1983?
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No--my response was not so well-thought out as that. Basically I'm just trying to say that the social position of Korean women has not reached that of women in many other countries. I picked the number 20 years because it seemed about right to me, but honestly I don't know exactly what life was like for women in Western countries in 1983 because I was just a kid.

I'm sure that in some ways Korean women have more advantages than women in the US/Canada/Australia/New Zealand/whatever W. country than 1983. In some ways they have less. As far as girls and sports, Title IX was passed in the US about 30 years ago, so they are obviously more than 20 years behind there.
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this pent up rage? I don't know if I have seen a thread grow so quickly. No, I won't stoop to the "if you don't like it, leave" response (even if it is echoing in the back of my mind).

Just a few responses:

In Daegu the subway station is still an active memorial, with some families still holding vigil, and many people still coming to help them. Everything in the underground around the station is cleaned up and repaired, the immediate station is still covered with soot and memorials, so as to not disturb the remembrance.

I notice, in the comparison of media, there was no mention of some of the more parochial media in the world- the local papers, and television, in the U.S.. By saying local, I am trying to exclude the national media, but that is difficult, given Fox "news" and CNBC. In most big city newspapers in the U.S., any mention of the rest of the world is minor to the concern for the new manhole covers going in on Main Street. I listen to and watch BBC whenever possible. (By the way, the U.S. media writ large chose not to cover the bloodier side of the Iraq war, and at least one brave reporter of long term national repute was fired for not toeing the line- Roone Arledge, whom I understand has been hired by a station in either France or England.)

As for the protester killed in Israel- hasn't anyone noticed that it is nigh on impossible to be critical of anything Israeli in the U.S.? There are powerful political reasons for this, but only the alternative press dare go there, and even they tred lightly. Just saying that makes me fear that someone out there will call me anti-semetic. It is a horrible situation. Heaven forbid if you go so far as to be pro-Palestinian in any way.

Yes, rag away on Korea. It is really harmless, you will get little disagreement, and you have no responsibility to change it. On the other hand, if you voice your dissent about the U.S., you risk being called anti-American (I'm not, I actually like Mexico and Canada, and even some things about the United States). You will get lost of disagreement, and you may even be asked why you don't try to change it.


Last edited by desultude on Tue Apr 29, 2003 4:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 3:13 am    Post subject: Alright alright, let's be negative about korea then. Reply with quote

There was an article in the korean Herald in the letters to the editer section from a korean lady about her married sister, and how she was being constantly upbraided by her mother in law for not producing a baby. I guess she was having difficulty getting pregnant plus she was also married to the oldest son. The whole family were down on her it seems and were making her life miserable.
The sad part about the letter though was that the sister said she could not do anything to help her. The married sister wanted out of course, but that wasn't a viable option. The sister then went on, and criticised the systems treatment of women in no uncertain detail.
I get the impression that many married women become the prisoners of familes where the mother in laws are lacking in empathy and good common sense.
The "Hoju" system is the conservative supposedly confucian custom which gives custody of the children to the father. It also grants the oldest male descendent family property rights. That is, everything belonging to the family goes to the oldest male descendent irregardless of whom his mother was or is when the father dies. Divorced mothers don't get visiting rights either. Most have to wait until their children are adults before they can have any contact with them.
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