Monthly Archives: July 2013

CouchSurfing in Korea can get you FIRED

CouchSurfing in Korea can get you FIRED.

Let’s keep some things in mind here:

Korea is not the West. Love motels and whatnot notwithstanding, it is still a conservative country. The neighbors witnessed something out of the ordinary and called to complain about it. Regardless of whether we Westerners think that the host is in the right, she’s still on foreign turf and must comply with local laws and customs. To the neighbors, she looked like a promiscuous woman. This isn’t the truth, but it’s now things looked. A friend of mine ran into the same problem when she hosted parties for the soldiers in her town. She never so much as kissed any of them, but their staying overnight prompted her neighbors to complain to her school. Again, this is about customs. Couch surfing is indeed a fine idea and a good way to bring people together, but it can cause trouble in a country like Korea. Frankly, I wonder if she would have gotten a complaint if she’d hosted women instead them.

The lesson to be learned here is that foreigners WILL PROBABLY BE HELD TO A DIFFERENT STANDARD THAN THE NATIVES.


Ruminations on Red 2

(Spoilers ahead)

I saw Red 2 last night and it’s a good one. It’s better than the first Red thanks to having more explosions and an equally explosive cast of characters. While I watched it on the giant screen, the following things came to mind: The Manosphere will enjoy discussing this one, for the following reasons…

  • Red 2 has a textbook example of female intrasexual competition in the form of Sara meeting Frank’s sultry Russian ex. Sara goes feral when she learns about their past and takes to dressing more suggestively and to acting much more sexual around him.
  • Frank goes beta as hell by shying away from action so he can protect Sara. She longs for the action–and she eventually gets it–but only after she convinces him that he needs to throw down and kick some bad guy ass. He eventually gets back to the alpha dude she fell for in the first place.
  • Marvin gains all kinds of points with Sara by not treating like her like “a china doll” and instead trusting her to know what she’s doing.
  • Ivan has a great way of romanticizing Victoria the British killing machine. Words matter.

And on a more general note, go see it. Rock on…

Holistic Parking in Korea

Thank you for taking this picture. I see park jobs like this all the time. Let’s note that this a country where people put their cell phone numbers on their dashboards so people can call them to move out of the way. Doing so gives people nearly unlimited license to act rudely and block intersections because they did the polite thing and left their number on the car.

Acceptable Range within Traffic Lanes in Korea and America

Right on. I’ve noticed that Koreans tend to be much more casual about lane changes and staying within the lines on the road. I won’t go as far as saying they’re horrible drivers, like some people have online, but they do do things differently. Everyone I’ve driven with has been fine and I’ve never feared for my safety any more than I would have in the States. That said, the coach bus drivers are all nuts. Ride and enjoy…

Constant, Unending Attention

Ruminations on smart phones

For anyone interested in living in Korea or is considering dating any girls in Korea, know this: the smart phone situation’s probably worse over here…What follows are some words I wrote while traveling on the subway last night.

One benefit to living in the country is that I don’t have to deal with the idiocy of the city. Sure, there’s plenty of idiocy in the country, but there’s a smaller amount of it thanks to a smaller population. That said, I regularly journey into Seoul to visit the girlfriend and witness the cutting edge of Korean social trends. One such trend is something engulfing the world: Smart phones and how people use them. A few thoughts:

Are you to talking to her or talking to her phone?

I look around the subway, the cafe, the street, and I see everyone carrying their phones in their hands everywhere they go. The phone’s been incorporated into gestures now.

Couples talk to each other and the girl invariably has her right hand wrapped around her iPhone. She checks this and that in between her boyfriend’s syllables and looks up at him from time to time. Sometimes the guy does the same. More often than not, I witness people having conversations that seem entirely driven by what they see on their phones. It’s as if the phone–they depend on the phone to push the Think buttons. I wonder, is he talking to her or talking to her phone. Is she talking to him or the him that’s between rounds? Private Man’s blog featured the post Constant, Unending Attention and lamented how women turn their attention over to their phones, but the problem’s more severe in Korea. Here phones are virtually glued to people’s hands because everyone thinks they’re the President or Warren Buffet.

And, funny enough, I’m writing this on an iPad. Much as dislike aspects of technology, looking at this screen beats seeing people staring anxiously at theirs.

The Private Man

A faithful reader and commenter, DC Phil, was talking to another blogger, Badger, and passed along something interesting and disheartening, especially for younger guys. I’ve alluded to it in the past but after some thought, the idea came together more solidly:

Thoughtful guys can’t compete with the constant and unending attention that younger women demand and now get through technology. These young women have the technology at their immediate disposal to fill every nanosecond with stimulation. Texting, tweeting, Facebooking, phoning, IM chatting. Technology produces a continuous stream of entertainment, education, and social connection. A girl’s every thought and every image can be quickly recorded and instantly transmitted to a network of other girls who are doing the exact same thing by recording and transmitting their own thoughts and images.

I see it in young women every day. Their faces raptly reading or texting (if they’re not actually talking) and…

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Read and finished Fight Club last week

Excellent read. Coming as it did after The Fountainhead and The Help, Fight Club provided a welcome change of pace. Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel has the quintessential unreliable narrator and its laconic phrasing packs a punch into virtually every sentence.

Much has been said about Tyler Durden and how he exhorted men to become more than their jobs and their bank accounts, but something else worth considering is that the novel came out around the time when The Joy Luck Cub and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a fact that Palahniuk notes in his Afterword. He mentions them because he saw Fight Club as a male counterpoint to those two novels about women being together. Indeed, having reread The Joy Luck Club earlier this year, I can see his point. Both were about sharing yourself and learning from your past, but Fight Club happens to hit harder.* This young man relates more to the story of Tyler Durden and its themes of self-destruction and self-improvement.

* This is not meant to take away from The Joy Luck Club‘s good qualities. Amy Tan’s novel has a more sophisticated structure than Palahniuk’s. Tan’s multiple narratives and voices blend together to vividly illustrate how geography, culture, and language shape mothers and daughters. Fight Club, on the other hand, could take place in any US thanks to its Everyman narrator and anonymous buildings.