Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This weekend is Korean Thanksgiving. The country comes to a stand still, everyone gets even more hammered than usual and people frivilously hand out strange gifts to one another.

I can understand why the country shuts down. It's like christmas day for them, all families get together and pretend to enjoy one anothers company, have a large meal and drink theselves into a state of comfortable communication. Like western christmas, it sounds like a bit of shitshow, where we all pretend to enjoy ourselves for the sake of others, an unnecessary amount of money is spent and we miss the point of the celebration entirely. The next day we wake up delighted that that situation will not happen again for another 364 days.

Getting hammered...thats just what they do here. All the time. Everyday. I recall (hazily) walking home at 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning and seeing groups of poeple sitting outside a corner shop, guzzling Soju ("Korean Whisky") with no end visibly in sight. I find it hard to tell whether their day is close to an end or just at the start. Either way you can safely assume that these people are serious alcohol abusers. They obliterate the Scots for binge drinking. They would make light work of the undisputed binge drinking champions of the west, and they have done, every time I go out for a drink I am left in the gutter with the rest of the crackers.

And finally.....Strange gifts. Well, one of my fellow teachers, very kindly I must add, thought it a lovely gesture to buy me a gift to celebrate Chuseok. I felt guilty accepting this gift as I had not even thought to buy anything for anyone (One: because I am too skint to feed myself let alone shower others with treats and Two: because I am a cheap, self-centered Scottish bastard) but I accepted anyway, as that is the way here. People offer gifts and tokens of appreciation at any possible occassion and you are advised to decline the gift twice and accept on the third offering. Anyway, I was offered a large golden box, with very attractive hand wound rope handles and a beautiful pattern design on the front. It was heavy and bulky and to be honest I had no idea of what bizzare offering would lurk within. I thanked my co-worker very much and forced a smile that suggested, i'm absolutely taken a back by you actions of generosity but I am shiteing my bags about what you've given me (this is the case as previous gifts have included the most vulgur foods made from rice, seaweed and other unnamed mystery ingrediants, half of Colombia's supply of coffee and several boxes of tissues) and was I going to have to pretend that what dwelled within this gorgeous box was exactly what my life needed. After she left, I took a deep breath and begun to slowly open the box, taking my time not to tear or deface the golden packaging, and then I suddenly relaised what she had given to me....24 Kiwi Fruit. Cheers.

Okay, now I appreciate the gift awrite, nice gesture and that, but 24?!? Twenty-fucking-four! 3 kiwi fruit, a pineapple and a punnet of Strawberries would have been fine. Why 24 of the same obscure fruit? This woman knows that I live on my own. Was she expecting this to be my entire diet for the next 5 days? Because if she wasn't then she wanted fruit to go mouldy in my fridge, attracting all manner of terrifying bugs and filthy diseases this country has to offer. What sort of woman am I working with here? Was this an ungratefulness test? If I was to turn this gift down and tell her that she was a fucking psycho with mince taste in presents would I then be showered with better gifts or, would she and the rest of school all stand around and look at me like I'd been caught with my hand down one of my pupil's pants? It's a fucking whitey troops, it really is.

As the whole country shuts down over this weekend I cannot get to the shop to buy food so right now I am working my way through what is easily the most demented gift anyone has ever given me. I have 17 left and must get through them before they go mouldy (Sunday).

Fuck me, what a weird place man.


Ross Sung-Kim x

Saturday, September 20, 2008

You will read or you shall bleed.

My first month of teaching has thankfully been something of learning experience for the children concerned and myself, the “teecha”.

I think the children have learned a bit of English, gained confidence and learned to shut the fuck up when I’m talking. And I have learned that I hate kids and have no respect for them whatsoever.They are moaning little shits that burst out of control the second your back is turned and there is always one little smart arse that thinks he’s better, funnier and more intelligent than everyone else in the room. In every case, that is me. But there are always challengers to my throne as the biggest knob gobbler in the room but luckily, corporal punishment is still legal in South Korea and my co-teachers will beat any child that steps out of my very thin line of terror. What a country! Anytime a know-it-all little dick splash tries to be funnier or smarter than me he can be silenced with a ruler hit to the top of his spine. To know that you have that sort of power at the snap of your fingers (or the snap of their fingers I should say…) can really make you thirsty for more, I mean, just how far can I take this? Would it be unreasonable to exchange the ruler for a meter stick or a 2x4? Could I use this plastic bag to keep a 6 year old smart arse quiet? Or could I simply drop a half brick in the bag and set about the body?

The job of teaching the same lesson 6 times a day can get monotonous and becomes void of creation and inspiration. If I am not using my imagination to its full extent, my brain will begin to deteriorate as the children develop. The only thing to keep my new job interesting and to exercise my cruel and atrocious imagination is to design new, innovative ways to help (or hurt) and discipline (or destroy) small children to the point of redemption and moral salvation. Like I said, half brick in a plastic bag should work a belter. Excuse the pun.

I always said I wanted to be this age in the late 60s and now I have been granted the opportunity to be nasty and mean to people younger, smaller, stupider than myself and be free to get away with it without facing court hearings and public lynchings, all in the name of “personal development and discipline. One day you’ll thank me for this my boy, now gently put your jaw in this vice….”

Cunt Sung-Kim x