Elwood 5566

‘Dirty Gays’ or Simply Skinship?

Posted in Uncategorized by 노강호 on April 30, 2011

sadly, usually the majority; pumpkin people

I stumbled across this Youtube video this evening. The clip is over two years old but it highlights that even with internet resources at ones fingertips, some waygukin clearly miss the big picture and are only able to reach an understanding of another culture through their own cultural and personal prejudices. What the fuck is the  point in coming thousands of miles from home to earn a crap wage  when you don’t even have the luxury of removing your blinkers? The subtitle states:  ‘there (sic) gays are so dirty.’ The idiot might just have well stayed at home!

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© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.

Boring Boryeong and 'Waygukin Wankers'

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Blogging, Comparative, Entertainment, Westerners by 노강호 on August 29, 2010
Korea-Boryeong Mud Festival

Spot the Korean

Let me get my disclaimer out the way to begin with! Yes! there are plenty of decent, thoughtful and interesting waygukins in Korea and some may very well have visited Boryeong, but this post isn’t about them. This post is about the other types of waygukin, the ‘waygukin wanker’  types who generally ignore other westerners,  have no significant Korean friends, have boarded the bus to Boryeong,  and like to moan about Korean people and culture about which they like you to think they know everything.

I occasionally ‘rant’  about the unfriendly nature of many waygukins in Korea, it’s one of my minor idee-fixe. Two weeks ago, I had this idea to start a ‘waygukin wanker of the month,’ post in which I’d feature a photo of one of the numerous wankers around Song-So who will totally blank you if you pass them. I’ve lived in the building next to one for almost two years but even if we pass on an empty street, shoulder to shoulder, he will ignore me. I said hello on one occasion but he simply diverted his gaze to the floor and mumbled inarticulately. So, on one hot Friday afternoon, I stood for an hour waiting to get his photo but unfortunately he failed to turn up and missed the chance to be immortalized on my pages.  I haven’t seen him for two weeks and am beginning to assume he must have gone back to wherever. Good riddance! However, there are plenty of other candidates to replace him.


Courtesy of Roketship (link)

Maybe ‘waygukin wankerism’ is a disease, possibly contagious, and if so, one of the most potent sources of contamination has got to be the Boring Boryeong Mud Festival.  Bogland is full of boring accounts written by waygukin who assume they know all about Korea once they set foot on Korean soil and whose search for the spirit of Korea, it’s traditions and an understanding of the Korean psyche, lead them to splash about  in a bit of dirt chucked over a sheet of plastic on one of the only holidays of the year. If I had a list of a 100 things I want to do in Korea, the Boryeong Mud Festival wouldn’t even be on it. Even one of my closest Korean friends, who is 25, said it was disappointing with watered down wishy-washy mud piped onto plastic sheeting. But, he was impressed with the army of waygukins as he felt they provided the festival an international atmosphere.

Lovely plastic sheeting


Boryeong is as typically Korean as the Costa del Sol is Spanish or, Tijuana is Mexican and any place which attracts an army of waygukins should instantly loose its appeal especially because it’s the sort of ‘safe’ crap you do on a 18-30 cheapo package holiday to some place with bags of sun, sand, sangria and bouncing tits. It doesn’t attract interest because it’s Korean but because it’s the hip place for waygukins to go and which can be blagged about to mates afterwards. Those who like Boryeong probably find appeal in the likes of: Ko Phi Phi Le, the Costa del Sol or Costa Med, and Ibiza and other shitty destinations catering for the unadventurous, en-masse.   I find it amusing how so many foreigners will cue to take the bus to Boryeong yet are terrified of a trip to the local bathhouse which will provide a far more rewarding insight into Korean life.

Talking to a waygukin or two is fine, except most can’t talk, and having a beer with one is even better, I desperately miss the sense of humour, but slopping about in diluted mud with a million of them!! No thanks! I came to Korea to escape wanky-ways and in particular wanky British culture,  which doesn’t mean I don’t want talk or socialise with English speaking westerners per-se. I’m always on the look out for new friends but finding a western human who will talk is difficult. The last waygukin I swapped phone numbers with, declined an invitation to the cinema because he believed Koreans would perceive two men together as gay.

Boryeong should be towards the bottom of the ‘to do list’ but I suppose Korea is now such an easy country to live in, bilingual signs and menus, tourist information booths,  a wealth of information on the internet that didn’t exist 8 years ago, a modern international airport, all the major fast food chains, etc, that gone are the days when only the more adventurous risked coming here. It’ll soon be time to move on!


Too many westerners! YouTube link

Creative Commons License© 林東哲 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

‘Waygukin Wanker’ Hub

Posted in Comparative, Westerners by 노강호 on August 29, 2010

My post: Boring Boryeong was in the pipeline for almost 3 weeks and I hesitated to publish it as I wasn’t sure if the lack of communication I have in Korea with other waygukin was something to do with me. Then I read a post in Hamish Nelson’s, Bongdam South Korea and I realise other waygukins notice it as well. For all the interaction I have with fellow westerners, I might as well be back in Britain because you are ignored there, too, except back home you expect it! When you only pass a couple of westerners a day, a little politeness would be friendly. The irony is that often when I do get an unfriendly waygukin to speak, they then moan to me about how unfriendly Korean culture is….boh-hoo-hoo, wanker! Go home!

I am now going to add links to any posts here, which deal with the subject of unfriendly westerners.

Thanks Hamish! Your post is first! I will now hit the publish key!


The Supplanter – Sept 2010

Bongdam South Korea

Link to Roketship


 Roketship is an excellent source of humour on the experiences of living and working in Korea.

Prestige Korea . Don’t Greet Other Foreigners on the Street

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© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

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Westerners Who Think They're Korean

Posted in Diary notes, Westerners by 노강호 on April 13, 2010

Okay, Sunday morning at 8 am and I’m off for a quick splash at a bathhouse. In the distance I spot a western woman who is perhaps 35. We are the only two on the pavement and despite passing almost shoulder to shoulder, starring straight ahead, she ignores me. All it requires is a marginal turning of her head, a raising of her eyes for us to make eye contact but she clearly wants to blank me. This happens several times a week with different westerners,  indeed it happened this afternoon. Once again, we passed close to each other but as she neared me she began to focus intensely on the fizzy drink or coffee plugged into her face via a straw.

Why is it that so many westerners behave in this manner?  I am not homesick for my own kind but as the only western teacher in my school, it is sometimes a little luxury to talk in a manner I might do at home and it is even more of a luxury to mutually exchange humour, sarcasm, irony and all those facets of conversation so culturally specific. Perhaps I am being a snob,  but is the only way to get a courteous acknowledgment or a simple nod by sporting a goatee, wearing baggy cargo cut-offs and looking like I’ve just returned from a backpacking trip around Thailand? I am familiar with perhaps 10 westerners  in the vicinity in which I live and yet few will speak or say hello and couples and groups are even worse.

Now you’re probably thinking, well why  don’t you say hello or be friendly? The problem is it is strange to initiate a greeting in the absence of  eye contact especially as it suggests the other  person doesn’t want to acknowledge you. I’m tempted to think such behaviour is symptomatic of those with insecurities; that to acknowledge another westerner is to appear novice and new and so at all times one must walk through their presence without seeing them. Of course, they freaking know you’re there, they saw you coming a mile off but to acknowledge you is uncool as it suggests being a beginner at Korean life.  Unfortunately, when you’ve been exposed to such blanking for a long period, you begin to expect it and so when confronted with someone who I know is going to blank me, I fix my eyes on their face, and look directly at them, craning my head around  as they pass, until I see the nape of their neck.  I’m sure they’re quite nice people but come on! You’re not fucking Korean. You probably can’t string a sentence together in Korean, or read a simple text, you probably do most of your eating in the fast food joints and you’re probably not a teacher by vocation. Hey, we have a lot in common! I don’t need mates or boozing buddies or even an extensive dialogue,  simply some eye contact and a smile.

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