Posting From Work

Well, I had a pretty busy weekend. Friday I got off work early and headed straight to Bucheon. I neglected to realize that most people that I know there don’t get off work until 9 PM, so I just headed to the bar and played pool. I met some decent fellows, and they were in the shot buying mood, so I very quickly lost much of my recollection of the latter part of the night.

Saturday, I woke up around the crack of noon and hung out with some people for awhile. There’s a guy I hadn’t met that had a bit of a going away party, and he was pretty chill. He gave way his pet squirrel. It’s not like a squirrel like you’d think of in America. It’s half the size. Kind of like a chipmunk, but not exactly, and a fairly long tail, though it’s not bushy. Still pretty awesome.

After bumming around Bucheon all day, once night rolled around, we headed back to the bar. I met some new people, had some good conversation, and got to watch Germany pack Argetina’s shit 4-0, so I was happy. To boot, they were having a kegger that was just 12,000 ($10) for all you can drink. Frankly, I’m just glad I didn’t fall asleep at the bar. I think it was key that I avoided taking shots. That’s really what does me in there.

The main highlight of the night, perhaps aside from the World Cup game, was an argument I got into with two girls. I was standing at the bar, minding my own bee’s wax, and conversating with a Wisconsonite about Packer football, when these two girls walked up to us. We happened to be standing next to a pile of magazines called Neh (Yes in English). I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it on my blog before, but all my friends in Bucheon know exactly how I feel about. For the most part, the feel exactly the same way. The only difference is that in this particular issue, a group of around five or six of the people I knew there were actually in it for some article about rooftop parties.

Anyway, the two girls asked us what we thought of Neh. My immediate, knee-jerk reaction was, word for word: “I wouldn’t wipe my ass with it.” Now, I realize that this is an extremely rude, imflammatory, and insulting thing to say. However, 1) there’s no way I could’ve known these girls worked for the magazine, and 2) it is the most rancid shit that’s ever been inked onto paper. Worse than Hemingway novels or The Great Gatsby (my friends at home will truly understand the weight of this). Anyway, after they told me they worked for the magazine, they asked why I didn’t like it. I said it was poorly edited. One of the girls was the managing editor.

So, I started off in a pretty deep hole here. Much to my credit, I didn’t back down, either. They asked me what particularly I didn’t like about it. I referenced several articles in past issues (which they agreed they thought were badly written), as well as a lot of common sense things, like articles shouldn’t end mid-word and never be continued anywhere else. I also questioned the rhetoric of the cover story, which was about a rooftop party, yet all the photos were clearly taken in Bucheon Central park. It’s shit like this which just doesn’t make sense.

They began arguing that they were doing it with no money, that Bucheon has nothing ever going on (later this month there’s an international film festival, which advertisements are all over town for, yet not one blurb in the magazine), and that it’s more of a foreign magazine than a Bucheon magazine. We both countered by arguing that if they’re not getting paid, the writing they’ve admitted is bad, and if there’s nothing going on in Bucheon, then they probably just shouldn’t waste their time making a magazine. In addition, if it wasn’t meant to be a Bucheon magazine, then it’s confusing why every single business advertisement is for a Bucheon business, and it’s only available in Bucheon. An altogether not unreasonable statement.

At this point, the managing editor becaue quite incensed, and started yelling “Tell me what the fuck you would do to make a magazine better with no money, you pompous fucking asses on your high pedestal” etc, etc… at which point I chose to simply walk away. All in all, I think it quite a foolish endeavor to ask drunk people their opinions of your work when there’s more than a fair chance that the answer you’ll get isn’t the one you want to hear.

Anyway, the rest of the night was passed much more peacefully and in better company. After the bar closed, I went for dinner/breakfast with some people. I spent the entire time talking with a girl who’s been in Korea seven years. I know I’ve only been here four months (in three days) and I am far from knowing everything about the country, so I appreciate the input of someone who has been here for that long, but it was also just a tad condescending. She said “I hope you really do…” a lot, which just makes it sound to me like she’s afraid I’m going to end up completely going back on what I’d just said. I’m not saying I may not change my mind about some things, but the overall general attitude I have towards South Korea and my life here will not change.

Sunday, as soon as I woke up, I went to the Bucheon bus station and caught a ride home, so I could be back in time for the 4th of July party. That was a really good time. I was surprised by how many people showed up. There were probably like 25-30 people there. We grilled hotdogs, had potato salad, deviled eggs, etc… and topped the night off with some s’mores, which the Koreans had never heard of, and seemed to enjoy, though some of them thought it was entirely too sweet. Anyway, it was just a good time hanging out and talking with new people, or ones who hadn’t been to meetings in awhile.

It made me definitely miss being home. Sometimes when I see pictures on Facebook or hear about events like Red, White, and Boom or ComFest, I feel a little twang that wishes I was back at home enjoying the best parts about Columbus with my friends, but I honestly wouldn’t trade being here for anything. If my contract was up tomorrow and I had a free ticket home, or the choice of signing up again and staying, I’d sign up without a doubt.

Konglish of the Day:

Level 1:

Economy: Who’s the richest man in the world? (Common Sense)
Economy: I can manage my money! (Education)
Economy: I can earn money by recycling~ (Life Wisdom)
Economy: We also need economy education~~ (Education)
Economy: Raising dogs costs so much money! (Common Sense)


2 Responses to “Posting From Work”

  1. Hey Colin,

    This is the creative director of the magazine you “wouldn’t wipe [your] ass with.”

    I’d like to invite you to write for NEH.

    Put your “money” where your mouth is, as they say.

    Feel free to get in touch.

  2. Ignoring the fact that you’re obviously being combative about this, I’m simply much too busy to take part in your fine publication.

    Maybe next year.

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