Ruby Ramblings

Walking Across Korea
September 2, 2010, 5:54 am
Filed under: Buddhism, Korea, Travel

Well, mostly bussing it, but walking quite a bit as well. Not quite as much as Simon Winchester did though. He started in Jeju Island and walked the entire length of South Korea, and then part of North Korea (highly supervised of course). Bybee reminded me how much the western male falling prey to the wiles of Korean women came into that book. I had completely forgotten about it, but now that she read it recently and brought it up, examples from the book keep seeping into my mind. Winchester epitomizes the different experiences that men and women have living in Korea. Living in Asia has taught me nothing if not that the vast majority of western men prefer having a relationship where they don’t actually have to talk to their partner as long as she looks hot and is the right amount of needy. Simon Winchester is normally an extremely intelligent and insightful travel writer, but even he was reduced to drooling in his beer and going on long winded rants that had nothing to do with the rest of the story when offered the attention of a gorgeous lady. Korea is a place where men get distracted to the point of losing their minds.

Somehow I avoided going to PC rooms the entire time I’ve been in Korea until today. They are every bit as disgusting and sleezy as I thought they were. My first attempt was foiled when I walked into what was labeled as a PC Resting room – which actually meant private booths with I’m not sure what all going on behind closed doors.

While the rest of Korea is getting hit by a monsoon, I’m in a sunny haven in Jeonju. But inside the PC room, there is nothing but cigarrette smoke, dark lighting, and games. I thought I’d take a minute to share a little travel tale while I checked to see if my flight to Jeju is cancelled. So far it’s not, but I’m not sure it’s worth going to typhoon island this weekend.

I started the weekend at bookclub in Seoul, which got an invite that I took full advantage of to go to Sinchang and stay with Bybee for a couple of days. She lives in an apartment complex in the middle of nowhere that is crawling with foreigners and we had a great night watching TV and eating western food at her friend’s house.

From there I went to Gongju, which overall is not what it says it is. It was the same, albeit dingier, as the rest of Korea, and except for the fortress doesn’t have much to show for itself. The map the info booth hands out shows a quaint, pretty town with a gorgeous river flowing through it. Really it is a dirty, run down place, with a trickle of water down the middle lined by the seediest of love motels. I did do some interesting things here, but since this PC bang has let me think it is uploading pics for the last hour, when really it hasn’t, I’ll have to save the walking stories for another day.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

So you hate other people because they married people of a certain race. How is this not blatant racism?

Comment by Michael

I didn’t notice anything about hating people or racism. Perhaps some reading comprehension classes would be in order for the previous commenter.

Comment by bybee

[quote]vast majority of western men prefer having a relationship where they don’t actually have to talk to their partner as long as she looks hot and is the right amount of needy.[/quote]

Excuse me? Vast majority? No Hate? No Racism? No Sexism?

How about completely inappropriate and inane. May I suggest you get to know some of these people before you actually “define” them.

Comment by Juregen

Hey, no fair! I’m married to a korean woman, and I WISH she would talk to me more. Anyone who thinks Korean women are needy obviously isn’t married to one. Demanding is quite different than needy!

Comment by Erik

No, I think she may be on to something, gentlemen. I’ve heard pretty much the same observation from easily five hundred people here. Could five hundred fat, homely, obnoxious white women all be wrong?

Comment by pinkerton

He he, Suckers. I knew this would drag out a few comments. I reserve the right to make snarky generalizations, incendiary comments, and hyperbole on my own blog. The fact of the matter is this is something that the dynamic between western men and Asian women is something that is talked about a lot. I have met some amazing couples who have really worked to communicate with each other and have fantastic relationships, but for every one of those I’ve met dozens of men who spend their weekends drinking to incoherence chasing Korean woman like trophies. I’ve heard the comment, “where did you GET your Korean girlfriend.” Like women from any culture are items you pick off a shelf and pay for. I’ve also heard the comment to every new man coming into our school, “you don’t have an Asian fetish yet? You will.” There is an undeniable dynamic happening here that is unseemly. Obviously that’s not everybody, but it does exist.

My personal opinion is that in many ways Korean culture is in the 1950s as far as women’s rights, and I’ve had many frank conversations with men who say they prefer it that way. It is my own personal opinion to be disappointed by that. Of course there are plenty who don’t, but that’s not who my hyperbole was aimed at.

Comment by therubycanary

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