I was talking to my friend Moody yesterday and he told me my poems (from I, Orange Girls, paperback, free pirated PDF) were very angry about Korea. He said he liked them but did say they were angry. I wonder if I'm coming off too angry. I don't hate Korea by any means. I'm living here for years. I love that it's safe. I love that without working too hard my bar makes money and does well (like Juan Ladron in a hammer fight) against its competition. I like that some things are so easy and personally I don't like living in NY/NJ where I'm from so it's all good for me. Still, I find this culture incredibly ass-backwards sometimes.
I was in the taxi with Jina today watching the driver take the oddest route to Nowon from Imundong (the Korean ghetto I call home) and marveling at how she isn't paying attention and just doesn't give a fuck. I think that's cool that Koreans put their full trust in authority and then don't have to think another thought about it. I'm pretty laid back but I have to think, shit, this way is slower and more expensive and get annoyed by the fact that the majority of drivers in Seoul don't know the streets. They'd be eaten fucking alive in NYC.
Still I find Moody's comment worth thinking about. I mean he is this solid Saudi Arabian guy who is super fucking nice. But with that beard and caramel skin has surely been repeatedly anally probed by Airport Security. He would be marked the angry one normally cause of total racial mistrust yet he finds my poems angry. I love it. I think maybe that's because living in a country where people either find you to be a rock star, in which case the young girls throw the pink at you and the men mistrust you for it, or find you invisible, in which case the jam carts through your ankles, bash tins of sesame oil through your balls to get a seat in the subway, cut in front of you in line at the cafe, and knock over your two-year-old son while you're putting him into a shopping cart, it makes you as an expat a little nuts and then all of us living here commiserate.
Surely, the Koreans must be as baffled by some of our foreign behavior as we are of theirs. I think the difference lies in the fact that most people are aware that their education was skewed by years of bad education and government propaganda, whereas our Hanguk counterparts don't see that. They had blinders attached at birth and -- although plastic surgery for the eyes, nose, and breasts is quite popular -- very few had them surgically removed. Fuck it's a bitch to do (link to surgically removing of blinders). I want to capture some of these cultural difficulties in my newest book which I'm writing now: Pamphlet on Starting a Bar Business in Korea. I'm planning to release it as a beta thing in 3 parts. Stay tuned for the first installment
And if you're reading this, Moody. Thanks for reading. Thanks for the comments. And thanks for taking a year off my life with the most stressful IPL pool game of my life. And, if you're ass still is raw: