Skip to main content

Things I love about Korea!

Okay, so readers of Lonely Planet say that Seoul is a lousy city. The New York Times says it is a great city to visit.

How do you choose sides when two idiots disagree? How can you tell who is telling the truth when two liars tell different stories?

* * *

I was on the subway the other day when I began writing a list of things I love about Korea. This is not a final list, by the way.

* The tax rate is 3.3%. That's right. 3.3%. Not 33.3%.

* Even better, I won't have to go through the April 15 IRS game. The government here just TAKES the money. They don't force to also send in forms by a certain date.

* Every company working with Western employees seems to have a manager who will show up when called on a Friday night to help you when your heating system stops working. On the other hand, he is also likely to get you stranded on the highway when his van runs out of gas. (Yes, both things happened recently.)

* The seats on subway line 4 are heated. The next time my heating system at home stops working I may just ride up and down line 4.

* People can look at themselves in a mirror without others thinking they are strange. Many Koreans in fact do this. There seems to be mirrors everywhere. One thing I've noticed is that Korean women seem to enjoy taking photos of themselves, especially when they are seated at cafes or donut shops.

* You can slurp your food without people staring at you. You can even pick up your bowl and drink from it. Americans (at least others I've eaten cereal with) seem to do the same thing but for some reason Americans here think it is strange when Koreans do that with noodles.

* Koreans are eager to meet, greet, and host non-Koreans, especially those who are from Western countries.

* Singing rooms. In some areas there are singing rooms on every corner. I recently went singing in a ritzy part of town for about $9 an hour.

* Seoul seems to be the Swing Dance Capital of the world!

* Koreans will praise me for saying very simple things such as "hello" in Korean.

* One of the best things in the world is a Korean friend who is concerned with how you are doing in Korea.

* Cell reception is great everywhere, apparently for every type of cell service. The downside is that cell reception is great everywhere, meaning you need a good excuse for not answering the phone.

* Korea is extremely safe.

* Tipping is not allowed or expected. I've never enjoyed tipping, it should be enough that I return.

* * *

Things I don't like about Korea? I've only been back for a few weeks. Check back in about 6 months.


Popular posts from this blog

Forgery or conspiracy? Memorandum 46

Here's an article I co-wrote that will appear in the Sunday Outlook section of the Washington Post . We'll be updating this page over the coming days. So check back for updates. Memorandum 46 timeline , as compiled by us. Audio from our last show on XM 169 before we got fired. That audio is divided into segments, this one is one large MP3 . Who says Memorandum46 is true? Former rep. Cynthia McKinney presents Memo 46 to the United Nations and defends it in a speech . Joe Madison presents Memo 46 at the annual Congressional Black Caucus gathering. Former D.C. delegate Walter Fauntroy, on the Joe Madison show on XM 169 (audio available, upon request) and on Michael Fauntroy's site Boyd Graves (see Exhibit 10 of his lawsuit against the government) The Final Call, with Brzezinski's name misspelled . Len Horowitz Millions for Reparations Various discussion forums or discussants, such as: Greekchat , Jahness , Who says Memorandum 46 is a forgery? Brzezi

Park Jin welcoming remarks to FSI (and Casey Lartigue)

  National Assembly member Park Jin makes the welcoming remarks at FSI's conference featuring North Korean diplomats. Park Jin | Greeting message to FSI and Casey Lartigue mention - YouTube

The Casey Lartigue Show

Guests scheduled for May NOTE: Check here for updates on Memorandum 46! Future Shows Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution This is my first attempt at putting together my own promo , it was rejected because of the sound quality May 19 edition of the Casey Lartigue Show We had a great show yesterday, probably the best so far. The topic: Malcolm X. The occasion? Anniversary of his 82nd birthday. Eliot Morgan and I had a great time talking with the callers. Deneen Borelli called in on our special guest line. You can download the file here. We posed the question: What did Malcolm X do? We contrasted the viewpoint and legacies of Malcolm X and Thurgood Marshall. The one mistake I made was not to focus on the question that Marshall asked: What was the one concrete thing that Malcolm X did. In segment 3, callers begin to get personal with us. May 12 edition of the Casey Lartigue Show Featured guest: Don Boudreaux of George Mason University Promo for the May 12 show May 5 edition of the C

2016-11-03 Who is Andrei Lankov?

Disclaimer: NK experts, please don't read this, there will be no rabbits pulled out of a hat. * * * Every couple of months, I meet up with Andrei Lankov to discuss various things. I first met him back in 2011, shortly before he spoke at an event I organized with the Center for Free Enterprise. I have read his articles for years, he has spoken at about four TNKR events over the years. When it comes to analyzing NK, he is one of the leading experts in the field. Last March, I was one of the organizers of the first (and perhaps last) International Volunteers Workshop, we had 227 RSVP in advance. I asked them all as part of the RSVP: "The keynote speaker will be Andrei Lankov. Had you heard of him before hearing about this event?" No: 133 Yes: 94 Even within those 94 "Yes" responses, I am sure there were various levels of awareness--such as some may have seen his name, others may have read some articles, and a few experts may have the Andrei La

2014-07-01 Happy Birthday, Joo Yeon Cho!

Can it be true? I have known Joo Yeon Cho for less than 9 months? Incredible! But I guess that's the way it is with Joo Yeon. I'm not surprised to see so many birthday messages coming from all over Korea and the world. She works for a company that could crush me and everyone I know, but she still calls me "Boss."^^ I checked my emails, she first emailed me back on October 14, and I was surprise d to see it was 2013, not 2012 or even earlier. She wanted to join as a volunteer at the Mulmangcho School. I quickly recognized she was a special lady. She didn't know it, but I had already decided that she would help me with a special project I had planned with Praise Ju that I was going to launch two days later. They hit it off, and the project took off! We are collaborating again--she started off as the first Academic Adviser in the Teach North Korean Refugees Project, and she is now our first External Coordinator. As I posted a few days ago, she regularly blows u