Category Archives: Life in Korea

Caveat: peninsular psephological observations

I decided to take a break from documenting my visit to Oregon and my uncle's health crisis to address the elections held this week in South Korea. As my sister said, off-handedly, just now, "there are no coincidences in politics." … Continue reading

Posted in Life in Korea, Politics, Economics & Current Affairs | 1 Comment

Caveat: What about alcohol?

Here is the Korean zeitgeist, as revealed in an offhanded comment by a sixth-grade girl who goes by Mindy: Sometimes alcohol is necessary. She said it in a chipper voice, as if conversationally stating the obvious. That would sum up … Continue reading

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Caveat: la même chose

Every Spring is the same, in northwest Seoul. Smoggy. So… every Spring I become grumpy and "under the weather" – almost literally. Actually this morning isn't so bad. But the weekend seemed so, and last week was horrible. Such is life … Continue reading

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Caveat: 스키로봇챌린지

I like how these robots ski. It’s the best event from these Olympics at Pyeongchang, so far. [daily log: walking, 2km]

Posted in Found Online, Life in Korea, Science & SciFi | Leave a comment

Caveat: Random Poem #155

(Poem #456 on new numbering scheme) 신의 은총이 없었다면 저도 저렇게 되었을 것이다. My coworker was sad. Her sister died.The cancer had declared its wish at last.The funeral was all the way acrossvast Seoul. These Koreans mourn the deadas they … Continue reading

Posted in Banalities & Journaling, Life in Korea, My Poetry & Fiction | 1 Comment

Caveat: 3653 days

Ten years ago, today… On September 1, 2007, I arrived in South Korea for my first teaching gig. I didn't blog about my arrival until a few days later – I still hadn't adopted the one-blog-post-per-day habit.  My first place … Continue reading

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Caveat: North Korea’s ICBM Program Makes Me Safer

I genuinely believe that North Korea's ICBM program makes me safer.  To understand what I mean, consider that I'm speaking, specifically, of me – I don't mean, here, some generic "me." I mean, I am a guy who lives about 20 … Continue reading

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Caveat: Baekje Rising

Korea voted for president yesterday. I was quite confident already that the left-leaning candidate, Moon Jae-in (문재인), was sliding to victory. The right has been in disarray since the scandals broke around Park Geun-hye last year, and her impeachment and … Continue reading

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Caveat: giving witch-doctors a bad name

As the evolving scandal around President Park Geun-hye and her "spiritual advisor" Choi Soon-sil continues to dominate the media, I have ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, this reminds me a little bit of the potential scandal that never really … Continue reading

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Caveat: Got my smart uniform / And my duty to perform

I was in the US Army, stationed at Camp Edwards, Paju (Geomchon), South Korea, in 1990. I hated my sergeant – he was corrupt, which distorted my chain of command. He would volunteer our squad for details (extra tasks, like … Continue reading

Posted in Background Noise, Banalities & Journaling, Life in Korea, Not My Poetry | Leave a comment

Caveat: The Kimchi Croquette

In the weird fusion culture that is South Korea, 2016, I can walk down to the corner Tous les Jours franchise (a pseudo-French bakery chain) and buy a "kimchi croquette." I couldn't resist trying one. Actually, it wasn't that unpleasant … Continue reading

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Caveat: 2016총선

Korea voted for parliamentary representatives yesterday (this is called 총선, "general election"). The atmosphere as I walked to work was quite strange – a "real" holiday. The schools were closed and workers are given time off (half days or complete off … Continue reading

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Caveat: Ghetto Pizza and Happy Virus

Strange things happen to English when it gets deracinated, adopted/adapted in a new country and culture. I frequently run across examples that are puzzling or simply amusing. Clever marketing of a pizzeria? Or just too many American crime-drama re-runs seen on TV? … Continue reading

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Caveat: Seoul by Skateboard

I'm off to work for a very busy week. Next week will be even more so. This is internet fluff. But it offers a different perspective on a particular niche of Korean youth culture.   Bans Crew _ Sunday City … Continue reading

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Caveat: 혁신도시

Korea's "New Cities" have always fascinated me, given my own proclivities as an unfulfilled urban planner as well as my current long-standing residence in one of Korea's largest and most successful New Cities, Ilsan. There are many aspects of the … Continue reading

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Caveat: Head Tax

I got a very strange tax bill the other day. Not strange in the sense that it was wrong. But after living in Korea for 8 years, I didn't really expect to discover a new tax obligation out of the … Continue reading

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Caveat: When North Korea Attacks, Cancel Homework

We are in class, it's about 7 pm.  A student says, "Teacher. Are we going to cancel class?" "Why would we cancel class?" I ask. I took it for typical teenage "joking."  "Because 북한 [bukhan = North Korea] just shoot … Continue reading

Posted in Banalities & Journaling, Kids, Life in Korea, The Wonders of Work | Leave a comment

Caveat: Vigilant Disregard

On my work blog's admin page, hosted on the naver.com website, which is Korean, they will put up these little "prompts" to suggest blog topics, in Korean. Yesterday, on June 25th, appropriately, they had the question: 6.25전쟁과 같은 전쟁이 다시 … Continue reading

Posted in Banalities & Journaling, Life in Korea, Politics, Economics & Current Affairs, 한국말을 배움 (Failing to Learn Korean) | Leave a comment

Caveat: MERSland

Am I worried about MERS? Not particularly. On the one hand, I suppose if it gets bad, that would be, well, bad. And my own weak immune system would not be helpful, either, if it started spreading around Ilsan.  It … Continue reading

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Caveat: The $200 Argument

Well, I have bad news and good news. The bad news is I had to pay a fine of $300 (₩300,000) to the immigration authorities, because I violated a rule that said I had to report a change-of-address within 14 … Continue reading

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