Fun Things to Do on the Seoul Subway

Put on more makeup

Pretend to sleep

Sleep on a a stranger’s shoulder

Leer

Read a self help or management book

Memorize thousands of English words that you’ll never use for a test you’ll never take.

Han out

Make sure that your key card lanyard, company-branded dossier or company lapel pin are conspicuously letting everyone around you know what company you work for

Smell of burning pork fat, cigarette smoke and alcohol

Shove

Read the first five pages of a book in English.

Mouth the words ‘내 팔자 . . .’ while staring out the window at the Han River.

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~ by Joe on May 22, 2008.

6 Responses to “Fun Things to Do on the Seoul Subway”

  1. “Han out.”

    Hilarious, though I think that would’ve been funnier if you’d said “Solo out”, cause I’m sure he would have used his family name to end the transmission.

  2. What’s “Han out”?

  3. 한(恨) 【원한】a grudge;a heartburning;rancor;spite;hatred;【한탄】a lamentation;a regret;grief;deploring

  4. I don’t like to come across as a blog stalker and comment on every single post, but two in a row will have to be done. . .

    “Han out,” star wars aside, was one of the best coinages I’ve heard in a long while. I also han out on the subway frequently, or when I’m waiting in line. I also like to jung it up with my best friends.

  5. As a general observation, most of your posts exude a sense of superiority, most of which I suspect surfaces because you are an educated* foreigner in Korea. I’m not surprised because your blog isn’t too different than any other foreigner’s blog about being in Korea.

    Also, your post about white people and grammar is hypocritical to say the least. You sense a “desperate social-climbiness” in “grammar ghouls”. I sense a desperate social-climbiness in the way you sprinkled SAT words throughout this post. You THINK you are smarter than the average bear. Maybe. I think you are better at English than the average Korean, but that’s about it.

    Grammar Nazis, as you pointed out, bothered to learn the rules. They point out errors because those mistakes change the meaning of sentences. You’d better hope that Grammar Nazis are writing laws and regulations back home in the US. “Simple” mistakes in grammar can throw the doors of interpretation wide open and cause all sorts of unintended confusion. Maybe you are lazy and don’t like being criticized for making grammar mistakes in your own language, but I’m just speculating.

    *By educated, I mean you have a piece of paper.

    P.S. I wonder how long it will take for you to follow the traditional arc of most foreigners in Korea. 1. What is this place? 2. Soju, kalbi, and girls! I love this place! But what’s with all the Korean people here? 3. I think the following things about this place are wrong and only I know how to fix them. I have this authority because I’ve been hired based on my ability to speak English. 4. I wanna go home.

  6. Rich:
    I like you, you’re feisty. Yeah, guilty as charged with the SAT words, but that’s actually how I speak and it generally doesn’t occur to me to ‘dumb it down’, leading many to the impression that I am an insufferable pedant.
    Not so on the nose though on the bit about ‘Maybe you are lazy and don’t like being criticized for making grammar mistakes in your own language, but I’m just speculating.’ In fact I am quite careful not to make mistakes in my writing and speaking. I just don’t much care for other people’s mistakes being pounced upon gleefully by those looking to make themselves feel better by tearing another down.
    There is a time and a place for everything. There is indeed a time for proper language, and a time to let it go.

    P.S. I would describe the trajectory of most foreigners in Korea as:
    1. Kalbi, soju and girls.
    2. I get it.
    3. No wait, I don’t get it.
    4. Oh now I get it.
    5. I’ll never get it.

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