Friday, December 18, 2009

Jim Crow Korea Style

If you're white you're all right
If you're yellow you're mellow
If you're brown stick around
If you're black get back.

I don't know how I did it but somehow I was able to slip through a tear in the space/time continuum and land in 1956. Now during my time here I have encountered many occurrences of kimchi flavored racial bullshit. For example, I took a bus to Busan so I could hop on a flight to Tokyo to see this girl I had met on a previous trip. I was very excited to see her because she was well educated , pretty and she worked at Morgan Stanley. She was the polar opposite of the Korean Mud Ducks I normally have to wade through. It is first thing in the morning and I take out my laptop to use the wi-fi and lo and behold you have to use your i.d. number to access it. Now this being kimchiland of course foreigner registration numbers don't work and you need to call a special number. Fuck that shit I know from experience the only thing more incompetent than Korean organizations are the individuals inside those organizations. So I waited for the courtesy computer lounge to open on the second floor at 10:00 a.m. 10:15 rolls around and this bitch finally moseys her ass to the gate to open up the lounge. I use the computer to check my itinerary and sext the girl I was going to see and return to the luggage I left unattended. Across from my luggage was a middle aged homely Korean women in magenta velour track pants with a paisley top and ballet shoes. I sit across from the lady about 4 feet away and she sees me and immediately gets up and moves to another seat. Now at this point I could let this fuckery go but I had read a post from my man Loco about this game he liked to play with the Japanese. In his version of the game he would use the Japanese aversion to being within his vicinity as a force field to push them off train platforms, or into garbage cans or poles. I wanted to try it, so for 30 minutes I made it my business to sit within 2 feet of her. She would move to a set of seats I would casually sit across from her.It was like a giant game of Qbert with me running from section to section outflanking her. I got so good at reading that woman that I could predict where she was thinking of sitting next. I kept this up until she just got into a kimchi squat near the escalators and glared at me.

Kimchi Squat

This isn't the only incident I have had trying to access Korean conveyance. I bought a bus ticket to go home from Seoul about 2 minutes prior to departure. I usually buy my ticket early and the gate agent usually refrains from sitting Koreans near me. On this particular morning I bought the last ticket for the packed bus so I was going to have to sit next to a Korean. Fine by me but when I got on the bus the lady in the adjacent seat knew immediately that I was coming for the seat next to her and we would be seatmates for 4.5 hours. That bitch starts yelling at the top of her lungs something about waegookin(foreigner) and go. She might have called me a couple of niggers but I had my headphones on so I barely heard. The driver gets on looking like a Korean Frank Ponchorello from C.H.I.P.S in his extra medium dress shirt to take tickets. This bitch is screaming next to me and I am sitting there with the most beatific look on my face enjoying Dave Chapelle at the Beacon. The driver is suppose to take my ticket and go on about his business but he is motioning for me to take off my headphones. I do and he says "changee busa". I pretend like I don't hear him so he says it again I pretend like I don't understand. That slick back sonofabitch tried to put my ass off the bus on some old Rosa Park shit. The next bus wasn't due to leave for another 4 hours and there was no way in hell I was getting off the bus. I just smiled put my headphones back on and continued to listen to Chapelle . He got frustrated and since he didn't have to sit next to me he just shrugged and walked away.

If you live in Korea or seek work here you quickly realize that their is a racial hierarchy at play. The most sought after archetype is attractive young white girsl from America, next is attractive young white girls from any place else, it goes on like that until you get to me the "Black". When I lived in Incheon there were 4 major chain schools that had a corporate policy of not hiring Black people .So it wasn't exactly surprising when I saw this post of an ad from Idiot's blog.

They are looking for an active, funny and bright white guy teacher.(Their highlight not mine)

Please send me your resume and recent photo ASAP. or call me 016-405-5396

At least none of us darkies have to bother sending them a resume.

Now lest you think these are isolated incidents of Korean Bullshit and the government couldn't be as unenlightened as the citizenry or private industry. I turn your attention to exhibit 322,789B in the case of Common Sense v. Republic of Korea. These screen grabs are from a blog called Popular Gusts

(Notice the two different spellings on Cheongwadae on the official government site) I'm telling you attention to detail is not a high priority here.

The notice on the left says the tour is closed "South Korea has been relatively safe from the pandemic but infections are worried to accelerate as people getting together like group tour".
The notice on the right says only children under 18 and foreigners are to be excluded from the tour. What takes this from just average Korean bullshit to the sublime is this man.

His name is Lee Cham and he is the head of the Korea Tourism Organization and decidedly not Korean. This low self-esteem sonofabitch rolled around in some Korean got out of the bed put his pants on and changed his name. Now I've been with women from around the world and when I was finished I didn't jump out of the bed and yell call me Qui Que Rodriguez, call me Ryu Hayabusa, call me Shmuley Schvartze Finklestein, or call me Qing Dao(Shing Dow). The crazy part of this story is he should be banned from the building . Imagine it, the head of the national tourism agency is banned from one of the more popular sites based on his race. I wonder how this kimchi cheerleader gets out of bed every morning and promotes this bullshit. (In the interest of full disclosure I must say I could give 2 fucks about cultural tours because as far as I am concerned I'm not here on a field trip)

Korea Sparkling


  1. I wish I was on that bus, so I could watch. I have had similar experiences as well.

  2. keep up the good work on your blog.

  3. I've had people act like this towards me as well on Seoul buses and Inter-City Buses. Mike, you handled that shit very well. Good for you!/As for Lee Charm, he was fired from E.B.S. Radio's English language radio station just after starting there 'cause he was, according to Steve Hatherley, too boring and Management likes to change Staff every once in awhile. Then Charm's Lucky Charm transported him to Ministry of Tourism. Wow.

  4. "Imagine it, the head of the national tourism agency is banned from one of the more popular sites based on his race." That must be why Mr. Obama stayed with the troops, he was banned from the Blue House." He was a foreigner and a black white.

  5. Mike, you handled it well. Good. A brown skin faces the same shit that you faced. Hold on! It is experienced even in the 'global city' Seoul. A brown skin and the Koreans assume you can't be an American. Tell them you're an American and their jaws drop.

    You know what? I say that ad was good. Yes. It's better than hearing 'Oh! You're black (include brown) so we don't hire you' after all the formalities have been carried out.

  6. Hilarious, just found this blog via a random person who linked it in the Korea Times' comment section. Keep it up!

  7. besides race Koreans are very guilty of ageism. I'm 54. I left Korea for 3 months then tried to return to get a teaching job--too old. I have a Masters degree and 14 years of teaching experience. Also, when I was in Korea I married a Thai--there was a sea change in attitude and opportunities withered when they saw her golden brown skin. I'm so glad I'm so gone.

  8. Koreans are the most racist people in Asia. I say hail to the Dear Leader Kim Jeong Il if that's the way they like it. And to hear that Obama was not allowed in the Blue house on his state visit proves that Koreans are racists. I am so glad I left there after 3 years.

  9. This is my second time in Korea...for some reason the dice fell the same twice and I had no other options.

    Anyway, my Korean co-worker asks me if I've been to Chicago. I say sure. He asks if it is a safe place to visit. He says he's heard there are a lot of black people there and it's dangerous (lots of guns). I explain black people does not equal dangerous. I tell him the typical tourist bullshit, stay out of bad neighborhoods etc. How will I know if I'm in a bad neighborhood, he asks innocently. You'll know. My bigger concern is if he drives a car in Chicago and what could happen to him....

    Second story...first time around and about 10 guys go to an all Korean club. Our group was about 50/50 black and white. The doormen escort us in and seat us. I look around and it's just me and the other white guys at a table. I look around and can't see the black guys. I go wandering around the club and the doormen seated them separate from us at a table in the corner behind a partition. Of course we argue and get nowhere.

    On another note, I don't know how many times I've been rejected by Korean women because i'm not black.

  10. Funny shit, being white as the pure driven snow, the worst reaction I had was when a little girl suddenly noticed I wasn't Korean, gasped and hid behind her mother lest the scary foreigner might snatch her away.

  11. LOL. PS I <3 you for using the word f*ckery! thought I was the only one. Now, I have not experienced much racism myself in Korea, but I have witnessed it secondhand often. Not only toward black people, but everyone- Korea is very elitist regarding their culture, even toward other Koreans. My Korean friends there that can't speak good Korean are treated like sh*t. Another "lol" to you following that woman around- go you!

  12. I had one of my high school students ask if I knew any black people. When I said "Why wouldn't I?", he asked if I could tell him how they talked.

    I said, "They say the same things like, 'Hey, how are you?' and sometimes, 'Hi, how's it going?'".

    My fault since I was still a new teacher. Next time I'm asked, I'll say, "such as" instead of "like" and "My black friends like to talk about Dokdo".

    He pointed out he wanted black slang. I wonder if he'll walk up to the next black person he sees in Korea to say, "Wassup, holmes". I love my school and don't usually tease my students that way, but still.

  13. I am sorry you didn't answer back and say see how Mr. Obama speaks. That is how a black man speaks. I prefer to use the term Mocha Gold for us brown people, because I know I am golden. ;)

  14. Lee Cham is a Korean citizen and therefore not foreign. Shame you didn't take the time to figure that out instead of going on a self-righteous rant.