Saturday, April 25, 2009

Barbie Does The Seoul Podcast

Shortly after announcing to Blog Land that I had been invited to join a discussion on Busan e-FM (90.5 MHz), the folks who do The Seoul Podcast asked if I'd be interested in joining them for a recording on April 21st. My initial response to this was to point out that words are hard and that I rarely say anything of value. They saw no reason for that to stop me and swore that they don't say anything of value either.

Confession: I had never listened to The Seoul Podcast prior to being invited on the show. I was only aware that The Seoul Podcast existed in the first place because I occasionally check out Zen Kimchi. And the only reason that I've heard of anything in the Korean Blogosphere, period, is from talking to my friend Diana. It's not that I'm not interested in what other migrant workers in Korea have to say, or that my sphere of dweebery doesn't extend to the Internet. It's just that between doing this, following hockey, running a mediocre tennis messageboard, keeping up on my 15 shitty television shows of choice, What's Alan Watching?, Unreality Magazine, Television Without Pity, and checking the daily news to make sure that nothing important has blown up that day, it hadn't dawn on me to find the time. Now that I know better, I may or may not find the time. Change is hard.

Regardless of whether or not I start making an effort to keep up on some of the better Korean blogs out there, I had a great time recording The Seoul Podcast with Joe, Stafford, and Jennifer. They're a fun group. Between planning a weekend group flash and discussing various asshats, they did actually say some things of value. In other words, they told me a fib. I'm willing to forgive them for their little white lie, if they forgive me for falling asleep on the floor and saying about two words over the last 40 minutes of the show. I fell asleep on the floor because I had been awake for almost 19 hours; not because The Seoul Podcast folk weren't thoroughly entertaining. It wasn't them, it was me.

While I imagine that I don't come off much better than I did on the radio (I have an mp3 of that which I can email to anybody at home who desires to listen; I refuse to listen to myself), the show, Seoul Podcast #52, will be posted on The Seoul Podcast sometime over the next few days. Feel free to use this space to comment on the show or mock me for being me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Seomyeon Diddler

I go to Dunkin' Donuts more than I ought to, but there really isn't anywhere else near work that I can find a satisfactory morning sandwich. Satisfactory morning sandwiches are composed of bread, eggs, bacon, and cheese. Nothing more. Nothing less. Satisfactory morning sandwiches do not include pickles, random sauce, or "fruit" of questionable quality. They are not made at McDonalds. Nine in the morning is not a time to get cute with my food. I suppose that I could cook my own damn morning sandwich and bring it to work, but the odds of me having a temper tantrum and throwing my toaster oven at a wall are quite high before noon.

As I've noted in previous posts, Seomyeon is a disgusting cesspool littered with pissants. Not a day goes by here that I don't feel the urge to regurgitate as I pass by some of the degenerate, sojued-up locals. That being said, even my low expectations of Seomyeon couldn't have prepared me for what happened today.

Most of the folks that I pass on my walk to Dunkin's Donuts are students, workers, shoppers, running around, bumping into one another and everything, trying to get somewhere or other. Every now and then one of the local pissants can be found passed out near the curb or looking gross while hanging out in one of the doorways to a closed shop. What the pissants are not usually doing, is standing in one of the doorways facing the main street, masturbating towards everybody walking by.

Were it not for my habit of suspiciously eyeing up every other person I walk by, I probably wouldn't have even noticed The Diddler. Were I at home, I could have called the police or subtly alerted other passersby. I would like to make this story awesome by telling you that I responded to this perversion in a violent manner which rendered The Diddler impotent, but obviously I didn't. Had I responded in that fashion, I'd probably be spending less time on the blog and more time dealing with legal matters at the moment. As it is, I am what I am, I am where I am, and I did nothing.

I continued to Dunkin' Donuts as usual, fought back some very confused tears, and opted for the usual breakfast sandwich. I was confused as to what the crying thing was all about. I also wasn't particularly hungry at this point, but I'll be damned if The Diddler is going to ruin my breakfast sandwich. I contemplated talking a detour back to work in order to avoid him, but I'll be damned if The Diddler is going to inconvenience me. So, I bought my damn sandwich and walked it back to work. I kept my eyes ahead of me the entire time. Little time had passed, so it's likely that he was still there but I can't say for sure.

When I returned to work I checked in with a coworker to vent about the incident and get over being alarmed before proceeding to class 15 minutes later. Throughout the day I alerted the rest of my coworkers to keep an eye out for this sort of thing. A few of them giggled uncomfortably, because that's what people do. It's what I did, after the initial shock wore off. One of them advised me that were I to poll my students I might be surprised to find how many of them have similar experiences. I'll take her word for it, for now. A few of us ended up debating what the correct slang for somebody who masturbates in public is. I could have gone with flasher and it may have been most appropriate, but my mind had already labeled him The Diddler at that point, so it stuck.

This experience was hardly just my own; easily 100 people pass by The Diddler's chosen spot every couple of minutes. There are probably more diddlers running around Seomyeon being repulsive, and there are certainly countless diddlers exposing themselves elsewhere. I'd been fortunate enough not to notice, until now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just Like a Barbie Doll

Debbie Student stared at me for a period of time which would have become uncomfortable about 20 seconds earlier had it been just about anybody else. I tried not to giggle at her. She doesn't mean to be creepy. It just takes her a while to find the words. And sometimes, when she finds them, and still comes across as creepy? It's not entirely her fault.

"You look like a... you know... ", Debbie Student looked towards the other women frantically and spat out a few Korean words. They giggled. One of them looked at her, confused, then looked to me and said "Barbie doll?" Debbie Student slammed the table with her hand and nodded emphatically. "Yes! You look like a Barbie Doll." She paused, searching for more words. "You must have been very popular in high school." She looked pleased, having finally found the means to express herself in a way I'd understand, and looked away.

Not wanting to embarrass Debbie Student, after she had worked so hard to put that one together, I refrained from hysterical laughter. I thanked her for what may or may not have been a compliment, explained that I was a horribly awkward looking teenager, and left it at that. Of course, I also look absolutely nothing like a Barbie Doll, unless they've started making Barbie Dolls that look more or less like That Girl Who is Scarcely Distinguishable From Others, but Debbie Student doesn't need to know that. Just like my coworkers last year didn't need to know that no, in fact, I hadn't heard that I look just like Anne Hathaway. Being compared to random white celebrities lost it's lustre sometime after my first month here. Being given an excuse to embrace my inner narcissist and ask "have you been reading my blog?" was a whole new kind of funny to me. Or it would have been, had I actually opted to confuse Debbie Student by saying that. I did not.

As noted, aside from my inability to tan, I do not resemble a Barbie Doll. My moniker is not meant to be associated with any sort of plastic doll. I chose Big White Barbie as a moniker because I didn't want to use my real name, I'm relatively tall, pasty, and desired a first name which properly captured my vapid dopiness. In other words, I needed a stripper name. Big White Kiki and Big White Candy didn't roll off the tongue quite as nicely as Big White Barbie, so Barbie won out.

When asked on the radio program a few weeks ago why I use the moniker Big White Barbie, I believe that my answer was something similar to "er, uh, tall. Words are hard. Hee!" So, there you go.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Found: Fountain of Life

I couldn't bring myself to go in. Reality would have crushed the dream. It always does.

I imagine a soju fountain in the waiting room. The main event, a magical vitamin shot in the ass, promises eternal youth.

My lofty expectations are largely a result of misreading "Life" as "Youth".

This is most interesting thing that I've come across in the past two weeks. This is laregly a result of leaving the apartment as little as possible lately, in the hopes of avoiding people so disgusting that immediately want to puke in their face (these people tend to be drunk, unshowered, wearing piss on their leg, and think that I wish to keep them in my line of sight for any longer than is absolutely necessary). Earlier today I caved and went to the store, because drinking water is important. I only encountered two individuals who we would all be better of without. This would be encouraging were the store not 10 meters away from my building.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Happened to Random Street Food Man?

Screw mandu's nonexistent magical properties.

I have magical properties!

I haven't seen hide nor hair from Random Mandu Man since I last complained about him. My desire to be talented, interesting and sexy has finally come to fruition: I can make people disappear, just by thinking it!

(He probably just moved his tent down the street or something lame. Also, now that I've made note of this, he'll probably reappear tomorrow, selling mandu. My original explanation was superior. Let's stick with that.)