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How I Got Scammed in Bangkok, but Came Out Winning

We have all read stories about getting scammed in foreign countries while on vacation. We’re also given all the precautions to save us from the embarrassment and loss of a scam. Then, we prepare mentally and physically for it. Preparing to spot that ominous, slim, shady character walking towards us with a trench coat on. Some even take karate classes in preparation for it.

Enough horseplay. If we knew how a scam worked, we wouldn’t get scammed.  And the scammers know this so they come at us like an innocent dove.

Have you ever seen the reporter doing a story about pickpockets, and this master pick pocket-er literally tells the reporter what he’s going to steal and then steals it by the end? It’s like that I suppose.


Filming a Documentary with Arirang TV

A couple months ago we were asked to participate in a documentary Arirang TV was making about safety in Korea. It is a topic we’ve been wanting to cover for a long time, so we agreed to be a part of it. We get a lot of safety related questions, and it’s always seemed to a be topic we could cover over the span of 3 or 4 videos. This Arirang TV documentary will focus on safety of students in school, and also cover women’s safety services in Seoul.


3 Female Teachers Talk About Dating, Racism, and Safety in Korea

One thing I’ve learned through blogging and vlogging over the past two years is that there are a lot of questions about life as an expat teaching English in Korea.

They are all different and they comes from all ages, races, and backgrounds. Among the questions about food, qualifications, documentation, and who Korean girls like most are those from female teachers inquiring about dating, racism, and safety.

Dating:
This is a danger zone topic I learned the hard way through my HIGHLY controversial vlog, DO NOT Teach English in Korea if You Are These Types of People.


Is It Safe to Travel to Korea?

While eating breakfast at my hostel in Barcelona last month, a CNN news brief aired declaring that tensions were high and nuclear war was eminent on the Korean peninsula.  A Korean backpacker that I had met earlier that week looked at me and simultaneously, we rolled our eyes, irked by the excessive urgency and seriousness in the reporters' words.  The others in the room, who hailed from all corners of the globe, looked worried and advised us to prolong our stay in Europe rather than return to a country that was in such a hostile state.

The concerned comments didn't end there.  Messages from my friends in America began flooding my inbox with questions regarding my well being and my parents even offered to purchase for me a plane ticket back to Mississippi.

Open Mike: Brands, Counterfeiting and Piracy

The english waves come inAbout 'Open Mike in Busan'

Background

A week earlier while I was waiting to go on air at the station, a situation was posed which led me to say “But that would be unethical”. I needed to repeat that last word a number of times. We quickly established that the English word ‘ethical’ may sound hilarious to Koreans. I wasn’t entirely convinced that this was merely a phonetic issue, which resolved me to pick a topic related to ethics for this week’s show.


Safety tips for foreigners living in S. Korea

Recently, I have learned of a fellow foreigner here teaching English who became a victim of assault. In a country where safety is a noted luxury (especially comparing to my home country), it inspired me to make a safety tips video. I made a video because well, let’s face it, not many people READ a lot anymore. :(  Here is a link to this video if you want to check it out.

Take care, I hope all your Korean experiences are wonderful!


The Honey Pot

In my mind the angry husband eventually accused his wife of caring more about her plants than she did about him, and this is the reason he chose to start dropping them, one by one, out of the window into the car park ten floors below.

As heavy ceramic pots of the sort favoured for Korean balconies, complete with large exotic plants, surreally dropped down the side of our apartment building, the ageing building janitor was called in to negotiate for the safety of the remaining foliage, even if the marriage at this point was beyond saving.

It’s not always a given that people are going to listen to their elders in this country any more, but thirty minutes later, the man was sheepishly picking up shattered ceramic fragments and traumatised plants amongst the thin layer of earth that now covered part of our apartment block's car park.

Expat Expertise: Streets and the City

Words by Rob Ouwehand of Roboseyo

Last year, my wife and I got a car. While driving in North America can be a pleasure of life, Canada’s open road is nothing like what you’ll find in Korea’s cities. Year by year, Korea lingers at the top of the lists for highest car accident and pedestrian fatality rates in the OECD, and anybody who’s taken a taxi ride knows Korea’s city traffic can get wooly. However, these harrowing roadways can be navigated. From my own time driving, here are some pointers for surviving the streets without sacrificing your sanity.

Awareness
The most important, possibly life-preserving rule, is simply this: what the cars around you are doing is more important than the lights, lines and signs on the road—by a huge degree. Whether that’s lane-weaving cars in the city or red-light-runners in the country who think nobody’s looking, the road signs are good, but awareness of your surroundings is better.

Ask first
If you plan to drive in the city, ask first, “Do I actually need to drive?” Between traffic, parking scarcity and prices, and Korean cities’ ever-improving public transit systems, often a subway or bus is easier, less stressful, and even faster. If your destination is close to a busy city center, or it’s rush hour, public transit might be a better choice. If your destination is farther from the city center than you are, driving becomes a viable option.

Watch out
Until all the world’s idiot drivers have stickers on their cars, you should drive defensively around the far right lanes. Buses, taxis, delivery bikes and trucks, cart-pulling seniors and a full complement of wet and dry goods vendors either dodge in and out of this lane—or even set up shop. Cars with tinted windows, especially imports, deserve an extra eyeball, too: they drive with a greater sense of entitlement than other drivers, and are most likely to cut you off, or block you from changing lanes. Meanwhile, bikers come out of nowhere and ignore any rule of the road that won’t help them deliver their pizza: use your mirrors a lot to stay aware of all four corners of your car. Taxi and bus drivers might be aggressive, but they’re also usually very experienced, for what it’s worth.

Turn signals
Like business or dating culture, driving also follows different logic in different countries, and what works well in one country might fail completely elsewhere.

Read the rest of this article at 10Mag.com


Busan e-FM Week 12: The Safety Experience

About 'Open Mike in Busan'

Introduction

This week’s subject is safety. Perhaps when people think about this country and its culture, they think about the places, the festivals, the food and things like that, and not necessarily the issue of safety, but safety was one of the first things I thought about in Korea.

Some of it is politics

On my third day in Korea I was walking to... well, I didn’t know where we were going actually – that’s what life is like sometimes as a foreigner living with a Korean family here – and the civil defence sirens went off.

Abandon Ship

The first thing you think about when the screech of the alarm first reaches you, is that 9.30pm on a Sunday evening is not a likely time to be running a drill. The automated spoken warning that it drowned out may have been meaningless to a non-Korean speaker, but there are times when no translation is necessary to understand the words "Fire. Evacuate. Fire. Evacuate."

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