expat hell

La Fusillade

…I have also quit reading Expat Hell. I’m afraid to talk about it because the writer is rather savage to almost everyone, most notably his detractors. Still. Sticks and stones. I just always felt horrible about myself whenever I read his writing, entertaining as it was. As though living in Korea was something to be ashamed of. As though there is nothing more to this place than stupid expatriates, plastic surgery addicts, prostitutes, and ajummas. Well, obviously, if it is so shameful, and if you are so rich and successful, why don’t you go back to America, or live in Thailand, or somewhere more to your liking? I am no Korea apologist, but there is far more to this country than the vomit on the sidewalk.

Letter from Korea, May 2012.

Dear Ireland

I feel obliged to offer an apology for a lack of social commentary on life in Korea. Being Irish, I complain all the time, even when things are going well. If you were to sit with me for a relatively short period of time, I would undoubtedly complain about plenty of things I can do nothing about. It’s kind of an old-man syndrome I suppose.

The thing is, complaining about life in Korea doesn’t interest me as much anymore. Well, at least complaining about it on the internet and pointing out all the failings and the misery and normality of living here doesn’t interest me much. I suppose it’s just not productive. It doesn’t make my life any better, and while I’d love to attract the swathes of readers across the waeg readership who are itching for scandal and tales of depravity and inadequacy, I’m pretty to keep to myself these days. You see, it’s not just Irish people who like to complain all the time about things they can do nothing about.

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