From the Scene

Do you Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Sinchon? Playing at Nori Bar

By Mizaru

Part 1 (here) Part 2 (here) Part 3 (here) A recent take on the live music scene in Hongdae (here)

Part 4– The Alpha and the Beta.

“Best of everything there was and everything there is to come is often undocumented.”–Patti Smith

Jet Boy Jet Girl meet Juju and Guju

Two Homes, a World Apart

By John M. Rodgers

Squam Lake (foreground) and Lake Winnipesaukee. By John M. Rodgers

I was sitting aboard an Asiana Airlines flight some 37,000 feet above earth on my way from Seoul, South Korea to New York’s JFK Airport where I would catch a flight to Boston and then a ride to northern New Hampshire. During the flight I had plenty of time to contemplate the transition from a frenetic, wired city of more than 10 million people to a bucolic town (pop. 4,044). I’d be staying at a relative’s home more than eight miles down a road that ends at the state’s largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee.

“No Internet here,” my older brother told me during a call before my arrival.

Jeju Island: Blood, Beauty and the Need for a Naval Base

By Donald Kirk

The school girls in white blouses and plaid skirts surrounded me as I was deciding whether to enter the “Tunnel of History” at the Jeju Museum of War History and Peace in the countryside near the northern coast of Jeju.  Take a picture, they implored, begging me to stand beside them as they photographed me, the grizzled foreigner, snuggling up to their pristine figures. They giggled and grinned, showing me the results on their cameras, and promised to email me the photos to the address on my card. Alas, I’m still waiting for them to make good on their promises, but their all-in-fun visit to the memorial provided a startling contrast between Jeju today and Jeju “then” – that is, in the late 1940s when this verdant scenic wonder of an island was swept by bloodshed and massacres on a scale  unimaginable today.

Do you Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Sinchon? Playing at Nori–The Alpha

By Mizaru

Part 1 (here) Part 2 (here) Part 3 (here)  A recent take on the live music scene in Hongdae (here)

 Part 4

“Best of everything there was and everything there is to come is often undocumented.”

U.S. Soldier Accused of Arson Admits to Unintentional Fire, Depression and being Under Restriction

By John M. Rodgers

Pfc. Marcos Pedraza-Pascual (Ashley Rowland/Stars and Stripes).

The ongoing Hooker Hill arson case against Army Pfc. Marcos Pedraza-Pascual took a strange turn during the last hearing on May 22 at the Seoul Central District Court when Pedraza-Pascual revealed that he was going through out-processing to leave the military, was under restriction and had tried to “hurt” himself due to being “very depressed.”

Korean Court to Sentence Man Who Scammed Travelers out of Thousands

By John M. Rodgers

On Tuesday, June 5, the Seoul Eastern District Court will finally hand down a sentence to Kang Wan Koo (aka Wystan Kang or Joseph Kim) the serial travel scammer who bilked scores of clients, mostly expats, out of more than 100 million won ($85,000) over the period of at least a year, according to Seoul Prosecutors. At the last hearing on May 8, the prosecutor asked the judge to sentence Kang to four years imprisonment, though sources familiar with Korean law expect a maximum of two years with the chance that the sentence could be suspended.

Since Kang was arrested and detained on February 13 of this year, victims of his chicanery have shown mixed emotions—some expressed relief that he was behind bars and thus unable to continue the scam while others scoffed at his detention because it meant that he was unemployed and without a means to repay his debt.

The View from Okinawa–Don Kirk on the U.S. Military’s 21st Century in Asia

By Donald Kirk

OKINAWA, Japan – Ask just about any of the 18,000 or so U.S. marines on this battle-scarred island prefecture what they think of demands for shutting down the marine air station in the town of Ginowan on the west coast, and they say they know almost nothing about it. Nor are they aware of the daily headlines in Okinawa’s two daily papers, the Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo – the latter name a reminder of the legacy of the Ryukyu kingdom that succumbed to Japanese rule in 1879.

‘Hello, do you know Jesus Christ?’–Meeting People in a South Korean Gym

By The Expat at Expat Hell

I recently changed gyms. The gym that I used to frequent was fairly close to my house so it was quite convenient. Due to the relatively small size of the gym, I had to plan my workout times carefully to avoid the morning, noon and evening rushes. I also found that I was accosted frequently for spur-of-the-moment English lessons, which has started to bother me more than it initially did during my first few years in Korea. After all, I doubt that stock brokers are as frequently stopped on the street and asked for free investment advice. In addition, the crowd at the old gym left a lot to be desired. The main clientele were mostly ajummas on the wrong side of 45 sporting almost exclusively leopard print spandex workout suits.

Working China’s ‘Soft Power’ as A Western Journalist in-Country


Culture, diplomacy, arts can help China bridge differences with the West

By Tom McGregor at China Daily

Living behind Bars as a SOFA Inmate


By John M. Rodgers

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