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Suicide in Korea

Yonhap, Via Associated Press

High Profile Suicides

This topic has been on my mind lately simply because this past week has been filled with stories of well-known people committing suicide. Just this morning I read that Seoul United FC football player Chung Jong-kwan had hung himself in what many believe to be because of his involvement with a match-fixing scam.

What initially caught my attention to the high suicide rate in South Korea was reading this initial article last Monday about Song Ji-seon, a presenter on a cable sports channel who got some attention earlier this month when she  put  a message on Twitter hinting at plans to kill herself, causing a wave of people to contact authorities who then went and found her asleep after she had taken some sleeping pills. Last Monday she finally claimed her life by jumping from the window of her apartment. The reason? A rumored romance with Doosan Bears pitcher Im Tae-hoon, that he has denied.

Destination: Korea Queer Culture Festival 2011

Author’s note: in compliance with the requirements to photograph the event, all faces have been blurred to an unrecognizable level, and names of the performers were not revealed. While Korea has a few gay celebrities, the stigma is such that one might lose their job, their position in the family, and more just for being gay / lesbian / bisexual / transgendered.

Top 10 Strange Korean Foods

Korea is famous for Kimchi and Bulgogi, but is also home to a variety of lesser known dishes that are definitely worth tasting. Here's a list of the oddest foods available in Korea, a must try for everyone visiting the peninsula!

10 - Intestine Blood Sausage with Vermicelli (순대-Soondae)

10 Mag's May Cover Story: The Way of Tea

ARKP Episode 12 – Do We Want More than Just Idol Music?

99:46 minutes (45.68 MB)

This week’s events have brought the show down to a bit of a sad note, but I hope you don’t let that stop you from enjoying the show as usual.

Download link for Episode 12


DMZ Panmunjom Tour

Tuesday 24th May, 2011

I was fortunate enough to get a seat to do the DMZ/ Panmunjom Tour at the last minute. These tours book out months in advance and when I found out we were going to Seoul, Tiger told me about this tour that Barry, her husband did a few years back. On the tour, they take you to the border, where North and South Korea meet. With abit of research, I found afew tour companies that did this tour. I heard great reviews about one company in particular called USO, but unfortunately, they were completely booked out. So I emailed a few other agencies and TOURDMZ got back to me a day before we set out to Seoul. They told me there was one available seat for Tuesday 24th and all I needed to do was send back a reconfirmation email and my name would be down for the tour. I could pay my W120,000 fee on the day. I just had to remember to bring my passport with me. Sweeeeet! I was SO EXCITED!!!

Busan Annual Softball Charity Event (Spots available)

Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 09:00

Busan Annual Charity Softball Event

On June 12th and possibly the 18th, I'll host the annual charity event with all proceeds going to the Shin-Ae Rehabilitation Center and Orphanage. Its always a lot of fun and we get a great turn out and raise a lot of money for people who do great work. I have a lot of roll-over teams and space is limited but Im attempting to expand the event (notice the 'possibly'), so I'm soliciting interest and we'll see what happens. You can sign up as a single player, a group or a whole team.

Busan Port's New Home

12 Rules for Expat Life in Korea Contd.

Today has seen the Korean blogosphere dancing in the delights of this recent article of sorts on CNNgo.

Shocking stuff altogether.

Fortunately a few bloggers have jumped to protect Korea because Korea is such a wonderful perfect place that has never done anything wrong and shouldn’t be criticised for the realities its society presents. Grrrr. What I couldn’t get over was the general belief that this post was taken so seriously and the defence of Korea was so patriotic. So in defence of decency I will try to add my own flavour and sense of balance to this debate.

But first take a moment to read what has already been said:

Roboseyo: CNNgo Trolls Bloggers; 12 ACTUALLY useful tips for Expat life.

Re: 12 rules for expat life in Korea | Chris in South Korea – Travel and life in Korea.

12 Rules for Expats in Korea | David S. Wills.

Of course, no one here is right or wrong. It’s just … well… so what? As David S. Wills makes the point, anyone who reads the CNNgo post will – hopefully – realise that this is a little bit of jolly finger-pointing…at least I think that’s the point he made (I only had a few minutes to read so I read quickly, as in quicker than ‘scan’ reading).

Anyway, the balancing act courtesy of me. Drum rolls please!!!!

1. Learn to Drink Like a Fish – Yes, do! You’ll have a great time. Forget about how much Koreans drink – I don’t think most of these other bloggers have ever seen how much English teachers in Korea drink! And, on that point, I am assuming that the people who move to Korea are adults and can make their own decision as to how much they drink. My personal preference is to drink as much as I can and learn from your mistakes (I always try to smile and say please and thank you). I am assuming you, the reader, have strong enough self esteem to make your own decisions. 


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