Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

i always root for the underdog.
you can always tell a person's true character by the way they treat and interact with service industry people.
i'd really like to explore seoul's underworld.

i want to go to all the secret and shady places at night and see all the crazy things that happen here because i'm sure there's a lot going on.

Friday, August 27, 2010

i just came back from watching a korean musical titled Voyage of Life (생명의 항해) at the National Theatre of Korea. the musical is only playing for one week and stars korean superstar lee joon ki, who made his fame with the hit movie, the king and the clown.

the theatre itself is really old and beautiful inside. 90% of the audience was comprised of female japanese tourists, which was really sort of odd. most of them seemed to be in their thirties or older, and they were all going nuts with excitement. the extremely long line to take a photo with a life-size cardboard cutout of lee joon ki was ugly and out of control and i made sure to stay the hell away from it. watching all these grown women go crazy over this actor did make me wonder a few things: do these women have husbands and families at home? if so, do their family members condone their behavior? and are they as fervent with their families and loved ones as they are for lee joon ki?

anyway, i don't know what it was about the air conditioning, comfy chairs, pyrotechnics and loud-ass-singing and music, but i fell asleep after fifteen minutes. i woke up a few times here and there and tried with all my power to stay awake, but i just kept knocking out. i eventually woke up at intermission and my friend suggested we go outside for some air---we ended up not going back in.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

how do you tell someone halfway across the world that you miss them? and that you want to be with them? and that you want to come back to nyc and be together? and that they're not like anyone you've ever met before, and you want to put up a fight for them in order to show just how serious you are? and that you want to let go of all your insecurities and issues and finally be who you are without worrying about them not liking it or judging you?

but what if you've already tried something with this person before, and you wish it worked out so badly but in the end it didn't happen that way? do i risk scaring them off, or take a chance? or maybe be realistic and realiize you're now on another continent and what you want isn't plausible at the moment?

i don't know if i'm holding onto some fantasy relationship that does not/will not exist, or if there's actually something there that could grow into a great experience for both of us...

i hope that it will happen one day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

i think happiness is a facade.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

sometimes i can't help but think that it really is a small world.

on a daily basis whenever i turn on the tv, go online, read a magazine or listen to music, it always amuses me when i realize that i've met, worked with, interacted with or been in the same room as the actor, artist, musician or whatever the hell they are. this doesn't in any way make me feel cool or special, but just makes me appreciate the fact that all us humans are a lot more connected to each other than we think.

and while it's easier to feel this way with a celebrity or highly visible person, it also can work with just about anyone.

i was waiting for the subway a few weeks ago here in seoul at a stop that i had never in my life been to before, and i saw this guy who attended the same university as i did in nyc, waiting on the same platform as well. i did a double take and was 100% sure it was him. i used to see him around campus and we were never friends and i don't even know his name, but the fact that we were on the other side of the planet and waiting for the same subway at the exact same time, well, shit like that really boggles my mind. and just before when i was on the bus to go home, i saw a guy who was also on the same bus as me this morning. sure, i know that we both live on the same bus line and it might not seem like such a coincidence, but if at one point during his or my day, we had spent five extra minutes or 2 minutes less doing something, the whole chain of events of our day could've been changed, resulting in us riding the bus that came before or after the one we were on. but it didn't happen like that, and we were two complete strangers who both ended up on the same bus again in the same day at the exact same time. i don't think he noticed me because there was no reason for him to glance in my direction, but i noticed him.

events like this just solidify my belief in fate.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

i am running out of options here in korea.

was i foolish in thinking that with hard work, things would somehow work out for me here? was i irrational to think that i could move to seoul and establish some sort of life for myself? was i stupid to think that knowing i'm a damn good worker with lots of experience who busts my ass at any job would be enough to help me land some sort of employment?

i am in no way expecting things to be fucking easy and have everything handed to me, but there comes a point where i have to accept defeat and that enough is enough. my 90 day tourist visa is going to expire in a few weeks, and i thought by now i would've had some sort of job in korea.

i've come to accept that finding any job that's somewhat related to any sort of career is not going to happen at the moment. unemployment is already rampant in korea and since natives who speak proficient english are having difficulty finding jobs as well, i have to be realistic. i figured i'll just teach english or something like the countless other foreigners that are doing so in korea, but even that isn't panning out for a few reasons.

1) many schools and establishments i've applied to respond noting they want "caucasian" teachers only---discrimination against foreign born koreans and korean-americans is obviously rampant.
2) most foreign born koreans are eligible for a specific visa that allows them to live freely here in korea. having that visa basically opens the door to doing whatever they want, and they can work anywhere without worrying about getting any sort of visa sponsorship. due to certain reasons, i am one of the few korean-americans that are not eligible for this visa without serving in korea's mandatory 2-year military service---and that is definitely not fucking happening. for many teaching establishments who will hire foreign born koreans, everything is less complicated for them to employ people who already have that visa, thus i believe it pushes applicants like me to the back of the line.
3) a visa for foreigners who are working as instructors and teachers in korea does exist, but it needs to be acquired before you arrive on korean soil. meaning, since i am already here in korea, i have to go back on american soil to get the actual visa. this is problematic because i have not worked since i arrived, and my funds have all but dwindled. i'm finding out that no company wants to pay the expenses for someone to fly to american soil and come back to teach for them, and since i can't afford it at the moment, it just complicates my teaching employment even further.
4) on top of all issues listed above, i've been told that since i have no "teaching experience," companies are reluctant to hire me. even though i know i am absolutely 100% able to teach and do a good job at it, i accept it when i'm told this. however, i have met foreigners and korean-americans in korea who are working here as teachers and i have to say that a lot of them seem fresh out of college with no professional work experience whatsoever. sure, they might have teaching experience or whatever and i know this is generalizing, but when i see these people with teaching jobs, it just makes me wonder how they were able to find work and i question what is it about me and my resume that's such a turn off to companies? someone obviously decided to take a chance on them, and that's all i'm asking for as well.

i'm not taking anything personally, but after months of the same old bullshit, my optimism is waning. i'm still determined to make it for myself somehow, but determination alone doesn't give me a paycheck or a visa.

i'm writing about this today because a phone call with a job recruiter sent me over the edge. since i started applying for teaching employment, all the places i've sent my resume and cover letter to have had the following outcome: 1) no response 2) been told no because of my race, or 3) have been contacted by a job recruiter working directly with the companies stating they're the ones who set up the posting and they will be the point of contact to complete the application.

i've corresponded with a few job recruiters at some point, but nothing has resulted from it. i've been talking to this one job recruiter in particular for almost a month now because he said he could land me a job. i find work and he gets paid by the company for finding an employee, it's a win-win situation.

however, after weeks of trying to work with him, this certain recruiter has shown me no evidence that he's actually doing anything to help me. this guy is obviously a hack who doesn't know how to be professional and if i owned a company, i would never hire anyone like him. i've come to this conclusion by the emails, phone calls and all the other correspondence we've had. when we talk on the phone, all he does is feed me bullshit which is fine---sure, i see through it but he is the stepping stone in me finding a job and he claims to be doing all he can to help me so i just keep everything professional and do whatever he says i should do. i had a conversation with him earlier today because he hasn't kept his word on returning my phone calls or emails like he said he would. i was the one who called him and when we spoke, his tone and message was basically saying that he's working his ass off for me and that no one wants to hire me (many for the reasons above) and that he's had to work extra hard just to get companies to look over my resume.

what he said really pissed me off for a number of reasons. honestly, if he had shown me some credible responsibility in his work thus far and seemed to know what he's doing, i would believe him and be grateful. however, i am no fucking idiot. he was basically trying to make me feel humbled by all his efforts and just kept talking out of his ass about how he's doing this or doing that and his tone just really pissed me off. in his previous promises, he assured me that companies would send me to american soil on their dime to obtain the teaching visa, but now he wants me to lie to companies during phone interviews about my visa status so they'll unknowingly hire someone that needs to be sponsored? he sets up phone interviews and has me wait patiently by the phone for these calls that never even come and doesn't seem to do shit about it when i told him they never called. he doesn't respond to my phone calls or correspondences (which usually is me reaching out to him to ask why he hasn't contacted me at the times he stated he would) in a timely matter that indicates he gives a shit about assisting in my job search.

having to listen to this person talk to me today in the manner that he did and just accept it and try to prove to him further that i should be hired by these companies for whatever reason is just humiliating. having to pander to him really irks me and what pisses me off the most was that the phone call ended with him saying, "oh hey, i'm getting a really important business call---i'll call you right back in ten minutes!" i still have yet to hear back from him.

this entry sounds like a complete bitch-fest, but it's just more frustration in feeling like i have no control over what my choices in korea are. i also feel like in idiot for thinking that i could trust this recruiter with all his promises and now i'm back to square one with less time to figure out what the fuck i'm going to do about my visa.

whatever happens will happen and i'm adamant on making things work out somehow. i just need to let my current frustration subside and figure things out again. i have no choice but to succeed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

i've been doing a lot more outdoor activities since i arrived in seoul.

today i went hiking up a mountain with my cousin and his friend. my cousin (in the grey), has been working in korea for the past four years but is moving back to nyc for good in a few days. he's helped me tremendously while i've been in seoul and i'll miss him a lot when he leaves.

as for today's hike, it was definitely intense. i was honestly expecting a flat gravel path that slowly ascended to the peak of the mountain, but it was the complete opposite of that. the hike was extremely strenuous, going steeply up the mountain that left me thinking at certain times that i wasn't going to make it. much of the path didn't even seem like a path at most points, it just felt like we were just climbing rock after rock, hoping we were going the correct way. right before the peak, it's all large vertical rocks and you have to use your body strength with this rope to keep you from falling to your death. the adrenaline rush from that was awesome and kept me going the whole time. it took us over four hours to go up and come back down and am feeling completely beat at the moment---i'm pretty sure i'm going to be sore tomorrow.

i still don't have a camera so i took these pics today with my old cell phone, please excuse the shitty quality.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

there comes a point in our lives where we must reevaluate the things that have not been working thus far.

when it comes to dating, i've always thought that i wanted x and x in a person, but whenever i got it, i realized it wasn't what i thought it would be. i thought those were things that would make me happy, but in reality even though a person might have had those qualities, they lacked other things that i never even considered. therefore, i've come to the conclusion that an "ideal" person or type does not exist for me and i've given up on looking for them. i'm going to try something new and even if i meet someone that i don't feel an instant attraction or connection with and would usually just sign off on, i'm still going to instead give it a sincere try if they're a good person and someone i could at least get to know more. i figure it's worth a shot.

on a side note, i really need to compile a list of descriptions for all the people i've dated--- the list just gets more and more interesting. dating is fun.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

trust no one and you won't get hurt.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

i just came back from a long weekend trip to the countryside in the southern tip of korea. my younger cousin and his girlfriend invited me to go along with them since they both had vacation time and while i usually hate third-wheeling, i decided to go along. the trip turned out to be a lot of fun. we arrived saturday morning after a five-hour car ride and the weather up until monday night was just amazing. the daytime was always nice and sunny with the hot warmth from the sun on my skin, and the nights were always cloudless with a perfect view of all the stars and constellations. i got to swim in a river, see shooting stars, go to the beach and immerse my body in the natural mud made possible by the low tide, bike on small paths through fields of green that lead me to nowhere, ate lots of great food, got a tan, put my feet into streams while watching tiny fish swim by me and oh yes, drank until i blacked-out on the first night.

everyone has their drunken blackout tendencies, right? these are our uncontrollable (i guess they're actually somewhat controllable since we do have control over them by not drinking until we blackout, but i digress) tendencies that happen when we've consumed way too much alcohol and we no longer act appropriately nor in a correct state of mind and have no memory of doing so the next day.

i have a few blackout tendencies, but the most common is kicking off all my clothes. i have no idea when or how i do this, but whenever i wake up the next morning completely butt-ass-naked, i know i blacked out the previous night. i usually wake up completely sober and fine, then immediately get some clothes on and then try to remember what the fuck happened. i can't even remember the number of times this has happened to me, especially in awkward situations. the story never involves sleeping or messing around with another person, but more of just shame and humiliation due to the fact that on many occasions i've woken up this way in a place that is not my bed or home.

we stayed at my younger cousin's distant relative's house in the country which was spacious with lots of great personality. the home has been in their family for generations so there were a lot of personal and historical items showing the many generations that have lived there at one point. the house has a rooftop with an amazing view of fields and mountains. on our first night there, my younger cousin and his girlfriend decided that we should have dinner and grill up there since the weather was great. when we went food shopping earlier, i was sure to buy lots of beer and soju because i planned to get my drink on and have a good time on the trip. my younger cousin does not drink, so it was mostly his girlfriend and me clinking glasses throughout the meal. actually, while we did cheers and clink glasses with each gulp of beer and soju, it was me who did most of the drinking and initiated the clinking each time. so we're drinking and i remember at one point going downstairs into the house to get more beer and soju, even though i knew no one else but me was going to drink most of it. i go back upstairs and we're talking and i'm getting all wasted, and that's the last i remember from the night.

i woke up the next morning completely butt ass naked and the first thought in my head was, "oh shit." i went and found my cousin and his girlfriend who were together in the house and immediately asked, "what happened last night??" this question is usually a reaction to my whole waking-up-naked, and sometimes i get responses like "nothing happened," or sometimes i hear "um, you need to sit down for this."---that day's answer was the latter.

the first thing my cousin's girlfriend asked me that morning was "is your hand bruised?" then my cousin told me that it was apparent i was wasted the previous night when we were still on the rooftop. he had purchased this new picnic-mattress/spread/blanket sort of thing for the trip and we were using it to sit on for dinner. i was smoking cigarettes and apparently putting the butt out directly into the mattress, even though they told me numerously to stop (there are several burn marks that went straight through it). when we get downstairs, i knock out in one of the rooms and everyone goes to bed. soon after, they hear a loud pounding coming from my room and it wakes everyone up. the thing is, it wasn't just the three of us staying at the house, the relative who lives there was also sleeping in his room. he's a farmer in his fifties who tends to all the fields and properties and owns the house. the pounding was so loud that even he woke up from his sleep on the other side and he was pissed as hell about it. so everyone wakes up startled from the noise and my cousin tells me that i was blackout drunk and wasted with my eyes closed, laying on the floor and for some reason just pounding my fist against the large ceiling-to-floor-wooden-armoire... butt ass naked.

my blackout tendency of pounding on things surfaces every now and then, but it's been a while. this is not me in a fit of rage where i'm pissed off and pounding my fist or leg out of anger, but it's just a physical and repetitious motion---really, with no explanation. i'm sure there's something happening in my brain at the moment that makes me want to do it, but i really don't understand why. i think i get my whole kicking-off-all-my-clothes part because i get hot very easily and i think i unknowingly do it to cool off my body, but i still don't get the whole pounding reflex.

suffice it to say, i was embarrassed/ashamed the next morning and didn't have a drop of alcohol for the rest of the trip.

beside driving back up to seoul through a typhoon, everything else went throughout the trip went smoothly. now i'm back to reality and have to continue my ever-frustrating job search. yay for life.

Friday, August 06, 2010

to be honest, smiling takes way too much effort and has always felt so unnatural to me. i especially hate smiling in photos and REALLY hate it even more when people try and force me to do so.

this is one of my senior year photos from high school, circa 2001. i remember the photographer really trying to get me to smile, and as you can see it came out awkward and forced---i look like a fucking idiot. but man, time sure does fly.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

i would love to smoke a bowl right about now and get lost in a pile of magazines for hours.
happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy gunshot.
today, i take a moment in my day to remember anne frank.

r.i.p. anne.