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Comment count is 24
Hooker - 2015-08-20

You almost get the sense that the Korean correspondent is reading phonetically and has no idea what he's saying.

Aelric - 2015-08-20

A lot of my student in Korea spoke slow like that, and often when I was still new at leaching I thought there was value in enunciating like that. There is for beginners, however doing it too much creates 'slow accents' a bit like this one.

I think this guy was doing it for the benefit of others since his accent was otherwise rather clear. Maybe he wanted Korean natives that knew English to follow along without need of translation, perhaps the Korean end of this had second rate translators that asked to to speak slowly. It was a little weird.

Aelric - 2015-08-20

Weird Freudian typo in there.

infinite zest - 2015-08-21

I've thought about teaching esl (or English for Businesspeople) in S Korea and putting my degree to use.. I guess now's not the best time but I've always felt like I missed the opportunity. I'm 33 now and graduated at 23, so that's 10 years of jobs that have been all over the map (besides actual construction work I've done it in one sense or another) but how to convey that? The awkward anxiety-ridden IZ of the past is gone, but am I simply too old for organizations that usually seem to hire fresh out of college?

Aelric - 2015-08-21

Now is the best time. The positions vacate every time the North rattles it's sabre, meaning the usual flood of applicants slows to a trickle and you can get in there fairly easy. Also, pretty sure this will all come to nothing, as it usually does. Not the first time the North took potshots across the border, won't be the last, but North Korea would not survive any real conflict and China will NOT have it's back over shit like this. I'm thinking of going back myself.

Aelric - 2015-08-21

They hire all ages under 45. And if you are already in, you can keep working older than that. Yes, the kids will get favored, but it's not too late at all to go there. Just know that it's not a friendly country to outsiders or 'abnormal' things. I was swinging hard bipolar between happy and depressed while there. I believe ROUS was there a while too and rather unhappy due to the culture, but you'd be better to ask him directly.

You'll make money and save it like crazy, because your damn rent is free.

infinite zest - 2015-08-21

Good to know! I like the Pacific Northwest and it's where I grew up so it's not like I can't come back (until The Donald builds that wall) but I've sort of hit an impasse here. I like what I do but I'd like more pedagogical experience, which sadly is done by "specialists" who see my clients maybe once a year.. arg I could bitch for paragraphs about this. :)

Aelric - 2015-08-22

Give me your job when you leave.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2015-08-24

I wasn't unhappy from the culture. I was unhappy mainly from being sick all the time. Korea has major mold and air pollution issues. I also came down with a shellfish/shrimp allergy but didn't know why my body was racked in pain the last month or so.

Also right near the end, I came home to find my apartment being broken into by the manager, who was having some guys install air conditioning in subfreezing temperatures, and this was right after I found out about a friend back home dying. They refused to leave and I wound up screaming at them. Basically if you're a foreigner you don't have the same rights and I have privacy issues.

That having been said I loved my job and thought it was one of the best things I'd ever done. After trying ESL in America briefly I was nearly killed by street thugs, and have been doing a marketing internship all year which has landed me without a job and a bunch of promises.

I have applied with and secured a job in Japan with a company that can put me on file in case I need to go with them. And I'm pretty much undecided still but I tend to go with survival.

My advice: Don't let the age thing be a deterrant. If you decide to do it, do so because you actually want to do the job, not just escape for a while. I knew teachers over there who wound up hating it. I really loved making lesson plans and making my own materials and that is really common for the profession.

As to the fear of what to do after that's just as common but given friends of mine who were teaching are now driving trucks or working in offices and hating it, I dunno. Find happiness wherever you can, wherever it takes you.

And for the love of God, do learn about the culture before you go over. I learned enough of the language beforehand so that I could always be polite to everyone and fulfill the minimum expectations of a foreigner. You pretty much have to be on best behavior all the time, and not everyone can do that.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2015-08-20

Fat Hitler has been killing people left and right in order to instill the idea he means business but it's largely been unnecessary and brought about at least one assassination attempt against him. He has done his best to promote himself to his people but the latest incidents are piling up. He can't hope to bring about anything other than intimidation and some mild anxiety on the part of SK, but he can't possibly think he would win a war.

Unless he really is utterly insane and then, well, China will have to take care of that shit and blow Pyongyang off the map.

Lef - 2015-08-21

China won't "blow Pyongyang off the map", NK is a valuable buffer for the Chinese. They will do anything to keep a North Korea separate from the south. If push comes to shove China might be willing to knock off Fat Hitler and replace him with someone they can better control.

Naturally, they won't knock off Fat Hitler themselves, a lackey in NK will be used. They'll inflate their ego, promising support, and when Fat Hitler and his family purged the patsy will be executed and new Chinese backed rulers will take their place.

Hands stay clean, the buffer stays in place.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2015-08-21

NK might be a buffer now but as time goes by they become less and less necessary. The Chinese see them as an embarrassment for not joining them in the present and for defying them all over the place. Their relationship is a lot like an older brother constantly bailing his younger brother out of jail. It gets old after a while and at one point the older brother is going to just say "bail yourself out" and go back to sleep.

If Fat Hitler is stupid enough to shoot across the fence because he's playing a game of chicken and thinks that no one will take it seriously, it's probably just because Obama came in and stopped a war from erupting in 2010 with the Cheonan incident (when NK sunk a SK ship and killed around 10 people) by telling the then president Lee that he wouldn't back them, and FH thinks that he can push the envelope for posturing and playing general without understanding there could be real implications. Or he does understand and is so much of a psychopath he doesn't care.

The US doesn't really want to invade a nuclear powered country as it would be incredibly complicated to invade and secure all the nukes while dealing with NK's enormously prepared army trained from birth to hate everyone not from NK.

But who knows. If NK were to attack SK, China would have no choice but to back the rest of the world in condemning it. They protect NK so far but they defied China in keeping their nukes and setting them off after being told not to test further. China doesn't really especially want to be defied by them because it weakens their position as a superpower.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2015-08-21

I do like the idea of him being knocked off by a patsy, though, and that is the best possible solution. The problem is the wild card factor of Kim Jung Un himself. He's entirely unpredictable and getting close to him is also increasingly difficult. The risk factor someone would have to take in killing him is enormous. We don't really know how divided their government is, but Un has been able to secure a strong following even with the executions for any number of fucked up psychological cult personality reasons.

China coming in to control the country would mean that NK could finally be opened up to countrywide electricity, modern farming techniques, and better fed peasants and the further prevention of starvation. That's important to me and I don't care how many guys up top in NK's government get knocked off in order for that to happen.

I will say that no matter how it plays out, NK is playing with borrowed time. They can't get away with these tactics forever.

Hazelnut - 2015-08-21

I think the other reason the US and China both are subtly-reluctantly allowing North Korea to continue is the gigantic refugee mess that'll result if it implodes. And it's hard to see how to replace Fat Hitler with democracy, or even some kind of junta (whether a nasty one like Myanmar or a "nicer" one like Thailand), without the whole thing falling apart.

Messy, ugly, sad.

SolRo - 2015-08-21

Anyone feeling that despite the evilness of NK, maybe SK should knock off the idiotic propaganda war and marches into the DMZ?

As much as fat hitler is trying his best to act like he's an in-total-control despot, I'm getting a distinct feeling that SK is trying to act like America (the international war mongering America) and trying to provoke NK for whatever stupid political, economic or nationalistic reasons.

Hazelnut - 2015-08-21

On one hand, how should SK react? Send the North a sincere apology for damaging their landmines? Governments are in a tough position here: too weak a response can also ratchet tensions, either by encouraging the little despot (short and stout) or enraging the SK population.

On the other, SolRo is basically right. If each side commits itself to a bigger provocation than the other, the resulting spiral could go very very wrong. And the further they take it, the harder it becomes to back down.

EvilHomer - 2015-08-21

RoUS is correct. The world is no longer what it was in the late 1950s. China isn't particularly fond of North Korea, and I doubt they'd back North Korea in a war, not unless they knew they could get something out of it.

North Korea and China are like Nick Bravo and HappyCabbie. North Korea owes its life to China, but they've not been very grateful, and over the years they've done everything they can to alienate their buddy! And yet, the sad irony is that China, like HappyCabbie, remains the closest thing to a friend that North Korea is ever likely to have.

Also, stars for SolRo. Figures he'd be a pro-NK apologist.

SolRo - 2015-08-21

hazel; I kind of assumed it was common knowledge that the DMZ is mined out the ass by both sides, and anyone walking in it is taking their life into their own hands.

or is (was) that just a myth, and SK Mythbusters had a very bad episode?

Hazelnut - 2015-08-21

United Nations forces that monitor the ceasefire at the DMZ put the blame squarely on the North for laying the mines, saying that they appeared to be new devices planted along a known South Korean patrol route.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2015-08-21

Solro, they planeted landmines recently within the SK border and killed several people. That's an act of war. So was killing a bunch of people by sinking a civilian ship in 2010. Lee Myung Bak was READY to go to war that year. Obama told him the US wouldn't back him and so they didn't.

SK doesn't want a war. It would cost them enormously in terms of money. The only reasons to go to war at this point are if Un is truly crazy and doesn't care about what any of his inner circle thinks. The generals are NOT happy there. Because Un has killed more higher up officials in his few years as leader than his father did HIS ENTIRE LIFE. That's a few years topping more than 30. That's a shitload of a purge.

NK is in definite inner crisis and they still have food and electricity issues. The Kim dynasty is worth 5 billion in funds stolen from the people and the fat shit stil can't feed the people. When I lived in SK I talked with a lot of people that were angry because they consider N Koreans to still be their people and their people are starving. That is something SK desperately wants to stop.

The entire thing is dependent on how far Un is willing to swagger around strutting his feathers. This isn't a democracy. His ascent was based on brute force. His goals aren't easy to determine because they are based on fucking WHIM rather than calculated reason. IF he was listening to the higher generals, he wouldn't be planting bombs within the SK border that's for fucking sure. They try to keep their propaganda in country because they know they can't survive a war with the outside world. They know what it would cost.

It is possible they are egging him on knowing that collapse of the state is imminent, hoping to bring China into stopping Un, but that is a long shot.

gravelstudios - 2015-08-21

It's like children throwing stuff over the fence into each other's yards.

(This was a joke. I know it's not an accurate simile in any geopolitical sense. Please don't give me a lecture about how I'm totally wrong. sincerely, gravelstudios).

oddeye - 2015-08-22

Yeah, if the fences were like 100 miles apart you dumb bastard!!

Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2015-08-21

From now on all UN delegates must refer to NK and China as Nick Bravo and Happy Cabbie respectively

Sexy Duck Cop - 2015-08-21

Five for SolRo giving his opinion on North Korea.

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