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  1. William George
    William George April 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm . Reply

    Once upon a time in Korea, a Korean friend of mine promised a business film crew that I would play the satisfied foreigner customer for their presentation.

    I told him that a) I couldn’t do the work on an E-2 visa, b) I didn’t want to do it any way, and c) I should have been asked. After a long conversation about how he made a promise, I eventually had to get hardcore and tell him “No” and hung up.

    Five minutes later, the producer of the business video called me to give me the same nonsense. They could not understand why I wouldn’t jump at the chance to do something I wasn’t asked to do that could have lost me my work visa because a friend wanted me to.

    This was the main wedge that set us on our separate ways.

    Another hammer hit on wedge came a year later when he called my up at 11pm one weekend, presumably drunk, to tell me that he was at a bar with a Korean woman who really wanted to have sex with a foreigner “And she doesn’t care that you’re fat!”

    In retrospect, I don’t know how I was able to refuse such a charming offer like that…

    But the continued impositions, and assumptions that I’d happy with those impositions made by Koreans upon me was one of the main reasons I grew to hate the place. And it’s one of the reasons I love Japan:

    People leave me the fuck alone the first time I say “No”.

  2. Dan
    Dan April 11, 2010 at 10:40 pm . Reply

    I like this series. It reminds me of the culture shock literature. There seems to be a good deal of overlap.

  3. Becky
    Becky April 18, 2010 at 12:44 am . Reply

    Hey, thanks for the series! I’m planning to go to Korea next year to do some teaching (first time ever), and have been trying to soak up as much as I can about the culture and social expectations, etc. Although I wouldn’t consider myself inflexible, it sounds like it’ll be challenging, nonetheless.

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