Friday Bluez

Fun things I could be doing right now :

– Drinking at my friend’s rooftop party. Although that one is risky because I was supposed to go on a date tonight in that neighbourhood but I cancelled because I’m battling a case of the grossies*.

– Eating crabs with my friends. And by eating crabs, I mean watching my friends eat crabs while I drink and wonder why anyone likes crabs.

– Hanging out with Cheryl and pursuing leads from our shared online dating ap. We averaged all our information (ex. She is 27 and I am 25, so together Chayo is 26) and have a profile picture that’s both of us. It seems to be going quite well.

– Continuing my rise to the top on the leader board. If you don’t know about it, Memrise is the single greatest thing in the world and has already helped me achieve a conversational Spanish level after two weeks. Mostly this is because my obsessive competitiveness when it comes to dominating trivial things. Last Monday I realized I was 14th on the leaderboard. Countless hours later I am now in 4th. BRING IT ON JSMCds (that’s someone’s user name).

– Meeting my manfriend who constantly amuses me with his right wing assertions and condescending attitude towards my own rather left wing politics.

Instead I am:

-Writing a research paper about the Dangers of Texting and Driving.


* A sudden action or behavior exhibited by the opposite sex that can instantly cause you to stop seeing them in an even remotely sexual light.


To Whit

I have been feeling a little depressed today, probably because I inexplicably slept from midnight last night to 7pm tonight with only two brief periods of consciousness when Cheryl left my bed at 9am to go home after falling asleep here and at noon when I was hungry and had to go buy and consume a bag of mandu and a bottle of hot sauce. Tomorrow is my worst day at work, which has made me ever edgier. To put things in perspective I have decided to make a list about both the good and bad things in my life, which I’m sure will all cheer you up about your own, more meaningful lives.

Good Things 

1. I really like my friends. Like, really like them. They forgive me even when I drunkenly crash their blind dates and pretend that we know each other from being on the same middle school wrestling team (Sorry again Katie!), for spreading rumors that they’re borderline pedos and have lice (Sorry Rog and Cheryl!) and for just generally being an asshole, such as the time I spilled milk in Log’s bed knowing that milk really creeps her out. Once when I was talking to Kog I jokingly said, “Oh, what would you guys do without me” and she said, “Well to be honest, we would all probably have much higher self esteem”.  As lucky as they also are to have me (I’m also very narcissistic, and they forgive that), I am much, much luckier to have them. So, if you’re my friend and you’re reading this, DON’T EVER LEAVE ME!

2) I have a good relationship with my Papa. We’ve had our problems in the past, such as him being the most secretive man alive but we’re finally at a good place where we laugh at the shady things we each do and I’ve finally forgiven him for the time he yelled at me when I was 16. This is big of me, because I really, really don’t enjoy being yelled at.

3) I like my apartment even though the light in the bathroom breaks every ten minutes so we have to pee with the door open all the time, and the landlord is often standing in our kitchen when I wake up hitting things with a screwdriver, and the floor in our front hall area is so lopsided it looks like a fun house floor. After living in a hasuk (a rented room roughly the size of a small prison cell, and half as cheery) our apartment seems like a miracle every day when I wake up and can’t see my own breath.

4) I really like my wardrobe which is exclusively full of things I bought in subway stations for less than 10$. Hottest trend in Seoul right now? Wearing underarmour as pants, and I am KILLING it.  My favourite pair are black and white and say “UNDRARMR” all over them, which to me just screams ‘Business Casual’.

5) I really like my hair, sometimes I think it’s the only constant in my life. Someone asked me if I was wearing a wig on Saturday. I said, “Of course not”, in an insulted voice, but was actually very flattered.

6) My dating life continues to be amusing, on many levels. I’ve abstained from putting up my most recent stories because I like to wait a long enough time to a) give myself plausible deniability if any of my menz ever find them (“I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. The guy that I wrote that about was my grade 6 boyfriend. Look, there’s Cher! Oh that’s just me, and my amazing hair in a mirror”), and b) I don’t like to ever acknowledge any feelings I may have had other than mild annoyance or surprise, so I like to give it enough time to make sure my recollections don’t come off as the petty revenge stories, they only sometimes are.

7) I’ve just discovered how cool and cheap coloured contacts are in Seoul. If you haven’t been buying them, then you need to start. They are 5,000 won a pair and they only kind of make you look like an alien.

8) I am no longer broke ass broke.

9) My job is occasionally, somewhat, kind of rewarding.

10) I live in Asia and I love Asia.

Bad Things About My Life

1) I have a very serious lack of motivation that I need to do something about. Tomorrow.

2) I have many sleeping problems. A good example of this is last week when I slept an average of 4 hours for the whole week and then recovered by sleeping for 20 hours last yesterday, when I should have been writing (see 1).

3) I can’t have the man that I really want and no amount of hilarious dates is going to fix that. Unless I go on an hilarious date with someone who offers me unlimited free flights across the world and a cure for jetlag.

4) I have lost touch with many friends that I miss a lot.

5) One of my tattoos is kind of crooked.

6) While a lot of foreign food has made its way onto the shelves, there’s still nowhere that sells fat-free Miracle Whip.

7) I still have a really big ugly scar on my hand from when an asshole burnt me with a cigarette.

8) My hair didn’t look as good as it normally does the other day.

9) Sometimes I feel guilty over being an asshole, and feeling guilty isn’t fun.

10) Kim Jung Eun might blow me up.

Carpe Diem

Cheryl, the love of my life, is leaving in roughly two months so we have decided to use the last our time together to drink and wheel our faces off together, twice as much, to make up for how inefficient we’ll be rendered, separately. As we lay in her bed this afternoon, eating potatoes and discussing our night we wondered if perhaps we haven’t been overdoing it a tad lately. Further discussion of our casual Tuesday evening which involved smoking cigars, drinking Hennessy, pouring 200$ bottles of whiskey into each others mouths, a limbo contest, pretending to be working for the French, and Spanish diplomats office respectively, and openly mugging a man we hate in full view of roughly 20 people who all cheered, we decided that if anything, we haven’t been partying enough. So, to sum up: expect a lot of great upcoming stories.

Why am I so sweet?

Occasionally (often) the things I do make me laugh really, really hard. For example, last night, a man I am going on a date with today, texted me, asking if I knew how to get to our meeting point. Unfortunately for him, I was already black out drunk by this point and texted back, “No, I can only get to soegun-soegun eekietwa’ (the latter part in Korean). This man does not speak or read any Korean so he had to go through the trouble of translating that only to discover that essentially what I texted was, ‘No, I can only get to speak verrrrrrrrrrrryyyy quietly’. It is a wonder that anyone is ever interested in going out with me at all.

Perspectives, OR Answers to Questions No One Asked

Sorry, I know I’ve been an awful updater lately, and I can imagine that most of your lives are barely worth living without having heard from me in so long. I’ve been trying to write more newspaper articles to get published, like a big kid and have been semi-successful, despite how difficult I find it to write objectively. During my academic career I got into several heated debates with professors about treating claims such as, ‘Religion = Unequivocal evil’ and, “Machiavelli/King Henry IV = Just getting shit done’,  as facts while failing to acknowledge that for some people, these statements fall into more of a ‘grey area’. I also tend to consider everything I know (most things) as common knowledge, and everything I don’t know (very little) as needing to be cited. When this was pointed out to be by a helpful editor, I started citing everything. Needless to say, there is some work to be done.

I also got a job offer from a man I met on the street who was incredibly complimentary about my ability to offer him directions to a restaurant roughly 40 feet away. I was going to go for it because earlier that week I had gotten coffee and with someone I met on the street and it went well, so I was thinking it might be the start of something. But then he sent me a very creepy email. It went a little something like,  “These Asian people don’t have what it takes. YOU have what it takes. You can do ‘good work’. You and the other very young American ladies I have met recently’. This makes me think that either he is running some kind of North American prostitute ring, or that he’s very very creepy. I’m guessing it’s probably the latter and I’ve had enough of that lately with my other boss constantly trying to get me to go to the Jimjibang (public bath house) with him.

Anyways, back to the whole perspectives thing from the title, I was thinking about Korean teenagers vs. Canadian teenagers. In many ways I was a ‘typical’ North American teenager in that I was quite moody and dressed exclusively in clothes from Suzy Sheer and Sirens. I interact with a lot of high school Korean students these days (since I started running a prostitute ring for that guy) and I am taken aback by the extremely wide spectrum of personalities I’ve run into, who are all friends with each other. I hear a lot of shit from (racist) Waygooks who talk shit about Koreans all being immature/similar and hanging out with these high school kids has been educational enough for me to emphatically, and hopefully unnecessarily, stress the point that just because there’s not a whole lot of variation in eye and hair colour, these kids seem a lot more interesting, opinionated, mature, and occasionally batshit insane than I remember anyone I knew in high school being.

Case Point A: I was talking to a high school senior about her upcoming plans to attend a Korean University despite being an American citizen. She was extremely upset because she wanted to go back to America, but her parents were insisting that she stay in Korea to get to know Korean culture. She prefaced her explanation of this to me by saying, “As a teenager, I’m going through a really tough time right now. Puberty is really stressful and my hormones are all out of wack. I used to be able to deal my parents a lot more rationally, but to be honest I’m having a hard time approaching these discussions rationally when I’m feeling so emotional”. If it had been me talking about this when I was her age I would have died before talking to anyone about my puberty or my hormones and the conversation probably would have gone a little something like, “I’ll be goddamned if I go to a Korean school. My parents are just trying to ruin my fucking life because they’re assholes. They can’t approach this topic rationally at all because they hate me and they’re trying to ruin my life’. Although to be even more fair, there’s no way I would have even bothered trying to talk about it at all because that’s not, nor has it ever been how I handle my feelings; I probably would have just started cutting more school to drive around in my mini-van listening to Eminem. This student is far more mature than any high school student I remember knowing.

On the flip side, Case Point B. Got a paper that went a little something like, “Censorship is a good thing. Any child who is exposed to adult material when they are young will grow up to be a rapist. If a person finds out what the government is doing they will be killed silently. It’s better to know very little or nothing’. This is from a kid who is hoping to use this letter to gain acceptance to an American university. Bonkers. I’m assuming his parents have been instrumental in the South Korean porn ban. This student seems far more unhinged/brainwashed than anyone I remember from high school.

Those two are on pretty opposite ends of the spectrum but there’s a lot of notable ones in between. I recently read one about so-called ‘traumatic events’ where a kid graphically described a time he shit his pants. Anyone who knows me and my delicate stomach can probably imagine how much fun I had trying to read that. Another one my friend marked was from a girl writing about self-esteem who wrote that, ‘a nicer than average person might describe me as okay’. Another wrote about being the most popular girl in school and her experiences hanging out with a ‘fat loser’ to help her understand her role as a ‘loser’ in a school play. Another one wrote about how it’s the duty of women everywhere to pro-create, pro-create, pro-create. The best one I’ve ever read was about a girl struggling to find the silver lining of her scoliosis (no snark, it was genuinely good and deserves a shoutout).

In conclusion, I think that the big difference between Korean kids and Western kids is not that either are uniformly more of any adjective, it’s that Korean kids are not as highly trained in the art of political correctness and so are completely open and honest in expressing whatever it is they’re feeling without worrying how it might come off. I’ll admit to being furious when I read one about how shitty Canada is (knee-jerk instinct, there’s a lot of really shitty things about Canada) but I do admire the kid for writing it without giving a fuck that the person grading it was Canadian. It also seems to me that Korean kids are a lot less worried about fitting in and a lot more worried about coming up with stand-out college application essays, no matter how down and dirty they have to get. They’ve got their eye on the prize and are doing whatever it takes to get it. I might be wrong, but I don’t imagine there’s a lot of North American kids who would have been willing to publicly write seriously about the time they shit their pants. That kind of thing doesn’t become commonplace until university. Second conclusion: anyone that thinks people anywhere are all the same/similar is an idiot, except for people who think that the people in my high school were all very similar. That was true.

Career change?

Strange man : How about 2000 dollars cash for a night together?

AO: Seriously??

Strange man : YES, SERIOUSLY.

Strange man : How do u think?

I’m trying to think about this approach as a pick up line in terms of the old cost benefit ratio.


– No uncertainty as to what you’re going for. No worries of the girl thinking, “Oh sure, he likes my company but he probably doesn’t want to sleep with me”.

– Demonstration of an overabundance of spare cash. Some girls like that I suppose. I personally am not bothered by men who don’t spend money like idiots, but that’s not for everyone. One of my friends once put down 1000$ on black and I thought, “Think of how many beers you could have bought with that, you idiot”. Perhaps another girl would have thought, “I love gambling addicts, they’re so edgy”. Perhaps they would read into this a certain flair, that a man who asks you out for a drink and a curry just really lack.

– Optimism – This could be wildly naive of me, but I don’t imagine many woman take people up on these kinds of things. Do they?? DO THEY?? If you want to pay someone for sex, why not approach someone who is making it known that they are selling sex? How often does the average woman think, ‘I could put that towards a second hand car, I may as well have sex for money. It won’t be weird as long as I only do it this one time”. I again, may be wrong but I don’t imagine the woman who are sadly forced into prostitution for financial reasons just lurk around, minding their own business, not putting out any signals that they’re a sex worker, hoping that eventually a stranger will approach and JUST KNOW that they’re open to any offers.

– Nothing to lose? Why not say it, I suppose. Maybe you’ll get lucky, maybe you won’t but either way, this girl doesn’t know your your address and is unlucky to be sending any burly relatives round yours armed with baseball bats.


– Just one really. But I can’t stress this enough. Many women don’t like it when you ask them to sell you sex for money. Especially if you don’t at least send them flowers first.

PS. I realize that it seems a bit odd that I’ve been mistaken for a prostitute twice now. It’s nothing I’m doing, I swear. I dress appallingly and my idea of flirting is to challenge you to a game of scrabble . The only thing I can think of is that I’ve been more diligent about moisturizing. I guess that must be it.

This may be a To Be Continued Post. I’m thinking about responding. You know…for educational reasons.