Saturday, August 11, 2012

Under Siege: Dirty and Smelly and Fusion Babies

"I'm not just saying this because you’re related to me, but I used to think that all foreigners were dirty and smelly... but you're not." - a close relative who I am not permitted to name by title until the statute of limitations expires.

Does this mean I've pushed down the barriers of prejudice in Korea by just a little? Perhaps not, because this close relative went on to expand on that thought by adding "When I pass them in the street, I can smell their bad smell, they look unkempt and their clothes look years old. But you always look neat."

And apparently I don't smell that bad either. If only foreigners could smell as wonderful as Koreans.

Filed under 'accidental truths close Korean relatives tell you when they finally let their guard down after five years'.

The observant among my two remaining readers will have noticed that I don't often write this blog any more. This is a function of many things such as my work as a writer elsewhere, aching fingers, a bad keyboard, my hatred of the updated Blogger interface that often no longer lets me post comments on my own blog, and the increasing amount of time I spend with the underground railroad here in Busan.

It is also - as I have previously mentioned - in no small part connected with the extra work and frequent interruptions that come with having a 22-month-old child, who is, shall we say, high maintenance. For example, this morning the wireless landline phone handset in our apartment was nowhere to be found until I finally spotted it in our aquarium, which led to a couple of hours of disassembling, drying, cleaning and re-soldering (it was not disassembly-friendly). This is the tip of the iceberg.

All small children can be a challenge I'm sure, but one of our close relatives evidently arrived at the conclusion that my son represented significantly more of a challenge than any Korean child they had previously experienced, prompting them to pose the following philosophical question:

"Do you think his temperament is the way it is because he has mixed blood?


Simon Davey said...

I think it was my second day at the hotel when the head baker said "Simon, we are very happy that you don't smell" when I said huh? He explained that the foreign guy that looked after the Tiger (long story) smelt really bad.... due to him cleaning tiger pee all day. I guess it was a complement :)

Mike said...

A tiger? Now I'm wondering if someone in your hotel has been involved in a Korean version of 'The Hangover' :-)

It's actually a wonder they let foreigners anywhere near food if they really think we smell, especially given some of the views here about the preparation of sushi.

Simon Davey said...

Women make great pastry chefs BECAUSE they have cold hand.... also the hotel has since removed the tiger and keeper, thereby reducing its overall cornyness by a whopping 2%! :)

Dale Mountain said...

Just to let you know you still have at least one reader in the UK. BTW what are you writing now? You've mentioned job hunting but never said what you are actually doing.

Mike said...

Hello Dale - I'm working as a 'Data Systems Developer' for Busan International Foreign School - I did the job part-time last year and they offered me a full-time position which started on Monday. Somehow this year, I'm going to try and organise an open source project to replace our school information system. It's called nextSIS, and the website isn't really ready :-)

I'm still writing scripts and appearing on the local radio station, and trying to write my blogs.

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