The fact that I am not into football is a cause of regular disbelief to most Korean people I know or meet, even to the point that I get accused of lying about it sometimes (especially when England lose). My students in particular find my lack of enthusiasm for the beautiful game most perplexing. But I promise them it is the truth, I’m really not that interested.
It is certainly possible that lately I have mainly been focused on the negative aspects of living in Korea. Before you accuse me of being a grumbling old curmudgeon, I have been without my wife now for too long and I can’t wait to join her in Australia in a couple of months. I’m fed-up, and therefore my mind errs toward irritations and problems much more readily than the good stuff.
A couple of weeks ago I wasted my time arguing a point on TheKorean’s blog comment’s section regarding accidents in Korea. My point was that we are under no obligation to judge the reason for accidents occurring in different places equally. Some countries are more likely to have accidents because of their culture than others and I think culture plays a huge role in the many of the accidents we see in Korea, both major and minor.
However, one would think that if certain aspects of a culture did cause more regular accidents, this would show-up in a greater number of accidents generally recorded and witnessed, the frequency should be greater. I was challenged by a fellow commenter on TheKorean’s blog to show that this is the case.
Firstly, I know the title of this piece is crap, but I guess that is part of the point. Perhaps there is actually a real word for this, but I don’t know it, so I made one up.
“The propensity for people to jump to the conclusion that prejudice is the motivation behind other people’s thoughts, words, and actions.”
I was recently invited onto a panel discussion on tbs eFM Primetime – an English speaking radio station in Seoul – to talk about safety in Korea. I was originally invited to give my point of view about South Korean cultural involvement in the Sewol tragedy, but couldn’t do it, so they invited me to the next relevant debate instead.
I have been contemplating the possibility that I am one seriously heartless bastard lately. This may surprise some of the people who know me best because I think they would say I am a really nice guy, not short of an opinion or two and a bit argumentative, but nice nonetheless.
I thought I’d focus on a theme that bears some relation to topics I have written about recently as well as a little more regarding the Sewol disaster, and that is the quality of life of teenagers in Korea.
One thing that makes this whole disaster possibly even more upsetting is the number of young people who were the victims of it, mostly high school students.
Over the past two years or so I have written frequently about what a stressful and depressing life Korean teenagers are having in Korea, so it was to my surprise that South Korea came third recently in a study of well-being in teenagers from different countries.
Recent research suggests that a lack of quality sleep can kill brain cells, and this comes on the back of a great deal of research suggesting a range of health-related problems due to not getting enough shut-eye.