Korea has the priciest Guinness pints in the world. Not surprising, since ANYTHING foreign is ass-rapingly expensive here. It sums up this society’s attitudes towards foreigners, really – that anything originating from outside their borders is hit with crippling tariffs. Japan is just a two and a half hour ferry ride away – AND they make some of the best cars and electronics in the world – yet you see almost no Japanese products in Korean stores, or on the road. Their contempt for the Japanese is the seed for their general contempt for all things foreign. It’s strange… I’m generally treated very warmly by the Koreans who I come into personal contact with – I’ve come to love this culture in so many ways – yet on the societal scale I am reminded time and time again that foreigners are often viewed with mistrust, scorn, and derision.
I pay much less for a pint of Guinness in Busan, though it’s still unreasonable. And before you accuse me of being a Korea hater, know that I like my life here and have had a good run, but it can be a MASSIVELY frustrating place to live, and is getting even more so.
I still haven’t posted about the upcoming changes in visa regulations, changes which may single-handedly destroy the whole ESL industry here. I’ll post about it soon, but just know that what started out as a legitimate concern about the criminal background of folks coming to teach here has quickly morphed into a xenophobic overreaction with no thought on its actual impact. The current changes proposed are totally punitive in nature, punishing the whole of the ESL teaching community because the Korean authorities have been lax in doing their own work of weeding out the scumbags.
Who would’ve thought, really? The Koreans usually think out their policies so well. They’ve never been known to act rashly…