So, seriously people: STOP BELIEVING EVERYTHING ON THE NEWS AND INTERNET. It’s like everyone in America thinks I’m living in a bomb shelter. I don’t even know if bomb shelters can protect you from nuclear disaster. I don’t even know what nuclear disaster is. Actually, I’m not entirely sure I know what a bomb shelter is. I assume it’s like a totally decked out storm shelter. That you live in for infinity or something.
ANYHOW. I’m not living in a bomb shelter. I’m living in a dorm room (AKA my studio apartment), just like I was a semester ago. If South Korea is under some NEW threat of impending disaster, I’m not sure my colleagues, students, or neighbors are aware. It should be noted that unlike me, they can all read the Korean news and understand the Korean television reports. So, it’s just from United States news sources that I am being told I might die or something. Quote from the office chogiyo (assistant): “Um, American friends – they think we are in danger? Here, we are not even very stressful about it! We don’t even care!” Then, she giggled.
So, a few tidbits: Korea is still a country at war. It has been for several decades (See: KOREAN WAR). A cease fire agreement has kept the war on paper, as has bolstering by American military presence (which is a whole controversial blog entry of its own). Koreans are used to the threats made by the North. That doesn’t mean they hate all North Koreans. In fact, most Koreans still just call them Koreans, since, ya know – they are KOREAN. Many Koreans still have family members in the North, with whom they cannot visit or communicate often. It’s still a sad fact and most Koreans do hope the nation reunifies someday.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to downplay the significance of this guy being a new leader, young, and temperamental (and perhaps MENTAL), and I’m sure the work of web hackers, the US increased military presence and the untested resolve of the new South Korean Leader and American Cabinet members, all ADD UP to something… but I’m just a lil ole lawyer living in Daejeon – I have no idea what it is. I don’t think it’s worth many hours of sleeplessness or nervousness trying to predict what a young, untested, and potentially mentally ill leader of North Korea MIGHT POSSIBLY DO. So, until the US Embassy says, “HEY, GET THE FUCK OUT OF KOREA YOU STUPID LAWYER!!!” I’m going to continue to teach classes and eat a lot of soon doo boo jjigae, IN CASE I end up having to get the fuck out of Korea and never eat delicious $2 Korean tofu soup ever again. ALSO – I better send some care packages of beauty products home to myself – IN CASE. And ramyeon – IN CASE. And maybe some kim for kimbap – IN CASE. And nail polish – IN CASE. OH! And those stupid gum chew candies I love… IN CASE.
BUUUUUUUTTTT, if you want to aid the cause of a lonely lawyer living in Daejeon, please send baked goods OR Cinnamon Spice/Hazelnut Dunkin Donuts Coffee or any Redken hair product my way. I basically accept all cash or wire transfers also. JUST IN CASE. =P
Hannam University – LGC 50-0214
133 Ojeongdong (70 Hannam-ro)
Daejeon, Daedeok-Gu 306-791 ROK