Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just Google "South Korea North Korea" at the moment, and you will see this picture:

And you will read about bodies. And China. And America. And anxiety/lack of anxiety/dissipating anxiety. And the stock market. And theories. And North Korean food shortages.

Maybe you will watch this:

And then this:

And then this one:

And after all of that, maybe you might get a sense of how simultaneously overloaded and underinformed I feel here.

My Korean guy friends are scared they will have to go back to the army. But at the same time--I remember talking with my dear friend Anthony awhile back about how he felt about military service here, which is compulsory for every Korean male. I asked him if the obligation he would have if there was a war made him feel angry, or righteous, or vindicated--things I'm sure I would feel if I were a Korean guy. And he said he wouldn't feel that way at all, just because Korea is the only place on Earth that is completely, one hundred percent Korean--it is his only home, and he wouldn't mind defending it in the slightest.

And that kind of blew my mind a little bit. Even though America is my home, and I'm proud to be an AmericanwhereatleastIknowI'mfreeblahblahblah, Korean nationalism never fails to throw me for a loop sometime. Koreans sure do love Korea. Enough to literally fight for it.

As for my students, most of them are scared--but this "Ohmygod the North just did something dumb" shit has happened so many times before and they are sooooo over it. We're doing "the future" in class this week--and ironically, an example in my Power Point of a good thing that could happen in the future is "that Korea will be one country again". Which has been getting a lot of sighs and eyerolls, of course.

On a lighter note, I've also been using this in class to predict the future. Since yesterday, almost every class has made me ask if there will be a war--and no joke, every single time the 8 Ball has said some version of no. SO NO WAR'S GONNA HAPPEN.

I'm not ready to go home yet...

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