Near Jeju, South Korea.
Near Jeju, South Korea.

“I can’t watch the news anymore. Let’s sit somewhere without a TV.”

“How about just switching places so your back is to it?”

“I can still hear it.”

Inevitably, there comes a point when news of a tragedy becomes too much. Too much for the soul. Too much for the heart. You can only hope so much and only wait so long. You can only listen to so much, and see even less.

I’ve lived in Korea for going on 5 years. I’ve always prided myself on keeping a tight knit group of Korean friends and trying my best to learn and live the culture. I’d like to think I know as much about Korean culture as any foreigner here.

That being said, I AM a foreigner. How can someone such as myself begin to claim punditry on the thousands of years of culture that may or may not have impacted the decisions of people in a situation of crisis. How could I ever FUCKING HYPOTHESIZE on how cultural norms would play on the minds of children facing death.

What? I’m an English teacher here for a couple of years so I must invariably be an expert on such things. I’ve watched a Korean drama or two and maybe even a movie so I can tell you the ins and outs of Korean social etiquette? I may have visited a bar once with some Korean friends therefor I must be adept in a cultural system that has taken 5000 years to form. Pouring a drink with two hands DOES NOT give someone the right to think they know Korean culture enough to comment on it.

If I have to read through another blog or article by someone who has lived here once making comments on the implications Korean CULTURE may have had on a tragedy including children I’m not sure I will be able to control my anger.

These are children, parents, brothers and sisters.


Nothing more or less.

If you’re religious, pray for them. If you aren’t, spare them your thoughts.

If you think you’re a pundit and don’t have a PHD in the field you’re discussing, here’s a tip:

hold your fucking tongue.

Near Jeju, South Korea.
Near Jeju, South Korea.


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