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Dear Reader's Korean Paradise
Friday, March 19, 2004
  Couldn't give a XXXX about any other beer Kaloo kalay! My favourite malt beverage is now available in Korea. xxxx is on sale at the local Walmart and although it is pricey (2500 Won per 375ml bottle) when compared with the local muck (ie a Cass tallie can be purchased for as little as 1650 Won in the corner store) its a welcome cultural intrusion to these lands. Hopefully the masses will see the light and the ever-present soju tents will be replaced by marquis selling barbed wire. 
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  Ha Ri Su I'm not a fan of Korean pop, period. However, in an attempt to try to better understand the culture of my new homeland, I have been at least trying to discover some Korean music. Watching Arirang TV's "Pops in Seoul" program the other night, I came across pioneering Korean transexual artist Ha Ri Su singing her latest hit "Foxy Lady". Rather than being the usual sacharine coated k-pop rubbish, this is a more sophisticated blend of R&B, Hip Hop and other musical stylings. Not up my usual V8 rock and roll alley, but at least its a break from ballads, boy bands, and the annoying generic Korean form of hip hop 
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Tuesday, March 16, 2004
  Daejon de la Cuba 3 AK UTD 0 In what the Super Sunday Football League's Darren Barber has declared to be black sunday the boys of AK United escaped relatively unscathed this weekend. This is despite last minute withdrawals by a number of the team on the flimsiest of pretexts, leaving us to have to borrow the little bloke with glasses, who played a stormer at fullback. Honorable mentions are deserved for many, but none more so than our goaly, Mr Dubsy Jinro who also deserves a pat on the back for arranging a local guide for us. 
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  Spanish Bombs There is debate raging all over the net (links posted below) as to the meaning of the Madrid bombing and the subsequent ouster of the right wing government of Jose Maria Aznar, I fail to see the linkages to capitulation that many right wingers claim the election of a Socialist government represents. Rather, it's just reward for a government who refused to bow to public pressure when leaned on by the US. That is not to say that terrorist organisations don't need to be hunted and wiped out, but refusing to acknowledge that there are grim consequences to be faced in participating in an unjust and unpopular war is pure ignorance.

Resident Aussie nutbag Tim Blair on the issue
and UQ lecturer John Quiggin who seems to be Timmy's latest punching bag 
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Saturday, March 13, 2004
  Impeachment
Due to lack of a decent news service on my cable package and a tendancy not to hike to the station to buy the english-language paper, I had to be informed of President Roh's impeachment by a friend in Australia on msn messenger. I'm not terribly well versed in Korean domestic politics, but it seems to me that the opposition Grand National Party has acted extremely recklessly in impeaching Roh. We may well now see a Presidential election soon after the April parliamentary polls. All this on top of the pro-Roh Uri party seemingly set to resign en-masse. In my opinion, it is a recipe for political instability and economic uncertainty that the country can well do without. I'm eagerly awaiting the decision of the constitutional court and the subsaquent mess that looks set to follow. 
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Tuesday, March 09, 2004
  Men Behaving Badly
Before I came to Korea, I had never met one of the inhabitants of this fair land. However, their reputation had preceeded them. Staying in Kathmandu's Thamel district in 1999, I made friends with the owner of a hotel I stayed in and subsaquently travelled to Pokhara with him a week later. I recall a conversation with him regarding Israeli backpackers, who have perhaps the lousiest reputation as guests in Asian countries. I also recall him telling me that he regarded Koreans as being just as bad and that he sort to restrict entry to both groups, taking them on a case-by-case basis. I've learnt since being here that the reputation is more than justified. There is plenty in the Korean press about the poor reputation Koreans have in Southeast Asia as boorish, drunken louts
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  It's in the Eye of the Beholder
Scanning the Korea Herald today, I came across this.

Less than two weeks ago a 25-year-old university student jumped to her death from the 13th floor of her luxury high rise overlooking Haeundae Beach in Busan. By all accounts she had everything to live for, though she felt something was missing.
In her six-page suicide note, the unidentified pharmacy major said she always wanted to be beautiful. However, she explained, her last hope to attain the look she wanted failed with an unsuccessful plastic surgery.

Appearance seems have become a major concern for young Korean women
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Although I don't particularly fancy most of them, I consider Korean women to be some of the most attractive I have seen in my travels. This is just a sad manifestation of the superficial nature of South Korean society. The hyper-competative world of school, family obligations and now looks creates unbearable stress on Korean youngsters. It's hard to know who to balme here (media/fashion/peer pressure) but I for one would love to see Korean youf left to their own devices and be allowed to find who they are and thus develop their full potential as individuals without some of these unbearable stresses that they face.

 
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The life of a 30 something English teacher in the land of soju and kimchi. I am an Australian-born, British passport wielding drifter currently residing in Hwajong, Korea. My interests are Football, Rugby, Asian Cultures, Politics and Beer. Feel free to email me with questions, criticism and comments. jaganath69 [at] hotmail.com

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