blog stalkin'

I found a site called The Korean Blog List and I have wasted approximately 874567568957 hours learning more about the authors of the listed blogs than I know about my close friends and family. The stalker in me can't wait to hunt them all down in person to befriend (in the least psychotic way possible). Quick shout out to those wondering about this random "Katerbait" that is now following their blogs, twitters, etc: Hi. I'm nice and yes, I've already envisioned us all as the best of friends, enjoying dinner and drinks together, exploring the beautiful sights at sunrise and sunset, frolicking along the beaches, hiking the mountains, and learning about the culture while laughing at ourselves for befuddling our way through new traditions and strange experiences. This vision appropriately occurs in slow motion and black and white, just like the movies. Can't wait. Show me the ropes, be my friend?

The blogs are all written by westerners living in SoKo (Soko = South Korea. Totally hopping on that slang bandwagon), and about 98.4% of the authors are blogging to depict their experiences living and teaching English in SoKo. A few of the most blogged about subjects, you ask?

1. Housing. The schools, both private and public, provide free housing to foreign language teachers. I know exactly what to expect when I get there: a shower/toilet. Apartment bathrooms simply hang a shower head over the toilet and combine the room with a drain in the middle. I've seen this before, once in Africa at a hotel on Zanzibar. It came in pretty handy, as I ate some food from a street vendor and violently paid for that decision all night. Nothing more efficient than the combined bathroom in that particular instance, at least.

2. Feeding... "ramifications." Not unlike my previous detailed experience (just trying to fit in), people are pretty open about getting sick from experimenting with their meals. Some are more discreet than others, but every blog details some experience about eating the wrong noodles and paying the price. Dee-lish.

3. Soju. SoKo's bevvy of choice. It is a vodka-esque drink, made from rice, and incredibly affordable. According to Wiki, it varies in alcohol content from about 20% to about 45% (I don't really know what alcohol content percentages mean, I am weak).

...Drinking in general seems to be a hot topic for westerners to blog about, as many seem initially shocked (and then pleased) by the heavy drinking culture. Apparently South Koreans work and play at the same full throttle pace and it's not abnormal to frequently get wasted with your boss. I generally consider myself more of a wine sippin' hippie, but for a few anomalies this year... ehrr, thanks for the memories, Pub Crawl trickster. You too, altitude + alcohol experience en Peru. You old dogs, you. Anyway, I found a tip to avoid any "wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy" situations: simply keep your glass half full to prevent unwanted refills, because refusing drinks can be offensive. I'm usually a "glass half full" kind of gal anyway... ba doop chhh.

4. Fan Death. From fans being removed "for their own safety," to the lack of fans for sale when sought after, or simply hearing random and confusing fateful fan stories, every blogger has had some experience leading to their discovery of the legend of "fan death." In SoKo, rumor has it that leaving a fan on in a sealed room will kill you. Justifications for this include:

a) The fan creates a vortex, which sucks the oxygen from the enclosed and sealed room and creates a partial vacuum inside.
b) An electric fan chops up all the oxygen particles in the air leaving none to breathe.
c) The fan uses up the oxygen in the room and creates fatal levels of carbon dioxide.

Whaaat?...This urban myth is taken so seriously that they even sell fans with timers so that they will shut off in case you (God forbid) fall asleep in a sealed room while one is running.  Huh.

Here's to continued stalking and learning -

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