First and foremost, reposting this so that anyone who has any information (or for those of you who have more far-reaching circles, if you'd be so kind as to re-post) can help:

Saturday night around 3 am a white limousine pulled up along side my friends little sister in haebangchon when 2 Koreans/Korean Americans (spoke English) got out and forced her into the car.
There were a total of 4 guys, around 30 years of age, in the car who proceeded to try and rape her.
She fought back but because of this she got herself beaten up really badly.
They then threw her out of the moving car and was left unconscious in the street.

If you know anything about 4 guys who were out on Saturday in a white limousine please contact me.

토 요일밤(일요일 새벽) 오전 3시경 해방촌 부근에서 흰색 리무진이 제 친구의 여동생 옆에서 멈춰서더니, 2명의 한국인과 2명의 교포(영어사용)가 차에서 나와 강제로 여동생을 차에 태웠습니다. 총 4명의 남자가 있었고 나이는 30살 정도였습니다. 그들은 그녀를 강간하려고 했고 그녀는 그들과 싸웠습니다. 하지만 그 과정에서 그녀는 많이 다쳤고 그들은 그녀를 달리는 차에서 집어던졌습니다. 그녀는 무의식 상태로 길에 남겨졌습니다.
혹시 이 4명에 대해서 아시거나 목격하신 분은 저에게 연락주시기 바랍니다.

If you have any information that might help apprehend these people ,please contact laura at:

primodjp @ hotmail.com

Terrible stuff. Ladies, please remember that we're not in our hometowns anymore. I'm not an alarmist of any kind. I used to wander around Brooklyn at all hours of the morning (in all states of intoxication) completely alone. But. We are highly visible here, and the media, as foreign females, is not our friend. People know that we mostly live alone, and that our families are far, far away. Be careful, please.

In other news, my great aunt Opal has passed. I'll be spending the evening waiting for an all-clear that the family has woken up and is going about their business, so that I can make a few long distance phone calls, and try to be there for them in the only way that I can. This woman did not live an easy life, and was my grandmother's last connecting link to a life full of hardship that they had in common, and supported each other throughout. This is not going to be an easy one, and that dear woman, who has supported me through so much, has already had enough shit to swallow for ten lifetimes. The best part is that this week is Thanksgiving.

I know. I know. But sometimes you can't help but feel angry.

Whichever way you, dear readers, are inclined to send your positive thoughts, please do so.

Also: I know it's technically illegal (thanks a lot, E2 visa), but if any of you (I'm looking at you, Diana!) have an information about how to go about volunteering in this country, please leave it in the comment section below. I've already got Coteacher on board for helping me make the phone calls to the local community centers in Korean. While I'm not opposed to (and rather prefer) physical labor, I think my (lack of) Korean would probably cause too much undue stress and complication. I'm thinking along the lines of orphanage/shelter/prison/juvie home teaching, which is where I think I would be most useful. Let a girl know. I need something to get my mind off of the recent nonsense that has been festering and ballooning to ridiculous proportions over the course of the last few weeks.

Sorry things have gotten so random here. There's a lot going on at the moment, as you can guess. We'll get back to our regular scheduled programming soon, I hope.

In the spirit of gossip, to feed your weary little souls, I'll recount the ridiculousness that has begun to spring up between me and my male co-teacher.

This guy's been dead awkward since he first arrived in March, save for the one business trip we took together, which saw me chattering incessantly in some sort of freakishly overly socially adept version of my normal, bordering-on-awkward, reserved personality -- I had been dreading the business trip for weeks. And while I usually just let awkwardness ride, I knew I would be co-teaching with him soon and really didn't want the awkwardness to carry over to class, where our delicate little orchid students would be sure to pick up on (and feed off of) it. So I tried. Really hard. And it was a nice day. That saw him admitting (for some reason) that Brokeback Mountain is one of his favorite movies of all time (hey, at least we know he doesn't have the Korean homophobe gene).

Then we started teaching together. It's been pretty good, so far. The students don't fuck around with the male teachers as much. Soon came the weird "I want to take you to an island on the weekend in my car to eat eel" invitations, which, although I wasn't exactly pissing myself with excitement about the idea, I was willing to tolerate for the sake of classroom serenity. But, it came right around the time I was preparing to go home for a visit, and things kept popping up on the weekends, so I had to keep postponing. Finally, while we were recording the third graders' listening test together in the media room after school one day, he kind of exploded with, "I just want to take you for nice meal!"

Um. Okay. But I'm leaving for the US on Friday. Sorry?

Now he's started hanging around after our classes finish to talk, and things have been pretty normal. He broke a rib doing some kind of martial arts (???) last week and, when I asked how he was feeling the next day, gave me absolutely no warning before lifting up his entire shirt to show me how his lower torso was wrapped with a bandage. Thank god no students were walking past outside. Then came, "Christmas makes me so sad because is couples' day and I don't have any girlfriends" and "So, do you have plans for Christmas?"

And today, we got to talking about some of the students who have been passed up to him (B level) from the other young co-teacher (C level), not because their English has improved, but because they were causing too much damn trouble. Suddenly, what were the loudest students in my C classes have become the most depressed, mopey students in my B classes. I commented to him that they knew Super Fun Time was officially over.

The look on his face told me he hadn't taken it as the compliment I had intended -- I know how to make sure the students have a good time in class, but my discipline skills are still lacking. I need him there for that. It took me a good half of class today to get them with their heads up off their desks and participating with interest, but I can manage that. What I can't manage is to conduct a truly smooth class with these assclowns climbing all over everything and shouting out, "HEY MAN!" and other various random English phrases whenever the fancy strikes them.

Anyway, he suddenly asked me if I was a good student when I was in school. Which he has actually asked me before. I hesitated to answer -- I never disrupted classes or showed disrespect to my teachers. I never felt the need to draw attention to myself. And I always, always made top scores. But. I wasn't exactly every teacher's favorite student -- I made a habit of missing class whenever I could get away with it, and some teachers were infuriated at my ability to find ways around the attendance system, and still make top scores, so that I couldn't be penalized. I was never outright disrespectful, but there are at least a few teachers who I know remember me for my defiance, anyway.

After that, he asked about how my Korean is coming along. I explained how my listening has continued to improve bit by bit, but that I still can't make myself speak. I mentioned listening in on conversations with S and C, and he asked, "Oh. One of them is your boyfriend? Do you have a boyfriend in Korea?" Which is sort of one of those bombs of a question, that's hard to follow up on and can quickly disrupt the flow of the conversation. Especially when the answer is, "No."

"Oh. Not yet?"

Something about "not yet" tickled me. I still haven't worked out exactly what it was, but at any rate, I let out a pretty genuine, spontaneous laugh and said, "No. Not yet." At which point he went a bit red, and repeated the phrase back to himself, thinking he had done something strange with his English.

Awkward silence. And then, "When did you first know you wanted to be a teacher?" Sometimes talking to him feels like filling out a survey, but I appreciate his intentions to manage to make something other than small talk during our ten minute breaks between classes. It came out, at this point, that he wanted to be a writer. Oh. Me, too. Have you ever written a poem? Actually, that's what I majored in. Oh. Do you keep a journal on the internet?

Haha. No. I definitely do not. Too many people can read the internet. Why would I do a stupid thing like that?


Kel said...


Heather said...

The last comment, awesome by the way. Here i am checking your blog every day. Stalker? nawwwww. Just an interested reader that hopes one day to do what your doing.:P

Willie said...

Oh I am definitely a blog stalker and will freely admit this to anyone. I blame my 24 hour access to the internet though.

Male co-teacher? That sounds like a whole lot of craziness to me. I didn't know they made those in Korea. Is he a 뚱뚱? I've decided I want a 뚱뚱 for christmas. Just to sit in my apartment and make me smile. I also really like making them say Bye Bye for some reason.

You are a far far better person to want to volunteer your free time with free lessons or work. I know there is a group called Feed Your Seoul on Facebook where you can volunteer to work in soup kitchens on Friday nights I think.

Expat'in during the holidays can be a lot fun. It's a good idea to keep moving though and go to different places. Keeps life interesting and will keep your mind of things. Which is why you should come to Jeju with me!

I'm no Picasso said...

There's nothing wrong with blog stalking. It's when the stalking crosses over into real life that there is a problem. Or when, thanks to google, the blog crosses over into real life. Eep.

Willie -- the coteach namja is definitely not a 뚱뚱. He's a little on the short side (ie about as tall as me) and mentioned how the recent Misuda scandal (men under 180 cm are losers!) "a little bit hurt [his] feeling when first hear it on tv". I gave him the standard line: There's a reason why they call it "chatting with beauties", and not "chatting with smarties".

The volunteering thing is pretty self-involved, actually. And I'm definitely not looking to be slaving over an extra 10 lesson plans a week, or anything. I heard about Feed Your Seoul, but Friday nights? I mean, occasionally that's alright. Again. Self-involved. See? But I'll find something.

Also, I'm still wavering on the Jejudo thing. Because that's what I do. You're right about staying on the move when you're expatting during the holidays, though. I'm trying to stay focused on Vietnam, and finally getting that out of my system. ^^