Korean men and me, once more

Getting back into dating man-meeting has been exhausting. And repetitive.

I’m semi-convinced there are four potential situations which will occur anytime I meet someone of the male persuasion in Korea.

1-The traditionalist. This guy is nearing 30 (or already over) and in a huge rush to get married. He’s probably perfectly datable. I just don’t want to get married so inevitably we’ll break up before we ever date.

For more on this, you can read here and here.

2-The cheater. This guy is in a serious or semi-serious relationship. (It’s hard to tell when relationships are serious around here.) However he’s totally cool with a one-nighter with you so long as you don’t tell his girlfriend/fiance/wife.

The most recent example.

I went out with a group of friends this weekend for dinner, drinks and near-disasters. One of the men in the group was sweet and fairly cute, Jeju. Jeju was friendly, nice, outgoing all the things a good KBoy is. He’s also kyopo (a person born in Korea who lives in a foreign country then returns to Korea), so I took this as a positive sign. No marriage discussion from a SoCal boy, right?

After spending most of the night chatting me up, his phone rings. He looks at it, put his phone down, looks at me about to bite into a giant corn dog with ketchup dripping on the ground. (I’m so sexy when I drink.) Slowly he answers the phone.

It’s around 1 a.m. so it seems a bit strange to hesitate so much before answering. Luckily, Vandertramp saved me from asking what I want to know. “Who was that?”

“Well, it was my fiance,” says Jeju. “So I thought I should answer.”

After that revelation, I was less than receptive to Jeju, which Linda immediately noticed. “What’s up with you?,” she asked. The answer is one adorable Korean man’s willingness to cheat on his girlfriend!

Oh and it turns out Brother In-Law is married.

So you know, that’s kind of weird. Also I am so not comfortable with spending alone time with a guy in a serious relationship. Sorry.

3-The foreigner. Our typical conversation goes like this.

Male: “Oh hello.” In a voice that sounds like, “Holy crap! Another white person!”

Me: “Hi.” In a voice that says, “Holy crap! Another white person!”

Male: “What are you doing here?”

Me: “I teach at a hagwon. What about you?” And the entire conversation remains stale and boring while neither of us actually admits their shock at encountering a white person they don’t already know in the ROK. (Seriously its weird finding foreigners when you’re out.)

4-The john. The first question is “Are you Russian?” Most likely, they mean “Russian” in the same way most people would mean “prostitute.” So if the next question is “How much?,” you probably shouldn’t guess they are talking about your bike. Which is exactly what I did, when a Sri Lankan asked me those two questions in that particular order. By the way, the comeback, “More than you can afford” only works if you speak the same language.

Frankly this one happens to me so often I wonder how anyone who is actually Russian manages not to scream at people. Apparently there’s a long history for why Russian is a cultural euphemism for prostitute. It has something to do with white people only being allowed to model lingerie and those models often working in the porn industry. You can read a more about it here, here and here.

Somehow after a four-month cycle of these encounters, I’m more than a little burned out on the dating scene in Korea. There are quite a few women who love dating in Korea, I just can’t say I’m one of them. I’m tired of feeling like an exotic creature for KMen and foreigners to gawk at and brag to their buddies about later.

Sorry to disappoint boys, but I’m actually a person inside this rockin’ bod. So if you manage to avoid situations one through four, you might just maybe get to spend some one-on-one time with me.

Rikki and Jenni, Here’s the story I promised last Thursday. Tell me West Coast boys are better than this.


12 thoughts on “Korean men and me, once more

  1. Actually a kyopo is just a person of Korean heritage that is born or raised outside of Korea (like a Korean-American or Korean-Canadian). You might be talking about a yoo-haksaeng (someone who studied abroad)?

    • I’ve been told by a few Koreans that kyopo means a person who has left Korea and come back. I’m not 100% sure since I hardly know the basics of Korean culture and language. And Jeju was born in Korea then moved to America for 10 years before returning to Korea two years ago so I’m fairly certain he fulfills the “kyopo” definition as told to me. But again, I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask around and find out. Thanks for reading!

  2. I’ve been a fan of your blog for a few weeks now. I think Im strange because I get so much entertainment reading about complaint and complaint and more complaints about Korea. I was wondering if I could request that you try write about something positive you may have experienced. We could use this as an experiment to see whether I find entertainment in positive topics?

    Thanks for all the great reads…

    • Hi eneME, Thanks for reading. I try to write about the things I enjoy in Korea, (I think you’ll like tomorrow’s post) as well as the bad stuff. However here’s a brief summary of my Korean faves. The fashion, there are few things in this world more adorable than Seoul street style. The food, I absolutely adore the samgypsil culture–cooking the food at your table, sharing with everyone, the forced interaction and conversation is awesome. The people, I also love how willing people are to help each other and go out of their way for one another. Koreans themselves don’t seem to find this aspect of their culture remarkable, but the way my students constantly help each other learn is astounding and I love it. Finally I’ve been on a Korean history bent lately and it’s pretty fascinating stuff. There’s a lot to love about Korea.

  3. Dear Miss Unobtanium-
    In Korea having a light toned skin and being taller than the average woman, you are exotic. To spend a moment in your presence is enough to give men wet dreams. An evening with you would be the ultimate fantasy. I suggest you continue as you have, hoping but expecting to be disappointed.

    • I’m not much taller than most the women here actually. But yes, I am definitely viewed as exotic. (I suspect it has more to do with breasts than height.) I’ll let you know how the adventures continue, Uncle Al. Thanks as always for reading.

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