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Posts tagged ‘Bananas!’

A Scrub at the Jjimjilbang, Or: How I Got to Third Base With an Ajeoshi

Personal space is of course culturally determined, but it isn’t until a masseur crosses the “bathing suit line” that the truth of that statement really hits home.

Say what you will about regulating a cottage industry like massage therapy, but in this case, regulation has definite benefits: by standardizing the certification process, the customer has something to lean on as he is stripping down to underwear or less. I’m naked with a stranger, but this is a professional environment. Nothing weird is going to happen. Massage therapists employ a long list of comfort-bolstering rituals—all geared at preventing that molesty vibe—but the sine quibus non of the professional massage are as follows: anything not currently being massaged stays happily hidden beneath a drape or towel; going much below the waist requires permission; and genitalia, inner thighs and butt cracks are all OFF LIMITS. Read more

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Scavenger Hunt Task 3A: 2012 Global StarCraft League Semifinals!

I hope you’re all sitting down because I have something really shocking to report: living in Korea is EXHAUSTING. I know! Who could have guessed?!? As a result of this general fatigue that is the by-product of doing anything in this country, I’ve fallen behind on my reportage. But I have a new strategy that I am borrowing from HCB and his years of dissertation work: write outside of the home, far from bed and books and easy internet and dishes that need washing and the other thousand things that can distract from storytelling. Read more

Livin’ life like the 1%

I’ll only post this video if you all promise not to judge us by the opulence of our future apartment. It’s 1% style. Or is it? I don’t actually know how the 1% lives. Maybe it’s just the well-to-do side of grown up? HCB and I have been living like grad students since forever, so I don’t actually have a basis for comparison. Whether or not it’s actually all that obscene (and I do think it’s a little obscene), we’re pretty stoked. This is apparently where all the American professors get stored until they and their families can learn enough Korean to go free-range. I’m working on the language, but I have to say, after today’s RosettaStone festivities, I’m not entirely disappointed about living in an English-speaking bubble. Read more