Vices we love: Yellow belt fever

Friday, April 08, 2005

Yellow belt fever

A rocking Friday night spent online. I spend a good portion of my time teaching at a hakwon in Seoul. I use the term teaching loosely but since I haven't been ripped off (too badly), made homeless, deported, gutted, or used in political commercials, I can't complain. A hakwon is a Korean private school, usually focused on teaching English. It is a rather useless undertaking because spending fifty minutes a day with a paleface does NOT assure language competency. You actually have to study too.

Whereas American private schools, predominantly in the South, are designed so that white folks don't have to send their precious seed to the public school system and mingle with the proles, Korean private schools are designed to allow Koreans to send their seeds to a place where they can ogle and insult whitey to their hearts content. There is a reason why Korean (and indeed most Asian) employers ask for a photograph with your resume and it isn't their appreciation for the lighting.

Taekwondo classes are going splendidly and if I play my cards right I will have no recognizable joints left in about 2 months. My shrieking coach insists that I will have my yellow belt in three weeks. Albert is happy as a clam, approaching the ancient age of 67 and adopting me as his wayguekin (pale) son. He used to travel the world, shilling mobile phones, and did time in Saudi Arabia, a country that holds a certain morbid fascination for me. Ever the diplomat, Albert said I have virtually zero chance of scoring a gig there because the Saudis "don't really like Israel people."

Off on a tangent, how the hell can Asians tell I'm a Yid? I remember riding the train in Hong Kong when an ancient toothless lad poked me in the ribs, grinned like a jack-o-lantern and said "are you Israel?"


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