How long have we been here?!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nigerian Males...Smooth Operators

Hello, hello!

I think it is wonderful and interesting that Africans can be found living in every country around the world (in my experience anyway). A testament to African fortitude and determination and resourcefulness I believe, that we can survive anywhere!

Anyway, today I feel the need to speak about my experiences with the Nigerians here in Seoul.

I live in Itaewon, which is considered the international area of Seoul. Most foreigners are located here (the US military base is here) and there is a large African community here, mostly Nigerians.

And it is impossible for a girl to walk down the street without getting accosted! Sometimes it is funny, but (lots of times) not!

"Hello, my name is _ _ _ _ _, can I have your number?" is usually how the convo goes. From zero to phone number in 30 seconds flat! They shake your hand with one hand and have their cell phone in the other! And if you say no, (which, invariably I say!) "Oh sister, why,why? Do you not want to get to know me. I am just a man. Can I not get to know you. I just want to be your friend. Oh, please, would you like a friend. I want to get to know you. How am I to get to know you, sister, please, please. Why, are you afraid of me? Come on sister." And on, and on, and on! I can be standing in the street, turning down a guy for literally 20 minutes! What the hell! And while this prattle is going on, they are holding your hand and trying to pull you in their direction!

They also try to walk me home! I have to stop in the street so they don't accompany me to my door! I mean, a little attention is a nice thing but, come on! As beautiful as I am (insert your favorite picture of me in your mind here!), there is no way I am so hot you want to follow me home! Sheesh!

I'm gonna have to start taking taxi's home so I can arrive in one piece!

Well, the adventure continues!

see you!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Hello, hello!

I know it's been forever but there's nothing new under the sun!

Today I am writing to tell you about a Korean belief called. . . FAN DEATH. or in Korean fan death-a, you have to say the a at the end!

So it's summer and of course the heat is stifling here. I mean,well. . . stifling. So speaking with my students about using the fan to keep cool and they all say

"oh,teache-er you can no fan on when sleeping. You die! Very bad!"

That's right people. The Koreans believe that if you sleep, in a room, with all windows and doors closed, you will die. FAN DEATH-a.

Now, my students couldn't explain why this is, but they fully believe this to be true. They've seen the deaths on tv and in the newspaper, so it must be true!

I found some grown ups to ask, thinking, of course, they would blow it off and tell me the origin of the superstition. Guess what I found out? Not a superstition folks! Many, many adults told me FAN DEATH-a is TRUE!!!! If you sleep with the fan on, with all windows and doors closed, you will indeed die. FACT.

How can this possibly happen? Well, let me tell you. There are two schools of thought that I have heard on FAN DEATH-a. One is that leaving the fan on makes your body so cold, that eventually your heart stops and you die. Presumably from hypothermia.

Now, I looked up hypothermia and there are 3 stages to progress through until death. And this all takes longer than 24 hours if you are not submerged in water.

I tried to tell my Korean colleagues this amazing fact but, alas, to no avail. They say FAN DEATH-a is FACT and that's that.

The second way to die via FAN DEATH-a, and I believe this is a more common belief, is through lack of air. That's right, having the windows and doors closed does not allow fresh air into the room. The fan therefore circulates old, stale air and this, indeed, leads to death.

Hard to believe I know, but hey, facts are facts. And for those of you that have a heard time believing in FAN DEATH-a, I have attached a video that proves, this can happen. . . to you. So boys and girls, don't sleep with the fan on!

A note of advice from Korea!