Regarding Korean Women
I’ve not spent any time in Thailand (other than vicariously through Stickman and his readers' submissions). I’ve been living in Korea for going on ten years now, have spent significant time in the Philippines, and lesser amounts in Japan and Bali. I’ve never felt qualified to offer a submission to a Thai-centric website, but K-Stop’s recent post “So you think Thai women are mercenary?”
compelled me to respond.
As background, I turned 60 this year and currently have a Korean wife 10 years my junior. She’s the fourth woman foolish enough to marry me (the other 3 were Americans). I can’t really say anything bad about any of them, after all, the common denominator in each marriage was me. So I pretty much have accepted the fact that the blame lies with me and my selfish ways.
I arrived in Seoul back in 2005 and discovered I was suddenly illiterate, being unable to speak Korean or read Hanguel. Despite the multitudes of English teachers employed here I’ve found that outside of the international district (Itaewon) the English speaking ability of most Koreans is spotty at best (almost none of my in-laws can converse with me past a rudimentary greeting). And once you leave the city it’s even worse. I’ve picked up a few Korean phrases (I can order beer and ask where the bathroom is for example) but I’m embarrassed by the fact that I’ve failed to master a relatively easy language to learn. In the early days I took some classes and even hired a tutor, but since I rarely ventured outside of the Itaewon bars without a Korean speaking escort, I got lazy and gave up. That’s proven to be a pretty big mistake. But this submission purports to be about Korean women so let’s get on with it.
At the risk of starting an argument (opinions are like assholes after all, everybody has one) I will state unequivocally that Korean women are the most beautiful I’ve seen anywhere in the world. They have a style and grace about them that is almost irresistible. The usual body style is tall, slim, small ass and tits. Just the way I like them. Of course, too many are going the plastic surgery route these days which is a shame. I love the natural beauty of the Korean face.
Korean women are many things but I have not found them to be particularly mercenary. They are for the most part traditional in their thinking and conservative in their actions. For example, many females continue living at home well into their twenties until they get married. Seoul tends to be a magnet for young people though, so many women move here from their homes in the “countryside” and experience life on their own. This is still a Confucian society where adult “children” must obey and respect the wishes of their parents. As an example, I was dating a 35 year old Korean woman for over a year and I asked when I might be meeting her family. In all sincerity she told me that if her father found out she was dating a foreigner (waeguk) she would be forced to move back home!
At least in Seoul, you see quite a few mixed race couples (well, Caucasian/Korean—Korean society is pretty racist against blacks—they actually still do black-face skits on television). But you don’t see the large age gaps that are pretty prevalent in the PI and apparently Thailand). And the relationships are all generally straightforward, it’s not about money or status, just people falling in love like you’d expect. I’ve never had a Korean woman ask me for money to support her or her family. Even if they needed it, in this culture they’d be ashamed to ask. Of course Korea is a rich, first world country so that comparison is perhaps apples and oranges. The point being, I’ve not met any mercenary Korean women (excepting perhaps the juicy girls who sell drinks in exchange for company, but not sex). There are some prostitution venues as well, but I don’t have much experience there—too expensive for my tastes.
So, while not mercenary I would say that Korean women tend to be more cold hearted than other Asian women I’ve encountered. Woe be it to one who makes their Korean gal angry—they’ll yank your heart out and stomp on it in a most unforgiving manner. A woman I was living with for 18 months decided it was over and so informed me via a text message. And then asked me if she could continue living in the guest bedroom until she found a better place. Does it get any colder than that?
The first girl I dated in Korea worked in a bar, but unlike the bars I frequented in the PI, sex was not for sale (although she did enjoy the ten dollar lady drinks (I’m told they cost $20 these days). We probably went out for a month before she consented to let me sleep with her. She was pretty much a starfish in bed and tended to being more crazy than average so I grew tired of her pretty quick.
I met my next girlfriend on a Korean dating site. She was nuts too, but was a lot more fun to be with. After chatting for a week or two, she agreed to have dinner with me. She was big on Canadian Club whiskey and could drink me under the table any day of the week. Anyway, after that first dinner date, she came to see my apartment. We sat on the couch and talked awhile, then she stood up and announced “I’m going to take my clothes off now. You can have sex with me if you want—but if you ever want to see me again you won’t.” So she stood before me naked (and she had a fine body indeed!) and said “what do you want to do?” I carefully considered the question and then responded “I want to see you again”. I guess that was the right answer because we kept dating and a couple of months later she moved in. I actually fell for her pretty hard, despite her quirks (or in some cases because of them). She was Jekyll and Hyde when she drank (which was often) so I never knew when I’d be subjected to a violent outburst. On the other hand, she was really into sexual role playing games. I took her to see my office one day and out of the blue she asked me to give her a job interview. I played along and she told me how much she really needed this job and she’d do ANYTHING to get it. That story ended with me doing her on my desk. Another time she came home with a schoolgirl uniform and told me she wanted to earn an “A” in my class. She did. Anyway, she was more fun than not and it really broke my heart when she sent me that text message ending the relationship.
I was disillusioned with Korean womanhood after that experience and resolved myself to never dating another one. I began making frequent trips to Angeles City and Barrio Barretto in the Philippines. The women weren’t nearly as attractive, but I surely did appreciate their warm-hearted GFEs. Of course, I knew it was all fake, and if not fake, it was about the money, but that seemed more honest than what the Korean women had put me through. I got burned a couple of times for sure, but I considered that the tuition for the school of experience. I got to where I was planning my retirement in the PI, even going so far as to start the application process for the retirement visa.
And then I met the woman who was to become my wife. She worked in the pedicure shop that me and the ex-girlfriend regularly visited. When she found out that my ex was no more, she was always first in line to scrape the dead skin off my feet. Apparently she saw me on the street one day and said hello, but I didn’t see her or acknowledge her greeting. The next time I did a pedicure she told me how much that had hurt her feelings. So to make up for it I asked her out to dinner. And as I recall the story, she came home with me that night and never left.
I didn’t mind, she took good care of me. But I was also very upfront about my pending move to the PI. I came back from one of my trips there and had picked up some kind of virus. Wound up being hospitalized in Seoul for 3 days and she took time off work to take care of me there (you are screwed in a Korean hospital without a family member to help out. Those cute Korean nurses just couldn’t be bothered to help a miserable waeguk to the bathroom.) So I really appreciated the fact that this new girlfriend was an excellent caregiver. Over time, I grew quite fond of her and began wavering on my commitment to the PI.
After several months, she asked me to make a choice—her or the Philippines. I said I needed more time to decide and she gave it to me. And then on New Year’s Day 2010 I told her I had to stick with my plan and move. She was disappointed of course, but wanted to stay with me until I departed in September. I agreed.
Oddly enough, after that the PI grew less and less attractive. I mean the third world poverty was always depressing, but I figured I’d get a nice place to live and hire a maid and driver and at least make their life better. But I was bored with the bar scene and began to question whether I’d ever meet a girl as nice as the one I had back “home” in Korea. My last trip to the PI before the big move was a disaster. Several foreigners were robbed and/or shot down in the street, it was a Wild West atmosphere and I never felt safe. Then a non-performing bargirl I refused to tip picked up the phone and threatened to call the police and say I “took advantage” of her. I called her bluff and she finally left. I wrote about that experience on one of the local websites for expats. One of the readers knew the bar owner, reported my story, and the girl got fired. She blew up my phone for a couple of days promising revenge. I know you can hire a hit for $100 and I started to get paranoid. So, I checked out of Angeles and moved to Barretto for the remainder of my stay. Then I got sick again. Suddenly, the Philippines wasn’t feeling like paradise so much.
I delayed my retirement for three months and worked on a new plan. That entailed moving back to the USA where I’d spend 6 months a year, spending the other 6 months in Korea. And I’d take the girlfriend with me. She was down with that plan. Within two weeks of arriving in the states, my mother died and my father went 5 months later. My girlfriend was in her element taking care of them and making their passage much more comfortable than it would have otherwise been. That may have been when I knew for sure she was a keeper.
We executed the 6 here/6 there plan for a couple of years and then she got called out of the immigration line. They told her she couldn’t keep using her tourist visa to stay such lengthy times in the US (it was a 6 month visa and she never overstayed) but they said the purpose of her travel was not tourism, but staying with me. The immigration officer agreed to let her enter one last time but told me I’d have to change her status next time. Essentially, my Uncle Sam was compelling me to get married.
So we did. Getting the Green Card (permanent residency) was a bureaucratic nightmare that took almost a year and a half to complete. During that time my wife was not allowed to leave the country. She grew very homesick and actually became depressed. We were on a plane for Korea a week after the Green Card arrived.
And then things began to change. I’m big time into darts and during our courtship the girlfriend was always there cheering me on (often to the chagrin of my opponents). On the rare occasion she wasn’t with me, people would say “where’s your shadow”. And then one day out of the blue she announced “I hate Itaewon. I don’t want to go there with you anymore.” And she hasn’t come since. So, that is 3 or 4 nights a week we are no longer together. And when I’m home she watches Korean dramas, often until 2 AM, so I’m in bed asleep long before she joins me. That hasn’t helped the sex life. Last October when it was time to return to the States (and after I had purchased tickets) she announced she wouldn’t be joining me right away because she had to take care of her ill mother. A one month delay became two and I finally told her she was my wife and needed to be with me. Her response was if she had to choose she would give up the marriage and stay in Korea.
Well, damn. I had bought a house in the USA and furnished it but I never expected to be living there alone. And I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on my marriage. So, I found a job in Korea (needed the visa) rented the house, and returned to Korea in December. She didn’t seem as excited to see me as I expected. On Christmas morning she told me she had decided to move to the “countryside” with her mother and aunt. I asked what about me, and she said she didn’t want to be married to me any longer. That was a kick in the nuts for sure.
Well, I’d burned through my savings buying that fucking house in the States and rent ain’t cheap in Seoul. She said I could stay with her until she moved. And then two things happened. I found a high paying gig and the aunt she was going to stay with died. And so almost a year after her big announcement we are still together. Which of those two factors is the proximate cause of her change of heart I cannot say. Me, I’ve been living day-to-day ever since. Did I mention Korean women can be cold hearted?
I’m not sure what the future holds at this point. I’m back to reading Stickman submissions and Harry the Horse from the Philippines. At my age I need to consider my options carefully. A friend of mine just moved to Phnom Penh and sent me photos of his brand new, fully furnished $500 per month apartment. I thought to myself I could just walk out the door, catch the bus to the airport and be renting the place next door tomorrow. But I’m going to take my time to decide. I’m thinking I’ll tell the wife at Christmas what the future holds for us.
Final point to bring the overly long submission to a close. I read a lot about the culture gap in relationships. I believe that can be overcome. It’s the communication gap that has caused the biggest issues in my marriage. Her English is better than my Korean but we cannot discuss or understand each other on any topic at more than a surface level. Some folks might consider that more a feature than a bug, but I can honestly say I’ve never felt lonelier than I do in this marriage. She irons my shirts and feeds me, but my heart and soul are starving.
And so it goes.