Matt from PopularGusts has, in his own inimitable style, offered up the thoroughly researched history of complaining expats in Korea. . . a fascinating way to give context to the complaining expat discussion going around right now.
And it sure helps to know how far we've come, just by a glance at the nature of the gripes: at least these days, we're complaining about labyrinthine banking practices and crooked taxi drivers, rather than Koreans' "need of soap" . . . "and bibles"
Wow. The more I read, the less I can choose a "best quote" -- get over there and read this thing. Let's just say that if blogs existed back then, instead of forming colonial plans, Japan would probably just have said "Meh. Sounds like too much work."
Meanwhile the complaining expats can take pride in taking part in a century old tradition.
(but then as now, long-term expats were. . . oh just read the post.)
At least those guys had flair: this guy chose to do his bitching and moaning in verse.
"The houses they live in are mostly of dirt,
With a tumble-down roof made of thatch;
Where soap is unknown, it's safe to assert,
And where vermin in myriads hatch;
The streets are reeking with odors more rife
Than the smell from a hyena's den;
One visit is surely enough for one's life
To that far-away land of Chosen."
Which might be something I'll try. It's been a while since I've written much poetry.
New blogoseyo rule:
when the same old Korea topics come up again (scapegoats, Liandokashima Rockdo, etc.), I shall henceforward only write about them in verse.
I'd ask Matt if he plans to do a history of Korean complaints about Korea, but that might take a while, and go back a long time: I'm pretty sure that Ungnyeo, the bear who became a woman (by hiding in a cave and eating nothing but mugwort and garlic for a hundred days) and bore Dangun, Korea's founder, scratched "This place sucks" on the cave floor while she waited.